06 May Birth Moms: How To Cope After Placement?
Every adoption is different, but one thing is for certain: placement day is really tough. For many birth moms, it’s the hardest day of their entire life. There are so many emotions involved, so many fears and uncertainties. And the upcoming days, weeks and months after the placement are tough too. In order to prepare for these challenging and trying times, we’ve asked some birth moms for advice. Here are a couple of tips.
- Cherish the First Meeting – Memorize every moment of that first meeting you have with your baby. Remember their face, their little hands, and that smell. These little memories will help you through the darkest of times.
- Take Your Time With Your Baby – Remember that how much time you spend with the baby is up to you. Nurses may give you a hard time, but make sure you bond with your baby, nap with your baby, etc.
- Take Pictures and Videos – Like any special moment in life, you should try your best to document as much of it as possible. These photos and videos will be a welcome retreat in the months and years to come.
- Get to Know the Adoptive Family – Be in the room when they meet the baby. See the joy and love in their faces as they fall in love with the baby for the first time. Get to know the story, their past, present, and future. These little moments will help you cope with your decision later on and will provide you with a foundation for the relationship that you’ll build with them over time.
- Share Your Feelings with The Adoptive Family – Placing your child with an adoptive family is difficult. There’s no way around that, even if you know deep down it’s the right thing to do. So, remember that you don’t have to be strong all the time. You can cry, and you can share your feelings with the adoptive family. They care about you and they want to help. Beneath their joy, they feel your pain. At the same time, if you want to be alone – say it! Be clear with them and they’ll do the same for you.
- Manufacture Some Memories – As strange as it sounds, I recommend bringing some items to the hospital for the baby to wear. You can bring these items back home with you and remember their smell. Not kidding, I carried the baby blanket around with me for a week after getting out of the hospital.
- Embrace the New Normal – Placement was really tough for me, and I realized that after I left the hospital, I kind of went into survival mode. I found that taking small steps to cope with this new reality was best for me. Eventually, after several months, life went back to normal and I was able to thrive and soar – but I didn’t push it and those small steps really helped.
- Let Your Body Heal – Giving birth is really tough on your body, and women need to take the time to physically heal. Just because you don’t have your baby to take care of doesn’t mean you should jump right back into your normal life. You should take a moment to pause and let your body and your heart sort through the trauma it endured. Take naps, take warm showers/baths, get a massage! Take advantage of what those hormones gave you! Pamper yourself a bit – get your nails and hair done.
- Time is on Your Side – Time won’t heal your wounds, but it will make them hurt just a little less. Never give up, and always believe in your ability to make it through. Ask for help. Don’t try to do everything alone. There are plenty of people who would be happy to give you the love and support you need. There is no right way or wrong way to heal from the placement of your baby. Everyone is different and everyone heals at a different rate. Don’t let society make you feel like you gave up on your child. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You chose life, you chose love. There will be bad days and lots of really good days. Treasure those and find peace within.
- Lean on Community – If you haven’t already, find a community to lean on that won’t assign you feelings or force perceptions on you. Don’t surround yourself with people who guilt you for not being totally heartbroken all the time. And conversely, don’t surround yourself with people who completely invalidate your feelings of sadness or regret. You’re going to experience a vast spectrum of emotion during this time and it’s important that the people around you support you, no matter what feeling you’re going through at that time.
- Never Forget Why You Made This Choice – Don’t ever forget why you chose adoption for your baby. Sometimes, as time passes, moments get dark and you forget the “why” of it all. Life changes, but you’ll always be able to go back to the love that was at the core of that very tough decision.”
We hope that these little pieces of advice can help you as you sort out all the difficult emotions involved in placing a child for adoption. If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and
are considering “giving baby up for adoption,” we are here to help you. In speaking with us, there is no obligation to choose adoption. We simply want to help you understand your options
and help you make the right decision for both you and your baby.