Shortly after I found out I was pregnant I moved to Arizona to live with my brother. During the early stages of my pregnancy I needed to find confidence in my decision, no matter what that decision was, single parenting or adoption. I needed space, in those first few months, to dig deep inside of myself and what I truly felt was right. I remember an adoptive couple sent me their ‘profile’ in the mail when I first arrived in Arizona. I barely looked at it, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t mentally prepared to face that fact yet. The discovery of becoming pregnant and then telling your parents/friends is so overwhelming. Once I had done so, I just needed some time to process everything that was happening. I was only nineteen years old. I was living a life of last minute decisions, parties, school, friends and the least amount of responsibility that I could possibly have. Now, I was faced with one of the biggest decisions of my life. I couldn’t run from this. I couldn’t allow it to be a ‘last minute’ decision.
Once I felt confident with my decision to place my baby for adoption, I wanted to move back home. I wanted/needed to be with my family and close friends. I needed support. I was very lucky to have that support from so many around me. They were all so gracious to listen to my worries and fears. I needed to surround myself with others who supported my decision to place my baby for adoption. I needed the positive energy to help me through the process.
The emotions you experience while you’re pregnant are a roller coaster. If you add on the fact that you are preparing to place your baby for adoption, you times those emotions by ten and the roller coaster is that much more dramatic. Having people around you who understand that and can be there for you during the wave of emotions can help tremendously. I think as a birth mom, just knowing that those emotions are normal and are to be expected help as well. Each fear, worry, excitement, second guessing, pain (emotionally and physically) and grief is all normal during pregnancy and after.
Having a health care provider who understands adoption, along with an agency who is there for you and support from outside programs like BMB, can make all the difference. Your anxiety decreases when you know, somewhat, what to expect during your pregnancy and after placement.
When I felt alone in my pregnancy, even though I was surrounded by great support, I would write my emotions down. I kept a pregnancy journal. I was dealing with a lot, at that time and I needed a way to release everything. I was letting go of a life I thought I was going to have and entering a whole new one. I had to let go of what was comfortable to me and jump into an unknown world. I needed to write. I needed to tell someone, even if it was just my journal. Many times the things I felt were so big, didn’t have that much power over my mind after I wrote them down. It put things into perspective of what I should be focusing on and what I could just let go of.
What did I need the most during my pregnancy? Support, love, acceptance and a listening ear.