It’s 12:57am and you’re finally sleeping.
Right now you don’t know much.
You know my smell.
You’ll sleep longer if I lay you or wrap you in something I wore.
You know the house is always noisy with your siblings.
You know when you’re hungry.
And that’s about it.
You don’t know anything before you.
You don’t know that you were a huge surprise.
You don’t know that I sat in the ER at 5 weeks because I was pouring blood.
You don’t know that I felt relieved.
I had two friends come see me and I had a hard time pretending to be sad.
You don’t know that I went back a week later and they said they’d probabaly need to do a D&C but there you were, still fighting.
You don’t know that I left hysterical because I thought you were gone and I had to tell myself over again that you were there.
You don’t know how much I hate myself for the relief I felt when I thought I was miscarrying.
You don’t know that they took my antidepressants cold turkey because I was high risk and I was SO angry with you for taking away what helped me be okay.
You don’t know that I noticed red flags in your aunt and ended up pulling my jeep over as I watched her eyes well over with tears.
You don’t know that as I listened to her tell me the hurt she was living through it reopen old wounds of my own.
You don’t know the rage I felt in me was like nothing I’d ever felt before. I had walked through that valley before but watching her feel the same feelings of disgust with herself was unbearable somedays.
You don’t know that because of this I removed your siblings and myself from our church home of five years because I was never letting that be one of my daughters. I was never letting somewhere that should be a safe place victim shame any child of mine and make them feel as low as I saw my sister feel.
You don’t know I watched people we loved turn their cheeks the other way.
You don’t know I was drained from your preemie brother and sister constantly being sick and wheezing. It was doctors appoints every week, and breathing treatments, and it was beyond exhausting.
You don’t know your sister had a PICU stay and I sat there the entire time wondering how I could possibly take care of another baby.
You don’t know that I was attacked after work walking to my car.
You don’t know that I sat numb at a police station for hours.
You don’t know that I came home and curled up in bed next to your sister and shut all my feelings off.
You don’t know that your granddad came to my house because he knew something was wrong and sat there for 30 minutes while I tried to form words. I didn’t want to hurt him more than I already have in my 22 years.
You don’t know that I sat across the room from your grandma as she sat there with a notebook interviewing me and wanted so badly to curl up next to her like a child to feel okay but instead I sat there glaring across the room at her hating everything. Trying to feel nothing because I knew if I let myself feel it would be too much for me.
You don’t know how many times I pushed your dad away because I felt like I was ruining his life.
You don’t know how many times I’ve ignored texts and phone calls from people who I can’t pretend to be okay around.
You don’t know that I dealt with everything alone for months because I wanted to protect your siblings and I didn’t want to yet again disappoint my family.
You don’t know that I’d double over in pain due to contractions starting at 12 weeks.
You don’t know that I was deemed epileptic at 15 weeks.
You don’t know that I went to the ER more time than I can count.
You don’t know how hard 2017 was for me. Physically and mentally it was the hardest year of my life.
It was lonely. And dark. And my world was flipped upside down.
You don’t know that I resented you.
You were an innocent, unborn child.
And I genuinely resented you.
How awful is that?
Women try so hard to conceive, they miscarry, they can’t conceive at all, and here I was resenting you.
I hated myself for that.
I was miserable.
I didn’t want another kid.
I had to stop driving sometimes because the urge to swirve off the road was overwhelming.
I had so much other stuff going on in my life I didn’t want to deal with you.
I already was struggling to want to be here.
I felt alone.
I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been.
How could I take care of you when I couldn’t care for myself?
So I decided I’d place you with a family since I personally couldn’t go through with an abortion.
At 8 weeks your dad and I sat in the dorms on base filling out information on ourselves.
White. 5’8. Lean. No history of cancer. 22yo.
We wrote our interests.
We described our families.
I remember climbing in my car that night and pulling over on the side of the road to vomit because I was so disgusted with myself.
How could I keep 3 kids and give this one away?
It’s not your fault.
You did nothing wrong.
At 11 weeks the genetic screening came back.
You were perfectly healthy.
And I still didn’t want you.
At 12 weeks I thumbed through families every night.
I studied their faces.
I pictured you with them.
I wanted a family who could give you a good life.
I called and talked to a family.
And then I met with them.
I’m changing their names to Sam and Kate but I’ll never forget their names or their faces or what their home looked like.
They watered up when they saw me.
The touched my tiny bump and even knelt down and kissed it.
I felt defensive and honestly furious they were claiming my child.
I know that makes no sense.
I hand picked them for you and I hated them for loving you.
I think, looking back on it now, I hated them for being able to love you when I couldn’t.
You don’t know how miserable I was.
How many nights I sat on the beach for hours on end trying to feel okay.
Listening to the waves in complete darkness trying to stop the hurting.
How when I was waitressing and people would light up when they noticed my bump I’d ask someone to take my table because I couldn’t talk about you.
How I told myself I wasn’t enough for you.
How I told myself I couldn’t take care of you.
How I talked myself into believing that because my car only had 3 backseats I couldn’t possibly keep you.
You don’t know any of this.
You don’t know that on the drive to the hospital I felt you coming and honestly would have rather remained in that pain than you have been born then.
I wasn’t ready.
And then they had to do an emergency csection.
I woke up with no belly just pain.
I remember trying to sit up and being unable to and yet again being annoyed with you.
I remember thinking I was literally just sliced open to save you.
I should be thankful the doctors got you out before it was too late, but I wasn’t.
I was angry.
I was angry I’d need help caring for your siblings.
I was angry I couldn’t drive.
I was angry that the only person who knows me inside out was 2000 miles away and I needed her to come tell me we’d be okay.
I was angry.
They wheeled me to your incubator and I moved too peer in at you and had to stop because it felt like my inscision was actually on fire.
I remember looking in a feeling nothing.
I didn’t cry.
I didn’t feel bad for you.
I remember sitting there thinking back to the conversation I had with the woman who was going to adopt you when I said she’d have to be here when I go into labor because I didn’t want to touch you.
And that’s how I felt.
I was almost relieved when they said we couldn’t hold you for a week.
I tried so hard to feel those mom emotions.
I asked if we could hold you everyday.
I came to visit you even on the days I didn’t want to.
And then you came home.
And it’s been hard.
You scream a lot.
Even after you’ve been fed and changed.
You just scream.
And some nights it makes me want to pull my hair out.
Last week your dad went back to work and I bounced you while you screamed for over two straight hours and when you finally stopped and laid down I sat by your bassinet hysterical.
Somedays I’m okay.
Other days are terribly dark.
I watch your siblings love you and am almost jealous the feeling comes so naturally to them.
I’ve been trying so hard.
To bond with you.
I’m on antidepressants.
I’m really trying.
And I hate myself everyday to not being okay because you deserve that.
But I am aware.
I’m getting help.
I’m leaning on friends and family.
PPD isn’t talked about like it needs to be.
You feel like a failure of a mother.
Last year I finally blogged about it with my other daughter simply to hold myself accountable.
So I didn’t back out of getting help.
And a woman got on and left a nasty, nasty comment.
Someone I didn’t know.
Some random internet troll.
And I understood why people don’t admit they need help.
I’d much rather people think less of me as a mom for needing help than me not get help and actually be less of a mom.