Do I Even Want to be at the Birth of My Child?

This isn’t a question many mother’s can ask themselves. In fact, very few can even contemplate this.  But for me, with adoption, it is my reality.

Our potential birth mother wants us there, if we can get there in time. In fact, she wants to schedule an induction in part so that we can arrive early and be there for the delivery. However, we all know that babies don’t always wait until their scheduled induction to arrive, so this might not happen. The reality is, no matter how we look at it, for us to get there is about a minimum of 20 hours between flights, layovers, customs and driving. And that’s assuming the stars align. So, realistically 20 hours is ambitious. So, if baby comes early, in all likelihood we will miss Baby MPB’s first day of life.

All this said, we are not sure if she wants us at the hospital in a waiting room or at the hospital in the delivery room.  And whatever she decides we will respect, without influencing her decision either way.

Honestly, I’ll admit it, I’m really not sure I want to be in the room for the delivery.  And while I’d like to be there in the waiting room, I think if my option is to be in the delivery room or miss it all together, I think I’ll be okay with missing baby’s birthday. How horrible is that?! I’m going to become a mother and I’m honestly okay with missing my child’s first day on earth? I’m not sure this is a normal way to feel, but in my attempt to be honest I’m not going to sugar coat my feelings.

So, let me explain why I am okay with not being there if that’s what happens:

  1. The potential birth mom has 48 hours after birth to change her mind. If she changes her mind and we’ve been there and have been caring for baby, I’m going to be even more devastated. If we miss the birth and don’t meet the child, maybe it will hurt a little less.
  2. I’d rather not set my heart on being at the birth if there is a very real chance we are going to miss the birth simply due to travel. I guess, this is a bit of strategy to avoid being disappointed and devastated.
  3. I’m not sure how I feel about watching someone give birth. I was never able to do this, at least not to a living child. Somehow it seems cruel to put myself in the audience of watching someone do something I will never be able to do.
  4. How exactly does the dynamic of birth occur when there is a potential birth mom and adoptive parents in the room? I’d love nothing more than for Mr. MPB to have the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord. But, what’s my role? It doesn’t make sense in my mind.

I do have mixed feelings. If it were solely my decision, I honestly don’t know what I’d decide. What I do know, is that it’s not my decision. If baby comes early, we are likely to miss the birth. If baby comes as scheduled and the birth mom asks for me to be in the room, I will be there. At the end of the day, right now my desires aren’t the priority. So, I am prepared to put my feelings aside and do whatever the birth mother wants.

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31 Comments on “Do I Even Want to be at the Birth of My Child?

  1. It’s wonderful that you’re being honest with yourself about how you feel about this. It sounds like logistics may make the decision for you. I understand why you’d choose not to be there. I think if you are there (and all goes well), maybe even *you* could be the one to cut the cord. Or maybe once baby is born, he will be handed to the birth mother and then she can hand him to you to hold. I would imagine this would be very emotional and symbolic, almost.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Some thoughts from someone who’s been there – Husband and I were at the hospital and were the first people to hold our son (besides his birthparents/nurses). I’m so grateful for that experience, to see him on the day of his birth was a dream come true. We were not in the room for the birth (birth mom’s wishes), and I totally understand and respect that. We (Well, I, my husband had to be home for my step son and our dog) were planning on staying at the hospital for the entire 72 hours, but we ended up going home after day two and coming back to visit. It was easier for us since we lived close enough to the hospital to go home, but it was the most emotional time for all of us. I wrote about it here if you want to check out more of my thoughts about it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Just giving you another perspective… maybe the birth mom is scared and wants you there? Maybe she wants you oober involved so she can see and know this baby will be loved? Maybe it’s important for her to you have you involved so she knows baby is safe. There’s plenty for you to do and be involved in. You could be her coach… helping her breath through the contractions, holding her hand, wiping her brow. I was there when my best friend had her baby, helping her breath and rubbing her back. You will definitely feel included.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I agree with this as far as birth mom maybe wanting to see you bond with baby enough to know baby is safe with you. Maybe that’s why she wants you there. Also so baby isn’t alone on his first day since she may not feel able to keep him with her and he won’t get much attention in the nursery.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is a tricky one. I’ve always thought that the birth experience is for baby and the mom, but here’s the thing… No one wants to give birth alone. Is someone going to be with her, like baby’s dad or her mom? I think that is more concerning to me than anything – does this woman want someone with her as she gives birth? She may want you there for support. She may want YOU holding her hand. Or… She may not.

    I like your angle, letting her decide. BUT, please ask her these questions. She may need to talk it out with you.

    I understand not wanting to be there. I don’t think I would want to be in the room. I wouldn’t want to see her initial heartbreak. BUT, being in the waiting room I would like if given the chance. If you are in the waiting room, just know it’s going to be excruciatingly long between, “baby’s here!” and getting back there. Even a minute will feel like a lifetime. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with asking “Betty” those questions.

      I wanted our daughter’s mom in the room with me (in addition to my sister) because I wanted it to be our daughter’s story, that her mom was there to meet her when she was born. She was the first to hold her, too, because that’s what I wanted.

      I understand your fear of bonding like that and then the adoption failing to proceed. But, there’s a better chance it WILL proceed, and I think it will be incredibly special to you to know that you watched your son be born, if that’s his mom’s wishes. It will also likely be incredibly meaningful to her to get to witness how loved her baby is and will be.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I totally understand your reservations about being in the room. It’s an emotional experience, one that for you could be bitter sweet. As in all things, I’m a big fan of doing what feels kind– both for the birth mother and for you.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I also love what this says about the relationship you’re building with the birth mother. It’s wonderful that she is so comfortable with you being there with her. Regardless of what happens, this really is a beautiful thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wow, I didn’t know you would possibly get the choice to be there. I can understand your reasons for potentially not wanting to. I hope it will work out the way it’s meant to leaving no one disappointed. If you do get to be there at the hospital either in the room or not, you could possibly try skin on skin with the baby if you feel down for that. It’s so bonding and good for baby to be against you learning your scent etc. Just an idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s great to be honest and frank with your feelings. One other variable to consider might be what you can tell the child in the future if you ARE there. You get to tell them about their birth, which is kind of neat. It also demonstrates to the child that you and the birth mom really cooperated on the birth – her allowing you to be there and you getting there to support her. Even though you won’t have a physical task, you will have a huge support role and I’m sure your emotion at seeing your child will be reassuring to the birth mom too.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think you’re handling this just right; in the end it is her decision. However, how cool will it be to tell your child that you cut the umbilical cord/ were the first or second one to hold him, the first to change diaper/feed him? As an adoptee, I would have loved these stories as a child.
    I don’t want to be too optimistic, because I know anything could still happen, but I take it as a REALLY good sign that she wants you so involved in the birth! *hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m not sure how I would feel about this, if I was in your position. I’d like to say that I’d want to be there, but in the moment I’m not so sure. I do think it’s awesome that you want to do whatever will make the birth mom happy. Maybe you could both cut the cord? I’m eager to hear how this all plays out!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All of your reasons and concerns make perfect sense to me. I also think it’s good that the birth mother is making those decisions – I think you’ll feel more peace and at ease with whatever she decides when the moment comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This made me think of how back in the day the dads weren’t allowed in the delivery room, and paced outside during the labor/delivery. I suppose the thing to think about is, will you regret it later if you are not there, even if you are taking a risk?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think recognizing your fears about being there is good. I do agree with you though that it’s her decision. Regardless of why she wants you there, she does. She may NEED you there and just not know how to say it. I worked with three birth moms in my previous job and I remember them feeling alone toward the end and wanting almost to be mothered themselves. The women I worked with were young though, so it may not be the same type of situation. Either way, she obviously finds comfort and ease in the relationship you’re building with her. If you were in there for the birth, I don’t think you would be left out. There are always hands to squeeze, backs to rub and encouraging words to be said. You are naturally a very supportive and positive person and she has to know that just by talking/texting you. Maybe she needs that. Maybe she needs you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m inclined to say that you need to do what’s best for you. And only YOU know what that is. I can appreciate wanting to be respectful of the birth mom’s wishes, and possibly being afraid that things might not turn out the way you want if you don’t abide by them. However, your wishes are important, and need to be respected as well…IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve always thought that once you’re deciding about fertility/birth issues it gets so messy.
    For example, we fought like hell when selecting a donor but knew if we were handed a child with any hair color, race, height, skin tone we’d fall in love. In retrospect I wish we had just skipped the drama. 🙂

    I totally get why it would be hard to decide what’s best but also know once you’re there you’ll have a gut feeling to go with. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You have so many wonderful comments on here and I am pretty sure that little old me with no exposure to this sort of scenario at all will not be all that helpful. I think asking the birth mom some questions to figure out your role at the birth is probably a great suggestion (ie are you birth support or just hanging in the sidelines?) and as you get more information then you can work things out from here. I can understand that you want to foster the best relationship with her as possible so your inclination is to just support her wishes. I would probably be the same. Good luck!!! Soon it will all have happened and no longer even be a what if on the radar. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  16. How wonderful that you have this as a potential option! And I agree with Emily, there’s not any additional advice or comments I can offer. Looks like these ladies have it covered. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s seems to be so complex, with many possible scenarios and outcomes you are amazing (and I think pretty sensible too) for articulating your thoughts like this. Thanks for sharing and opening my eyes (as always!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You should do what feels right for you and of course there’s nothing wrong with tempering expectations so you don’t feel crushed if things don’t work out (and by that I mean the 20 hours of travel to get there in time, not the worst case scenario).

    I also understand that it would be exceptionally difficult to watch a birth after what you’ve been through, but I also have to say that seeing any baby be born is life-altering in the most extraordinary way. I watched my niece be born and honestly… That memory is more special even than my own c-section delivery. It was profound. If you can get there, and if birth mom wants you there… Give it some real thought. It might be a difficult mix of emotions to contend with, but it could likely be very, very worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I think this makes total sense! I feel like this is how I would feel as well (I know I can’t relate completely, but when we were moving forward with adoption it made me nervous). I think you need to make the best decision for you and Mr. MPB. There is no right or wrong, just what is best for you. Thinking about you!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. I have a lot of thoughts on this, and for all the similarities of our situations (lots of travel, not being the one pregnant, watching a birth when you know you’ll never get to do it yourself), there are also a lot of difficulties. I did not think I was strong enough to go through the adoption process (there are other reasons we didn’t choose that path, but that was a significant part), and so I want you to know that I admire you so much. You and Mr. MPB are incredibly strong and brave, even if you don’t always feel that way yourself. I am in awe of you because I know how hard all of those similarities in our situations are to go through, but especially because of all those additional difficulties.

    I could write so much more in this comment but I’m not able to at this time, so I will just say this… Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your honesty. And also, what if you and your husband cut the cord together? I had voiced the same question a few months ago as I wondered what my role would be in the delivery room, and my sister suggested this. It’s so simple really, but it made a lot of sense! Something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. All I can think (without reading EVERY single comment above) is DO IT! Birth mom wants you there; she is requesting it. Do it. Just do it. Don’t think about it. BUT do listen to what your gut is instinctively telling you. Don’t reason with your mind and don’t get all gushy with your heart. Listen to your gut. You don’t have to be at the end where the baby comes out.

    When I was a nursing student and saw my first birth it was kind of a traumatic experience — not because there was a problem with the baby, but just because it’s quite the experience to see a smushed little vernix caseosa covered bloodyish human come out of another human … just a whole experience on its own.

    If your gut says “go” — GO!

    BEST WISHES TO YOU!!!!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Its not wrong to not want to be there to protect yourself. Those 48hrs are important and i can totally understand the idea of not getting too excited too soon. But the waiting room might be nice. Actually being at the delivery might be very weird though.

    Liked by 1 person

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