Never in a million years did I ever think I would be a birth mom. Not because I think badly of birth moms, but because I never thought I would end up with an unplanned pregnancy. I decided on adoption two weeks before I was due with my birth son. His adoptive parents are people that I knew before; I will call them “Mr. and Mrs. S”. Since I had waited so long to make a decision, I was already attached to my birth son. I think most birth moms get attached at some point. Waiting so long also meant I had not thought about what was going to happen after the birth and in the hospital.
After I had decided on adoption, my mom had the duty of telling those in the hospital that this was an adoption. This was important information for the nurses to have (my doctor was already aware). This prevented the nurses from asking if I was going to nurse or other sensitive questions. I honestly had not thought about having my birth son’s mom in the room for the birth. It was such a fresh situation that I did not consider this option. Some birth moms might decide to have the adoptive mom in the room. The decision should be the birth mother’s.
I did decide to have my mom, sister in law, and friend present. The support, foot rubs, and music helped keep me calm. I felt nothing but peace. The second he was born, I thought he was the most beautiful baby in the world.
After the Birth
Soon after this birth, the nurses placed him in my arms. I was only able to hold him for about 30 minutes because he needed to go into the nursery. In the nursery, he had his first bath and other procedures that they perform on newborns. My birth son’s parents were able to be present for all of this. Because we had informed the hospital of the adoption, the adoptive parents had special permission to be in the nursery.
At this particular hospital, unless it was an extreme circumstance, you had to share rooms with other mothers. My mom immediately fought for me to have my own room. I spent the first night with another mom but was quickly moved into my own room the next day. I now had privacy and could enjoy my time with my baby.
Making My Time Count
I chose to stay three full days in the hospital. My insurance allowed for three days, so I opted to stay all three. I knew I only had three days with my precious baby boy. I made certain that close friends and family had to opportunity to come and see him. Mr. and Mrs. S came to see me often. I enjoyed their company and watching them with our little boy. I knew this time was limited and precious, so I also did not sleep much during this time. I never wanted the nurses to take him from me. If they did have too, I would call and asked if they could bring him back. A few nurses mentioned to my mom that they felt like I was becoming too attached. I wanted to be attached to him. I wanted to learn his baby smell and memorize his face. I wanted to talk to him and let him know the love that I felt. I wanted that bond, even if he was going to be raised by someone else.
I also decided to write him a letter while we were still in the hospital. I wanted the letter to be real and in the moment. I explained why I had chosen adoption and how much I loved him. While I was writing the letter, he laid on my lap, as my tears fell on his cheeks. That letter went home with him, to be read when his parents felt it was the right time.
I cried many tears during my time in the hospital. I spent so much time with my birth son, the nurses thought I might chose to parent. Those three days were special and sacred. Those three days were the only days I had as his mother. I knew I needed to make those three days count. I took hundreds of pictures in the hospital, sang to my birth son, and took home his hospital bracelets. I did not make a plan before his birth but the three days were more than I could have asked for.
Making Your Plan
I did not make a plan because I had decided at the last minute that adoption for best for my birth son. That does not mean you cannot make a plan for the birth of your birth child. Decide what you want. Ask a loved one to answer the hard questions that people will ask in the hospital. My mom took care of that for me. Spending so much time with my birth son did not make things harder. In fact, I think it made it easier. When I would grieve, I would lean on those three days I had with him. I had that special bond that I created in the hospital.
Write down what you hope to get out of your time in the hospital. Write your birth child a letter. Most of all enjoy bonding with your birth child. This is your time.