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I was raised Irish Catholic. For my entire childhood I was under the impression that you had two options in life: get married and have children or become a nun. When I was around 10 years old, I was at my baby sitters parents’ house. Her mom was watching TV in the living room and I stopped to see what she was watching. She was watching a baby birth story on TLC. I just so happened to catch the actual birth scene. I remember being paralyzed as I watched bodily fluids flying at the camera and the woman screaming in agony. Having heard people say in the past that birth was beautiful, I was struggling to see how. Birth was frightening! So I decided at that moment that I was to become a nun…
Obviously, as I grew older, I realized that there were other options in life. However, after finding and marrying the love of my life, I no longer cared about the traumatic experience that I had watching that baby birth story. I wanted nothing more than to have a baby with this man.
After over a year of trying to conceive, we decided to seek the help of infertility doctors.
Six years, hundreds of tests, four rounds of IUI and two rounds of IVF later, we decided to call it quits with infertility treatment. However, we still wanted to have a family, so we decided to apply to adopt.
Can you adopt a baby from birth?
Adopting from birth is absolutely possible. However, it is typically more expensive because of the costs of the medical care for biological mom and baby and that you have to go through a private adoption agency.
A year after we were approved to adopt we were chosen by a woman looking to place the baby girl she was carrying for adoption. She had just recently found out that she was pregnant and she was already over 5 months along! Considering she had an IUD and she was well into her 40s, she had assumed that she was going through “the change”. That was until she felt something else…
This unique situation, however, resulted in needing frequent ultrasounds to monitor the baby. My husband and I got to attend all of them!
The baby was due on the 22nd of June but they decided to induce on the 18th.
Before an adoption birth, the biological mother decides upon a birth plan. The plan is documented by the adoption agency and verbally relayed to the adoptive family. In that plan, she must outline:
- Who will be in the delivery room
- Who will hold the baby first
- How/who will feed the baby first
- How much time she wants/doesn’t want to spend with the baby
The original birth plan for Madison’s birth was that only the biological father and the birth mother’s family was to be in the room for the birth. The baby would be placed with us afterwards. However, that all changed the day of the induction…
We arrived at the hospital with our adoption agent at 8AM (the time of induction). We sat in the waiting room for hours as the nurses came down to keep us updated on the labor progression. At the 8 hour mark she was getting ready to push.
That was when the birth plan changed…
Before she started pushing, the biological mother decided that she wanted to allow me to come in to witness the birth! All I remember doing was shaking! I was incredibly nervous as I walked down the long hallway to the delivery room. I started having flashbacks of the birth story that I saw on television that day and began to fear the worst.
When I entered the room, the nurse was having the biological mother scoot down the table for one last check before calling the delivery doctor. She confirmed that the baby was ready and the doctor came into the room. Although the biological mother had been in labor for nearly 8 hours, I was surprised to see that she seemed almost unaffected. I had always assumed that every woman laboring would be sweaty, tired and irritable. However, that was clearly not the case here.
Time to Push
The doctor had the biological mother scoot down further on the table as he too checked her progress. He confirmed as well that it was definitely time to push. That is when the assisting nurse pulled me down to where she and the doctor were saying, “You’re gonna wanna see this”.
I stood there, paralyzed again, seeing my daughters’ head crowning. Then the doctor told her to give it a good push and WHAM! Madison was born! There was no flying fluids, no screaming, no sweating, and no observed pain. It was simply incredible!
Madi was placed on the biological mothers’ stomach and the nurse asked her who was cutting the umbilical cord. She chose me! My hands were shaking so badly at this point that I had to hold the scissors with two hands.
The only thing I really remember doing after that was kissing the birth mother so hard on the forehead. I was in utter shock and completely amazed by what this woman just did and was doing for us!
We are so blessed…
To read another (quite different) adoption birth story, my article, Welcome Home | An Adoption Experience is the birth story of my youngest daughter, Marleigh.
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From Monica: I love this Positive Birth Story from the different point of view of the adoptive mom, instead of the birth mother.
Positive Birth Stories are here to revolutionize the way we look at birth (and change the world 🙂 )! Fear and stress associated to birth are one of the main reason why women don’t manage to achieve a joyful birth experience. And it doesn’t have to be that way! You can read more about Positive Birth Stories here. Or head to my birth story: How I had a natural and pain free birth thanks to hypnobirthing.
If you’d like to share your own birth story, I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org