I wrote a handful of poems (and countless letters) while pregnant. I have decided to share a couple that I feel comfortable sharing here.I have also written and published a poem about the boys I birthed in the collection “Under a Blushing Sky”.
Baby. Little Mister. My miracle. (Never an accident, never a mistake, an unexpected twist of fate, but the road of life is always circuitous, always winding.)
“Is it a boy or a girl?” your daddy asked. Before I knew, we guessed you to be a boy. (Who knew we’d be right?)
We cried over you so many nights (never an accident, never a mistake, always a miracle).
We love you with such strength, such ferocity.
We’re in love with you since Day 1, since the test came back saying “yes”, since the first ultrasound where we looked at your tiny little toes and studied your tiny little fingers and watched (scrutinized) your tiny little wave. (Your silly little wave I now emulate to your daddy to make him chuckle- hand plastered to your tiny little forehead, tiny little fingers poking out and wiggling.)
The technician said, “It looks like he’s trying to give you the Loser sign.” (Your index finger and thumb in the shape of an L on your forehead.)
I said, “That’s his daddy in him,” and laughed a little bit.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I cried a little bit too. Little Mister.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m crying. I’m crying a lot right now.
Daddy and I talked to you. I wrote you letters. (Daddy used to laugh because I wanted to make a plaster of my stomach and have you crawl into it for pictures- a baby in a bowl. I wanted to paint it with you eventually.)
Daddy held me and held underneath my big tummy (big with you)
like it was a prize in a Cracker Jack box. He’d hold you and talk to you.
Just know we’ve loved you all along.
“Upon Seeing You for the First Time”
Upon seeing you, I know my heart will skip a beat. Upon seeing you, I know my heart will grow weak. I fell in love with you from the start. (Your hand cupped around my lone finger, your eyes staring beseechingly into my own.)
Some days, I go through these photographs we took and laugh. Some days, I cry.
I took a week to write this post because I wanted to make sure I chose my words carefully. I write a lot of poetry about my own experiences because it is cathartic for me, but I also write it so people who might be in the situation I once found myself in know that they are not alone. Therefore, I write poetry that touches on various traumas, abuse, mental illness, and more. It is healing for me, and I hope, some day, healing for my readers.
I have explicitly said to fellow authors that I do not want my blog to become a diary. [The Anna Nalick song “Breathe (2 A.M.)” comes to mind…] However, I am aware that I am transparent in my poetry, and as a result, I want this blog to also be fairly transparent.
Mother’s Day is not an easy holiday for me. I was raised by abusive parents with my mother being diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder later in life and my father being diagnosed with ASD. As I touched on in a previous poem Silly Girl: a Poem, I have two sons I gave up for adoption. Therefore, the holiday (Mother’s Day) is fraught with emotional overload for me.
I treasure the boys I created in my womb for nine months at a time. I adored how it felt to take care of myself because I was busy creating life, a life-that as it was still inside me-that loved me unconditionally. I remember reading at the time, if a pregnant spider feels fear, her baby too feels the heightened sensations that the pregnant spider feels-this might not be true, I’m not an entomologist-yet the message stuck with me. If I began to feel fear, I thought of that little baby spider.
But nonetheless, the adoption process is emotionally draining. I decided two months before giving birth to place my first son for adoption. It wasn’t an easy decision nor one I made lightly.
We agreed to an open adoption, yet through the agency policies, we weren’t allowed to know their last names or phone number. That changed over time. I was also only allowed to see him a maximum of four times a year. That changed too.
Last time I saw the two boys, they were becoming so mature. The one dictated a short story on my typewriter explaining every event that happened that day, making sure to include that “painting with Izzie was the best part”.
He also asked me my favorite color while we were painting. Off-guard by the question, I responded purple. Then, he snuck into my art studio before dinner and painted me a heart on a purple background.
I found it after they left and cried.
The youngest typed a story too, but he’s hurting so his was all about his adoptive parents and their pets.
He needs answers. Answers that aren’t easy to give.
Why wasn’t my birth dad at the hospital when I was born?
Why do we never see him?
Does he love me?
I originally had some answers prepared, but he caught me off-guard. I fumbled with awkward responses.
This brings me back to Mother’s Day. Most people wish specific women a happy Mother’s Day, usually women with children, or women of a certain age, or even women who look like moms.
As a birth mother, I don’t often get wished a happy Mother’s Day. It’s one of those taboo topics people still struggle to understand: like abortion, gender identity, or addiction. I encourage people to ask me questions about the adoptions.
I sat on a panel a few years ago, answering questions from prospective adoptive parents. It was rewarding to be able to help them through the process and give an accurate, honest look into the way it all plays out.
Yet despite my openness and willing to discuss this (as I think being more open than it being a taboo subject would help erase the stigma around adoption), I still have days where it hurts…like Mother’s Day.
This, coupled with a mother who abused me for not being perfect, makes Mother’s Day difficult.
Let’s not forget the nontraditional mothers next year: birth mothers, adoptive moms, foster moms, mothers of angel babies, expectant mothers, single mothers, moms who don’t talk to or see their children because of estrangement, et cetera, et cetera.
All mothers should be cherished this day.
That being said, I dug around this past week and discovered a couple of poems I wrote for Baby.
Hopefully you’ll be interested in reading them as they further open up the issue I’m addressing in this post.