Submitted by: Water Fountains
Only once have I broken down, begging the universe for my baby dad to apologize for getting me pregnant, to help me mourn. The morning after this breakdown, I’m tapping through social media to see him standing in the background of a picture posted by a stranger who had followed me. He had been lurking, I assume, through their profile, watching everything I posted. I had unfriended him after he hadn’t wished me happy birthday a few days after my abortion, or checked in on me.
I felt intensely vulnerable. I unfriended the stranger. It was only after that I realized I threw away my opportunity to ever speak to him again, even though I had begged so earnestly. I realized there was nothing he could give me, nothing to fix the pain that feels buried so deep. There’s information I had been harboring that I wish I could have shared with him, so I’ll share it here.
I had one dream about my son, months after my abortion. He was the spitting image of his father — tan skin, wavy hair, same nose and lips and jaw — but his full cheeks and big eyes were all mine. I looked into his eyes and I looked into my own. In the dream I was so exhausted as I lifted him up, thought about laundry, counted out grocery money — but I loved my son.
Watching him smile and play gave me joy, but it lay thin over a mountain of misery and pain and soreness. I loved my son, but I was so tired.
He loved his dad though, dad was his favorite. He was about a year and a half old in my dream, and was babbling. “Dadda,” he would say, over and over, and I’d be so hurt. “Momma, say momma now,” but he loved him more.
In my dream, my baby dad slept over in my apartment with our son in his arms, then in one moment he woke, stood up, and walked out the door and never came back. After that my son was always asking for him. I tickled him and played dinosaurs with him and fed him warm bottles, but still he asked for dad. I was so miserable. I felt unloved by him. The most prominent thing about the dream was his little teeth, his love for play, and the utter exhaustion I felt. He had inherited none of my intelligence, creativity, or personality. He was all his father. And in that dream I was left, alone, my whole life shattered, raising the spitting image of my baby dad– and it was torture.
When I woke I realized that dream was the glimpse into the life I would have had, had I chose to have my baby — exhausting, lonesome, poor. But I loved my son.
I always wanted to tell my baby dad that — I saw our baby, and he was the spitting image of you. Would you have stayed? Would you have loved him? Would you somehow had fallen in love with me, for bringing your first son into the world?
We were strangers, and we still are. I’ll never get to tell him I saw our baby. Maybe it was a figure of my imagination, a way of coping, but I could feel every moment.
In ten days, election day, I would have given birth. Instead I attend university, just moved into a luxury apartment, and bought myself some diamond jewelry. I get upset when I see instagram videos of babies opening christmas presents, or toddlers telling their mommies they love them. I just remember my son, calling over and over for dad, and him never coming. Just me, alone, in a dingy apartment, surrounded by bright plastic children’s toys.
I made the right choice. It hurts deep inside, but it would have been true vice versa, with that thin veil of joy covering up the pain of giving up my career, my livelihood, and all my ambitions I have as a young woman to raise my baby dad’s boy.
Mommy loves you. That’s why I didn’t bring you here. The world would have done you too much pain. I’ll cry on my due date, and I might whimper on the anniversaries of the day I lost you, but Mommy loves you.
You’re safe in my heart forever, where no one can hurt you. Not your daddy, not the world, and not me. In my heart you’ll be warm.