Crazy Mommy Lady

A blog from a mom living on the edge of joy and insanity all at the same time.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What I remember of Rough Days

Five years ago in October, Moira became a twinkle in my eye. She was a surprise; We had only been married two months. It was a big idea to get used to, but I had known that I wanted to be a mother for a long time (I am the oldest of 6 children, after all).

Only a couple of weeks after getting used to the idea, we thought that she was gone. I had even gone to the doctor in a panic, and she had told me that the baby was, in fact, gone. As I cried in her office, my doctor tried to comfort me with statistics - 1 in 7 pregnancies end in this early phase, and it doesn't mean that the next pregnancy wouldn't be just fine. None of it soothed me at all. I sobbed, and felt so deeply how much I had wanted to become a mother this time. She took me next door to have an ultrasound and make sure that I was all right, so that she could give me advice for that next time.

As I lay on the ultrasound table with tears streaming down my face, I thought of how it was suuposed to be - I was supposed to be in this room to see the first pictures, full of fuzzy static, of the baby who would soon arrive. I imagined that this was one of the most unpleasant jobs the technician had to perform, so different from the optimistic new parents that would be visiting her the rest of the day.

As she scanned my belly, she took on a suddenly stunned expression. "There's a heartbeat," she said. THERE SHE WAS, like a tinly little flashing Christmas light. Nearly a speck, flickering on and off. The tech labeled the tiny black area around the pulse "baby," and said "The baby is still there."

The doctor was summoned in, and rejoiced with me in a kind of confused stupor. She suddenly had to take on a new attitude, and had new things to share with me - prenatal vitamins to prescribe, and a due date to calculate (she also assigned me 2 weeks bed rest, just in case). I had to go to work in a wheelchair, to protect that precarious little life, but I celebrated the reason - she was there.

All of the bad symptoms went away, and were never explained. But, the rest of that pregnancy went so smoothly, that I would have very easily taken for granted the miracle that Moira really was had it not been for that rough start. Because of those two tearful weeks, I marvelled at everything that was perfect about the experience. I appreciated every day that she was with me, every time I heard the swoosh-swoosh of her little heartbeat, and every kick and stretch that I felt. She never made me sick in the morning, and she sat in a comfortable position with her little head pointing down and her legs pointing outward for the entire last two months. I remember looking up a an especially blue sky, with especially dreamy looking clouds, and saying out loud "I can't wait for you to see this." She even arrived quickly after my water broke, 10 days early.

Now, when Moira is the independent, strong-willed little woman that she tends to be, and she drives me a little crazy with her clever stunts, I remember that feeling that day. I remember how deeply I wanted her, and how much joy I felt when I learned that she would still arrive. I remember what a miraculous gift she was and is.

When Dillon was on his way, we didn't have any rough starts. He made me a little more nauseous, but I figured that was his way of reminding me that he was there. He was also kind to his mother, and I didn't appreciate it one bit less. He, too, arrived quickly, although he was a little late. We had a few close calls after they were born, but those, too, were small blips compared to the many things that went smoothly.

That is why I feel so much joy and excitement for everyone who summons in a healthy little life. It is such an incredible thing that should never be taken for granted. So many people have so many sad stories - the numbers are one out of seven that never arrive at all - that every time it works out to perfection it is truly a miracle.

"We enjoy warmth because we have been cold.
We appreciate light because we have been in darkness.
By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sorrow."
-- David L. Weatherford (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame)