I realized on New Year’s Day that I was going to have a baby this year! A 2009 baby. My due date seemed closer than it had the day before. Previously, I’d think to myself that I was having a baby next year. Now it was next year.
And, overnight, I looked pregnant. I’d gone from being flabby on December 31st to having a little pregnant belly pop out on January 1st. I was loathe to transition to maternity jeans so soon, but I did it, and they were the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn.
I was a bit nervous about my popped-out belly, though. The only people who knew I was pregnant were my mother, my therapist, and my bishop. I’d decided not to tell anyone else until the risk of miscarriage was past. Suddenly, I was in my second trimester, and I felt woefully unprepared to share the news with anyone. My mother began to ask me more regularly when I planned on telling my brothers and sister. I didn’t want to think about it. I became horribly, cripplingly depressed. I was convinced that I would make an absolutely horrible mother – but I also couldn’t stomach the thought of anyone else raising my precious baby. I didn’t know what to do or when to do it, and I wanted to take back the past year of my life.
I began to consider adoption more strongly. I found three or four couples that I felt pretty good about. I sent them a few questions and liked their responses. I told S about them. We looked at their profiles together one night after group, and a few birth moms hung around and looked at them, too, giving their opinions, which made me really uncomfortable. But adoption seemed a bit more palatable than it had in the past, which terrified me. I wrote this in my journal:
“How can I give up my baby? It goes against nature. How am I supposed to just pick some strangers to raise my baby as their own? I don't know if I can do it.
How can I do this? How can I possibly do this impossible thing I know I have to do?
I don't know. I'm glad I've got time.”
Then, the next day, “Every time I think I've got my mind made up once and for all I change it, or I second-guess myself, or I just get anxious.”
My sister was planning to visit in mid-February and I decided to tell my siblings then exactly how bad I’d screwed up my life. In the meantime, I didn’t hear from H. I figured he’d probably been served, and that was why he’d been silent. But then, I thought, wasn’t he at least angry? Shouldn’t he at least have something angry to say to me? Once more, H’s inaction left me feeling crushed.
I tried to find solace at the birth mom group, but there were a few birth moms who dominated every conversation every week. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise, and my forced silence hurt me more than I can say. I felt unimportant, and I left in tears on more than one occasion, frustrated that no one seemed to notice I didn’t have a chance to say a word.
I still met with S, and we decided that it was time for me to meet with a few of the couples I’d selected from the LDSFS website. I was super nervous and not entirely certain how I felt about adoption, but I didn’t know what else to do. I arranged to meet the first couple towards the end of January.
I loved them right away. I was nervous, but they soon put me at ease, and we had tons in common. They emphasized many times that if I chose them, my health and happiness as a birth mom were as important to them as how the baby was doing. They were charming and intelligent and easy to talk to. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to meet another couple. How could anyone else measure up to these great people? But days later, I was unsure again. My heart and mind were both a mess. As my baby grew, so did my indecision.
The next time I was to meet with S, I went at the usual time and instead of the usual wait in the waiting room, S came and got me rather quickly.
"We've got some baby daddy drama," she said.
We went back into the main reception office area where my file was open and a lady seated at a computer was on the telephone. It turned out that the process server people had tried to serve H on nine separate occasions. Nine! They had even tried at the main office of his company. I explained that he worked at a different office. I found the address and gave them his work schedule. I was more determined than ever to have him served. I felt like he was being intentionally difficult, and it made me angry.
Group that night was two married birthmothers. I was hoping that hearing from women who'd been through it and met decent men would help me, but knowing that four and six years later these women still wept thinking about their experiences made me feel like I couldn't go through with it. One of the women had a 5-month old girl and the other was six or so months pregnant with a girl. She had the cutest little round belly. This one was her third with her husband of four years. I was jealous. I was depressed.
I was still unsure about the couple I’d met, but I had liked them very much. S suggested meeting with another couple, if for no other reason than to cement my choice of the first couple. I agreed.
This strange little part of me hoped that H would file his paperwork and keep me from placing so I could keep my baby. In the back of my mind, I knew that if that happened, it would mean H would still be in my life. I pushed that thought aside and focused on meeting the second couple I’d liked.