Trigger warning: abandonment and miscarriage are discussed.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...
I found a man that treasured me. He treated me with such gentle kindness; loving me well in the easy, and in the hard of my adoption story. He sat with me in my pain with no expectation of its immediate dissipation. This man and I dated for three years when he asked me to stick around for keeps. We were engaged for a year, then married for just over one when we decided, with intentionality, to start our family.
Then Comes... Trauma
I trusted (still do) this man with my whole heart, mind, and body. I was ready to parent, elated even, to be pregnant. It was seven years post-placement and I was in health and so excited to be in a place that allotted joy in carrying life inside my womb. But trauma doesn't care how ready or overall healthy or elated a birth mother is when she is pregnant for the first time after placement.
Trauma didn't care that the man who fathered my child this time around was a man of great and noble character who said for better or for worse, in (mental and emotional) sickness and in health and meant it. Trauma didn't care that this man proved he could handle the hard and heavy. Trauma has a very narrow lens and for me, it focused on two past wounds that my dear husband had no hand in creating but had his whole heart in healing.
Wound 1. In my childhood, my father was often gone on business and when he was home he treated me like I was a nuisance. I grew up thinking I wasn't worthy or likable by any man because of this. Wound 2. The biological father of my birth child left while I was pregnant to escape the responsibilities of parenthood and the crisis therein. Wounds like these heal but do not disappear. They leave their scar, which from time to time aches and requires us to give them due attention to bring them back to health. For me, and many other birth/first/natural mothers, an intentional pregnancy in a healthy relationship years after placement causes wounds such as these to ache and need attention.
"Are you going to leave me?" I asked my husband through tear laced eyes for his reassurance many times over our pregnancy because of those wounds. Every time he gave a gentle answer. "I love you, I'm never going to leave you. I am not any other man than your husband."
He never once belittled me for not holding on tighter to his words the last time I asked. He, with great love and tenderness, poured balm onto my aching wounds.
Trauma had it all wrong. My husband has been an excellent parenting partner and emotional support. Had I let my wounds alone to fester I may have missed out on how amazing of a dad and husband this man is. For me, the only way to tame the lies that my past trauma held about all men was to openly communicate when trauma reared its ugly head, causing my focus to be on it and the truth be a fuzzy silhouette in the intangible distance.
When my daughter was three and a half my husband and I decided that we were ready to add another child to our family. This time around my wounds no longer required my attention. Joy was overwhelmingly present (along with Hyperemesis, but that's for another discussion).
I had a new baseline for how a man treats a woman; he loves hard in the heavy and stays heavily in the hard. My eyes no longer filled with tears of sorrow over the potential of being abandoned. Past trauma had no footing when it came to the steadfast love of my husband for his family. I still have wounds from these past traumas that show up in other aspects, but with consequent pregnancies, my wounds did not ache.
Fast forward to the present day, my husband and I have three children at home and one in Heaven. We have been married for over eleven years and we are still wild about each other, though our lives have not always held easy, joy-filled days. I have no doubt that he will stick by me "until death do us part" and even then I have the hope of Heaven. My fear of abandonment that ached with my first pregnancy post-placement was not present with our miscarriage, nor our rainbow baby--the little blondie pictured below, sitting upon my lap.
You may find, like me, that past trauma clouds your view of the present truths. I encourage you, beloved sister-in-triad, to not suffer in silence. Get help with your wounds; even if your mind tells you otherwise, you deserve a life well-lived and well-loved. With great love and respect, Jennifer Mae