On the day that you were born you made everything alright. I had temporarily managed to get away from your father. He had beaten me up so badly when I was a few months pregnant with you, and I decided to run with your sister and take the consequences. So we ran. I had to be put on oxygen in the plane I was so badly hurt. Your sister and I snuggled up in first class, with you safe in my belly. I left the plane directly to the hospital after one of the longest flights known to man. You were safe. After having one such damaged baby, due to his violence I couldn’t bear anything else to happen. I tried, so hard, Son. I tried to save us.
I spent the next six months, just heavily pregnant me and your sister, trying to survive. I made a little life for us, a little home. It was not going to be allowed to continue – international law and the Hague Convention would come for us, but for a while it was all safe.
I went into labor at 42 weeks, far different to the very premature baby I had previously had. After the last caesarian section I didn’t want to risk you, so off we went. Your sister was cared for by friends, I gave her a small blue bear to give to you when we came back. On the day you were born I was so scared. There was no one with me, no one to support me. No one to hold my hand or comfort me, or tell me I was doing well, or that it would all be ok. No one at all. It was just me and you, baby and I was so worried about your sister.
The nurse told me to put on surgical stockings, there was no way that was going to happen, I was too big to reach my toes. It was so civilized. There was a midwife to hold my hand, a surgeon who took such great care to look after me and you.
They placed you next to me, and you rooted around and ‘kissed’ me on the cheek, looking for milk. The midwife declared “it’s a man!” You were perfect. Huge, pink and screaming strong. I wouldn’t stop bleeding so they had to put you in a cradle, but you never left my side.
I made myself get up almost straight away. I made myself eat and use the bathroom. I had to get back to your sister. The nurses were approving, telling off another woman for laying in bed. I would have laid there too if I could have, but I didn’t have that luxury, and thought it cruel of them. I picked you up, and given a reasonable amount of morphine (Offering my arm and told to roll over as she stuck me in the thigh laughing), I was not in too much pain. We went on a walk together, you on my shoulder, perfect, sweet, gorgeous.
We were gone by the morning. I carried you down to the entrance, I had no one to push me in a chair, I walked and carried you and our small bag, and I got into a taxi with your heavy car seat. The taxi driver was sad that I didn’t have anyone to be there with me. He and his wife came back to our house with flowers the next day.
Your sister was not impressed. You were noisy and different. I told you she would get used to you. She bit you. I was not happy.
You made being a mother a joy instead of a great sadness. You made being a mother fun, instead of a constant struggle to control challenging behavior. You gave me the experience of being a mother to a normal functioning child, and I loved you for it. Of course I loved your sister, but her condition was a source of massive sadness to me, and when …when what happened happened to her happened, I thought I would never breathe again, but you made me want to. You showed me that you needed me. You holding my hand even when I couldn’t think straight, you being there when I was a mess that first few months, just being there, got you and me through it. I can never thank you enough. I thought I was going to drown in sadness, and I know you suffered greatly too. Still here we are, still surviving, and though you never should have had to, we wouldn’t have been able to do it if we didn’t have each other.
When you held my hand yesterday and told me we could get through this, I thought that for a second perhaps we could. You told me you needed me to be ok, and I know that is true. To be honest, I don’t know how to. I just know that being your mother makes me into superwoman. It makes me stronger. It makes me better than I am. What did you call me today? Hardcore? It made me smile. I am glad you are not ashamed of me. I will never cease to be proud of you, I will always love you. You are the best thing in my life, and always will be. I am so sorry life has been so difficult. I hope I have given you happy times amongst all the struggle to survive. I have tried.
When I see you get straight A’s, and I see you make plans for your future it makes me so happy. I feel like I have done a good job. When I see you question and care and love and be your glorious self I feel so immensely proud of you. I could not wish for a better son. You are the light of my life, thank you for letting me continue to be in yours.
You told me we are in this together. You said we can do it. I won’t give up if you don’t. Introverts rock!
On the day you were born you made me into a better person. On the day you were born I found the will to live.
PS I promise we will try and have a better week, if other people can give us the space to try and recover from the trauma. I owe you the next JoJo’s Adventure manga book and a lunch in Japantown. Hold on, darling. Let’s see if we can do this. I’m sorry for crying in front of you. I will do better. Promise.