Holidays With Heartache: Life Without My Birth Son
When I was growing up, my mother instilled in me a child-like wonder when it came to holidays. For the first 21 years of my life, I looked forward to Christmas, seeing it as a time for magic and miracles, a hope for impossibilities to be dashed. At times, I feel so silly for holding onto that hope, but after the events of the last two years, I long for those feelings once again.
Flashback to 2014. I had just enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family and couldn’t be more excited to wake up Christmas morning at my mom’s house. I was still in training at my new job, a job that could actually open future doors. I was enrolled in a school, had a big excitable puppy, and managing to maintain a serious relationship (a first for me). Life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows (my estranged father passed away at the end of September), but for what it was worth, I was happy aside from the normal struggle of being young and broke.
On December 6th at 5 am, I received the worst phone call of my life: my mother, only 44 years old, had passed away in her sleep. It was like a huge light had been sucked from my world. The surreal feeling of losing your biggest connection, your closest person in an instant, I honestly can’t put into words. I don’t remember much of the next week and a half, aside from funeral preparations and the actual ordeal, but I was somehow pushed through it and returned to work, to life, to trying to figure out how to navigate this new world without her.
Then, on December 15th, I was feeling sick and had been for a little while. For dinner that night, I stupidly got some spicy pizza and was throwing it up before I could even digest. But something felt different about this sickness and I decided to take a pregnancy test. The stick was hardly seasoned when that plus sign illuminated before my eyes. Fear enveloped me as I laid in bed crying, waiting for my boyfriend to get home from work in the morning. We were pregnant and we weren’t ready, not even a little. We were new to the job force and our relationship, working on school and getting a nicer home, and dealing with the loss of my mom. Adoption, he said, and I thought he was crazy. I was angry and hurt, thinking that he didn’t want to build or share a life with me, when really it was because we weren’t ready.
When I finally got into the doctor’s office on December 30th, we found out I was further along than anyone had realized: the baby was measuring at 18 weeks! That same day, they asked us if we wanted to schedule the growth scan/gender reveal ultrasound, and I left the office in a daze. We had kept the pregnancy a secret since we had found out, but now it was time to clue in some of my close friends so that I could talk out the different options. Adoption was beginning to seem like the more realistic option as I started to talk with those around me. I had to face the fact that my boyfriend really wanted what was best for all three of us: a chance to build up our lives to a comfortable point before starting a family, and giving our baby a family who was ready for him. We chose a family for our son, one that I truly believe was always meant to have him as their son. I struggled with a difficult pregnancy, a surprise emergency c‑section, and an even harder emotional recovery (I don’t think that part is over or ever will be.)
Two years ago, the Christmas season seemed like a magical time because I was still a child, at least at heart. Now, the holiday has become a dark time for me. A reminder of who I was and never will be again. A time to think about all the things I’m not doing for my child because he has loving parents to do it for him. An ache in my chest to hold a little one close, to talk about Santa, wrap presents, spread cheer and joy. My heart is so full of love to give, but until I’m ready or the big guy upstairs deems me worthy, I fear this month will always be dreadful to me.
I ask each of you that have this holiday ache, in any side of the triad, in any part of the process, to please talk to others, those that understand and even those that don’t. I know my tale is just one of many, but inside it feels so lonely and personal. We need to be there for each other, for the good and bad that the holiday brings, and maybe bring a little more hope and happiness. I can be reached at my email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by Facebook. Please don’t face this time alone. I wish you in earnest a happy holiday and a bright new year.
If you are hoping to build your family through adoption visit us at www.youradoptiongateway.com.
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I am a wife, mother of two, and love anything and everything adoption. I am an avid adoption supporter and love to help others complete their family through adoption. If you love adoption too, Like and follow our blog! <3