Leaving Penelope Rose

Today, I took little Penelope Rose over to the world’s most awesome baby sitter. I take her there a couple of times a week so I can get some pointy-headed writing done on my dissertation proposal/schoolwork. I discovered very quickly that it’s nearly impossible to write when she is awake or at 4:00 a.m. when she is sleeping. Taking her to Kim’s is the only way to get through this process.

Most days, I am just fine – I know she is in excellent hands over there and it isn’t like this is a forever arrangement. But these past couple of days have been tough.

And this morning, I totally fell apart when I dropped her off.

See, here’s the thing. Little Penelope Rose is now the same size you were the last time I held you in my arms. And leaving her at Kim’s this morning felt like leaving you that night so many years ago.

I am horrified to think of what mental state I had to have been in back in March of 1993 when I did that to you. I now understand that I have a tendency towards post-partum depression that really hits full stride at about 7-9 months. I know now that is when my hormones are really in their wildest swings as my body readjusts to a baby that isn’t nursing as much and I still am in a sleep deficit. It happened with Captain Knuckle (hospitalization and meds saved me from post-partum stupidity that time), it happened with the Professor (an amazing husband and sister-in-laws save me from stupidity that time), and I can feel it happening with little Penelope Rose as she nurses less because she is getting more solid foods.

But there was no safety-net for you and I.

Between the untreated post-partum depression and a Bishop and a mother who were working overtime to convince me that I was not enough, would never be enough, and you deserved – no, were entitled – to more than my love, I made what can only be considered as the stupidest decision of my life.

I sat there on Kim’s couch this morning and sobbed. She knows about you and was so understanding and supportive. I am grateful for that but it was so hard to leave my little baby there this morning. Rationally, I know I am going back for her and she knows I am coming back for her. But I was just overcome with grief for what I did to you.

Oh God, I am so sorry for leaving you that evening. I left you and I never came back. The only solace I have in such a wretched, horrific act is that I thought I was doing the right thing. Not to be overly dramatic, but as God is my witness, I truly thought it was what was best for you. Afterall, the two people in my life I should have been able to trust were telling me it was the best thing.They told me that wanting to parent you was just my reaction to the abuse growing up and that I didn’t need to prove I could be a good person by parenting you – in fact, by relinquishing you for adoption I was actually proving that I was a good mother.

How sick and twisted is that reasoning?

I now know how completely wrong and un-Christlike that line of reasoning is, but at the time…I trusted other people instead of my own heart.

And I am so sorry for the legacy it has created for both of us.


4 thoughts on “Leaving Penelope Rose

  1. Hugs.

    You write so beautifully and your love for your daughter shines through. I am sorry that you didn’t have the support you needed in 1993, and that you are haunted by post-partum depression. It’s real, scary, and debilitating, and I can see how you were triggered today.

    • I do love her… just like I do the three children I am blessed enough to parent. I am so glad that it is apparent and that I don’t just sound like a whiny “birthmother.” Sometimes I worry about that….

      Yes, post-partum depression is a vicious monster. 😦 I wish I had known about it back then.


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