As an expectant mother, considering adoption, I had many worries about the hospital stay and delivery. This was my first pregnancy, so I had no idea what to expect or how to prepare. I did not want to attend the class my hospital provided for couples who were expecting their first child. I would have felt awkward attending this class alone and didn’t want to face the questions that I knew would arise. However, I wish I would have been more prepared. I wish I would have had a plan to help reduce my fears and ‘what if’s’ that often circled my mind.
Feeling empowered in your birth plan, means having a birth plan. The more prepared you are, the less anxiety you will feel once you go into labor. You have many choices and options when it comes to your birth plan. Be sure to voice your concerns and plan with those who will be involved with your delivery and hospital stay.
Adoptive couples: Will you have the adoptive couple be a part of the delivery? Do you want them in the delivery room? Do you want them in the waiting area? The hospital stay was my only ‘alone’ time with my baby. I did not have the option of having the adoptive couple in the delivery room with me, but I’m not sure that I would have. This is a personal decision for every expectant mother. Do not feel pressure from your adoptive couple to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. They will understand, I promise. Consider how you will feel after delivery. Who you would like to share that with and how you want the environment around you to feel.
What mementos will you keep: Think of the items you would like to personally keep and what items you may pass on to the adoptive couple. Again, my adoptive couple was not at the hospital with me, so I kept my little butterflies crib papers and the cap they had on her head. Some hospitals will provide you with two of these keepsakes if asked.
I regret not taking more photos of the actual birth and of her at the hospital. Assign someone to take the photos for you and instruct them on exactly what you want. Make sure to have a camera prepared for this day, so you don’t miss one moment.
Placement: Where will placement take place? At the hospital? At your Agency? Where and when will you sign relinquishment papers? Everything took place at my Agency. I returned home with her after delivery to my parents house, only because I didn’t feel like I had had enough time with her in the hospital. I wanted a more controlled environment for my family and I to take pictures, hold her, love her and just be with her. I spent one night at home with my little butterfly before I placed her into the arms of her adoptive parents the following day.
Hospital Staff: Not everyone will agree with your decision to place your baby for adoption. I’m sure this will not come as a surprise. Everyone will have their own opinions on what you should and should not do, even your hospital staff. You do not have to justify yourself to anyone. Make the decision that is best for you and your baby and be confident in that decision. You will come to find throughout your pregnancy and post placement how many people are now ‘experts’ on what you should do. Surround yourself with those who support your decision.
You have many choices when it comes to a Birth Plan. Remember the more prepared you are the less anxiety you will feel. You are the captain of this ship. Make your wishes be known to those involved.