This was not my first time taking these steps as an oversized version of myself. I was eight and half months pregnant with my second child, but the first child I would be bringing home, for good. My contractions were light and my nerves were minimal. It was only 15 months prior I had done this very same thing, gave birth. What worried my heart was not the delivery and the pain ahead, but the suspicion that I would not be allowed to keep my son.
Placing my daughter for adoption brought on paranoia that I would never be “allowed” to be a mother, ever. Yes, I was pregnant. Yes, I was about to deliver, but would God, the Universe, some higher power who seems to have control over what we do not, would he/she take this child from me? It sounds ridiculous, but to me, it was as real as the child inside of me.
My son was born, bright-eyed, healthy, and beautiful. The only foreign feeling about the whole experience was taking him home. I was his mother. When he would wake up in the middle of the night, I fed him. When he needed a diaper change, I was there. We were as one, together, constantly. As a mother should be.
My paranoia took years to diminish, even after having my third child, another daughter, and my fourth, another son. I found myself settling into my new role and accepting the fact that I had no control over what may or may not happen to them. I learned to cherish the time I had been given. My babies are now teenagers who make fun of the music I blast through the house, roll their eyes when I tell them to not eat too much sugar, and beg me to buy them concert tickets. They are the best gift I have ever been given. Becoming a birth mother taught me unconditional love and becoming a mother taught me to appreciate the time.