Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

Pregnancy Counseling

A Birth Mom's Story

"I was eighteen and a freshman in college when I became pregnant with my birth son. At first I tried to deny that anything was happening. Once I heard my baby's heartbeat, I had to stop and face reality.

I was fortunate to have an understanding and supportive boyfriend. I didn't tell my family, not because I was ashamed, but because I felt that this was my responsibility. We wanted to make decisions based on our abilities and not those of our family. I felt alone. Once I started talking with Lutheran Social Services, it seemed like, finally, someone understood this huge array of emotions that I was experiencing.

My doctor's appointments soon became the highlight of my week. I was so amazed by every single detail of my pregnancy. Here was this perfect little person, and I was the one lucky enough to help him into this world. However, there were times when I was also angry, anxious, frustrated, nervous and scared, sometimes all at once. I was stuck somewhere between childhood and adulthood.

More than anything, I was scared to death I would make the wrong choice. My boyfriend and I spent many hours trying to figure out what to do. For one, our relationship with each other was still new enough that it's longevity was questionable. Secondly, all of our savings had been used to pay for school, and, at that time, we were only employed for a few hours a week. We also lived in the dorms, and still relied on our parents for some of our expenses, such as insurance. I still felt that we were too immature to be parents. We both wanted to keep our son more than anything in this entire world, but we also wanted more for him than we could give. We wanted him to live in a stable environment with people who were both financially and emotionally able to take on the great responsibility of raising a child. In the end, it came down to one simple statement: we loved him too much to keep him.

Our open adoption went well. Our son's adoptive parents were active throughout the pregnancy. We invited them to some of my doctor's appointments and classes. They were in the delivery room when he was born. LSS was concerned for my well-being. My counselor encouraged me to think through every decision we made. In this type of situation, even the smallest decisions become important. Also, she made sure that we had both the space and support we needed to handle the emotions that accompanied our son's relinquishment. Two years later, she still checks to see how I am doing. I feel confident that I can discuss issues that arise now and into the future.

I still have a relationship with my birth son and his adoptive parents. It is continually evolving. My son is well cared for by two people who love him more than anything in the world. Also, I know that when the time comes, they will explain our decision in a honest and caring way. By knowing those two things, I can live with the decision we made.

Remember, there is no right or wrong choice. The important thing is that you make a decision based on what's best for you and your child. You make your choice, and then you have to be responsible for making that choice become a good one. That's what will make your decision livable. I have grown and changed a lot since my son was born. Looking back, I realize that he was the best thing that has ever happened to me. This experience will teach you things that you could have never learned elsewhere, and will provide for you a strength you never knew existed."

A Birth Mother