Friday, October 06, 2006

Sorting through

Now that it’s been a year since I gave birth to my daughter, there are memories that I am now enjoying. However, I continue to work through some emotions related to the birth and first weeks because I feel like I was so disconnected. I am still trying to figure out if the feelings were from normal first-time mother fears, being older and knowing more about what to fear (all the things that could go wrong during the pregnancy and birth), or emotional issues from the adoption – not wanting to replace my memories of him, not wanting to love her more than him, afraid of how she would change my feelings about and love for him.

In the beginning it was so hard to connect and enjoy her and I kept waiting for the warm fuzzy feelings that would turn the early days into good memories. They never came and I thought I would never cherish those memories.

I have good memories of my son’s birth and the four days I had him with me. However, once I left him with his new parents, memories began immediately because all of a sudden, that’s all I had. So why is it so different with my daughter? Perhaps the everydayness of taking care of an infant has distracted me from and drained me of the energy it would take to be nostalgic, to categorize and re-live moments and milestones.

But I have to remember that I made my decision to place within days of finding out I was pregnant with my son. So I knew early on that my only guaranteed role in his life would be while I was pregnant. This gave me license to enjoy my pregnancy, especially since there was a couple who was so happy about my pregnancy and with whom I could share all the joys of this wonderful life growing inside me. And during those first days while I recovered in the hospital and then traveled to give him to his new parents, it didn’t matter what parenting mistakes I may have been making because soon he would be taken care of by people who knew what they were doing. (Yeah, right … what new parent knows what s/he is doing? LOL)

Once I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I immediately worried about what kind of mother I would be, how I would learn how to take care of her, how I would know what to do from Day One through Year 18 and beyond. All through this first year with her I have worried about everything, convinced that nothing I was doing was good enough and that she was an unhappy baby because of me. At the early doctor appointments I was terrified they would take her from me, deeming me unfit. I realized earlier today when I first started writing this post that one of my fears all along was that she would not love me. Why? Because I am not a good mother. Where does that come from? One of those messages that I hadn’t realized had stuck, but there it is, buried deep and believed by me, apparently, on some level: What kind of woman gives away her baby?


Blogger birthmom1986 said...

I went through the same thing with my son, and I'm still terrified of not being a good mother.
When my son was little, it did take me a long time to really attach to him. I was so convinced that someone would take him away from me, just like you were/are.
You are not alone.

5:32 AM  

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