This guest blogger is the other girl from my birthparent class. I'm sure you have all read Hailey's amazing story, and this one from Ashley is just as touching. She had a unique experience, one that happens often and unfortunately gets overlooked in the adoption world. The couple she chose were my #1 choice before I found D&Y, so I always had an interest in her adoption situation. I fully supported her in the difficult decision she ended up making because she knew she was doing what was right for her son. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I see that so strongly in her story. In the end, it all worked out perfectly for everyone involved and I am so happy for them. Here is her story:
"Becoming a mother is in no way an easy change in life. Things change so fast when you find out that you are pregnant. Your thoughts go from being about yourself and what you want in life to " Where is he going to go to school?" " Where are we going to set up our home?" The change is so fast so unexpected that over night you become a whole new person. You would never have expected to think about diapers or formula, but you find yourself constantly thinking about them. You fear labour and getting fatter. STRETCH MARKS. That is a huge worry for some women. Your boobs litterally are not where they used to be. They seem to have fallen and you need to buy a good support bra to hold them back up or else you look like your grandma with your boobs lower then everyone else.
My pregnancy was easy, physically. But emotionally was a whole different story. I was very messed up. I was scared and upset. I felt alone and stupid. I would have panic attacks. I was dreading the final stages of pregnancy cause I was so afraid of what would happen after.
You see, when I found out I was pregnant I was surprised. It wasn't a "I had only been with the guy a short period of time" or one of those one night stand situations. I had been with my boyfriend for over a year. He was the only guy that I had ever had a sexual relationship with and I loved him. I wanted to get married to him. We liked to be together and we liked similar things. But in Decemeber some stuff started to go wrong. I was finding myself unhappy all the time. I was angry all the time. I wasnt really angry with my boyfriend, I was angry with myself. I hated the world and I hated myself. Then on Christmas Day my Grandma died and that sent me over the edge.
Normally I take out my journal on these occassions and vent then come back the next day read it and reflect on the situation. That way I am calm and can look back and figure things out. Well I didn't do that this time. This time I went to my mom. And she had some good words to say but it wasn't the right moment for me to hear it. Everything everyone said I tried to do. My mom suggested that if I was so unsure maybe I should look into adoption. So I did. But I went beyond that. I signed up for adoption. I put my name on a paper and signed it saying I was going to put my unborn baby into someone else's home and let them raise him. I commited to it so fast that I didn't really think about it till after. I didn't even discuss it with my boyfriend first. I just did it. Then that is when the bigger problems started.
I had been living with my boyfriend for a couple weeks. Just over a month really. We moved in together because I was pregnant. Things became frustrating for me. He lived with his brother, his cousin, and another guy lived downstairs. Then there was me and living with all those guys I needed to get away. It wasnt home to me. I ended up causing more stress to myself because I had to move out and I had to tell my boyfriend that I was leaving. I still remember every feeling in my body when I told him. He was so sad. The shock in his face still haunts me. I loved him so much yet here I was causing him pain. Then when I told him about adoption, his entire body just slumped over and his tears became heavier and more rapid. I was taking away his son and he had no warning about it.
I ended up living in my cousins basement and 95% of the time I was alone. Being alone was not something that should have happened. I should have made myself get out and do things. But I was so sad and so unhappy with myself that I couldnt think about leaving the house. I wanted to disappear. My boyfriend didnt break up with me. He would come visit me and he would spend sometime with me, but I know it was hard for him to do. He wanted to be as involved with the adoption as possible. He wanted an open adoption and he wanted to be able to let our son know that he always loved him. He wanted to be there for him. It hurt to know that he wanted this baby so much and yet I was going to deny him his own family.
You see, my boyfriend wasn't a bad guy. He was a sweetheart. He was sensitive. He had a very strong work ethic and he had a stable job. He was awesome with money and budgeting. He owned a very family friendly vehicle. He was genuine. He had just bought his own home and was waiting for construction to start.
We moved on with the adoption. I went to my pregnant mothers class with a few other girls. One was keeping and raising her baby on her own. The other was doing adoption. I was so nervous to be there. I thought that they would all see through me. A 20 year old who could afford to take care of my son, who had the means to do so. Who would have support. Yet here I was. Giving up my baby. I felt like people were going to say I was taking the easy road out. I was too selfish to take care of him. But they would be wrong. Adoption is the hardest, most terrifying experience I have ever had in my entire life and I admire those who follow through and place their child into the arms of a loving family.
We found a couple families that we liked and it took three tries before we found the right one. I fell in love with them ASAP. Then when we met it was so perfect. The wife I will call Mrs. H. She was so adorable and she was so excited. She was willing to do an open adoption and wanted us to know that she understood how hard it was for us to let him go. Mr. H was supportive of his wife but I felt like he didnt really want an open adoption. My boyfriend felt the same way. He said that he seemed like he only wanted us to recieve letters and pictures and maybe eventually stop with pictures and letters. We both wanted to be able to visit. To see him grow with our own eyes. To see that he was happy.
As time passed I kept pushing my doubts aside and saying I signed that I wanted adoption and I better follow through. I was having problems with family because half said I was being a good mother doing this for him, then the other half said they would not be supportiive of this desicion. I was torn. I was scared. I was alone. I couldnt tell my mother that I wanted to keep him because she was pro adoption. She was very excited for the adoptive family. Yet it felt like my pain meant nothing to her. That I would easily be able to walk away from him and move on with life. I knew he would be my biggest event in my life. I loved him already and I would never stop loving him. My boyfriend was very cautious. He told me that we could support him and that he would be there for everything. But if I went through with the adoption, he never wanted to see me again. I understood but it hurt to hear him say that. I would not only lose my son but the only man that I had ever loved.
I was due July 12 2010. My son came into the world July 15 2010. The last week I was pregnant was the hardest time during my pregnancy. I didn't want him to come. I wanted him to stay inside of me forever. I could keep him safe from heartache, pain, anger and all the cruel things of the world. When I went into labour I called my boyfriend, for what I feared would be the last time. He didnt answer his phone and I dont drive. So I took transit to his house while in labour. Not the funnest experience of my life.
My labour was fast and quick. I went into early labour at 8 pm on July 14. I started having contractions that were 10 mins to 15 mins apart at 5am. We went to the hospital at 6 just to check if i was dialated yet. Only 1 cm. I went to my house and packed somethings and by 12 my contractions were stronger and closer together. I was having a hard time swallowing so I became dehydrated. The only thing they could give me was ice chips. I tried jello at the hospital but a contraction made me throw-up. By 1pm I was in the hospital again dialated 6cm. The delivery room is nice and big. And the shower was the best part. It helped so much with my contractions. Although I was being a total wimp. They had to give me an IV cause I was so dehydtrated that pushing would be harder. My boyfriend was awesome. He stayed by my side the entire time and helped me when I was having a contraction. He was scared himself. My mother was in the room and was being very supportive for him. She helped him coach me. She told him to be firm and to be strong. When I started pushing she told him that this would be intense but he needed to stay strong for me and for the baby. She was there the entire time and I am very greatful to her. My boyfriend was amazing. He was so brave. And at one point when our son was crowning he looked down by mistake. He turned his face back to me and he was ash green. It made me laugh. I almost thought he was going to faint. But he stayed strong and coached me. My nurse was the best nurse. She was strict, firm and was not affraid to get in my face to make me concentrate. I was a wimp I must tell you. Morphine was my bestfriend. I refused an epidural. Michael was born at 5:28 pm. I only had to push for 20 mins. He was born 6lbs 10 oz. He was 21 inches long.
I don't remember much about after he was born. I was taken to the OR cause I was in bad shape. I had torn so bad inside and outside that they had to put me under to fix it. I missed the first 6 hours of my sons life because I was under anesthetic. I wasn't able to get out of the bed for 36 hours. I could hardly sit up and so i was unable to change his diapers. Feeding him was impossible. I felt like my only chance at being his mother was taken away. I watched his little face and I knew he was mine. We decided to keep him and it tore my heart to pieces when I thought of the adoptive family who wasnt going to take him home.
For 5 months I had nightmares and I tortured myself. I hated that I had hurt such an innocent couple. Then at Christmas time I got an amazing gift of relief. The adoptive family had been given a baby, and to make things better it was a fully closed adoption.
I love being a mom. I love my son. I love my boyfriend. I love my family and I feel incredibly lucky to have so many people who care about me. My friends at work were so supportive and happy for me. I love them and I cant wait to go back to work and see them all everyday.
I admire Dallas and what she did for her son. She is an inspiration to me and I know her son will love her and thank her in the future."
Love you, Ashley and Michael!