I broached the subject of adoption as abortion was something I couldn't contemplate

In the summer of 2009 I was 21 and happy

In the summer of 2009, my life was going pretty well; I’d graduated from uni, was spending a summer working abroad before thinking about coming home and getting a job that I’d trained for. I’d split up with my boyfriend but even that couldn't dampen my spirits. I was 21 and happy.

Pregnancy had never crossed my mind but it was like a light had turned on

I'd felt unwell for a couple of weeks and decided I should really go see a nurse. Waiting on the result of that test, was, in all honesty, the most exciting thing. Until I was sitting in the nurse’s office, pregnancy had never even crossed my mind but in my head it was like a light had turned on and I saw hundreds of images of me smiling and holding my child in my arms.

I took my pill religiously, but by guess-timation I reckoned I was about 12 weeks pregnant.

I just felt love

Those around me were cautious, but I was having a baby and that was that. I’d talk to my lil bump every time I lay down; as soon as I woke up and as often as I could throughout the day, I just felt the craziest love for the child growing inside me.

My friends offered me their support and love but also were prepared to ask me difficult questions - when I answered them, I did so with complete honesty.

Abortion was something I couldn't contemplate

Yes, it would be difficult but the child I carried was part of me and although not planned, abortion was something that I couldn't contemplate. I already felt like I knew my baby and I wanted to continue to learn.

It wasn't till I was back home, living with my parents (who supported me although I know were slightly shocked), on my own and unable to work that things started to change.

I couldn't provide all she needed

At first it wasn't big things, but as time grew, I realised that although I already had given my heart completely to loving my baby, I couldn't provide her (I’d been for a scan at 24 weeks and seen my little girl - tiny but safe and protected) with all that she needed.

I was hurting, knowing that I couldn't give my child all that she needed. It felt so wrong. Surely love could be enough?

My ex, my baby's daddy, wanted nothing to do with me or our baby. That was the hardest thing. How could he not love our child with all his heart, how could he just shut us out? I wasn't expecting happy families but I’d hoped we could at least talk about what lay ahead.

I broached the subject of adoption

It was just before Christmas when I first broached the subject of adoption with my GP, and he put me in touch with the right people.

Talking to social workers I'd imagined as terrifying, I found them relieving. They listened to my fears my hopes and they talked to me in a way that just helped. I don't know how to describe it, but they helped me to see that, yes, I did love my child and that adoption would be difficult but it would give my baby girl opportunities I couldn't.

As the new year started, my due date got closer and closer and I put more and more distance between myself and my support networks. I’d only told my parents of my choice (my parents didn't persuade me either way, they've always allowed me to be me and supported me. I was immensely glad for the people they were for me).

I was scared to admit it

I was scared to admit to people about the choice I was making, scared that they would judge me - purely selfish thoughts which affected both me and bump. I was on the verge of a breakdown. Instead of continuing to gain weight, I was losing it alarmingly quickly. My parents tried to help but ultimately the onus was on me to sort myself out to make sure I kept bump healthy and safe.

I took a deep breath and cried down the phone to my best friend, who as always, was there to support me. I forced myself to go out and see people face to face and again I was supported. I spent so long worrying that i was making a *wrong* or a *bad* choice in the eyes of others that I forgot how supportive true friends are.

Labour hurt but it was worth it

As I went into labour, early on a March morning, I received thoughts and prayers from my friends. My mum held my hand and by my side were the parents of my soon to arrive little girl.

Labour hurt but it was worth it. The adoption mummy cut our baby's cord and handed her to me. Holding your child in your arms in that moment is indescribable - nothing short of amazing. It was true mother-daughter bonding. I'd chosen to call my baby girl E….., and I knew that the adoptive parents were happy for me to do so.

I fell asleep with my E….. cradled close. She was tiny and wouldn't feed initially so had to have a tube passed down her nose to feed. She was in hospital for 15 days after her birth. I spent my time there too, holding my baby, watching her and thinking. I know the adoptive mum and dad were terrified that I’d change my mind, but it had crossed my mind only fleetingly - I looked at my baby, loved by these strangers who were to become her parents, and was happy, so happy.

I thank God for blessing me with a beautiful baby girl

In a week I will sign the official papers. There are days when I cry and wonder ‘what if’ but there are more days when I thank God for blessing me with a beautiful baby girl, who has made a family and will always have a very special place in my heart. I'm happy knowing that I love my baby and that she is loved by her parents, parents who as well as love can provide a home, security and family.

Adoption is not something that I took lightly. I searched my soul numerous times; I worried about my baby, about myself and the implications of adoption on each of us but without a shadow of a doubt, I made the best choice for my girl.

I do not regret having a baby who is loved by others

I do not regret my choice. I do not regret having a baby who is loved by others. I hope that someday I will be able to get to know my daughter again but that will be her choice, and I hope that she will be happy, secure in herself and loved, to make her decision.

This story was sent in on 16/07/2009

Editor's comment

Thank you for sharing your story…You had a lot of courage to make an adoption plan for your daughter, and it is evident from what you have written that you are completely at peace with yourself about it, even though it has cost you pain. One can be at peace even in pain, surprisingly. Sometimes the price of pain is worth paying because you know that the one you love will benefit from your choice. You made a very mature choice with the logic of love. Thank you so much for sharing such a positive hopeful story. If you need support at all in processing your emotions of loss and grief, then do contact a centre, won’t you? We’ll be thinking of you.

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