A place where Black Mothers can celebrate excellence and motherhood.

Confessions of a Birth mother

First, let me start off by saying thank you to Barb for creating such an amazing safe space for young mothers of color.

With that being said thank you also for making room for mother’s like me....birth mothers.

For a long time, I was afraid to celebrate Mother’s Day because I believed it excluded people like me. I thought I wasn’t worthy to be celebrated. Largely because of the stigma surrounding birth mothers because “we gave our kid up”. In 2018 I made myself a promise to celebrate myself and all of my accomplishments while acknowledging my shortcomings with the hopes of improving and loving myself deeper. In order to do that, I had to address the almost 16-year-old elephant in the room. The child that I said goodbye to the summer of 2002.

I was a high school freshman when I found out I was 22 weeks pregnant with my son. I was confused and afraid. I was trying to figure out how in the hell I didn’t know I was pregnant for so long and then the realization that at 14 I had no other alternative but to actually have a baby set in. I come from an upper-middle-class family, I was on the honor roll and was concurrently enrolled in magnet programs called “university high school” and “visual and performing arts”. So, in theory, I "shouldn’t have had time to get pregnant" and I should have been “smarter” than that. But I wasn’t, I was 14 and pregnant by 'the love of my life' (lmao), a graduating senior on his way to the army( after graduating) and also in a committed relationship.

I had communicated my concerns with my high school guidance counselor and she arranged for me to speak with the child’s father in a safe place. That didn’t go well as he began 20 questions... the first one being: " How do I know it’s mine?" That hurt because well you know WE were both each other’s first and he was still my only. He then shut me completely off, went on his senior trip, prom, graduation, and off to basic training. It should be noted during this time I was staying with my grandparents as my mother was deployed at the time. So I was alone and pregnant with tons of questions and no answers except for random people who I had met in AOL chat rooms where I was lying about my age and finally someone who we will refer to as helpfulhuman94 suggested I call an adoption agency.

I was about 7 months pregnant and I took what felt like the longest metro ride ever to a planned parenthood with my best friend. We cut school and barely talked on the way. I knew I had no idea what to do with a baby and I definitely knew I had no support for this baby. The crazy part is my entire life I felt unwanted. I’m a product of an affair, and my mother hated the fact I looked like the man that rejected her and loved to remind me of that. It should also be noted that I don’t look like my mother’s family and that was difficult because my family was toxic and loved reminding me that I was a “mistake”. It should also be noted that although my mother wasn’t a product of an affair her mother resented her for looking like her father because they ended up getting divorced. But this post isn’t about that so let’s move forward. I knew that at 14 I didn’t want to pass that nonsense on to my unborn child. So after much counseling, a court-appointed guardian, and a secret pregnancy, I decided to begin the process of giving my baby up for adoption.

The day I went into labor was crazy. My mother was home from her deployment as she and three other people knew my secret. She took me to the hospital and left. To this day I haven’t asked her why but she left me there so I did what any other 15-year-old would do, call her BFF. She came there and held my hand even cutting the cord. We cried together. It was the weirdest experience ever. I couldn’t believe that I had carried a 19inch 7lb 2oz little boy. He was perfect. I never felt a joy or love like that in all my life. They placed him on my chest and eventually he looked at me. And then my heart broke, I knew that this would be the only moment that I would have to share with him. Unlike lifetime movies when you place your child up for adoption it’s not immediate. I had to sit with this decision for 24 hours. I snuck trips to the nursery and even held him and then I knew I had to let go. I signed a million pieces of paper and shed so many tears. I was 15 making a very adult decision with my 15-year-old BFF and a court-appointed guardian.

16 years later I’m proud. I brought myself a Mother’s Day card this year. Because although I’m not raising my son I’m still his birth mother. God gave me the awesome task of carrying a life inside of me. I was worthy enough to bring an amazing human being in the world. I kept my body healthy for almost 10 months and birthed a healthy baby boy who would go forth and be the answer to another woman’s prayers. His mom loves him and has given him the best life. A life that I couldn’t. I used to beat myself up because I have friends that are teen moms and I envied them. I thought "maybe I should have kept my son." That would have been selfish, however. One of the biggest things that a mother can do is sacrifice for the betterment of their child. And what was best for my child was someone else. So I’m grateful that I was the vessel to bring him here on earth.
I also understand that just because I didn’t get the privilege to raise him, birthing him was no small task, and making probably one of the most important decisions for him wasn’t small either. So to all the birth mothers out there, I hope that you celebrate yourself and your decision you made. Happy belated Mother’s Day to you.

- G.

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