So Friday 13th was not a good day for me. Work was busy (I run a transport depot of 15) and in amongst all of that was a webinar I forgot I’d been signed up to on Maternity policy. I thought it may be interesting given the adoption leave I plan to be taking next year, I was mistaken. Apparently adoption will be covered with paternity. Not sure who decided adoption warranted the same session as Paternity rather than maternity – and a session that isn’t planned to happen for at least another 6 months – way to make a woman looking at adoption rather than maternity feel a little worse than she already does about her body not doing the norm!
So I logged into the webinar thinking it would be fine and a lot of the general info would probably apply to adoption leave too. I was so wrong. The start was ok, they ran through the maternity leave entitlements, pay, time off etc. We got about 15 minutes in and then it started to go downhill. I’m not stupid, I knew it was a maternity webinar but I hadn’t expected it to go into quite so much detail on H&S policies surrounding expectant mothers, time off for scans, notification timings of pregnant women informing work etc etc etc. I tried so hard to hold it together but the more I listened to the more it hit me how much I will not be experiencing. On the whole I find this fine – no morning sickness, no stretch marks, no fighting to make clothes fit me, no feeling like a beached whale. But I lost it, I text the hubby to tell him what I was doing and that I wasn’t coping on it and then dropped the phone and legged it to the loo to cry. 5 minutes later I came back to my desk having had a good cry and wiped my eyes, my admin looked at me quizzically as I picked up the phone again to rejoin – I was on mute, it was all HR talking so no one had missed me, and tried again to listen. It didn’t work, I felt the tears coming back. So I spent the next hour with my phone sat on the desk vaguely aware of a voice talking through it and I minimised the internet windows with the slideshow I should have been watching. I’ll sign the training document to say I attended and might fess up to my manager that I was there but not there as it hit me like a tonne of bricks how much I won’t get to experience whilst creating our family. On Friday it hurt, it hurt a lot. But today, its ok, its ok because I may not get that experience of creating a family but I shall have an experience, mine will be one that is harder fought to get to the same place as all of those pregnant women the webinar was about, my emotional scars of the process will be just as valuable as the stretch mark scars of any birth mom.
I’ve got this. Hubby and I have got this. I know this because I know I’m a great Aunt who already loves 2 small people who are not mine, I would throw myself in front of a bus for my nieces if I needed too and I know I shall do the same for my children. I know we have this as whilst I am still a little reluctant to shout from the rooftops that we shall be a family next year because we are adopting to anyone who will listen (I’d like to be a little further into the process than we are) my Hubby doesn’t have that issue and tells everyone – my Uncle he barely knows but we saw Saturday evening – I heard him discussing our house we moved to 3 years ago but my Uncle didn’t know and how we have 2 spare bedrooms that next year won’t be spare because we plan to adopt. This is how I know we’ve got this. We know our experience won’t be the norm and we know it won’t be easy but it will be worth it. Bring on the adoption webinar.