When I was getting ready to place my second daughter for adoption, I never gave my future children much thought. In fact, at that point, I would have been perfectly content to never deal with pregnancy again, as both my pregnancies had been pretty dramatic and ridiculously emotional, mostly due to the volatile relationship I was in.
However, shortly after my birth daughters second birthday I got married to a wonderful man, and by the time she was 3 and a half my youngest daughter was born. This pregnancy wasn't a surprise, she was meticulously planned. Yet, for some reason, when I told my family, I was afraid. I had nothing to be afraid of, I was 23 and married with a mortgage, a job, and a 401K. I was an adult, in every sense of the word. I struggled with the idea that this pregnancy would be joyfully embraced though. I felt that, even though I may have been more prepared, my newest baby didn't deserve more fanfare than my older children.
As my pregnancy progressed, everything terrified me. If I hadn't felt my baby move for a few hours, I immediately thought the worst. I couldn't shake the feeling that something terrible was going to happen, even though things were progressing completely normally. I genuinely felt that, after everything I had been through, there was no way I would finally get my happy ending.
Fast forward a few months and a week long NICU stay, and we were finally able to bring our perfect 8 pound 9 ounce baby girl home. I was immediately struck by the amount of love I felt for such a tiny little stranger. When I placed my second child, I spent most of my pregnancy avoiding much of a connection with her. This time, I embraced the connection fully. I immersed myself in every piece of Motherhood, from the sleepless nights, to breastfeeding, to diaper changes, and everything in between.
I was in newborn heaven. I was also completely overwhelmed by the demands of two children. Although I had quite a age gap between my kids (my oldest was almost 6 when my youngest was born), I still struggled meeting the demands of both my children, while still providing the basic necessities for myself. My husband was extremely helpful during this time, as he took a month off from work to be with us at home.
This is when it really hit me that my decision to place my second child was the correct one. I always knew it was, but after I had a taste of parenting multiple children it became even more clear. I struggled with the demands as a 24 year old married woman with a wonderfully supportive partner. I have no idea how things would have been if I had attempted this feat as a 20 year old single Mom who had just exited an abusive relationship and was working part time at a pizza place while struggling to afford a single wide trailer.
Since my youngest daughter's birth, ever milestone she has reached has served as another reminder to me that adoption was the best choice for my second baby. Adoption was the best choice for my newborn, my crawling baby, my teething baby, my toddler, and every stage that has and will still come.
Has anyone else had a baby after their placement? What has surprised you about the experience?