On August 3, 2006, my life changed forever. A few weeks prior, I had made the difficult decision to place my son for adoption. I had only had a few weeks to process the lifelong decision I had made. Going into labor still did not make that decision real. I felt as though I were in a strange dreamland. Nothing felt real. All the planning I did in my head when I was going to parent suddenly stopped. I was now preparing my new life as a birth mother.
The Day I Became a Mother
On a hot August day in California, I patiently awaited the birth of a sweet little boy. My mother would force me on walks to get labor started, and my dad would rub my feet every night. Around 6 PM on August 2, 2006, my water broke. At this point, it still did not feel real. I had no clue what I was walking into. Because I had chosen adoption so late in my pregnancy, I had no prior knowledge of what to expect. My social worker, Julie, was out of the country, so I was assisted by many different social workers in her office.
When I got to the hospital, my mom quickly informed the staff that this was an adoption. She wanted to ensure the staff respected me and knew the situation. Once labor was confirmed, I received an epidural, and the waiting game started. Fortunately, the waiting game was only around seven hours. In the wee hours of the morning of August 3, a sweet little boy was born. I have never felt such happiness and love. I could not think about what was to come. I had to live in the moment. I was allowed a maximum of three days in the hospital, and I chose to stay all three. My mother convinced the nursing staff to give me my own room. I never let the nursing staff take him longer than he needed to be gone. I spent the majority of my time awake, memorizing every inch of him, smelling his sweet skin, twirling his black hair, kissing his cheeks, and letting my tears fall.
My time with him was precious and short, and I knew this. Some asked if spending all those extra hours with him made it harder to say good-bye. It did not. Because of those three precious days, I was able to bond with this boy as his mother: a mother who loved him so deeply she was willing to break her own heart in order for him to have happiness. I needed to feel like his mother so I knew for sure that I was doing what was right for him and not me. I needed to feel like his mother so I could keep a special place for him in my heart for the remainder of my days. Placing him did not diminish him as my child. I needed those three days to remind myself that, even though he will not be with me, he will always be my birth child.
The Day I Became a Birth Mother
My time in the hospital came and went. We went to my parents’ house to relinquish my rights. I knew that everyone was so worried that I would be emotional. Yet, I knew that I would not be. In the hospital, the adoptive mother mentioned that she felt guilty that she was the one causing me sadness. I felt so sad that she would feel this way. She was becoming a mother! I wanted her to be excited. Before we left the hospital, I said a special prayer that I could be strong for her on the day that she was to become a mother. When we finally arrived at the house, there was such a peace. We took pictures and talked, I signed the papers, and not a single tear was shed. The peace was almost overwhelming.
Everything felt right. As Mr. and Mrs. S walked out the door as a first-time mother and father, I became a birth mother. As the door closed, I fell into my mother’s arms and the tears began to flow. I have never cried so hard in my life. Sobs took over my body, as I realized that my time as his mother had ended and my new role had begun. I had remained strong for Mrs. S. Now with her gone, I could let the tears fall and the grieving begin, and I could embark on my new journey as a birth mother.