A birth mother’s tears

I cried six times when it was just the two of us

When I found out I was pregnant — tears of panic and fear mixed with tears of an overwhelming love for you. The love tears washed away the panic and fear.

When I decided I wasn’t going to be the person who raised you, I’m not sure I can ever tell you how I made this decision. It was both the hardest and easiest decision I’ve ever made. I knew who your parents would be, and in the same moments I was falling in love with you I was preparing to let go.

When I told Chrissie- who in my world is your Godmother-she was the first person who knew about you. She was instrumental in your appearance in the world. She physically helped me during labor, holding me up during the most intense moments of bringing you into the earth.

When I saw your spine on the ultrasound- it looked like a string of pearls. It was the most real you felt to me at that point. I could have laid there counting your vertebrae to the sound of your heart beating for the rest of time. I still remember how those tears felt hot on my face, if i close my eyes I can feel them falling into my hair.

When taking a shower one night, letting the warm water bring some relief to my aching back. I was crying because I hadn’t felt lonely since I first felt you kick my ribs and I knew in a matter of weeks I would be alone again. I’m really good and really bad at being alone.

When grandma called me in the wee hours one morning towards the end. She expressed her fears with letting you go. She wasn’t trying to convince me to keep you, but it was the first time I truly realized letting you go was going to create an expanse in more than just the chambers of my heart.

I’d assumed I would cry when I first held you, but I didn’t. I was so so so proud of you and myself. I felt like a warrior goddess who had just come back from the most intense journey of life bearing and here was the gift of life laid against my chest. I smiled and laughed in amazement that you were now earth side. I ran my fingers down your spine to feel the vertebrae I saw in that ultrasound.

I have cried six times since you were born

When the hospital photographer brought the pictures from your first little photo shoot. I was in your room with your mom and dad and she played a slide show and I watched your image float across the screen. A black and white photo came of your mom and dad and you. This perfect family of three and I couldn’t breathe. The tears never fell down my cheeks but burned hot in my eyelids.

When I was at Grandma’s recovering and realized she was on facebook looking at photos of you. She whispered, “Shelby, he is so beautiful.” Then she turned her chair around to look at me, tears fresh in her eyes, her voice caught in her throat as she said, “I don’t think I can meet him.” Tears streaked my cheeks mirroring hers.

When I told Grandma “I don’t want you to be disappointed in me,” as we talked about you and the choice I made. I had developed a fear that Grandma may be disappointed in me, she fiercely told me she wasn’t, that she never could be disappointed in me as a person. It was the second time she said to me, “I know one thing, love lets go.”

When I spent my first night alone. I woke up to realize Juniper was sleeping curled in my neck, she hadn’t done that since she was a kitten. Her fur was wet from me crying in my sleep.

When Elora sent me a video of you in the car. I watched you staring out the window, I examined the perfect planes of your profile, you have my lips and chin. You look so at peace and I watched you see the world and I cried so hard my ribs ached for your kicks.

When I wrote about you the first time. These words right here have been blurred by my tears. This is the beginning of writing our story. I’ve always written my story, and now my story of one has become a story of many -me and you and all the people who love us. And I know one thing, tears fall and love lets go.