After my fist hit Natalia’s face I didn’t hear much from her. I guess a busted lip will do that to you. The rest of my pregnancy went by famously. My baby boy was happy and healthy. I was due in a little over a month and was in full blown nesting mode. My job had thrown me a baby shower which went way better than my gender reveal party. I assume that everyone at work heard about that atrocity because there was not a single balloon to be seen. They had all of my favorite foods and had enough diapers to last through potty training.
Despite my mother’s wishes I had decided to move in with Greg for the first 2 months to give us a chance to bond with our son as a family. My mom would not hear of not helping so she would be moving in too and had all of her things moved over into the guest room at Greg’s house. The nursery was all painted and outfitted with the latest in baby surveillance. The crib he bought was like something out of a futuristic magazine. It had a built in noise machine, vibrated/emitted warm heat, and would play LED lights that promote sleep. He even had a motion detection and video camera so we could watch the baby from our room. The room was painted blue, grey and a soft yellow which made me feel like he would be kind, smart and adventurous. I had been studying color therapy so I felt the colors in the nursery would somehow influence my son’s personality based on how they made him feel. I know that is probably crazy and thinking too deeply but I wanted the best for this little boy.
I had put up most of his clothes but after the baby shower I had a few left to organize. I sat on the plush navy blue rug in the center of the floor and began organizing the clothes by size when Greg appeared.
“Hey babe, whatcha doing?”
“Oh, just putting up some clothes I got at the baby shower.”
“We have gotten so many clothes and diapers I’m afraid all our kid will do is poop. I mean you can’t need that many diapers and clothes for nothing right? They all know something I’m sure I’m underestimating.”
“Yes, I think they do. I can’t believe in 4 and a half weeks we will have our son.”
“Our son. Yeah, it all seems so surreal. I never thought that it would have happened now or like it did but I am so grateful to God for allowing me to get so lucky. I am so glad that I get to have this child with you Jas. I want to be here for you both no matter what happens.”
“Yeah, I’m just grateful for you too. I am also grateful that we got that test redone. I don’t think I could have enjoyed my pregnancy if you had doubts still.”
“I’m so sorry about that. I have known Natalia for a long time and I just can’t believe she was crazy enough to do all that.”
“Well, you shouldn’t play on a woman’s emotions. Hormones can drive you to do some insane things. I know how I feel during this pregnancy so I can’t imagine what she must have felt being pregnant and then losing your child. I truly feel sorry for her. I never really understood until I felt Sebastian kick. That first little flutter was the most amazing feeling. She had loved you for so long. While it wasn’t exciting for you, to her I’m sure it felt like the culmination of years of love. That is too wonderful a dream to awaken from.”
“I guess I didn’t see or really think of it like that. I’m surprised that you can forgive her. After everything she did you are able to see things her way. You never fail to amaze me. You have such a big heart. I think that just makes me love you more.”
“So when is the last time you talk to Natalia?”
“Huh? Um well, probably the night of the gender reveal. After you left her house, she sent a text and said she was giving up and that she hoped I was happy with you. I haven’t spoken to her since”, he said as he scratched his face.
“Hmmm,” she said. She remembered Natalia telling her that Greg had a tell.
“When he lies he scratches his face,” she said.
“Greg, the night I went to Natalia’s house she mentioned that she had you in her mouth. Have you slept with Natalia or had sexual contact with her since we have been together?”
“What? Of course not”, He said as he scratched his chin.
“So, now I’m a liar?
“It wouldn’t be your first time.”
“C’mon Jas I gave you the benefit of the doubt about the DNA test.”
“A test that you went behind my back and got after you told me you cancelled it because you trusted me.”
“I still stayed with you even when it said I wasn’t the father.”
“Wouldn’t have ever had it to ignore if you didn’t lie.”
“I didn’t lie. I did cancel it but then Natalia made me get it and called.”
“And then you celebrated by getting head from Natalia.”
“It wasn’t a celebration. I was upset. I thought you lied to me” and I was angry. I was angry that I wasn’t the father and that CNA was going to get to have a baby with you. I was jealous ok. I was jealous and angry and I don’t get jealous or angry. I make people jealous. That is how I knew I loved you. I have never felt this way about anyone including Natalia. I have never really craved a connection the way I have with you. It took us so long to get here. I didn’t deserve another chance but then I got one and now some other man was going to be there. All I wanted was to be free to be with you but now he was there. He would be there and I would have to choose. I would have to choose to give you up or share you. It was dumb, I know and I’m sorry. I am so sorry.”
“So if I had never asked you would have never told me. She had her mouth on you and you have slept with me exposing me AND our child to God knows what. How do I know that you aren’t still sleeping with her? God Greg! Every time I let you back in and think I can trust you then you go ahead and do something stupid. I can’t look at you right now. I am going to go stay at my mother’s.”
I left and went home. I didn’t tell my mom what happened with Greg or why I was home and she didn’t ask. One thing I had learned was never tell your family when your man messes up. When you get over the initial injury, you will be able to forgive but your family never will. You family will always remember how they hurt you and hold it against them. I had a lot of thinking to do. Greg’s repeated offenses made me really weary about getting too comfortable. I decided not to move in with Greg. I wanted to be sure that I nor the baby got attached to a comfort we couldn’t maintain without Greg. We set up a joint bank account and discussed our financial parental contributions. I was still in nurse practitioner school so we picked our child care facility and worked out a co-parenting schedule based around his residency schedule. For the first three months I was going to keep the baby 24/7 and after that he would be allowed to take our son 2 nights a month. We didn’t discuss anything if it was not directly about our son.
It was the final appointment before my induction. We sat quietly in the waiting room until he broke the silence.
“So, I have to work the next two days but I made a deal with one of the other residents to take my shift in case you go into labor. I will have my pager on day or night so call me as soon as you know and I will come pick you up.”
“No thank you. My mom is going to bring me to the hospital. It’s all worked out.”
“Ok, well still text me and I will meet you at the hospital. Text me as soon as you leave. I don’t want to miss him being born.”
“You know I really don’t want you in the room when I deliver so it’s just as well that I call you after delivery.”
“You have got to be kidding. There is no way that I am missing the birth of my son.”
“Well, it’s my choice and I choose to not have you in the room with me. I want this to be a very peaceful experience and you just bring a lot of negative energy.”
“Ms. Mariano,” the nurse said.
As I waddled towards the door I could hear him mumbling under his breath. Thankfully, the doctor came in shortly after we got to our room so there was not enough time for him to gather his courage to challenge me for his right to watch me give birth.
“4 centimeters and 60% effaced. You are on your way. You are already in the first stages so I’m going to go ahead and admit you to the hospital. It will likely still be several hours but you will not need induction.”
“Let me call my mom”
“Yeah, now she gets a phone call. She isn’t the father of your child but yeah go ahead and let her know. Good thing I was here or I may not have known that I was about to become a father. I think that is the universe working to my favor.”
“Greg, not now.” As I called his name I had my first contraction and quickly quieted myself. As the contraction eased I felt a trickle of fluid down my leg. My water broke. My doctor called over to the hospital and soon I was wheeled from her office across the hospital bridge to the OB floor. I had my blood taken and IV started. The hooked me up to a baby monitor and would come in every now and then to adjust something. A short while later my mother arrived. I made Greg wait in the waiting room.
“Why is Greg sitting out in the waiting room instead of being in here with you?”
“Because I do not want him in here.”
“I never asked you why you came home. I didn’t want to know but whatever it is let it go. It doesn’t have to be forever but today you need to let it go. That man is here for you and has been here for you. He is not perfect but he is the father of your child and it’s not just your child. He deserves to see his child born. If you deny him this you can never go back even after you have let go of the hurt.”
I thought about what she said. “You never know how you will feel in the morning”, she used to say. “Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.” I decided to forgive him for a little while and allowed him to come back into the delivery room with me. My contractions became more intense and I decided to get an epidural at 5cm. Shortly after my epidural the baby began to have decelerations in the baby’s heart rate. They tried changing my position because the baby was beginning to go into distress. I was going to have an emergency C-section. My legs were already numb from the epidural but they had to give me more sedation. I went into a trance like state and everything was a blur. I could hear the doctors and nurses talking as they prepped for my procedure. Their faces were all blurred and I felt like I was looking at them from underneath a glass table. I remembered Greg sitting next to me and holding my hand. I heard the sound of my son crying. Greg brought him over for just a second before the nurse took him back to the nursery for evaluation. I hardly got a good glance. I wish I could remember.
I was wheeled back to a post-partum room to recover. The nurses brought Sebastian for me to breast feed. After I fed him I was hurting so I was given some medication and it must have been a Christian dose because I was flying. I felt like I was sinking in the bed. When I woke up, if I was awake, it was very dark in the room. A woman entered and was standing by the crib. I don’t remember anything after that. Was I imagining things? One hour later I heard the operator announce code pink overhead. My heart sank and I felt a lump in my throat. The nurses scurried in and out of the room. When I asked what was going on nobody would answer directly aside from saying they needed to lock down the floor. After what seemed like an eternity I heard Greg’s voice and was snapped back to reality.
“Jas, jas did you hear me?”
“Hear you? No, I didn’t hear you. What did you say?”
“Jas, Sebastian is missing.”
The police scoured the hospital and took statements from everyone on the floor. They reviewed the security footage looking for anyone who was on the floor during the time Sebastian went missing. They hadn’t found anything and Greg said he was leaving to get some clothes.
As Greg walked into the parking deck his phone buzzed.
He looked down to see Natalia’s name and a photo icon. He opened the message.
“Are you ready to be a family now? It was a picture of his newborn baby.”
He text her back, “Sure am, meet you in 30 minutes.”
And that was the last time I saw my son. That was nearly 15 years ago. I searched for years to find my son. I never dated again after that. I didn't finish nurse practitioner school either. I was too grief stricken. I hope one day that a young girl may hear of my story and when she gets enticed by a smooth talking doctor it is not to the same end. I held on to this for many years. I kept hoping something would turn up. Going to the cops was a dead end and by the time I was released from the hospital Greg's house was already sold and he had disappeared without a trace. I used private investigators but that began to cost so much money that I had payment plans with at least 5 different agencies. My mother is all I was holding onto in the life and she died yesterday.
So Ms. Molly if you get this letter send someone to 2873 Santana Blvd NE, Montiago, Ca 76388 because I have killed myself.