Eleven years ago, you found me.
You surprised the hell out of me, that’s for sure. Your dad and I were planning a wedding and you would’ve been born around the time of the ceremony. I was on birth control so I don’t know how you found me, but you did.
I want you to know I heard your heartbeat. Your heart had a strong thump and sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still hear it. You changed the entire makeup of my being in just a few days. You were 6 weeks, 5 days in utero.
In that moment, you made me a mother. My sacred depths displayed on a screen, the sight of you made my heart grow. It was instinctual, which is strange because I have to tell you something else.
I didn’t want you.
Your dad and I weren’t ready for all that you would bring. It wasn’t meant to be. I was finishing school, about to start a career, and I knew the kind of hands-on Mom I wanted to be someday. We talked about our options. I am lucky to have had choices.
I don’t think you wanted me, either.
Severe cramping and light bleeding were how I found out about you. Otherwise, I had no idea you were there. I had tried on wedding dresses. I had beer. The morning of Valentine’s Day, I took a test and then three more.
The doctor suspected I was miscarrying.
But I heard your heartbeat and saw you on the screen. You were still there, peanut shaped cells, trying to make a home. I instantly felt connected to you, but I knew it wasn’t meant to be.
Something didn’t feel right. Something was off.
A difficult, lengthy conversation over the course of days brought us to our decision. We were zombies during that week, unable to talk to anyone about it. It was private. Our lives were completely changed because of you.
Five days later, you were gone.
I wasn’t ready for you. You weren’t ready for me.
We told a few people. Some sent flowers. Some sent loving notes. Most were silent. Some made me feel like it was my fault. That I must’ve done something wrong or my body had a defect or you had a defect. I’ll never know the reason and it doesn’t matter.
For months afterward, I cried. I would sweat in crowds. I was sure everyone could tell. Everyone was staring at me. I couldn’t look at babies. I just wanted to sleep. It’s taken me eleven years to write about it.
How could I love something so much in such a short time but also accept I wasn’t ready for that kind of love?
You changed me so much that when your brother found me four years later, I was terrified of losing him too.
Not a February goes by that I don’t dream of you. Then I wonder if you’ve forgiven me for not wanting you. I wonder if you knew that I heard you and that you changed me.
And I wonder if maybe you found me again.
I am forever,
Your health is important. It’s ok to talk about it.