contrast and compare
October 20, 2012 § 18 Comments
Shortly after I started writing on wordpress, I began searching all over the internet, hellbent on finding someone with my same exact story. But that never happened, and I felt just as isolated as I did before. Of course we are all as unique as can be, but I guess I wanted to find someone who had screwed up in all the same ways. Maybe if I found that person, they could tell me exactly how I could feel better. On both counts, I was bound to be disappointed.
I did find a girl who also found out she was pregnant at 27 weeks, so I felt like less of an idiot about finding out so late. I found many who were disillusioned and in denial and never thought about life after placement. I found many who had complicated, painful relationships with the birth father. The themes of loss, missing your baby, questioning your motherhood, feeling misunderstood, and being changed forever were all prevalent.
After reading so many blogs, I became jealous of certain aspects of some birth mom’s situations. I’m not proud of that, but it’s difficult not to compare.
For example, most were opposed to abortion, while that was my first reaction to finding out I was pregnant. I was just too far along in my pregnancy to get one. That makes me feel like shit now; I’m glad my son is in the world. I envy those who had the full nine months to decide. I had three months, and I panicked. Some had good relationships with the birth father before and/or after placement. I’m definitely jealous of that.
Some have very open arrangements with the adoptive parents, and I wish I had that too. I don’t need to hang out with them every weekend. But they live so far away that visits are out of the question. Mostly, I wish we could correspond by e-mail or be friends on facebook. I wish I hadn’t agreed to 6-month updates. I didn’t realize how long six months is when it’s your baby and you think about him at nearly every moment. It’s been two and half months, and I’m on the verge of exploding. I just want to know everything! I have so many questions. I want to see new pictures of him all the time, instead of looking at the same old pictures of his first two days of life. Babies grow and change so quickly.
I wish the agency wasn’t mediating our contact, too. That really irritates me. But I know I’d sound like a serial killer if I asked for direct contact. It’s so insulting. I trusted them with my baby, but I’m not trusted with their e-mail or home addresses? Or their last name? I found everything with one Google search! L has a wikipedia page due to his career. Honestly, I had no idea that it was mediated, up until that shattering moment when David and I wheeled the bassinet down the hall. Before leaving, I mentioned to C and L that I’d written letters I wanted them to have, but I forgot to bring them to the hospital. Their caseworker said, “Just send them to us, we’ll send those to them.” My heart sank.
I never sent those letters I wrote while pregnant. Partly because I no longer mean anything I said at the time. Partly because I’m uncomfortable with the agency reading them (I’ve heard they do, so they can black out last names and other identifiers). And partly because I doubt C and L care about anything I have to say. If they do, they can say so, but they don’t.
Time goes so slowly now. Probably because I am so much more aware of it. Every Tuesday, I know it’s been one more week. Every day feels like a week.
I digress. Most bloggers I’ve read chose adoption because it was their only choice, while I had a family who would’ve helped me. I just didn’t understand at the time that keeping him would not have ruined my life. Losing a baby has done far more to that end. So in a way, I envy those birth moms who did it because they had to. I don’t envy their situations that led to having to make such a hard decision. But I envy their knowledge that they looked at every possible angle, contemplated parenting, and decided adoption was best. I didn’t even try. I just gave up.
That’s why I don’t stick to using “positive adoption language.” Why sugarcoat it? I say I gave up my baby, because that’s the truth.
Some are religious (often Mormon) and that seems to help, as they believe God is always with them or whatever. I don’t have that comfort. A few times I tried praying, as well as telling myself that this life doesn’t matter, and my son will be with me again. But I didn’t buy it, I don’t believe in afterlife or God. I think of the stars and the rocks and the vast time scale, and try to convince myself of my life’s insignificance in that way, too. That has helped me through past suffering. But it’s still my life, and it’s the only one I have. Knowing how small it is doesn’t take the hurt away.
I feel that most birth moms are stronger than I am. I don’t doubt that their pain is the same as mine or greater, but sometimes I berate myself, thinking that other birth moms deal with it better. I deal with pain, but it’s a facade. I can hold myself together and be normal, but I can’t claim to be truly happy. Not at this point in my life anyway. I don’t doubt I’m capable of being happy again. And we all grieve differently.
What I most envy, however, is that so few birth mom bloggers regret their decision. So if you’re wondering why I don’t buck up, go read another blog. Most of them are cheerier. Without exception, they all say it was hard and that they love their child, but many of them speak of the “joys” along with the challenges, and their faith in having done the right thing, and how the parents they chose are better than they would’ve been. I wonder if I will ever get to claim joy in this adoption thing. Maybe. In some ways C and L are better than me. Certainly they were better prepared to be parents, but they aren’t superior in every way. I know I will always regret. No matter how happy I am in the future, I know I won’t look back on this and say it was the right thing to do.
I don’t want to come across as immature or like I believe everyone should think like me. That’s not it at all. In trying to find common ground, I’ve realized we all are unique people leading different lives, and if anything, that should give me confidence to feel validated in who I am and how I feel. It helps to know I’m not alone.