So, tomorrow is my littlest human's 2nd birthday. This is a day that I was not looking forward to. Tomorrow is the day that will break my heart.
My little Connor Owen will be 2 years old today. This means that in a few months, he will be potty-trained, bottle-free (After both of my boys' 1st birthdays, I threw all of their bottles out) not to mention he can already feed himself and almost dress himself.
I've spent the last 4 years changing diapers, feeding babies, dressing them, and cradling them while feeding them their bottles. In a few months, this will all be over. I won't know what to do with myself.
The one thing, (other than already mentioned) that is going to completely break my heart, is the fact that to him, I am a horrible mother.
When my first son, Brayden, was born, I had 5 photo albums filled up by his 6th month, he had his professional pictures taken every six months, I had his ultrasound pictures and birth certificate framed, and I knew his every milestone by heart. Still do.
When Connor was born, and even now, I have only 1 photo album filled, very few pictures of him, only one professional photo of him, and I cannot for the life of me tell you what age he was when he started walking, talking, crawling, etc.
You see, Connor was not expected. He was not wanted. I had always wanted 5 or six children, but after Brayden was born, I decided that I loved him so much that I did not want to share all of my time and attention with anybody else. When I was pregnant with Brayden, I cherished every kick, every movement, every moment. With Connor, I don't even remember him kicking or moving. I hated every second of it.
After Connor was born, I expected my feelings to change. I expected to look upon him with hope, wonder, joy, and excitement. The first time I looked at him: nothing. I didn't want to hold him, I didn't want to cradle him and kiss him. I let Curtis do all of that, while I watched with envy the look of true and undying love on his face when he looked at Connor. I wanted so badly to feel that. But I didn't.
Connor couldn't breathe properly when he was born. We had to fly him to Billings so he could spend 10 days at the neonatal unit. Of course, we didn't know it was going to be 10 days. That's just how long we were there.
Every day I would sit in the neonatal unit and pretend to love to hold him and breastfeed him; pretending to wish he would get better. Every night, Curtis would walk over to the neonatal unit from the house that we were renting during our stay, and he would sit next to his incubator, and read him Curious George books. I didn't. I stayed at the house and slept.
When we were finally able to go home, I was excited. Not because we got to bring Connor home, but because I wanted to get out of Billings, get away from the hospital. I wanted to continue on with my life as if Connor never happened. I didn't even want to go on maternity leave. But I had to because my daycare lady wouldn't take him until he was at least 6 weeks old.
I watched Curtis hold, feed, bathe, and love Connor. I would take him to the grocery store with me, and I would get annoyed when people stopped me to look at him. If it had been Brayden, I would have stayed there to let people look at him al day.
Then it gets worse. Curtis and I split up, I moved with the boys into an apartment across town. I panicked. Curtis had always loved up on Connor; I had no idea how to. If I delved deep enough into it, I knew that Connor was the reason behind the split. I loved Curtis so much. I knew that if I didn't have Connor, Curtis and I would still be together. I couldn't even look at him.
I fed him, I changed his diapers, I even held him once in a while. Not because I wanted to-BECAUSE I HAD TO. It was all done out of necessity, not love.
I even remember telling my friend Heather that the only reason I didn't drop Connor off at a street corner and leave him there was because I was afraid I would get in trouble.
But wait, it gets even worse. Connor was born with an eye that would turn inward and make him look crosseyed. I hated that. I hated bringing him out in public with me because I was afraid it would reflect poorly on me and I didn't want people laughing at my "ugly" child. I started leaving the house only when he was sleeping, so his eyes were always closed and no one could see them. Twice, I fell asleep with Connor on my chest, and I woke up to thundering BOOMs as he rolled off my chest and hit the floor with no carpet. I didn't get scared. I felt bad, but i just picked him up, shushed him back to sleep and put him back in his crib. I didn't care.
One night, I left the house when he was sleeping WITHOUT HIM. I had gone over to Heather's, to drop Brayden off at her house so he could have a sleepover with her boys. I left Connor at home because it was cold outside and I didn't want to bundle him up to carry him over to Heather's; and even worse, I didn't want to have to continue to take care of him once we got there. He was not my child; he was a burden.
It would've worked, too, except my friend Cindi stopped at my house while I was at Heather's to ask if she could borrow some Pull-Ups. She knocked on my door and heard Connor screaming from inside his crib. She opened my door, grabbed Connor, and took him to her house, where she bathed him, changed him, fed him, and rocked him to sleep. Then she called the cops.
I got back from Heather's to my driveway filled with two cop cars, lights on and all. I stepped inside my house, and a cop looked at me and said, "Do you know where your baby is?"
"Yeah, he's sleeping in that room right there."
"Actually, he's not. Do you know where he might be?"
I panicked. I cried. "No. Oh my God did somebody TAKE HIM?"
"Yeah," the cop said. Then he smiled. "Cindi took him and brought him to her house." His eyes twinkled. I thought he was ironic.
The cops escorted me to Cindi's house, where I retrieved Connor. I wasn't so worried about Connor than I was about the neighbors seeing me being escorted by the cops, but I took Connor home, put him in his crib, and waited for Social Services.
They showed up, looked around my house, looked at Brayden, detemined he was healthy and happy, gave me a warning and then left. Which could have been the end of it. But it wasn't.
I was so freaked out by being visited by both the cops AND Social Services in one day that that night I packed everything I could fit inside my car, put both boys in their carseats, and left the state. I went back to my homestate of South Dakota, thinking maybe things would turn around once I got there and I would learn to love my child.
I didn't. Once I got there, my child-less friends started inviting me to parties, so I would hire a babysitter, party until the next morning, come home and take care of my kids. Sometimes, I would take Connor to daycare, bring Brayden with me, and call them "Mommy & Brayden" days.
My parents had found a very good eye doctor in Sioux Falls that they suggested I take Connor to. He advised us on doing eye surgey right after Connor's first birthday. But then I got sick, and had to be hospitalized.
I was really upset about this because first birthdays are a big deal to me. And yet I missed Connor's first birthday because I was in the hospital. I don't know if I really even cared about it being Connor's birthday, or if I cared because I wanted to throw a party that would make my friends with children jealous.
Two days after Connor's birthday, I was released from the hospital. The enxt day, we took Connor into have surgery done on his eyes.
I don't know what it was about that day. But when his surgery was done and we waited in the recovery room with Connor, something inside me snapped. I cried, and I held on to Connor with all that I had. I prayed to God that nothing would ever hurt my baby boy again. I couldn't stop giving him kisses. I wouldn't let anybody else touch him.
I think about it now and realize that that was the day all of my love poured in for him. I think about that day now and I am wracked with guilt and shame, and I call myself a bad mother, something that I was never able to do before.
Connor, once unwanted, is now a big piece of my heart. I look at him and my heart fills so much it feels like it's going to burst. He smiles at me and I melt. He giggles and I die. I would do anything for this child. My sweet,golden-haired, blue-eyed child without a mean bone in his body. The littlest love of my life.
Someday, I will explain everything to him. I might even let him read this blog. I will cry, sob, and beg for his forgiveness. I will tell him that no matter how I felt before, I love him more than anything now, and he is the most important thing to me and that will never change.
But first, I will be busy making up for lost time.