Hi y’all! My name is Nicole and I am a birth mom from Texas. Ive been a birth mama since 2017. I placed my son, Moses, in an open adoption at birth. I wish I could meet you all and have a glass of wine or coffee (which ever is your preference, because honestly I love both,) and have this talk. For now, I hope that you enjoy reading one of the voices that usually gets silenced in adoption!
Placing your child at birth isn’t unheard of, but its also not talked about openly. At least not on the internet.
Lets actually go back in time to November 2016 when I met Tim and Ashley.
They drove from Austin to Mckinney to meet me at my favorite cafe in downtown. When Ashley and I first locked eyes, I knew. I knew she was meant to be my sons mama. Tim hugged me. I point this out because some people aren’t touchy feely people but I am and they are too.
We sat down, ordered food, and barely touched it. We talked, we (I) asked really hard questions, we laughed, and we cried. By the end of us first meeting, I was reassured that they were my family.
I chose to place with them a few weeks before Christmas and after that, everything was kind of a whirlwind.
Time was moving at warp speed.
Days and weeks were flying by and before I knew it, my doctor sent me to the hospital after going to an appointment and having low fluids.
I was terrified.
Not only of giving birth, but of saying goodbye to my baby boy, for what I thought was forever other than pictures and maybe one or two visits.
I’m not gonna lie, being in the hospital was like a bad dream. Ashley and I have talked about it and she feels the same.
Theres something about going into the hospital with a swollen belly and knowing you’re coming out empty handed thats heartbreaking.
Anticipating that trauma eats away at you.
Making that big of a decision weeks in advanced is traumatizing, to say the least. This little person becomes your whole world for months, and you are planning to place them in the arms of other people willing to raise them.
I wish I could compare the experience to something but theres really nothing on earth that compares to it.
My hospital plan didn’t really go the way I planned it to, as nothing in life ever does, but I legitimately thought every i was gonna be dotted and every t crossed. Boy, was i SO wrong…
That Monday started off normal. I went to the high risk doctor in the morning, went to lunch with my social worker, then went to my OB. We had previously talked about induction because of my adoption plan, and desire to have my son's mom in the room when he was born.
My doctor told me to head to the hospital right after my appointment — I was in shock.
I had been texting Tim and Ashley all day and they were surprised when I told them their son was coming that night — I was going to be delivering three weeks earlier than my due date.
I remember texting Ashley after I got settled into the hospital and talking about The Bachelor because that was the show we were both watching. Time and Ashley were packing as quickly as they could, trying to be by my side and miss none of her son's entrance.
Our social worker was MIA updating all of the doctors and nurses helping me throughout my hospital stay, informing them of my adoption plan. Honestly, now that I think back on it, I don’t know how crazy the hospital stay would have been if she wasn’t there.
Tim and Ashley got to the hospital at 11:20 pm. They immediately came to check on me. We talked and laughed, but I think we were all so nervous that the time was finally here for them to become parents again and for me to make the hardest decision of my life.
We hadn’t really talked about it, but knowing them as well as I do now, I know they were scared shitless that I would decide to parent.
They were so considerate and respectful of me and how this would effect me. They would always check on me and make sure I was okay, not just checking the baby's progression.
They would ask me if I needed time alone or if I wanted a coke. I remember they specifically went to get me red gatorade because its my favorite. That and coke. They also got me a huge box of snacks! I never got the snacks though, because they gave them to the nurses to bring to me, and I think the nurses thought they bought them for them…. well they deserved it anyway! My team of nurses were amazing and so sensitive to my needs and the [adoption] situation they likely don’t handle every day.
I wasn’t progressing at all. It was time to start pitocin, which was my last resort because I knew it would kick start labor.
A few hours went by, and the next thing I know its time to push.
I was so scared.
Was I going to succeed at this? Was I going be able to actually push a whoooole human out of me? Was my body ready for this?
I held on to Ashley's hand and kept saying, “I can’t do this, I can’t push anymore,” and there she was. So resilient and so strong, encouraging me and reassuring me that I can do this.
After 10 minutes of pushing, we welcomed our boy Maddox Moses Rock Earth side at 9:36 pm.
Tim came in to cut the cord and he cried and told me how beautiful he was.
I did it, and apparently my body was ready because there was zero complications and baby came out perfectly healthy.
When they laid him on my chest, I almost passed out from how beautiful he was and how much I really loved him, even though we just met.
In that moment, I looked over at Ashley and truly realized I wasn’t the only person in that room who became a parent in the blink of an eye.
The plan was for me to care for him during the day, and when he needed to feed, because I chose to breastfeed in the hospital to build our bond as well as give him the nutrients a newborn needs from colostrum.
I told them that they could come and spend time with him and I during the day, but they insisted I spend time alone with him — another reason on the list of why I love them so much. They cared for him at night time so I could rest. They also had a room at the hospital (free of charge!) so it was easy to see and talk to them. I didn’t get very much rest though, I didn’t want to waste a single second of being his only mommy.
The day I was to sign the relinquishment of rights was a very odd day to me.
I didn’t sleep, I barely ate.
I just cuddled him, smelled him, fed him, and stared at him. “These are the things I never want to forget,” I thought to myself while doing even the smallest of adventures with him like changing a diaper, or calming him down when he got fussy.
Ashley and Tim were super respectful of our time together, even though they reassured me that this was only the beginning and that I would have a relationship with my son.
I feel that even if I decided to parent, we would still be in each others lives.
They didn’t let anyone run all over me, they didn’t let anyone tell me what to do with my baby. They truly cared and guarded us.
We bonded bringing our guy into the world.
Night time rolled around and I was a mess. I didn’t want anyone to touch my baby. I was freaking out — any doubts I had were coming to the surface, because the decision I was about to make would be permanent. To add pressure on top of that, Tim and Ashley were in the other room.
I felt like my world was crumbling in on me, even though I knew this day, this time, this moment was inevitable.
They made sure that I knew I needed to do what was right for my baby and I, but I knew Tim and Ashley were praying that they were gonna become parents again. I knew in my heart they were made to be Moses's parents.
It doesn’t make it hurt any less.
If you put all of the heartbreak, uncertainty of the future, waiting, HOPE, faithfulness, in the same situation, under the same roof, waiting for the stroke of a pin to change lives, you are bound to have some changed people.
Thats what adoption did to me.
It changed me to my very core.
If I could give any waiting families advice about hospital stays with a birth mom, I would say to be respectful of her time and her baby.
Nothing is in stone yet and she could change her mind, rightfully so.
Be there for her, and not just for the baby. Make a real connection, because without her, there is no baby.
Encourage her to do what she feels is best.
Do not guilt her or put pressure on her because you want to be a parent. Truly want the best for her.
And treat her as you would treat family thats having a baby!
No one wants to feel like they’re being used for their baby.
I hope I could give you a little glimpse into my story and my hospital stay, and that you can take something away from it. XO!