Ahh favouritism, a word Mums in general avoid like the plague. Of course we all love our children the same, but surely I’m not the only one who has a child who is extra special?
I am not too proud to admit the Joshua is my favourite. So next, I shall answer why. It’s not because he’s the eldest and first born, it’s not because he’s my only boy, it’s not because he is disabled or exceptionally bright; it’s because i made the biggest sacrifice for him, I sacrificed my own heart for his health and safety.
I think I better go from the start:
There I was at 15, only ever had sex once with my boyfriend, staring at the GP in disbelief, whilst my mum’s once supportive hand became tighter and firmer in anger and disappointment. I was pregnant. I was told at 13 that I would probably never have children due to the shape of my womb, which was perfect by me; they’d never been part of the master plan anyway. We had gone to the Drs expecting to be told that I had yet another infection (or that I’d need an op, which they’d predicted when I’d gone for the tests a week before).
We left the Dr’s in silence, scan booked for the next day. I’d not long left school and been placed on a work program at a local stables, and when my mum finally did speak it was to tell me that I’d ruined my chances of a career. We found out the next day that I was about 2 months pregnant and given a scan at 20 weeks.
I carried on working my socks off, doing exams at the local college for my gcse’s, I even carried on eventing on horseback, I was bump less so I didn’t look pregnant and therefore in my mind, wasn’t.
At the 20 week scan, however, it became terrifyingly real. The dr told me I was carrying a little boy (just as I’d predicted), but there was a problem, he wasn’t growing properly.
I was then booked for weekly scans. When I was 7 months gone they confirmed he’d stopped growing, and the weekly scans after confirmed that. He was still alive, still going strong, but tiny. The Dr’s explained they wanted to get me as far into my pregnancy as they could.
A week before my due date they told me he was better out than in and would be delivering on my due date, the 27th of June 2006.
Once again, I took it in my stride; confident I was going to be a perfect mum, was going to breast feed, carry on working etc etc.
My delivery was hell, the midwives were complete cows to me because of my age, I was terrified and screaming my head off when the contractions started coming. My mum and my ex boyfriend where there for me all the way through. They gave me some pethadine, to make me comfortable; but really it was to shut me up.
I woke up desperate for a poo, as I went to sit down my waters went, my ex dragged me back to the bed and got a midwife, she could feel the head. He crowned in the hall on the way to the delivery suite and was out 5 minutes later.
The Drs had told me he’d be 3lbs maximum and would need neo-natal care, they were very wrong. He was 6lb 3oz and just a little skinny, no neo-natal needed.
Unfortunately this is where the problems started, he wouldn’t latch; breast feeding went out the window. I battled on with a breast pump in hand. The midwives were evil to me, one told me that it’s because I can’t feed him is the reason teenagers are useless mums.
I got home and couldn’t form a bond with him, I battled on, but every time I held him he’d scream. My mum ended up doing pretty much everything for him.
Depression hit and I started drinking (even when Josh was with me). I went back to work when he was 2 months old because I needed the cash (I’d never even heard of benefits). That’s when things got really bad, I was at work from 6am every morning until 6pm at night then home to bath a baby and do the night shift. I lasted 2 weeks before exhaustion set in and I slept through his cries. Or I’d wake and be so shattered I’d shout at him. The turning point was when I smashed his baby monitor, my mum took me to the Dr, and it was post natal depression. Me and my boyfriend split up shortly after.
I then quit work, tried staying at home with him for 2 weeks. It got too much; I felt like he hated me and that sometimes the feeling was mutual. My Nan was the only one who actually helped me do things for him; everyone else would just shout at me that I was doing it wrong and take him off me.
At the end of the 2 weeks I packed my bag, handed Josh to my mum and told her he was hers and to look after him. I walked out.
I got myself 3 jobs and a flat, sent all spare cash to my mum recorded delivery, but that was the only contact I made for 5 months. I got in with the wrong crowd, started taking speed to keep me awake for work and drinking heavily at weekends.
One day my Nan turned up at work and told me Josh was in hospital with pneumonia. I dropped everything and went straight there.
Luckily, he was about to be discharged, but my poor baby had been suffering and in there for nearly a month, they’d been trying to find me through out.
I spent the next month getting myself clean, and made contact again when I had. I was still drinking heavily, but I was off the drugs. After that it was put in place that I’d go to my mum’s every Sunday.
I also willing gave my mum a residency order, so I knew she had PR and could do what was right by him. It killed me, standing in that court room, giving my reasons for it. The judge even offered to put me in supported housing with Josh, but I knew that there was no way I could look after him; I couldn’t even look after myself.
I eventually lost 2 of my jobs through poor performance, without the speed I was a zombie, and surprisingly my mum came and took me home. I still couldn’t look after Josh though, he didn’t know me, I was a stranger after all. I eventually got a new job and moved out again. I still kept my contact and even started having him at weekends. I stopped drinking for him.
The real wakeup call was when I missed my period and that blue line showed on the stick. I was pregnant again. I moved in with my then boyfriend (now another ex, but that’s another story) and his family, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, until the council put us in supported housing.
Josh is now at the age where he wants to know why his 2 sisters live with me, but he doesn’t. He is also too old to be put back into my care and too young to make his own mind up.
My day (just Sunday) per week with him is special and I do lavish him with things more than my girls, make the extra effort with him and to many, it would seem he is my favourite. But I go to these extra lengths to show him I do love him and my decision to walk away when he was a baby was for him. And the choice to keep him with my mum was for him. Theres not a day that goes by that I don’t cry about him, I count the minutes until the next Sunday, when I can see him again. Everything I did was for him, and hopefully one day he will be able to understand that and not hate me for it.
This post is an anonymous guest post.