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Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 years ago

Thirty years ago today my life changed forever. I remember the day vividly, waking up at 5AM with contractions. I had decided the night before that I was staying home from work anyway-I had a week left before my due date and I was tired. I had worked many days in a row at the hospital in the ICU, and I thought I could use a mental health day.

But my plans for the day were not happening! I had contractions and was even more cranky than I thought possible. There was a tinge of excitement because I was anticipating the arrival of my first child. Bruce, of course was ecstatic-and we called the doctor as soon as we could to announce that I was in labor. His advice was to sit tight and hold off for a bit. Keep busy, he said and then Bruce proceeded to take the advice very seriously. He had me vacuuming and shopping, baking and cleaning until I finally broke into tears. I fell asleep on the couch around 4PM, an indication that my contractions were not all that intense if I could sleep through them.

The phone rang and it was my cousin. As I sat up to answer, my water broke and I was really on the way. I called the doctor and jumped into a shower (something I later learned was not allowed) and dressed in new jeans. Even though I was a nurse, I misunderstood about the amniotic fluid and thought that once my water broke-I was done with the fluid, so I was really surprised that my new jeans and Bruce's car were soaked by the time we got to the hospital. A few hours later, my first child was born, a small beautiful little girl. She weighed just 6lbs, 9ozs.

Bruce and I were such proud parents. She was the apple of his eye, they shared so many things. They both loved Disney, aquariums and musical theater. They were quick witted and so bright and both were very critical of others. She was able to get him out of a bad mood pretty successfully. I know that he was very proud of the woman that she had become before he died. He would have loved to share this day with her.

I had a dream last night and my children were small and Bruce and I were navigating the difficulties of parenthood. As I look ahead to this day, the day of my first child's 30th birthday and the beginning of her first year as a mother, I am reminded of the three of us those first few years that we were a family.

I will miss Bruce today celebrating the birthday of our first-sharing memories of her childhood. Happy Birthday my beautiful little girl, and capable mother to be, with love from me.

2 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to your daughter.
    You are doing an amazing job of "living".

    My two sons are graduating this coming week (college, high school) and I am having an emotionally difficult time. I am so sad that my husband is not here to celebrate and I miss him so much.

    I'm taking meds. to help me cope but I know that medicating is not the solution. Grief and widowhood is unbearable.

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  2. It is early yet in the process and it takes time. "Celebrating" events are difficult because there is an emptiness where your husband was supposed to be. No medication can ease the grief, the medication can help you face the world and get things done. I guess the only thing I can tell you is to be patient with yourself even if others are not. All of this takes time and it is excruciating to live through it. Sometimes you may not want to live through it but we need to be there for our children.
    Take care two-of-six.

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