To my baby,
You and I have been together, day and night, for 54 weeks and 3 days. I carried you inside me for 40 weeks and 6 days, and I’ve carried you in my arms for 13 weeks and 4 days. I’ve nursed you, comforted you, held you, introduced you to the world. I’ve been your other half and you have been mine.
Today will be different. Today I will leave you in someone else’s care. Today someone else will feed you, change you, hold you, dry your tears, help you fall asleep, and make you smile. The women that will be with you are amazing women. They will care for you and keep you safe. You will be with other babies, and you can laugh and play.
As I walk out the door, I hope you don’t think I’m abandoning you. I will be back to pick you up at the end of the day. I know it might feel like forever until I return. It will feel the same for me. I want you to know that I will always come back for you.
I want you to know that my decision to take this job and leave you in someone else’s care was not a decision I came to easily. There are responsibilities that come with being a parent. Heavy responsibilities. Taking this job means you and your brother can have the life you deserve.
Taking this job also means that I can re-claim a part of myself that I lost many years ago. It’s the start of a new chapter for me, and I’m excited to experience it unfold.
Along with the excitement there’s also worry. Worried that you’ll become more attached to your new caregivers than you will be to me. Worried that you won’t develop any attachment at all to your new caregivers.
Worried that you won’t find comfort in nursing as you did before. Worried that you won’t feel comforted during the days when we’re apart.
Worried that I won’t be able to pump enough milk for you. Worried that you won’t take the milk that I pump for you. Worried that when I’m not with you, your belly will never be satisfied.
Worried that you’ll keep looking around the room, searching for me, confused as to why I’m not there. Worried that you won’t wonder why I’m not there.
Worried that you’ll worry.
Let me do the worrying for the both of us. Let me do the heavy lifting. You will always be cared for. You will always be loved.
I want you to know how much I love you. I want you to know that I’m always with you. Even when I’m not by your side, a piece of me is always with you. A piece of you is always with me. I carry you in my heart every minute of every day.
Today will be hard for both of us. Each day it will get a little easier. One thing will never change — the hardest part of my day will be saying goodbye, and the best part will be holding you in my arms again.
Until then my sweet baby. Mommy loves you.