My Dear Little One,
When I got pregnant with you my marriage was falling apart. Your dad had been out of the house for over a week. This wasn’t his first venture out but it was going to be his last. When you were conceived it was in a momentary lapse in your dad’s plans. He had said he wanted to come home and try to work things out but changed his mind after about three hours of being home. It was the day after the Super bowl and the Seahawks lost. I didn’t find out I was pregnant until a couple weeks later when I got that all too familiar sign of fatigue and sickness.. I was hoping that it was just the flu.. I was hoping my body was wrong. I did not want to be pregnant. I did not want another baby. My husband was leaving and I did not want to do this alone. I did not want to be a single mother to 5 children let alone think about bringing another one in to our family at that time. My youngest child was only 1 year and 4 months old. I did not want to make her be a big sister yet. I wanted her to be able to enjoy her babyhood a bit longer. To get all the cuddles and love she deserved. I was just starting to get bits of time to myself again as well. I did not want to give that up. But, mostly I didn’t want to be raising 6 kids on my own.
I was miserable, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Thankfully my physical sickness with you ended along with the first trimester. In the beginning, before I could feel any movement, I kept hoping I’d misscarry. I had had 5 normal pregnancies with healthy babies as the outcome so I didn’t think misscarriage was likely. I did not feel that abortion was the right choice. As much as I didn’t want another child I didn’t feel it was up to me to destroy this life that was growing inside me.
But still I was unhappy. I was hurting. It made it worse that I didn’t want you. I felt guilty. As much as I didn’t want another child I felt worse about not wanting you when you were already there growing inside of me. I cried for you, I cried for my unwanted baby. I went through all the motions and I had to pretend to others that everything was normal or I was happy but inside I felt like I was dying. It killed me to not be happy for you. To wish you weren’t there. To not wonder about my perfect little miracle. To not plan with excitement for your arrival as my belly grew bigger. To not anticipate your perfect little baby toes and fingers.. To not be so impatient to know you and hold you in my arms. To not marvel at each and every tiny movement or flutter in my belly. Going to the midwife and hearing your heartbeat was not the happiest thing in the world for me. I think the first time I heard it I said, “yup, well I guess it’s in there.” As much as I didn’t want you, it hurt me worse to not want you. The guilt ate at me and continued to do so even after you were born.
I would try to make myself be excited but I couldn’t. I tried making things for you, getting spaced cleared out in the house so I would have a place for all your little clothes. Logically, I knew that after you were born I’d love you.. but it was the getting there that was the hard part. My life felt like it was falling apart and I was trying to care for 5 other kids and myself.
I felt guilty that my negetive thoughts might be putting you in danger. That you weren’t growing in the healthiest of environments. That what if you made it through gestation and labor but then you die as an infant because I didn’t want you when I was pregnant. At 3 months old now, I know we are still not out of the woods with that but I pray and meditate on that often to keep you safe and healthy so you can grow into a man. (A well adjusted man who won’t leave his family because he has decided he doesn’t want responsibility any more.) I felt guilty because there are so many people in the world who so badly want a baby but can’t and there I was pregnant wishing I wasn’t.
I also developed this irrational fear of giving birth to you. I was terrified. Maybe in part that was because I knew that once you were born you would be here and I’d have to figure out a way to care for a brand new infant as well as 5 other kiddos by myself while trying to heal and rest and that seemed a herculean task! The thought of going through the pain alone was almost unbearable. I worried on it incessantly.
My fear of your birth was not unfounded. On November 1st after I went to bed I awoke to use the bathroom and I thought I peed myself. I know, gross. I kinda jumped out of bed because I was leaking. I ran to the bathroom and got cleaned up then went back to bed. I had to get up around 5 times because I kept thinking my bladder was failing! I had a midwife appointment the next morning and they confirmed my water had broke and I was actually in early labor. The contractions were mild but I was about 4 cm dilated. I went back home and layed in bed while they got stronger. By the early afternoon they were pretty regular and I decided to go to the hospital because mentally I was really unprepared to have you. Contractions stopped on the way there. My mind and my fears would not let my body work properly. I ended up having to have pitocin to get them going again. I also had my very 1st epidural! You are my first child I ever had drugs with. It was nice at taking away the pain in my belly, but I felt everything else! I had to push you out for about 3 hours. Your head was turned the wrong way. At 12:16 am on November 3, 2015 you were born and your little hand came out with your head. You cried and I was so relieved to have that over. When I saw your face I loved you. Instantly. You were so perfect and so beautiful. Big dark eyes, lots of dark hair, perfect little fingers and toes. You were 9 pounds 12 ounces, my largest baby! I could not stop looking at your face. All my worries melted away when I got to hold you in my arms. I knew that I could make it work. I had to be a good mama for you and all my other children.
Even now, 3 months after your birth and you are one of my favorite things to look at. You are one of the most beautiful humans I have seen. And boy, are you a lot of trouble! You are the most particular baby I have had. You are so dang picky! You are a perfect little Scorpio. If I have to put you down for whatever reason you just cry and cry and will not stop until you are picked up again. Even if I can’t pick you up for 20 minutes.. (having 5 other kids means I still have to make dinner and do laundry) You are not the kind of baby who cries themselves to sleep. Every night instead of nursing to sleep in our bed like all my other children did you want to be held and rocked or nursed in the rocking chair. And you hardly nap during the day. But I love you dearly. You have won me over, and stolen my heart. I would do anything in the world to make you happy and just to get to love you. I still can not get over that beautiful little face and perfect body. Your smiles fills me with so much joy. I am thankful for you and what I have gone through to have you in my life. I am so happy you chose to come to me. Although, it may have not been the best time in my mind, I’m sure you came to me when you did for a reason.
my sweet Valentine
All my love,