An Atypical Mother’s Day Present

I do love flowers, don’t get me wrong. I love chocolate too, and a day at the spa–well, that’s something I simply adore.  I’ve only had two Mother’s Days (not including the one where I was pregnant). In those two years I’ve watched my awesome hubby struggle with what kind of gift to get me. I mean, what kind of present really expresses how much someone means to you? Big G really is a sentimental guy at his core, and doesn’t ever want to do half-step anything. So this year, when he was asking me about Mother’s Day, during what I secretly call the pre-holiday interview, I mentioned that I wanted something that was going to last. I’m not big on jewelery, and getting an appliance as a gift sends my inner feminist into an angry whirlwind, so we discussed getting a tattoo.

At first Big G wasn’t a big fan, but as the conversation progressed I began to explore how grateful I am to even be a mother at all. After all, the whole reason we decided to have Little G was because after some regular exams brought back an unfavorable test result, my doctor’s recommended treatment had a significant chance of making it impossible for me to carry a pregnancy to term. “If you want to have a baby, I’ll let you put off treatment for a year, but that’s as far as I’m willing to wait,” my doctor told me. I remember the way I felt as if a clock was ticking down the moments until I would have to be treated, and how scared I was that I didn’t get pregnant the first month we tried. Once we were pregnant we moved onto worrying about moving before I was too pregnant to handle it. The walls of my one bedroom apartment began to close in on me as my belly grew larger, but we found a way. We always find a way to get by, and if we don’t find a way, we make one. It’s the best part of our family. The end of my pregnancy was torture. I had kidney stones twice. While treating them we discovered that Little G was breach, and didn’t look like she was planning to move. I cried as the water birth plans we’d made began to fade away. Twice doctors tried to turn her, a pretty uncomfortable and unnerving procedure that is pretty much what it sounds like, they push your baby from the outside, guided by an ultrasound, to get her into position. The first doctor hadn’t clipped her nails and my belly was covered in scratches and my confidence was bruised. The second time we were warned that should she not turn, we were going directly into the operating room for a cesarean. The night before was awful. Both of us were scared. Both of us were disappointed that the birth we’d wanted was not taking place, and most of all, both of us were worried about our Little unborn G.

No, the turning didn’t work, and, yes I ended up having a c-section. It wasn’t what I’d planned, but it was still one of the most incredible things I’d ever experienced. One minute we were a family of two, and a moment later we were three. Big G, Little G, and me. But that was only the beginning. Adjusting to motherhood was difficult. Trying to breastfeed was a painful disaster. Trying to stop breastfeeding was just as bad. Formula was expensive, finances were tight, and then there was the fear. SIDS, viruses, vaccines. I would sit perfectly still at night listening to the sounds of her stirring in her bassinet, just so I knew she was alive. If she was too still I’d get up and run my finger along her hand to see her reaction. I was constantly convinced she’d died. I was never withdrawn from her, but post partum depression didn’t leave me unscathed. I cried in the shower, sad about the scar across my belly. But I got through it. We found a way.

Motherhood and marriage has it’s ups and downs, and my experiences have been no different. We always find a way…or we make one. We are built to survive.

So after research and several long talks, we found something we liked. A quote by Hannibal who was faced with crossing the Alps- Aut inveniam viam aut faciam” – “Either I will find a way or I will make one”.  Once we read it, it was decided.

Now that you’ve heard the story, tell me what you think of my Mother’s Day present:

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1 Comment

  1. Such a beautiful post !!!

    Reply

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