Awwwwkward: how to maneuver your first year with your “extended” family.

AKA: Your new Baby’s birthfamily.

First of all MAZELTOV! You’re new and proud parents of a brand new, bouncing baby boy/girl, and you’ve got a birthmama to thank for it. You all must be feeling the emotional high that most couples feel immediatley after the wedding. Sadly, this rush doesn’t last as long as we’d like it to. Pretty soon, your days are consumed with midnight feedings, dirty diapers, throwup and little to no sex with your partner. Ahh, the joys of parenthood. But something seems to be missing from this picture…you can’t quite put your finger on it…… Oh yeah!!

Your birthmother.

In talking to other birthparents, (and from personal experience)I have found that the first year of new parent/birthparent interactions are the most awkward and draining. I mean, really? What can you really say to someone after you’ve gone through such an enormous life changing situation together? “Hi…Um….Thanks for the baby? Sorry you’re suffering?”.

I’m here, ladies and gents, to help you out with ideas and little hints as to how to navigate the first year as a team with your new extended family.

Tip one: *cue the 80’s music* Dooon’t you….Forget about meeee…

Just that. Don’t forget about your birthmother. I know, the first few moths are draining, you’ve got baby showers, parties, family gatherings, photo sessions, doctors appointments, court appointments and GAAAHHH! So much to do! But all it takes is one minute to pick up the phone and call the woman who carried your baby. A simple “Hi” may be enough to lift thier entire day. As someone who gave up her daughter for adoption, the first two months were the hardest on me. I felt a lot like a female dog must feel after she has puppies Everyone “oooohs” and “aaaahhhhs” over the pregnant dogs, and squeals with delight when the cute, wriggly little puppies are born. But what happens to mama dog when all her puppies are gone? She feels useless, alone, listless, useless, and isolated. I felt as though I was no more than a belly, a uterus, a means to an end, and on top of that, I missed my little one with every fiber of my being. All it took was one phone call a week from little e’s mom to make my life brighter and more tolerable. I could hear her happy coos over the phone, and know that she was safe, happy, and well cared for.

What I’m trying to say in a nutshell, folks, is just pick up the damn phone one a week for the first two months (if your birthmother and you make that agreement). Make some time for her, and she’ll be eternally grateful.

Tip #2: Yes, we remember holidays too.

Here’s the thing. You know how pissed off you get when your S/O forgets your wedding anniversary/First date anniversary/birthday? Thats how many of us feel when you forget important days like Birthmothers day (the saturday before mothers day) or Our baby’s birthday. I won’t lie, my couple made a big boo-boo with me when they forgot to acknowledge me on little e’s birthday. I was having a hard time coming to terms with the one year anniversary of my relinquishment, and on top of all of my conflicting feelings and sadness, THEY FORGOT ABOUT ME. Literally. Even my mom got a birthday announcement. I did not. Needless to say, I was really hurt and felt betrayed that the only person that acknowlaged my involvement with little e’s life was my (wonderful perfect and fabulous) boyfriend. He sent me flowers to soften the blow of the day. Please don’t make the same mistake with your badass birthmamas. Send them flowers, a gift or a card on important days. I can tell you, you don’t have to go overboard and spend a million dollars on us! We just want to hear from you “We know that you were part of this special day too.” and a nice hallmark card does the trick.  Pictures of the little one are even better! 😉

 

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