Perhaps because I’m an only child, and perhaps simply because of the people we are, I’ve always enjoyed a close and happy relationship with my mom. She was a stay-at-home mom until I reached middle school, but no matter what, she was always there for me. Driving me to multiple tennis lessons each week and coming to special events at school were just a few of the things she joyfully did throughout my childhood. My dad attended as many events as he could, but being a stay at home mom allowed my mom more opportunities.
Today is my mom’s birthday. Growing up, my parents celebrated their birthdays pretty quietly, maybe a special meal and always the cake of their choice. My mom’s favorite was marble cake with chocolate icing. They saved the fanfare for my birthday, which I appreciate even more now as a parent.
One birthday of my mom’s will probably stand out in our family’s minds as one of the most exciting. Four years ago, my mom and dad lived about half an hour away from us, which was very helpful and fun. Especially as I reached the final days of my pregnancy with my second child, having my mom with me for doctor appointments and running errands was so helpful.
In the last weeks of that pregnancy, I had to go the doctor a few times a week because my fluid levels were low, which had the potential for causing trouble for my baby’s health. I was monitored closely, and we had set an induction date for November 1. Then, that date got moved up because of my fluid status and my very busy medical resident husband’s schedule–we were trying to time our baby’s birth for the start of his vacation week!
On October 23, I had a check-up, and my mom came with me–on her birthday! The check-up turned into a follow-up at the hospital within an hour, still because of concerns over the fluid level. My mom was there to soothe my nerves and help keep things light. I remember sitting in the hospital waiting room and watching a Japanese “Wipe Out” kind of show, thankful for some laughter.
The appointment at the hospital ended with a decision to have an induction that day. I still recall with a shiver hearing the word “stillbirth” as a small possibility, and I was more glad than ever that I had my mom with me. We called V, and he was able to leave his day of seeing patients in clinic a bit early. My parents went to pick up L at preschool and keep him happy at home till they heard from us.
I remember feeling calm but excited as V drove me to the hospital where I’d deliver, which incidentally has the same name as the one in which I was born, just a different state. We checked in, the induction process began, and we waited. By evening, everything was looking good, and just before 9:00, Little A was born.
She was a tiny baby, just over five pounds, but with the lungs of an opera singer. That baby could cry!! It took a while for her temperature to regulate, but otherwise she was a thoroughly healthy baby girl. We were able to call my parents with our news, and give my mom a very unique birthday present, a granddaughter with whom to share a birthday!
Four years have passed since that night, and we have been blessed to live within two hours of my parents each of those years. This year, we live two doors down from them! Little A loves sharing her birthday with one of her grandmas. It’s only three days from her other grandma’s birthday, too! We have been celebrating all the October birthdays in our family for about a week now. I don’t take it for granted that V’s family and my family love being together. I am thankful tonight for family. I think I need to step away from everything for a while and just let it all soak in, because it’s a lot to take in. The years have been so full and rich with growth and change; I can only imagine what the next year will bring!