Feeling Pregnant After Adopting? You’re Not Alone

This guest post is by Paige Knipfer, an adoptive mother.

We recently adopted our son in January. We also have a daughter we adopted a couple of years ago. We have no biological children and we are unable to conceive ourselves.

However, a couple weeks after we arrived home with our son I started to feel like I was pregnant.

I felt crazy. There was NO possible way I could be pregnant but for the first time in my life my boobs were incredibly sore. My nipples looked different. I was craving pickle, ham, and cream cheese roll ups.

I was cramping A LOT.

I’ll stop with the details but as you can imagine I was googling symptom after symptom which kept coming back saying I was pregnant. I tried googling adoptive mom pregnancy symptoms and nothing came up.

Everything that appeared was about how a woman had biological children then adopted and experienced these symptoms. I couldn’t find anything on an adoptive mom’s body reacting to an adopted newborn.

I talked to some adoptive mom friends who started to tell me they too had taken pregnancy tests after arriving home. It seemed this was a topic; maybe people were too embarrassed to talk about.

I started to worry I was pregnant. As impossible as it would be, a biological child would come with a lot of risks for us due to genetic issues and my own health issues. Also, two children under the age of 1, and a total of 3 kiddos was not in our plans.

I took a test. It was negative. A week later I received my period, which is also something that has never happened. I only get my period when prompted by medication.

I asked our pediatrician and our case manager who said they hadn’t heard of it while they tried not to look at me oddly.

Having a newborn lay on your chest pretty much 24/7 releases pheromones that your body reacts to. Skin to skin is an important way to bond.

But I don’t think I felt the symptoms as strongly with my daughter because she slept well on her own in the crib, unlike my son who requires to be held nonstop.

I wanted to write this article to share my experience and to tell you, if you have or are experiencing the same symptom, you are not crazy!

I also wanted to write this because you hear stories of women who adopt and then get pregnant, but we don’t really talk about those who adopt and don’t get pregnant.

As an adoptive mom I always hate being told that we’ll get pregnant after we adopt. First of all, not all couples that adopt want to get pregnant.

After my infertility, health issues, and genetic concerns we made sure we couldn’t get pregnant and chose to only pursue adoption.

Adoption was our one choice. Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy for those couples who do get pregnant after adopting, but it just wasn’t for us.

I hope others can share their stories because in all honesty, I think it’s pretty amazing that my body reacted to my son in that way.

Paige Knipfer is a trainer for a financial institution, an adoptive mom of two, wife, and avid traveler (Semester at Sea alumni). She loves to share her adoption experiences and assist anyone interested in learning more about the process @PaigeKnipfer.

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