The time flew by. It wasn't fair, really. In three days I had slept very little, spent as much time as possible holding him, feeding him, loving him- but time doesn't stand still for anyone, no matter how hard you wish it to. All too soon, I found myself waking up on the day that I would have to go home, empty handed.
I held him so close, whispering all my hopes and dreams for him. I told him how loved he was by not only me, but by everyone we had met along this path, and by his new parents waiting down the hall. I told him how much I would cherish this time with him, and that he had saved me. He was my angel, one that had already changed my life in such a profound way. I still remember the way he looked at me, like he understood every single word falling from my trembling lips. I remember the way he smelled, it was the most amazing scent in the world. I would be keeping his first clothes, the shirt and hat that still held this wonderful smell. I knew the moment to say goodbye was coming fast, and I also knew that I wasn't strong enough to face it.
I know for a fact that in these last few minutes with him, there were many prayers sent up for us. I sent my mom down the hall to give his new parents the only thing I had left that was of any value. It was my high school ring. I thought that, when they someday gave it to him, it would act as a symbol and give him a glimpse of the person I was. When she returned from this errand, it would be time to go.
We had decided the day before, because I might lack the strength when the time came, that I would leave without being part of the "exchange". We would go home, and his new parents would have time to spend with him, and ask questions while they were still in the hospital setting. It seemed the best way for everyone, at the time. I was dressed, bags packed, and my discharge paper-work had been signed. This was it, the moment of goodbye. In a minute my mom would walk back through that door, a nurse would take my son from my arms, and I would be walking away. Suddenly, I realized that none of this was right.
I shakily stood up, baby cradled in my arms. At that same moment my mom came back through the door. I told her I had changed my mind, that I had just realized that I absolutely HAD to be the one to put him in his new mother's arms. She smiled and began to cry in the same second, and together we slowly made the final walk down the hall, toward his waiting parents and new life.