I don't know exactly when the switch flipped, but the nightmares have stopped. For weeks after Jeremiah's arrival I had recurring dreams involving Marisol (the birth mother) and a perpetual feeling of invalidation. They wouldn't be exactly the same dream, but more of a recurring theme where Jeremiah was crying and suddenly Marisol would walk in, pick him up and he would instantly calm. I would look at the way they were interacting and feel incredibly resigned, thinking, "Well, of course he'd respond to her like that........" I would wake up ready to sob, struggling to identify myself as Jeremiah's mother.......no, Jeremiah's REAL mother. Years upon years of keeping my dream of motherhood at bay resulted in weeks of this battle in my heart. My old tendencies wanted to remain guarded, ready for heartbreak, but life was not slipping away from me. Jeremiah was (and is, obviously) HERE and the only mother he knows, and will ever know, is ME. You'd think I'd just be ready to throw away how I used to live and think but it wasn't quite that easy. I basically had to give myself permission to love uninhibitedly, vulnerable and raw.
Sometimes I would wonder as I held him if he would be the same if Marisol had kept him. Would he cry the same way? Would his voice sound different? Would he smile as much? I honestly don't know why these things would ever enter my mind.......but they did, and as much as it hurt to even think them I couldn't deny my curiosity.
All of that has ended, thank God, and there is no denying who's Mommy around here. The other day as I was getting Jeremiah dressed in his pajamas he started kicking his legs, cooing so loudly that I started to giggle. He caught my eye and smiled so big, and got even more excited as he talked. There was so much undeniable joy in his face when he looked at me that I started to weep.......... "Ohhhhhh.......THIS!" I thought to myself, "THIS is what I've waited for.."
Like I said before, I don't know when the switch flipped but I'm just grateful it did. I'm still in as great a journey to trust as ever before. Trying to stay at home as much as possible and still pay for all our expenses is proving to be an extremely difficult task. I don't know why I thought we'd get a respite after Jeremiah arrived and maybe what this is revealing about me is that my mind will always be festering about something. How annoying.