I remember that gorgeous day when she was born like it was yesterday. I woke up in labor; I had been waiting for this overdue baby for awhile. She wasn’t really overdue, her due date was simply incorrect. That was back before instant sonograms were available. The due date was a gamble. We based our guess as to the baby’s sex on the heartbeat; the faster the heartbeat, the more likely the baby would be a boy. So, nothing was certain with this child.
We rushed to the hospital after taking the boys to school. The hospital was the busiest of places and I lay in the hallway on a gurney for hours. My labor was quickly progressing, but there was something that seemed “wrong”. I began worrying and I wasn’t sure why. My body had a habit of skipping the “light” labor and going straight to the heavy labor. Because of this, my sons had been born after four hours and then three hours of very hard labor. This is a very short amount of time to be in labor.
With my daughter, my progress somehow stopped and when the nursing students started using their experimental heart monitoring machine, we found out why my labor was stalled. Each time I had a labor pain, the heartbeat of my baby also stalled. A few seconds would pass before the next beat began. Things began happening very quickly after that discovery.
A surgeon who was walking down the hallway, was stopped and asked to help. My own doctor was not a surgeon and could not perform a C-section. By this time, my mother was there. I saw her briefly and asked her to please watch out for my child as I knew I would have anesthesia. My husband’s duty was to stay with me. Much like the doctors’ own protocol, I was afraid and so needed someone for me and someone for my baby. Before I fell asleep, I heard an attendant saying that there was a chance of severe brain damage to my infant. From that moment until she was pulled free of my damaging uterus was a very fast 14 minutes, a record for a C-Section. Recovery room time was supposed to be 4 hours, I couldn’t sleep past two; I needed to know how my child was doing.
It is the way of humans to see that each generation is an improvement upon the last.
My daughter was this human for me. I was fascinated with her. My sister was too. I wanted to look at her all of the time. I loved pink for the first time in my life, I loved pink. She is beautiful. She was everything that was right with this world.
Even now I am fascinated with the depth of her abilities. She is one of the clearest people I know. It takes her awhile sometimes to find her clarity, but when she does it is stunning.
I am to say the least, a dominating female. As a mother I wasn’t to be crossed. That’s not to say that my girls were obedient, as they were not. However, it is to say that I had many systems set up to protect them and keep them safe. As a result of being a single parent and having a dominating style, my daughters often deferred to me even into adulthood.
BUT, not into my firstborn daughter’s own parenthood. I never forget that with her first child, my daughter immediately emulated me and became the defender, even against me. She began her motherhood with “hear me roar”.
I also never forgot this saying that I read many decades ago;
“You child, are my life’s offering, my emissary to the next century”. That life’s offering, includes the knowledge that I am very, very lucky, to know her and to be her mother.