Sunday, July 29, 2012
Feelings of a relinquishing mother
They say I'm not your mother But what do they know. What makes a mother? Is it the blood that runs through our veins? Surely our blood has crossed while you were nestled in the depths of my womb. So surely I am your mother. Is it the genetic link that we do not share? Science has shown that your genes now run through my veins. They are shared between us and us alone. So surely I am your mother. Is it love? For love is the reason I stayed. Love is the reason I ran. Love is the reason I fought. And love is what I still feel. Is it because I signed a paper that states you are no longer mine? I wonder at times why I did sign that paper. Then I remember the wonderful people that I signed that paper for. The people who want to love you and care for you in ways I don't know how to. That paper allowed you to have the best future I could possibly give you. So surely I am your mother. For a mother is not who is biologically 'yours' A mother is not only the one who's genetics make your own. A mother doesn't yearn merely for control, No, a mother is so much more. A mother holds you close and loves you with all her heart. A mother makes choices and sacrifices so that you can have everything. A mother loves, and hates; laughs and cries; rejoices and despairs; for everything that her child endures. And if that is a mother. Then surely, I am your mother. Weeks have passed, and yet I am still not sure that I am through the woods as far as my own feelings go. Most days I feel alright, as though I can continue with my day to day, taking care of the girls, acting as though I was not missing anything. But in the quiet of the night, things are very different. My heart is no longer complete; something pulls at me like a string on my finger, reminding me that there is something that I do not have. There are many nights that have been spent pacing the apartment, tears streaming down my face. I know my hormones are still out of whack, but not all of this can be attributed to postpartum emotions. People have said that I am in mourning, and I guess this is partially true. My daughter lays in a hospital room, with people surrounding her that she does not know; those that know nothing of our journey. The person who stays with her, night and day, is not me. I walk into her room, and the nurses ask who I am; I am a stranger. In some strange way I feel as though I'm abandoning her. I love Baby S dearly, and of course I want what is best for her. Through my entire pregnancy and the early days of her birth I have asserted that I believe that the best place for her is with her adoptive family. There are many reasons that I believe this to be so, and my opinion has not changed in that regard. Maybe it's just the postpartum hormones, but even though my head tells me I"m right, my heart is still aching with feelings of having abandoned my baby. These feelings are exacerbated by the facts that I have been unable to go to the hospital as much as I'd like, not being able to provide her with breastmilk, and the day quickly approaching where she is going to go to Boston and I will still be here. Part of me is jealous that others will be the ones who will get to experience her growing up. The first steps, first words, all those are going to be something that I will have to experience second-hand. All these things that I had prepared myself, at one time, to experience as her mother, now I must experience as an onlooker. And the worst thing of all; my own two children. Little girls who have become accustomed to going to the hospital to see this little baby. They remember me pregnant with her; they know she was in my belly. They have been by my side as I have taken care of her, and they have come to think of her as 'our baby'. I look at them, and I see how much they love her, and my heart breaks for them. I am not the only one who has gotten used to the idea of having this baby around. But long nights become busy days, the memories and the awkwardness will fade, and in time all of this will be just another story in the neverending saga of my life and the lives of my children. We will all be better for our experiences, and Baby S will be in the best position I could possibly have put her in. After all, that's what I've been working for all along.