Sometimes I think women who birth their children think they have cornered the market on motherhood. Their hormones are the reason for everything.
Maybe I take it all too personally because I at one time I so badly wanted to be part of that club. I do feel left out of birth conversations. A coworkers sister wanted a home birth (which I also would have wanted) but all of my coworkers were saying what a horrible idea that was. I didn't say anything about having wanted a home birth of my own. If I had said something I feared they would essentially have told me I was "lucky" never to get pregnant then.
There is a lot about mental health and post partum symptoms. Today there was a news report on a research study that indicated that OCD symtoms increased post partum. The theory was the after birth hormones.
Well I never gave birth and I can tell you I'm certain I had some OCD tendencies after I got the call. I called the hospital obsessively and the closer we got to going home the worse it got. It was if I called whenever I woke up in the middle of the night somehow it would keep her from failing over night. I had rituals while I was at the hospital. My schedule was not habitual- it was obsessive- literally to the minute. Although it was required for all parents to wash their hands entering and exiting the unit I would always use the surgical scrub that was not mandated for Baby Girl since she wasn't in an obsolete. I know a few times on weekends they ran out and it made me feel anxious. I ate the exact same thing every day (yes some of it because of lack of refrigeration but also control). I needed control. I needed to ensure her safety. I needed to keep my routine to get her home as fast as possible. I felt like I was going crazy.
Once Baby Girl was home I had fewer tendencies I think in large part because I had regained some control of our lives. I would still inspect the baby bottle tops before I gave them too her. Again I think control. I couldn't give her breast milk but I could ensure her bottle was spotless and sanitized.
Post Partum depression is all over the news as well. I didn't hear about adoptive parent post partum prior to baby girls birth but I did at some point over the summer when I finally googled it. We hear so much about post partum of the traditional sense but I began to wonder about adoptive parents.
For me I felt like I had waited for SO long for this baby. She arrived. It wasn't peaches and cream! It sucked. It was hard. I hated breast feeding. I cried. I didn't sleep well. Although I loved her instantly I didn't connect with her until a few weeks after we were home. It was hard for me to fully love a baby that was not mine yet. For a while it was like taking care of someone else's child. Babysitting. Waiting for her parents to show up.
I was embarrassed.
I dont think I had post partum but I definitely needed time to adjust mentally to my new role. That I really was a Mom. It was a while before I identified myself as Mom. At the same time I responded to the name Mom and I referred to myself as her Mom. I still 13 months later have a hard time with the term "Mom." Sometimes I think its because of how often I am reminded that she isn't "of me" a feeling of inferiority- that she deserves better. I was chosen- but was the "right" Mom chosen? Dont get me wrong- try and get between me and my Baby Girl- you have another thing coming.
I just feel like biological mothers feel like they have the market cornered on the post partum brain. Although I never gave birth I think my mind and hormones have played a few tricks on me. I wish I had been better prepared for this. Once I experienced it I found I wasn't alone but had I anticipated it maybe I would have had a better chance at dealing with it.