Letter to the Daughter I’ll Never Birth

Hawaii ocean oahu

Dear ______,

You’ve been on my mind the past few months, for reason I don’t understand yet. But please know this: I loved you.

I knew I wanted you when I was 10 years old. The marriage dream never truly struck me, but I was young and already in love with the idea of you. I remember the moment I was sure: In my 5th grade class, we learned about Family Planning (thanks traditional Catholic grade school…), which as much as I hated, I stopped on a page of a mother and a baby, and immediately thought of you. I knew right then that you would be in my life, in whatever capacity you would come. As my mother drove me to piano and dance classes, to choir and school, I dreamed that someday I would drive you to those classes, whatever classes they would have been. I wished and hoped that I would count your tiny toes, sing to you, and watch you grow and transform.

This is not to say that I was baby crazy at any point in my life. I had my fair share of doubts about you, and rejoiced each month I got my period because my finances were not enough for me to live, let alone you too. But every time I thought of the future, there you were. Your smile, your laugh, your strength. No matter how I pictured you, you were perfect to me. Perfect in your human imperfection; perfect in your truth.

You would grow up in a world completely different (hopefully more progressive) than I, and we would help each other figure it out. You would blare your generation’s music in your room, and eventually I would understand its language. You would be provoking and deadly, and strong and defiant, and I would love it. You would become who you wanted to become without limitations and without restrictions; without men and women in academia, career spheres, and society telling you that you talked too much or were too bossy. You would rise and shine in your own light without apology.

You were so real even then and throughout the years, you were almost tangible. Until you weren’t.

When I was freshly 21 years old, I experienced painful, abnormal contractions in my abdomen (not due to menstrual cramps). Too scared to go to the ER, and too far from my doctor, I went to a local Planned Parenthood. After some tests, I found that the cramps were nothing to worry about, but that visit would reveal something about you: My hormone levels and womb were (and still are) unfit to give birth to a child. “It will be extremely, extremely difficult.” The doctor said after reviewing the tests; she made a point of accenting the second “extremely.” It was in that moment that my heart felt torn from my chest.

There would be no you.

No you to support when you got your first period or when you defined your sexuality on your terms. No you to hug during your first heartbreak or soothe when you couldn’t sleep; there was no you in my future. I cannot express to you the loss of not having you in my life and knowing that we would never meet as mother and child.

From there I grew resentful at my body for betraying me. I told people that it was fine because I didn’t want you anyway. I told myself and others the lie of my hatred toward children and that a life without you was freedom. It was easier than dealing with the loss, with the grief. It was easier to deny my love and dreams of you and to pretend I never wanted you to begin with.

You were wanted, you were loved.

I’m working to release you, because my energy is needed for my future and not for my past. I’m releasing you for the both of us; so that you can be a dream that manifests elsewhere and I can live in my present. There may be times where I’m sad we never met, but you were never mine to meet and to rear. I was not meant to bring you into this world — we were both destined for greater things, whatever they may be.

Thank you for being a part of my dreams.

Much love, my dear,


Kathleen Katsikeas : Sober psychic yogi; Mother of Cats; lover of Riot Grrrl, Battle Star Galactica, bubble teas, and all things French.
Kathleen Katsikeas : Sober psychic yogi; Mother of Cats; lover of Riot Grrrl, Battle Star Galactica, bubble teas, and all things French.