Motherhood after Placement

Well, I guess the day has come, the day to finally finish this blog post. I have had it in my “drafts” for over 6 months now and I just can’t publish it, I can’t finish it, I can’t recognize how real the pain still is…but this is why I have this blog, to continue to open up these little pieces of myself. To deal with the hurt, the pain, the loss, and in doing so, find the joy.

January 27th 2006, I gave birth to my first daughter, my absolutely perfect daughter. I knew my time with her was short, I knew that soon her new mom and dad would arrive at the hospital. I soaked her in as much as I could, but I also put up a wall, a wall to protect myself. I knew the stronger my attachment was, the harder this was going to be. The natural bond was already so strong, there was no denying it, so I did my best to keep it at that and not let it progress any further, I had to prepare myself for the loss I was about to experience.

February 21st 2008, I gave birth to my second daughter, my absolutely perfect daughter. I knew my time with her was endless, I knew she was mine forever and always. I soaked her in as much as I could, but that wall was there. What? What wall? She was my baby. I didn’t have to protect myself this time, I didn’t have to detach myself from the situation to prevent further heartache…but I did.

I never understood why I felt so detached from my second daughter. I lived with such guilt & fear of why I did not feel that insane motherly bond everyone told me about. Why didn’t I feel it? I loved her, no doubt about it, but there was something missing. I finally grew out of that stage and my motherhood started to look and feel normal, but I still live with that guilt, it will never go away.

I didn’t realize where this detachment from my second born was coming from until much later on, later on when I could look at the situation with a clear head and much less emotion involved…

I gave birth to my second daughter at the exact same hospital, literally just a few doors down from where I delivered my first. Same doctor, same nurses, how could my body not go into “self-protect” mode? My mind was watching history repeat itself. There I was, in that same hospital, a few doors down, giving birth to yet another absolutely perfect little girl.

My mind was preparing itself for that loss. It was not allowing that bond to grow any stronger, it knew what was coming, it knew that soon this child wouldn’t belong to me…but she did. Those walls were still there from 2 years before and no matter how hard I fought it, I could not take them down. This is when it hit me that when I had my second, I had not even come close to dealing with some of the emotions I should have dealt with after placement. I was still in my “self-protect” mode. I had not opened up those wounds, I had not really felt the pain…I was just moving along with life hoping that it wouldn’t catch up to me.

The reality is, it did catch up to me. It caught up to me in the very worst way…by changing the relationship I had with my sweet daughter, my sweet daughter who was mine to love forever and always. I wish so badly that I could go back and change the way I dealt with placement, but there is no going back, only moving forward. I cannot torture myself with the guilt of what I missed because of my “walls”, I just have to be thankful that those walls are now gone.

When it came time to have my third, I made sure that it was in a different hospital. I knew that going back to the hospital I placed my first and had my second at was not a possibility. I needed a fresh start. I needed this to be the beautiful birth experience I knew full and well that I was capable of having. I needed this to be that magical moment every mother talked about. I needed that bond to not only be natural, but to be endless and unstoppable.

July 23rd 2011, I gave birth to my third daughter, my absolutely perfect daughter. I knew my time with her was endless, I knew she was mine forever and always. I soaked her in as much as I could, and it was amazing. The love I felt when she was close to me, the pain I felt when I heard her cry, the insane motherly bond that you hear about was completely and 100% there. I finally felt it and it was beautiful.

Emotions are there for a reason. You feel a certain way for a reason. Do not push it aside, do not bury it, do not run from it. Feel the pain! It is there to be felt. Move through the necessary motions to grieve properly. I know how scary it is, I know how intense those emotions can be, but I also know how much harder they can hit you later on in life. It is always a work in progress, there are always new emotions to work through, but just make sure you are in fact working through them.

Much Love,

Haley

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