What to Consider as You Create Your Adoption Hospital Plan
After nine months of waiting and preparation, the day to deliver your birth child finally arrives. Emotions will be running high as the end of the adoption process nears, and you step into the next chapter of your adoption journey as a birth mother. Although no delivery is stress-free or pain-free, you can make the whole process go more smoothly and reduce some of your anxieties by creating a hospital plan that meets your needs.
Adoption Choices of Kansas wants you to know that you are completely in control of your hospital plan just as you are in control of your adoption plan. If you are trying to figure out what to consider as you create your adoption hospital plan, we recommend you begin by asking yourself the following questions so that you can make the most of your hospital stay.
- Who should You Include in Your Adoption Hospital Plan?
Having close family and friends at your side during the labor and delivery process can be comforting as you anxiously await the baby’s arrival. Being supported by loved ones makes you feel like you are not alone and that you will get through this. This is your adoption journey, so it’s entirely up to you who you welcome into the delivery room. Many birth mothers elect to have the adoptive family in the delivery room to welcome their new child into the world.
You may find it helpful to have people from your personal support network with you at this time, such as your parents, sibling(s), partner or spouse, friends, members of a birth mother support group, or even a counselor. As they accompany you through the delivery and recovery experience, they are in a great position to help you process your emotions and help you step into the next stage in your life as a birth mother. Some of your family members may also be going through their own grieving process, and so having them let go of the child along with you may bring them some sense of closure. As difficult as it is, going through such an experience as a group can bring you all closer together.
- How will You Manage Labor Pains in Your Adoption Hospital Plan?
Whether you decide to deliver naturally or with the assistance of medication, pain management during labor and delivery is very important to minimize your distress and make the experience go more smoothly. Many women opt for an epidural, which entails an injection into your back to block pain while keeping you awake during the labor and delivery process. Some women may experience side effects, such as a drop in blood pressure, which can bring the baby’s heart rate down.
There are other forms of pain medication you can take instead of an epidural, such as a spinal block for a C-section, a pudendal block for vaginal pain, tranquilizers for anxiety, or opioids. Make sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of all these and other ways of medicated pain management with your doctor, so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for you.
If you choose to deliver naturally, you still have options to deal with the pain, stress, and discomfort leading up to and during childbirth. These can include listening to soothing music or sounds, having someone rub your back, breathing techniques, or taking a bath. Many women also find it helpful to apply heat, cold, pressure, or even acupuncture to get some relief. Walking and moving around can also help if you’re feeling anxious.
- Do You Want to Spend Time with the Adoptive Family?
You may find that spending time with the adoptive family while you recover from delivery can ease your transition into this new stage of your life as a birth mother. It might strengthen your connection with them as you share this experience together. Their presence can also provide you with a sense of reassurance, support, comfort, and even closure.
On the other hand, having the adoptive family present might be a painful reminder that you are letting go of the child you’ve carried over the last nine months. Or perhaps you want your hospital experience to be a special time between you and the baby you just brought into the world. All of these feelings are valid as this is a very challenging and emotionally complex time for you. It might be difficult to predict exactly how you will feel when the time comes, so know that you have every right to change your mind about how you want to spend your hospital experience.
- Do You Want to Spend Time with the Baby?
When the time finally arrives to give birth, you will probably be anxious to meet the baby for the first time. You might be eager to spend some quality alone time with him or her by feeding them, changing them, giving them their first bath, or simply holding them. Even if the time you spend together is short, you will be glad to have taken advantage of it to cherish those moments forever. However, you might find that you want to keep the time you have with the baby to a minimum if you don’t want to feel any more attached before letting him or her go. This is perfectly okay, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling this way. Moving on from this loss is difficult enough, and it’s natural if you don’t want to complicate your feelings further.
- Will You Bring Home Mementos of Your Hospital Stay?
Even though you will not bring the baby home with you, you might want to bring home some keepsakes of him or her. Maybe you want to arrange for pictures or videos to be taken during the delivery and your hospital stay for you to take home. Perhaps you want to coordinate with the adoptive family about taking home items such as one of the baby’s hospital hats, blankets, or a copy of his or her wristband. Once you have determined what you would like to keep, make sure to communicate that to the necessary hospital staff as well as the adoptive family so they can accommodate your wishes.
Are You Ready to Create Your Adoption Hospital Plan?
Your hospital birth plan does not have to be set in stone. Childbirth often doesn’t go 100 percent according to plan, so it’s important to be flexible if your needs or wants change unexpectedly. Remember that you are in control of the creation and execution of your adoption hospital plan to ensure that you have the best experience possible.
Adoption Choices of Kansas is here to help you put together an adoption hospital plan that works for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are a birth mother in Kansas and you are thinking about what to consider as you create your adoption hospital plan.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.