A Relinquished Baby Reminisces
I lay in the hospital nursery next to Marjorie. Her mommy comes in to hold her, just because she's missing her. I hear her mommy ask one of the nurses if she can take her back to her room with her.
"Certainly," the nurse responds. "After all, she is your daughter!"
Marjorie has told me that in a few days, she will be leaving the hospital with her mommy to go to "their home". She is so lucky! I don't have any idea who I will be going home with, or where my home is. Is my home here, in the hospital? So far the only people who have picked me up and held me are the nurses. I like them, but I can tell they are holding me because it's their job. "Get her weight and check her stats," I can hear them saying to one another.
Marjorie came out of her mommy's tummy. I came from someone's tummy, too. I can remember when it was time for me to come into the world...
I don't feel ready, but I have no choice. I'm suddenly being pushed out of the warm, safe place I have known for the past 9 months into the frightening unknown. I start to cry. My mommy is crying, too.
"It hurts! It hurts! Why is this happening to me?"
"Just try to get through it," I hear another voice say. I think it's my grandma. We've been staying with her since I can first remember being there in mommy's tummy, growing. "This is what happens when you're in labor. It'll be over with soon. Over for good."
Now I'm even more frightened. Over for good? What does that mean? My life is just about to begin!
We are rushed to the hospital. I long for some comforting words about how mommy and I will both be okay. Instead, I hear talk about how all of the "arrangements" have been made...How yes, mommy is making the right decision. What does it all mean?
We arrive at the hospital, where the doctor
delivers me. I try to delay it, but eventually, I have no choice. I slide from mommy's womb into the world. It sure is bright out here. And how cold it is! Will Mommy hold me, comfort me?
"It's a girl!" I hear the doctor exclaim as he picks me up. "Do you want to hold her?"
"N-no...No, I don't think so." I can barely sort out all the new stimuli I'm receiving, but my eyes feverishly search for the source of that voice. My mommy. She's still in the room somewhere.
"I probably shouldn't even look at her," she continues. "It will be too hard for me to let her go. Please, just take her away."
The next thing I know, I'm being moved and fussed with. My weight is checked. Drops are put in my eyes. I'm being cleaned off. Strangers hover over me, talking to each other, but not to me. I start to cry even harder. I want my mommy! I want to be held and cooed at and talked to and consoled. But they won't take me back to her, back to the safe haven
her arms represent. Instead they put me in a bassinette and wheel me away from her, into a room where the other babies lay. And, except for the times they've come to check on me, that's where I've been ever since.
I don't know what happened to my mommy. At least, I thought she was my mommy. I know I grew in her tummy, but I haven't seen her ever since.
Marjorie's mommy seems to want to spend all her time with her. I feel all alone. I have a feeling mommy isn't here in this hospital anymore. I think she must have gone home without me. I cry myself to sleep.
I awake to the gentle arms of a sweet-smelling stranger. I've never seen her before, but I feel safe in her embrace. It's different to be held by her. It's not like when the doctors or nurses pick me up. This woman nuzzles my cheek with hers.
"Look at her, honey! Isn't she adorable?"
Her wet teardrops fall on my face. A man speaks, and I search for his strong but loving voice.
Soon they are preparing to take me home with them.
"We didn't give birth
to you," they keep saying, again and again, "but we're going to love you and take care of you, and be the best parents
we can possibly be."
I'm overjoyed! My new mommy picks me up to carry me away, but first I look back at Marjorie, who is leaving today, too.
"Goodbye, Marjorie," I tell her, before we leave the hospital nursery. "Just like you, I'm going home."