Ten day daddy

Ten day daddy

I never thought it was possible to love someone so much who you’ve only known two hours.
- Anonymous

When Elyse Emerson was born I watched it all. She was 8lbs 12ozs and 21.75″ long. Initially the birth process was grossing me out a bit, but I realized I had seen much more death than life so I changed my perspective and watched Elyse come into this world.

It was a tough birth, and my concern was with Elyse when Doc had to forgo the hand-vac and go with the manual pump in order to assist. Doc had to cut Mommy twice for Elyse to be born, but I couldn’t help but worry if Elyse was going to be alright when (or if) she finally came out.

For ten days I didn’t let young Elyse out of my sight unless I had to. And it wasn’t something I felt I needed to do. I wanted to be near her. I needed to be near her. I felt as if I were there then she’d be safe, protected, assured of the future. I felt as if she was the first person who genuinely needed me.

For ten days I loved Elyse unconditionally. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Everything she did was precious, entertaining, me. She was my world, my life. It wasn’t obligation. It was necessity.

When I found out she wasn’t mine, I was devastated. I’ve always wanted children, and she was so calm, so beautiful, so perfect. She was my perfect, gorgeous little girl.

I worry my child won’t be as perfect as her. I look at her pictures now and I want to cry for the loss. Elyse is my weakness, and Mommy knows this. She uses this against me. I question if it’s worth the drama, the legality, to love her beyond the fact I’m not her father. Given the choice, I’d take her in a second.

I love her, but I need to let her go. I’m so sorry.

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37 Responses to “Ten day daddy”

  1. Dale Schlatter says:

    For once I don’t know what to say, but sorry man, life just sucks sometimes! That is it I am not even going to say nothing cliche. A beer is in waiting!

  2. Adrienne says:

    When the one that is yours comes along, I know you will be an awesome Daddy.

  3. Angie Jones says:

    Well Jayme this just brought me to tears! I was there with you during the birth of this precious little girl and I know how you immediately took a hold of her and loved her. I know my opinion may not matter, but as an outsider looking in and as an adopted child as well….I can say there is a lot more to being a great father than being the one that helped bring God’s special blessing into this world. I wouldn’t change my parents or my life for anything! Love is unconditional no matter what. I know you are hurt…I saw the love in your eyes for her. I’m sorry you are hurting and you feel the way you do…I know that Elyse would have been proud to call you “Daddy” if that had been a choice you decided to make! But you can always hold those 10 days in your heart b/c loving a child….There is nothing like it!

  4. DRIFTER 3 says:

    So what are you going to do…??? You just might get some satisfaction in raising a child – unconditionally. If loving a child has a on/off switch, how did you turn it off? That would be an interesting fete.

  5. Sean says:

    Damn, man.

    I don’t really have anything sage or pithy to offer, so just know that I’m hurting for you right now.

  6. missy kohler says:

    Jaym, U don’t have to be sorry… u are a bigger man than most. And letting her go is a choice only you can be sure is the right one but trust me when I tell you that no matter how busy you stay, or how many children you have, she will always be there in the dark corner of your mind- that’s the blessing and the curse of loving….

  7. shirley staiger says:

    Jayme..the people we love most are NOT always genetically connected to us…Your loving presence in this childs life seems way more than an accident of proximity..I have known more than my share of manipulative people in my life -treat them as big-assed ,potholes,slow down assess where the damage could happen and then carefully circumvent them _/very carefully/. The love you feel for this child makes you vulnerable,figure out,somewhat like being a Marine,how much you are ready to commit -THIS IS YOUR STRENGTH-if you decide you want to be in this childs life, keep communication open,but casual..sounds like this mom might need a sitter occasionally, you don’t mention the sperm donor,but,this baby is going to need a face she recognizes and feels secure with. ..clearly you know this woman pretty well,maybe she will glad to have someone dependable around to call when SHE is exhausted and trust me she is going to be exhausted . Offer to stroll baby in the park while mom naps etc. But try to do just you and baby…,This is a lucky baby to already have someone who loves her this much..However,if you move on it is a pretty good bet that this isn’t the only wrinkled tiny person you will have in your life..amazing that feeling happens each time..so Dude brace yourself, there will be others-AND-they will come with a momy who feels that way about you! If you decide to stay involved on some level stay loose!!Jayme,there are a dozen or so people out there who call this their childhood home and would like to own it when Russ and I are done with it…NONE of these children,now grown ups are connected to us by blood…best of luck,know that we are here if you need us.love s

  8. AJ says:

    I too am at a loss as to what to say (I know rather surprising isn’t it). As you know I know first hand (twice) how you can unconditionally love someone the instant you welcome them into the world. I feel for you because it is truly the most amazing thing in the world to experience. I know it probably doesn’t help much but a few days is better than none. Ok so maybe it wasn’t a total loss of words but as close as I get.

  9. Frew says:

    I’m sorry its been so long since I’ve been in contact with you. I couldn’t believe what I just read. I’d like to say things happen for a reason, but the reasoning for what’s happened to you would be a shitty one. I also can in no way compare any thing in my life to whats happened in yours. You always used to joke about the path to greatness, but I don’t think it is a joke. The path your life, the greatness, is the choices you make. You could be on the path to shit. Don’t worry, you’re not! The path is hard and sometimes you fall off, or your pushed off, but once you’re back on you’re stronger. Stay strong brother.

  10. Wooden Nickel says:

    Women are cruel and evil succubi.

    Remember this, you are still a pimp. I have seen women throw themselves at you and then be willing to fight other women for you.

    The best way to put this all behind you is “Strange”. Luckily for you, tomorrow is the best night of the year to pick up on desperate “strange”. Valentine’s Day comes around once a year to punish men in relationships and reward those who are single. Single women and their friends flock to the bar in droves as a show of solidarity that they don’t need men. But inevitably, they get drunk and hop in the sack with the first good looking man who talks smack to them. The key is being that guy. Don’t ever be nice to “strange”, they will mistake you for being desperate and a non Alpha Male. And I assure you my friend, you are THE Alpha Male. They will do anything to make you like them in an effort to validate their own sex appeal, even if that means performing the “butterfly”. Also remember this, once you have met the “strange” intimately, it no longer strange, you must begin a new journey to find new “strange”. Bang away, my friend…just bang away.

    Women are cruel and evil succubi.

  11. Lea says:

    Wooden,
    you are a pathetic excuse for a human….your comment is rude and disrespectful to women! you are a low life fucker who will NEVER amount to anything…I feel sorry for any woman that you’ve met, screwed or even talked to. I feel sorry for your sister, mother and grandmother for having to be associated to you. You will never be happy in your life because you are a disgusting “Alpha Male”….seriously who the fuck even says that?  Bang away, stupid fucker…just bang away and hopefully die so the earth can become a better place! 

  12. Jodi says:

    Jayme, it brings a smile to face that you’ve experienced unconditional love for a girl even if it was only for 10 days. I believe that the plan set out for is a GREAT one and that you have to walk through the darkness in order to fully appreciate the light. I known you long enough and well enough to know that you’ve got Fort Knox built up around your heart in regards to females and for good reason too. I hope you don’t continue to let your unfortunate past experiences keep you from the wonderful experiences that lay ahead of you.

    I have high hopes of you finding that special woman that catches your heart (melts through the walls)in the same way you catch theirs. The one that proudly takes your last name and happily bears your offspring. Your time will come my friend and when it’s your time you will be both an amazing father . . . and husband. I’ve seen you come close to being ready for it a time or two but the timing was quite right yet.

    Hang in there and hold your chin up buddy! Everyone deserves to find their piece of happiness . . . usually comes when they least expect it too (-;

  13. shirley staiger says:

    Jayme..just checking in to see how you are doing..been thinking about you a lot. It is a crystal morning here in Bismarck,every twig frosted and other-wordly-looking. Just makes you want to hold your breath..keep-on keepin- on.love s

  14. Bonnie Rouse says:

    Jayme
    This is Jodi’s mom writing, just had to include a note to add my thoughts to the unbelievably sad situation that you have been having to deal with. It reminds me of Forrest Gumps famous quote ‘shit happens’ This has been such a personal, emotional journey, I don’t know that any of us, looking at it from a distance, can possibly understand the total devastation you have suffered as this situation has unfolded. While I don’t know all the details, I can tell you from hearing Jodi talk that this ‘loss’ that you have experienced will/and has changed you. You were prepared to give yourself wholly to the care of this child; instead, you must come to realize it will not happen. There are no comforting words, as your friends have to aptly stated above, that can take away your pain. Just know that you have lots of friends who are ‘here’ for you, even though many miles separate us. You are in our thoughts and our prayers. Bonnie Rouse

  15. IP says:

    Beautiful honest telling of a wrenching situation. She’s beautiful. I wish for you soon, something that helps this make sense, that makes this unfortunate turn of events necessary for some ridiculously wonderful thing to follow.

  16. Alicia says:

    Oh Jayme, I’m so sorry all this happened. I just kept calling you to get your address in order to send a blanket I crochet’d for the little one… I guess the number I had wasn’t correct, although the message said “You’ve reached the number you are calling. Please leave a message” and that is sooooo you.

    So I know what I am going to do with this blanket now. I am sending to you regardless so you can save it for YOUR firstborn. I am absolutely know, as I know that the sun comes up from the East, that you will have a child someday. And with this short yet sad show of fatherhood you just experienced, there is no doubt in my mind you will be an awesome father.

    Please call me if you want to talk. You know I’m only 1 hour away if you need me.

    Much love, my friend…

    Alicia

  17. Erik Westman says:

    I’m sorry to hear about what happened, you’re a better man than I am considering what I would do in that situation. I’ll keep you in my prayers..
    Semper Fi
    ~E. Westman

  18. Angela Hruby says:

    Hey Jayme,

    I had no idea this happened in your world. I’m so sorry. That little girl will always be in your heart, but when you have your very own, it’ll knock the wind out of you to feel how much space your love for them takes up. Like mom said, my dad was 40 when I was born and he’s always been the very best dad ever. No lack of bond or love between the two of us. Take care of yourself. Ang

  19. Kevin says:

    Elyse is stunning.

    Having watched my son being born and feeling the need to be there, my heart breaks for you. I could not imagine having to walk away from a child I thought could be mine. I think you did the only thing you could do for her, understanding the possibility of the mother using Elyse as a tool. And using a child as a tool is one of the lowest forms of child abuse.

    This just shows that you are a gentle man…

    …with a slightly twisted mind.

  20. JB Stevens says:

    Jayme, I’m sorry to hear about the situation. I can tell you and insure you that you can never get over loving someone if you truly loved them to begin with. When I lost my daughter in a custody battle I dam near pulled the trigger on myself. It’s been 10 years and I still remember like if it were yesterday. The only difference is I still have contact with my daughter. During the custody battle my Layer tried to get me to have a paternity test because of the time frame when she was born. I know there is a slight chance that she may not be blood to me, but I assure you she is mine and I am her daddy and God knows she will say the same. Any man can be a father; all it takes is your sperm. It takes a real man to be a daddy. I think you will make a great one some day. Just don’t turn out like me; I’m considered a man without a heart living in a castle with no doors or windows. You’re better than that and I’ve seen it in Iraq with you.

    Semper-Fi
    And Super Gumby
    JB retired

  21. Adrienne says:

    Not any time soon, but that’s a story for a different email.

  22. Jayme says:

    I owe YOU the beer. You had to put up with the drama just as long as I did. Besides, I’m not sure it’s a beer I need. I wrote this with 10 Coronas in me. I had to check the post the next day just to be sure what the hell it said. Oddly, I didn’t change a thing.

  23. Jayme says:

    If I haven’t screwed up 13 nieces and nephews yet, how bad could I possibly do with my own??

    And by the way, when will there be little ones running around YOUR house?

  24. Jayme says:

    I know you of all people can relate. You have your own daughter. Is this what it takes to turn me into an emotional mess? Not fun…

  25. Jayme says:

    I agree that a few days are better than none. I learned a lot, about myself, about childbirth (gross), about my capacity for emotion. It was a bit overwhelming actually.

  26. Jayme says:

    Right now all I’m seeing is the “curse” of loving. There are some finer points I’m still struggling with, but it’ll work itself out.

  27. Jayme says:

    I’m not so sure I’ve turned off the switch. Let’s just say I hope the feeling dims as days go by.

  28. Jayme says:

    The mom is five hours away and I will not have her back in my life, regardless. It’s a pipe to believe I could ever have Elyse in my life and the mother wouldn’t use her against me (as she already has, so I know she will again). I’m counting on the fact I’ll have another one soon enough, even if that means fifteen years from now. I’m looking forward to it!

  29. shirley staiger says:

    …clearly you know how this would shake out if you stayed involved..mom being mom..too bad. You will be a spectacular papa when the time comes.In the meantime Jayme that is an unusually stable head perched on top of those marine shoulders. Wise and inciteful way beyond your years. Who raises those toxic young women? Russ was nearly 40 when Angela was born…you have a world of time…still and all we are here if you need us -hope I didn’t sound too pushy…love s

  30. Jayme says:

    What I saw as a random, anonymous jab at the stereotypical reaction most men would have in a situation like this, you’ve taken serious offense to. Do you see Wooden is playing on the norm? Women hate every man of the same type of the one who broke up with them. Men screw the closest female to their ex as they can. Men leave pregnant women at the alter. Pregnant women lie about who the father of their child is because to them it’s about preference, not biology.

    This shit happens.

    So instead of a personal attack, how about a better solution… from a woman’s perspective?

  31. Wooden Nickel says:

    Lea,
    I’m sorry I didn’t call, I swear you were great. It’s not you, it’s me.

  32. Jayme says:

    HA! I laughed my ass off when I read this. I don’t think Stuart Smalley ever looked in the mirror and said, “I’m a pimp, I’m an Alpha Male, and dog-gone it, women throw themselves at, and fight over, me.” My Valentine’s Day is already booked seeing a live band down the road. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

  33. Jayme says:

    Ha! I really shouldn’t laugh, but stereotypes are just so easy (especially when we play into them ourselves).

  34. Gaby says:

    I believe that she hit the nail on the head (le dió al clavo), well said.

  35. Jayme says:

    I’m in no real hurry to have kids. I figure when I’m 45 I’ll scrounge up some young twenty-something from the Midwest who just wants to have kids. Problem solved!

  36. Jayme says:

    I agree with the statement that using a child as a tool is one of the lowest forms of child abuse. It happened with the three youngest kids in my family when the folks got divorced. Mom did it for years, using as as leverage against Dad. After Elyse was born I saw the exact same thing happening, and I refused to be part of it despite my feelings for the baby.

    It’s easier being cold hearted. But difficult at times.

  37. Jayme says:

    We’ll see how it all pans out. If the paparazzi can sling pictures of Britney Spears all over the web every other day, I damn sure can post pictures I took of a baby I thought was mine when I took them!

    I’m 33, single, no kids. Believe me when I say we’re a dieing breed. It’s not about having no heart.

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The author.Born in the year of the Dragon, the author grudgingly accepts the fact he has too many interests and not enough time. A cyclist as long as he can remember, an avid yet inconsistent writer since age eleven, and a U.S. Marine since age twenty-one, the author also adds peak bagging, diving, snowboarding, and computers to his list of interests. Incidentally, he is aware of his inability to make a living from any but the Corps. The author accepts this as fact and remains optimistic. Feel free to drop him a line.

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