My First Mother's Day
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
As women and mothers, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.
I knew from the moment that I became pregnant with my beautiful daughter, my life would change in oh so many wonderful yet scary ways.
I share an excerpt from my upcoming book – TRUST AND LET GO
‘...By February of 1988, Chip was able to find a job as an HVAC instructor at a tech school. We were saving for an apartment and we finally had enough money to go out on a date and stay in a hotel for the night. This was the first time in a few years that I felt like things may begin to be looking up for us.
That was the night that I got pregnant. And, believe it or not, I knew it that night. That was during the time that you had to wait 6-8 weeks before you knew for sure whether you were pregnant. I kept it to myself until I was sure. I was terrified and worried. When I found out for certain, I told Chip and family members. Everyone was excited and happy. I was still terrified and worried. We had just gotten back on our feet, still living with my parents after moving back from FL, I just began a new job and Chip was not even a year ‘again’ sober nor was employed yet.
What was I going to do? I talked at length with my dear sister-in-law about my options. I did consider ending the pregnancy. I was always well-aware of my situation with Chip. I knew that possibility was there of being a single parent either by divorce but especially as a widow.
How was I going to keep working and be pregnant? Was this a big enough burden for Chip to send him back to drugs? Was I capable of taking care of my baby alone? I decided the answer was yes. I was an incredibly responsible, independent and intelligent woman and would be able to care for my child alone should I have to -- and I loved children -- something that my mother gave to me.
My pregnancy was typical, i.e., morning sickness for the first trimester, feeling great for the second and difficult for the third. By May of that year, we were able to move into an apartment. The same complex we lived in when we got married. I was happy. It was a nice, safe environment and close to the hospital for our birth. I continued to work until August when I was advised to leave work because of pregnancy complications. I was incredibly upset knowing that I had to leave work along with benefits, night school and the security of a job. But nothing was more important to me at that time then my baby. So, here I was depending on my newly ‘again’ sober husband to carry us. The fear was real! I wasn’t sure that I could count on him. I wasn’t sure that he would be there for me nor our baby. I had to trust in a higher power that all would be ok and let go. I had to focus on my health and that of our baby. Chip continued to work and actually enjoyed his job and we both waited for November 8, our due date, to arrive and our new bundle of joy. We did not want to know the sex of our baby. I figured that there are few surprises in life so joyous than finding out the sex of our baby at birth.
I prepped our baby’s room and continued to take care of myself and our home. On Sunday, October 30, 1988 I woke with contractions. They were minor and I had been feeling something for a few days. Chip went to a meeting and I continued to monitor myself. When he got home, I told him that I was in labor and we needed to head to the hospital. I knew that our baby was breach and that I would be getting a C-section. Not something that I wanted but had to do. So, I made Chip a meatloaf sandwich and in the car we went. I drove. I always drive. We made it to the hospital and in the elevator is when I felt intense fear come over me. I told Chip that I didn’t want to do this, I was so scared. He reassured me, I had to trust and let go, and into the room we went.
I was now having pain. I was told to roll over for the epidural. I remember the doctor who I was not that fond of asking the nurse “why is she crying?”. Uh, hello idiot, I am right here ask me, and I’m having labor pains and you are sticking a needle in my spine! Ignorant Douche! They wheeled me into the delivery room and I was literally tied down and a mask was placed over my mouth. I felt so out of control—I felt like I was being crucified. I had to trust and let go!! Next thing I knew the anesthesiologist was giving me whatever drugs necessary for the C-section and I started to feel like I was passing out…oh my god I thought I was dying—I heard everyone shout Code Blue—everything faded to black. Immediately I was brought back and still don’t know exactly what happened, but it was insanely terrifying. Within 20 minutes we had a baby girl. I was able to hear her and they showed me her face but I was unable to hold her or touch her or smell her. I was robbed of all of those special beautiful first moments and pleasures. Chip was there the whole time and was able to be with our daughter for her first moments on earth…a memory for which I am incredibly grateful. That night was difficult and painful. I remember with gratitude the nurses that took care of me. However, I still had not seen my daughter. I was not to see nor hold her until the following morning…reasons are baffling but that is the way it was.
When they finally brought my daughter to me, I was elated. I was crying from hormones and tears of complete and utter joy and love. I held her and looked at her and felt the most intense love for another human being unlike anything ever before. She was beautiful and perfect. She had a head of hair with a little bow and big beautiful blue eyes. All along I thought that I was having a boy and now I was holding this little girl. Her name would be Samantha. She would be loved, protected, and cared for with every inch of my being for the rest of my life. It was the most beautiful and blessed moment of my life!’
The role of a mother can be tough but is one filled with hope, joy and pure love and also for me intense loyalty, compassion and unconditional love. ‘Motherhood is a sacred institution, not limited by narrow constraints. It is also not unusual to seek the guidance of a mother in a wise woman or a grandmother because each woman is taught to be a mother by her own mother, whether she chooses to have children or not.’
I am incredibly proud of the mother I have been and continue to be. For most of her life I was a single mom. I put my daughter first when she was growing because that responsibility was of utmost importance to me. I know that I taught her to be independent, educated, resilient, and showed her how to love unconditionally. I protected her as best I could and never waivered in my love for her.
She is now the mother of my two precious grandbabies and is finding her way through young motherhood. I know that she has all that is needed inside of her to continue to guide and love her children.
A mother never stops growing, never stops becoming more motherly. I am honored and blessed to be a mother and grandmother and salute all of you mommas on this special day.