I’m stumped. I can’t find the right words. How often does that happen for me? Rarely. I’ve always got something to say. And yet, right now, I’m just at a loss. You see, I got an e-mail from an expectant mother. I’m the first one she has told that she is pregnant. And she wants advice.
I don’t know what to say.
Her situation sounds so familiar to my own. And yet she’s reaching out ahead of time for the advice that I wasn’t privy to while I was pregnant due to circumstances out of my control at the time. I have this possibility to help someone in ways that I wasn’t helped, to guide in ways that I wasn’t guided.
And I don’t know where to begin.
I feel an immense amount of pressure to “get it right.” This is not the first time that I’ve been contacted by expectant mothers. And each time, I feel this weight. This overwhelming need to make sure I cover every available bit of information, every possible outcome of every possible option. It kills me to know that there are agencies out there that don’t even cover the basics when it comes to their option (meaning adoption) let alone the information concerning parenting or abortion. If they aren’t educating these mothers, who will?
And that’s why I’m sitting here, with a blank e-mail screen, wondering what to tell this mother who has reached out for help.
What would you, a birth parent, want to say to an expectant mother about the available choices? What would you want her to know about parenting? About abortion? About adoption? What would you want her to know about your experience? About the general experience? About the adoptee experience? About picking families? And agencies? And attorneys? What would you want her to know about her rights? And what to do if they’re trampled upon? What would you want her to know about ethics? And today’s versions of coercion? And the history and sisterhood she might join? What would you want her to know about the joys that do exist? And the hardships? And the importance of communication? What would you want her to know about labor and delivery, as so many leave those topics out when educating a mother considering placement?
Doesn’t it seem overwhelming?
So, help me, birth parents. What would you want her to know?
(To the expectant mother: I’m working on an e-mail to you, obviously. It’s forthcoming. Along with a series of posts. Hang in.)
For some posts on unplanned pregnancy, read here.