It doesn’t get any easier each year to wake up on the mornings of my daughters’ birthdays and realize that not only are they one year older but that I am too. Actually, I feel like I age 2 years for every one of theirs. My youngest baby turned 16 this past week.
I still remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. My doctor scheduled me to go to the hospital 3 weeks before her due date because I had been having some issues in my pregnancy that concerned her. She was determined to be at a good sustainable weight and her lungs had developed well enough for the early induction.
We arrived at the hospital at 6am that morning and if anyone knows me you know that I don’t function very well in the early hours of the day, especially without coffee. I had not been allowed to have coffee for months so this was making things that much worse. But, I was ready to meet my daughter, hold her in my arms, take in her total beauty in every fine dainty detail.
They prepped me and started my inducing “juice” at about 8:30 am. By 9:30 am we were well on our way with contractions when the nurse came in and said “I’m sorry Michelle but we can’t give you an epidural for your delivery.” Wait, what? Now keep in mind, they had ALREADY started inducing me, we were an hour into labor, contractions were a good 5 min apart already. I was stunned into silence for about 20 seconds and then I roared.
My replies came with no hesitation and left barely any room for response from the nurse. “What do you mean I CAN’T have the epidural, I’ve already paid for it. I scheduled it. You’ve already “juiced” me and we can’t stop that. There’s no going back on this thing, its not a nevermind kinda deal!!”
Apparently though, my blood work was showing a massive deficiency in platelets that morning and whoever was processing my results was much slower than the person who dispensed my inducing “juice”. Giving me the epidural would only increase and secure the risk that I would most definitely bleed to death during birth. Talk about dropping the ball on this one. I was not happy. But what can you do except to accept the fate and hand that life has dealt you and move on.
An hour later my optimism was not as strong as my first initial acceptance. To make a truly long, but very humorous (now) story short, I did everything from threaten to throw my then husband out of the third story window, throwing my mother out of the room, barking at my sister to get off the phone because I needed her more than the people that had called to check on me did, and last but not least, I had to be restrained almost to the bed because I was ready to rip the head off of a snooty nurse that claimed I was “not in that much pain so stop hollering”. Really? I can honestly say that even though my pain level was a 15 out of 10, I had not “hollered” any. I had groaned a few times, mostly to myself and a couple of times to my sister (thank the good Lord above for the patience he gave my sister in life), but I had not been so loud as to disturb anyone else outside the room.
If it had not been for my sister physically holding me down to the bed, I would have pounced as well as a huge round 5’2 pregnant woman could manage to pounce onto said nurse and serve her head to my doctor. It just so happened that my doctor chose that very moment to come into the room and asked if everything was ok, to which I replied with a healthy “NO, GET THAT IDIOT OUT OF HERE!” Said nurse was quickly replaced with a much more efficient and compassionate one.
At 1:19pm, we were blessed with the appearance of our sweet baby girl, Haley Grace. She was perfect. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her and didn’t want anyone else to hold her. It was worth every ounce and second of pain that I had felt bringing her into the world. People say “you quickly forget that pain once they are born”. This is so true.
Sixteen years later she is still beautiful and perfect, well as perfect as any 16 year old teenage girl can be (keep in mind that they develop the sarcasm and I know everything ability around age 14 until 18). She still has my heart and I still want to be the only one that holds her even though I haven’t held her like a baby in years. Watching her and her sister grow up has taken a toll on me.
I yearn to put them back in diapers for awhile especially when things get hard. I love seeing them accomplish things in life but at the same time it saddens me because it takes them one step farther away from me. I dread the day when they no longer really “need” mom like they did. I’ve heard other moms talk about how hard it is to raise kids because you worry if you are doing it right, you stress over the tantrums, you long for just sparse moments of “me” time where you aren’t changing a diaper, answering questions over and over, or cleaning up messes.
And then you blink. You blink and they are in high school, turning 16 and getting a driver’s license, going on dates and hanging out with friends. You blink again and when you open your eyes they are graduating high school, leaving home for college, and then starting a new career. I feel so old at this point because I felt so young when they were born. I almost felt like I was TOO young to be having babies. Now, I feel like I’m aging faster than they are and I wish for time to slow down. I’m afraid to blink anymore for now.
So I hold onto those memories of the days they were born (I’ll tell you about Kristen’s birth in August), and I relive them every year as soon as I wake up on their birthdays. I remind them that even though they are getting older and more independent, I am still here when they need me and always will be, and I secretly pray that they will ALWAYS need me in some way. But I also give thanks and gratitude for I am truly blessed to have been chosen to be the mother of these two amazing human beings. God is Great!
Thank you for stopping by for a few minutes with Michelle. Be sure to catch me on the next one by subscribing to my blog!!