January 11th, 2008
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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.

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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.)

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For some posts on unplanned pregnancy, read here.

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Photo Credit.

2 Responses to “What Do I Want to Tell an Expectant Mother?”

  1. mamamiacher says:

    Hello,

    No one can be fully prepared for the transition to motherhood. But, if a woman has information about what to expect, it can make her transition easier. After giving birth to my twins I realized that the fairy-tale idea I had about what it was going to be like to be a mother (especially a SAHM) did not match the reality of what I was experiencing. Consequently, I have made it my goal to provide expectant mothers with at least some idea of what they can expect during one of the biggest transitions of their lives. If you’d like, you can refer your friend to my blog, http://newmomcentral.blogspot.com, where she can get a better idea of what to expect when she becomes a mother.

    As far as what to expect for taking care of a newborn, she can find a wealth of information online, but my “bible” after I gave birth was the book “What to Expect the First Year.”

    Finally, tell her to join a mom’s club and/or find other mothers to go on playdates with. If she is a SAHM, she will find this social networking invaluable when she gets bored and/or lonely. And let her know that life after giving birth for the first time will have its ups and downs because, after all, she is learning how to fulfill responsibilities that she has never done before. It will take time, but eventually she will develop confidence in herself (often after the first three months postpartum) and things will get easier.

    Cheryl W.

  2. thomasina says:

    I love Cheryl’s answer because it is empowering and it assumes that the expectant mother CAN and will parent.

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