I am the mom of two grown daughters. It seems like only yesterday that they were born. My first daughter will turn 28 years old on May 31 and my second daughter will turn 25 years old on June 3. Being a mom is an amazing journey. As I have commented before there are eternally long days but the years are a blink of an eye. I can remember waiting for my first child to arrive – waiting and waiting.
In the midst of my pregnancy, we bought a house. The plan had been to close on the house in late April, have the baby the beginning of May while we were still living in our apartment and then officially move after the baby was born. Oh, did I mention my annual recital for my studio was the beginning of June. As her due date came and went, the moms at the studio would peek into the classroom and then I would hear them say “she’s still here!!”. I thought I was going to be “pregnant forever”. When I was two weeks overdue, I went to the hospital to be induced but they couldn’t get me to go into labor so they sent me home. Really!?! I couldn’t believe it. Now we would have to officially move before the baby was born as there was only one weekend left in May and our lease was up as of June 1. We moved on Memorial Day weekend. There was a scripture verse that I held onto – Psalm 139:16 “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I knew that my baby won’t be born before the day ordained for him/her to born and even better my baby won’t be born a day later than had been ordained for him/her.
The first time I used the dishwasher in our new home I realized I was standing in a puddle of water. I thought “wow, my water has broken” but then realized my pants weren’t wet. True story. The dishwasher leaked 🙂
When I was three weeks late my doctor said “we would try again and one way or another I would have the baby”. Bruce and I had to be at the hospital nice and early. As I walked out to the car with my “baby bag” and my bag, the hood of the car was up and he was checking the oil. I guess people react to stress in different ways 🙂 Then as we drove down Route 17 to the hospital, he drove through McDonald’s to get himself coffee and cinnamon bun. I was ready to kill him.
When we get to the hospital, I have one contraction and the baby goes into fetal distress. I am turned onto my side and oxygen mask is placed in my face and the baby’s heart rate returns to normal. My doctor comes in and suggests that he do a C-section but he also suggests that we can wait until both of my doctors can be there later in day. And my husband says “don’t you think we can just wait until she goes into labor by herself.” Very calmly, I look at my doctor and ask him “to please excuse us a moment I need to speak with my husband in private”. With total disbelieve I say to my husband “are you nuts?” And he says “well, everyone has been praying for a smooth delivery.” To which I say “If God wants me to have this baby naturally I will have it by 3 o’clock. If not, I am having a C-section.”
At a little after 3pm, my doctor does allow Bruce to be present in the delivery room and when my doctor realizes I am trying to watch through the reflection in the lights he gets me a mirror. I did watch the whole procedure. The one weird thing was because they hang a drape so you can’t see directly it seemed like they were so far away – like half way across the room which isn’t possible. I am tall but not that tall. I tell Bruce he can take pictures but not gross pictures. And our baby is born by C-section on May 31. She is totally wrapped in her cord and my doctor comments “a guardian angel was looking out for her.”
Fast forward 3 years and I am pregnant with baby #2. Five days before her due date I start with contractions in the early afternoon but continue to teach and then see my doctor as I am heading home. My doctor says you are having contractions but not really dilating so go home and call me later. After I get home I call a good friend and say “you all lie”. See all my friends who “had” labor told me it isn’t that bad. Anyway my doctor calls me around 9:00pm and when I say the contractions are 20 minutes apart he says to head for the hospital. We drop child # 1 off at my parent’s house and head to hospital. At the hospital I am still not dilated. I comment to my doctor “let’s be honest here, I could be in labor all night and in the end you will do a C-section because my first baby was a C-section. The goal is a healthy baby. So let’s do the c-section now.” The nurse wasn’t happy with me but I knew that was the right choice and on June 3, daughter # 2 was born via C-section and she was also totally wrapped in her cord. When daughter # 1 came to meet her baby sister, she thought you got to pick which baby in the nursery to take home. She liked the one with the head of dark hair. Sorry you get the bald one.
It doesn’t seem possible that was 25 years ago. I firmly believe that the job of parents is to raise responsible, caring human beings. I believe parents need to love their children unconditionally just as God loves His children. I believe that parents need to “stack the deck” in their kids favor. Parents need to set boundaries and choose their battles carefully. Parents need to give their children the best of associations. I always told my kids to make me the bad guy if they needed to. For me, motherhood was a few years of “all hands on deck” and then it was like being a hovering helicopter ready to swoop in at a moments notice. And now it is the sweet moments of reflection, conversation and hugs.