Thursday, November 8, 2012


My mom always made a big deal of the very minute that marked the anniversary of my birth.  I remember those birthday afternoons of my childhood, sitting at the counter after school, eating my snack and debriefing our day.  She would peer over her shoulder to keep tabs on the clock.  I'd feel the anticipation build as the minutes ticked on.  At 4:07 she'd sing happy birthday and hug me.  Even as a kid I understood the importance of my mom's role in my birthday, that it was a day I shared with her.  As an adult I've learned to thank her for giving birth to me when I get my happy birthday call. 

This evening, as we sat down to dinner as a family, finally all recovered from the latest virus that knocked us down like dominoes, I started watching the clock.  I remembered what was happening two years ago.  Eleven days overdue, laying in the hospital with my pitocin drip, worried that it wasn't going to work and generally apprehensive about the whole induction process.  The woman in the room next to me screamed like she was being torn apart by wolves, another woman had her baby in the hallway outside my door not quite to her room in time.  And there I was, 7 hours into induction and no nothing.  Just boredom and fear. 

The nurse talked to me about my pending labor.  I told her I was sure it would take forever.  She flipped through my charts and took notice that I had a long haul the last time around.  She said, "that's not going to happen this time.  You know how to push.  You know your body can do this.  Three pushes is all it's going to take."  I was surprised by how sure she sounded, and skeptical at best.

At 6 p.m. my water broke.  At 6:10 it was game on.  The gritty, powerful, unrelenting pitocin driven contractions slammed in on me.  I barely coped for the three hours it took me to dilate.  My body decided to push and I ignored everyone around me telling me to hold back and went with it.  There was no way in hell I was going to linger on that precipice for longer than I had to.  I forced myself to relax, gathered everything I had, and with one push my 9 lb 8 oz Marguerite launched into this world.  This day, this time, 9:04 p.m. marks her place.  Her start as a daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece. 

"Happy Birthday baby" I whispered as I snuggled in bed with her tonight.  "I not a baby mama.  Silly.  I two now." 

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