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pregnant and alone - a letter to my baby's absent father(5 Posts)
I wrote this last night when I couldn't sleep. I wanted to share with someone, as it'll never get the intended person...
To My Baby’s Father
When you pressed send that night, you ended our relationship so casually and so callously. In the time since, my hours have been consumed trying to separate the you I knew, or thought I knew, with the decision you took to close the door on myself and our unborn child so decidedly.
I don’t know the what led you there, the thought processes meandering through your head like tributaries to the ocean, all taking us to the final fact: your absence. I won’t know if you lay awake in the small hours justifying your decision to yourself. My own thoughts have taken me to a more rational understanding that, for the majority, the necessity of making such a decision will happen only once in your life, if at all. If you choose to absolve yourself of all responsibility, by text message, to the woman you ostensibly loved and the child you had said you wanted, on the basis that you have the biological capability of doing so, you cannot claim that this is not representative. Sometimes, we must be judged by our one-offs.
Having consulted my own male friends, many of whom are fathers themselves, I take some level of comfort in knowing that they are all outraged at your behaviour. Conflicted obviously, by the thought that, in a sea of wonderful, kind and feeling men, I’ve somehow and unluckily found the anomaly. Which leads me to my next question: what do your own friends think? Your own best friend, a step father to two small girls, and whose wife was left, like me, by the father of her children. I cannot begin to believe that he would have kept quiet, having been so close to the destruction that an absent father leaves. In my head, I will his wife to tell you of the devastation of seeing a young child cry that their father rejected them. I want her to shake you violently and tell you truthfully of the poverty and the depression and the loneliness of raising a child alone.
I think of you often; almost every hour your sweet face swims to the fore of my mind and floors me. What are you doing and who are you with? I wonder if you’re with another woman now, someone who will no doubt know nothing of me and your baby. Are your rolling over in bed, sleepily snuggling close to her whilst, down the road, I lie awake, alone, with our baby kicking so furiously into my soft belly. Will she laugh like I did at your idiosyncrasies, those peculiar bedtime routines you so rigidly adhered to. Hands, face, teeth. Vest off. Earplugs in as the clock turned eleven. Phone set to flight mode. Kiss on the cheek. Sleep.
I want to call you every day. I want you to know and to understand the reality of life for me now you’re gone. The knowing glances from the midwives, now that you’ve forcibly put me into that stigmatised bracket, the hated demographic of the single mother. Those boxes on the forms I never thought I’d have to tick. I know you will never receive the bitter, biting comments that I do, the blunt inference of promiscuity and irresponsibility. Though I know it’s not your fault, that it’s indicative of society’s ingrained perceptions of women and sexuality , I wonder, if the tables were turned, if I walked away from my baby after birth to leave you picking up the pieces of my selfishness and flagrant disregard for others, a mewling baby in tow, would you be treated the same? Would your aunties raise their unkind eyebrows at your irresponsibility? Would your friends mutter slyly to each other that perhaps you should have used a condom? I suspect that you would be lauded a hero, a magnanimous human being who took on the responsibility of parenting alone with no complaint.
Most of all, though, I think about the impact of your choice on the life of our baby. I worry endlessly about the space you will leave behind, what your absence will create in this child and what it will take away. The thought of our son or daughter, aged five, asking where daddy is and why doesn’t he come to watch the swimming gala, haunts me daily. That when I think of how her history, her sense of belonging and her identity will only ever be half sketched I’m filled with a level of rage towards you that I never thought possible in meek, mild me The wonderful, human parts of you, your patient, gentle kindness like the time you spent two frustrating hours trying attempting to explain the rules of cricket so I could share in your life, our child will never have the benefit of. Will my parenting, my character, and the fierce love I already feel for this child, ever compensate for the bits they wont be able to take from the beautiful parts of you?
I want you to know that your absence is felt. That I will do this because I have to. But it hurts.
That's a great letter and you have put into words better than most. It's firstly sad that you have had to write this letter but also sad that you have decided not to send the letter.
Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy
You brought me to tears. If you decide not to send it...and he is truly gone for good....then keep it. One day your baby might want it to fill in some of the gaps.
You are braver than me. Good luck xxx
Moving letter and my heart goes to you. I was in your position many years ago . I can promise you that life gets better. Your child will have tou and other role models.
I wish you a serene pregnancy ....
This was me 4 years ago. It hurts but you find the strength. My son is a happy and clever kid without him.
I wish you all the best. Push forward for you and baby. xx
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