Soul Baby (5 parts)

 

Dear Baby Girl Z,

Part 1

I’m so sorry, I really am. I know you can’t and won’t forgive me, how could you? I will never forgive myself. Everyone, pretty much, hates me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I thought you would complete me, solve all my problems. But, I had to solve them on my own, didn’t I? I think I wanted you in my life for all the wrong reasons and I know that was selfish and horrible.

One of my friends had adopted a baby and she was the light of her mom’s life, she lived for her baby and I thought that having you would make me whole. I had to learn that the only way for a person to be whole was to be whole first.

Z, I will never, ever forget what I did to you in my entire life. Until the day I die I will think about you every day and every night.

I had dreamed about you for the past seven years. I tried to be patient, I had gone through all the legal hoops and still I waited, until finally three years ago. I finally was finished, I was approved, home inspection: check. Now the only thing I had to do was wait.

 

Part 2.

I was a lawyer hoping to make partner and every day was so busy from seven in the morning to at least ten at night. But, I had arranged everything. I had a nanny set up, a nursery, went out with friends, checked my cell phone constantly.

sadness

sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every day was a possibility, every night could be a disappointment. Even the mailman, Mike, knew my situation and one day, the thick manilla envelope arrived. It was delivered on a bright, sunny Wednesday in the Spring, Mike lingered in the building to hand it to me in person. I didn’t want to share this with anyone so I thanked him and went upstairs to my apartment’s open, airy, bright chrome kitchen and ripped the envelope apart.

 

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn DeLight (back again))

One look at the black and white photograph, seeing your eyes, your deep, dark sad eyes and I held my breath, waiting for the tenderness to overwhelm me. I didn’t feel happy or joyful, I felt terrified and wrong. I thought to myself:’ I’m having a heart attack.’ “I was in shock” I told myself, “of course” and waited to feel the love and sense of motherhood I had longed for. This was MY baby, the baby I had looked forward to for years. My stomach sank to my frigid feet, I felt out of control, overwhelmed, out of my mind. I felt hollow inside and empty but mostly, I felt nothing.

 

Part 3.

“That’s ridiculous” I thought, “it’s just shock. I’m scared, nervous maybe and more than a little unsure.” I talked myself into first day jitters but I only had a photograph and all I could see was the pain in your eyes. I turned away, I walked to the living room, leaving the photograph sitting, turned over on the kitchen counter. The second I turned my back I knew what I had to do,  I knew it in my head, right away, right after, in my heart.

I called my best friend to come over because I was absolutely hysterical, she came but I could not be calmed down. I had made the wrong decision. I would call the agency and tell them that the deal fell through and I’m sure she would be happier with a family, one with kids…and a dog.

Part 4.

I’ve lived with this pain, this regret for many years. Why, how, could I have walked away from my Soul Baby?  I thought all I had wanted to do was be a mother, I swear, until it was almost possible. What was I trying to prove? I was in no way able to offer the love and stability of a child AND have a full-time career. I was selfish, I wanted both. But, after looking at the photo of your sad, tortured eyes, I could not do that to you again. This was not a trial run, or sweater that I could exchange in the store. This was a life and I knew I couldn’t handle it.

I broke down in tears, hysterically crying. I don’t know what happened but I could not be responsible for this beautiful, sad child. What if I was not enough to make her happy? I wasn’t sure enough if I could make myself happy. The next 24 hours were the hardest of my life. I cried through most of them. I wouldn’t speak to anyone but I knew, deep down in my heart that I could not, would not be a mother to this child. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t even know myself yet.

English: Photograph of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophi...Part 5.

I know this much, there was no excuse for what I did but it was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Each morning before work and each evening after dinner, I would take out the same photo that I had never given back, look at it and said “I’m so sorry Baby Girl Z” I not only turned my back on her, I had turned on myself. Eventually I put the photo away and stopped looking at it. I practiced law full-time and yes, I was a Partner.

10 years later:

My son and daughter come running to me, I left being a lawyer when our son was born and two years afterwards our daughter. In their hands was a piece of paper and they were laughing and giggling. “Mommy, who is this?” they cried, pushing and shoving each other. In their hands was the black and white photo of Baby Z, Soul Baby, I had never thrown that photo away nor would I ever.

I looked at my kids straight in their eyes and said “that was Baby Z, she was supposed to be your sister but mommy made a big mistake, it was too early.” They didn’t ask any other questions and there were no other questions left to ask. I took the photo and gently placed it back in my old journal from years ago; this time I put it in the lock box, my husband Jim, of twelve years, smiling by my side.

 

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Plinky Prompt: Stand By Your…..

My photos that have a creative commons license...

My photos that have a creative commons license and are free for everyone to download, edit, alter and use as long as you give me, “D Sharon Pruitt” credit as the original owner of the photo. Have fun and enjoy! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm? See all answers
  • Stand By Your…Friend, Family…
  • Not only do I feel uncomfortable when I see someone who is being ridiculed. I leap into their world automatically becoming “Super-Defender”on behalf of them. I hate to see people put on the spot especially if they are awkward or feel uncomfortable. I feel so bad for them especially if the other person is a bully. I will just fly with my invisible cape and dazzling smile, into the conversation and defend the victim. I’ll make perfect sense, I can argue up a storm and offer a good counter argument as well.
    It’s just when it comes to myself that the answers sometimes come later. I should have been a lawyer, a public defender but it’s a little late for that now. Unless they have done something illegal, I will always defend a friend or a family member, a loved one, no matter what. I think it’s called LOYALTY. There should be more of it in this world.

Carry On Tuesday: Standing at the crossroads…

Times Square, NYC

Times Square, NYC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter and Stephanie lived in Manhattan, where the neon lights and the booming noises, bounced through their apartment windows.  They were young, married and happy. They met up with friends for dinner at noodle restaurants or sushi or Thai food several times a week. Peter was a lawyer, Stephanie was in PR and they enjoyed their life. They stayed up late, needed little sleep and felt alive with NYC’s streets lit up with musicians, dancers, and a hundred different languages spoken at a time.

It was not, however, relaxing. Peter started getting restless and started complaining about the noise in the city, and how he could just not stand another ambulance screeching through the city streets. Peter started talking about moving to the suburbs, so they could buy a house, raise children, plant a garden. Stephanie didn’t object outright but she had no desire to leave the city anytime soon.

Three months later Stephanie learned that she was pregnant quite accidentally. She had gone to her Internist for a physical having been tired and feeling run down and when the blood work came back, she was pregnant. She was in complete shock and didn’t tell Peter that night, she needed a few days alone to digest the news. This had not been planned and Stephanie hated surprises but she knew they wanted kids in the future.

Later that week, Stephanie interrupted Peter and said “she needed to talk to him and that it was serious.” He couldn’t read her expression and crazy thoughts went flying through his mind, “Is it over?” Is she having an affair?” “Is she dying?” It was none of those things, she said.  She told him that she was pregnant, he was ecstatic and relieved. Tears flooded his eyes and he jumped up and when he tried to hug and kiss her she sat absolutely still. They talked long into the night and Peter could not contain his joy and Stephanie could not hide her ambivalence.

Peter said “ambivalence” was normal, there was never a “perfect time to have kids” and she reluctantly agreed. He called his parents and hers, he called their friends and told them the news; Stephanie liked the attention. Her friends and family were absolutely “cooing” they were so happy and Peter woke up every morning like he had just won the lottery, grinning, his face lit up like the sun.

Peter insisted that moving to the suburbs from the city was the right choice now. They knew they could never afford living in their tiny Manhattan apartment and have room for a bassinet much less a baby carriage. Peter started to look at starter houses immediately but Stephanie stayed home. “She was tired” she said and he knew her taste. Besides, she was just two months pregnant and they had plenty of time.

Within a month, Peter had it narrowed it down to four houses. Peter and Stephanie agreed to meet at Grand Central so they could take the train to Briarcliff Station where their realtor would be waiting for them. They were meeting at eleven thirty to take the train at noon. At 11:00 they confirmed their plans. Peter was there first and he waited for Stephanie to arrive. It was now 11:45 and there was no sight of Stephanie. He rang her cell phone frantically but she didn’t pick up. He waited another hour there and annoyed, went back to the apartment.

Back home he called everyone he knew but no one had seen or heard from Stephanie, not even her family or best friends. They feared she was abducted, it was not like her not to call. Peter had called every hospital in the city, he called the police and gave them a description and a photo, still no word.

Two days later, Molly, Stephanie’s best friend, rang the bell and Peter let her in immediately. She started crying hysterically and Peter couldn’t understand what she said, nothing made sense.  Finally, Molly reached into her red, leather bag and pulled out a note and gave it to Peter. It read: “Dear Peter, I can’t do this, this is not the life I want. I have already left and don’t try to find me. There is no baby. Steph.

At that, Peter screamed and clutched his stomach. “Where the hell was she?” Molly swore she didn’t know and Peter believed her. Molly slipped away from the chaos and quietly shut the front door. No one understood, everyone was screaming and crying and shouting. Everyone was worried and mad and scared and in disbelief. “How could this happen to them?” they cried.

Stephanie had been standing at the crossroads for many weeks, she had to decide on her life and what would make her happy. She chose to walk away, to leave Peter and her family and friends and start over someplace new.  She had a miscarriage after three weeks, but she told no one. It was her first step on her way to freedom.