June 12th, 2007
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A common question I hear from new birthmothers is “does it get any easier?” It in that question is referring to the immense emotional pain and grief a new birthmother feels.
I un-fondly remember being a new birthmother. Those first few days home from the hospital were so incredibly hard. All I really did was lie around and cry. Your body is still tired from just having given birth and in my case my body was healing from a c-section as well. So aside from just being physically exhausted and worn out, I was on emotional overload.

Being at home and recuperating was terrible. I came home from the hospital on a Sunday and J (hubby now, boyfriend then) had to go back to work on that Monday so I was home alone most of the day. I had problems with my c-section so physically I couldn’t do anything. I was just miserable.

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As soon as I got the clearance to go back to work part time and on light duty, I did. I just needed to be out of the house and doing something besides focusing on my grief. Things slowly got a little bit better. Of course, I was still grieving and in emotional anguish, but it wasn’t quite as all consuming as it was when I was at home with nothing to do.

The first weeks, months, and that entire first year post placement were the worst. But does it get any easier??

It’s tough to answer that question because I’m not sure if it gets any easier or if I have just learned how to cope. It’s not as consuming, but there are trigger days (birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc.) that bring it all back so quickly. But I am learning. I know (for the most part) what days will be extra emotional so I try to prepare for them. Although, occasionally an emotional day comes on and just hits me from no where. The grief and sadness is still there (not as intense as in the beginning but still there) I just know how to re-direct it, cope, and deal with it most of the time now.


Other Posts about Common Questions:
Are you a Birthmother?
Did you See or Hold Your Child in the Hospital?
How do you Know Adoption is the Right Decision for You?

4 Responses to “Does it get any Easier?”

  1. Jan Baker says:

    Coley, I have heard some women say that it gets harder as the years go by. However, that is more how it is for birth mothers in closed adoptions. As the years go by, it is so hard not to know how your child is.

    I think you made a good point that it is not necessarily that it ever gets any easier, but some of us are just fortunate enough to learn how to cope better.

    My first year of reunion was nearly as hard as difficult as the time right after my son’s adoption.

  2. Good blog!
    Are there support groups out there for women dealing with this? Is there a national list or registry of such groups that can at least provide women with an opportunity to meet others who have gone through or are going through this? This isn’t the kind of grief and loss that just anybody can understand.

  3. Coley, great blog. It is so important to be honest with other birthmother’s about the pain. It is huge, and even though it is always there, we do learn better how to cope with it. Jan, I agree that it has to be harder in a closed adoption. In open adoption we get to see that our child is happy and loved, and that DOES make it easier. But that initial pain we felt can sneak up on us. The weekend of my son’s high school graduation we went to a church ceremony for the grads. I was so happy to be there. But when he walked up that aisle I fell apart. It just all came back how I spent hours praying his life would be wonderful, and all the hours – and years – of missing him and repeating that prayer. I re-lived the pain of knowing I couldn’t give him the life I prayed for him to have. But that day in church I saw that he DID have a wonderful life. Even though we had an open arrangement, it wasn’t until I stood in his hometown, surrounded by his family and friends, that I was really able to let go and feel that my prayer had been answered – and that I had made the right choice. From that point on it DID get easier.

  4. Coley S. says:

    Patricia,

    I understand completely what you mean about the pain sneaking up on you. That’s happen to me on numerous occasions.

    Thanks for the comment!

    ~ Coley

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