Somebodies Mother

Can you have a good life with a baby?

This is the Question of a Young Women facing an Unplanned Pregnancy

I’m 18 and have no diploma or GED. I plan on going to college and doing something with myself, but as of right now I live with someone else. I feel very sad thinking about this baby and about how my relationship and life is going to change and I’m curious about whether this is hormones or not. I feel HORRIBLE for the way I feel. Do you think I can have a baby now, keep her and still have a happy life and relationships?

Unless you can make me believe that you are super strung out, beaten by boyfriend, beyond all hope of ever mothering decently at all, then I am just not gonna buy it that adoption is that much better than what you have to offer. I just can’t.

If You Give Birth  You ARE a MOTHER

If you plan on having this baby, whether you parent or not, weather you feel groovy about it or not, if you give birth, you will still become somebodies mother. You can’t get all slick with motherhood so it just glances off. Motherhood sticks to you, it morphs your being, even if it is just for a very short time.

It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself. That you don’t feel like it’s “your” baby, and that’s OK. You can be allowed to think that motherhood might be mitigated as if the pregnancy was purely a medical illness, and once past, all residue of the experience gone. Plus, it’s actually really NATURAL  and healthy for us to make babies while in our teens. It’s only our society that has warped things in such a way that the window of accepted motherhood gets smaller and smaller, please read the article:

 

Motherhood is Biology

But that’s only what you want to believe, what they want to be true. It doesn’t matter. It’s not “the” baby. It’s not “their” baby. It doesn’t matter how you look at it. There is no secret way to get past it. You are not giving birth to any old baby. You are giving birth to part of you. I don’t care what you believe to be true now.

Whatever you believe to be true changes after you look into your child’s eyes. Something inside you grows, something you don’t even know is there. There is this connection and it becomes very important. It’s really a case of biology, of nature, of things beyond your control.

Giving birth releases hormones in both your body and your babies. Those hormones cause you to bond, they help you fall in love with your child.

Your Baby NEEDS YOU, not a Substitute

Your baby will also naturally gravate to you..not because you have your life together or not, not because you have a beautiful finished nursery with matching bedding or not, not because you have a great job or not; your baby will want YOU because she knows your voice, she knows your smell, she knows the beat of your heart…You cannot turn this stuff off. It will happen.

Let’s look at it this way…you have plans, right? You don’t plan on being a professional loser forever? You expect to work hard and do things? Make things happen? So, it will be harder with a baby/child in tow, but you also have more reasons to want to make it work.

A child will be your inspiration, your reason for having to really get it together, an excuse NOT to slack off.

Yes, having a child does make you responsible for a certain standard of living, but we are not talking about a mansion and a 40K SUV; a clean home, a steady schedule, basic food groups, love.. that will do, that will do.

Adoption Will Focus On What Your Are Not

Agencies and well meaning professionals will focus on the ways you are lacking.

They will bring up how hard it is to wake up with a baby, can you put the child’s needs first, don’t you want to follow your dreams?

This is their job. This is what they get paid to do. They might act like your friends. They might act like they care, but no matter how great you think you can see through people, know that their job is to get you to “make an adoption plan“.

They might say it is best for you, they might say it is best for your baby. They are lying..or seriously confused, because really, it is only best for them and their agencies. They stand to pay their bills from your loss.

Remember..an average of 30K for your child..and it’s not going in your pocket. Birth doesn’t cost that much. Fact is: Adoption is an close to a 6 billion dollar industry. Remember those numbers.

Pregnant? Then Yes, You Will Have Sleepless Nights

Place you child now…and it won’t matter the situation, how open or closed it is, how wonderful the chosen parents might be, how fantastic your counseling, how dire your situation..and I can guarantee you many sleepless nights of endless crying.

That’s right. Sleepless nights of endless crying..not the baby, the baby will be gone, but you…I can guarantee that your life will forever be changed, just like if you parented.

That’s the thing… if you have a baby..then your life Will change.

It doesn’t matter what you try to do, what you want to do….all I can guarantee that you will be a mother. Your breasts will fill, your stomach will stretch, your heart will never forget.

Adoption After Child Birth is NOT a Change for the Better

I can promise you that the things you hold important or necessary to your happiness now will pale in comparison. That the impossible will seem possible or at least worth trying, when you have such a reason as your own child. If you have an agency worker there at birth, they will advise you to “think with your head, not your heart”. They will instruct you to remember the reasons you made an adoption plan to begin with. They will dismiss your feelings as just “normal” hormones and counsel you to not give in your emotion…making it seem that listening to our guts, our emotions make us weak.

But no matter what they say..I can tell you that if you follow their lead and make the “loving choice“, you will be altered forever. And it will not be fun at all.

Accept, Adapt, Don’t Adopt

You are going to be somebody’s mother. Nothing can change that. If you have a baby, then you ARE a mother. If the child dies at birth, you will still mourn, you will have love, you will be a mother. If you surrender your child for adoption, you will mourn, you will have love, you will be a mother. The problem with adoption.. you get all the hard stuff about mothering: the worry, the guilt, the insecurities, the heartbreaking emotions, but you give away almost ALL of the good stuff.. the smiles, the laughter’s, the kisses good night…

Of course you life is going to change. That is the one constant thing about life. It just keeps on changing, and often not in the way we would have hoped nor planned. But you really can’t control it all. That’s just crazy making.

What you can do is start beginning to accept these changes. Cause, this isn’t a dress rehearsal and we don’t get do-overs no matter how big the oops. All we can do is keep going on.

Your Motherhood is Here, Now: Embrace It

You know what? Almost every woman in the world freaks out with almost every pregnancy – no matter how wanted, or perfectly planned. It’s a big huge deal, but here’s what allot of people don’t tell you; it’s also kind of easy and in many ways pretty gradual.

And then, getting back to all that mother child bonding stuff, we end up really, really wanting to do it. So don’t feel bad…just keep breathing.

So, Yes..is the answer to the question. I think you can have this baby now, keep her and still have a happy life and relationships..a much happier life than one torn apart by adoption.

Congratulations!! You are going to be somebody’s mother!!!

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine, Adopt-a-tude.com, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

6 Comments on "Somebodies Mother"

  1. And another thing — these feelings are COMMON. Even women who have planned their pregnancies and timed them (they hoped) “perfectly” have these feelings. What I used to tell people at ePregnancy is that having these feelings are a way of being a good mother ALREADY because she is already taking motherhood very seriously and contemplating the depth of the changes she’s facing.

  2. Great post! Where did this question come from —or can you say?

  3. It was a Yahoo Answers question from afew months ago.. I had started it and then forgot about ti..so when I found it in my darfts.. I thought..hey, should get this done!

    Totally, Dawn! Thanks for hitting on that. I think that is one of the things that the professionals take advantage of. Rather than reassuring a mom in a unplanned pregancy that she is normal with these feelings.. they make it an issue…

  4. What would happen if you replaced “adoption” with “abortion?” Same thing…if women would accept the idea that they are going to be somebody’s mother and embrace that, all might end well. Or the mom can beat the shit out of the kid because they resent them so much and land them in foster care. That happens hundreds of times a day too.

  5. Well yes, Anon ( I will call you Greta…in case we get more anons..it gets confusing)…If she was considering abortion with the same mindset of wondering about her quality of life and happines, then it would be the same. But that’s where it ends because, really, if you have an abortion, then you don’t have a child. You are NOT somebodies mother.

    And before the discussion goes any further, I am fully aware that many peopple who would happen to choose abortion over birth, that they suffer very similar feelings of grief, sadness and even regret from the loss of the pregnancy. So we can make that comaprison also, but again… even if one does, say, sit and wonder about the child that could have been, or feel sad at anniversaries and such, it is still different from actually missing a flesh and bone, made of your body, living breathing, walking around somewhere child.

    As for the comment regarding a mother “beating the shit out of their kid due to resentment”.. I’ll give the benfit of the doubt that you haven’t been reading around these parts much before and you have just no clue how very insulting that is. Get to know real moms firs, Greta, before you go poking us with sticks.

    I have to say that.. the children that ARE in danger of abuse and neglect are NOT born of women who consider or surrender their babies to adoption. As Dawn so perfect said (and again, giving you newbie props.. she’s a mother through adoption): “these feelings are a way of being a good mother ALREADY because she is already taking motherhood very seriously”.

    The mother who worries that she cannot care for her child, fears the safety of her child from outside influences, considers the economic responsibilty of a child, or has lack of support from society due to age or situational factors and entertains the ideal of adoption as a way of providing the mythical “better” for her baby is NOT going to then go off and beat her kid.

    What happens more often is that someone who is in a bad situation and has been most likely previously damaged in some way, has a child and does NOT look at the serious potential of their situation EVER…and lacks the skills/ culural norms/ soberity to do so. Adoption was most likely NEVER even considered or on the radar..unless pushed on by social services due to previous involvement.Please notice, in my answer, I said unles she was sure that she was going to hurt her baby…so no, no one is supporting abuse of child here.

    Oh, the fear of resentment. That is one of my personal key factors in my son’s surrender..I feared it so much tht instead of facing it and then fining tools to deal with it (Not that it probably would have ever come to be any more than it has with my 3 parented kids) I thought I could control life’s plan.

    And, then, of course, that made me very ripe for the adoption machine and no one quelled my fears, but instead told me how real it was. And THAT was a lie.

    Was he ever in danger of abuse from me? Nope. Nor with ANY of the children born and surrendered by any other of the many, many moms I know.
    What do I regret? Not parenting my first born. And, sadly, that overwhelming, life latering, never ending feeling is also sahre unilaterially.

    I strongly suggest that you do some more reading.

  6. I placed my daughter for adoption 5 months ago. I struggle, but I’m healing. I miss her every day, but I’m healing. I know I could have parented her, but she deserved the best. I couldn’t give her the best. I wish everyday that I would have chose to parent. But I strongly wanted her to have 2 parents, especially a dad, a financially steady family, and be in a place where people wouldn’t condemn her because of her mother’s mistake. She’s happy, healthy, growing, and loved. Is it hard for me? Totally. Do I wish I could be the one to hear her laugh and nurture her? Of course. But they didn’t TAKE her from me, I CHOSE. As you said, you chose. I don’t really know your situation, and my heart aches for you. But I honestly don’t believe every agency is out for your child. The agency I chose was very caring of me and my feelings. Never did they force me to feel one way or another. Even now I still have my pregnancy counselor that I talk with. I’m getting to see my daughter this weekend! Maybe it was the agency you worked with? I’m not sure, but I don’t think there should be such a negative light on agencies or adoption itself. Is it hard to be a birthmom? Yes. But I did it because I love my daughter. Did releasing hurt? Totally!! But that’s the blessing of an open adoption, you’ll always be apart of your child’s life. You’ll never have to worry about their security or health. They’ll be an email or a phone call away. I’m not saying that adoption is easy… But I trust that it’s worth it.

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