Dear New Birth Mother,

I’m hoping I can bring you some hope. I’m a birth mom of almost 7 years. 7 years?! Did I write that correctly? I did. I don’t know how the time goes by so fast. Yes, it goes by fast. I know it doesn’t seem like that when the pain is fresh, when you’re not sleeping at night because your heart is aching to it’s fullest. I know that time is creeping by so slowly you feel like it’s going backwards. Then wishing it actually would go backwards so you could undo something to change it all. I also went through carrying a child, birthing said child, and watching another woman walk away with him. I may not have experienced things just like you are experiencing them now, but nobody has gone through exactly what I have gone through. All I know is that it’s painful to be a mother with no child to hold.

But there is something else I know, and that is that it gets better. One day you’ll wake up and realize that you smiled without forcing it. You’ll be talking with friends and notice that time has passed where you weren’t thinking of your child (well, at least not as much as usual). Recognizing that will set you back in your grieving process. I remember fearing that I was forgetting him, when all I was doing was remembering who I was. It’s okay to remember who you are, or were, or relearn about yourself outside of the pregnancy and adoption. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. Just choosing an adoption plan proves your love. It’s time to discover yourself.

Now let me be frank, you will need to grieve. I was in denial (first step of grieving) when I signed my rights away. I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel anything. Most importantly, I didn’t realize why I didn’t feel. I thought my denial was a sign that this was “supposed to be” and that meant I would be happy with my decision forever. While placing was the right decision for me and my son, that doesn’t mean it’s been a fabulous journey down the yellow brick road. Like Dorothy, my yellow brick road has been filled with challenges. Yours will be, too. It’s okay and it needs to be.

I find comfort in my pain, it means I still love him. I always will, but now that time has passed I don’t always feel the pain that was so raw seven years ago. You will always love your child; never be afraid or ashamed of that. A hard challenge for me was when I saw, firsthand, the bond my son had with his family. It was what I wanted for him, but it broke my heart that his bond wasn’t with me. Prepare yourself to feel because the feelings will come. They need to.

I’m going to wrap this up—you have a life to be getting back to! So allow me to leave you with this: This is a hard thing to deal with. While you are tough, you are also human. Allow yourself to feel happy or sad, don’t be afraid to cut toxic people out of your life, rest your body, and remember that you gave your child the best chance you could—that makes you a good mother. I promise, one day, you will see the bigger picture.

Best wishes,

Kacey Bailey

Birth Mother of 7 Years