“My water broke late in the afternoon, around rush hour on Lexington Avenue,” Peggy said.
Peggy is my birth mother. She surrendered me for adoption when she was nineteen. When we met, it was 1996 and I was twenty-nine years old; she was forty-eight. We met in New York City, where Peggy had rented a room at the Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel in midtown. She said she wanted to be a few blocks from the Guild of the Infant Saviour, the Catholic unwed mothers’ home where she spent four months leading up to my birth, because she wanted to “show me around the old neighborhood.” I had given birth to my first son less than four months ago, and that weekend marked the first time I had ever been away from him.
Peggy told me about the day I was born. “I was trying to hail a cab with my ‘baby buddy,’” she said. I imagined two teenaged girls, both swollen and pregnant, one waddling to the curb and waving a frantic arm for a cab while my birth mother’s water rolled down between her thighs and into her shoes.
“We had no contact with anybody, no family contact, nobody,” Peggy said. “That was a rule.” Read more at Catapult.