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.