Birthmom Q&A – part two

Q: How do you navigate birthday and holiday gifts?

A: Her birthfather and I do give her gifts, but really only when we see her twice a year for our visits. Those visits coincide fairly well with her birthday and a holiday, so that’s what we like to do.

We try to talk with her parents about what she likes or something like that before we buy her presents, but they tend to just be things that are age appropriate and that she’ll enjoy.


Q: Does your child and their parents give you gifts? Do you do the same?

A: We have received a couple of gifts from them over the years. But, no, they typically do not give us gifts. Some people might take issue with that, but I don’t. They are committed to honoring us, loving us, and praying for us. That means more than any tangible gift could.

I think we have given her adoptive parents one gift since placement. And that’s not because we don’t love them, I promise. Right now I think we’re just focusing on loving her and that’s something that can be addressed in the future if we choose to go that route.


Q: Have you ever spent extended time with your child and their family – for example, a long weekend vacation?

A: I have never spent more than a few hours with my daughter and her parents. I think I would like to do a vacation of some sort with them, at some point. But with our daughter only being 4 right now, it’s not something that’s on the radar for the near future.


Q: Is there something you wish you had known about adoption prior to placing your child?

A: This is kind of a difficult question for me. I’ve learned so much about adoption since planning my daughter. I think the one thing I wish I’d known before placing, was really just another birthmom. A woman who had gone through this before who could tell me what she’d seen, heard, experienced.


Q: Did your anxiety get worse due to pregnancy hormones?

A: Not really. Before my pregnancy, I wasn’t really dealing with anxiety like I am now. But I did notice that my depression kind of disappeared while I was pregnant, which is not entirely uncommon. My body was producing different hormones and they were, I guess, leaving me with more serotonin than before. So I definitely noticed a decided slide back down after, but that was also exacerbated by placing my daughter.

Birthmom Q&A

Okay, I’ve waited like two weeks, and haven’t gotten any more questions. This is what usually happens though… I’m going to go ahead and post this – because I can always edit it later or make another Q&A post if people ever do come back to me with questions.

So, here are the three questions people asked me, and what I could say to answer as best I could.


Q: How do you deal with your child aging so much so quickly between visits?

A: I’ve never actually been asked this question before. But even from the beginning, I was getting updates every three months, so I still was getting pictures of her between our visits every six months. Then last year after I mentioned something to them about setting up an Instagram, they created one a few months later. Even going three months in the beginning seemed like a long time, but I knew that I would see her again.

Now, I feel like it’s getting slightly more difficult. I think it’s because I know how much of a personality she has, how independent she is, how sassy she is, how brilliant she is. But I can’t really complain because I do get to see her, and we do have an open adoption.
However, I’ve learned that I need a couple of days before I see them to mentally prepare and after to emotionally decompress/recover. How I do that each time looks different.


Q: Did you experience assumptions about your experience or micro-aggressions during the process of finding adoptive parents for your child? (Like people making comments on what is/what they assume to be things like your economic status, relationship status, mental health status, etc.)

A: I didn’t tell very many people about my pregnancy. I was able to get away with it because I carried very small, and was able to hide it with hoodies. The few people I did tell, were incredibly supportive. I think I told even fewer people about the process of choosing the adoptive parents. That was something that no one but the birthfather and I had a say in.

Plus, a lot of people who don’t know much about adoption (this included myself before I was in contact with the agency I used) aren’t aware that the birthmom can choose the family to raise her child. They make profile books for the agency so that birthmoms have something to look though and help them make their decision.


Q: How did you navigate post-pregnancy conversations with people who assumed you were parenting a child (if these conversations even happened)?

A: Pretty much everyone who knew about my pregnancy knew that I was going to place my daughter. So I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t really had to deal with anyone assuming that I was going to be parenting and then having to tell them different.

Coping

After telling my therapist that my depression has gotten so much worse, and I’m afraid that I’ll fall back into self-harm habits again, she sent me these two lists:

If you self-harm to express pain and intense emotions

  • Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
  • Start a journal in which to express your feelings
  • Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
  • Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
  • Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling

To calm and soothe yourself

  • Take a bath or hot shower
  • Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
  • Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
  • Massage your neck, hands, and feet
  • Listen to calming music
  • Put a ziploc bag full of ice under your arm, by your armpit and hold it there for 1 min

Whether any of these things are going to truly work or not, I have yet to find out. But I do intend on really trying to keep myself from repeating history. That would be a setback that no one wants.

Even with these coping methods, the temptation is still there. It always is. They’re simply other ways of releasing the pent up emotions that could lead to self-harm.

The longer I sit and binge watch shows on Netflix, the more confused I get about how I feel. There can so often be such a lack of motivation to do anything when you feel this low. And that’s what I’m dealing with.

But as the nights get later, and everyone I talked to goes to sleep, the depression rises and the voices in my head start to come back and get louder. They’re difficult to ignore. They tell me things that I already think on my own. But somehow those things just seem more intense, and sometimes even more true, when it seems like those things are coming from a voice other than my own.

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award

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January 2nd, I was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award by Amy, who writes over at Under the Surface. Her nomination actually came at a good time for me because I’m hoping to get back into blogging in 2016. I’m currently working on a guest post for this blog, and I can’t wait to hopefully have more guest posts up here on CoffeeTattoos this year.

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 10 questions given to you
  • Nominate 10 bloggers for the award
  • Write 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Display the award on your blog or post

My Answers

How do you like to write? (Include the environment you like to be in, the mood you like to be in and any extras you like to have such as a mug of tea and a blanket…)

When I blog, I tend to be in my bedroom. Usually I’m sitting on my bed with my computer sitting on a lap desk. Generally it’s late at night when I do most of my writing. Often, because I do my writing at night, I’m quite lonely; however, being lonely gives me a different perspective on things and allows me to be a little more honest about what I’m feeling.
As for extras I like to have with me when I’m writing, there aren’t really any staples. Although I do like to listen to music (this is one of my favorite playlists) while I’m working. 

Where do you find the topics you write about?

I know that some people have certain theme for their blogs – like they’re a music, a beauty, or a fashion blogger – but that’s not something that I think I could commit myself to. So that means that my topics come from wherever I find them. I do tend to write about my mental health journey often however. But as for my other topics, there’s no rhyme or reason as to where I find them.

What are your blogging pet peeves?

  • People who do nothing but product reviews
  • People who try to push their opinion on others
  • People who argue with their readers in the comments when they disagree with them

What draws your attention to find a blog and makes you want to follow it?

There really isn’t anything in specific that draws my attention to a blog. I read all posts on a range of topics.
I mean, yes, one of my favorite bloggers (Sarcastica) blogs a good bit about her kids, but she also do posts about other things – like her writing or MHE (you can find some of her posts about it here) or her depression and anxiety. That’s one of my favorite things about her, she doesn’t limit herself to one thing.
If you’re looking to get me to subscribe to/follow your blog, just give me some time to look through what you’ve posted in the past and make my decision.

If there was something you could change in your blogging past, what would it be and why?

Honestly, I hate how people always ask this question. As much as I would love to analyze my blogging history and give you a precise answer about what I would change, I can’t. Because I don’t that think I would be the same blogger I am today if I went back and changed something in my past.
It’s just like life, if you went back to your past and changed something, everything in the future would change as a result of that and you would no longer be the same person you are today.

What is the main thing that keeps you blogging regularly?

Since I started this blog in December 2013, I haven’t really had a set schedule for when I blog. I would just post whenever I felt like I had something to say, however frequently or infrequently that was.
Now that CoffeeTattoos is two years old, and I put up a post the past two Fridays, I’m hoping that I can continue to push myself to expand my writing skills by finding things to post every Friday.
It may not always be much of a post, but I promise that I will do my best to post every week.

In two years time where would you like your blog to be?

I don’t think I have a dream of where my blog will end up going. I used to think that it was important to have a blog that hundreds, or thousands, of people read, but I’ve realized in the last couple years that that’s really not important.
I just want my blog

  • to continue to be a creative outlet for me
  • to be a place for me to connect with my readers
  • to be a way to reach out and get to know other bloggers

Do you share your blog with people you know in real life or is it all online only?

I am selective with who I share my blog with. There are people in real life who know about my blog (my aunt saw me typing and asked if she was allowed to read it). However, there are more people online who know about it. But when I really stop and think about it, my online friends are also my friends in real life – so the answer is both.

What’s your favorite ways to connect with other writers/bloggers?

This is a awful thing to say, but I rarely comment on other blog posts. It’s not that I don’t like connecting with other blogger, but I just don’t really know what to say in response to what they’ve written.
I guess, this year I should make a point of doing better to respond to blog posts others have written.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with fellow bloggers?

The only two pieces of advice I have for fellow bloggers is something that Rachel Thompson said:

  • Give yourself permission to write on ANY topic (even if it will ruffle feathers)
  • Write what scares you

My Nominees

  1. Sarah Fader (Old School/New School Mom)
  2. Jess Davis (Sarcastica)
  3. Marisa Lancing (Mad Girl’s Lament)
  4. Sarah Comerford (The Real Sarah C)
  5. Nicole Lyons (The Lithium Chronicles)
  6. Allie Burke (Organic Coffee, Haphazardly)
  7. Jessica Scarlett (Dabbling in Food Porn)
  8. Courtney Keesee (Courtney’s Voice)
  9. Bipolar On Fire
  10. Kelley (Free of Her Cage)

My 10 Questions

  1. If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why? What would you talk about?
  2. What are your blogging goals for 2016?
  3. How are you feeling, emotionally, about the year ahead?
  4. When do you think people should have to decide what they want to do with their life? Is 18 too young?
  5. Why do you think there is so much stigma surrounding mental illness, admitting that you need help, and getting said help?
  6. Do you believe in love at first sight or soulmates?
  7. Is there anything you want to write about on your blog but you’re afraid to? If so, I think you should write about that for one of your next posts.
  8. When it comes to kids wanting to dye their hair (any color) or pierce their cartilage or nose when they’re in middle or high school, would you let your child do that? Why or why not?
  9. When it comes to planners, what do you do? Do you use a bullet journal, Erin Condren, Filofax, etc? Or if you don’t use one of those, take a few minutes to research them all and tell me what you would like to start using.
  10. What was your favorite nonfiction book that you read in 2015? How did you find it? Who wrote it? What was it about?

sisterhood

I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know about my blogging life and history. I can’t wait to hear your answers to my questions!