Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Being a Mom

Mother's Day is coming up this weekend.

I often reflect on my own life - as a mom, and as a wife, and as a daughter - when Mother's Day approaches.

I first like to think of my own wonderful mom.  That lovely woman had five children and still made the time to make sure I had clean sheets on my bed.  Heck, all of us had clean sheets on our beds.  I will never make another bed again (at least I haven't since) without thinking about my own  head touching the pillow case that was fresh and spotless on my childhood bed (complete with Sylvia June painted in orange on the headboard).
My mom also made sure we had dinner every single night.  I mean, every single night, there she was, in the kitchen making some sort of meal that would feed at least seven  hungry people.  That's an amazing feat.

So, when I tire from making only one meal, to feed just three people, what right do I have to complain?  I say none.  Who am I to make faces when Olivia asks that evening question "What's for dinner?"...

So, thanks to my mom for continuing to be a wonderfully (over) adequate, and terrific mom!

Anyway, I also ponder how many children I really should have - residing with John and me - if circumstances would have been different.

Not that I really regret doing the things I did in a certain way.  I often just wonder how my life would be if I would have made choice A instead of choice B.

Like, I bet alot of you don't know that I had suffered a miscarriage on my 23rd birthday.  And it was literally on my birthday.  The nurse who attended to me even said that after seeing it was my birthday, had to excuse herself for a few moments to cry because she felt so badly for me.
What a way to celebrate.
When just a few days before my 23rd birthday, I was calling the entire family to say we were expecting our second child. And when we got to the hospital to have a doctor explain why I was bleeding so badly, we never expected to be leaving (the hospital)  with a dead baby inside of my womb.  Well, to say we weren't "expecting" the news is untrue.  Of course, the awful thought of a miscarriage weighed heavily on me, but I couldn't bring myself to audibly admit the fear of losing that baby.
I did nothing wrong during that very short pregnancy that would point to why I would have a miscarriage.  And when I reentered the hospital with unspeakable pain a few days later, I had to say goodbye to the tiny baby that had already formed a head and hands in my uterus.  
That was a really tough night.  After I had seen the baby practically fall out of me in the hospital's restroom, I had fainted on the floor.  The nurses gave me smelling salts and woke me up just in time for me to see them take the fetus and put it into a container, marked "hazardous waste".  My baby was never intended to be labeled as waste of any kind. What a terrible evening that was.  An evening John nor I will ever get over or ever forget.
 Less than a year after that tragic loss, I had to part with the thought of ever having children again, for they had detected (and later found) cancer in my uterus and had to do a partial hysterectomy, leaving me with only one ovary and zero chances of ever being pregnant again.  In fact, I was so young, that the doctor performing the surgery had to get special permission to do such a permanent solution to my ever lasting female problems - which included unstoppable bleeding, pain, and later on anemia.  Needless to say, we were heart broken.  But, at that time, we had already had one child - Olivia - and that's the only reason the doctor was able to get permission to give me a hysterectomy.

We also put a baby up for adoption.  That was when I was 18, going on 19.  John and I spoke at length during that pregnancy about what we were "supposed" to do and what we should do and also to what we had to do.  We got advice from my parents, who at that time, were very supportive and very open to any decision we had to make.  It's a good thing they were there, and were surprisingly unbiased in their opinion. 

We (John and I) finally made the very difficult decision of signing our parental rights away in order to give that baby a
better shot at life than what two very young people could give him/her.  Had we gone on to marry because of a baby, and ultimately gave that child a job to do before ever being born, I fear that we would be talking about a much different marriage than what we currently have.  (and honestly, we did give him/her a great life)

I still think it highly wrong and maybe even amoral to marry because "she" happens to be carrying a child inside of her.  After all, who's to say that 15 minutes of passion (or for some, lack thereof) is the sole reason for an everlasting happily ever after.  Being pregnant should never be the (only) purpose for a wedding.  That is my opinion, take it or leave it.

Then, I think about the child we do have.  And the unthinkable love that we have for her.  There are literally not enough words in the dictionary to describe how we feel about our daughter.  She is the keeper of both our hearts.  She embodies her middle name in a way I never thought possible.  She is completely the reason for most of our joy.  Now, I'm not saying that if we never had her, we wouldn't be happy.  But, just having her in our lives, just knowing that she is there in the mornings to smile and say "Good Morning Mommy" is a good reason to have an outstanding and happy life.

I know I am a good mom to her.  There is nobody in this world that could make me question that  - well, of course except for myself.  I have asked myself the "Am I a good enough mom"  question more times than I would care to admit.  But, knowing that I would die for her, no inquisition needed, says to me that I am a great mom.  I have both given things up and added things to my life in order to make myself a mom that she needs me to be.  I don't regret anything that I have ever done in her honor.

So, with all of that said, I have mixed emotion in regards to Mother's Day.  Regardless of how I feel though, it doesn't change the fact that I have an awesome mom.  And that I have an unarguably terrific husband who gives me the strength I need to be an awesome mom to my own child.

I really admire and am astounded by my mom, for she too has been through much hardship to be the amazing woman she is today.  And she has always shown such grace through it all!  I cannot believe how incredibly lucky I am to have her as a mom.  I wouldn't be who I am today without her influence and guidance.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms reading this.  May you be blessed and may God keep you all!
As always, thanks for reading, and take care!


Olivia and me

My mom and me
Olivia and me
John and my mom

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