I am sorry.
I am sorry that other mothers look into my cot and allow sympathy to rush to their eyes without a fight.
I am sorry I was dealt a losing hand which others must now play for me.
I am sorry the statistics let you down.
I am sorry for the guilty thoughts which edge your mind and keep you from your sleep.
The playing out of might-have-beens and wish-I-hads and the delicious hatred of those who hold a perfect baby to their chest like a winner’s medal.
You do not fold me into blankets, as other mothers do.
You do not stare at me with eyes which never blink.
You do not tell the world I’m here, but wait for the world to discover me and then groom yourself with its pity.
My arrival was a whisper not a shout. My life is an apology before it has even begun. I am a rushed conversation, a spoiled congratulations, a bundle of regret.
You do not hold me. I am wrapped in disappointment and you cannot bear the feel of it against your skin. Instead, you look at me from the corner of the room with folded arms and beaten eyes and a lifetime of me crowding into your mind.
I know your days are too full for me and so I stare at the machines which nurse me in your place.
And yet I am happy.
I know some things are given, not decided. I know that sometimes we cannot be what others expect us to be. I know that, in time, we may look at things with different eyes.
But, most of all, I know that I love you.
I loved you before I even saw your face.
And I love you now.
Even though you are not what I imagined you would be.
Even though you are not perfect.