10 December 2009
Since I told my younger one's birth story - I guess it is only fair (to me and to you all, NOT the girl, as she would tell you if she reads this) to tell the one of my oldest.
Heeding the advice of my well-read pregnancy books, (being a bookstore employee at the time, and a librarian now, I could tell you how important I thought it was to garner all the knowledge I could from books...but I digress) I left work on my due date, December 4th.
I was already out of work for almost a week. It was worse than waiting for water to boil, or paint to dry. It is amazing how many times you can re-fold onesies, rewash blankets, and generally go even more stir-crazy when your body, and your baby, is paying no heed to what the books are telling you!
I had also been having contractions on and off for the last two days. Finally on the 9th they were regular and about 15 minutes apart so I called my mother to travel out the 2+ hours and she, my boyfriend and I traveled to the hospital. We checked in and I was evaluated, about 3 centimeters.
After another six hours, that was where I stayed. Contractions were stronger, but going no where. Frustrations were high - well, mine were. And the hospital sent me home that evening.
Really. They sent me HOME. What was I going to do if all of a sudden the baby just decided to fall out and I was at HOME, in a trailer nearing winter and I couldn't get to the car or the pipes suddenly froze because everyone KNOWS you need hot water when a baby is coming! But, I digress.
Three hours later the contractions were strong and five minutes apart. I really didn't care at that point, I would sit in the hospital waiting rooms (or even in the parking lot. That would show them.) til that child came out, but I was going TO. THE. HOSPITAL. This was around midnight.
Eleven hours later I had made a couple more centimeters progress, and discovered that there was no good television programs on between 2 and 6AM. (This was 1996, btw, WAS there any good television back then?) My midwife finally checked in and decided that she'd try breaking my water to see if that would speed things up some more.
That did it. (WHY this couldn't have been done, oh, a couple hours or days EARLIER?) My daughter was born at 1:19PM that December 10th.
She took her own sweet time about it - as she does most things these days. Thirteen years have come and gone. I have moved her from place to place, school to school. She was present when her father and I finally got married - and divorced. We have had some tough days (okay, months). I have watched her grow from the baby who would bounce up and down and "dance" to "Tubthumping" to the young lady leaping across stage in dance performances last year. Growing from the drama queen who earned the nickname "Hollywood" at her after school program in first grade to...well, okay, she's a girl. I guess that hasn't changed much.
Today, she is officially a teenager. I am awed watching this child grow, and do things SO differently (and some things SO similarly) than myself. Especially since the first words out of most mouths are "She looks JUST like you!"
I see that, sometimes. But I see a lot of her father, and her paternal grandmother, in her too. Now, at this age, I am starting to see the loneliness of being a teen - and one that doesn't always march to the beat of the same drum as others - and remember MY years.
Not that anything I did would have anything to pertain to what my daughter is going through. Because I am a parent. And I don't understand. And I am just trying to make her miserable. By making her eat breakfast and do her homework and wear a coat when it is 25 degrees out and she walks five blocks to the bus stop.... Crap. I AM a mother, aren't I?
Today I look upon the face of my daughter and remember the little peanut I could almost balance in one hand on my shoulder thirteen years ago - and know that I am blessed.
Happy Birthday sweetheart. You know I love you.
And yes, I know I am embarrassing you. Don't roll your eyes at me.