Being pregnant and deciding to place your child with an adoptive family isn't usually an easy decision to make. However, there are many other decisions to make if you want to proceed down that path. Many will involve medical decisions or decisions that will affect your experience during and after labor and delivery and while you're recovering in the hospital. Throughout your pregnancy journey, you'll need to decide if you want your child to room-in with you before being placed with the adoptive family.
Rooming-in is when the mother and the child share the same room in the hospital, rather than the baby being placed in the nursery each night. Even with this simple definition, choosing whether or not to room-in can mean different things to different mothers. Because of this, it's important to know where you stand and to understand your needs during your hospital stay. You may decide that you want to breastfeed your baby before s/he is placed with an adoptive family. When this is the case, you can choose to room-in with your baby or have the nurses bring your baby in when it's time for a meal.
You may also choose to room-in with your baby in order to spend the most time together before the placement is finalized. When you room-in with your baby, you'll get to not only feed him/her, but also change diapers, comfort, and touch your beautiful child. This time in the hospital is your time. It's your time to form a bond with your child, if that's what you choose to do. It's your time to memorize your child's face and little fingers and toes. Take pictures, write in your journal, and make videos of yourself and your baby. This is the time to create memories.
Choosing not to room-in doesn't mean you're a bad parent or you don't care. You may decide to have the child taken from your room immediately. You may even decide that you don't want to see your child because it hurts too much to know that s/he will be with a different mother. Or, you may believe that bonding with the baby will just cause increasingly hurt feelings, and the bonding should be done by the adoptive mother. No matter your feelings or beliefs with rooming-in and adoption, they are all valid. Your pregnancy and placement journey has been a journey of self. This is just one more step on your chosen path. Whatever you feel is best for you and your child, do it.
During your hospital stay, you may receive negative reacions for choosing to room-in. This can come from your family members, hospital staff, adoption professionals with whom you're working, and even the potential adoptive family. Don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision you don't want to make. If you want to room-in, allow yourself to do it. If you don't want to room-in, don't let anyone coerce you into it. Because every situation is different, there isn't one right answer when it comes to rooming-in.
Throughout this process, it's important to remember that as long as your parental rights are still intact, you can make any decision affecting yourself and your child. And that includes whether or not to room-in. Before the adoption has been finalized, you are still your child's parent. Make the decisions you feel are best, and move forward with confidence.