Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Knocked Up

It was March 14th. I was bored; I wanted to watch a little TV. I couldn't find much on that interested me. I checked my Guide. "Knocked Up" was on E! at 7:30.

I'd seen it before. H and I watched it on DVD. Just seeing the title and description took me back. I told myself to find something else to watch. Anything else.

I couldn't. I didn't. I watched it.

I thought of H the whole time. I missed him horribly. I wondered, not for the first time but certainly with renewed panic, whether I'd ever be in a relationship again. I missed H. I missed being with him, I missed our relationship. I missed watching movies, ordering pizza, acting a little goofy and being completely enamored of each other. I missed the slight scratch of his goatee as he kissed me. I missed the way he'd look at me, like I was the most beautiful, amazing woman on earth. I missed believing he meant it when he said he loved me. I missed believing that I loved him back.

It depressed me. Horribly.

The movie depressed me for other reasons, too. Mainly because I'm not Alison and H isn't Ben. I always hoped that H would pull a Ben - grow up, be responsible, be involved. Love me. Pledge something - his heart, his time, his attention, something. I always hoped for something more. It never came.

"Knocked Up" was pitched as this raunchy guy movie. And it certainly is (I think the unedited version contains more expletives than "The Departed"). But it's also a sort of fairy tale. It's fantasy. Completely unrealistic. Things don't really happen like they did in the movie. The guy never grows up. Never. There's no happy ending. Mistakes with birth control do not turn into happy families.

And yet I wish they did. I wish that H was the best version of himself, and that we were together in a cozy little place with our baby. I wonder if I'll ever have another shot at that kind of cozy domesticity to which I aspire.

I hate that movie. I hate it. I hate how it made me feel, how it made me miss things. I hate it, and I hate how it's made me reconsider my life without H. It brought up things I don't want to think about, feelings I don't want to feel. It made me miss H, and I HATE it when I miss H. I don't ever want to miss him.

I hate that I do. I hate that life is never like the movies. I hate that I wasn't enough for H. That a baby - HIS baby - wasn't reason enough for him to grow up, to be a man, to stand for something. I hate him sometimes. I hate myself sometimes. I wish I could take back the past two years of my life.

Except for Roo. I'd never take back Roo. I'm learning, slowly but surely, to appreciate that the crap I've been through is what got her here. She is worth my miserable past.

If having her means I cry while watching crappy movies, so be it. I can live with that. I confess, I wonder if H can live with that too. I wonder if he's seen "Knocked Up" since things went sour between us. I wonder what he thinks. If he regrets anything. If he ever misses me. If he ever envies Ben.

I hope he does. I hope he's learned something from all of this. I know that I have.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

April 2009, Part Three

I feel like I’ve picked on my big sister a lot in this blog. But at the same time, it’s not my fault she’s given me so much material, is it? That sounded a bit more mercenary than I intended. I digress. I’m not done picking on her yet. Mostly because of how she picked on me. I got e-mail from her (the day after H’s letter) that made me cry.

I know she meant well. I know she loves me. But my sister is just … I don’t know. I think a tactful way of putting it would be to say that sometimes she says (or types) things without stopping to consider how her words might be taken.

Most of the e-mail was the sort of things I’d expected – have faith in the Lord and His plan, get a priesthood blessing, remember that eternity is a long time, she supported me no matter what … blah blah blah. The kicker was at the end, and I quote:

"Not that you should go back and deal with the LDSSS people, but might there be another couple that you passed over, or just decided to adopt that you might consider? No couple would be perfect, but at least they could give your baby a family to be sealed to."

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you actually like them. Anyone would be better parents than you. I pity my mother; I’m sure I had nothing good to say about my sister after that, and my mom was the only person to whom I could vent.

I had arranged to meet S for dinner. I had a copy of H’s e-mail with me. As she read it, she reacted just as I had hoped, with plenty of eye rolling and a "Who does he think he is?" here and there for good measure.

"And he’s so messed up," I said. "He thinks he’s still got rights after he ignored his paperwork. He doesn’t have any rights!"

S nodded emphatically. "Well," she said between sips of Sierra Mist, "unless you decide to single parent."

I choked on my own beverage.


It turns out, S had inadvertently misinformed my mother on the phone. Adoption, H had nothing to do with. But he did indeed have rights if I kept my baby. The thought chilled me to the bone. I cried, I lost my appetite.

"That’s not what you told my mother," I said, upset and confused. "You told her H has no rights anymore."

"I thought she was talking about adoption," S said. "Your mother must have misunderstood."

Now I was cheesed. My mother may have her shortcomings, but I knew she hadn’t misunderstood. I had made my mom go over her conversation with S in detail, and my mother assured me that twice she had made sure that S understood my mom was talking about me single parenting.

I left dinner early and got slightly hysterical on the way home. I told my mom what had happened. She let me cry as I spoke, and remained preternaturally calm. She told me not to worry about things, and to just tell H that I was going with adoption, since he’d been so eager for a response. I did just that. It was a very short e-mail.

I hated knowing that H had rights. I felt like my hand was being forced, like adoption was my only recourse, my only way of keeping my baby safe. And I didn’t want to place my baby for adoption! I wanted more than ever to be her mommy. My own mommy said that no one could force me to do anything, and she’s send me and my baby out of the country if she had to. That she would never let anyone take my baby away. For my part, I just hoped that H would leave me alone now that I’d given him a decision that didn’t involve him.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Few Wee Updates

It's late (and early, actually), so I apologize if this doesn't make as much sense typed out as it did in my head. (Danya can attest to the fact that I get distinctly goofy when I am not at my best and brightest.)

I just went through all my HTA buttons and links again - I was pleased to discover that a number of couples have either been chosen by birth moms or have adopted. So I cleaned house again. I also deleted links to blogs that haven't been updated in a few years if I couldn't find the couple listed on the It's About Love website. I was too lazy to adjust my link list and organize it by state but I did add state abbreviations by couple names to make things easier for potential birth moms. Not every name has a state listed next to it. I didn't feel up to hunting for the information. If it wasn't easy to find, I gave up. "That easily?" you might ask. Well, yes. I usually do.

Which brings me to something I wish I'd thought to add on my last post about couple profiles/blogs. If you want to refer the blog reader to your on-line profile, pretty please add a link. Don't make me - I mean them - type names or profile numbers in a search box. I know there was something else that came to my mind but I've forgotten what it was. Hmm. That's going to bother me.

I used to get irritated with my faulty neurotransmitters, but I have to admit, insomnia has its perks. I'm impressed with how much I've been able to improve bits of my blog in the wee hours of the morning. When God closes a door, He opens a window.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Few (ha-ha) Words of Advice for Couples

I first started this blog as a record for Roo. I wanted her to know where she came from, how she came to be with her family, and what sort of person her birth mom was.

It's grown since then. I would have figured I'd hear from birth moms about my blog. I've heard from more adoptive couples than anything, which has been great. I've gained a new perspective and a better appreciation of couples who adopt.

I would never presume to speak for every birth mom or potential birth mom out there. I only speak for myself. But, that said, I am a birth mom (and I have birth moms friends). I went through the process of looking at couple profiles and trying to choose parents for my baby. I saw a lot of profiles that were very well done ... and some that were a turn-off. No couple's profile or blog should be a turn-off! No couple sets out to make themselves unappealing. But it happens sometimes because they simply don't know what to say - or what not to say. As such, I offer the following suggestions (for blogs, profiles, meetings with potential birth moms, and relationships with your child’s birth mom).

Meetings and Relationships
-Don’t make promises you won’t/can’t keep – forever. When in doubt, don’t promise. In that vein, don’t start something you can’t keep up. As in business, it’s best to underpromise and overdeliver.

-Remember, when planning for openness, that things will be very different once placement is done. Your feelings about contact and/or the relationship will likely change. This is why it’s best to avoid overpromising.

-When in doubt, err on the side of too much contact with the birth mom. There almost can’t be too many pictures or updates or input or visits. The birth mom will let you know if you need to back off. Just because something may hurt a birth mom (baby shower, court date, sealing, etc) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer her the chance to be there. Not being invited can hurt worse.

-Be open and honest to a fault – COMMUNICATE. Don’t ever let communication between you and your birth mom get awkward or stressful. Love her and trust her enough to be honest, open and communicative. (P and M excel at this, which I love.)

-Remember, when you’re going to meet with a potential birth mom, that she is as nervous as you are. Gifts are nice, but she’s not going to expect it, and if you do want to bring her something, keep it inexpensive and neutral. Flowers are good. You don’t want her to feel like you’re plying her with gifts to get her to choose you.

-Relax. Don’t try to sell yourself or be pressuring. Just get to know her for her, not for her baby. If you happen to have the exact same tastes and views as she does, great. But don’t pretend you do to try to get her to like you. Be yourselves.

-For the love of all that is good and decent, don’t refer to her pregnancy as “unwanted.” Unplanned does not mean unwanted. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that birth moms choose adoption out of love, not because they don’t want their babies.

-Pray every night for your birth mother, whether you’ve met her yet or not. Pray before you meet with a potential birth mom. Follow the Spirit. Don’t let your desire to be parents override your feelings. If a situation isn’t right, you’ll know. Remember, you’re not just looking for A baby, you’re looking for YOUR baby.

-Don’t take it personally if you meet with a potential birth mother – even if you meet more than once, and e-mail and talk – and she doesn’t choose you. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t like you or that you’ve done anything wrong. The couples I met with but didn’t choose couldn’t have made a better impression on me. They just weren’t my baby’s family.

For Blogs and/or Profiles
-Proofread, please. You don’t have to be the world’s best writers or even have a knack for spelling. But when you’ve typed “ans” instead of “and” and not fixed it, it just looks lazy. Not every birth mom is going to be as picky as I was, but the first thing I noticed about P and M’s profile (after their picture) is that it didn’t contain any glaring errors. I appreciated that.

-If you’ve adopted before, mention what things are like with that birth mom – how open is the adoption? If you’ve got pictures of her with your child, that’s awesome. Post them! Birth moms want to know that they won’t be dumped after placement.

-Speaking of pictures, please please please have some nice ones taken for your profile. They don’t have to be glamour shots, and you don’t need to be Photoshopped, but do try to look your best. Be yourself and have fun in your pictures, but birth moms don’t want to see your his-and-hers “white trash” Halloween costumes.

-Do you enjoy hunting and fishing? Good for you, and go ahead and mention it. Maybe your birth mom does, too. But maybe she doesn’t. And she might find your blog a bit off-putting if it contains multiple pictures of bloody, entrail-strewn deer carcasses or slimy large-mouth bass. I’m going to put high-risk activities in this category, too. If you enjoy 4-wheeling, that’s fine. But please don’t post pictures of the gory flesh wound on your back from the last time you crashed. A birth mom wants to feel that her baby will be safe and protected, and that the baby’s parents will live long lives, unmarred by any sort of horrible accident or disfigurement.

-If you waited several years after marriage before trying to conceive, keep it to yourself. I’m REALLY not proud of this, but there are a few profiles that mentioned that and my knee-jerk reaction was, “Well, you should have considered your fertility ten years ago when you were young and ‘enjoying it just being the two of us’ and travelling the world and building up your careers!” Whether you did or not is your business, and it’s not my place to judge (although obviously that didn’t stop me). But you might want to keep it to yourself.

-Blog! Update at least monthly, too. If you haven’t updated in 10 months, a birth mom might wonder if you’re no longer hoping to adopt, or if you’ve dropped off the face of the earth. You might feel like you have nothing to say. Make something up. Are you wondering how “Lost” is going to end? What did you think of the latest Twilight movie? Blog about it. A blog is a great chance to really be yourselves and show potential birth moms what your lives are like and what great parents you would be.

And Finally …
Try to anticipate what kinds of questions a birth mom might ask. What would you want to know about a couple if you were in her place? Here’s a messy, random list of some things you might want to mention.

-Will she be a stay-at-home-mom?
-Do you have any family traditions you hope to carry on?
-Do you have a nursery set up (are you ready, right now, for a baby)?
-Do you have any pets?
-Any plans to move in the next 10 years?
-Do you attend the temple regularly? What are your church callings? Do you have Family Home Evening every Monday night?
-Do you have immediate and/or extended family living in the area? (Roo has tons of family nearby, and I love it.)
-Besides infertility, have you overcome any other hardships/adversity? What did it/they teach you?
-Do you have any experience with adoption? Do you know anyone who has adopted, or anyone who was adopted?
-What would adopting a child mean to you? You can’t oversell how precious a child would be, although you'll want to avoid sounding desperate, as though your lives are empty and worthless because you aren't parents yet.

Overall, be yourselves. You don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to take any of the advice I've given. Odds are, your child's birth mother will love you anyway, warts and all.

Monday, March 22, 2010

April 2009, Part Two – “H” bomb

My baby was the size of a butternut squash, and she was kicking like mad. I passed the time working on a pregnancy scrapbook. But I was still bored and irritable. I was sleeping poorly, owing to the early morning aerobics in my womb.

Then I heard from H. He asked about my blood glucose test. I told him I’d tested one point higher than they usually like. He asked about insulin and diet. I explained that I had discussed things with my doctor and she wasn’t the least bit worried about my blood sugar – both me and my baby were healthy and happy, my weight gain was on track, and I was measuring right on for my due date.

I thought that would be the end of it, but H took exception to my doctor’s trained medical opinion. Here’s our IM conversation:

(I've left H unedited)

[H’s screen name]: Don't know what else to say to the comment, if you think that's best it's your business but seeing things like 'I went shopping and all I have is liciroce' and knowing those results just ... seems weird
jilleb163: what do you mean?
[H’s screen name]: Your not concerned about being that close, or at least concerned enough that maybe you'd cut out some sugar? That's all i'm asking. But i'm sure your going to call me an [expletive deleted] for asking, so I don't know why I am
jilleb163: my diet really isn't any of your freaking business.
(like I said, I was irritable)
[H’s screen name]: Yup, good to see we could have a mature conversation about this
jilleb163: i mention licorice once and you think i'm not eating properly ... just sort of irritating.
jilleb163: my doctor - a trained, medical professional, who has known me my entire pregnancy - isn't worried about my blood sugar.
[H’s screen name]: burger king for dinner three nights a week, and everytime we talk it's 'candy store'.

For the record, I’d been to the candy store, like, twice. And who was he to criticize my diet? This from a man who considered bacon and beer to be two of the main food groups! I was eating enough fruit and vegetables that I knew the guys who stocked Safeway’s produce department by name. If I wanted a little candy or a hamburger, I was going to eat it. I was livid. If this was H’s idea of caring, I’d been lucky he hadn’t cared so far.

Things got worse a few days later. H sent me e-mail, which I have again left unedited for your reading pleasure. Here’s the gist of it (my reactions are in italics):

“I want a decision on what you are doing with the baby as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours. I understand it’s a hard decision, but you have had plenty of time to think about it now. You know what your options are, you have been talking to an agency (which you lied to me about and told me it was a support group) [Um, actually, it was a support group] and you know your options with them. On my side, I did not file the paperwork because when I asked you about it, you said you wanted to keep her, or at least that was my perception of what you were saying.

Now, it’s ‘I am leaning’. Or ‘I told you I was leaning than’. Fine, I misinterpreted, but I felt when we were making discussions on materials we would need or me asking how we can setup shared custody, that that meant you were keeping her. [And I thought we were discussing hypotheticals, since I used the word "hypothetically" and all.] I don’t want to hear bout leaning anymore. Decisions need to be made.

If it helps make it easier for you, if you keep her I will be filing a custody (parenting) plan and a request for shared custody. This will be used in determining support payments from one party to the other [not from him to me, but from one “party” to another], as well as set specific amounts of time we will be sharing her. [What is she, a condo in the Hamptons?] And I will be insisting this go into effect as soon as possible. I will not just start having a relationship after 6 months because you don’t want me involved at first … I don’t have any rights in the event your giving her up for adoption, but I do have rights once she’s born and if you make the decision to keep her."

In retrospect, I can sort of get where he was coming from. But only in retrospect. And just reading through that stupid e-mail makes my blood boil. How dare he demand a decision in such a cavalier, arrogant manner?

I didn’t know what else to do, so I sent S an SOS. We’d had a bit of a to-do when I tried explaining how depression makes it hard for me to trust people and she didn’t quite get is. But I needed her now. She’d told my mom that H had lost all his rights when he ignored his paperwork. I wanted to make sure of that. Who, I wondered, would be crazy enough to try to split custody of a newborn baby?

I was terribly upset, but my baby gave me a few reassuring kicks and I felt a bit better. For a few hours, anyway. Then I got another surprise in my inbox.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm Going to Get Up

I just discovered this song, and I love it. Because I feel like I keep falling, and falling. And it helps to remember that it's okay to fall, as long as I get up again.

I'm going to get up.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Good Question, and a Good(?) Answer

An adoptive mom asked me a very good question on Formspring. Her baby's birth father isn't the sort of guy who would win any awards for gentlemanly behavior, and she wondered how best to explain him when her baby got older and asked. How, she continued, would I want H explained to Roo?

I've thought about that quite a lot, actually. I know very little about H, really, and I hate that there's this void where half of Roo's history should be. I don't want her to wonder about him as this mysterious person all her life. But I also want her to understand that there's a reason he isn't in her life.

This is how I would explain it to Roo, if I was her mommy. I wrote it like a children's book because I don't doubt that Roo will wonder about her birth father when she's still young. It's rather a long children's book, but I have hopes that Roo will be a voracious young reader, much like I was. This is essentially the response I posted, plus a few tweaks. It's not perfect by any means, and I'll likely edit it and condense it later, but here's what I have so far.

You know who Jill is. Jill is your tummy mommy. You grew inside her and she gave birth to you. A little while later, she gave you to Mommy and Daddy where you belonged.

You have a tummy daddy, too. His name is H, and a long time ago he and Jill were very much in love, and soon you were growing in Jill's tummy.

Usually a baby's tummy parents are her mommy and daddy, who are married to each other and who take care of the baby. But sometimes a mommy and daddy aren't married to each other. This can make them feel sad. They love the baby very much, and so they don't want her to have an unmarried mommy and an unmarried daddy who are sad. These lucky babies have two sets of parents who love them: their tummy parents, and their mommies and daddies. Isn't that wonderful?

You know Jill, of course. But you don't know H. Even though H loves you and Jill loves you, Jill decided you would be happiest if you didn't know H when you were small. Here is why.

H had a lot of growing up to do still, and grown-ups who aren't finished growing up sometimes have big problems that make it hard for them to be good parents. They want to be good parents, but they don't know how, sometimes because their own parents had problems, too.

H's mommy and daddy (especially his daddy) sometimes weren't as nice to him as they should have been when H was a little boy. So he didn't always learn what children should learn from their parents. He never learned to take good care of himself, to be kind to others, to be like Jesus, to stay away from things that could hurt him, to make good choices instead of bad.

H made some bad choices. When children make bad choices, they get a time-out. Bad choices make you feel bad, and you know that they are wrong. Everyone still makes bad choices sometimes, but we learn from them to make better choices. Better choices make us happy.

When grown-ups make a bad choice, there is no time out. There was no one to tell H what he could learn from his choices so he kept on making bad ones. When you're a grown-up, the more bad choices you make, the harder it is to know if you are making a good choice or a bad one.

H made a lot of bad choices. Sometimes this meant that he was not a very nice person. When he met Jill, he was a nice person. They were very good friends, and then H decided he loved her. She loved him too, and they were very happy.

But H made some more bad choices, and they made him a not very nice person. He was mean to Jill on accident sometimes. This made Jill sad. She told H that she was sad. H felt bad and said he wouldn't be mean anymore.

But it got hard for H not to be mean. Soon H and Jill found out there was going to be a baby, and that baby was you. Jill was very excited. H was very scared. His daddy had not been very nice and he worried he would not be a very nice daddy either. Because he worried, he said things he didn't mean to say, and he made Jill sad and mad. Jill said things that made H sad and mad. They decided they did not want to be friends anymore.

Before you were born, H decided that he wanted to be a daddy, but that he did not want to be friends with Jill. This made Jill sad. Jill's mommy and daddy were best friends, and she wanted your parents to be best friends, too. And they are, which makes Jill very happy, and I'm sure it makes you happy, too.

Jill also worried about what would happen if H was your daddy. H made a lot of bad decisions, and she worried that he would teach you bad decisions because he didn't know any better.

Because of this, Jill found your mommy and daddy, and she made sure H did not see you. She knew that he would never be mean to you on purpose, but she didn't want him to be mean to you on accident and make you sad.

Jill hopes that some day H will finish becoming a grown-up and learn to make good decisions. Perhaps he has. And when you meet him someday, you will be strong enough and smart enough to meet him and know who he is, and still make good choices.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I got Roo pictures! I feel much better now :o)


I am having a horrible, terrible time of things. I miss my baby more than I can bear, and the pain is overwhelming. It feels never-ending. I feel like no one cares, and that I have made a horrible mistake. I'm at a loss.

I don't know where to go, or what to do, or who to talk to. Any suggestions? My knees hurt from praying and my mother's patience is wearing thin.

I'm not going to do anything drastic or stupid, so don't worry on that account. I just feel lost, and I don't know how to find myself.


Today - at exactly this time, 12:57am - marks two years since I met H.

We met on MySpace. How embarrassing is that? But it's true. He found my profile, liked my picture, and sent me a message. I'm not going to share it here. It's private. But I still have it. He said I was quite cute. No one had ever said that to me before.

He said lots of nice things to me. We had great conversations. We talked about baseball and zombies and politics and television. He told me that I was witty. That my eyes were striking. That he liked my hair. Such lovely flattery for a girl starved of that sort of thing. How could I resist? I couldn't. He paid attention to me. I was in love.

I'd gotten messages from strange men before on MySpace. I wonder sometimes, why H? Why did I decide to respond to his message when I'd never responded to one before? What was it about him that drew me to him, that made me want to get to know him? Why did I decide I needed to meet him in person? What in his messages made me want more? Made me want him?

Sometimes I wish I could go back and keep myself from signing up for MySpace. Or keep myself from writing back, from engaging H in conversation. Keep myself from agreeing to meet him, from kissing him. Keep myself from hanging out with him more than once. Keep myself from going to his apartment ...

Wishes accomplish nothing. Wondering doesn't change anything. And yet I wonder. And I remember. I miss him a little. And I cry.

Happy 2-year anniversary, H.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maybe I'll Feel Better In the Morning

[Caveat: I wrote this when I was feeling terribly emotional. I try not to write when I'm a mess, but I think it's important to be honest about my feelings, and this is what they were earlier.]

I miss my little Roo today.

I miss her every day, if I'm honest. But most days it's more of an undercurrent. And then there are days like today where I cry for all I'm worth, and I feel desperate, broken, like I will never be human again.

I know it sounds selfish, but part of the reason I didn't want to place Roo was because I was afraid this was going to happen. That I would be ruined, that every day for the rest of my life would be a battle to keep from falling apart. I didn't think I could bear that kind of pain.

I was wrong. Apparently I can bear it. But not very well.

I miss her so much that it is a physical ache. My arms feel empty, my heart feels empty. I have nothing. I could die from the pain of missing my little girl. I wish I could sometimes. It seems grossly unjust that a person should have to live with this kind of torment.

Everyone told me that I was going to get the most amazing blessings from placing Roo. That my life would improve in ways I couldn't even imagine. That this would be good for me as well as Roo - that I would find direction and purpose and hope, and that God would compensate me immeasurably.

So far, my life has not improved. This hasn't been particularly good for me. I have no direction, no purpose, very little hope. Mostly I have a void. How much longer will God make me wait for things to get better? How much more will I be asked to endure? I'm tired of being brave, of being strong. I'm tired of being a good example. I'm tired of being a birth mom. I'm tired of pretending I'm doing okay because people have grown impatient with my grief and pain.

Maybe it's not what people want to hear, but I don't care. My feelings are valid. They are important to me and I'm not going to hide them because people don't think they're important. You know what? I have good days and bad days and I'm not going to apologize for the bad ones. Being a birth mom really, really sucks sometimes. It hurts worse than anything.

There isn't really anything in the world that can make things right again, that can make up for the loss. But she's worth it. My little Roo is worth the pain and the anguish and the misery and every single tear.

I love her. And I miss her, and so I cry. And I pray for the strength to get myself through another day. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I played Scrabble with my mom last night. We play by our own little rules - we allow words that the official Scrabble rules certainly wouldn't accept. And we play until someone can't make any more words, at which point we try to make words of whatever letters are left on the tray, just for fun.

I had AAEEDY and a blank tile on my tray. This is what was left on my mom's:

She won :o)

I Wonder ...

I wonder sometimes what would happen if I ran into H somewhere. I've been thinking about him a lot lately for some reason. Maybe because it's been 2 years since we first met.

It could happen, you know. We probably go to a lot of the same places since there's not a ton of things to do around the east valley. Although the fact that I don't frequent bars does narrow things down a bit.

But still ... the mall, the zoo, the gas station ... it could happen someday. And maybe someday it will. And I wonder what it would be like. What would happen.

Would he acknowledge me? Would he look away? Would he say anything?

And what would I do?

I like to think that I'd run screaming in the other direction, but I'm much too sensible and passive-aggressive for that. I'd probably pretend not to see him and hide behind the first thing I could find.

But sometimes I think I'd like to talk to him. I've had conversations with him in my head. They start off civil and he tries to explain himself. He tells me he didn't want to get his heart involved until he knew what was going to happen with the baby. And I tell him that I didn't either, but I didn't have that option, as I was the pregnant one. And I tell him that if he didn't want his heart involved, he shouldn't have gotten his ... something involved. I use a lot of unladylike language in this imaginary converstation.

He's not a bad person and I don't hate him. I just think that something, somewhere, went horribly wrong with him, and he forgot how to empathize - if in fact he ever learned. I wonder if he didn't.

Sometimes I wonder if he has a heart at all. He was full of plenty of excuses but little emotion when I confronted him last March. And the e-mail I got when he found out I still had Roo ... plenty of legalese and blather but no real content. No real emotion. Nothing about him being hurt. Just this harsh, imperious sort of tone that was so unlike him - unlike him, and very like his mother.

What sort of man lets his mother handle that sort of thing? And he has to know that she e-mailed me in December and January. Wasn't he embarrassed that his mother said and did all that? I would be. But again, H seems incapable of feeling anything other than amused, randy or tipsy.

I don't know. Sometimes I wish he'd have manned up or something. Made some sort of commitment. And I wonder, what would have happened had he done so? If he'd bought that Hello Kitty engagement ring he once mentioned seeing at the mall? What would I have done? Would I have said yes?

I think I would have. It would have been wrong, but I would have done it. I wonder what sort of life I would have now. Where I'd live, who I'd be. How Roo would be. If H would have changed at all.

I feel certain that he would have been the best father he knew how to be. I don't think he would ever have intentionally harmed Roo - not physically, not emotionally or mentally. But he might not have seen the wrong in what he said or did. He might not have thought there was anything wrong with his views, his methods, his lifestyle. And Roo would grow up confused about things - about why daddy said one thing and mommy said another. Who was right? And why were they always arguing with each other?

And eventually I'd have taken Roo and left him, and she'd be in the middle of a disaster, being pulled in both directions, emotionally scarred and confused.
It's a moot point, I know. He never asked. I can't imagine any circumstances under which he would have.

But I think I still would have said yes. And I hate myself for it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

FYI ...

I've just gone through my HTA links - buttons and text. I've tidied them up a bit, removed links for couples who are no longer looking to adopt, or who have gone private, or who have been chosen by a birth mom. So everything should be up to date.

Also, this is totally embarrassing, but someone nominated me for some blog something or other, and I did this interview where I sound like a pompous narcissist with delusions of grandeur. And they asked how long I'd been blogging, and I thought they meant THIS blog, so I said September of 2009, but I've been blogging since before it was called blogging, back in 1997, and I want credit for that, dang it. Anyway. Here's the link, if you're bored and want to vote.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

April 2009, Part One

The ticker on my pregnancy blog said I had 90 days to go. I could scarcely believe it.

I was still battling depression, but the ticking clock added anxiety to my list as well. I wanted to be a mommy so bad, and I loved my baby and her kicky little feet. But I wished things were different. I wished people were more excited about my baby, like I was. I wished I could have a baby registry and plan for darling little baby announcements and everything. From my journal: “But the world is a mean place. It's okay. I'll love you enough to make up for it, I promise.”

My baby started to hiccup, and I got such a kick out of the feeling. It was crazy to think that there was a tiny little person in my belly, doing all the things a non-belly person would do – wiggling and stretching and hiccupping. Pregnancy had always struck me as sort of an experiment in science fiction – grow your own human in ten months or less! But I’d grown to love having my little alien baby kicking around in my belly.

I went to the eye doctor. She told me I was tiny for how far along I was. I loved her for saying that. The Relief Society president and one of her counselors came by to see me. They said the same thing – that no one would ever guess I was due in three months. I have never been a particularly slim person, and I’d worried that pregnancy would attack my stomach and hips with the efficiency and prejudice of a B-29 Superfortress. So it did my ego good to have maintained some semblance of a normal figure so far. I knew it would catch up with me in a few months and I would be roughly the size of an oil rig. I decided to enjoy it while it lasted.

I got back the results of my blood glucose test. It’s a routine sort of test pregnant women get, to check for possible gestational diabetes. The number to shoot for was 130. Mine came back a 131. Which could be a lab error. I was anxious about going in for what would likely be suggested – the fasting 3-hour blood glucose test. I decided to ask my doctor about it.

I made the mistake of researching the Rhogam shot I was scheduled for. I should have learned my lesson when I researched laproscopic gallbladder removal the night before that surgery, but I didn’t. There were all sorts of side effects and risks, including Mad Cow Disease. I don’t react well to shots as it is. I tend to pass out, so I made my mother go with me to my appointment.

The doc said my blood glucose looked great (her word, not mine), and she seemed pleased with my weight gain (or lack thereof) and belly measurement and with my baby’s heartbeat. My little girl could sure kick. I got the dreaded Rhogam shot, which made me weak and lightheaded, but I stayed conscious, which was a first for me.

There was more talk from my sister and her husband about adopting my baby. It made me uneasy. I couldn’t imagine my baby being my niece. It felt too weird. My mom’s younger sister is actually her niece (whom my grandparents eventually adopted), and it always made things sort of confusing when I tried to figure out her family tree. I didn’t want my baby to be tangled in my family tree’s branches. And I figured, if I did choose adoption, I would choose a local couple, so I could actually see my baby every now and then.

My baby’s feet were in constant motion. One day I took a break from my SuDoku book, setting it on my belly. I closed my eyes for a moment, and suddenly my book went flying. My baby had kicked it off! It was the first time I felt her kick from the outside, and I laughed out loud. It was glorious. I thought to myself in that instant that I had to keep my baby.

And yet, I couldn’t bring myself to make a final decision. I wrote in my journal, “I love feeling your little kicks. I love knowing you're happy and safe. I wish I could keep you happy and safe in my belly forever. The world is such a big, scary place and I still don't know what's going to happen with you. I want you to be happy and healthy and loved. I want you to have the very best things life has to offer. I hope that means keeping you. I don't know yet.”

I was tired of keeping my pregnancy a secret – I was excited about my baby and I wanted the rest of the world to be, too. But I dreaded telling my dad’s family that I was pregnant. We have a family dinner with them every Easter, and I think my mom thought I might break the news then. But I lacked the fortitude. The timing didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to ruin Easter. My (slightly irreverent) thoughts were, “So, family, it’s Easter. Jesus died for our sins. Guess which ones I’ve committed?”

I couldn’t do it. I dressed carefully. I wanted to just look fat, not pregnant. I wasn’t sure that would work – I was seven months along at that point – but I got away with it! No one suspected a thing. The downside, of course, was that everyone probably thought I’d really let myself go since my dad died. I considered doing the cowardly thing and just posting a belly shot on my Facebook page. I probably would have done so, too, were I not concerned about who, other than family, might see it. I moved to the Phoenix area from a small town, and I was Facebook friends with a number of people from the town I left. I did NOT want to be the subject of small-town gossip. I would have hated that more than anything. Not just for my own sake, but for my mother’s. I didn’t want people to think of her in a pitying fashion – like, “Oh, poor [insert my mom’s name here]. One more thing to deal with after her husband’s death.” But I knew I had to tell the rest of my family at some point. What if I kept my baby? What would I do for Thanksgiving – just show up with a four-month-old baby?

"Oh, Jill ... um ... you've got a baby."

"What? Oh, right. Yeah, that's my daughter. Had her in July. Didn't I mention it? Oops, sorry. I could have sworn I told you."

My other, much more selfish motivation to tell people the truth, was that I would almost rather have had people think I was cheap and slutty than fat. I’m not sure what that says about me. I think that, if you’ve ever had a weight problem, you probably understand that sentiment a little.

I continued to correspond occasionally with the two couples I’d met earlier in the year – and with one of the couples in particular. I liked them, but I wasn’t sure if they were the right couple for my baby. And I still hadn’t made up my mind! I tried to, but I couldn’t.

I hadn’t heard from H in two weeks. I wondered if he’d finally decide to leave me alone. If only he had.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 2009, Part Three

Enough whining. I'll return you to your regularly scheduled blog, already in progress ...

Things fell completely apart on March 25th. H and I got into as much of a knock-down drag-out fight as you can get via instant message. It started off when I asked H about the papers I’d had him served with. I’d heard from LDSFS that he hadn’t, and I wanted to know whether that was true. He said he hadn’t filed them.

He said, “I hadn't filed at the time because we started talking socially and you started leaning towards keeping it and the filing was to block the adoption ... at the time I didn't want to block it if that was your choice. Now, I can't block it, but I want something to do with her if your keeping her … As I understood the paperwork, that was to either a) block the adoption or b) be involved in the adoption (such as sharing information). If you are keeping her, I will end up having rights to her. There are things that will need to be filed, but its in our intrests to file the paperwork and get the process rolling once she's born”

“i still haven't made up my mind yet,” I wrote. “i might not until after she's born. in case you were wondering.”

H’s next words shocked me. “if your leaning towards giving her up for adoption at all, please let me take full custody.”

Was he bloody serious? That’s exactly what I asked him. “are you bloody serious?”

He said yes, and I said well I can tell you right now, that’s not going to happen. He said he hadn’t filed because I had told him I was going to keep the baby. I told him that while I had said I was leaning that way, I’d also told him I hadn’t made up my mind yet. He said he was sick of me dragging him around on the issue. I said he could have filed the paperwork any time he wanted. It got worse from there, and I’m not going to get into detail both because it’s private, and because it’s too painful. I signed off after calling him a bad name, and I spent the next half hour or so crying and hating myself for ever being with him in the first place. I experienced the most intense self-loathing I had ever felt before. On the one hand, H had treated me cruelly, and it had been painful. But on the other hand, I felt that I deserved it – that I had brought it upon myself by getting involved with H in the first place.

And I cried for my sweet, innocent baby, who deserved so much better than all of this. She meant so much to me! She was the only thing that kept me going day after day, getting out of bed, getting dressed, eating, taking care of myself.

H had said during our fight that if I kept the baby, he had rights. The way the paperwork had been explained to me was that, if he failed to file, he had no rights. I left a message with S to verify that. She called while I was out and told my mother that by not signing those papers he lost ALL parental rights and I didn't ever have to let him near my baby if I didn’t want to. I felt better after that.

I talked to my mom and to my therapist about possibly keeping my little girl. It made me nervous to think about, but I was excited at the prospect of motherhood. I already loved my baby so much. I thought that no matter what happened, I would take a cue from Tim Gunn and make it work.

I wrote this in my journal:

“Went to see "Knowing" with Mum today. Strange movie. You moved around a lot during it, I'm sure you could hear it (it was loud enough and the seats rumbled in parts). Being a disaster sort of movie as it was I started worrywarting. What if I give you to another family and you're in an accident - hit by a car, trapped somewhere, kidnapped, hurt, sick ... how would I ever forgive myself? But then what if I'm naturally less vigilant than two parents would be and something happened to you in my care? A slip and fall, bad food, an abduction, a car accident ... there were so many scenes where Nicolas Cage's son is in trouble or worried and looks to his father. Can I be that for you? Am I good enough, smart enough? What if I'm not a good mommy? What if I don't bond with you right away? What if I start to resent you for being born and messing with my life's timeline and my love life?

What if you've got emotional problems I can't handle? What then?

Sometimes I wish I could keep you safe in my belly forever. You're warm and safe and comfortable and you get all the nutrients and vitamins you need, you get plenty of exercise and never overeat, you can't really be injured, and I don't have to worry about where you are and what you're up to.

What am I going to do with you? I wish I could somehow see the future both ways. What my life would be like, how things would play out. But some things are only for God to know and I'm pretty sure that's one of them. I have to try to have a little faith and do the best I can.”

A few days later:

“I've been so bored lately. I need a little princess to fuss over and care for. You'll keep me busy, that's for sure. We'll have such fun together, you and I. I'll take you places and show you things and play games with you. And I will love you, no matter what. I will love you, because you are mine, my own little girl. I will understand you. I will help. I will do something about your nightmares and anxiety, although I pray you won't have either. I will do anything. Everything. Because the thought of someone else doing any of it breaks my heart beyond repair.”

I wondered what my life would be like in a few months. Could I handle raising a child on my own? Could I deal with the demands of a newborn?

More importantly, could I find the will to go on if I ended up placing my baby with another family?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Further Jealous Whining

I have a new niece today. I'm sure she's darling. My sister's other two children were nothing short of adorable at birth, managing to avoid that squishy newborn look. My sister sounds good - a lot more clear-headed and coherent than I did after my c-section. I'm afraid I sounded horribly awkward on the phone. I don't know what I said. I hope my congratulations sounded sincere. I am happy for her, really.

And yet, I find myself being selfish again. I find myself comparing today to the day that Roo was born. I think, it must be nice to have people just be happy for you after you've had a baby. It must be nice for people to just be excited and delighted. I got worry. I got people praying that I would decide to let someone else take my baby home from the hospital.

I hate that. I hate that almost no one was excited for me. I hate that so few people were simply, purely happy that I had a baby. I hate ... oh, I hate feeling this way. I hate that I can't just be happy. I hate being so selfish and juvenile and petty. But it's nigh impossible for me not to compare today with that day eight months ago, and find people's reactions to the latter sadly lacking. I think, even though people thought I was making a mistake, couldn't they at least have been happy that this beautiful, perfect, delightful little girl came into the world?

I love how purely and utterly happy Roo's family was and is to have her. She was nothing short of a miracle for them - desperately wanted, daily prayed for, and unconditionally loved. Roo deserves that. But I think she deserved that all along, and I wish I'd felt that for her when she was born. I'm glad to know that she was prayed for even then. I'm sure than P and M prayed daily for their baby to find them. They wanted her even before they knew about her. Of course, I did, too. I just ... I'm losing my train of thought.

I'm jealous, I think, is what it comes down to. I'm jealous at how much happier my new niece's birthday is than Roo's was. I wish that people could have put their opinions and prejudices aside and just been happy for Roo to be born, regardless of the circumstances. She deserved better. And so did I.

The Saddest Happy

My sister is expecting her third child. And when I say expecting, I mean, she's going to have a c-section in about eight hours. She's having a little girl. I'm excited for her. Really, I am.

Sort of.

Mostly I am depressed as all-get-out. I'm almost too depressed to muster up even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for my sister. This little one is something of a miracle baby, since my sister had been told previously that she wasn't going to be able to have any more children. So, I mean, it's great and all. I'm happy for her.

And sad for myself. Because I am selfish, and I wish it was me. I miss my baby Roo. I've cried buckets today. Roo is just so perfect. So pretty and sweet. I love her more than words can express. I wish she were mine. It seems so unfair that she's not.

I hate playing the "life's not fair" card. I KNOW life isn't fair. I'm not stupid. I don't expect life to be fair. But at the same time, does life not being fair mean it has to be complete and utter tripe? Does it have to be UNfair? Why can't one tiny little thing ever work out in my favor?

Roo is a perfect mix of me and H. She got the best of both of us. For some reason I thought earlier about what it would be like if H and I had stayed together. I could see clearly in my mind a family picture of the three of us, Roo in the middle, her features a dainty little amalgam of the parents on either side of her.

I wanted to smack myself for even thinking of it. For thinking, even for a second, that H and I could have ever enjoyed any sort of quaint little domesticity. For thinking so selfishly. Roo deserves so much more than to have two complete screw ups as parents.

I wish I did deserve her. I wish I was enough for her, could have been enough somehow. I wish I could believe that someday I will deserve a husband and a baby, that I will be good enough, that people will tell me I'll make a great mother instead of telling me I have no right to be a mother.

I wish it was me having a c-section tomorrow, with my husband by my side and two beautiful children at home with their grandparents. I wish I could just be happy for my sister. I should be happy for her. I AM happy for her. It's just not a very happy happy. It's a sad happy. I'm getting remarkably good at those. And just as remarkably tired of them.

I hate that all I can think of right now is the insensitive and judgmental things my sister said to me when I was pregnant. I hate that I'm counting down until her baby is nine weeks old, and that what I want badly to do is to call her up that day and say, "Now, could you even consider for a second giving your baby to someone else? Do you have the strength to do that? I did. Don't you ever dare to judge me again."

Is it awful that I've been thinking that for days? That I've been tempted to throw her words back at her? About how I was being selfish and how if I really, really thought about it, I'd see that my baby deserved better. Try choking that one down when you're weeks away from your due date. Try not being bitter when you love your baby more than anyone or anything in the world, and your own sister tells you that, basically, this baby would be better off with any parents in the world but you.

Urg. I hate it when I get all crabby and emotional like this. But you know what else I hate? I hate how most of my family has this attitude like, "Oh, well, you know you did the right thing," and no one seems for a second to be able to empathize, to be able to think, holy crap, Jill did this impossible thing, this amazing thing, and she is such a strong, incredible person. I get that people think I did the right thing (and think that I was stubborn and screwed up before) and they're happy - for Roo, since of course no one is particularly concerned for my welfare - but just once I'd like my sister or youngest brother (both of whom have children) to say, my gosh. How on earth did you do it? How did you survive? I can't even imagine making such a sacrifice. You must love Roo so much. I am so sorry you've had to go through that. I am so sorry I can't be there with you, that you've gone through this alone. I love you.

I find myself at a loss. I am trying so freaking hard to be happy for my sister. I sat for over an hour in the temple Saturday night, trying to make peace with the situation. I found none. I felt God's love, as I always do in the temple, but I didn't get any answers to the questions on my mind - how on earth do I get over myself when I'm the only company I have? How do I put my hurt aside to find joy in someone else's blessings?

I wish I knew. I wish I didn't miss my baby so much. But I don't, and I do. And there's nothing I can do about it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My little Roo is eight months old today!

I love her. I miss her.

I don't have much else to say about that today.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Invisible Woman

[I don't usually do double posts, but I put this one on the Mesa Birth Mom Support Group page, too, because I think every woman should see it.]

I don't know how long this one has been floating around the internet, but I just came across it today. I needed it today. It's told from more of a mom perspective, but I think it applies just as well to birth moms. Pregnancy and birth and placement are just the foundations of the amazing people our children will become. We may never see the finished work, never know what heights are reached. But we are not invisible. God sees. God knows.

I've been feeling invisible lately - not to P and M, of course. They continue to be amazing. But with everyone else - especially some of the people on whom I should be able to rely more than any others. I hate feeling invisible. This is a good reminder that I am not invisible to the One who matters most.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 2009, Part Two

H seemed to have decided for me – I was keeping the baby. He made reference to shopping for furniture and overnight visits and custody. H didn’t seem to understand much about newborns, aside from what he referred to as “boobie feeding.” He seemed interested in sharing custody right away. I tried to explain that babies need routine, stability, and most of all, their mommies. He seemed to be under the impression that we could just pass her back and forth like a Christmas fruit cake. This worried me. Although H mentioned the importance of both of us raising the baby, he talked like the times that she’d be with him, I’d be completely out of the picture, and my input would be moot.

The more the baby kicked, the harder it got for me to imagine ever giving her up. Already she was my entire world. And I’d been through so much, given up so much. How could I give up my baby, too? I asked my mother. She didn’t want to talk about it yet, which just reinforced the fear (which I voiced to her) that she and everyone else who said that this was my choice was just biding her time until I came to the obvious conclusion that adoption is the only way to go. I didn’t care what people said about love and selfishness. I felt that I loved my baby too much to ever give her to anyone else. All I’d ever wanted was to be a mommy. How was that wrong?

I bought Dreft and washed up the baby clothes and blankets I had. I wondered, not for the first time, what my baby would be like. What would she look like? Would her eyes be blue or brown? Would her hair curl? Would she be pasty white or olive-y? Would she be a tiny baby or a chubster? Would she be a good sleeper? A talkative, giggly baby or a quiet one? I was still horribly depressed, but the happiest times I had were when I thought about my baby – playing with her and dressing her up and taking care of her.

In the middle of the month, H and I got into a sort of instant message fight. His past behavior hadn’t inspired a lot of confidence, and I told him so, and that I didn’t want him in my baby’s life, and that I didn’t feel like I could trust him. He didn’t have much to say about that except that if I wanted him out of my life and my baby’s, I was SOL. His attitude, and what I knew about him, made me think very strongly that I didn’t want him anywhere near my baby. At this point, H had finally told his mother, and I worried that she would be a problem. She was a chain-smoker, and I worried that she would pollute my baby’s air and hurt my baby’s teeny-tiny lungs. She’d smoked during her pregnancy with H. What was to stop her from smoking around my baby as well?

H continued to IM me over the weeks, talking custody and child-rearing, which hurt my head. I still hadn’t made a decision, and just the thought of deciding turned my stomach. H had plenty to say on the topic of parenting – he went on and on about how he had friends and family to help out - the whole 'it takes a village' thing, and started in on tolerance (which he misspelled) and other things and all I could think was, not with my baby you don't. I found myself fiercely protective where my little eggplant baby was concerned, and I simply didn’t think H would be a good influence on her.

And to make matters worse, I still didn’t know if he’d filed his paperwork yet. S hadn’t contacted me in weeks. She hadn’t understood my wanting to take a break from birth mother stuff at LDSFS. I'd explained that I felt uncomfortable at group - unwanted, unnoticed, unimportant. She didn't seem to understand. Well, fine, I decided. S didn’t even want me to consider keeping my baby, so forget her. I focused my energy (most of it nervous) on sewing dress after dress for my baby. I was getting more and more uncomfortable by the day – I was really starting to notice the extra weight in my belly, and the stairs in my house were murder. The baby was kicking like a maniac.

I loved it. I loved her. I wondered if fetuses could feel that they were loved. I hoped so, and I did everything I could think of to let her know. I took good care of myself, but I also talked to her, and I sang to her. I read her a few stories. I hoped that the gentle rumble of my voice from inside would comfort her. I rubbed my belly and felt her move under my hand. It was the most wonderful feeling, and I wished it could last forever.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Looks Aren't Everything, But They Help

I've gotten a few new pictures of Roo lately, which I love. Pictures always make my day. Just the sight of her sweet little face makes me smile. And what can I say? She's a stunner. Absolutely perfect. Beautiful. I'm happy that H's and my DNA got along better than we ever did. I firmly believe that Roo is the result of the choicest genes from both H and me. Roo got the very best of each of us (although whether she got my curly hair remains to be seen) with none of our physical flaws as yet (her forehead is a normal size, and the few teeth she has are healthy). She is absolute perfection. I wouldn't change a cell in her little body. I did good work :o)

And yet ... she looks just like her daddy! Several people have said so, including her daddy's family. I don't know how, I don't know why. I just know that she does, and I love it. She looks like her daddy, but with her mommy's pretty eyes, long-lashed and slightly exotic. I get such a kick out of that, I can't even tell you. No one would ever guess that she was adopted. Not that that's important. I wouldn't care if Roo didn't look a thing like her parents. But she does, and I think it's awesome.

I don't know if this sounds silly or stupid or not, but it's comforting to me how much Roo resembles her mommy and daddy. It's like one more of the many signs I've found that Roo is where she's meant to be. And there have been dozens! Some people would call them coincidences, or say I'm finding them only because I'm looking for them. But I believe strongly that almost every single day my Father in Heaven has found some small way to confirm to me that I found the right family for Roo, and that she is where she belongs.

How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be Roo's birth mom, and how grateful I am to P and M for being her parents! They could and can do everything in the world for her, except give her a body. I'm happy to have done that for her, and for them. It's the body they would have given her had they been able - right down to the button nose and pretty eyes. She looks more like them than I look like either of my parents, and I wasn't adopted.

Roo belongs with them. She is theirs, and she looks like theirs, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Is it important? No. But is it nice? You betcha.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't Open the Door!

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I think it's because I've been working on more of my story, and although I tend to ruminate, I hate it. I don't like living in the past, and I really don't like reliving stupid things I've done.

But I want to be thorough. It's one of my quirks. It's not enough to me to just say that my pregnancy was a lonely time and I wasn't sure what to do about things. Writing is cathartic, and I know I'll feel better once it's all out.

That said ... I've been going through old messages on MySpace. H and I met on MySpace, have I mentioned that before? I'm never on MySpace anymore, because it reminds me of H, and because I like Facebook better. And because most of the people I connect with on-line have abandoned MySpace for Facebook.


It's coming up on two years since I met H, and I've been reading through the messages H sent me, from the first down to the last, so I can write about things. In retrospect I can see things progressing, see the danger that was almost imperceptible at the time. It's horrifying. My stomach turns more and more as I move through the list. I want to reach back two years and slap myself. Give myself a good shake and tell myself to snap out of it, to use my brain for once and think about what I'm doing. I feel physically ill as I read.

It's a bit like watching a scary movie. I can look at things now and see the stalker with the meat cleaver hiding behind the door, waiting for the horror-film heroine, too tragically stupid to live, to enter the room. I want to shout to her, "Don't open the door!" But it does no good. She can't hear me. She's going to open the door no matter what I do. She's going to be butchered and I am powerless to stop it. I can only look on in horror at the bloodbath on the screen.

That turned into a violent metaphor. Hmm.

Sometimes I wish I hadn't opened the door. I wish I could go back. Arm myself. Give myself something to defend myself against the onslaught. But then ... what of my baby? If I'd known not to open the door, known what was behind it and walked away instead, she wouldn't be here. I don't like to think about a world without her.

I've struggled, thinking about things. Would I make the same mistakes again, knowing what I do now? Would I still have done everything just to get Roo here? I think I would. I know that, if I hadn't, Roo would have gotten here some other way. But I'm greedy and selfish. I want Roo in my life. I wouldn't trade being her birth mother for anything in the world. If I had to open the door to get her here, so be it. She is worth it.