An Apology To The Child I Will Never Have

baby6 Dear Little One,

I thought there would have been many letters written to you in your lifetime. None of them to be this one. Not an apology letter for not meeting you. Not a goodbye letter. But now that my biological time clock has just about ceased its ticking and the man I love is happy with our family built just of two, I guess I must.

You see, I had said hello to you a thousand times already in my mind and in my heart. I believed so much that you would be mine that you already feel like a memory. And so many people had reassured me throughout the years you were on your way that I would tear up in relief.

She is coming. My little girl. My baby girl. Katherine Grace.

I always wanted a classic name for you but Grace as your middle name because I knew you would have a calm, ethereal quality about you. Almost otherworldly.  I could see your big, brown eyes as a baby, looking up at me. Wide eyed and wondrous. Tiny pink fingers wrapped around my forefinger. Nestled in my arms. Safe as I rocked you gently.

I can see all the moments I missed with you and I am so very sorry, my dear girl. I see your brown ringlets bounce as you run about the playground. I can hear the sing song quality in your little voice as you ask me such innocent straightforward questions that make me wish I remembered more of my own education.

I can feel me carrying you on my right hip just like my mother did. We’d read bedtime stories at night. I wonder now what your favorite would have been. Would you be a tom boy or a princess? What would your favorite color have been when you were little?

Would you have been outgoing or shy? I would have played dolls with you and had parties and dressed up and we would always have a dog to love. I know you’d love dogs as much as I do.

What would you have wanted to be when you grew up? Maybe you’d first want to be a princess and then an animal doctor. How about into your teen years and beyond? I would always try to answer every question you asked truthfully even if it was about death or sex or other things I wasn’t sure about. Because I’d want you to always feel safe with me and non-judged and know you could always come to me. And I would try to make every school play or every science fair or swim meet. But not be a push over. Forget it. Sometimes you’d hate me. But that’s ok because like my mom once said to me, I would have enough love for the both of us.  And I’d be there for your first crush, first love, first heartache, be it a boy or a girl. I would just want you to know what unconditional love felt like, Katherine.

And now, without you, maybe I will never truly feel it. Not that mother child love. I can’t tell you how terribly sorry and sad I am that I will never get a chance to meet you, hold you, love you. At least, not in this life. I feel robbed somehow. But was it me that robbed you? Did I just rob myself?

Or maybe, did I save you?

I wonder if somehow I did the right thing somewhere down the path and gave up my baby to someone else that would care and love you more than I could at the time.

Did I give you up in a spiritual adoption?

Or did I just ask you to wait to meet me in another lifetime?

Could I not find your father?

Did I just make a mistake?

I feel like I did, Katherine. I feel like you are around me, somehow, lingering. I mourn you. As if you brought to me, stillborn. And I’m left with all the hopes and dreams I had not just for you, but for me as a mother and a woman. My heart breaks for you, Katherine. My heart breaks for me.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t figure out a path to find you. It’s like I could hear your voice in the woods but I couldn’t see you and I kept looking until the voice kept getting fainter and fainter and finally, I just couldn’t hear you anymore. I knew I was too late.

I’m sorry I’m too late.

I lost my chance to have you, Katherine.  I’m sorry I ran out of time.  I’m sorry I wasn’t ready to have you earlier.  I’m sorry the man I fell in love with isn’t going to be your father. I’m sorry I will never read that last page where we all live happy ever after.

I just wanted you to know that I always loved you and I always will. And If you ever want to come and visit me in my dreams, I’d really love to see you.

Until we meet again,

Your mother,

L

  • Shannon Stephens

    Absolutely heartbreakingly beautiful.

    • Believe it or not, there is a faction of small minded people who are entirely missing the point of L’s letter. They are saying that she is “blaming her current boyfriend” for her not being able to have a baby.

      Although everyone is certainly entitled to their interpretation, I am choosing to post one that is inline with empathy, understanding and most importantly with what L’s actual intention was for writing this apology. They chose to say things like “she isn’t fit to be a mother. I am glad she can’t have a baby.” It’s impossible for me to wrap my head around such callousness and insensitivity.

      Below is a different stranger’s interpretation that still wasn’t good enough for the minority of haters.

      “You can’t have it both ways. That is very true (referring to some inane comments I am choosing not to post as to not embarrass those that said them). I do think, however, that we all know what it is like to want two contradicting things and to have to decide between them. The way I see it, this person obviously wanted to have a kid, but that never worked out. Then, as she was approaching the end of her child bearing years, she met someone with whom she fell in love that didn’t want to have children. At this crossroads the choices were: pass this guy up and sacrifice what could be a wonderful loving relationship in hopes that a child happens for me, or accept not having children and embrace this love and find happiness in a way that I didn’t expect but know is possible. Our lives take turns we don’t anticipate, and sometimes that presents us with decisions that we don’t anticipate making..difficult decisions..the kind of decisions you hope you’ve got a supportive partner with whom to talk through them. This doesn’t make a person ‘bad’ or manipulative’, to be vocal about life decisions. I could see how a man would react to this public apology in the way that you have or have implied that “the husband” in the situation should. An insecure person could potentially be hurt by something like this, assuming that it is a guilt trip. I do think, however, that a confident, loving and supportive man would understand the need to find resolve with these feelings (that this woman is obviously trying to find by taking advantage of a website that could be compared to a group therapy setting). It is that kind of loving and supportive man that I would give some of my life dreams up for without resentment. Relationships are a give and take, you know. Truth is, sometimes you just need to throw your thoughts out there in hopes of hearing that someone else has felt the same way in order truly put something behind you. In a way, she did this in part FOR her new partner…she let it go in avoidance of harboring a resentment. Writing this public apology seems similar to a woman attending a balloon releasing memorial to symbolically ‘let go’ of a miscarried or stillborn child. Of course, that’s just my take.”

      This was the response from the author of the apology on Facebook to the previous comment:
      “Thank you Devin for understanding. I’m the one who wrote it.

      I always thought I would be a mother. So did everyone around me. I am in fact a God mother 4 times over. But so many life things and me things changed that. I was in 3 relationships where we were going to have a baby. 1 for 6 years… it never happened and thank god, because it was a very destructive relationship. 2 where the men had thought they wanted kids and then after a year or so into it (and me into my late 30’s – early 40’s) they changed their minds about wanting to be fathers.

      I won’t even get into my neck surgeries that bankrupted me, made me give up my home, so the idea of adopting or in- vitro were out the window as I was bankrupt and virtually homeless. How could I care for a child when I was barely get by?

      Whe I met my forever guy last year, he was up front and honest that he was not someone built to be a father but a father to my fur baby? OH GOD YES! He told me he was sorry he couldn’t give me a family but he would be MY family, and he is. And we are enough.

      I wrote this letter initially as a request from a therapist. Then a woman in her 50’s who never had children wanted to read it. I only published it to maybe help others.”

      • Don’t say “only”. It almost sounds like an apology. You have every right to express your feelings and share them with no one or everyone. People make the mistake of believing that a view into someone’s heart is an invitation to score it’s worth. I truly believe, those who cast stones and sit in judgment, are the ones hurting the most.

  • Candy somoza

    This is beautiful and loving and touching. It’s hard for me to think such a letter could draw anything but support. Unless, of course, the reader has his own resentments to work through, and if that’s the case, is it wise to create another reason for said reader to write an apology for having trashed someone’s pain? Wouldn’t it be simplerkinderwiser to work through one’s own reaction to another’s pain, trace it back to its source and follow a path toward healing whatever this letter brought to light? That seems to be the writer’s intention–to work toward her own healing. I’m sure many other women and men will understand and relate. Thank you, L.

  • Please don’t say “only”. It sounds like an apology and you have no reason to regret posting such an amazing letter. People make the mistake of believing a view into a heart is an invitation to score it’s worth. You obviously struck a chord with someone. It sounded awful and that’s because it has some fixing of it’s own to do.

  • This is touching and beautifully written, thank you for posting.