transcript

transcript Carolee's Story: Family Planning and Adoption

It was March 1st 2009. I went to the hospital to give birth to my son, Rafael. it was me and my mom. I was a little scared and nervous knowing I was going to have a c-section for the third time.

The only difference was, when I came out of the operating room, I wouldn't be able to have any more children and this baby wouldn't be coming home with me, he was being adopted.

I was eight weeks pregnant when I found out. I didn't want to think about it, so I pretend to like it wasn't true. I did this for the first four months. I told my sister and a couple of friends. I was scared to tell my mom because my youngest, Jayla, was only eight months old. My son Brayden was five and my oldest daughter, Abigail, was seven.

I figured I'd better start telling some people about it because i was going to start showing soon. I did consider abortion at the very beginning but I just couldn't bring myself to do that. Especially after I found out that the baby already had fingers and a strong heartbeat.

I knew I couldn't keep him because it was already cramped in my two bedroom apartment, and babies are expensive. So my only other choice was adoption.

A local woman's program mailed me three brochures that talked about adoption agencies. I wasn't comfortable with the first one I read because the program had a religious affiliation. When I read the brochure for the agency i picked, I felt comfortable and in control of my decision.

I read that I would get to choose the adoptive family and the type of adoption i would like: Open, semi-open, or closed. I also like that if in the end, I chose to keep the baby, I could.

I started taking birth control when I was about 16. I started with the pill, and it worked for five years. One day I forgot to fill my prescription, and I got pregnant with my daughter Abigail. After Abigail, I went back on the pill. I took it faithfully at the same time every day, but something went wrong, because 16 months later I was pregnant again with my son Brayden.

After Brayden, I decided to go on the patch. It seemed to work and it was easier to manage. Especially with little ones. I was on the patch for five years until I heard on the news that the patch caused blood clots, or even possibly death. Me my then-boyfriend decided to stop taking birth control and use the pull out method for a year.

One day, he decided he wanted to have a baby. So I became pregnant with Jayla. Even though I decided that I didn't want any more children when I was pregnant with Jayla, here I was in the hospital again.

I planned to get my tubes tied, but wasn't able to send the paperwork before Jayla's delivery. And before I could begin with an IUD, I had sex and the condom broke.

While I lay in my hospital bed I thought for a moment about keeping him, but then I heard Jayla's voice I knew that I made the right decision. But even though I know I made the right decision, 25 weeks later, I still can't put into words how I felt that day.

On screen: "Carolee opted for an open adoption, which has allowed her to keep Rafael in her life."

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