Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy thoughts...#1 The Nurse

Well if I am going to advocate for the positives of adoption, I guess I should start telling positive stories! I am starting a series of blogs containing some of the wonderful things that have happened to me as a birth mother. Let's start with this....

After my daughter was born, I was in a private room in the hospital and feeling quite sad and lonely. I knew that I only had a few days with her and my heart was torn between my guilt and my joy. I always had a smile on my face, that is the kind of person I am, but that smile was hiding a broken spirit within. they were keeping the baby in the nursery because I had a dry birth and she was needing attention. (Dry birth ...  my water broke 24 hours before she was born. When the water is absent for that long, it becomes dangerous for the baby because the amniotic fluid is not present to protect from bacteria and germs. It is also a very difficult delivery for the mother because without the fluid the uterus has to contract harder and longer to push the baby out.) The entire nursing staff was accomidating me because they were all so impressed with the decission I had made to place my baby for adoption. I think they were trying to make me as comfortable as I could be so that I could really enjoy the limited time that I had with her. I took a nap and when I woke up one of the nurses was bringing her in.

The nurse was very pretty and had an unforgetable smile. She set me up with all that I needed and she left us alone. After a few hours my daughter was asleep and I was exhausted so I called the nurse station to ask them to take her to the nursery. The same nurse came in and I was still holding my daughter. She came up and rubbed her little head and told me how absolutely beautiful she was. I thanked her and I put her into the crib, I covered her and tucked her in and stepped back. The nurse stood there for a minute and I told her it was alright to go. She started toward the door and then stopped. She turned to me and said "I know that I would get into trouble for saying this...but I think what you are doing is an amazingly selfless thing to do at such a young age. I have worked here a while and I cannot tell you how many girls I see come through here, younger than you, and they keep these babies for all the wrong reasons. I just want to grab them and shake them to wake them up and tell them that there are other alternatives. What you are doing for this family is so amazing. You will hear some horrible things from people who judge you for what you are doing, don't listen to them. I would like to ask that you promise me something." She was now very passionate and I could see the compassion in her eyes through her tears. "What is it?" I asked. "I want you to promise me that from now on, until the day you die, I want you to promise me that you will celebrate Mother's Day. Do something nice for yourself, be good to you every Mother's Day because that is a day that is custom made for women like you. You are an incredible mother and I want you to be proud of yourself." I told her that I would and she grabbed me and gave me a quick, tight, squeeze of a hug and then composed herself.

This was a complete stranger telling me what a difference I had made. I was taken back by her honesty and her utter unconditional understanding of what I was going through. I wish I could find her and tell her that she made an impact on me at a time when I needed acceptance the most. I will never forget her or her words. It is 20 years later, and I am still telling people about this wonderful woman who lifted me up when I was needing it, and helped a heart heal a little more with the kindness of a stranger.

The Best For You


Anonymous said...

I work daily with young women who are in unplanned pregnancies.I don't think our discussions about adoption are getting through at all. These children are not able to care for a child, many of them have no outside support, yet they think they can do this and do it well.. My heart breaks for them and their children..How can we talk about adoption in a way that helps the young ladies consider this possibility for themselves..It is difficult but there is a better way...Thank you for sharing your story..

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Your question has me thinking so much that I have decided that it will be my next blog! You are right about these young girls, they have no direction and no real POSITIVE role model when it comes to being a birth mother. I am doing my best to change that. I agree that there needs to be changes in all states when it come to adoption, especially the after care of birth parents. They are expected to just turn off their emotions and move on with life. It is far from being easy and there needs to be a good support system for them to help THEMSELVES heal.

I have some theories as to why it is so hard to reach these girls, namely in my posts "Adoption is an Option" and "Does Neagative Media Attention...". There are some great insights in those posts that have other poeple out there thinking about the point that I am trying to get across.

In the meantime, if you can be patient until tomorrow when I finish and post my thoughts about your question, then perhaps I can get more attention for this subject.

Thank you for reading my blog and for the great question. And I thank you for helping so many people out there!
My Best to You,

Bekah: said...

This is beautifully written and I am happy I found your blog. As I recently was preparing a gift for my own Mom for Mother's day I thought of our birthmom and knew I needed to do something special for her. I am fond of traditions and would like to do the same thing for her every year. Any ideas or suggestions?

On my blog I am currently sharing our adoption story in parts. Tomorrow I will post the first part of our birthmom's story. She just sent it to me today and had me in tears. I will make sure to point her towards your blog.

michelle said...

Hi Kelsey. First, I want to affirm that I also think you should celebrate Mother's Day. Furthermore, I want you to know I do not condemn your decision to choose adoption for your child. No judgement. : ) I don't think that was a bad thing, and am sure only you can know what the best decision at the time was. I fully believe when you say it was done in love.

So, that said, I have to ask.....why would you want to encourage someone else to make that choice? Knowing what you know about the post-relinquishment side, why would you encourage someone to relinquish? I'm am not saying you should be discouraging them...just asking why you would actively encourage it. : {

I have the same question for "anonymous". Why? How can you desire that for these girls? I guess, if your heart breaks for them, then why not work toward somethiing that would help them parent when they have the desire to do so?

Honestly, there is nothing selfish or wrong about a girl wanting to keep her baby, no matter her age. :( I just honestly find that train of thought troubling.

Again Kelsey, this is not a judgement on your choices. It's really not....

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Oh I do not see that as a judgement, not at all. And I thank you for being polite with your question which, by the way, is a very good question. I will answer you, but know that the disclaimer at the top of this blog says that I am not trying to speak for all birth mothers out there, only for myself and from my experience.

I do not reccommend adopotion to any woman who is pregnant and debating what to do. It is a lot of pain, heartache and years of rebuilding your soul and mind. I write to let these women/girls know that if they should choose adoption for themselves, it is not going to be an easy road but it can be very fulfilling in the end if it is done openly and honestly. I don't believe that I encourage adopiton and if I have lead you to that thinking, then I do apologize if you see it that way.

Look, for years and years I was alone in my journey without another to connect with that actually wanted to talk about the realities of being a birth mother. I did not have the internet, the books available in the stores were mostly about the Mass Surrender Era, which was not at all like my adoption, and I never had an outlet to find others to bond with, to understand where they were coming from and share where I was coming from. Once I did find the wonders of blogging (which was around 20 years after my first adopiton), I connected to those voices who were either like me and very positive about their writings, and there are those who were looking for a positive voice to learn from. That is why I write, not to convice anyone of anything. I have had those that ask for my advice, but I do not want to advise them, I just share what I went through and try to help them understand the complications of it all. That is what they want, someone to be honest with them and tell them the bad...along with some of the good.

I agree, there is nothing selfish about keeping your child, matter of fact that is what is SUPPOSED to happen when you have a child. However, there are times when some women/girls just know that they are not meant to parent a child. I know, no one can see the future, no one can predict that everything is going to be just peachy keen with everyone involved. I know the difficulties of the triad that is adoption. It is not a natural thing, and it never will be. But for those women/girls out there who want a positive and experienced voice who is willing to share the devistation along with the joy, well, I know I would have appreciated someone like me when I was pregnant all those years ago.

My story is unique, I know that. But I also know that I had a lot to do with that. I kept up with my children all those years. I made sure that I was in touch with the parents to let them know that I was doing alright and to thank them for taking care of my heart. I never gave up hope that my children would someday understand why I chose to let them go. I did my best to make sure that I healed and learned from my choices, but most of all I believed in myself to always see the good in what came from it: three amazing kids who have had very happy, balanced and healthy lives.

For that reason, this year I will celebrate Mother's Day while kissing my boys and taking all the love that they give have to give me because that is my life now. Blessed.