On this day, 20 years ago, I had a baby. I had the most beautifully perfect baby boy. After he was born we only got to spend a short amount of time together. I counted his fingers and toes, kissed his head, changed a diaper, held him, snuggled him and loved him. Then just like that our time was over.
He wasn't stillborn and no one took him. I made the choice to give him up for adoption. It was MY choice. A choice made at the tender age of 17. The hardest still of my life.
I have only told a few people throughout the last 20 years because I was afraid being judged. I was judged fairly harshly after making that decision. My parents were even shunned from a gas station they frequented. I was told that I was given that baby for a reason and I was just throwing him away. But they didn't live with it. They didn't live with the choice I made. They didn't see my heartache afterwards. They didn't know I cried for my baby day after day for years. They didn't know I had 10 days to change my mind afterwards, no questions asked, and I picked that damn phone up every. single. day. They didn't know living with this choice was even harder than making this choice.
The heartache was like heavy gravity pulling me down. And I began to believe them. I began to think, "what have I done? What kind of person gives her baby up?" I would have to remind myself of the reasons I made the decision I did. I would have to remind myself of the fact that he wasn't born for me, this I knew and I still know. I had to remind myself this decision was made out of love and love alone. But this back and forth in my mind still happens. Less frequently now than years past but it still does.
Every year he is on my mind less, day to day. Not because I don't care but because it's a healing process. That being said his birthday is still just as hard year after year. I cry to celebrate his birth. I cry because I miss him. I cry because of what I have missed out on. I cry because I get a little piece of me back every year. I cry because I am stronger and I finally have forgiven myself. I cry because I let people judge me and make me feel less of a person for my choice.
Why am I making this public today? It's not easy. I am a private person. But it's been 20 years and I am tired of keeping a secret out of fear of being judged. I don't care anymore. This is a part of my history. This decision, life changing difficult decision helped shaped who I am today.
Also, for all the girls and women who have to make a difficult decision, I am here for you!