I’ve always wanted to be a mother. It has always been a priority for me. Growing up, I had the perfect picture on how it would happen: I would be in love, I would be successful, and, most importantly, I would be ready. It’s funny how life ends up working out.
Motherhood came to me differently than I ever imagined. I was 19, I was not in love and I was not ready. In December of 2016, I found myself seven months pregnant. I literally did not know I was pregnant for seven months. I showed no signs, I was not gaining any weight, and even had two negative pregnancy tests. I remember the night I found out like it was yesterday. My mom couldn’t look me in the eye and it was the first time in my life I had ever seen my dad cry. I felt numb. I was terrified, but it didn’t seem real. I didn’t even cry.
The next two months were a whirlwind of emotions. I think I felt every emotion a human possibly could. It was not the ideal pregnancy and definitely not the one I envisioned for myself. I went to every single doctor's appointment alone, the baby’s father wanted nothing to do with me, and a majority of my family pretty much disowned me. I had never felt so abandoned and scared in my life. I knew I could not bring my baby into a broken home, into this chaotic life. He deserved so much more.
I didn’t come up with the idea of adoption on my own. My mom knew someone who had placed her baby 15 years ago. I met with her one night in January just to talk about her experience and ask any questions I had. I did not like the idea at first and I honestly didn’t think I would be able to survive it. We talked for hours and she settled my fears. She had an extremely open adoption and was in constant contact with her birth son and his family. I knew I would not go through with the adoption if it was closed. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. At the end of our meeting, she asked to show me an adoption profile of her best friends that were hoping to adopt. I was skeptical but interested since I had never even seen an adoption profile before. I can’t even begin to describe the overwhelming sense of peace that washed over me the minute I saw their faces. I knew I was looking at the couple that was going to raise my son. Two days later, Bailey and Andrew hopped on a plane to come meet me. I was scared to death that they wouldn’t like me. I knew that there was a stereotype on birthmothers. Society wants us to think that these are mothers who don’t want their baby, are on drugs, homeless… the list could go on and on. I was none of these things. I wanted him to myself more than anything.
On February 20th, 2017, our Wyatt was born. He was more beautiful than I ever imagined. I never believed in love at first sight, but I was immediately smitten. Bailey was the first one to hold him and it was one of the hardest moments of my life. I will never forget the look on her face - it made my heartbreak worth it. I got to spend two wonderful days in the hospital where he was legally mine. The day I signed away my parental rights was the worst day of my entire life. I spent my morning throwing up in the bathroom because I was so scared. I thought I was going to die. I walked out of that hospital empty-handed and I told myself I would do everything in my power to never feel this type of pain ever again. It was hard to ignore the joy that was happening in the adoptive parents’ room down the hall. I just handed my whole entire world to them.
The next few weeks I was a zombie. I never felt so inadequate or heartbroken in my entire life. I was grieving the loss of someone who was still alive, and nothing can prepare you for that. I slept in my moms bed for weeks and my dad spent most of his nights holding me while I sobbed. I was so suicidal. I thought it was a miracle waking up every morning. I would not have made it out alive if it weren’t for Wyatt’s adoptive mom. She spent almost every day sending me pictures, videos, and updates. She even let me visit a couple times while they were still in town. Seeing his face gave me purpose. I made myself get out of bed for him.
I am lucky. I have an extremely open adoption and have one of the best relationships with his parents. I get pictures and videos almost every day, his mom and I are friends on social media, and I get to see them 3 to 4 times a year. It’s honestly something out of a dream. His family has become my family and vice versa. I used to struggle a lot with how the future will look like with him. I am still terrified he will grow up and despise me, or think I abandoned him. I want him to know that I did this for him and it was out of love. I am at peace knowing that he will grow up knowing me and knowing where he came from. I don't want him to ever feel confused, and, when he is ready, I will be here with open arms to answer any questions he might have. I also just got accepted into nursing school for the fall! My dream is to be a labor and delivery nurse. I really want to make Wyatt proud of who I am becoming. I want to work hard and be the best version of me I can be for him.
Adoption is freaking hard. It has broken me down and wrecked me in ways I never thought were possible. I still struggle with feeling unworthy and undeserving of love and happiness. It is a constant battle of trying not to care about what other people think about me and I still sometimes feel like I will never be enough. I’ve learned that there is nothing more powerful than owning your story, so every single day I choose to be vulnerable. I choose to be open about my story so I can help educate others about adoption or even help another girl out there that might find herself in my shoes.
I made a vow to myself to never let this define me. I was so stuck in the thought that someone might not want to be friends with me or be with me because I had a baby. It’s such a silly thought, but that’s what your mind tells yourself at the lowest of times. I would destroy myself with these thoughts. I didn’t believe that I was brave or selfless - I thought I was weak. I hated my body and every part of me.
But today I’m not ashamed. I’m not embarrassed. I’ve learned, and I’m still learning, to love my body. I mean, look at what it created!
Every day is still a journey in coping with my grief and trauma. It’s not easy. Some days I still don’t recognize the girl staring back in the mirror. My grief changed me so much. I’m not the same, and that’s okay. There’s so much of my past self that I don’t resonate with at all anymore, but I love her just the same. She was growing. She was doing her best and I forgive her. She fought hard to get me here. I don’t strive for perfection anymore. Being perfect is not the way to connect with people. It’s being real, and sometimes the rawness that might not be perfect underneath it all is what connects people. My pain came to birth me, not kill me.
My placement didn’t feel brave, but my healing sure as hell does. I know my time to be a mother again will come. I know all the trust and abandonment issues I have with others will slowly fade. I know there is someone out there for me that will love all of my flaws and my scars. For the first time in my life I’m excited for the future. I’m not scared anymore.
I am a birth mother and I am proud of it.