How Do Birth Mothers Cope after Placing a Child?

A Memoir and Advice from a Birth Mother Who’s Been There!

Heather Mitchell July 04, 2018
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A birth mother spends nine months carrying a precious baby inside, a baby whom she loves. Then she gives birth and goes home without that adorable baby. There’s a ton of thought that gets poured into such a decision, and a birth mom can only prepare herself so much for the devastation that follows. Every adoption story is unique; therefore, every birth mother will cope differently. I am a birth mother to a little boy named Jackson, and I definitely struggled after his birth. I am going to share with you my story along with some advice I would have given myself.

Trust Your Decision

Even while Jackson was in my tummy, feelings of uncertainty often crept up on me. I recognized that dwelling on those feelings of doubt brought me to a place of absolute discomfort. Because of those feelings, I constantly reassured myself that my decision was absolutely beautiful. The more confident I was with my decision, the more peace I felt.

Alone Time

Hours before he went home with his family, Jackson and I had sweet alone time together in the hospital. During that time, we had a talk. Well, actually, I talked to Jackson while he just slept on my chest. “You are very special to me. You are loved by so many people. You are so strong and courageous. You will have a great life with your parents. I will miss you so much. Please always remember that I love you!” I cherished that time together. While grieving after leaving the hospital, I found harmony in that precious memory with him.

Surround Yourself with Supporters

I’m not sure how I would have endured without my support team. I remember the days after coming home from the hospital. My grandma came over early in the mornings with coffee and stayed with me for hours. We occasionally talked. She cleaned my home and brought me plenty of reading material. She helped occupy my mind which is what I desperately needed. It helped not being alone.

I firmly believe that a birth mom will suffer less if surrounded by positive people who support her and her decision.

Let It Out

I did a lot of writing after Jackson was born. My mind was a whirl of thoughts, and my emotions were all over the place. So, I decided to keep a journal to document it. I reflected on the day Jackson was born and wrote down every single thought that came to mind. On Jackson’s first birthday, I felt a heavy loss. Instead of sulking, I wrote a poem to express my emotion. Don’t ignore, deny, or suppress your feelings. Instead, acknowledge what’s going on inside, work through those feelings, and find a healthy way to express them.

Journal Entry

You Will Feel Loss

I remember taking my first shower after giving birth as I uncontrollably cried the entire time. I just couldn’t help it. That occurrence became ritual for me. For the months that followed, I cried every single time I took a shower. You may cry every single day for months. You may occasionally undergo extreme heartbreak. You may feel shameful or worthless. You may notice thoughts of denial. It is very important to remember that suffering that loss as a birth mom is normal and that it does get better! Through the good days and bad days, the only thing you can do is to do the best you can.

Choose Love

In the beginning of my birth mom journey, seeing Jackson became surprisingly complicated for me. Many conflicting emotions would consume me, and I didn’t understand why. The greater part of me was always extremely joyful and thankful. The other part of me was filled with great sorrow. There came a point in time when I realized that I had a decision to make. I had to choose which feelings to gravitate towards. So whenever I found myself battling those opposing senses, I responded accordingly. I tried my best to reject the feelings of despair, and I’d forcefully put all my focus on the good feelings that I felt. This task was awfully hard, but remarkably rewarding. In time, the sadness drifted away. Now when I see Jackson and his family, I feel complete peace of mind.

Relationship with Jackson’s Parents

When I was at my worst, I pushed Jackson’s parents away. While I was pushing them away, they carefully and continuously reached out to me. They let me know that they loved me, and how they wanted a relationship with me. They fought for our unity, and I am so grateful. Their support and love throughout my years of coping played a huge part in my progress.

Jackson Family and Birth Family

Birth Mothers Are Important

It took me years to really grasp my role as a birth mother. One day, clarity hit me, and the last bit of my suffering came to an end. I was at an adoption event listening to a man speak in regards to his birth mother. This grown man had tears running down his cheeks as he explained his heartache because his birth mother didn’t desire a relationship with him. As I wiped my own tears, I told myself, “Jackson will never, ever feel like that!” The wisdom I gained that day became the missing piece to my coping puzzle. As I truly understood my purpose as Jackson’s birth mom, the lingering, achy feelings seemed to disappear for good.

A birth mom will struggle, but that struggle is worth fighting through. If I could answer this question, “How do birth mothers cope after placing a child?” I might say this: “One day at a time, with tears in her eyes, and a smile on her face. She chooses LOVE!”

 

Pregnant and considering adoption? You don’t need to do it alone. Click here to connect with a caring, compassionate adoption professional who can help you figure out what’s best for you and your baby. All consultations and counseling are absolutely free.

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Heather Mitchell

Heather courageously became a birth mother in 2014. She is inspired to personally share how open adoption has incredibly impacted her life. She shatters the common misconceptions about birth mothers, and desires to provide a beautiful and unique point of view. Heather enjoys her grind as an administrative specialist for a millwork company in Wisconsin. While dedicated to her profession, Heather believes her most important job in life is motherhood. Her three children keep her busy, yet extremely overjoyed and purposeful. Her free time is spent reading, writing, or admiring the view of Lake Michigan, which can be seen from her front porch.


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