Happy Birthday Baby Girl

September 15, 1979 at 1:17am, my baby girl was born. After 25 hours of labor, she was pulled into the world with a pair of forceps. Back then, hospitals didn’t kick you out the door 24 hours after giving birth, so I spent 3 days with my girl before leaving without her.

At the time, I had been a resident at a home for unwed mothers. Back in the late 70’s being a pregnant teenager was a disgrace. Being single and pregnant was a disgrace. Being a very young, pregnant teenager who was impregnated by molestation was the most disgraceful thing to be.

During those 3 days at the hospital, I got to hold my baby and to bottle feed her. Being just six days past my 15th birthday, the whole thing was quite surreal. Because I never entertained the notion that I could actually bring my baby home and keep her, I didn’t bond with her particularly. And being so young, I was very clueless in general. But I loved her nevertheless.

Initially after her birth, I was placed in a room with 3 other mothers whose new babies spent a lot of time with them. When the mothers needed to sleep, the babies were taken back to the nursery, where nurses looked after them.

I remember sitting, eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast one day, talking with one of the other girls from the home for unwed mothers that had delivered a day after I had. Something she said brought me to tears. I bawled at the thought of leaving my daughter. When I couldn’t stop crying, a nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. She figured out that I would be better off in a single room. Why no one thought of this in the first place baffles me.

I can still remember the day I walked out that hospital without my daughter. It was a cool fall day, with dry air after a very hot, humid summer. The sky was deep blue. Such a juxtaposition between the physically comfortable weather (and not having a baby sitting on my bladder and pushing up into my lungs), and the pain in my heart. Six weeks later I got to visit briefly with my daughter before signing away my rights to her.

The irony is, 23 years later when I walked out of a hospital without my son, it was oddly familiar and didn’t seem weird. But this time, he was in another hospital, needing to grow and mature for a few weeks before I brought him home.

Happy 36th Birthday baby girl. I love you.

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3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Baby Girl

  1. grace to survive

    That is so sad. Is finding her today an option you’re interested in pursuing?
    The disgrace goes on your attacker, all of it. None on you, you poor child that you were then. And still carrying that loss. That must be so very hard. The countless losses of being sexually attacked, then losing your child. I can’t begin to comprehend your pain.

    Reply
    1. persephone2013 Post author

      Thanks for your thoughts. I’m actually doing fairly well with this all, these days. I’ve done a lot of healing work around this and do know that none of this is on me. It’s just so fucked up that children and victims so often take on blame and shame that is NOT theirs.

      A few years back I made sure my daughter’s adoption file has my current contact information, so if she wants to find me she can. I actually got an anonymous note from someone (possibly her mother) thanking me for her. So, I know that if she wants to meet me or know about me, she has the ability to do so. I don’t want to intrude in her life at this point.

      Reply
      1. grace to survive

        Oh, those are all good things to hear.
        I so agree with how much a child suffers when she has to take it all on herself to keep her family safe from how it would look to others.
        That’s where the true shame and blame lies.

        Reply

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