No matter the circumstances, a birth mother should try to have a hospital plan in place before she goes into a delivery room. There are too many things to consider and think about while emotions and pain are high. Making important decisions on the spot under such pressure can lead to irrational actions and serious regrets. There are instances where last-minute decisions must be made, but try your best to plan ahead and keep them to a minimum.

Keeping that in mind, you can really choose how your hospital stay will pan out. Just like any other delivery – and based on the rules of the hospital – you can choose who is in the room with you, whether you want to do skin-to-skin right after the birth, where the baby will sleep, whether a boy is circumcised, everything. Of course, there are some things you might want to discuss with the adoptive parents. It is also a good idea to plan other, less common, things, like if adoption papers are being signed in the hospital, if you’re taking the baby home for a while, etc. The possibilities are endless, so it’s good to have an idea of what you want.

When I went into the hospital, we had everything ready. It made the whole process go smoothly so I had time to process the weight of what I was doing and begin the healing process. We planned to tell the adoptive family the moment I went into labor so my son’s mother could meet us at the hospital. I wanted her to be there for her son’s first moments on earth, so she stayed in the delivery room the whole time I was in labor and straight through the delivery.

After my son was here and I was able to get decent, we let his dad come in so he could be one of the first to hold him. Then my family and some very close friends were allowed in. After a few hours, almost everyone left. My mom stayed with me in a recovery room and my son went to stay in a separate room with his parents that night. We had decided together that it would be nice for me to get some sleep and for them to be with him continually.

The next day, we all spent some time together before we were all discharged. Before anyone went home, we met at family member’s home to sign papers. My mom drove me there and my son went with his parents right from the hospital. After papers were signed and done, we went to our respective homes. Those were the hardest days of my life, and I can’t imagine what they would have been like if we hadn’t planned every detail beforehand.

There is a lot to consider and a lot of things that can be overlooked. I would recommend going through everything with a social worker and the adoptive family where appropriate. You do have say in how everything will go, so make sure to speak up about what you are and are not comfortable with. I can guarantee this will not be easy, so do yourself a huge favor and make sure you’re happy with the plan you put in place. You won’t regret being prepared.

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