The Moments That Shaped Me As A Birthmother

This guest post is by Jessalynn Bills, a birthmother

May is a very special month for me. It is my birthday and my anniversary. May also holds Birth Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day.

On August 20, 2008 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Josie. She has been one of the lights of my world since that day.

Two days later, in August I became a birthmother to her. Those two days in the hospital are some of my most cherished memories. I had a lot of people come and see her.

I have a few memories that stand out in my mind above the rest. The first one is the night when Josie was born. I had been in labor for a long amount of time and I had been pushing for a grueling amount of time. By the time Josie came into this world I was elated but I was also exhausted beyond belief.


I let her adoptive parents (normally, I would refer to them as just her parents, but for the purposes of this story that’s how I will describe them) hold her first. I was so tired I was slipping in and out of sleep. But I remember very vividly opening my eyes just a little bit and seeing her parents holding her next to my bed.

My eyes just started tearing up. They were looking at Josie with the most loving eyes and they were smiling. Their smiles were peaceful ones. Smiles that said their life was now complete. I let myself fall asleep knowing that all was well and there was peace in that room.

The Moment I Became A Birthmother

The next moment I wanted to share was the moment I became a birthmother. I don’t think anyone can understand the emotions one goes through when signing the relinquishment papers. They cut you like a knife. It’s when everything becomes real.

My caseworker called me and told me not to take any medication and that she would be over the next morning. I did as she instructed.

She then called me that morning and told me she was on her way. I was watching a movie with friends but I couldn’t take it. There were so many indescribable emotions going through me at that time.

I slowly got up, walked into that bathroom, and I sobbed, wept, cried. I am not sure I know a word to fully describe my emotions at that time. I was literally on the bathroom floor beside myself with emotion. I knew I had to do this.

My mom helped me get up and back to my bed. I signed the papers with peace in my heart and got Josie ready to go. I put her in a beautiful dress and I carried her to the car seat, put her in the car, and drove to the agency. This is where my next moment comes in.

The Moment I Placed My Daughter For Adoption

I arrived at the agency and I was holding Josie. I kept looking at her cute face and her beautiful hair. I was just overwhelmed with love. Love and Peace is how I can describe the feeling in that room. Her parents came into the room and so did her big brothers, Logan and Kyle.

We exchanged some gifts. I handed them a letter for Josie. (I write her one every year now). Then the placement came.

I can never explain that feeling either. It was one big emotion of feeling scared, love, sadness, peace, and confusion all together. I then placed Josie into her brothers’ arms and walked out of the room.

My reason for sharing all of these moments are because these moments helped shape me as a birthmother. These are the times when I had to be her mother and realize that I was meant to be her birthmother. These were the defining times when I had a choice.

I chose this for her. I know with every fiber of my being this was the right choice for her and I sleep well at night knowing that she knows I love her and she knows who I am. I finished writing this after I Skyped her for Birth Mother’s Day.

My heart melts every time she says, “I love you, birthmother.” I feel that love and I know she feels my love.

I love being a birth mother. I treasure those defining moments that showed me that I knew this was the best choice for Josie and me.

Jessalynn Bills is a birthmother and a founder of Birthmothers4Adoption

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