Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Therapy and Acceptance


I just wanted to take a minute and reflect on this year.  I am sure you have heard of the milestones or goals that your loved ones have reached.  But what about the milestones YOU reached?



I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, it was in a CVS bathroom with my best friend.  Classy, I know!  I was in serious denial for a long time.  So much so that I literally forgot I was pregnant for two months (even though I was taking prenatal vitamins).  I just never thought about it. When I finally started showing and feeling the precious kicks and turns, I realized that I was going to be placing this baby for adoption soon.  The adoption agency I went to recommended a therapist for me to see who was also a birth mom.  I thought, "why not?"  I had never been to therapy before and went in not expecting to get much out of it.

                                                     
Little did I know, this woman was about to change my life.  In my first session with her, she mostly listened.  I told her I wasn't going to see or hold my baby once he/she was born, I wasn't looking at ultrasounds, and I was going to have a closed adoption.  Basically, I had not accepted this baby's existence at all yet and never wanted to.  She was very gentle in asking my reasons and quickly identified that I needed some perspective on what was to come in my future if these were the decisions I stuck with.  After opening my heart and mind to what she had to say (and after 6 sessions with her), I ended up asking for a legalized open adoption, seeing my baby boy when he was born and doing skin to skin, and still sticking with not looking at the ultrasounds.

It is hard to open yourself up to a stranger in therapy.  However, I would recommend it to anyone going through this process, and also to someone who has placed their child already.  It doesn't even have to be therapy! It can be a best friend or a sibling.  It is very important to have a support system that you can vent to.  I can only speak on my behalf, but I know talking to someone who could relate to my situation helped tremendously.  Going to therapy helped improve my postpartum depression and continued my grieving process.  I was very worried I was going to be in a state of shock for a long time but talking to someone allows me to identify the emotions I am feeling and get those out instead of not feeling at all.

There are many birthmother support groups/sites (such as this one) as well as retreats and in person support groups that are fantastic in the grieving process.  I know that this is a roller coaster but we are in this together.  You are not alone!

Lots of Love,

Erin



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thinking of You!

We want to take just a minute to wish you and yours a happy, safe, and peaceful Christmas season!  

As birthmoms, we are all aware of how tough this time of year can be so please remember to be kind to yourselves and realize it's okay to reach out for support! If you need to talk, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 1-855-4mybbud.

You are in our thoughts and prayers, today and always. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Erin's Story

I'm Erin and I'm excited to be one of the new bloggers here at BirthMom Buds!

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be a birthmother.  I saw women placing their child on television and never once took the perspective of the woman who carried their chid for nine months then placed their baby girl/boy into the hands of a hopeful couple.  I like to think I am great at placing myself in other's shoes and taking perspective on situations, but I think the media had shaped me to think more about the adoptee and adoptive parents because no one really talks about birthmothers.


I became a birthmother on November 23, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia and this past year has been the most beautiful, painful year of my life.  My son is my greatest accomplishment and I am so proud to be a part of his life. After graduating with my Master's Degree in Elementary Education, I placed my son for adoption. This year I not only gained a son but also his parents who I consider family.  You may ask, "Why would you place after graduating with a degree?" Well, I wanted him to grow up with an active father.  I did not want to take his innocence by having him see a stressed out single mother trying to make ends meet or a horrible custody battle between two people who live in different states.  He now has a mom and a dad in the same house who he can run to in the middle of the night if he has a bad dream, he has a dad who will coach him in all the sports he will play, and he is able to grow up knowing what true love looks like.


I do have days where I question my decision, but I think that is normal in this case.  I love Noah (my son) more than anything and that will never change.  I have a healthy open adoption in which I get an update each month and two visits a year.  When I was pregnant, I made sure to build a strong relationship with his adoptive mom, which was easy because we would literally be best friends if we were the same age haha! She is God's gift to both Noah and me and I am so happy I chose her to be Noah's mama.


As of today, I am a 5th grade ELA teacher in Georgia and love what I do.  I have good days and bad days.  I am lucky because I know where my son is and how he is doing.  I am thankful every day for this gift and I look forward to sharing the up's and down's of this crazy roller coaster with you from here on out.


Lots of Love,

Erin

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Time Is Here



Hello!  It's been a while since I've posted and I hope all of you are doing well.  Christmas is upon us once again, and I'm sure many of you are like me and face the holiday season with a whole mix of feelings.

There is always the joy of seeing family and celebrating the holiday.  That usually involves good people, good food, good conversation, and an exchange of (hopefully) thoughtful presents.  I wish that I could be celebrating the holiday with my son as well as the rest of my family.  But I am also secure in the knowledge that he is having a good time with his family.  And that thought does make me happy.

Then there is the love that we hopefully all have when we come together during the holidays.  Of course, with family coming together there are always the questions: how is your life going?  What are your plans?  While my extended family is often not involved in our Christmas celebrations (due to living in two different states) we do see a number of friends.  Often those friends know about my son, and they will ask, I smile and tell them that he's doing well.  I then pull out my cell phone to show them the most recent picture I have of him.  I tell them that he's doing well.  He's in school, although it's been a challenge for him.  And his parents are managing it all quite well.  Better than I would have anyway.

And also there is the peace that comes with this time of year.  Every Christmas I try to come to a peace within myself regarding what I've done, where I've been, where I'm going, and what I must do.  It doesn't always work, but most times it does.  This year, I plan to make a pilgrimage out to the monastery near where my parents live.  It's always a very quiet and meditative place to go for me.  And I have always liked the fact that the chapel is always open with a sign inviting everyone to come in for a quiet moment.  Everyone is welcome, no matter where you have been or what your story is.

For me this season is not without sadness.  I miss my son.  I miss many people.  And I often have Christmas wishes that I know will never come true.  But it doesn't really matter that they won't.  I love my son.  I love those who have passed.  And somehow or another I feel they are always with me at Christmas and throughout the year.

I hope this finds all of you well.  I hope you enjoy the holiday season how ever you celebrate it.  I hope that you are surrounded by people who love and care about you this year, no matter who they are.  And I will be posting again soon.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Music Monday: Gown of Green


Background: This song reminds me to not look down on myself, because of the past. Instead I am reminded that greater things are planned for me and must trust in myself to find that hope I need. I desire that for everyone here. 


The Collection – The Gown of Green Lyrics
I am an anchor at the bottom of a lake
Longing for the ship from which I break
and I won’t let nobody down
no, I won’t keep nobody grounded

You walked around and you planted seeds
Your kingdom came out from up among the weeds
and the men all cried while staring at the trees
saying, “What are we supposed to see?
Supposed to see?”

Yeah, I say you’ll see freedom
I say you’ll see freedom
Stop looking at the ground, start looking at the leaves
Up among the dirt and rust is where the Kingdom breathes
You’ll see freedom

When we finally left that town
They had put all their stones down
You drew lines in the middle of the street
(Redefine the place we meet)

If the come to meet us there
We’ll turn all of the swords to plowshares
We’ll sow the Earth with diligence and love
(Must have come from Heaven above)

We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
It won’t matter anymore where you came from
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Music Monday: Hold On by Alabama Shakes


Background: This song is my "take on the world" theme. I am always encouraged to get up and motivate myself to do my best, every time I listen to these lyrics. I hope that all of you find strength, encouragement and hope in this. 

"Hold On"
Bless my heart, bless my soul.
Didn't think I'd make it to 22 years old.
There must be someone up above sayin',
"Come on, Brittany, you got to come on up.
You got to hold on...
Hey, you got to hold on..."

So, bless my heart and bless yours too.
I don't know where I'm gonna go
Don't know what I'm gonna do.
There must be somebody up above sayin',
"Come on, Brittany, you got to come on now!
You got to hold on...
Hey, you got to hold on..."

"Yeah! You got to wait!
Yeah! You got to wait!"
But I don't wanna wait!
No, I don't wanna wait...

So, bless my heart and bless my mind.
I got so much to do, I ain't got much time
So, must be someone up above saying,
"Come on, girl! Yeah, you got to get back up!
You got to hold on...
Yeah, you got to hold on..."


"Yeah! You got to wait!"
I don't wanna wait!
But I don't wanna wait!
No, I don't wanna wait!

You got to hold on...
You got to hold on...
You got to hold on...
You got to hold on...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Music Monday: Beautiful Things by Gungor

Back Story: This song is a song of inspiration. It is a reminder that everyday is a day to be hopeful and trust that we can start life over again. There is no reason to fear shame, for we are created beautiful. 

All this pain
I wonder if I'll ever find my way?
I wonder if my life could really change at all?
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground at all?
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Oh, you make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
Making me new
You make beautiful things
(You make me new)
You make beautiful things out of the dust
(You are making me new, making me new)
You make beautiful things
(You make me new)
You make beautiful things out of us
(You are making me new, making me new)
Oh, you make beautiful things
(You make me new)
You make beautiful things out of the dust
(You are making me new, making me new)
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Quote of the Week: Be thankful for yourself, for that is where the story began.


"Be thankful for yourself, for that is where the story began."
- Maleny Crespo 

Have a happy Thanksgiving

Love,
All the Birth Mom's cheering you on!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Music Monday: Spirits by Hollow Wood



Back story: When I listen to this song, it is a reminder that we are created to do more than to pass away. We provided another beautiful soul into the world to do great things. The earth is not a cold dead place, it is alive, such as our spirits. A song of inspiration for what we have endured. 

If it were the spring time then I’d plant a garden
But winter‘s lasting long all this year
Up in the old pine trees Spirits whisper of disease
They’re the lost kids hoping to be free

But we’re not the children of all of your failures
We are part of a grand design
We seek the light with such cold hesitation
A fire barely burning with no fight


Will you forget my name when I am in the grave?
Will we all die alone?
All the spirits in my room the same ones that visit you
Will we all die alone?

Do you remember when I saw you in your bed?
Or the stars in your eyes?
Or the look on my face when I saw my numbered days?
Will we all die alone?

Break forth O’ morning give up all your glory 
There’s more than the pain in our eyes
To all who are mourning death can’t complete the story
There’s got to be more to our lives

Will you remember our faces with eternal damnation?
Will we float from our graves to the sky?
Until then I’ll keep my eyes shut
I'm not afraid to die but
For when we face death after life

Will you remember our faces with eternal damnation?
Will we float from our graves to the sky?
Until then I’ll keep my eyes shut
I'm not afraid to die but
For when we face death after life

Quote of the Week: Better Things Are Coming




“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” 

 Barbara KingsolverAnimal Dreams

Monday, November 9, 2015

Music Monday: When You're Gone by The Cranberries



"And in the day, everything's complex
There's nothing simple when I'm not around you
But I miss you, when you're gone
That is what I do, hey baby, baby
It's hard to carry on, that is what I do, hey baby"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Quote of the Week: Cultivate Love



“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that 
offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”






If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Monday, November 2, 2015

Music Monday: In The End by Linkin Park



"It's so unreal
Didn't look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on, but you didn't even know
I wasted it all just to watch you go
I kept everything inside
And even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me
Will eventually be a memory"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Quote of the Week: Growing




"I'm continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you're uncomfortable, it means you're growing."










If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Monday, October 26, 2015

Music Monday: The Call by Regina Spektor



"Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Til they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Quote of the Week: The Future



“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.”












If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Monday, October 19, 2015

Music Monday: Pictures of You by The Cure



"I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are
All I can feel"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quote of the Week: Shadows




"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine."











If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Every Corner of My Life


Sunset


I believe being a birth mother is an amazing blessing. I have learned so many things through my journey, and it has made me the person I am today. I also believe in some ways, it makes some things harder. Obviously there are all the emotions and pain we go through, but I also believe being a birth mother affects the relationships we have. In my life I see this, particularly in new relationships (ones who didn't know me before I was a birth mother). I do not think these relationships are harmed in any way, and often they are nourished because of my journey, but they are very much affected. These people never knew the person I was before, and they cannot understand the journey I traveled to get to where I am today. Without the experience of those very formative months of my life it is hard to fully understand me. 

I have recently been very aware of how my husband (and I'm sure others) pay for some of the things I went through during my pregnancy with my son. I had a very difficult time with the birth father and his entire family. There was very little respect or concern for what I was going through. When my son was born they showed a sense of entitlement to this baby which they had not done anything for or seemed to care for in any way. I was this pawn for them in their game, and only useful when they were getting something from me. 

As I have gone through other pregnancies I have experienced similar feelings with
my husband's family. It is in no way the same situation, and there is not the same hatred and disrespect surrounding it all. However, there is enough that the feelings are the same for me, and because of my experience with my son's birth, I am thrown right back to that time six years ago. 

I know in many ways this is not fair, and it is very hard for people to understand when they did not walk that path with me the first time around. For me, it is real. The feelings hurt all over again and the fear of a repeat is clear in my mind. It brings it all back in the form of flashbacks and memories which feel as if they are occurring at that moment. 

It has become important to me to set boundaries. I know that I have certain triggers which make everything harder, and unfortunately, just giving birth is one of them. While the experience with each child is different and special, it also puts me back in that place. Being in the same hospital going through labor once again, it is impossible for me to completely separate the situations. I know this is hard for others to understand, but for me it is my reality. So I try my best to help others understand and I work very hard to prepare myself for these feelings and prevent what I can.  

Being a birth mother is such an incredible gift. It is part of my story, and whether people realize it or not, it reaches into every corner of my life. It can pop up at any time in any way imaginable. I don't have it all figured out yet, and I probably never will. What I do know is that those people who are worth having in my life will take the time to try and understand, and still accept me when they cannot understand. It's all part of the journey. 





Monday, October 12, 2015

Music Monday: Incomplete by Backstreet Boys


"I tried to go on like I never knew you
I'm awake but my world is half asleep
I pray for this heart to be unbroken
But without you, all I'm going to be is incomplete"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quote of the Week: Remember This!





“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”









If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Monday, October 5, 2015

Music Monday: Kyrie by Mr. Mister



"My heart is old, it holds my memories
My body burns a gemlike flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again"


If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Quote of the Week: Hope





"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe."














If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rainbow Babies

rainbow

Over the past week I came across a new term, when scrolling through Facebook. I saw a post about “rainbow babies” that sparked my curiosity. As I read the article I learned this is something people reference when dealing with miscarriage or infant loss. People who have a baby following such a loss refer to this second child as their rainbow baby. The idea is that rainbows are beautiful gifts that follow a storm, in many ways like being given the blessing of a child after the terrible loss of another. While I would never want to take anything away from this kind of loss, because I cannot even imagine the heartache, I believe this positive idea of “rainbow babies” fits perfectly with my own story. Adoption is a completely different kind of loss, but a very real and deep loss none the less. I think for many birth mothers this is a fear as they carry on with their lives and may later find themselves at a place in life where they are able to provide everything a child needs and they are given another gift.

For me, my second pregnancy was one that brought about more emotions than I ever dreamed possible. I was afraid I couldn’t love the baby I carried as much as my son, because I was not going through the same adoption journey the second time around. I worried it would cause more sadness to have one baby with me, while my son was not there to share in our family. However, when my daughter, Ava, was born everything became perfectly clear; somewhat like the calm after the storm. She was by no means a replacement for my son, but rather a special gift I was given after a loss. She was my rainbow baby. She offered a piece of my son through their connection, and physical resemblance. However, she was entirely her own person. Any fears of confusion or inability to love both children was immediately quieted. She was my angel. She came to me and allowed me the chance to be the mother I dreamed I could have been for my son. It did not replace that which I missed with Aidan, and would always be missing, but it filled a different void in my heart. I feel that because of the loss and heartache I felt at not being able to parent Aidan, I was able to fully understand the gift I was being given. I was even more grateful because I knew the pain it was to sacrifice for your child.


When you know great loss, I believe you are able to love even more fully. Knowing what I had given up for my son, allowed me to be an extraordinary mother to my “rainbow baby”, Ava, as it has to all my girls. As I prepare for the birth of our newest daughter in next weeks, I am reminded of this gift I am being given. I would give anything to have the chance to have those moments with my son and be his one and only mother, everyday, all the time. Knowing what I gave up reminds me of the blessings I have with me in my girls, my very own rainbow babies. 




Monday, September 28, 2015

Music Monday: Collide by Howie Day


"I'm open, you're closed
Where I follow, you'll go
I worry I won't see your face
Light up again

Even the best fall down sometimes
And even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills your mind
I somehow find you and I collide"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quote of the Week: Value Your Time




"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."










If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!




Monday, September 21, 2015

Music Monday: Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day



""Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends"



If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Quote of the Week: Keep Trying





“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”














If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Be Who You Are

As a birth mother I have found there are many people who just do not understand all that goes along with this title. Some people may disagree with my choices, others may just not care. I believe there are people who just do not care. These people may think we made a decision to make our lives easier, and to them I say: “You have no idea!” I never know for sure the reaction I will get when I drop this big “bombshell” on people that I have met. I have a son who was placed for adoption when I was in high school. This is a part of my life and a part of who I am. If you don’t like it, disagree, or don’t care, then there is not a place for you in my life. This week I have chosen a quote that can be my motto at times:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
– Dr. Seuss

I know at times this can be difficult, especially if the people who do not understand are people that are close to us. I have been blessed by an amazing support group around me, who give me all their love and support. However, for me, I believe if this was not the case I would feel just the same. My life is too short, and my choices are too important to the person I am. If someone does not understand these important choices I have made for my son’s life, they cannot understand me. I agree, part of this “stubbornness” comes from my personality, along with years of growing and a strength that has developed because of my adoption story. I believe that all birth mothers deserve to be honored for their decision, and anyone who does anything less doesn’t deserve our fragile hearts or any of our emotions. There are people out there who will understand and love us for that part of our lives and what it has helped shape us into today. I know that I am proud to be a birth mom. I know I would not be the same person today. So  be strong, be open and honest, and you will see those people who are there for you!



Monday, September 14, 2015

Music Monday: Smile by Lonestar



"I'm gonna smile 'cause I wanna make you happy
Laugh, so you can't see me cry
I'm gonna let you go in style
And even if it kills me, I'm gonna smile"


If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Quote of the Week: Strength



"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."








If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!





Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Birth of a Baby


My son, Aidan and I after 32 hours
of labor. 
Since my son's birth and the creation of an adoption plan, my life has continued to grow. I have two beautiful little girls and I am expecting another one in the next few weeks. While it is so joyful to experience the birth of more children and the growth of my family, I can't help but feel moments of great sadness as I await the arrival of a new baby. 

This pregnancy has brought back so many memories of the moments that lead up to my sons birth. With all my pregnancies I have had health complications, but this one has felt the most like that of my son. My health has become a real concern and I have spent time in the hospital. As I have sat in the hospital waiting for tests results and praying I could go home and keep this baby growing inside a little longer, my mind quickly drifts back to six years ago and the month I spent in that same hospital feeling those same things. Despite the differences I can only see the similarities and feel it all over again. I often find myself with irrational fears of my daughters birth. They come in hazy feelings like a memory that is happening all over again. I worry I will not be allowed to be her mother, I worry about feeling those same things I felt when my son was born and my heart was taken away from me. 

I am excited to be having another baby and for the most part my rational thinking is able to prevail, but at times I feel as though I am 17 again, scared and about to face one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. So as I await the birth of my newest precious baby, I pray for strength to face the hospital and the familiar feelings that come with having a baby. I know that this time it is different, yet as a birth mother a part of me will stay in those moments. It is all part of the journey.