Saturday, May 18, 2013

My motherhood journey - Angela Part I

This journey of mine started 11 years ago. I was 16 and had just taking a pregnancy test at a local pregnancy center. It was positive. It was not a joyous start to motherhood. How could I be pregnant at 16?! What was I going to do?! How was I going to tell my family?! So much fear and anxiety washed over me, along with complete shock. I was keeping a journal at the time. It's filled with teenage confusion and angst, anger, and the happenings of a messed up teenage relationship. But, I wrote shortly after getting that positive pregnancy test and I continued to write about my pregnancy periodically. I'd like to share some excerpts related to my motherhood journy from that journal here. I don't talk about Angela as much anymore or her adoption, so I think it will be helpful for me to go back and see where I've come from that scared 16 year old. I also don't think adoption from the birthmother's perspective is talked about very often. And while it is different for every birthmother, I want to share my point of view.

4/2/02 A few days after getting the positive pregnancy test - I guess I'm not so worried about the pregnancy, but what will happen afterward ... Of course I want what's going to be best for the baby, but I'm also going to want to be a significant role. It's MY baby, part of me ... I'm going to want to keep the baby and I know [her birthfather] really wants to to, but I just don't see how we could do it, how we could raise a child at this time in our lives ... I already want to apologize to my unborn baby. I'm sorry for whatever life it has to lead. Whether it be going through adoption or having parents who aren't quite ready to be parents. I just want to give my baby the best. But what is best for my baby? ... I know this unborn baby is God's creation, so I will try my best in carrying this child and choosing what's best after the birth. 
 5/13/02, I was struggling with making the decision to place my baby for adoption - I already love this baby to death and would do absolutely anything for this baby and I mean anything, bu tit's going to be so hard to never hold, hug, kiss, cuddle my baby. I want to keep this baby so bad, but I know I couldn't do it. I know that I wouldn't be the best for the baby, that my and deserves a nice stable home, but it hurts like crazy, and I don't know how I'm going to do it.
6/20/02, Yesterday I felt the baby move for the 1st time. It was kind of weird and I really don't know what to think about it. I really don't know what to think about anything. Whenever I try to just step back and take in everything that's going on I feel a combination of confusion, frustration, anger, and guilt/shame. I don't know what to do with myself.
 7/8/02 I don't know exactly when, but by this point I had made the decision to place my baby for adoption , I'm scared. Scared to death. Not so much of what's going on now, bu tof what will happen. The other night I was lying in my bed and the baby was moving a lot. I started thinking about what I wanted the baby to know and I just started bawling an I couldn't stop. I'm so scared of giving birth and what's going to happen afterward. The baby's future. My future. What am I going to do with myself? 
 7/27/02, Being pregnant is fine. I guess it's really no big deal except a few things, but then there's feeling the baby move and that wins over all the bad things. I love feeling the baby move, even though I complain sometimes when the baby moves when I'm trying to sleep. I still think it's awesome. I got an ultrasound a little over a week ago. That was pretty cool. I cot to see my baby and I have pictures of my baby. My baby. Yes, right now the baby is my baby. That's one reason I'm so scared of birth. As long as I'm pregnant it's my baby, once the baby's born - not mine anymore. 
Before even choosing adoption, I went to counseling at Catholic Charities. I call it "decision-making" counseling. My social worker/counselor went through both parenting and adoption with me. We did worksheets, watched videos, and most importantly she helped me work through the mess in my head. After I decided on adoption Angela's birthfather and I went through the profile of every couple at the Catholic Charities we were going through. We set aside profiles we wanted to look at in greater detail. Then after we went through them all we compared them side by side until we were down to just one. That was a tough process, choosing parents for your unborn child. Then how do you decide someone isn't "good enough" to be your baby's parents. What really drew me to the couple we choose was that they had a son who looked a lot like my baby brother (who was 2 at the time).

On October 8th, 2002 we met with the couple who would become my daughter's parents and their son  who would become her big brother. I brought my ultra sound pictures and gave them a few (keeping the best ones for myself though!). I wish I would have written in my journal about that meeting, but the above entry is the last one from before Angela was born. I can't remember what I was feeling then. I honestly can't remember a lot from those last couple months of pregnancy. I wonder if part of me was shutting down. Trying to protect myself from the emotional journey that was about to start. Angela's birthfather and I decided that if we could not be our child's parents then these were the right parents for her. I do know we talked about names and I didn't have any picked out at the time. I did not find out that I was having a girl. They were going to send a letter to my social worker to start the conversation about names and take input from me.

My due date was November 20th, 2012. I thought I had another month and a half. But it would only be 20 days after that meeting that little Miss Angela would make her entrance into the world.

In my next post I'll write about October 28th, 2002 and some of what has been going on since then.

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