In a discussion about post-placement pregnancies, a member of the adoption forums said:
I don’t feel like a mom, and she’s said she doesn’t feel like a grandma yet.
She went on to discuss how her current, post-placement pregnancy feels like a “first pregnancy” in many ways. I think the honesty of these words lend a lot to the discussion of post-placement pregnancies. I wish more first mothers would speak up about their experiences so that less and less will be caught completely off guard.
I was caught off guard when I experienced similar emotions during my first post-placement pregnancy. I didn’t tell everyone at my place of employment about my first pregnancy. I let people buy me books that I knew I wouldn’t read and endured the normal onslaught of first time pregnancy horror stories that mothers like to pass on from one to the other. I put a smile on my face and pretended along until I could go home and make sense of it all.
It was hard to say, “I know it hurts. Been there, done that and I’m 100% sure I can handle it.” I wanted to, especially with the snotty know-it-alls. But this was pre-therapy for me! I was still living in fear of others’ judgment. I didn’t yet realize that their judgment was a reflection of them and their issues and not me and my experience. (I still struggle with this at times!)
And? Quite honestly, my first pregnancy, the one that resulted in Munchkin’s placement, was not one that was widely celebrated. I was young, single and bed-ridden with a complicated pregnancy, unable to save money or plan for our future. There were no baby showers. There were no congratulations cards. And then, there I was, married and working in a great career and suddenly, people were throwing cards, gifts and showers at me. People opened doors and exchanged niceties with me just because I had a ring on my finger. And while I should have been morally insulted for my past self, which I was on some levels, I cherished it. I did. I wanted to feel special. I was special! I was pregnant! I was carrying life! I wanted doors to be held and showers to be thrown and compliments about my glow to be given!
And so was the strange duality of my first post-placement pregnancy. How was your experience?
For more on parenting after placement, read these posts.