Emotionally Drained

We had our first outing with birth mom and baby today. I was definitely not prepared emotionally nor mentally for that! We have a good relationship so I guess I thought this meeting would go like others before the baby came. Maybe it's just me being selfish, but here are a few issues...input please!

She was mommy and he was birth given name all day today. At home I'm mommy and he's the name we have given him. I know he's a baby and doesn't understand but how long will this go on?

I have spent the last 2 weeks nurturing him, I was not even able to hold him today, finally after he had cried for 15 minutes straight she let me take him, at which time he stopped instantly, but then she wanted him back. I was not happy!

He likes being fed a certain way, and I had to watch her do it all the wrong way. Seems silly, maybe, but he's had some gas issues and I'm trying to eliminate them.

I had to drive 1 1/2 hours by myself to see her, at which time she instantly jumped in the backseat to be with him. That's normally my place. And then the drive home, he was back there by himself just crying away, all I wanted was to be home where I could hold him!

She wants to have an outing every 3 weeks, I don't think I can handle it to be honest!

Re: Emotionally Drained

  • oh bless your heart. i think i would have a lot of the same feelings- it's hard being out of your routine and when things feel out of your control it can be hard. i imagine it isn't easy. i have no real advice since i have no experience with it yet, just hang in there. i hope it gets easier and more comfortable for you all soon! 
    trying for #1 since May 2012... we're adopting! bringing home baby boy in january 2015!

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    Texas forever. 
  • I felt exactly the same way!  It was SO hard for me because we had a close relationship and I felt like she needed me to comfort her.  And I wanted to but at the same time I was trying to bond with a new baby and I felt like having her in our lives every day was like a reminder that he was hers not mine.  All I can say is that as she processes her grief it will get better.  It might be a good idea to ask what she wants your child to call her as he grows.  Our first son's bparents live 4 hours away so we gradually have had fewer visits.  He is two now and at our last visit she still occasionally refers to herself as mommy.  We call her birthmom.  I think at first it bothered me because I wasn't used to my new role and was maybe insecure about it.  At this point it doesn't really bother me, its just something we will have to explain to our son as we teach him about his adoption.  For our second adoption I'm not sure how it will go since this emom lives within an hour from us.

    Started TTC January 2007 4 failed IUIs, 2 failed IVFs
    2012 - Adopted Child #1
    2014- Adopted Child #2

    2015 - Fostering Child #3

    Check out my infertility turned adoption blog: Discovering Joy In The Storm

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  • All I can say is that I admire you strong women. This is exactly why I am afraid of open adoptions. I dont think I would be strong enough and know how to deal with the birth mom and all of that...
    What I can tell you is YOU are the mom now and YOU know what is best for you and your family. 
  • It will get easier. Our first visit was HARD. For now try to let things go, and address them when everyone is in a better place.

    I'd let the holding and feeding him "wrong" slide, I equate that with letting a spouse figure out things their way. You can always gently say, "We tried doing it like X and it worked out pretty well."

    If you're going to do trips like that each time, maybe find somewhere on the way home to stop and snuggle him for a while. A park where you can wear him, or something along those lines.

    I know it's hard but remember she's grieving, and the relationships your son has with both of you will be beneficial in the long run
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  • We have a super open adoption with our son's birth parent and lemme just tell you- the first few months were really hard. We were visiting once  a week and visits were about 8-10 hours each.

     I think the naming stuff is hard--- you might, maybe in a few weeks before the next visit try to have a conversation about names--- maybe say---you know- the baby will eventually call me "Mommy" what do you think you'd like to be called? And in terms of the kids name- depending on if you are finalized or not- gently remind her that it's important for children to here their own name consistently.

    I think @Dr.Loretta's idea is great- find some place and time to reconnect with him after the visit. Also, I think visits get easier when babies start making demands--- when they are infants and so portable time can be kind of amorphous. Especially because all they do is eat and sleep and while that's lovely, it's hard to be insistent about starting/ending visits.  Once we had a "schedule" I was much more comfortable saying "so, here is when he naps, here is when he's up, here is when he eats and here is when we start bedtime" and I'd emphasize that I'd want to be with his birth family when he was awake so they could make the most of the visit. And that also gave us some beginning/ending boundaries. Now that my kid is walking, we can have visits outside or at restaurants etc and it's a lot of fun.

    We have a really open adoption and we're really committed to making the openess work. So is our son's birth parent. And I think while watching the grief of the birth family is hard it really will make you stronger and make your relationship stronger. And it's really important for the relationship to work so that your son feels it as he gets older. It will get easier- We celebrate our boy's first birthday last month and all of his immediate birth family was there- and even though we saw his birth parent a couple of weeks ago, we took him for his first hair cut today and they were able to come meet us for it. It was tender and sweet. Hang in there. Reach out to friends who have adopted with openess, reach out to support groups. It's hard- but it's all still relatively uncharted and every situation is different.
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I know this is really late, but I was kind of stewing on it to think what I wanted to say. First- thank you for your hard work! I can tell you at not even 8 months old out dedication has benefited A already. Secondly, it feels like those visits in the early days saved my life. I held on fine, but I feel like 90% of that was due to our weekly visits the first 6 weeks. So know that your hardship is doing something amazing for your LO's birthmom. One day you'll look back on these visits with fondness.

    She was mommy and he was birth given name all day today. At home I'm mommy and he's the name we have given him. I know he's a baby and doesn't understand but how long will this go on?

    This is tough. We laid out the rules beforehand because I never wanted to be Mommy and confuse her, and A's Mom didn't want that either. I would actually text her so she could process in her own time and say something like "We never talked about what LO would call you! Thoughts?" and maybe even give suggestions. We went with Aunt b/c aunts are VERY close in their home- glad A's Mom explained that because they aren't at all in mine and it was a blow at first. I can't even explain the pain of realizing a child your life has entirely revolved around for 9 months is no longer yours- we don't flip a switch out of mom mode as instantly is motherhood is transferred. Even though it's what I want, honestly it still feels like a knife in my heart every time A's mom is referred to as Mommy. And I've 100% considered her A's Mom since I was 5 months pregnant. Takes heart a while to catch up to mind, so thank you for your patience.

    Also, A's Mom got me a locket with a pic of her in it and her initials monogrammed (ordered from things remembered) and that was the best gift I've been given in my life. I so desperately needed a part of her with me at all times, so that may be something you can do for her. I highly recommend it. It may also help adjust her to LO's new name.

    PP's covered this well. Keep in mind that she's going to want to hold him every second she can. Every moment she's away from him hurts more deeply than anything she's ever felt, and those moments holding him are the only in which she gets a reprieve. I understand your frustration, but it probably hurts her even more that the child that was recently part of her no solace in her. She'll catch on soon enough, and saying things like "I found that he like is when I do..." are kind but fair for everyone. I hope you find comfort in the fact that you are now Mom and he DOES find comfort in you- that's awesome! Alot of my early visits were walking around while bouncing and swaying A while her Mom sat a min or fixed dinner.

    Also, the visits do get easier! Much, much easier. Could you maybe meet halfway next time? My advice would be try at least one more frequent visit before looking into spacing them out more. You eventually will get into a routine and your son's birthmom will be so grateful you did.

    I know this may seem grim and I know it's long-winded, but it helps to see things from the other side. That's why I read so much on here. Also, know that she is sad and grieving and dealing with the deepest and most consuming form of grief I think can be felt. BUT, she's also feeling joy over what she's done. Even in my darkest moments I knew A was the best thing I'd ever done in my life, and was beyond joyful that God chose me to bring her to her parents.
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

  • Thank you @CarolinaGirl2014‌, I was actually hoping you would post! I have never and never would discredit BMs feelings, and I knew a lot of my issues were selfish issues. She has a meeting with our agency tonight to discuss some boundaries. I think they feel at this point since she is calling everyday and I do send pics everyday that she is not allowing herself to grieve...what are your thoughts on this? If I don't answer my phone at the time, because I am taking care of a baby, she thinks something is wrong with him.

    I may take your advice on the locket idea, her birthday is at the end of this month and we do have a meeting scheduled so I'll give it to her then.

    As far as meeting halfway, it's not an option. She has zero transportation and very short on funds. Because of this I feel as if we will always be the ones going out of our way, and I'm okay with that, she just has to realize that it isn't always that easy traveling with a baby. My agency did mention bringing her to our house, I have a concern that once she knows where we live, if she could find a ride, she would just show up out of the blue. Should I be concerned?

    Another problem I'm having is them sharing all of the pics I send on their Facebook pages and their friends even posts pics of him on their pages. I know social media is out of control and this irritates me to no end! Any thoughts? I feel as if his life will never have any privacy, and not that I don't share him but should this be a boundary?

    I think this would have been easier had these things been discussed beforehand!
  • Thanks for the input! I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, I was very emotional when I originally posted, and admitted to my selfishness.

    I have established a great relationship with BM, and I think we are just learning some things as we go. I know things will get easier and I look forward to it and what the future holds for all of us!
  • I would maybe check in with her after the meeting- in my experience the "counselors" are often social workers who have very little idea how birthmoms feel and accidentally say hurtful things, no matter how well trained or experienced they are. So I could imagine their talk on boundaries could be fine, but could also be dreadful. I think that she is most likely grieving just fine- pain like that is hard to ignore. Some of us are maybe better at handling the grief and still being OK- I know I was absolutely fine even in the early days even though I was hurting. I got daily pictures and still grieved. It was just much easier to feel that I was involved. I think that you need to have a talk with her where you tell her that you don't have time to talk to ANYONE every day anymore and that while you love and appreciate her, your son is your number 1 priority so you may not get back to her all the time. The only thing I will say is that she needs to be learning to cope with her feelings without you being her crutch. For a while my updates were my crutch and it was hard to learn to let go of those. I'd suggest asking her about her vision for your relationship. You can word it that you know this level of contact won't always work with both of your schedules and you want to make sure the relationship always stays positive for both of you.

    As far as bringing her to your house I think you need to do what is comfortable for you. I will say that I've yet to meet a birthmom who would just show up. The type of love and self-control that is required to place a child typically lends the control needed in situations like that. I loved going to their house and watching A while her Mom got things done around the house she hadn't had the chance to do. It was much more relaxed.

    I agree with PP's that you should handle FB the same way with everyone and there is absolutely nothing wrong with telling the birth family that you'd rather his information be limited or nonexistent if that's what you do with the rest of the family. I've known birthmoms who weren't allowed to post any pics of their children online even though the adoptive family's family posted pics and private info all over the place and I honestly can't see any reason why this would be reasonable. I totally get not wanting strangers not on your approved list having access to his info, but if your cousin or niece etc posts anything it will be the same thing. I would absolutely ask them to limit the privacy settings at the least.

    I know it's really tough at this point. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope I don't offend, I just want to be very blunt and honest. 
    Birthmom to A, 1/8- the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

    A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-Tzu

    [Deleted User]maryoosa
  • The relationship between you and BM is totally different than any other one! You are grateful to her for the life she entrusted you with, and you are grateful to her for helping you become a mom! But beyond all those grateful feelings, are very validating not-so-great feelings. My daughter was placed out of state which was purposeful, as I wanted her to grow up knowing that her parents WERE her parents. I will never be mom, and I will always call her by the HER name. But as a BM I think there may be some deep unresolved feelings about the adoption going on with her. I say this because she wants to still think of baby as HER baby. But remember YOU are the mother, and you know your baby best. You stay up late and feed, you change diapers, and help soothe upset tummies. So naturally you got upset when she did those things. As a BM I think your feelings are totally valid and I am so sorry that she didn't respect you as the mom.
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