You were born so tiny and so perfect, my eyes filled with tears as the midwife handed you to me and I became a mother at 18 years old. I put you to my body and fed you as we studied each others face. You no longer were a part of me but we began to bond immediately. The first day you were calm, you made sweet little coos, you hardly cried and had a curious face and dark blue eyes looking into mine and I could feel your heart smiling. When you were not yet 24 hours old they came to our room and took you from me, I agreed to let you go, I said ok and buddy I so wish I would have held onto you, I need you to know that I did not really know what was about to happen and I'm sorry. While you were gone from me I wondered, wondered if it really wouldn't hurt, if it really was just a snip. Then you were brought back, you were cold, sweaty and your eyes were distant. You would not look me in the eye again, you rejected my breast and cried and screamed in pain. You would never breastfeed again. I changed that first diaper with you screaming, when I saw you raw, bloody and exposed I began to cry, we cried together, this time because I had only been a mother for a day and I had already failed my baby. I didn't protect you, I let them hurt you, I made a choice that wasn't mine to make and regret has filled my soul since that day. In the days and weeks that followed, as you healed you screamed all night, terror woke you up every night and pain every time you peed. I am so sorry for what I did to you. When you were 17 months old you became a big brother. You dont know it but you saved your little brother. I had him in the car, I delivered him into my hands with you watching from your carseat. You were the second person to ever touch him. I am sorry for what I let them do to you but when your brother was born I knew better and I would never let anyone hurt him. When your little brother was 2 and a half he became an older brother, we had him at home, you and brother touched him after mommy and daddy, a third little boy blessed our family. And You saved him too buddy.
Six years have passed since your pain, but we still struggle with eye contact and closeness. Last night I washed your little brothers in the bath and then put your soap on your sponge so you could shower. I can see the reminder of what I took from you, it wasn't just skin, it was our bond, it was your trust, it was your right to genital integrity, autonomy and your right to chose for yourself. I took something from you I can never give back, I can't undo and I will regret forever. One day, I don't doubt, you will ask why your brothers look different, I'm afraid for when I have to tell you because buddy I can't lie to you, you'll cry and I will too. I can only hope you will forgive me and maybe find strength beyond your years to see that I realized my mistake and that you truly saved your brothers. I'm so sorry buddy, you will live with my mistake carved into your body and I will forever live with the guilt.