I spent most of my pregnancy angry at A's birthfather. I think I was partly angry at him for not being more careful, angry that he got to go on with life as if nothing ever happened while I had to deal with constant responsibility and pain, and angry that he didn't seem to care. His first answer was abortion, so I think I never forgave him for that and used it as an excuse to shut him out. He was the sperm donor, not her father. I rarely spoke to him throughout the pregnancy and saw him only a few times. I chose the agency and parents, and he only met D&G after signing away his parental rights at the hospital. He didn't even want to meet A but agreed to it shortly before her birth because I had asked so little of him. When I went into labor I texted him and I think he changed at that moment. Things were real at that point, and he began texting me and offering to be there and support me in any way possible. I didn't have the energy to deal with him when I was so focused on getting A out safely, but he came to the hospital that night to meet her when no one else was there. In that moment, I forgave everything. I could see the love and heartbreak in his eyes as he looked at his daughter for the first time. He was too scared to hold her at first, but then he didn't want to let her go. He sent me a text that night asking me to forgive him for not being a "better man." He apologized for not being there and thanked me for bringing such a beautiful thing into this world. He regretted not doing more for us.
The thing was, he didn't feel a person growing inside him. He had no way of understanding the severity and depth of our reality until he met A. He wasn't necessarily a bad guy, just a clueless one. Singing away his parental rights was the hardest thing he'd ever done, but he did it because he was a Dad and chose to put her needs above his own. He's told me since that he actually wants a child before, something he never expected to happen. He wishes he had gotten his act together the moment we found out I was pregnant so that we could have kept her. The truth it, that wouldn't have changed anything. I would have still been a nursing student and nanny and missed most of her waking hours. We wouldn't have been together as a couple so she still would have had a single Mom. We still wouldn't have had the resources to give her what she needs. He admits that she has an amazing life with truly incredible parents, but I am shocked at what being her father has done to him.
For a while I refused to call him her birth father and instead called him her biological father like a sperm donor. I'm so glad that I put A's well-being before my own resentment and invited him to the hospital twice to spend time with her. I'm glad that I kept him in the loop throughout the pregnancy and spoke to him after placement so I could genuinely tell her how much he loves her and relay the sweet things he says one day. He hasn't expressed any desire to see her because I think his way of grieving requires separation, which is perfect because he is still young and wild and into a scene D, G, and I don't want her exposed to. I don't know what his future relationship with A will look like, but I'm optimistic that there will be one. I'm also thankful for laws to protect birthfathers. They can lack support and be difficult to deal with, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve rights when it comes to their children.