It all started with a positive pregnancy test in October of 2018. The fear I felt was unlike anything. Being 21 at the time and having a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, I was petrified at the thought of being pregnant again. Not to mention I lost my job just two months prior and I was struggling to support the boys, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to support you. Your birth father and I were still together at the time I found out I was pregnant with you. We had planned on him finding a better job, me finding a place that would hire me all so we could provide for you, your brothers and your sister on your birth father’s side. But things became more complicated as time went on and the truth came out.
You see, Charlie, your birth father was never very faithful to me. I knew that for awhile before we found out about you. After the second time he cheated on me in less than two months’ time, he promised he would stop. But I also knew that wasn’t true. The relationship was nothing but lie after lie from him, and the biggest one was that he unintentionally got me pregnant. He lied to his family, his ex-wife, his friends, our friends, and me. I firmly believe that he lied for so long that he actually thought it was the truth.
Until Thanksgiving came around. That was when the truth came out for everyone.
That was the day he finally admitted he tried trapping me with him due to his previous selfish acts of cheating, lying, the abuse . . . he knew that I was at my limit. He knew I was weighing my options on leaving, and that right there was why he intentionally got me pregnant despite knowing I wasn’t ready for more children. And that act and that lie cost him the entire relationship. That cost me you.
After I left him, he wanted nothing to do with me, even if it was about you. It was as if we didn’t exist to him because I did what was best. He didn’t accept the fact that I was leaving him. As a matter of fact, he was trying to make me stay when I was adamant about leaving for my wellbeing and for yours. I couldn’t keep us in a situation like that, and I certainly didn’t want you growing up in a toxic environment, either. So leaving him was the only option I could even consider. And I don’t regret that one bit.
After the breakup, I still continued looking for jobs. Being pregnant though, no one wanted to hire me. So every time I had even the slightest hope of keeping you, it crumbled. It was then that the option for adoption weighed most on me, so I researched it more and more. I found a family through a friend of mine who ended up backing out as they couldn’t afford all the fees involved.
I spent months getting to know them and I quickly realized how amazing they are. I fell in love with their personalities, their traits, their lifestyle, etc. I knew they would be absolutely amazing parents. They tried for years to have a baby and they were disappointed each and every time when they found out they were unsuccessful. So I decided I was going to bless them with you. If anyone deserved you, it had to be them.
I was six months pregnant when I came across them through the lawyer they had representing them. She had emailed me about a dozen approved families looking for a baby to call their own. The first one I read was the family I wanted to have you. For anonymity, I’ll refer to them as N2. Now I read all of the potential families, Charlie. But none of them equaled up to N2. So after I took my time and really thought about it, I emailed their lawyer back and told her my choice. I was very confident in that decision. And to this day, I still am. Your parents are amazing. They are funny, smart, outgoing, hard-working, loving, adventurous. They have the ability to make light of any situation, the ability to make you smile even when you want to break down because your world feels as if it’s falling apart—and mine was. It definitely was. But they helped me. They guided me. They listened when I needed an ear. They told me that everything would be OK. And it’s getting there. One day at a time.
On June 22nd, I was in labor at home. I had called the hospital a little after midnight and talked to the nurse in labor and delivery. She told me I needed to drink more water and to lie down and relax. If the contractions got to be about three minutes apart, I needed to go to the hospital. That was when I called N2 to let them know what was going on. I was in severe pain having contractions about 5-6 minutes apart. They talked to me, helped me time them, talked me through contractions and just helped keep calm and breathe. At 3 a.m., I left for the hospital. The pain was too much for me to handle. I got to the hospital about 3:30 and upon entering, I had to fill out some paperwork and then they rushed me up to labor and delivery. That was when I found out I was 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. Definitely in labor, so they admitted me. I had to fill out more paperwork, answer questions, get an IV, have my blood pressure taken, blood drawn for labs, the whole nine yards. I called N2 immediately to let them know I was for sure in labor. They booked a flight to get here as soon as possible from California (I live in Florida). They were so excited!
I was exhausted. I had been up for over 15 hours straight once I got to the hospital. And I was going to be awake much much longer than that. At 6cm dilated, my water finally broke on its own. But I still had a ways to go. I kept asking about the epidural, but the woman who administers it was in surgery and couldn’t give it to me. Instead, they kept injecting my IV with medication supposed to help with pain and help you sleep. It did neither. As a matter of fact, I was in extensive amounts of pain and instead of helping me sleep, it made my body feel like it was shutting down. I couldn’t open my eyes, I could hardly move, and to top it off, I couldn’t even tell what was real and what wasn’t. The contractions just kept getting more and more painful and closer together. Sometimes I couldn’t even decipher if I was really having a contraction or not. It was the worst labor I had ever experienced.
At 10:25 a.m. on June 22nd, 2019, you were born. You were 7lbs 7.5oz and 18.5 inches long. It took three pushes.
I was crying because I couldn’t fathom the idea of holding you before I signed those adoption papers. I knew if I did, I would have backed out, and I couldn’t do that to you or them.
The nurses took you out of the room and kept you with them so I could have space. Right after you were born I called N2 before they boarded their flight to let them know that you were a baby girl. You have no idea how excited they were. After the conversation, the nurses urged me to rest, but I couldn’t. I only sat in bed crying for what seemed like hours. By the time you were born, I had been awake for 25 hours straight. And although my body was exhausted, all I could do was cry. I felt empty.
After a few hours, I finally managed to choke back some tears long enough to take a few pictures of you. The second I looked at you, I felt the tears coming, but I kept them back for as long as I could. I sat there and just looked at you. Charlie, you are the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen in my life. Maybe I’m biased. But to me, you will always be the most beautiful girl. After staring at you for about 10 minutes, I went back to my room and the second the door closed behind me, I felt a wave of tears pouring down my face. I was amazed at the fact that tears were still coming. I had cried so much that I didn’t think I could cry anymore. After I got myself under some control, I sent the pictures I took to N2. They fell in love with you immediately. As had I. Everyone who looked at you was in awe.
That same night, N2 got to the hospital. They were quite excited to meet me. So excited in fact, that they came directly to the room. They kept me company and spent time taking everything in. Honestly, they helped keep some of my tears at bay. But I think it was only because I was trying to seem like I had everything under control when the truth was, I was breaking down inside. We seemed to have millions of things to talk about.
After they left my room they went to theirs and you went with them. And I won’t lie, I definitely had many more breakdowns that night. Your dad came back and talked to me one-on-one for a bit. He was in shock and was trying to not cry. Not sad tears though. Happy tears. They fell even more in love with you when they met you. After I talked to him for a while longer, we both went back to your room with your mom so I could see you. Again I spent most of the time just staring at you as well as talking to them. I eventually went back to my room that night and ended up crying myself to sleep.
The next morning, I was hoping I would wake up and feel better . . . but I didn’t. I still felt just as empty before. It was Sunday June 23rd, 2019. The day I had to sign the adoption papers. The day I had to sign my rights over. The day you officially were no longer mine.
I took a shower, got back in bed and tried to mentally prepare myself for the day. I eventually went to go see you for a few minutes. The lawyers all got there at around 4 p.m. and explained everything to me about how the process was going to go. They gave me time to consider everything, review everything, and really make sure that I was prepared for this.
At 5:15 p.m., I officially signed away all my rights. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.
I wasn’t able to seem strong. Or even remotely try to keep calm. Waves of tears didn’t just threaten to flood my face, they did. It took hours after that for me to collect myself. The nurses let me know I was being discharged that night, so I packed all of my things and prepared myself to go say goodbye to you. I sat in that room weighing my options; I wanted to hold you so bad. But I was terrified. Eventually, after about an hour and a half of sitting there weighing everything in my head, I asked your parents if I could hold you. They didn’t even hesitate to say yes. Your dad handed you over to me, and that was enough to break down my wall I spent hours building. I wanted to be strong and hold you with no tears. But it was impossible. Those people who say nothing is impossible are wrong. The most impossible thing is to holding your baby in your arms and saying goodbye with no tears.
So, Charlie, I want you to always remember that I did what I did for you. It was the hardest choice I have ever made in my life. And I will carry that with me for always. But I will always love you, I will always be here for you, I will always support you . . . and I will always be proud of you.
My love didn’t end at goodbye. It will never end. That goodbye doesn’t mean forever. It only means until we meet again.
Your birth mom
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