I became a mom in 2005.
At the time we lived in a small town in Wisconsin, I was 26 weeks along and the mister was taking me for a 3D ultrasound of our little girl as a birthday present. We stopped in Madison to stay the night on our way to “the big city,” Milwaukee, and it was in that modest Holiday Inn room where my life changed forever.
I woke up around 5 a.m. thinking I needed to use the restroom, yet when I got up I was covered in fluid… I realized with terror that my water had broken, 14 weeks before our daughter was due. The mister woke up and zipped me to St. Mary’s Hospital, where I laid in the emergency room for several hours wondering when the contractions would start and if my little girl would survive the ordeal. Eventually a doctor came in and explained to me that my water had ruptured but I was not in full-blown labor – she also informed me I would be in the hospital until Daisy was born (we already knew her name).
Fast forward two and a half weeks when I went into full blown labor, and several pain-filled hours later (no drugs because they didn’t believe I was actually in labor although I screamed at them and swore a lot) a tiny, lovely, little baby girl mewed her way into this world. I didn’t even see her because I wanted them to “save her” in case she was in trouble; they took my 2 1/2 pound little girl to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she would spend the next 63 days of her life.
That night after she was stable, my husband wheeled me down to the NICU and there she was, laying on the warming bed, resting peacefully. She looked like she was covered in lovely white feathers and my heart, which I thought was already filled with love for her, overfilled and I knew then and there what an amazing gift I had been given. I was honored and blessed to be her mom.
My son was born two years later, I call him my “healing child,” as I originally felt I had failed Daisy and that clearly I was not so good at this whole being pregnant thing. God of course had other plans and nine scary months later there he was, my healthy, “term” baby boy who seemed HUGE to me at nearly 8 pounds; of course his sister only weighed 2 1/2 pounds when she was born but yeah, he seemed so big. I have always thought Caleb came along not only for me, but for Daisy – they have since become the best of friends and he is her greatest fan and protector.
I tell this story every Mother’s Day as a reminder that being a mom is not only about what we do for our children, but what our children do for us. Sure, moms do a ton of work – I think it’s the toughest but most rewarding job on the planet – but our children do so much for us. I am a better woman for being Daisy and Caleb’s mom, I am a stronger person for having to be strong for them, and I am certainly more grateful for this life than at any time before they were born.
So Happy Mother’s Day to the moms of course, but also Happy Mother’s Day to our children who’ve “hired” us for the best job in the world.