I don't really remember being in labor. I remember being alone in a tiny room that was no bigger than a closet. A bed against the wall, room to walk alongside the bed & that's it. Alone. I do not remember going into the delivery room, the birth of my son, or recovery after the birth of my son. I don't remember the days, weeks, or months following my son's birth. I remember bits & pieces, but not everything. I don't think I really want to remember what my brain has chosen to forget in order to stay sane.
The few bits & pieces of my time in the hospital that I do remember are in the two days following his birth. I remember the nurse that snuck into my room to give me a little piece of paper with my son's foot prints on it, with her written notes of the date, time, height & weight of Christopher at birth. I wish I knew her name to tell her thank you. To tell her that she was my one saving grace while in the hospital. The one person that treated me with any respect, that treated me as the mother to my child.
I remember carefully filling out the form for the birth certificate. How I carefully printed the name I gave my son, the one and only thing I could truly give him. When I received court papers regarding the relinquishment of Christopher, his name is Baby Boy. I don't know if they even put my name on the birth certificate. The one thing I had to give him ~ did they take it away??
I remember walking down to the nursery, praying to get a glimpse of my son. I think I found him on the second day. I remember standing in the window, for what seemed like hours. It may have been. But it may have also been only 5 minutes. I really don't know.
I remember the day I was going to go home. I walked down to the nursery hoping to get one last glimpse of my son. I didn't find him. On the way back to my room, I passed a small room, no bigger than a closet. There was a changing table in the middle of the room. There was a lady, dressing a newborn. I wondered if it was my son. When the lady looked up & saw me, she got a horrified look on her face & quickly walked over to the door & shut it. That was my answer. It was my son. Who was not my son. Who was being dressed to leave the hospital without me. I will never forget that moment. I will never forget the look on her face. Like I was a monster of some sort, that might take the baby and run. I will never forget the door being closed. It was like a door was closing on a part of my soul. Closing on my heart.
The doors stayed closed for a long time after that. It took me almost 30 years to realize that the doors had been closed as tightly as they were. It took reunion for me to realize how I had kept my heart closed since that day. I had to keep it closed ~ from fear that I would fall into the gaping hole & disappear forever.