In the past, I’ve done a few posts about the common questions pregnant women considering adoption ask me, the most popular being “Do you regret your decision?” I’d classify today’s topic as the third most asked question – “did you hold your child in the hospital?” I think some expectant moms considering adoption thinking that holding and spending time with their baby may make relinquishment more difficult.
In the older days of adoption, holding and even seeing your baby was discouraged and often times impossible. It was just not how you did things. In that era, expectant mothers and birthmothers were told they would be able to forget this child, get on with their lives, and have a family when they were ready for it.
Nowadays, holding and seeing your baby is often encouraged. In my own experience, I did hold and spend time with Charlie. I loved on him, fed him, talked to him, sang to him, cried with him in my arms, kept him in my room most of the time, etc. I do not regret the time we were able to spend together and the time I was able to mother him. I took pictures of our short few days together and those photos and memories are cherished ones; those few day when Charlie was “my baby.”
I am a firm believer in the adage, you “must say hello before you say goodbye.” I think that you need to see and spend a little time with your baby before you do relinquish him or her, if that is what you ultimately decide is best for you and I encourage expectant mothers considering adoption to do so. However, I do understand that there are expectant mothers making adoption plans who still may feel that holding and spending time with their babies will make relinquishment much harder on them, and I respect whatever decision they make. But for those of you who choose to say hello to your little one, I don’t think it is something that you will ever regret. I certainly don’t.
About the photo: Yes, that’s me holding Charlie in the hospital.