I was warned. So many people told me how lucky I was because I did reunion young. At 22, I was younger than most when I found my natural mother and entered into reunion. My biological sisters were at my wedding. I've met many members of my natural family before I even hit 30 and I didn't have to wait until I was in my 40's or 50's. And I have the benefit of having a lot of adoptee sisters, my fellow Lost Daughters, to help me through some of the stings of adoption that I had in my future, mainly children.
I heard so much good advice over the last seven years or so. I heard about how it would hit me in strange ways. That the delivery room would be a challenging place for me. How I'd lose it at small things.
I never thought this would all hit before I even made it to the hospital. I nearly broke down twice during childbirth class. I had to fight back tears on the maternity floor tour. It all seemed like too much, so I hired someone to be there for just me and provide emotional support. I'm so lucky to be able to do that.
Giving birth without my mom is hard. I miss her everyday and she would have been so thrilled to be a grandmother. We would have had to work through some things I'm sure, but she would have been my solid support no matter what. So not having her is rough.
And then comes the fun adoption stuff. My natural mother never looked at me after I was born. She asked them to take me away right away. She never held me. I was in a nursery for a few days before I was sent off to foster care. The only love I got as a newborn was from people I'll never know, mostly nurses and a foster mother I've never met.
Being told "Skin to skin is amazing and you have to do it for your baby" and "Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby" and "You need to bond with your baby every day" has been challenging for someone who never had any of those things as a baby. When they mentioned that my baby would be taken to a nursery for some tests shortly after birth I wanted to scream. I don't want my baby to be like me at all. I don't want her with strangers, I want her with ME and my husband at all times, never questioning our love for her or that we'll be there for her.
So we had a talk. I'm giving up my husband while we're in the hospital. Our daughter will be his #1 priority no matter what. Where she goes, he goes. He'll stand there and watch them do the hard tests that can be "a lot" for new parents while I'm recovering. He'll stay with her to make sure that she's never alone with strangers who don't love her the way that a parent does.
My baby will have everything that I can give to her, especially a loving and nurturing first few days of her life. She won't have "First Christmas" ornaments with the wrong year because she was in foster care. Actually, she'll have one "First Christmas" ornament with the wrong year because my grandmother gave me one this year while she's in the womb. But that's OK ;) And most importantly, she'll know that she's been loved from day one. And that's the important thing.