Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I'm moving out tomorrow! I would just like you to know. We practically have NOTHING. haha. We have a desk and chairs. No table, no bed, no couch. I will most likely be sleeping on an air matress. I'm just that cool.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
'The state of being a mother; the character or office of a mother.'
I found that definition extremely vague and unhelpful. Because I am currently not in the state of being a mother. I currently do not have a child. But I guess I could be the character of a mother..but that to me still doesn't seem right. Yes, I gave birth to one heck of a beautiful little girl (if I do say so myself :) and yes I am a character, but I am not her mother. I am a birthmother.
I looked up the definition of Birth Mother
'The biological mother of a child; a person's mother related biologically rather than by adoption'
Well this could be a lot of people then. My mom would be a birthmother and she didn't place for adoption, so could my aunts, my neighbors and friends.
So all of this searching did not lead me to any answer. In fact it has frustrated me quite a bit. So I want to know.... What is your opinion.
Are birthmothers : Mothers, Birthmothers, or just girls who placed their baby for adoption."
'One of the first things I noticed when I encountered adoption meanies on the interwebs was that many of the birth mom meanies consider the phrase "birth mom" to be the vilest of insults. One compared using it to using the N-word. And I thought, wow, really? Because I've never heard "birth mom" used as a put-down, an slam, an insult, a verbal weapon, or a dressing-down.'
'The meanies feel that calling a woman a birth mother is insulting, akin to referring to her as an incubator or a breeder. Again I think, really? The only names that would suggest to me that woman was an incubator or a breeder are ... well, incubator, and breeder.
The meanies would much rather be referred to as natural mothers, first mothers, or original mothers. All three of those make me a little uncomfortable. Because if I'm Roo's natural, first, original mother, what does that make Roo's mama? Unnatural? Second? Unoriginal - an impostor? Pshaw. I don't buy that for a second. Roo's mother is her real, natural, actual mother. I didn't place with a robot or a cardboard cutout.'
i tried to come up with another word/label/name to call myself, the best was 'uterine storage vesicle', which was always only used with love and humor btwn me, my friends, and my family. (i always use humor and sarcasm is my middle name) i can totally understand how uterine storage vesicle would cause many to be offended and irate, but for me and my situation, it was hilariously perfect.
that label didnt stick however and i proudly entered the realm of 'birthmother' when i gave birth, and then took care of my son for 2 days and then did what any good mother would do- what i thought was the very best for my son.
then a couple of months later, at one of our post placement support group meetings, a bunch of us were talking about how i was almost literally to the day twice the age of one of the girls who was about to place. I was 28 at the time. my roommate, who was still pregnant and pursuing an adoption plan, said to me, 'you are like the mom of the birthmoms, taking care of all of us.' i started blogging right about then, so i chose my screen name to be birthMOM.
Now, i am proud to be a birthmother. and i always will be. i feel it sets me apart and above all the 'regular' mothers and i feel like it demands a sacred reverence to utter. but just like anything that has ever been sacred and/or reverent, it is a word/label/name that has been completely degraded, disrespected and forever tarnished. yin and yang, good and evil, hot and cold, up and down. there is always opposition, in everything. what matters, is what YOU choose to make of it."
I'm going to reiterate the part where she talks about what a mother is AFTER birth. My definition of mom, is somebody who reads you bedtime stories, who kisses your boo-boos better, who makes you crazy if you're out past curfew, who stays up with you when you have your first major heartbreak, etc. I'm not going to be that to Olivia. I can't be the one who helps her with her homework every night, who makes her after school snacks. I'm the woman in the background. What a girl said tonight in group is, "Everyone gets the joy from my pain." With my whole entire soul, I wish I could be that mom for Olivia. Instead, I'm going to be the one in the background of the pictures. Or what I like better is, I'm the one standing on the sidelines cheering her on.
I gave Olivia life. I gave her Val to be her mom. I gave Dustinn to be her dad. I gave Bradshaw to be her brother. I gave her a forever family. I sacrificed a whole heck of a lot to give her that. A little recognition would suffice. The title, "birthmom" is not degrading, insulting, or mocking. It shows courage, strength, and love.
"(S)He is mine in a way that (s)he will never be hers, yet (s)he is hers in a way that (s)he will never be mine........and so together, we are motherhood."
I love Sterling's blog as she reiterates the principles of the Gospel and what we believe in and I love what she said at the end.
"Birth is the science. Mother is the emotion. Birthmother is... love."
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Well. I guess I need a venter blog. To finally just hold back the feelings of angry that I've had for what seems like a while. I wish I could just make this post private. I'm not going to name names. But I'm sure they'll guess themselves or close friends who I've talked to about this.
I guess I'll start off with group. Group was called, "Who You Are is Not What You've Done." It was also a class at the FSA conference this year presented by Martina Muir.
We talked about the grieving process and also about certain phases that we go through.
Phases during and after placement:
1. Panic Phase
2. Decision Phase
3. Strength Phase
4. Stand on your own Phase
5. Relapse or Thrive Phase (your choice)
I can tell you that I've been through every single one of those phases during my pregnancy.
My panic phase is finding out I was pregnant.
My decision phase was finding out for myself if I wanted to parent or place. (Around the same time I found out the gender)
My strength phase was going through with the decision to place. (I sent out a little package announcing to Dustinn and Val about their baby girl)
My Stand on my Own phase would probably be inbetween after telling them and placement.
My thrive phase. I have chosen to not go back into old habits and move on. I have been to presentations and told my story and talked about to make my lips numb. But I could shout it from the rooftops because I feel that telling my story, shows the love I have for my daughter and I don't want people to question that I never did.
I still continue going through that phase after placement.
My panic phase is going through labor and delivery.
My decision phase is to go through with the placement.
My strength phase is signing papers.
My stand on my own phase is going home.
I went through a relapse phase getting home and going through a panic phase when going to bed and sleeping by myself and not with my daughter.
As I continue going through the grieving process and other things. I can see these little phases inbetween. While grieving, I have definitely seen that I will remember certain things that happened last year. I definitely hear myself saying a lot of the time, "This time last year I was..." I remember every little date, every little anniversary. I remember the day Nic broke up with me. I remember the day that I found out I was pregnant. I remember the day telling him. I remember the day(s) asking for his help. I remember the doctors appointments. I remember hearing the heart beat. I remember feeling Olivia kick. I remember making an adoption plan. I remember the ultrasound date. I remember sending off the package. I remember going to Virginia for a week. I remember going to Olive Garden where Nic and D&V met for the first time. I remember Nic having a freak out and having to go to LDS Famservices. I remember Nic apologizing to me. I remember Nic feeling Olivia kick for the first time. I remember the day little miss Olivia came into the world. All of it. Everyday. It's a trigger for me. Sometimes I just want to break down and cry because I feel so overwhelmed by those days. It's like I'm going through them all over again.
Now. How that it's affecting me. Tayler and I have probably been in numerous conversations about a certain person lately. Probably because of same major events that have occured. I didn't care in the beginning. But over time, it has slowly just made me angry. Just one thing.
I'm baby hungry. If anyone knows me and is around me. I will talk about each darling baby that we pass by. Tayler and I will not be having kids for a while. But babies are my weakness. Probably just because I miss my little baby.
But something about this and finding out made me really mad. It was unfair to me. Blah. These are the thoughts that went through my head. I don't understand that she gets to keep her baby and I didn't. I'm glad that you could commit to her and not me. What made ME such a bad person to be with? Why was I not good enough? As much as I wish that it didn't effect me. It did. I say did. Because I don't care anymore. It's their life. I'm about to start my own life with someone AMAZING and I don't need to look back on the past and the "what if's" and the "could've been's." It all worked out the way it was supposed to. I don't think I could've been as happy if it worked out the way I wanted it to in the beginning. And trust me. I think both of us moving on has made us the happiest that we could be. Or maybe even more.
I don't hate them. I don't desire a friendship with them either. I just respect them. I was nervous. I may have been awkward but I'm over it. I'm sure I'll still have my days and I'll be angry. But I'm dealing with it and I'm still trying to forgive him. It's not that I haven't moved on. I have. It's forgiving that is the hardest part.
I don't want anyone to say that, "It turned out for the better." Maybe I like to vent and want you to agree with me. Not remind me. That phrase in general, makes me even more mad. I know everything turned out for "the better." But how do YOU exactly know that everything turned out for the better? Are you the expert in MY life? Thanks for telling me that it's better that my child is with another family. Or that I am a failure and always have been and that I would've been incapable of raising my child. You may not think that's what you're saying. But that's how I'm taking it. Please be a little bit more sensitive when throwing around that phrase to people.
I don't tell you when you're going through a hard time. i.e. Your grandmother passed away. I don't say, "Well. We all know she's in a better place." Um. No. You want to be upset and grieve that she's gone. I'm sure you'll find peace knowing that. But there are days that you wish she wasn't gone. Am I right?
Points to Remember:
- Know that our actions do not define our worth nor do they define the worth of others.
- Take time to discover 'who we are' as a child of God. Try to see yourself the way He does and earn to love yourself exactly the way you are (with all of your strengths, weaknesses, talents, gifts, challenges, physical appearance, and personality traits).
- Keep that vision in your m ind as you create goals, make choices, and live your life. If you do this, you will find a deeper desire to live in a way that is aligned with 'who you are.'
- Remember that the longest lasting change n your life will come from all of the smaller choices- the ones you make moment by moment. When you look back you will be amazed at how they really add up (even more than one large experience).
- When we (or someone you love) makes mistakes we need to comfort and support instead of condemning and/or criticizing. Show lots of love, kindness, and mercy.
- Build a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. He loves you so very much and He knows how to strengthen and support you no matter what you are feeling. Turn to him and "Pray always that you may come off conqueror..." (D&C 10:5)
Please just bear with me while I am grieving or going through some certain phases. You may ask me how I'm doing it's not like I'm grieving everyday. I'm sure you'll get an earful if I am. Somehow blogging about it has taken some burden off my shoulders. Just as long as these individuals are willing to forgive me for being immature, selfish, and inconsiderate. They don't need to ever vocally ever have to say that they forgive me. I just hope someday in their hearts they will. Because I'm sorry. And I'm working hard in forgiving. It will take sometime. It's not anything that they have personally done. It's something that I'm working on.
6 days until my bridal shower :) I hope to see you there!
We're hopefully sending out our wedding invitations this week.
10 days until I move into mine and Tayler's apartment.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I still remember my hard days and just not wanting to deal with the adoption. When I read her blog, it helps me understand a little bit more of the grief of a grandmother. Or more of my mother when I was going through. I probably don't remember it correctly and my mom will correct me. I don't remember her being very vocal. I'm sure she'd give me counsel and guidance and what she thought. But it was never her thoughts and feelings.
I was probably really insensitive to girls who brought their moms to group and the moms seemed to be dealing with it harder than the girls who were actually going through it. And I didn't understand that. But after reading her blog, it has opened my eyes. Just reading it, the emotions are so real and so raw that I feel like I'm going through it all over again. And that I'm emotionally drained from just reading a post or two. You'll have to start reading her blog from the beginning.
I called Val yesterday. For some reason it was a pretty tough day and I think I just wanted to hear Val's voice. I wanted to tell her what was going on. I think I had been pretty deprived of it even though I saw them for like 20 minutes a week ago. And I'll see them again at my wedding. I just think I needed to talk to somebody who is directly related to our situation. I can talk Tayler's ear off but I don't think I was getting the answers I needed. And Val always seems to comfort me.
My friend Emmalee met them last week and she was telling me that Dustinn and Val are like a breath of fresh air. Exact words. That they are so personable and geniune people and how she wishes that there were more people out there like them. Totally perfect for Olivia and Bradshaw? I think so. :) Their whole family is that way. Such sweet people. I love them!
Val and I got on the topic of the blog. And she pointed out about this letter that daughter had recieved from a lady in their ward who "surrendered" her baby 40 years ago and regrets it. She was telling her to parent her baby and that it'll only be hard for the first few years. Nice advice. One part of the letter I'm sure I just glanced over but Val caught on to it. And it's probably something I needed to hear and that's why I needed to talk to her. Val and I would talk everyday on the phone while I was pregnant. And the phone calls have just been less with everything going on in my life. Super busy. Oh my heck. I tear up just thinking about what she said. This is the part of the letter,
"Once your daughter is placed in that other home she will be their family. You will not have the role or the right to be recognized as her flesh and blood."
Val said to me, "That totally isn't true in our home. Olivia knows. I know she's little and doesn't really understand it now. But she will always know. She's known since the day she was born where she comes from and why she's here. Not a day goes by that we don't tell her that."
Dustinn and Val are seriously the greatest people ever. And the biggest answers to my prayers. Even now. My journey isn't over. I wrote a blog about fears and how we fear our child won't know who we are or why we did what we did. They are the calm in my chaotic storm of life.
(And I know it's true. Because when they came out to visit. My background on my computer changes. And it changed to a picture of me and Tayler. Bradshaw pointed at the picture of me and said, "STEFANIE!"... well it was more "tefany!" hahah.)
I still have to tell myself that some days will definitely be harder than others. In 5 days, Olivia will be 11 months old. It's surreal to me that she'll be a year old next month. A whole year has gone by. Incredible. Seeing how much she has grown and how much I have learned from her. She is my biggest life lesson that I could never forget. And I want to thank Dustinn and Val for being the incredible people that they are. :) I need to go to work but I promise I'll e-mail you about the birthday plans (hopefully after work).
My heart and prayers go out to McKinnah and her family and her mom. :)
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
We found a basement apartment in Lehi. And it's a really good location for the both of us. I move in the 1st of September. It's in our budget and it's just a really great starter place for us. I'm so grateful we found something. I was pretty down in the dumps and thinking we weren't going to find a place. But now we have one! It's one bed/one bath. I'm excited to move in already!
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I can't say that I'm the only one that had fears while I was pregnant. Many young, unwed, pregnant mothers do.
Here is a list of fears when you're expecting and placing:
- Make an adoption plan with the adoptive family and them not follow through with the adoption after you have placed your baby. They close that adoption right up.
- The adoptive family judging me for my mistakes. They wouldn't like me or they wouldn't understand why I was placing and think I was a bad person.
- Getting the adoptive families hopes up and then backing out and parenting my baby.
- Your baby won't adapt in an environment of a family that isn't biological to them.
- Not being able to have your own biological child after placing.
- Have a friendship with them only to find out it was a fake friendship so they could have my baby.
- They aren't going to love my baby as much as their biological children.
- I was never going to see my baby again.
- The birth father will find the birth child. (In some cases, the birth father doesn't know out of the baby's safety.)
- The adoptive family and my baby won't bond and they'll give the baby back to me.
- My child will believe that I placed them for adoption so I could have a better life without them. (Which isn't true, I think our lives got a whole heck of a lot harder without them in it.)
- Letting reality sink in.
- Realizing that we're not supposed to be moms and someone else is.
“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.”
I also got to thinking when I saw this picture above. I got thinking about abortion. That even though these girls who are so strong to be able to push aside their fears to go with their gut and trust in the Lord to place their babies for adoption. I thought about the girls who didn't want to handle those fears. And in my opinion, the selfishness of abortion. I think even though you would terminate your pregnancy, doesn't mean you will forget about it either. The baby that you never got to hold and love or see grow up. Never got to see their first moments of life, breathing, living. Never got to hear their first cry or first laugh. There are a lot of firsts that I will miss and have missed but I know I would truly regret denying that opportunity to Olivia.
I want to talk about placement for a minute.
Placement isn't rainbows and gummy bears for us, birth parents. I sent Val an e-mail that I was writing to Tayler's mom and was talking about my story and about placement. And she said to me, "It's always sad to read it because I know while you're grieving, we're rejoicing but we're also grieving for you."
After placement we have so many fears in our hearts. Fears about the family, making the right decision, our baby and how they're doing. Not a day goes by that we don't think about our little one.
“Trust me I know how it feels I know exactly how it feels to cry in the shower so no one can hear you. I know what it’s like to wait for everyone to be asleep so you can fall apart for everything to hurt so bad you just want it to end, I know exactly how it feels”
I found this online:
Me:Did my birth mom ever get to hold me?
Mom:YES! The day you were born for a few hours and then nearly all day on your 2nd day of life. She held you, talked to you, kissed you and cried when she gave you to the Nursery nurse just before she went home. She loves you. She suffered as great a pain as you - maybe even more. She doesn't know what course your life took or that you were deeply loved by another family because of her great selfless act. I was ‘gifted’ with your birth & life. Especially now.
A Mom is someone who will put her children above everything.
A Mom sacrifices readily for her children despite her own happiness.
A Mom who fights & protect her children from any harmness.
A Mom who battles their own life in giving their children a life.
A Mom never tires herself from giving eternal love & care.
A Mom warm hugs is all needed to soothe,comfort & secure
A Mom is not only a guidance but also a friend
A Mom is always there to listen to rants,woes & complaints….
A Mom is also the best confidante
A Mom is always forgiving despite being hurt
A Mom never expect anything in return for all she have done & gave except to be loved……
Fears of birthparents:
- Telling your story to others and having them misunderstand.
- Everyone believes you have mental issues and that's why you couldn't keep your child.
- That you were heavily into drugs and couldn't keep your child.
- That I'm just irresponsible and don't have the maturity to take care of my baby.
- Misunderstanding that just because we miss our child, doesn't mean that we regret our choice to place our baby for adoption.
- Being told you're not a good enough mother and you abandoned your baby.
- Adoption was just a way to hide the "unwanted" pregnancy. (Our babies are never UNWANTED. We have always wanted them.)
- Everyone will think I never wanted my baby or I took the "easy way out."
- Going back to old habits and my birth child hating me for not changing or being better for them.
- Your adoptive family won't tell your birth child who you are and you did everything out of love.
- Birth child not knowing you love them.
- Never being able to get used to the title as "birth mother" not "mother."
- Worry the adoptive parents will get a divorce.
- I will do or say something wrong so the adoptive family will hold my birth child hostage and never let me see them.
- I will do or say something wrong to my birth child and they will no longer want contact with me.
- My birth child will think being adopted is a burden and hate me for it.
- My birth child will think they were an accident or a mistake.
- They will hate hearing that they look like their birth parents.
- Worried how to tell the guys I'm dating that I've had a baby and placed the baby for adoption.
- Never being married so then I won't be able to have my own kids later unless I am artificially inseminated.
- How my birth son/birth daughter will feel when I do get married and decided to have kids...it's that whole "why will you keep them but not me" thing.
- After placing, your child will instantly forget you and won't want you to hold them.
- Feel awkward seeing the adoptive family after placement.
- Living the rest of my life regretting the adoption.