Some of my peers in my online courses who have followed my blog last semester may recall a post I made early on about my favorite child’s book – The Giving Tree.
I have always loved this book for lots of reasons, but 10 years ago the story reverberated in my soul even more and from a completely different perspective when I became a Birth Mother. That blog assignment was so timely, as the date aligned with the birth date of my adopted son, and I feel as though this assignment aligns so perfectly with Mother’s Day approaching.
There are lots of reasons why Birth Mother’s choose adoption for their children. I had always had the feeling that the baby I was carrying was not meant for me and for that time in my life. I felt as though it was a gift to give, that it was what someone else was missing and my purpose was to share that with them.
My birthing experience was intense and incomparable. I went through about 48 hours of contractions and eventually, knew it was time to go to the hospital. Despite my insistence my doctor told me to give her a call in an hour since she didn’t feel it was time to head in yet. My instincts continued to tell me that it was time and that she was wrong – so we headed in, called the adoption agency so they could get in touch with the adoptive parents who had about 3 hours of travel ahead of them, and called the doctor and said I know you told me to wait, but I’m going now!
Once we arrived and was checked they were all still adamant that I came in too early, but hooked me up to the monitors anyway and continued to check on me. At one point, my doctor arrived to check and indicated it would still be some time – not fully dilated or effaced. She came back 5 minutes later expecting just pop in to check again and suddenly, they were rushing me into the room to push. No time for anything, including epidurals! After that it as fast as fast could be and they baby boy was born.
I know it was hard, it hurt, it was a challenge – but all I could think about is the two parents driving frantically across the state to meet the baby boy I was sharing with them. I remember the nurses trying to keep me relaxed and massaging my arms, hands and shoulders – I remember feeling (and saying) I can’t do anymore – I remember my mother, who was with me, tell me later that she had never heard me say the words I can’t before.
In my experience, I feel like I missed out on a lot of things – any substantial human touch with my child, breast feeding, all of those connections were far to quick and fleeting for me to have any true experience or none at all – however it was not me whom he needed to bond with, but rather the two individuals who had waited so long to meet him. It was them who held him closely, shared skin-to-skin and fed him, which is exactly what needed to happen to form strong bonds and developmental attachments. These are all things that I so very much look forward to fully experiencing when I go through this again with a child of my very own with my husband. But I know, that despite everything I may want to do, I will insist on a natural birth – because If i could go through and endure for my son, I owe it to every child I may have to do the same for them.