19: Autunm – “I Didn’t Know”
Autunm shares her unique experience of becoming a ‘Birth Mom’. I witness people
when they hear her story that their mouths open wide, and their eyes become large.
Listen to Autunm share her experiences as a Birth Mom of “Leaving the hospital with
Empty Arms” as other Moms and the path of growth and healing that she is on today.
Autunm shares about her open adoption with many blessings and lessons for Birth
Moms and Adoptive Moms.
BMRT - Autunm[:are a platform we started in:
We have birth moms around the country. You're going to hear Autunmn story.[:[:[:
Great. Great. And you've got a story. You've got a story. I think you've been on one of our Facebook live and most times when you tell, start telling your story, people's miles drop. I think it was on one. I said, shut your mouth, you know, close your mouth. So Autunmn, once you share with us,[:[:[:
Okay. Yeah. So basically for me, I've always grown up in St. Pete Florida, uh, lived in the same house[:
Uh, I've always been involved in activities within school, always staying busy. Um, so my childhood was pretty good growing up. I mean, I grew up with a single parent, but she has done so much for me to get to the point that I am. I've had my grandparents with me on my mom's side and they helped me grow to where I am as well.
So they've been a pretty good system for me growing up as, uh, I was an only child for a long time. And then when I became 12, I was blessed with a little brother out of surprise. So that's pretty awesome.[:[:
I say that she[:[:
Very good. Very good. So lead us into, at what age you[:[:
Pre hand, because within middle school I took a bunch of high school classes. So by my junior senior year, I was just taking all my magnet program classes pretty much. And I was basically ready to graduate. I graduated at the age of 17. I didn't turn 18 until a month after graduation, but I did go to high school for dance.
And it was definitely a good thing that I went there. They've changed my life. The people I've met through there, the experiences I've gone through and just them being able to help me with my passion and the love for[:[:[:
Yeah. So after high school, I basically took a break from schooling just because. Going into the adult world. You never know what to expect. So I wanted to get into working for the first time and I became a dance teacher and I was a dance teacher for four years. After those four years, I then went into hospitality, working.
I'm working at a restaurant. That's a big chain. We have 52 restaurants over the whole country and. Basically, I'm just rowing through the restaurant from there, even till this point, I'm going to celebrate my three-year anniversary with that company at the end of January. And they've just done so many opportunities for me growing and pushing me through different departments of the restaurant.
It's a really good atmosphere there, for[:[:[:
All pretty much my whole pregnancy without knowing, um, I went to the hospital at one day because I had, um, very severe pain in my pelvis. And I was like, well, maybe I just have something that I tore something. Cause I was overworking my body or whatever. So I drove myself to the ER at like six o'clock in the morning.
Um, they did some tests. They found out I was pregnant. They then did an ultrasound. They did not tell me anything, but then they transferred me. What they did to upstairs, which was labor and delivery. And they told me that I was giving birth to a baby the same day I found[:
I found out at six o'clock in the morning that I was pregnant and by 8:44 PM, that night I had delivered a eight pound four ounce, 21 and a half inch baby.[:[:
So, um, there's so many things going through your head. Like what,[:And like a:
I said to him or said to yourself, or started that processing period. Right?[:
Um, my boyfriend and I were just, I think we were at least a year in dating each other. So we were still trying to figure things out. But for me to try to squeeze in another human, when I'm still trying to figure out myself was a[:
I knew I had to have the choice of adoption. Um, within the line of where I wanted to go for him. Um, I did tell the nurses and stuff, once he's born, I prefer not to do skin to skin or breastfeed or anything like that, just because I didn't want that connection because I know it was going to be extremely hard once I had to walk away from that hospital realized.
You're not walking home with your bait that you just found out. You have,[:[:[:[:
The decisions she was making all during that time, what's best for her child and the next steps to do. And I, uh, I, I say I applaud you, but I, but I hold you up and I just deem you and give you grace for you deciding I don't want to skin the skin. I don't want to breastfeed. Those were tough decisions that you ha had to immediately make.[:
Okay. She basically told my mom that I was crazy that I had no emotions, but[:[:
Yeah. So what was the first, who was the first phone?[:calling the hospital and the [:
She called back. They,[:[:
So they kind of put her on home once they transferred her the third time, um, they were still transferring me actually upstairs. Um, because I was just getting moved from the ER to labor and delivery. And as I wasn't even in the room itself yet, I was still in the bed being transferred and she's like, the nurse comes to me and she's like, I have your mom on the phone.
What do you want me to tell her? I was like, I haven't even processed this myself, so I don't know how I'm going to tell her. Wow. Wow. So I let them get me situated in the room for a little bit first. Um,[:
And then I call her and we're both just sobbing on the phone because she had just got this brand new job and she couldn't afford to take time off. But then she's also worried about her daughter. So we didn't know where things were going. So. Her, she raced home, basically picked up my grandma. Then they both ended up coming to the hospital walk.
And I just remember those first moments then walking into the room and me being hooked up to all of this stuff with a baby monitor on my stomach. And I literally just balled out in tears because I didn't know what to do. And our family has gone through the journey. Having to place a baby for adoption.
I do have one like family friend that has adopted into the family, but no one placing for adoption. So I didn't know what to do at that point.[:
Like, wow. So that was my next call after my mom. Cause I didn't technically call my mom. The first call that I technically had to make was to my boyfriend who was at least an hour and a half away, um, from where I was. And that was an astounding phone call as well, because he was in complete shock as much as I was because no one can prepare for finding out that type of stuff.
And then also finding out that you have to bring this baby into the world that same day that you find out.[:[:[:
Christmas is the next day of in December. So Christmas Eve Christmas all was around literally the next two days. My mom and grandma were doing all shopping because we're very Italian. So for Christmas Eve, we do this big feast and we have at least 25 people coming over. So they're still preparing. So I'm stuck in the hospital, waiting for them to tell me that I'm dilated and ready to push his baby into the world.
They go run their errands. And I think it was like two, maybe two and a half hours that they had left. And I called them back and I'm like, Hey, they're telling me I'm ready to start paying. Um, so my mom, basically, they raced back to the hospital and by the time they got there, I think they were there for 20 minutes before he was actually born.
Wow. So it was very, it happened very quickly. They said I dilated pretty quickly. And I[:[:[:
Um, so I didn't necessarily see him myself until the next day. Um, after I had called the agency that I decided going with, they were super open, super amazing with all my emotions and everything. They[:
And that was the first time my eyes had seen him not through a phone, but face to face. Right. Which was the same day that I got discharged from the hospital was the first and last time for a little bit that I would see his face face to face rather than through.[:[:[:
Those emotions. They're undescribable there. No, I honestly don't wish those emotions on any single person. Cause they're so saying you're losing a piece of you is an understate. Like it's completely just, I don't even, I don't even know[:
Who've been through it truly under. Yeah, the understand I call it[:
Alone, even though people in your, in your house celebrating and there such a thing as being completely alone in the midst of crowds. And to me, that's how I describe that.[:
The Christ being born and everything. And I don't, I didn't know. I wasn't[:
Yeah. Me trying to cover up in front of all these people going through the stuff that I had just gone through. There's I couldn't, I did not, I don't think I did a good job covering up[:[:
I mean, no one necessarily suspected anything until I was eight until I was ready myself. I think I was ready like three or four months after he was born. I started sharing with my family and my coworkers about what just happened, but I[:
He was discharged to the agencies, what they called cradle care, um, on Christmas day. So him celebrating his very first Christmas with people that weren't related. Yeah. Anything to him, pretty much. They were just there to take care of him until he went with his forever home. And it was just so heart-wrenching to know, like, I couldn't even spell celebrate Christmas with him because he was because that process was going through.
And I actually, Christmas Eve the agency had sent me three profiles over for the family. I had chose the family Christmas morning, let my agency worker know who I had chosen and they found out on Christmas day that I had chosen them[:
It's a lot of emotional pain and it's hard, you know, and you know, I'm real. And sometimes I. It was like, when I came back to you, when you were saying, how could you hide? We can't hide these emotions. We can't. A lot of times we try for a number of years, a lot of women and moms have, but we need to feel them.
We need to feel them. And I liked the fact that you said that it was three or four months after you. We're ready to talk and share because[:
So after you ended up, started sharing with your family or your coworkers and so forth, how did you and I don't, I don't use the word move on. Uh, adoption is lifelong. So we never, we don't have it. We'll never put it behind us, but how have you progressed? I would say that[:
And I had to make to better this other human beings, likelihood of. That they're going to go through. Um, I had one coworker who was beyond supportive for me when I first came[:
Um, I had two managers that big time helped me out a lot as well. Um, my mom was there for me. My boyfriend was there for me. Um, if you do get your, a couple people here and there every once in a while, that'll be like, well, I don't know how you did it. I would never be able to do that. Well, no, you have to be strong to be able to do that.
You have to be, you have to put yourself aside to be able to do that. There's never a moment where you necessarily move on because you said it is an ongoing thing. So just finding basically groups of women that have gone through and are still going through. The same thing that I go through every day has helped me tremendously going on retreats and opening up on Facebook groups and[:
We all go us as birth moms, we go through the same feelings and same emotions on a daily basis. Not even just if it's holidays, it could be a random day. Absolutely. About, oh, well, what is he doing today? How is he feeling today? What, what, what plans does he have for tomorrow? What's he eating? What does he.
Those types of things, never slip your mind. Cause you're always thinking about type of[:[:
That's what was missing and is missing when birth moms leave, whether it's a hospital, whether once you made a decision or whether once the final, final decree or anything like that, it's like when these moments there is just to know I'm with. I am with you emotionally, and I'm here for you because they called it disenfranchised grief.
That the fact that, uh, being a birth mother and placing a child for adoption, it's a grief. It definitely is a grief. It's a trauma you've been through and your child also has been through the trauma and for the fact that most of the time, and I use the word. well, society doesn't doesn't recognize it just because the society doesn't doesn't mean you still don't need it.
And that is one big thing and another issue or not issue, but an issue that a birth moms real talk is addressing[:
If you don't know what to say, just give them. That's it, those of you out there who've never been a birth mom or are, or even touched the adoption constellation. If you don't know what to say or do just give a huh.[:
They always go to the family. That's receiving that child. That's growing their family thing now. Open the light and shine the light on the emotions and the grief and the damage and everything that a birth mom goes through on a daily basis, every single[:[:
As you just mentioned for, as an adopted parents being happy of adopting whether it's by choice or whether they could not have an infant and for fertility or whatever, it's the fact that the joy behind it. Well, the joy, if you receiving, which means it's someone law. Yeah, that, that, that that's just reality.
And we understand that's how reality is, but we also need to understand, to recognize and be[:
We've got to talk. We can't just close our eyes and blind. Well, I got my child and I'm okay. And you kind of recognize what else is happening and child number one, child, number one, put that child first because what's relative to sharing with that child for them knowing, uh, yeah, you do have a, whether you call that first family, natural family, whatever words you want to use, did it takes nature and no.[:[:
And actually here what we go through so that they don't give experiences that close off the child to knowing who that, that first family are, like you said, the ni the birth family or anything like that, they need to know those types of things. So being invited to speak at that class definitely opened up for my friend and I, because.
A lot of them had no idea what birth moms and birth families go through. They don't know the true, the true emotions that we experience and, um, being in a lot of them even told the lady that was holding the class, that it had opened their eyes to the world of adoption, how much there's so much that's not discussed for them.
But the, the main thing, as you just mentioned, they were there, there are potential adoptive parents as you where you went in Gainesville and they not. See, that's a travesty there because you got to open up and uncover and this whole sequence and why I understand why they don't know. Plus it's not been said to them before you cannot understand what you've not been, been exposed to.
And you hear me say all the time, that's, that's one of my platforms and mission is to uncover and for everybody to talk because otherwise most of the time it's done in close[:
So not really knowing what each is going through, whereas the whole true healing comes when everybody's not necessarily in the same room, but at least having the same conversation as some time to understand the other perspective. And more, the more and more I see this, the more and more I see the healing.
I see the healing just so you just said on them that they didn't know, and they were, they want to know about. Because that's what I found. Yeah. More and more. They know the more and more they want to know. And so we, we, we need to keep talking this real talk. We got to keep real talking to people and not hiding things or saying you can't discuss this or what?
I laugh a lot of times when I hear people start to[:
He's how old now?[:[:[:
Oh, wow. Which is so cool. And this being able to like, honestly, this going into adoption blindsided, or not knowing anything, I didn't know what to expect over the. So the first couple months was a little, I wouldn't say[:o slow down, but still yet in:
When you are talking about an open adoption, the way they raised their children, that they've adopted is beyond amazing. They include the birth parents. They incline traditions that are from the birth parents that they want to raise through[:
They also adopted she's going to be four or five this year, uh, this month. And she knows where she comes from. So they don't hide it. They know that. And just seeing how open they are and how they keep me and my boyfriend and my mom in the loop is beyond amazing. They definitely are like the perfect family that I thought I would find through adoption.[:
Including traditions from the family. I call that[:[:
Right? Well, most of the time through adoptions, if you have the ability to choose family, I know for myself, I was looking for a family. That's just putting out who their true selves. Being completely transparent and letting me see the raw person that they are, how they live day to day life, how they rode their family, what issues they go through on a day-to-day basis, just knowing who they are, makes me feel comfortable and makes me feel honestly so good that I'm able to place this child that I brought into the[:
That's no longer going to be mine into their family. And know that he's actually going to be okay. Um, knowing that sayings, if they're Rocky, that they'll get figured out and stuff like that, but honestly, communication being completely open. Um, if you're trying to look for a closed or semi-closed adoption being open-minded to the feelings that a birth mom goes through and maybe changing that because.
Even, I know for me, even a small picture of just seeing how goofy he is, brings my day up, seeing a video of him being goofy or interacting with his sister, or just saying hi helps me through a day. That might be rough. Right?[:[:[:
They face-timed my mom on her birthday last year. Um, They sent me pictures when my uncle passed away, because we were feeling completely down and we know seeing his goofy little face helps us all the time. So they sent us pictures. So they're so open. And so just aware of emotions that go through on a day-to-day basis.
And they even surprised me the other day and sent me some pictures of him just hanging out at daycare kind of self. So seeing what he goes through on a day-to-day basis. Um, And getting updates like that when you don't expect them to come and they just happened to[:[:
And then we covered what adoptive parents need to know. What birth parents need to know, because I am, I'll allow you to go out to really make a comment on either side, what adoptive parents need to know. And it sounds like that you've got a good situation there. And what birth moms I I'm always at. One is I'm telling birth moms.
We need to do our work to grow and heal because this is lifelong. And, and how we[:[:
Just, um, I mean, for birth moms just know that you're not alone. People go out, there's a bunch of birth moms out. Um, once you open yourself up to find support groups and speak to people who maybe have been going through this longer than you have, um, like I know miss Yvonne, you've been going through it for what?
40 something years, right?[:[:[:
Definitely. I know for myself being able to go to the retreat that we went to in November helped me a lot. Cause I met amazing women that are so strong and have gone through some crazy stuff, but are still holding on and knowing that there's hope out there and knowing that every day will be okay. Um, that is one thing I can definitely say for birth moms, um, to be able to do.
Not get over what you go through, but it will help you. It's a big stepping stone for sure. To be able to go through life, knowing that type of stuff.[:[:
Our children went through when they were pre-verbal. They couldn't say this hurts or I've missed you or whatever, the signs we'll talk about it. Science. And I've got a, I called myself a recovering scientist, just knowing the things that typically. Or children placed for adoption will just cry. That's assigned calling out.
They don't know why they can't really explain that as well as a lot of times, our, our children and how they react, how they grew up, how to do with relationships, it touches on if there is a reunion, if it's a been a close, I've seen that in so many in, in the different rooms that. Over the years is like some, some of children are ready for a reunion.
Some not, they don't know[:
Then I'm bringing another human being in here. I need to understand we don't have the same heritage, but we still can get along with knowing what to say into[:
And when people say open adoption, I feel like sometimes adoptive parents get. That the child's going to become confused or that we're going to try to take our child away. No, we're never going to try to take our children from you guys. We have entrusted you raising them in helping[:
We're just a part of their story. You're a part of their story. Never want any, cause I always hate the term when people. Oh, you gave up your child for adoption. I didn't give that voice. Right. I didn't just give him up willingly. I placed him because I knew that's what I had to do for adoptive parents.
When going through what your children are going through, just know. Having an open adoption is not going to make your child confused. Be completely honest and open from the get-go. Let know, let them know that they are adopted, let them know where they come from, because it will help them tell their story for years and years.
And we'll help them for you guys as well. When, when your kids are growing up and you have questions, you have that person to go and. And they're not scared to ask because you guys have that open[:
Um, and just by experience, when I've, when I've talked to someone who was adopted and they're their first thing, if they were in a closed adoption, They always wonder what happened to their birth mom or their birth father. They always wonder what they're like or what they're doing. Just like you wonder what they do on a daily basis.
So being open and having that connection and that relationship. On both sides, both sides, that child, a hundred percent through life[:
Whenever I see you. And whenever I talk to you[:
They take notes and he take the notes, suit a therapist who worked through what issues. That's amazing. That is truly amazing. So I just thank you again for that. You've been listening to birth moms, real talk. I'm your host to Yvonne vivers as such a joy and pleasure to have Autunmn with us today and stay tuned for the next episode.
Thanks so much for listening into birth moms, real talk where birth mothers share their journeys. And we have an open and honest conversation about. If you would like to share[:
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