What is your stereotypical birth mom? Look around. There is no mold that any birth mother fits into. Any woman sitting next to you or living next door, working with you, or the mother of your kids best friend might have a similar story to tell. I would say that until fairly recently, being open about placing a child was not very widely acceptable and most adoptions were not open. I spent a lot of years making sure that nobody knew my "secret" because I was so afraid of the judgement that would be placed on me. I even moved far from where my family was so that I could start a new life. As I have become more open about being a birth mother, there has been judgement in some cases, those are few in comparison to the number of people that have come forward that wanted to love and listen and share their own stories of healing and hope.
I was recently introduced to a community of birth mothers and found that while we all have very different stories and are at very different places in our lives, we all share a certain level of understanding for each other that anyone who isn't a birth parent could ever fathom. I am so grateful for them. I am so grateful to finally be ok with sharing this part of me and learning to not place stereotypes on MYSELF.
Its still scary, and I still fear judgement. But I don't fit into any stereotype. This I know. I am just me.