I became a mom in a way I would have never thought. I didn’t technically start out as a single mom. No, no I didn’t. I was married for a few months before I got pregnant. My first pregnancy lasted about twelve weeks exactly. As I got ready for my first ultrasound, I like many women before me, got violently sick. This had to be normal right? I went into the doctor’s office with a smile on my face and a pep in my step, nothing could bring me down. I was wrong, the nurse could and the doctor that followed her in the room could and did bring me down. There was no heartbeat. I was devastated. To add insult to injury I was RH negative and the blood work took hours. In the weeks following since my body was stubborn, I would have a DNC. I’ll never forget the moment they wheeled a baby by me, it felt like a cruel joke. My nurse agreed as he put my pre-op meds into my IV and I slowly drifted away. In November of the same year, came my second pregnancy. I was nervous and honestly, even though I was married, I was not sure I could have the baby. I didn’t know if I wanted to. There was so much going on in my marriage, in my life, and now in my heart. In the midst of everything, my husband was being “transitioned” out of the military, I had caught him cheating several times, but I still decided to stay. Come May, he left me, but not just left me, he helped me pack my things, dropped me off at my childhood home and never came back. This was the day I became a single mom.
Devin was born on July 25, 2003 weighing 8lbs 5oz, 22 1/2 inches long, with my best friend as my Lamaze coach and my sister holding my other leg. My life forever changed now that Devin was here. Every ounce of energy that I had was given to him. Constantly changing his diaper, feeding him, washing him… without fail. Some nights he would cry endlessly and I couldn’t get him to stop. My sister would walk him and feed him; my Nana would take a turn. When Devin turned four weeks old, I had to go back to work. So I woke up every two hours to tend to him, and after the last feeding, I stayed up at 5:30 am to get ready for work.
In the middle of the night, I would turn on the bedside table light so I wouldn’t wake him completely, and there was always this shadow in the same spot. The bedroom door would be cracked and this perfect triangular pitch black shadow would be right in front of me; I would just stare right into it. After weeks of endless, sleepless nights, the black shadow would start to become very inviting. My thoughts would start to wander, “if I crawled in would anyone notice?” “would the crying stop or would there be silence if I just laid in the shadow?” Devin would fuss, and I would be pulled out of my thoughts and start my day. The next night would come too fast and all the nights that followed. Devin would wake, and there would be the shadow inviting me in. I would look at him and feel nothing. No love, no feelings of motherhood as it were; there was just nothing. He was fed, he was clean, he never went without. I made sure of it. I, on the other hand, was wasting away physically and mentally. I was ready to leave. I would take Devin to my aunt. She was so good with him and he loved her so much; so much more than me. I felt he was happier. I would gather my things, drop him off with her, and RUN. I would never look back. I was ready. He NEEDED me to do this. I wasn’t any good for him. I had all his things packed: his favorite jammies, his blankets, his George (pacifier), and all of his things were ready to go. It was time. It was time for a better life for him. I didn’t matter. WHERE WAS THAT CRYING COMING FROM?! As I snapped back into reality, Devin was crying in his crib and I was sitting in the shadow alone; an empty shell with tears running down my face. At this point, I knew I had to tell someone.
After I got the help that I needed, I made Devin and my future children a promise. I would never feel this way again. I would love my children every day of my life. I would be the best mom I could be every day. I would tell my kids I loved them. I made a promise to Devin, especially, that I would NEVER stop trying to make it up to him, and I never have. I can never get those 365 days back. I can never unfeel what I did that year, and I will never forget the guilt. All I can do now is know this was something that happened to me, something I didn’t ask for, something I could never see coming, and certainly something I could not prevent.
Fast-forward to now, I am the mother to three amazing and beautiful children and I have a husband that loves me, for me. Although parenting is hard, I make a promise to my children every day that I will continue to love and care for them to the best of my ability.