Meet A Birth Mother: Kaytlin’s Story
Kaytlin was 18 years old and ready to start college when she found herself unexpectedly pregnant. Three days into school, she returned home to her loving parents for guidance. Although she had been dating the same boy for a couple of months, she knew they were not ready for a family. He had a son from a previous relationship but had little to do with him. Kaytlin’s parents were supportive of whatever she chose to do. She was immediately drawn to the idea of adoption but was afraid of the what-ifs. What if it could work out? What if I raise my baby?
As Kaytlin pondered her decision, she chose to leave home and try living with her boyfriend. After a few months of seeing how he chose to live his daily life, she knew what she needed to do. She left him and never looked back.
Living in a small community, Kaytlin closed her social media account and instead chose to focus on participating in church activities and career opportunities. During that time, she and her mother began looking for prospective parents for her baby. She said,
“I felt like I was shopping for a family. It was then that it really hit me that I had a baby growing in me. How could I have done this? [I thought,] to screw up my life is one thing, but to mess with another? How could I have been so selfish? I was on a search to find a family for this little someone inside of me. The rush to the bathroom every morning, the little kicks and flips in my stomach, the constant embarrassment, it was a lot to deal with at such a young age in such a small town.”
Soon people started reaching out to her. A few opportunities presented themselves, but it wasn’t right yet. When a friend reached out with a couple searching for a baby, the connection was immediate. They met and made the decision to join their families together through adoption.
Expectant parents who are considering adoption can find a family they love on Parent Profiles. Adoption.com’s parent profiles feature parents who have already passed a home study and created a profile to introduce their family. You can search by location, interests, religion, and more.
The Hardest Days
During the next few months, baby bump pictures were shared as the excitement mounted. Two weeks before the due date, Kaytlin was informed that the baby was not receiving enough nutrition and needed to be born the next week. She had to adjust to the idea of her pregnancy ending before she had planned. The next day, she received a call that the baby needed to be born right away. This was an even harder thing to accept. She had hoped for a few more days of carrying her baby.
“I suddenly became scared. Not to have the baby, but of the time I just lost. It dawned on me that these were the last moments with this little someone. I was supposed to have two more weeks. I suddenly hated myself for all the times I tried to shove the idea of being pregnant out of my mind. I didn’t want this to end, but it didn’t matter because either way, I had to be at the hospital the next morning.”
After 36 hours of labor, Kaytlin allowed the prospective adoptive mother to hold her baby boy first. Kaytlin held him next, and then she handed him to each family member. Under normal circumstances, the birth mother would check out of the hospital the day following the baby’s birth. However, because he was born the day before her birthday and she did not want to remember her last day with him on her birthday, the hospital allowed her to stay an extra day.
When that day came, she held him in her arms and memorized every detail of his tiny face, even the little mark where he had scratched himself. When she felt like she was ready, she placed him in the bassinet and entered the hallway. She describes the feeling as the “longest and shortest walk” she ever took.
“Never had time gone slower and yet so fast. I couldn’t breathe. Every nurse looked at us with sadness in their eyes all knowing what was about to happen. Each step on the blue patterned carpet was heavy, the white walls and fluorescent lights are details I will never forget. I reached the room his parents had been staying in and turned to my mom. I grabbed the blanket I had made for him along with several letters I had written, a bunny I had bought, and a book, all folded in blue ribbon and a white, ridged string connected to a Happy Birthday balloon. Tucked tightly between the strands was a rose taken from the bouquet my Dad had bought for me.”
As she handed the baby to his mother, she placed the biggest kiss she could on his sweet cheek. Then she turned and left the room falling into her father’s loving arms.
“Wrapped in the arms of both my parents, and with tears running down our faces, they told me how proud they were and how selfless I had been. I knew the decision I had made was right, but never have I felt, nor will I ever again, feel both the joy of Heaven, and the pain of Hell all in one moment.”
Before his birth, Kaytlin had decided that she didn’t want to see or hold her baby, or have any reminders of him. After he was born, those emotions changed. Her mother made a shadow box with his tiny socks and a lock of his hair inside. For the week following his birth, she slept in her parents’ room unable to enter the room where the reminders of him were displayed. Eventually, she returned to college. The hardest day came when she saw the adoption had been finalized a day earlier than she had expected. Once again, her time had been cut short. Although she knew she had made the right decision for her and her baby, the idea was suddenly a reality.
Pregnant and have questions? We can help answer your questions by telling us what works best for you.
Every hospital experience is unique for parents who are actively pursuing adoption. As an expectant parent, you make all the decisions: who is in the room, who will hold the baby, when and if the adoptive parents will be at the hospital, and more. It is never too late to change your mind about any of these decisions—including whether or not you place your baby for adoption. Hopeful adoptive parents can learn some basic hospital etiquette throughout the adoption process. Healthy boundaries, communication, and respect for every member of the adoption triad will help the process go as smoothly as it can.
Life After Pregnancy
Kaytlin began seeing a counselor and learned how to cope with her grief. This is something she strongly encourages for every birth mother. There is still so much stigma associated with an unplanned pregnancy. Her hope is to spread awareness of the options available. Kaytlin has a degree in social work and has devoted her career to helping others who may find themselves in her situation. She believes that education is key in making these life-changing decisions.
Kaytlin chose a semi-open adoption. She communicates with the family through texts and social media. The parents have been open with him about his adoption and now, at the age of five, he is starting to ask to see pictures of his birth mother. Kaytlin hopes to have a relationship with him someday. In the meantime, they will share pictures and celebrate milestones separately.
Kaytlin’s advice to women who face unplanned pregnancies is to not let it define their worth. Remember, the choice is yours and you are in control. Kaytlin says she doesn’t feel like she lost anyone: she gained an entire family.
Finding support post-placement is essential for a birth mother. Whether you find healing through professional counseling and therapy, a support group, or a trusted loved one—utilizing this outlet is so important. As you recover from childbirth and the mental toll of placing a child for adoption, you may experience come big, complicated feelings. Never hesitate to reach out to your support system—it is never too late to find the help you need.
Kaytlin is a member of the Adoption.com Team. As a licensed social worker and experienced birth mother, Kaytlin has been able to provide help to many expectant parents who are considering adoption. You can contact the Adoption.com team through our chat feature on Adoption.org.Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.