Photo 481

Eight hours long. Eight hours of mediation. Eight hours later and I feel I have signed away Marlowe’s chances of ever having a normal childhood. This is never what I wanted for her. This is everything I did not want for her. I don’t want half of her holidays spent with one family and having to drive her to another family for the rest… cutting her day in half with heartbreaking goodbyes, dropping her off and wishing she could have had more. more time. more love. One family.

Part of me is angry at the overnights coming all too soon. It’s too soon. I’ve been spit up on five times since I’ve walked back in the house– her stomach is not handing the bottle well. I can’t imagine what will happen when he will take her and I can’t supply enough milk for the night and she will be forced to have formula. I struggled so much with breastfeeding. I struggle everyday with so much pain, but I do it despite the pain, just to make sure she will never have formula– but now what? I have no choice. It took me two months to save up enough milk for today– my emergency milk— and now its gone. The amount of work, time, and energy that it will take– the amount of work, time, and energy I don’t have to produce all that milk… I can’t do it. I physically can’t do it. I’m one person raising this baby everyday. I am one person waking up every 3 hours to feed her. I can’t do it. I don’t get a break as is, I don’t get to pump enough as is… &now I will never have enough. Now every 10th of an ounce saved up will go to that weekend he comes down. But there’s nothing I can do. He has his right. He gets his time. I don’t question his ability to take care of her. I know he can do it, I trust he will do the best job he can, I just wish it didn’t have to be this way, especially so soon. I’ve done everything I can, but now I will have no choice. Every three hours in the middle of the night she will wake up screaming and there will be nothing I can do.

Even sitting here typing, I’m crying. I cried a lot. I knew this was something that I was eventually going to have to face. I was ready and prepared, but my god it sucks. It really really sucks. Every other holiday. Every other vacation. Weeks in the summer. Traveling back and forth. Trying to explain why it’s time to leave and why she can’t be with her ‘mama’ that week. Trying to explain why her father will be there one day, one weekend, but wont be there the next.

I’m not saying I would have had an abortion if I knew her father was going to change his mind and come back in the picture, but man, it could have been so much easier if I had known when I had made my decision. Life could have gone so many different directions– and this for sure, is not the way I wanted it to be for Marlowe, my child, my only child, the person I love more than anything in the world. It breaks my heart. It really really breaks my heart.

For the rest of the evening I’m letting everything sink in and I’m allowing myself to cry. I’m doing nothing, but holding my daughter. Tomorrow: I accept that this is the way our life now is and there is nothing I can do to change it. Tomorrow: I accept the fact that I can’t give her the life I want to give her— Tomorrow: I move forward.

Thank you so much for all your kind words. It was so incredibly nice to receive so much support throughout the day. Thank you thank you thank you. 


  1. I know we're just internet friends, but I want you to know, sister to sister, that I love ya. I read this post, tears streaming down my face, my heart aching for you and your sweet girl.

    You are so strong and brave. You can do this. You are both more resilient and brave than you think. Hugs and love.

  2. My heart is breaking for you. As a fellow breastfeeding mom to a girl close in age I just feel so much how terrible it would be to have gone this far and worked so hard for it to be taken from you. I also have had to work so hard to breastfeed and have had supply problems from day one and I know how hard it will be to keep up your supply. It is so unfair and I am so sorry that her father doesn't see how important this is you both you and her. I love reading you blog and I will definitely have you in my thought and prayers and I hope this works out for the best.

  3. I don't know that any child has a normal life. We all just do the best we can for each other and that is enough.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear this. I know he is the 'dad' and all but to me he gave away his rights the minute he left you with a babe in your belly. This makes me so angry. I wish it could be different. I know this probably won't make you feel better but I wasn't raised by my mother. She 'took' me back after a while but I will never, ever forget who REALLY raised me and neither will Marlowe. Stay strong mama <3

  5. I don't think I've ever commented before but after reading this I felt compelled to. I'm not a mother yet but I just wanted to say that you really inspire me with your strength and your honesty about everything. I'm sorry for what you are having to go through, I can only imagine how difficult it is. Thinking of you both xo

  6. My heart hurts for you when I read this earlier this morning… =( I got teary eyed for you. You are a strong women! My Hero!! All single mamas are my hero! I was the girl/the only child that lived w/her single mama and always wondered why her daddy did not care to call and see me or know how I was doing. So, I hope she has a good relationship w/hers. Good luck hun! I hope it works out and gets easier for you both!!

  7. sending you and baby marlowe lots of love. I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this! I can't even imagine the heartache you are experiencing. <3 <3 <3

  8. Oh Drea! I know there isn't anything really that we can say to make you feel better but I'm thinking of you and Marlowe. I am so sorry. You are an incredible mother, and while this isn't what you planned for Marlowe she will always feel your love for her. No matter where she is or who she is with.


  9. I'm so, so sorry you have to go through this but you are SUCH a strong mama. Despite the split holidays and everything else she will see how strong you are. And she will also grow up to be strong because of that. Hang in there!

  10. im so sorry you and marlowe have to go through this, its not fair that he can go back and forth changing his mind, no i dont want the baby, yes i want the baby. you are a strong girl and so is she, everything will be ok. as far as my advice for pumping, get an electric pump (medela pump in style) if you dont already have one then feed marlowe in the morning from one side, pump both for at least 10 min (max 20) and then feed her on the opposite side. then when she goes for a nap pump about an hour into it, it takes up a lot of time but its worth it. and also pump before bed, you may not get a lot but it will stimulate the milk production. and eventually it'll come, you want to be saving about 4 oz a day. i learned this by taking a back to work breastfeeding class, this way youll be able to stock pile your milky for those weekend visits.

  11. I'm so very sorry to read this. I can't imagine ever letting my baby girl spend one night away from me. What you must be going through I can only imagine. I grew up in a single parent home. My mama was the best mother and father a girl could ever dream of having. Things don'e usually end up the way you plan and we are a lot stronger than we think we are. You'll make it through. I only hope you two don't have to struggle too much. If at all possible I really think Marlowe's dad should move closer to you for your daughters sake. Being shipped back and forth far away from her mama does not sound like the best way to be brought up. I really feel for you on the nursing issue. I promised myself my daughter would never have a drop of formula as well. Your daughter shouldn't have to either, if it's not what you want for her. Can't her father just wait until she's done breastfeeding to do over night and weekend visits? Ahhh, I'm so upset about this! Look into La leche league. THey might be able to help. I think facebook even has a page for mothers looking for local breastmilk.

  12. Hey. I'm a lurker & not even a blogger (yet!) & also a single mum & my daughters spend half the week with their dad. It's a weird one. Heartbreaking & at first my house felt too big & I was lost when they were gone. But after a while I found I had newly discovered time to read a book, paint, garden, visit a museum, go on a journey sans buggy & found a freedom & rediscovered a little bit of me that had been lost in 24/7 parenting and I really think it's made me a better mum. I'm sure it won't be a comfort now but families have also sorts of shapes and just because it doesn't fit the traditional mold it doesn't mean it can't be just as successful. I love reading your blog. Good luck x

  13. Aww this made me so sad and made my heart hurt for you and your babygirl. I can only imagine the pain it is bringing onto yourself, but like you said he does have a right unfortunately. Stay strong and everything will work out the way its supposed too.

  14. I'm sorry hun. My heart hurts reading this :'(. I don't think anyone knows what's going to happen when they make the life altering decision to have a child. You just take that chance, ya know? But do you qualify for WIC? Can you take some supplements to help you produce more milk? Again, I'm sorry. But I am glad he at least wants to be in the picture.

    Take care XOXO.

  15. You are an amazing Mother and Marlowe is so lucky to have you – she will always know this, just remember that
    xoxo much love lady

  16. I have never commented before, but really felt like I needed to with this post. There really is nothing I can say that will change anything, only offer my support and thoughts. Everything will be okay, you will feel better. Time takes time. All the best.

  17. You are a wonderful mother, and Marlowe knows it – she loves you dearly for it already. I know this isn't how you pictured things, but things aren't always how we picture them. You'll do the best you can to make it work, and Marlowe will love and appreciate you for allowing her to know you – the awesome mom, and her dad.

  18. Lady, the universe is unfolding as it should and things happen for a reason. My heart hurt for you when I read this post, but it also wanted to reach out and hug you and say that it is all meant to be. Some children are born with severe illnesses and disabilities and i'm sure that's not at all the life that their parents hoped for them – but it is the life they got and the world is a better place because we are in it. All of us. And we're all here for a reason! Your little girl will be the way she is, because of the life you lead – and when everything is wonderful, you won't have wanted it any other way.

    I have a 6 week old daughter and I have so much support around me – it makes me cry to think how anyone could do this alone. Motherhood is terrifying! You are incredible. Take each day as it comes and know that there will always be people in better and worse situations than you. LOVE the life you lead 🙂 xxxxx

  19. as a child of divorce, this just broke my heart. i truly hope that you and the father can work a schedule that is the best for your little one. just know that having a strong and amazing mother will do wonders! i know my mom made it all work and you will too….

  20. awww sweetie. I am so sorry you have to go through this.

    When it comes to the BF'n you should be so so so proud of yourself for how hard you have worked at it. YOU ARE AMAZING!!It sucks that the weekends she will ahve to do without the boob for a bit but she will be okay and evetually get used to the bottle. Hopefully, he will find his own ways to soothe her and bond with her. My son goes to bed totally different when he is with my husband. He doesnt need to nurse but he HAS to twirl my husbands hair and my hubby has to hum to him. So he will find a way to keep her calm and happy with the bottle…itll just take time. Dont beat yourself up about not having enough milk. you are only one person!

    My husband and his ex went through a horrific custody battle that lasted over a year and now my step son is 9 and things have settled and they make holidays work for him and everyone else. I think after a few years they let go of their anger between themselves and they realized they had to come together. when he was younger it was fine but now they do a better job at communicating and making sure he feels happy. You both will get there too. It will take time but you will figure out what works best for you and him and most importantly, Marlowe. I promise you she wont look at holidays and see them as split between two families but more as getting double the love. My SS is a happy little dude and I rarely see him get sad about going back and forth because its the way his life has always been.
    in the long run it will be good for her if he can be a good, caring, consistent father. Its awesome that you trust him. Try to sty positive and remember it wont always feel like this. You will give Marlowe everything she needs and she will grow up a happy, healthy little girl. Trust yourself.You are a great mom.

  21. this made me cry. my heart aches for you. all i can say is; shit happens. you unfortunately have to roll with the punches. try to focus on the good. yes, easier said than done. and they say distance makes the heart grow fonder?.. i dont know, none of this is coming out the way i want it to at all. just know that i'm here. if you need to talk. or to hop in your car and drive a few hours when you're bored without her one weekend.
    just keep your head up. you've done all that you can and now, it's a new day.

  22. I am really sorry that you and Marlowe have to go through this. I can't even imagine how confusing those first few visits will be for her and how sad they will be for you. As mother we only want the best for our babes and it really sucks when we don't have a choice. I'll be keeping both of you in my prayers.

  23. Oh Drea, I'm so sorry. Yes, it does suck. BIG time but, let's not look at things only at how Marlowe is right now. She will not be a baby forever and one day she will be old enough to make her own decisions and see him for what he is and not want to go spend a holiday with him.
    I am so greatly disappointed in the system. As far as i'm concerned, he signed off his parental rights when he didn't want you to have a baby and was not there during the pregnancy.
    It seems like the world is crumbling down now but, it won't be as bad as you think it will be.
    You won't let it be that way.
    Get the crying out.
    Big hug,

  24. My heart is breaking for you. Sending good thoughts your way. Stay strong, Mama.

  25. I'm so sorry, this really made me weep. I've never been through this and I couldn't even imagine what it would feel like to have to 'give away' your daughter for a few days a month – hell even one night! My heart goes out to you both. xo

  26. Aww Drea, I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. I honestly can't even imagine what you are going through/feeling right now, but I feel for you.

  27. drea, you are incredibly strong. you WILL give marlowe the life she deserves and then some. don't doubt yourself and DON'T look back. xoxo

  28. I am so sorry to read this, Andrea. I had a feeling it would go this way. I can't imagine it, I really couldn't. Why the heck did he bother to move so far away at such a crucial time. Sounds like he is impulsive and was scared. Now, he wants to be a part of her life. Thankfully, you say you trust him and know he will do a good job. I could never in a million years say that about my daughter's father. He has supervised visits only and even though I basically can't stand the sight of him, I tolerate it as I would anything…only for MY daughter…to protect her. Sometimes, things work out for the best. I know it is difficult, but maybe you will be able to create more of what you have been desiring for yourself…with the time he has her. I know how much you love Marlowe. That will never change and you know that. But maybe, this dark cloud will have a silver lining that will eventually reveal itself. Wishing you love, peace, and blessings during this time. -Cyndy

  29. We went through something similar with Keelin's dad a few years ago. It absolutely gutted me and the memories of mediation still choke me up. Sometimes she is happy to go, sometimes she asks to go when it isn't his time, sometimes she cries when I leave, sometimes she cries for me when she's there, sometimes she doesn't want to come home yet. It's hard on mom and baby. I'm sure it's hard on the father, too, but I've never been a father, so I can only identify with missing my oldest child, the one I never though I would have to miss.

    Some days will freakin' suck. Some days will be okay. I hate this for you 🙁

  30. Reading this breaks my heart. I will have you and baby Marlowe in my thoughts.

  31. I am so sad over this. I was raised in a single parent household, without my Dad. Yeah, there was visitation, sometimes, when he'd decide to show up, but I had consistency and home, and a Mother who loves me and fixed my broken heart when I was let down time and time again. There most certainly were (and are) times I wished that my father would just disappear from our lives instead of dangling the prospect of being a 'real family' in front of us all the time.

    To be constantly shuffled from one home to the other is something I can't imagine – to have different expectations set in different families, to be a different kid at each house.
    My heart aches for you and Marlowe. I am so sorry for the pain you're going through to be the best mom you can for her, and I'm sorry that his decision, all of a sudden to pop back into your lives is basically causing that pain.

    It sounds trite, like a nice gesture you'd never consider taking someone up on – but if you need someone to talk to, I'm here and I'm willing to listen – honestly and truly. You don't know me, but I'm here on your side.

  32. Having children brings about situations that can cause greater pain than we could ever imagine. It also brings us greater joy than we could imagine. I've been married to the father of my children for 10 years and I feel lost and scared like you do now for a different reason. This is a rainy day, but there are sunny days ahead <3