Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Born is Thirty

It was thirty years ago today, it had nothing to do with Sgt. Pepper and everything to do with giving birth for the first time. I was overdue so the doctor induced labor. We hung around all day waiting for something to happen. When it was night, the doctor said, "Get a good night's sleep and we'll try again in the morning."

Morning came, more pitocin, still nothing much. The doctor said that the baby was in distress with an elevated heart beat and he needed to do a cesarean section. Didn't see that one coming.

I HATE being put to sleep and elected to stay awake for my second cesarean. For the first one I was not given a choice. The anesthesiologist showed up in curlers and told me that she was putting a mask over my nose and mouth with oxygen in it. "Breathe deeply to get your lungs filled with oxygen." SHE LIED! It was "go to sleep gas," not oxygen, and I wanted to fight it and tell her she was a liar but I was out.

I woke up a couple of hours later and they brought Mari to me. Through the post-surgery brain cloud, I held my precious newborn and felt joy beyond compare. Everything gets a little foggy after that. I do remember throwing up when they gave me Jello to eat.

A week later the doctor told me it was time to leave the hospital. "Do I have to go?" I was enjoying the rest and lack of work, three meals delivered daily, help with the baby...why would I want to leave? But he said, "Yes, it's time for you to go home." So I took my magazines down the hall to my friend, Coretta, who had just delivered her first child and was wheeled out of the hospital. Unlike most people, I enjoy the wheelchair ride to the car.

Being a mother is the best, most important thing I've ever done. Watching a beautiful baby grow into a precocious little girl and on to an aggressive varsity basketball player and valedictorian of her junior high and high school graduating classes blessed me in ways I never thought possible.

Mari went on to graduate with honors from OSU (B.A. [Go Pokes!]) and University of Maryland, College Park (Masters Degree [Fear the Turtle!]). She has worked in journalism since her second college graduation in the D.C. area, New York City and now Baton Rouge. It's good to have her closer to home but I miss the visits to D.C. and New York.

She's home (my house) with her husband for Thanksgiving and birthday celebration. They leave tomorrow, :~( but it's been the best Thanksgiving ever with the Walkers and assorted others.

Now I'm looking forward to the day that Mari will get to experience the joys of motherhood, and I'll get to have more grandkids to love!

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