Last night, I had an emotional earthquake.
It wasn't as scary as it sounds. There were no aftershocks. Once the initial seismic activity stopped, I regained my balance. I was fine. I've weathered this kind of storm a few times before, and I have always been better and happier for having been shaken up a bit. Last night was no exception.
Here is what happened.
I was thinking about taking an Advil for my toothache. I was sort of surprised that I even have any Advil, because I pretty much never take any medicine anymore. If I'm sick I take antibiotics, but rare is the time I take so much as an aspirin. This wasn't always the case; before I had Roo I was taking seven different prescriptions for depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and migraines, and I was quick to take NyQuil or a decongestant or whatever I needed.
Then I found out I was going to have a baby, and I had to drop all 7 prescriptions. I probably could have taken a Tylenol or something safe like that if I needed it, but at the time I figured my baby was starting out at a disadvantage having me as her mother* and I wanted to do everything I could to make sure she was healthy and grew right.
Once I got out of the habit of taking medicine for everything I never really got back into it. Drugs have never worked particularly well for me; my pain tends to be stubborn. Besides, I live alone, and have you ever tried to buy a small bottle of an over-the-counter medicine? If I end up taking 96 Tylenol before they're out-of-date, I think I've got bigger problems. I buy bottles of 24 and end up throwing 20 away because they've expired too quickly.
Anyway. I actually had Advil in my bathroom cupboard, and I was going to take one and I was thinking about how I don't ever take medicine anymore and why. And it hit me like a blow to the solar plexus - the magnitude of what I have done. My emotional ground shook.
I had a baby - a child, a little person that I grew in my womb and who shares my DNA - and I placed her for adoption. I had a baby. I had a baby, and I am not her mother. Someone else is her mother, even though I grew her. And for just a second, I thought, I'm not sure how I feel about that, even though I should have figured that out in the past couple of years. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that. Happy? Sad? Abnormal? Somehow cheated?**
I had a baby, but I don't have a baby. That is HUGE! How did I do that? How could I do that? How am I okay? I love her so much! My love for her is bigger than anything I've ever felt before. She is the most precious little thing in the whole wide world. And I am not her mother.
And it's okay. I'm okay. Roo ... Roo is more than okay. That's why I'm okay, why I settled on "happy" as the way I should and do feel.
This choice I made, this huge thing I did, wasn't for me or my piece of mind. It was for Roo and Roo alone that I chose adoption. I've never doubted that I did what was best for my little girl. People can say what they want, judge as they see fit, but I have never known anything as deeply as I know that I made the very best choice for Roo and that she's where she belongs. I would do it again in a second.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, has the greatest magnitude of all.
*I felt she was at a disadvantage because at the time I found out I was pregnant, I was not at my healthiest, mentally, and I had a lot of growing up left to do. By the time she was born, I was in a much better place and I think any perceived disadvantage had disappeared.
**For the record, I do not feel cheated. Roo's not mine to raise. If I ever feel cheated, it's that I'm not a mother, period. Not because I'm not Roo's mother. Any feeling of being cheated comes from being crabby about being single and childless and closer to thirty than I'm completely comfortable with.