Tuesday, May 30, 2006


So I am feeling pretty sad. My niece and sister-in-law recently gave birth and I thought maybe that was it - you know, bringing up the bittersweet memories. But then on the way to work this morning I realized it was because his birthday is coming up. It's kinda funny (not haha) how I can feel sad about something before I consciously realize the reason.

I guess the grief process is just a wheel rather than a linear process. Jealousy, which I posted about yesterday, is one stop, and sadness another. Once The Birthday is past, perhaps it will be easier again.

Part of what I am grieving is my loss of his babyhood and childhood ... and that is something I will never have. I have just those four days, and while I have the memories, I can't go back in time. I will never know what it was like to be his mother beyond that time.

Monday, May 29, 2006


My 18 year-old niece had her baby tonight. She and her boyfriend actually had this baby on purpose. She's in love with her new daughter and excited to be a mother. Another relative had her first baby last week. She's closer to my age and married. Both births made me jealous. I thought that would pass now that I have my daughter. But no, I am still jealous of women who get to keep their firstborns. I'm especially jealous of my niece. I keep wondering what kind of mother I would have been even though I was young. I know I would have been a different mother than I am now - not better, probably not worse, just different. And my daughter is different from my son, as were the pregnancies. My son was up at night and slept all day. The four days I did have with my son were special. I didn't know what I was doing, but I felt like I really knew him and he knew me. Those days have been going through my mind all day now and I have been grieving, again, the opportunity to raise him, to know him, to find utter, complete joy in him. I know he is being raised by good people. But I still miss him oh, so much.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mid-year letter

I need to sit down and write M a letter. I usually send one with the birthday gifts for my son. I also send one with Christmas gifts. Why? Because I want them to know me and I especially want my son to know me - whether he reads the letters himself or they tell him any news about me. I want him to know I think of him often, that I love him, that I'm normal and have gone onto do the things I "needed" to do with my life since I got a "second chance" by not parenting him. Things like college, a good job, travel, a good credit rating, a solid marriage and a house. Those are all very nice but haven't filled the void that was left the day I gave him away. But that's another subject ...

The last couple of years M didn't send an update letter. She still sent a picture each Christmas and some gifts. I don't care about the gifts ... I rip the box open and dig for the letter and picture. This year she did finally send an update, but this year I didn't. The box I sent contained the gifts and a simple Christmas card, and only because I am determined that my son will not think I have forgotten him, no longer love him, or just don't care.

I've always been grateful that M has kept in touch, even if it's just once a year and through the lawyer's address. However, I wish there had been more letters and more pictures, especially snapshots (because I think they catch personality better) over the past few years. In my mid-year letter I always ask her to send an update and I tell her how much the pictures mean to me. I don't care if I sound pathetic by asking (begging!) because how else will she know if I don't tell her?

I didn't write a letter this past Christmas because I had enough. I was mad that, with all the thought and effort I've put in twice a year, and yeah, love, heartache and emotion, too, she couldn't let me know what hobbies my son has, whether he's had a first girlfriend, who his favorite ballplayer is ... just any little tidbit would do! I also didn't write a letter this year because I knew I wasn't ready to tell her about my daughter. I still wasn't sure how I felt and since no one had asked, I didn't have a reason to really face it nor had I had any preliminary conversations to work through what thoughts and feelings were coming through.

This post is a bit rambling and doesn't seem to have a point. I guess I'm demonstrating how much work I need to do before I actually write her because now that a little time has passed, I have begun drafting letters in my head. There is so much I want to say.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Not a replacement

I have a baby daughter now and she is such a blessing. The few people who know about my son, including my husband, have not said two words to me about him since my daughter was born. This was especially hurtful in the first few weeks while I transitioned into new motherhood - actually being a mama!

I had my son for four days. In order for the parents I chose to be able to adopt him without first going through foster care, we had to travel to their state. If it weren’t for the bond I had with the parents, I couldn’t have gone through with the adoption. I was crying in the hospital knowing that the beautiful baby I immediately had fallen in love with would not one I could keep and raise. The nurses said I had PPD. I couldn’t tell them the real reason or they would have placed him in foster care.

The few who know also haven’t asked me how I am doing now that I have a child to raise. What a transition this has been. Every time something was wrong in the first four months I thought social services would come after me as an unfit parent. While I did voice this concern once to my husband, I didn't make the connection aloud that I made in my head - that I didn't really believe she was mine to keep.

Perhaps they all think she is a replacement, but she's not. She is her own wonderful person and a blessing to me, but my son is still there, somewhere.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Reading these blogs is also neat (for lack of a better word at the moment) because the ingredients of my story are sprinkled throughout the lives of several women. The birthfather was not completely out of my life but needed to be for my health and welfare. Plus P&M give my son things I felt (and still feel) he needed - two parents, a stable childhood, etc.

Another ingredient: I've been patiently waiting for my son to contact me. Since they were being open with him about his adoption experience (although it isn’t an option adoption per se), I thought once he was old enough to truly understand – say around 8 or 10, he would want to have some direct contact with me either by letter or phone. Sadly, that has not happened. Reading your posts make me think perhaps I should ask his adoptive parents to be a part of his life, rather than waiting for him.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bonding, etc.

Thanks, Barb for letting me know about Blogging Birthmothers. I've read a few and have found food for thought as I try to sort some things out.

Bear's Mommy wrote: So I know that a woman who experiences a pregnancy loss will have a hard time bonding with that child until she is past the point of the loss.
It's funny how seeing something you suspect but don't know validates your feelings and helps you to move onto the next stage (of healing? of the journey?). As I mentioned, my daughter and I didn't bond during the pregnancy and even until after she was past that completely helpless infant stage. But last night I realized that I feel alive again for the first time since I gave my son to his adoptive parents. I had noticed a certain "living in the moment" with my daughter, but I chalked it up to the immediacy of her needs (in other words learning there is NO planning with a newborn!) and just taking in the moments one at a time. But now I think I just withdrew in a cave of sorts all these years and just functioned. I know I felt I had something to prove - I was such an overachiever at work and even at life. It was like I was searching for the fulfillment I had felt while pregnant but couldn't feel as a parent because I was not in a place in my life to be a parent. I think I started this blog in an effort to make sure I do truly bond with my daughter because our minds are very strong things and I am not sure how much of myself I am truly giving her. I also wonder if I do or will do things in certain ways because of losing my son. For example, I have been completely adamant about breastfeeding even though I've had struggles. Is this because I couldn't breastfeed my firstborn? Or because I am just a stubborn person? (lol)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Birthmothers and Real Mothers

I went looking for a blog about birthmothers who went on and became "real"? mothers. I don't even know if there is a term for it ... but a mother who kept a later child to raise. I gave my son to a wonderful family through adoption when I was 19. At 34 I gave birth to my daughter. For many years I thought I didn't want to have children. I slowly discovered or faced the reasons why ... I didn't want to run the risk of replacing any of the wonderful memories of my first pregnancy or the four days I had him - that one was pretty obvious to me. Then I read Margaret Moorman's book Waiting to Forget and realized that my head had apparently figured out I wasn't fit to be a mother if I gave my son up. Apparently part of me was listening to all those people who made comments to me when I was pregnant with him - comments about how awful a mother I was for giving up my baby, for not wanting him; comments about how nice the couple must be that they would raise my baby for me. I knew in my heart that I was doing the best thing for him. And it was wonderful to be able to pick his parents - a couple who truly loved each other 15 years into their marriage and several years into infertility issues. They had already endured at least two situations where the birthmother changed her mind. It was wonderful to have them during my pregnancy, too. They were so supportive and excited and just plain great.

I'll write more about that pregnancy in a later posting. I was hoping to find other birthmothers who later kept a child and see if there were any similarities in emotions and/or experiences. For example, with my son, I felt him move constantly. He and I really bonded during my pregnancy. My daughter, if she moved at all, didn't move enough for me to tell. It was like I was just growing a belly - was that my overpowering desire to retain the memories of my first pregnancy?

My son will be 15 this summer. It was what I call a somewhat open adoption. I had contact with P&M throughout my pregnancy and then shortly after he was born they asked that I don't call anymore. They have always been open with him about being adopted, but I do not have their address and our contact is through Christmas letters. I also always send a birthday gift. So I know how he is doing and get at least one picture a year. I never wanted to intrude, and still don't. I assume if he ever wants to meet me, he will. But I wonder what my true feelings are on that - what if he doesn't? Also, now that he is close to being an adult, should I still expect to rely on the parents for updates? I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable in their family. I do feel that I want to always have some kind of minimal connection with him, or even a relationship of some kind once he's an adult as he goes through life - gets married, has his own kids, etc. I think that is reasonable, but would they?

I want to broach this subject in a letter to them, but want to sort my own feelings out first. Any suggestions from anyone out there?