Today is my birthday, and tomorrow is Molly’s birthday so this post is guaranteed to be a little sappy. I cannot believe that I have been a mother for 364 days. My life has been turned upside down and made so sweet.
Here is a recap of Molly’s and my birthdays last year: One year ago today I was supposed to be on modified bed rest because of preterm labor and a three-day stint in the hospital three weeks earlier. I was feeling pretty good, though, and it was my birthday, so I decided I was fine to spend the day out with Bill. We went to lunch and walked around a bookstore. I was feeling contractions all day, as I had been for the past two months or so, so I just mostly ignored them. I would sit down when they got stronger, but I mostly paid them no mind. We went out to dinner, and I went to the bathroom to wash my hands after a delicious Ethiopian meal (which you eat with no utensils so your hands get pretty messy). I had a bit of fluid, but I did not think it was too big of a deal. I waited until after we paid the bill and were out the door to mention it to Bill. Because of my issues a few weeks prior, he drove the car toward the hospital, despite my protestations, as I called the doctor on call. I thought there was no way there was anything wrong. We were only about a half mile from the hospital so we were there before the doctor even called us back. She said it sounded as though my water had broken, and we should get to the hospital. We were already there, thanks to Bill, and we went on up to get admitted, even though I knew this was all a big fuss over nothing. They admitted me, but they told me I might be in the hospital a couple of weeks. I could not leave because my water had broken, but they wanted to try to keep the baby in as long as they could. I slept fine that night (well, as well as one can sleep in a hospital bed, with lots of IV lines coming out of me, and a fetal heart monitor strapped around my belly). I woke up the next day, and Bill said he wanted to go get a new camera. Most of you know the story from here. Bill was gone about 2 hours, while my friend, Kristen, came to visit. Bill got back, and about 45 minutes later Molly was here.
The nurse checked my dilation, and said, “You’re having the baby.” She made some urgent phone calls, and within a few minutes the room was a flurry of doctors and nurses, both obstetric and neonatal. The sweet Southern doctor, who we had just met that morning because my doctor was stuck in traffic, convinced the nurses to let me “hold” the baby. When Molly came out after two little pushes, the wonderful nurse held Molly up to me and let me put both hands on her for two seconds, and then my baby was whisked away from me so her life could be saved. She was put in a turkey bag for warmth and given oxygen because her little lungs couldn’t support her yet. I wouldn’t get to see her again for a couple of hours. Bill followed the NICU team up to the neonatal floor while I delivered the placenta.
The day was a whirlwind of emotions: terror, joy, grief over not being able to hold or nurse my baby. The next five weeks were mostly hell, but there were a lot of sweet moments in there, too. Molly is so healthy and happy now!
The past year has been wonderful. I never realized how complete motherhood would make me feel, as I’m sure most of you mothers (and fathers, of course) out there know.
Okay, my sappy time is over. It’s my birthday! I went to see Up in 3D. It was so amazing and sweet! There were a lot of parenting themes in it that made me cry a little (because I was already feeling a little emotional today anyway, and because I am a huge sap). Bill, Molly, and I went to have sushi for dinner (Molly even ate some of the cooked fish, tofu, and edamame). Now I am going to have a glass of wine and some of Molly’s leftover birthday cake, and hang out with Bill.
I'll try to post more tomorrow and talk about our visit with Kelly and James and Molly's birthday party. Here are some pictures from Molly's birthday party.