Thursday, 9 April 2009

Who Do I Look Like?

Four years later, our planned, wanted and much-loved baby boy was born, but unfortunately his birth wasn’t straightforward. I became ill during my pregnancy and he had to be born eight weeks early by emergency Caesarean section in order to save my life. Due to these circumstances, he was also very poorly and had to be moved to another hospital that could give him the Neo-Natal Intensive Care he required. This meant that by the time I came around from the anaesthetic, my baby had been whisked off by ambulance, under police escort, and so I didn’t see him for the first time until he was 10 days old.

Now was the time when thoughts of my birth mother sidled into my mind, albeit briefly. This ten-day-old baby was placed in my arms; he was virtually a stranger because although I had carried him for seven months and felt him move inside me, I had taken no part at all in his birth. Yet he was mine – I bonded immediately with him – so it was easy to understand how Mum and Dad could love a baby that Mum hadn’t given birth to. It was more difficult to imagine how my birth mother could possibly have let go of her child – what a terrible situation for her to have been in, and how would she ever get over the emotions of the day she gave me up? The condition from which I suffered can prove fatal – if I had died, who would have told my birth mother? Would she care whether I lived or died? Even though she had given up her baby, her rights to the motherhood of that child, and had hopefully been able to move on with her life, surely there would be a small part of her that would care what happened to the child to whom she had given life? Then there was this new baby who, in the first few hours of his life, looked distinctly like his paternal grandfather. Who did I actually look like? One of my birth parents? Or maybe both of them? Or possibly some other birth relative?

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