Relief?

This morning I noticed that my friend’s sister’s blog (who is a surrogate) had been updated, so I went ahead and read it.

Here are some excerpts (from today’s post as well as prior ones):

Mentally, it is still very easy to feel disconnected to the baby, and I have to constantly remind myself that I am pregnant.

Yes, this pregnancy feels like it is going quicker than my other pregnancies because I don’t have the anticipation of meeting my child. There is no: “oh, I can’t wait to meet my little girl/boy” or “I wonder when I get to finally meet you, little one.”

I feel nothing. I didn’t expect to feel this way. When I made this decision to do this, I knew that I would not feel attached or feel like I have some claim to the child but I didn’t expect to feel so emotionally, and mentally detached.

Earlier in the week, I was talking about these posts with someone, and the person wondered if I had any feelings of ‘relief’ about knowing this. At the time, I couldn’t process if ‘relief’ was an accurate way to describe my response, however when I read today’s post I realized that it’s not relief at all. Rather, it’s a jarring realization that this spectrum of experience exists. Having a degree in anthropology, I have always been focused on trying to understand the human experience, however in this regard (woman carrying child), I have always thought that those attachment feelings would be both natural and universal. Though, while I’m not naive enough to truly believe this, the larger part of me was hoping that I was right.

But, reading her posts have demonstrated that I was wrong, that complete detachment is not only a possibility, but a reality. A reality that both extinguishes the idealistic hope that I’ve carried regarding the sentiments above (i.e., belief that my birth mother would have thought things like “I wonder when I finally get to meet you, little one”), while also serving as a reminder of the “ungrounded/disconnected” feeling that is so pervasive in my life.

Ultimately, I think the hardest part to swallow is coming to understand (and accept) that it’s a very likely possibility that I entered the world more alone than I could have previously imagined. So, no, I don’t think that I have any feelings of relief when I read her words; it’s the complete opposite.
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One thought on “Relief?

  1. We may never know what emotions your mom was feeling during her pregnancy with you. Having given birth to three children, I recognize the physical and emotional intensity that even wanted pregnancies bring to the mother. I can imagine that your mother might have felt detached or even resentful, at times. She might have felt sad and guilty, so guilty that she couldn’t even bear to think about you and how your life would turn out. There are women who feel hateful towards their unborn children. We can’t know how your mother felt. All we can think about is what it means.

    From what you’ve said, I know that it means a great deal to you what your mother felt about you and your birth. Somehow, feeling like your mother was wanting you, anticipating your birth, or loving you in some way would mean something to you. Not just something to you, but something about you. While I totally get why it would be very special to know that your mother had some sentimental feelings, grief and loss at your birth and relinquishment, I do not believe that her feelings mean anything about you at all. Her feelings about you are about HER and her situation, not about you as a person. She would not have loved you more, felt more sad at your departure, etc… had you been a different baby. She felt whatever she felt because of the situation she was in and the characteristics she has.

    The basic thing is: this isn’t about how loveable you are. This isn’t about how worthy you are. If you can think about it from another perspective: would you judge a newborn as a less valuable, loveable human being because its mother felt detached from him and gave him up for adoption? Wanted, planned babies aren’t better people or more loveable or more valuable than babies who are unplanned and given up.

    As you’ve found your way through the world, from baby in Korea to adoptee in America to adult, you’ve had some very hard experiences. You’ve been let down by your first mother and then by your second. That is some really tough stuff to deal with. But, please, make it about them and not about you. I know you very well. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of love, valuable and worthy than you. We love you very much.

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