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Another One's Fear

I wake up on the couch to a shrieking baby cry. Lightning shoots through the window and illuminates the entire main room of our apartment. Seconds later, I jump in response to the bellowing thunder. On the floor, my boyfriend is fast asleep. He has been up for probably more than fifty hours, so I figure it’s about my turn to take care of our baby. I take the blanket I had over me and lay it over him. He smiles lovingly and wearily in his sleep. I continue to the baby’s room.

Her frail little voice is stuttering weakly in between gasping cries. She can’t talk yet, but I know if she could, it would be saying, ‘Please, mommy. Make it stop.’ It scares me that I brought her into this world, but I can’t do anything about the terrible things that scare her in it. I reach my hands into the cradle and put my arms around my little girl.

I sing quietly a calming song my mom used to always sing to me when I was little: You Are My Sunshine. I rock her back and forth while I sing to her, but not too loudly so I don’t wake the one person in this house who can sleep. Her rasping breathing slows and she drifts off to sleep. I hold my beautiful baby closer and kiss her on her forehead. I take in everything about her: her beautiful, soft skin, her gorgeous blue eyes that look just like her dad’s, and her adorable smile that, according to that same dad, looks just like mine.

As my lips make contact with my incredible baby’s soft, warm forehead, my boyfriend practically sleepwalks into the baby room. He puts his arm around my shoulders and puts his other hand beneath the baby’s head to support her. I hold our baby closer to him so she’s right next to both of us. She smiles in her sleep and sighs happily. The two of us smile at each other.

It’s the moments like this that make me proud to have kept my baby.

Even if my own mother disowned me for it.




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