I started thinking about adoption a couple of weeks after I discovered you. It seemed logical – I could give you to a family that could provide for you and since I was choosing open adoption, I’d get to see you often. Very logical. I was doing what was best and it would be difficult, but not too hard. I’d still get to see you, and since it was what was best, even when I was sad, that knowledge would be able to help me sleep at night.
I actually managed to continue that thought process for a couple of months, until I started my child birthing classes at the local hospital. I scheduled them every Sunday so that C could attend, but in the end, he decided it was too hard for him. Either Pop-Pop 3, Grandma M or Aunt S would accompany me to my classes.
I hated those classes.
Well, that’s not entirely true. The information I learned was incredibly valuable, and for that reason, I’m glad I went. I learned all about the birthing process and what to expect when it came time for delivery. I learned about you and what you would be doing for my last trimester. I learned that the really weird cramping and hardening of my stomach wasn’t you rolling around, but that they were Braxton Hicks contractions. I learned about the stages of labor and things I could do during labor to ease the stress on myself, therefore easing the stress on you. I was out buying books and pregnancy within the week I found out about you, so being the knowledge nerd that I am, all of this info from the classes was really interesting to me.
But other than that the class was so…boring. I don’t think any of the other couples in that class knew what the word “fun” meant. Aunt S and I would make jokes and try to have fun and we’d get looks from the other couples like they couldn’t believe we were attempting to enjoy the classes – these classes were obviously serious business and we obviously weren’t taking the classes seriously enough. I know…I’m one of those weirdos who thinks learning can be fun. Go figure.
But what the child birthing classes did do was make the reality of you…well, real. We would talk about what the babies would look like within the first couple of days – red, puffy faces, cone heads, maybe even a little yellow. We talked about changing diapers, how babies liked to be swaddled, how to stop babies from crying…and I realized that I wouldn’t get to do any of this. I would see you in your red, puffy face stage and then you’d disappear.
My logic went out the window, and I suppose it was about time. Situations like ours can’t be ruled by logic and logic alone – it’s very emotional. The bond between a mother and her child is all about love – we never say “I love my child because I should and he or she needs me to.” We just do. It’s natural, it’s innate and it’s more powerful than anything you’ve ever imagined. And during those classes I was overwhelmed with the idea that despite that powerful love, I was going to let you go.
This was before I met The B’s. During these classes, your “future family” was an unknown entity to me, making this reality even scarier. Parting with you seemed to get more impossible with each passing day. I hated the classes for that, too. Because even though I love the you inside me, I was starting to dream about the you when you finally came out – who you would be, what you would look like, how I could care for you. It hurt my heart to think about because I realized that when the real you showed up, so would your adoption. The two were not mutually exclusive – with one, came the other. And my problem was that I only wanted one – you.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, every night as I went to sleep, I would hold my stomach and feel you kick and I would thank you, for spending one more night with me. I did this every night for the last month. I said it the night before I went into labor – “Thank you for staying with me for one more night.”
Of course, it’s all turned out better than I could have imagined. The B’s were only too happy to let me have my diaper changing experiences and to see you past your puffy-face-cone-head stage. Every time I went over to their house, they wouldn’t hesitate to hand you to me. They would let me hold you as much as I wanted to. They wanted me to hold you as long as I wanted to. They want me to love you as much as I possibly can, and for that and a multitude of other reasons, I love them.
But those child birthing classes taught me that logic only goes so far, and then comes love. And love tends to bring the logic-house down. Our journey was an emotional one – one where even though I was told I shouldn’t get too attached to you if I was planning on adoption, I couldn’t help it and wouldn’t have if I could’ve. One where I was told I shouldn’t keep you in the room with me at the hospital because it would make it easier but there wasn’t a person in the world who could have removed you from my sight or my arms.
And you have been more than worth it – every emotional up and down, every sad day and every happy day, every tear shed before and after your adoption (there were a lot, although some we could probably attribute to pregnancy hormones) were beyond worth it, because out of all of it, I got you. And through you, I got The B’s. And from all of you, I got everything I’ll ever need.
I just think that next time, I’ll pick a livelier bunch to spend my Sunday afternoons with.