The Hospital Experience: Things to Remember

Remember: The Birth Mother is the hospital’s patient. You are a guest of the birth mother, not the hospital’s client. Their concern is the health and well-being of the birth mother and the baby, not the comfort and needs of her guests.

Respect hospital policy–be flexible! Hospital policies regarding adoption can be different at every hospital. Everything from your access to the baby and his/her physician, to the hospital’s discharge policy may be evolving. Stay flexible and calm–Wellspring’s staff will be there to help.

Express concern, interest and care directly to the Birth Parent. Talk to the birth mother when you are in her presence. Include her in your attention. Don’t just look at and talk to the baby.

Let the Birth Mother retain control of the baby in your presence. Let the birth mother hand you the baby; don’t take the baby out of her arms. Similarly, stay in the background while the birth mother has as much time as she wants with the baby.

Don’t bring your family and friends to the hospital, unless the Birth Mother has met and invited them. The hospital is not the place to introduce your family and friends to the baby. The hospital patient is the birth mother. Her friends and family will be visiting; this may be their only chance to see the child. Consider the highly emotional state of the birth mother, and don’t intrude and possibly upset the birth mother with unfamiliar faces.

Try to take one day, one hour, at a time. This is an exciting, highly emotional time. But it is in your best interest to try and sustain a little emotional distance until arrangements are finalized.

If the Birth Mother chooses to participate in the transfer, let her be proactive. Wait for the birth mother to give you the baby. Don’t take the baby away from her. Similarly, let the birth mother be the first to leave the room or drive away after the transfer is completed. It is important for her healing process that she not have an image of the baby being taken from her.

Talk to the Birth Mother about what she wants you to do during labor and delivery. Think about your comfort level. Don’t agree to participate in a way that makes you uncomfortable. In turn, don’t urge the birth mother to include you in any way that makes her uncomfortable.

Ready your support system. Awaiting a baby’s birth is never easy. Let your friends and family know how they can help you–emotionally and logistically. Let them know you’ll need support over the telephone –but not at the hospital–once the big day arrives

Each Birth Parent is unique. There is no way to know how the birth mother will react to the birth experience, what support she will seek, how she will emotionally and physically respond to delivery and the hormonal shift that follows delivery.

Emotions surrounding birth are some of life’s most intense. Be prepared to see the birth mother display extremely strong emotions. Any emotion from deep sadness to withdrawal can surface at any time from labor through the transfer. This is normal.

The Birth Mother will experience dramatic emotional shifts. Within the first 48 hours following birth, the birth mother will live on an emotional and physical roller coaster. She will experience labor and delivery, hormonal shift, physical recovery and the initial stages of detachment. Exhaustion, adrenaline and fluctuating hormones can bring powerful emotional shifts. This is normal.

Expect surprises. No matter how well you and the birth mother have planned for the hospital, or how good your communication is, expect pre-made plans to change. Nothing can really prepare the birth mother for what she will experience during and after the birth. As her emotions fluctuate, so will her needs. This is to be expected.

Birth Parents must say “hello” “see you later” and “good-bye.” Birth parents may need time alone with the baby to realistically come to terms with their decision to place the child with the adoptive family. The hospital provides the best time and place for them to begin to face and accept their decision. Don’t automatically fear the private time between the birth parents and the baby.

Think of the first 48 hours as belonging to the Birth Mother. In most cases, the birth mother feels very deeply about the child. Frequently, she perceives that she has the first 48 hours, and the adoptive parents have the rest of the child’s life. Don’t misinterpret a lack of willingness to include adoptive parents in the hospital time as “having second thoughts.”

The Birth Parents’ families and friends may be protective of the Birth Mother. The frustration of not being able to alleviate the emotional distress of the birth mother may translate into unhappiness or coldness toward all those involved in the situation, including the adoptive parents.

The hospital’s personnel will focus concerns on the Birth Mother. Regardless of the hospital’s policies regarding independent adoption, employees are individuals who may have a wide range of feelings toward adoption. For some staff members, independent adoption may be a totally alien practice. Remember, you’re dealing with individuals and their reactions may not reflect hospital policy. As always, call on the Wellspring staff if the need arises.

Be prepared for your own emotions as you separate from the Birth Mother after the transfer. After weeks or perhaps months of working together with your birth mother toward the common goal of a healthy birth, it may be very challenging to emotionally separate from her after your child’s transfer. Conflicting emotions that have arisen from time to time during the pregnancy may set as the birth becomes imminent. This insecurity is normal and is frequently experienced by birth parents as well as adoptive parents.

How to Explain Adoption to Your Children

How to Explain Adoption to Your Children

 

 

Women who have chosen to pursue adoption but already have children at home often wonder how to explain adoption to their children.

 

How do you tell your children you are placing their brother or sister for adoption? Will they understand? Will they be sad or angry?

 

If possible, begin explaining adoption to your children while you are pregnant. Be honest with them, but don’t tell them more than they need to know. Explain how your baby will always be your son or daughter and your children’s brother or sister, but that the baby will be living with another mommy and daddy who are unable to have children on their own.

 

Some ideas to help you with explaining adoption to your child are:

 

Watch Adoption Movies with Your Children – There are many children’s movies that have an adoption theme. Choose movies that are appropriate for your children’s ages, and talk to them about the movie’s adoption theme afterwards.

 

Movies with adoption themes include Meet the Robinsons, The Land Before Time, Annie, Little Stuart, Despicable Me, and Angels in the Outfield. There are countless other adoption-related movies, so search online and find one that you feel is appropriate for your child’s age.

 

Read Adoption Books with Your Children – There are also adoption-themed children’s books that may help prepare your children for the adoption. One such book is Sam’s Sister by Juliet C. Bond. This book explains adoption from the perspective of a young girl whose mother places her younger brother for adoption. Sam’s Sister explains adoption in a positive, reassuring manner for young children to understand.

 

Involve Your Children in the Adoption Process – After you have told your children about your adoption plan, it may be beneficial to involve them in the adoption process. If you feel it is appropriate, include them in meetings with the adoptive parent(s).

 

Allow Your Children to Express Their Emotions – While this is an emotional time for you, remember that your children are also most likely experiencing a wide range of emotions.

 

Encourage your children to express their emotions by having them write letters, draw pictures or make crafts for their brother or sister. You may also take your children shopping to allow them to pick out a special stuffed animal, blanket or anything else that would be a meaningful gift. These activities will encourage your children to express their emotions during this time and to give their brother or sister a special keepsake.

 

After you tell your children about the upcoming adoption, continue to create a safe environment where they are encouraged to share their feelings and where talking about adoption is OK.

 

Remind them that it is normal to feel sad. But also remind them all of the good things that will take place in the baby’s life because of the adoption, and that the baby will always be their brother or sister, no matter what.

Adoption Minnesota is on the Documentary 9 Months by Courtney Cox

Adoption MN has been a part of a documentary that is currently being presented on Facebook Live. This opportunity came to us through local birth parents who had already committed to the production of Nine Months by Courtney Cox during the beginning of the birth mother’s pregnancy.

 

Nine Months follows several different people around the country who have pregnancy situations that involve surrogacy, infertility struggles, a single parent, cancer during pregnancy, etc., all during their nine months of pregnancy. If you are thinking about placing your baby for adoption this may be a helpful documentary to show how the process goes for birth parents.

 

The story that Adoption MN is involved in is the only adoption situation. It follows the birth parents’ pregnancy, adoption choice, how they chose a family, the hospital experience and afterwards.

 

You can watch Nine months by either clicking on the link below or logging into Facebook and clicking on the “watch” tab, then searching for Nine months by Courtney Cox.Several of us have watched the episodes shown so far, and we feel that, for the most part, they have been positive and give a sense of what the “real life” process of planning an adoptive placement looks like. However, we do see how edited the story is and not everything shown is completely accurate.

 

Overall, the show portrays quite a variety of pregnancy related issues, struggles and the desire for and joy of becoming parents. We encourage you to view this series.

https://www.facebook.com/9monthswithcourteneycox

 

10 things birth mothers think about

There are 10 things birth mothers think about, wish for, and hopes for when placing their child for adoption. If you are in an open adoption, you may have heard some already, if not, they are important to know. They are:

I did not place my child because they were unwanted. I wanted them so much that I continued a pregnancy filled with unanswered questions.

I chose adoption because I loved my child. This parental love allowed me to put their needs before my own when making my choice.

This choice affected more than just me. They has a grandmother, a grandfather, and aunts and uncles who love them as well, and they will be missed.

I wish for the day I can look into my child’s eyes and tell them I love them one more time.

I hope that you will teach my child about their beginnings, about where they was born and who I am.

I hope you will teach respect to my child by showing respect for me in your discussions.

I wish I could be there to answer my child’s questions about adoption, but I trust you to answer them truthfully as best you can.

I will never stop thinking about my child. They will always be a part of who I am.

I would never try to disrupt my child’s new family with you. I put too much emotion and suffering into making this choice to allow anything to disrupt it, including me.

In my eyes, you will always be my child’s parents. And that thought brings me happiness.