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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

QUESTIONS are ANSWERED!! Q # 5


Answers from the lovely birthmothers:
Note – not every birthmother has answered every single question, please match the fonts to know whose response you are reading!

if you would like to answers any of the questions please do so in the comment section and be sure to leave the number of the question that is being answered.

Stefanie     http://stefaniejinelle.blogspot.com/
Megan  http://angryoctopusstudios.blogspot.com/
Alyssa       one of our guest bloggers
Anna      http://annamaryk.blogspot.com
Jennilee     one of our guest bloggers
Amanda     http://travisandamandarosemans.blogspot.com/
Nicole    http://lifeafterfirstmom.blogspot.com/
Kelsey    http://thebestforyoubook.blogspot.com/
Shannon
Michelle
Andee      http://anabananandee.blogspot.com/
Britney
Janessa     http://scottandjanessa.blogspot.com/
Jennifer
Shanna    one of our blog authors 
questions for birthmothers from other birthmothers:

5. did you feel prepared for placement/relinquishment and the first year(s) after placement? if so, what did you do before hand to prepare. if not, what would you recommend for others. did you think you were and then realized later that you werent?


Well, I relinquished my rights twice, once at the hospital after Anna was born to prove that I was serious (for legal reasons) about an adoption (this signature had a clause however that if the adoption failed I would get my parental rights back) and then again the day before I placed Anna, which was done along with the BF.  I was ready the first time and even MORE ready the second time.  I had mentally prepared myself.... but most importantly I was spiritually prepared, God gave me strength I didn’t know I had.  The first year after placement is hard for everyone, but I was more happy than anything, that I had made the right decision for Anna.

I don't think anyone could ever be fully prepared for placement/relinquishment. All you can do is really prepare yourself for the hurt and the heartbreak. I think you should realize what you want after all of that happens. I know the day after placement I wanted the couple to spend a day with her so they could bond with her but then everyday after that I wanted to see her. They live in Virginia so they had to wait about 2 weeks for the ICPC papers to go through. That was the only time I was going to see my newborn as a newborn. The next time I see her she'll be 3 months old. I almost feel gypped of those months with her because I want her to come back as a newborn. Haha.  You need to establish the open communication that you have with your couple beforehand. If you try after, I think it will all fall apart and become a huge mess. And I think others will be upset about expectations that weren't being met that we never made.

I just prepared for the absolute worst, and let myself cry as much as possible beforehand. I met with my counselor many times and spent a considerable amount of time thinking about parenting. I don't know specifically what helped the most, but I didn't feel unprepared.

I don't think ANYONE can be "prepared" for placement. I feel that I did a lot of my grieving during my pregnancy, but that doesn't mean I was prepared for the constant ache in my heart. It has only been a month and a half for me, and I am told that will fade and be replaced with joy for the happiness of my daughter. I did a lot of staying up late to feel her kick me. I memorized what it felt like to be pregnant. That was the only time she was mine for 24/7 and I didn't share often. I told her often that I love her and that I always will. It always made me cry, but it helped to voice it out loud.

I thought I was ready. I thought I could handle it. But the way they did it here (and back then) was we had to go to court (we being the birthfather and myself – always a joy) and the judge would sit up at the front of the courtroom, the social worker from the agency was next to me, and the attorney was asking us the relinquishment questions… Those are the worst questions I’ve ever been asked. “Is your decision to relinquish your parental rights forever a final decision?” Like knives in your heart. That was the worst part for me. That, and walking out of the room after actually placing the baby but not taking her with me. That first night after placement was pretty bad, too.

I thought that I was prepared but I wasn’t even close. I don’t really think you can prepare for it. You have to take one day at a time during the hard times. What I would recommend thought is a good support system have it be friends or family, therapy, need time for self, don’t make any huge decisions at first.

I was 16 when I was pregnant and 17 when I placed. My concept of placement was a full thing. I think I blocked out the fact of a waiting period before the adoption was final. I think blocking that out made it easier for me, because at no point in time waiting for the finalization was I ready to provide for her. As far as signing papers, I came to peace since I was 3-6 months pregnant knowing that this was best not because my dad wanted me to do it, but given the situation. Make sure every ounce of yourself wants the adoption because of your own reasons, otherwise you might come to regret it.

I guess I thought I was prepared, but found out I wasn’t prepared for all aspects of the adoption!  I was prepared to place the baby, by not prepared for anything beyond that.  To prepare to place the baby I prayed about it and got an answer that it was the right thing to do.  I continued to pray and read my scriptures to stay close to the Lord.  I was not prepared for how I would feel after the baby was gone.  I didn’t want to tell anyone how sad I was or how much I missed the baby because I thought they would think I was freaking out and would try to get the baby back.  My advice would be to talk to whomever you can about what you are REALLY feeling because it really does help you heal.

With my first placement at the age of 19, absolutely not prepared. My agency with held information from me regarding the father that was revealed at the time of relinquishment. I did not know anything about what was to happen during in that courtroom and it was shocking to say the least. The first year was horrible. So much pain and guilt. I often remember just going through the motions to get myself from one day to the next. I was not handling the hormones well, I was anxious yet depressed all the time and I could not enjoy the holidays.

My second placing was much different. I left Missouri and headed to California where the laws were open and the birth mother is the one who makes the final decisions. I was prepared for what I had to do and I handled it rather well compared to my first pregnancy. I was pregnant with twins and I really took good care of myself. My doctor told me that he was not going to give me an epidural or any drugs because he did not like doing that with a high risk delivery, the fact that it was twins and not a single birth. I walked 5 miles a day and prepared myself for the dual delivery, and I was in great shape both mentally and physically. I was away from home, feeling introspective not to mention solidarity and I almost began to train my mind to take a step away from my heart more and more every single day. By the time I was in the last month, I was mentally ready to let go of the boys. I was very calm with it all and actually helped the others in the room keep calm as well.

Even though I was ready to let go, that first year after the boys were born I was riddled with guilt that was very, very difficult to shake. I was in a denial that I had actually gone through it twice by the time I was 23. It was a very low point in my life, self analyzing, self loathing, self doubting were good friends of mine. Everyone I knew could tell that I was starting to slide into a depression, but could not even begin to understand or try to understand the amount of heartache I was feeling by then. I felt used and damaged. I finally pulled out of it about 18 months after the twins were born, and I slowly took control of my pain.

In a nutshell thought I was ready- simply didn't want to be pregnant so badly that when I did give birth I was so releived but was not prepared for the aftermath of placement and leaving her- so basically I had a lot of grief bottled up- I guess I diddn't prepare and if I could do over, would have a lot more counsel and talk things out and write things out


No i wasnt prepared. i was desperate to find a place for my daughter. i had nothing and couldnt even take care of myself financially at that point. i felt i had no choice. no family help. Nothing.

I was in no way prepared. Use an agency, and have a solid gameplan for placement.

I absolutely thought I was prepared and when it came time for the placement, it was abundantly clear that I was not. I had spent weeks mentally preparing myself, going over all the reasons it was the right thing to do and telling myself that what I wanted didn't matter, it was about what was best for my daughter. When the placement day came, none of that mattered. I don't know if there was anything else I could have done differently

I did feel very prepared for placement.  I went to all of the third trimester classes, I felt like I knew the adoptive couple very well, I experienced their excitement, and I was just able to talk through my emotions.  I felt ready to deal with the heartache I knew I would experience and I was 100% confident that I was doing the right thing and that I would not change my mind.  I felt like I had grown to become very close to the Lord and could feel him carrying me through the entire thing.
However, I did not feel prepared for her first birthday.  I did not think it was going to be hard, so when it was, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I was not prepared to deal with the emotions that came with the one year mark and had a very hard time dealing with them.  I felt very lost and it was the first time since placement that I started thinking the “what if’s”.  I ended up going back to speak to my case worker a couple of times.  It’s been a little more than a month since her first birthday and I am now finally feeling like I’m on top of my emotions again.

I am still less than a year in, but so far I’ve felt pretty prepared.  The best thing I’ve done is talk to other birthmoms.  They have been able to support me in a way no one else could!  Also, I have a few adoptive parent friends who have been extremely supportive.  I also read a lot of birth/adoptive parent blogs online and did a TON of research on every aspect of adoption I could think of.  And I went to about as much counseling as my agency would allow (which is lots and lots).


~I thought I was prepared, but nothing prepared me for the empty feeling i felt when I went to see her in the nursery. The incubator bed was empty and she had been taken to the adoptive parents hospital room.  That was the hardest thing for me.



4 comments:

Karine said...

Wow... so many different feelings to consider. Thank you for sharing those sacred feelings. I think I will try really hard to let our birth mother know We are here... especially on the placement day. If she wants to call in the middle of the night or needs a hug or a visit right away. I hope I can be strong for her. My heart goes out to all of you and what you all felt so deeply. Thank you again for sharing.

birthMOM said...

absolutely i was prepared!
and it was perfect, it was just what i wanted, a happy joyous beautiful celebration of new life new love and new beginnings.

i had heard horror story after horror story growing up about how heart wrenching heartbreaking and traumatic relinquishment/placement was. i didnt want that. i didnt want everyone bawling about how sad they were over this, i didnt want the acouple feeling bad about everyone bawling, i didnt want them to feel torn btwn their joy and my pain. so i forbade EVERYONE from crying, no one was allowed to cry (except me, as it was my placement, and i did a lil) i thought long and hard about the sentiments i wanted shared at placement, i planned a 'lil ceremony', i planned special outfits for me and babe.

i felt like no one died here, there was nothing to mourn, this was a happy time, this is what i had worked for the last 9 months to create, this moment was to be only celebrated. and it was! and it was fabulous.

the first year went by entirely way too fast, funny how that keeps happening the older i get. the power of positive thinking will take you far in life if you let it.

The Millers said...

I think that it should be mandatory for the girls to have a few days with the baby before placing, I am devastated that women have had to leave the hospitals empty-handed.....I can't even IMAGINE! The agency I placed with allowed the girls a few days alone at home with the baby before placing, I found this to be very healing for most of the girls. Obviously that wasn't the situation for me, but if I had to of placed the DAY or day after I gave birth , it would have been MUCH harder.

birthMOM said...

deborah - thats funny, cuz i cant even imagine leaving the hospital with the baby! lol

sentimentally, it was so imperatively important that i walk out those doors ready to embrace 'the rest of my life' without the baby. it was very healing for me, and the others ive worked with, to have placement 48 hours after the birth when discharged from the hospital. even driving to an office or church building holds a psychosocial attachment to a life outside of the hospital with the child. it was so nice to leave everything behind me in that hospital chapel room, i got to leave when i was ready to and move forward, literally, to walk the road that was to be MY life. emotionally, it was the best scenario. does that even make sense?! lol

of course to each her own and a perfect example of what works for one birthmom may not be the answer for another!

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