Content Warning

“Always go to the source and discover what the truth is.”- Anon

I am not one to get all bent by the birth, barf, birfmudder, labels. I know who I am to my daughter and your labeling or demonizing or dehumanizing me to the level of an incubator reflects more on you than me. Those slurs and associated vitriol generally roll off the tongues of adoptive parents who refuse to accept that they profited off of someone else’s trauma. I get that. Guilt is a bitch to deal with.  I get that too. But again, it rarely phased me. I just write off those people and don’t let them bug me.

For this reason, I have often felt confused when other mothers did get all up in a hissy about the BM (not to be confused with Bowel Movement) terminology. My sisters who dislike it will say the term is triggering to them. Again, I scrunch up my face and go “huh?” cuz it doesn’t phase me. It is not triggering to me (altho I don’t use it). However, when they say it bothers them I respect it and I do understand what they mean behind the intent. One person can say “birth”mother and mean it with the utmost respect and the other can say “just” the birth mother with total venom. Its the latter folks that usually need to be slapped. (By the way, its no different with “adopter”. I use it as a verb, one who adopts, others use it as some sort of slur. I have adoptive parent friends who aren’t phase by the term and agree, they are an adopter and then I have adopter friends who despise it. As always, I say use what you are comfortable with. Facts are fact. Mothers, Fathers, Adoptive Mothers, Adoptive Fathers)

But again, for me, truths defy labels. I am my daughters mother AND she has an adopted mother.

However, tonight, I came to understand the concept of triggering in an entirely new way. NOW I may understand my sisters mean by being triggered by the bmom term.

It hit me so badly I cannot even embed this here. I must provide a link and give one old huge content warning to any mother who watches this youtube video. You will watch a sobbing mother have her baby taken from her and wheeled away. If you are like me, you will have massive flashbacks of your own experience. You may lose your breath, cry, get a ringning in your ears and fear you will pass out. I did.

I found it on the blog of the amazing Julie (whom I adore). I kinda wish I hadn’t (and thats no slam towards Julie).

But alas, in the words of Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias (right?) “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”.  Since I am not dead, I will assume my viewing that video made some part of my being stronger.

9 Thoughts.

  1. The video was really hard to watch. Even though my experience was nothing like that. No one was there, to witness or validate my grief, and so I kept it in, as I was expected to do. I didn’t get to hold my son. I only saw him because I went against the doctor’s and lawyer’s advice and snuck down to the nursury, and looked at him through the window before I left the hospital. In some weird way, I wish I had had that sort of goodbye — that I had held him, that someone had been there to acknowledge my pain. At least I might have felt free to express it later.
    I wrote an article about the b-terms, which will appear in the PACER (Post Adoption Center for Education and Research) newsletter this month. I got a lot of input, did a lot of research about the origins of the word, and managed (I think) to write an objective piece. I’ll post a link to it once it’s published, on my blog or PACER’s website, wherever it’s easiest to access.
    Indeed, labels are nothing in the face of truth. Call me whatever you want, I am my son’s mother. Was, then wasn’t, and am again. But our bond was never broken, even if our history was.
    Thanks for sharing this, Suz. Where do I find Julie’s blog?

  2. Nietzsche said that, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” it was just used in the movie. He died insane and alone, wandering the streets weeping to horses btw.

  3. sobbing. it seems so cruel. so awful. it’s hard for me to believe believe i went through the same thing. i wonder if i looked like that?
    i handed each of my twins to their adoptive parents, walked out the door and lost it. i think i sobbed like until i fell asleep that night. i had to “float away” and watch that “poor girl down there” just to get through it.
    lately i am starting to understand the anti-adoption crowd. . .

  4. well, joy, arent you just a ray of sunshine? LOL. Yikes. yes, I knew it was Nietzche (I am a fan of the insane bugger) but when I think of it I always see OD in the movie…I also quote Nietzche on my myspace page. Wonder if I will end up wandering and weeping to horses?

  5. Thanks for writing this. I’m glad to not be alone. I dont mind being called birth mother, biological mother, bio mom ect. It feels like a statement of fact to me, like saying I am blond or short.
    I am not going to watch the vid, thats something I can do without.

  6. I feel like I just watched a crime being committed. Why didn’t any of the people around her help her? It looked like it was her immediate family participating.
    I didn’t see if there was a date on the video. Maybe it’s not to late to contact her and urge her to take her son back.

  7. And not one voice to tell her she didn’t have to do that was there? I didn’t just cry I sobbed. I am sad and angry all over again…

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