24: Nicole – The ‘Touch’ that Changed My Life

Nicole at an early age did not have a stable home. At the age of 10, her extended family became her support. Nicole worked through her anger as a “mean girl’ as she called herself. He life became a love-hate relationships with her mother. After high school, Nicole found her ‘voice” to overcome a chaotic life as she became a birth mother to her son at the age of 19. Nicole at an early age did not have a stable home. At the age of 10, her extended family became her support. Nicole worked through her anger as a “mean girl’ as she called herself. Her life became a love-hate relationships with her mother. After high school, Nicole found her ‘voice” to overcome a chaotic life as she became a birth mother to her son at the age of 19.

Transcript

BMRT - Nicole

D. Yvonne: [:

You know, a lot of times I just say. You know, so we're going to talk about stuff today and I'm so happy to have as my guest today. Nicole. Welcome there, Cole.

Nicole: Thank you. Thank you for having me on.

D. Yvonne: Good. Good. So we're going to allow you to tell your story, your journey starting with where you grew up and your life going up to when you became a birth mom.

. Um, I had a pretty abusive [:

Um, and she ended up leaving me when I was about 10 with my dad. And though my dad is a very nice man. He just isn't equipped to raise children. And so I ended up being dropped off at my grandma and my aunts. And, um, they took over raising me, um, you know, and I, that was difficult. I actually didn't even understand that I was technically adopted until.

In my T like late teens, um, I, I was kinda confused about it. I was like, oh, I'm just with family. I'm not adopted.

D. Yvonne: So it wasn't an official adoption process. It took place.

s. And so she didn't want to [:

Um, and so that, that did come in handy, but, um, you know, and even that growing up with, with my aunt, she had been my primary caretaker, um, from the time I was born and she was only 16.

D. Yvonne: Wow. Okay. Okay. Uh, will you only child, any other siblings?

Nicole: I have a younger sister. Um, we're about five years apart. And um, with my sister being born, like she was my baby, my mom again has a difficult, had a difficult time.

And so I was like doing feedings and really stepped up at five.

D. Yvonne: Wow. You're doing feedings that few, five years old to your sister, your newborn sister.

his motherly part of myself. [:

D. Yvonne: You had a real live baby doll, not a play one, huh. And one

Nicole: that, you know, the stakes were higher than a baby doll.

D. Yvonne: Yeah. Yeah. So like, it sounds like it. So as you move to another area, when you were with your grandmother and aunts or same place,

Nicole: they've always had the same place. Um, in the San Fernando valley, they, my grandparents have had that house since the second. Okay. And that was always my home base with my actual biological parents.

Um, we moved around a lot. It, they had a hard time keeping apartments and, um, a lot, like we didn't really have a lot of stuff because when we would cultivate stuff, we would end up getting evicted and then not being able to take any of that. And so it was a very Rocky childhood. Um, I went to Catholic school, my entire life.

ith based education did help [:

Wow.

D. Yvonne: That's a statement to have some security where you would be, if nothing more for residents who is, she'll be in the same school.

Nicole: Great. And my, my aunt paid for that the entire time, even when I wasn't living with her full time, um, she really stepped up and without her, I wouldn't have had any sort of sense of normalcy.

D. Yvonne: Wow. She was your angel. I had an angel to angels angels watch over us in many different facets and forms. Yeah, that sounds good. Continue.

Nicole: Yeah. [:

Um, and I really changed probably around middle school. I became a very angry child. Um, I was very mean at school. I was one of the main girls, you know, and I.

D. Yvonne: I will say you call, you're always there for me or really, but where does the anger, was it anger at yourself? Woman? What is anger? Anger at home?

Nicole: It was anger at my mom.

Okay. Because I wanted to be with her, but she was also my abuser and she abandoned me and I just, I was so confused, you know, it's like I wanted to be with her, but I hated her at the same

s. And days. And how did you [:

Nicole: I honestly was.

I, I, I didn't start to understand that my words and my actions really left people in pain until my final year of high school. And, uh, that year I became a hundred percent withdrawal and I only really talked to one other person. Um, And I kind of was like, I don't feel good about myself, so I need to not attack other people.

Okay.

D. Yvonne: You realize that. So you came, came to that decision?

Nicole: Yes. I, I really stopped hanging around large friends and a big, big groups of people because I was like, I, I create chaos because I feel chaos. Mm.

w, you call yourself chaotic [:

Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nicole: Okay. And, you know, um, I ended up graduating and, um, I would say I graduated in may. And I went on a family vacation in July to Florida. And that is when I figured out I was pregnant. Oh,

D. Yvonne: okay. Now something had to happen before you figured it out. Great. So yes. And then you hear before it's figuring it out.

So you went to Florida on a vacation with your family?

Potter land. This was back in:

Um, I just didn't feel good and I hadn't gotten my period in awhile. I was irregular. And so I didn't think anything of it, but the nausea and headaches. And I was like, oh no, there's something in my body

D. Yvonne: because then you were what age? Cause she had finished high school.

Nicole: Right? Yeah. So I was 19 at that time.

Okay. Okay. Um, and I. Kind of just put it in the back of my mind, uh, freaked out for, you know, a few days and then enjoyed the vacation, came back home. I ended up telling one girlfriend of mine because she had had abortions in high school. And so that was going to be my plan. And I was trying to consult with her, like, what happened with you after?

th planned parenthood going, [:

From, uh, being raised Catholic, uh, definitely that, that shame and guilt came along with it. But, um, I walked out of planned parenthood and decided denial was going to be my friend.

D. Yvonne: We've been your friend for how many was that? Yes,

Nicole: at that point I was about two months. Um, and I, I didn't tell anybody.

D. Yvonne: Wow. I was going to ask you, did you talk to anyone?

I mean, No.

still maintaining my fitness [:

D. Yvonne: fine. You had convinced yourself that you just was not.

Nicole: Yes, the way I knew a hundred percent, I had taken tests.

They all came up.

D. Yvonne: Okay. So you had the positive tests, but it was like, that test was not right. So how many tests did you do? I did about five. Oh wow. Every one was positive, every

Nicole: single one. And I was like, liars.

D. Yvonne: I can imagine you looking at it's like, that's not true. Uh, okay. Okay. Yeah,

Nicole: the, well, the only time that I really allowed myself to feel the pregnancy was when I was by myself in the middle of the night and my baby was kicking

D. Yvonne: and it does mean that no,

Nicole: um, you know, but then I go to sleep.

I wake up and be like, you're not pregnant. Mm.

D. Yvonne: So [:

Nicole: I did it the entire time. Unfortunately

D. Yvonne: you said the entire time. Explain to me what that means.

Nicole: I didn't tell another person until I called my best friend at 11 o'clock at night saying I need to go to the hospital.

D. Yvonne: Um, and until labor yes and no one knew and no one asked no one suspected.

Nicole: No, you know, at that point I had been so withdrawn from my family that I lived in a house with four adults, but nobody, nobody noticed nobody. They just all figured I was angry and mad and, you know, I always was kind of left alone.

D. Yvonne: So were they in not denial also or what was going on with, you know, they

Nicole: had

D. Yvonne: no idea when I said that D or they, when you say you thought you were angry or whatever, so they had left you alone and denying that you were there and even to have a conversation with you.

Nicole: Yeah. To be [:

And so for her to become the mother figure and give me consequences and try and raise me, I was like, you're my fun aunt. Like what are you doing?

D. Yvonne: Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. So you call your friend when you were going into labor

Nicole: and she had no idea either.

D. Yvonne: What did she say to you? What was the first thing was the first thing she said to you?

Oh

Nicole: my God. Are we having a baby tonight?

D. Yvonne: Uh, and you answered yes. Yes. Yes we are.

Nicole: I did. The good [:

Um, you know, I get it now I'm 30 now. And so I understand here's this 19 year old child walking in being like, Hey, I'm pregnant and I have no plan. Um, you know, they ha they had nothing. I didn't do any prenatal visits, no information. Um, and from there on that experience, I blacked out, uh, in, in those moments, I shut down.

Was this, like, I'm going to have a baby and I know I can't take it home.

D. Yvonne: Wow. Well, those words, I mean, did they actually come out of your mouth

I did. Yeah. I told multiple [:

D. Yvonne: Okay. They obviously had called to get someone to talk to

Nicole: you. So the social worker gave me my options, which, you know, would be parenting or adoption at this point. And I said, you know, I let's do adoption. Um, I am a really big, um, what is it like a. I really loved watching TV and movies as kids. And, um, I watched teen mom a lot and there's a couple on there that, that placed their baby for adoption.

s point I asked for clothes. [:

D. Yvonne: Um, was that back from your history with your own mom? Yes. Okay.

Nicole: A hundred percent. And I, you know, there's a part of me that did want it to be open. I just wasn't ready to face that decision yet. And so even in future meetings, I didn't want to always have to be compared to the adoptive mother. Right.

D. Yvonne: Okay.

ended up giving birth around [:

D. Yvonne: You made a lot of decisions in that seven hour period of time.

Yes. You went through a lot in that seven hour period of time. Yes. Big decisions. Definitely

Nicole: the most difficult day of my life. Yes.

D. Yvonne: Yes. Was your friend there with you?

Nicole: She was the entire time. Okay. Um, you know, I, I love and appreciate her for that. And I definitely apologized for taking our innocence that night.

Um, because you know, she held my hands and my leg and we, we went through this together, but you know, I though I was in denial, I was being prepared, you know, I knew I was pregnant. She had no idea she would be going through this. Emotional roller coaster.

mily or did you that, so you [:

You, you had your son that seven o'clock the next morning. So what happened after that? We had a daughter. Okay.

Nicole: Um, well the main point where everything changed was that one of the nurses decided to not tell the doctor, my request to not have the baby put on me or. Um, she later said that she didn't agree with my adoption decision.

And so I

D. Yvonne: think over here,

Nicole: yes, you believe me. Um, I, you know, I pushed her out and they put her on me and I screamed. I was yelling and was saying, get this baby off me. I was. It was more traumatic than anything. At that point, I knew I had a girl. I saw that, you know, it was a girl and my poor doctor was like freaking out.

telling him, you know, I was [:

I had that, that skin to skin contact. Um,

D. Yvonne: and she just said it was very amazing. It was only for a minute, right? Yes. Only for a minute. But that itself changed change. That's amazing. That is amazing. That's amazing power of skin to skin. Hazing

Nicole: power. Yes. Um, you know, and within a few hours I changed my mind again and I wanted a completely

D. Yvonne: open.

ecisions, talking to people, [:

And I say this stuff good, bad, ugly, or indifferent. So whatever that it's wrapping around our mind. And it's so wonder we don't lose our mind. I mean, I'm serious. I mean, it was, I, I say, listen, as you know, I was going to say, this is a fact that why this podcast is up now and, and Ben. Eight months or whatever is to allow people to look into what really happens in the process of giving birth and what the birth mom is going through.

after you changed your mind [:

So it ended up being closed or what

Nicole: it's completely open? Um, the original family that I had chosen, unfortunately they were on vacation and so they couldn't come and pick my daughter. Um, and so I w I then was left with the one with the son and one with the daughter. And again, I chose the one with the sun because I had such trauma with females, but I was like the one with the sun.

And honestly, that was fate because that's how those are her adoptive parents. And they allowed me to change my mind so many times. And so I, I could actually see my house from my window. Um, wow. Yeah. So I, after giving birth, you know, I was 19, so I was able to stand pretty quickly and walk around the room.

the nurse to wait because my [:

D. Yvonne: Wow. So where did you go after you left the hospital? Did you go back across

Nicole: the road? I did. I went right across the street and went into my bedroom and just kind of sobs for the next few days.

Uh,

D. Yvonne: they had no idea. They had no idea,

Nicole: none whatsoever that I had just had a baby and placed this baby for adoption, then. Um, how they ended up finding out was that the hospital called my aunt because I was only 19. So I was on her insurance and they called and asked about baby, um, Heil, which is my last name.

And she was like, nobody's had a baby. What are you talking about? So

D. Yvonne: did, did she come to you? So how did it come out? That it was you?

Yeah. By the third call, um, [:

She apologized that I had to go through that by myself. Um, she was so sad for her. And, um, you know, my family, I ended up telling everybody individually throughout the next few months. And, um, it was the same response. Everybody was just so sad that I had to deal with it alone and that I wasn't comfortable enough to come to anybody.

Um, because I definitely wasn't. I just, I didn't want to be a burden. And I also knew that if I came to them, I would be given the option to keep the baby. And I even, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to from the beginning.

Yvonne: So even if they had [:

Nicole: Absolutely not. I was still so messed up from my trauma that I knew I would just continue that. And, you know, money, wasn't going to be an issue. I could have just stayed at that house. You know, they, my, my grandma ended up telling me, go get her and I'll take care of her. And I was like, no, she has a family.

No, we already, I made this decision.

D. Yvonne: Right, right. Please

Nicole: just respect the decision. Okay. Um, you know, and it, it took me a while to sign the papers. Uh, her adoptive parents graciously allowed me. I had to be 10 visits before I could sign the papers. Okay. Um, I knew I was always going to, but I just, I didn't know what was going to happen after the papers.

And I wanted to continue to [:

D. Yvonne: know I'm going to have you to talk more about that because that's something that we've addressed in some different situations of moms not knowing what they could do and having legal representative for their wishes.

Yes. Okay.

Nicole: So we ended up getting together and coming to agreements on everything, on how many visits I got a year on, what would happen if, you know, she decides she doesn't want to see me anymore. What would happen if I decided that, uh, really we like sat down and discussed the future and, uh, they were so open to all of my requests and wishes.

is other family. And so this [:

I was so thankful that my aunt stepped up and was like, we're getting you a contract where, you know, we're, we're going to protect you and what you want, because you are giving a piece of yourself. This isn't. This isn't, you know, a P a toy. This is exactly,

D. Yvonne: and it's so important. And I'm so glad you brought that up because I've heard so many stories.

here for you, like your aunt [:

And until you have those conversations, face those tough decisions and doodles real tall people don't know. And then there's the expectation. Well, I thought, no, don't think. No, what you want and being able to express your wishes, because I'm going to ask you this question that, that give you some confidence to know that you are the mom who gave birth to this child, and you had some rights that make you feel that

Nicole: way.

It, it, it gave me a peace of mind to understand that I'm a part of her story. Yes. We'll always

hat child again or not, it's [:

And years ago it was more so with don't you forget it and whatever, put it behind you. Even during that time, you know, as I said is I always believed because we were told all, you never see your child again, I'm not. You know, and everyone's different, but yet instill in today's society. And the days premise, as I say, when starting this broadcast and podcast and all different people coming on a different opinion or whatever, when you get that clarity, when you get that security, when you get that assurance, as you say, you have a right to your own decisions that is powerful.

do, and that gives you that [:

There's a difference between moving on and moving forward. Yeah,

Nicole: it really did. It made me feel like I wasn't just a vessel that I was a person that had my own needs and wants, and I, I really do thank them for agreeing to all of it. And, you know, I, the funny thing is we don't actually go by that contract.

Um, I'm glad that I have it, but, um, her family, they are so loving and open. Uh, they have visits with my family without me even there.

D. Yvonne: Wow. So it's going well, uh,

Nicole: a hundred percent. Um, I'm glad she, I believe she is 10 or 11. Um, and you know, pre COVID. I was seeing them maybe every three to four months. Um, you know, they would come to my house.

to their. Um, I was invited [:

D. Yvonne: know you? Well, you are, she

Nicole: doesn't yet. Um, I've left that up to when they're ready to tell her. Um, I she's known me my entire life. I've known her, her entire life and she. Very poignant questions. So, you know, I think we're going to, we're getting to that point, you know, the last time she asked me, why do we look alike?

Oh,

D. Yvonne: wow. The C you know, that was going to be my next question. You're saying, you know, when you spend time together, when you see similarities and even the child will bring it up, it's like, oh, are we related in our orbit? Or your question?

Nicole: You know, my answer was, we're just beautiful. That's

D. Yvonne: good answer. Good answer.

I like that. I liked that.

all of this, you know, I, I [:

And so for about two years, I saw her every Monday through Friday.

D. Yvonne: Oh, wow. Amazing. Amazing. And because you were having visits with her, so she didn't know, she didn't know you did, you know, she

Nicole: didn't at that point because she was too young. You know, it was probably the most difficult time of my life because, you know, sometimes there would be recognition.

it was blank, you know? And [:

Um, I ended up confiding in one of the children. It was, um, two boys and a girl, and I told the little girl everything that had happened and, um, you know, having her hold my hand while we were leaving, because she saw her, was it meant so much to me. Um, and definitely being a nanny and using that mother motherly, like instinct in me, helped me along this journey.

D. Yvonne: So you were, you, you, you became a mother for your daughter, but you were able to basically raise and be a mom to her kids that you were in nanny too. Wow. That's a blessing. Yeah.

r therapy cause I got myself [:

D. Yvonne: Yep. Do your work and get your therapy. That's what I say.

Nicole: You know, because seeing her that often and that much, and I was going crazy where I was like, this is my child. And at any point I could have let the parents know, but I didn't want to burden them as well of like, you know, Hey, I am at the same school every single day. Right,

D. Yvonne: right. Yeah. Yeah. But as you say, part of your healing of you using it.

Your motherhood or motherly characteristics every day, even though it wasn't with he or daughter. Yes.

Nicole: And then from that, I moved on to, um, adopting a dog to also those motherly instincts

D. Yvonne: to, uh, you know, I have to just as full confession here. Now I have an issue a lot of times when you Google or you put your search a dog.

It comes, [:

Nicole: I was definitely able to be a caretaker and, um, That healing. I knew that I had this instinct in me and I didn't want to just suppress it.

And so, you know, becoming a nanny, adopting a dog, um, you know, doing all of these things so that I could use this instrument that I was given.

D. Yvonne: Absolutely. So are you getting joy out of life now?

oing to the appointments and [:

D. Yvonne: I,

Nicole: I was so guilty taking care of now, you know, my.

The pregnancy that I had the second time, um, you know, my first doctor visit, I was crying because I let my doctor know and I was like, this is so simple. And I could have walked into any planned parenthood to get this. And, um, you know, being scared and not understanding really stopped me from doing that.

D. Yvonne: Um, so how is it now? You now, you said you recently, so how, how long ago did you have another job?

Nicole: Uh, just recent and he'll be four months next week. Oh, wow.

D. Yvonne: Four months. Great. So how is it now?

taking care of him and, you [:

You know, though, I have, I've been in reunion the entire duration of her life. I missed everything. I missed first giggles and, you know, um, crawling and words. And I.

D. Yvonne: Yes, you get to experience this stuff. I know, I know your heart and feel your heart because when we don't have that, like when I I'm gone my son, he was 45 years old. You know, no baby there, no baby at all. That's what I call him. He's still my baby boy, but he's a baby man, whatever. But, and so it's the whole thing of, that's part of the grief, the grief and the trauma we lose, we lose all the years.

ldren and his whole thing of [:

Um, I may have said this before, but one particular George, shortly after we were in union. He did a photo shoot he's in business also, I think for his website and the next day he showed me, I took some pictures. I felt like he was in the fifth grade showing his mama look at my pictures, look at my pictures.

Really? That was, that was the jewelry I got. This is grown man. And these pictures I've taken my little boy, baby, but we get that joy. We get that joy when we can, because the trauma and all that we've been through, we look how. Through it and fight the third P the support group. I journal. I write, I remember writing years ago, I will see my son.

see my son, so that positive [:

Don't fool yourself, get you, get your therapy and do your work. That's why the podcast listen to podcasts. And I listened. I listened to podcasts for adoptees adoptive parents and whatever, because I want to know the perspectives and have a. You know, once a month birth bonds real talk the fourth Saturday, I think it's coming up this Saturday that we do a dialogue, went on Facebook, live with adoptees birth moms and adoptive parents, because more we understand each other, just like you were, your aunt helped you to negotiate how you want it to do with her.

ety. The better life we have [:

Cause I want you to speak because I've heard it in so many different situations and it's sort of like a look comes into ma you mean I could do that.

Nicole: It's important to understand that we're the ones losing a part of us. So we should be able to be protected by law and having that contract that will just give you the sense of security.

t, get it in writing, get it [:

Do research. We are blessed with technology now. Right? We can Google all of these things, you know, and use resources. Yeah, to understand all of your rights, because it completely changed my entire perspective. From that time I was 20 years old, freaking out and getting that contract, I was like, oh, okay. You know what?

I will still have visits. I have it in writing. They can't just up and disappear. And if they do, I have a paper that's legally binding. Right.

D. Yvonne: That empowers you, that empowers you. And, and that's what I encourage. And you said to saying too, is that, and righty, um, negotiate, express your opinion and your voice, because if you don't.

[:

Cause I'm speaking around the country and I'll say to moms, you got to write to it. You gotta write to it, but you've got to ask. You've got to ask for that. So yeah, that's part of the real talk and the hot topics that people are not talking about this. And if people don't know, they don't know. And so I want those of you who are listening now, if you hearing that for the first time.

say, this is the part of us [:

You cannot break it. You may be apart, but that bond is not broken. Any last thoughts, Nicole?

Nicole: Yes, I, um, I just really want to thank her adoptive parents for. You know, providing the best life that they have for her and welcoming myself and my family. Um, I hear so many horror stories of adoption's not going the way that they were planned and, um, her dads are so loving and kind, and, um, even, you know, they came to my baby shower, meant the world to me.

d to use it because they are [:

D. Yvonne: yes, yes.

Nicole: You know, rely on that support group.

D. Yvonne: Absolutely. And know what you be able to share, what your needs are. People can't read your mind. So let people know if, if, if it's a day that, well, I just need someone to talk to. I need a hug or whatever express it's. It's okay. Give yourself, I like to say grace for healing.

ling with and you don't walk [:

Even in finding and re reunion is hard, but it's worth everything. That's me talking. And it, as much as I enjoyed and have my son in my life, it's a process. And I'll understand that in a step-up. So, thank you all for listening to birth moms, real talk with our guests, the cold today, tune in, listen, listen to all the podcasts and dif all the different platforms will give us some reviews.

Instead of some comments, I love to hear the comments from the different podcasts and where most of the time the comments are. Well, that was my story. You know, I went through the same thing. The guests went through her and whatever, and that's the biggest thing that we really have found is people say, wow, it's so similar to me.

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