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Friday, May 6, 2011

My First Mother's Day & This Year's Plans

Some days are hard.  Mother's Day was a hard day for me.  While I adored my mother and loved the chance to celebrate her, I desperately longed to be a mother myself.  I had the standard answer for the unending question of "Ready for children yet? When are you planning to have a baby?  Do you want children?" 

"Ready when God gives us one.  I'm doing my part, trusting God to do His!  Yes, we hope children are part of our family soon." 

As Mother's Day approached in 2003, I was weary from years of hoping and trying for a baby.  I experienced three losses and the emotional roller coaster of infertility treatments.  I really just wanted to disappear for the day and avoid the whole event.  I remember that my mother prayed this would be my last Mother's Day without a child, and I had just enough faith to hope a tiny bit.

The next fall, we announced to our family that we were expecting - again.  Then we passed the first trimester, we passed the time of our losses, Christmas came, I got pnemonia and stayed in the L&D ward of our tiny county hospital.  I recovered, the baby was blissfully unaware.  All was going well.  By January I had true peace that I would get to mother this child.  He was due May 22, 2004. 

As the time approached our showers were such a celebration. To this day spring reminds me of that sweet season of joy and anticipation.  I was the most glowing of all pregnant ladies, I'm sure.  Jokingly, I would say that if he came early, I would get us to church in time on Mother's Day to claim the "Newest Baby" prize - a fern given out each year. 

Little did I know that the lightheadedness, headaches and general foggy-ness were symptoms of my rising blood pressure.  I just assumed this was how everyone felt in the last month of pregnancy.  So I continued to work, to drive to attend to all our household tasks (which now I sort of can't imagine what they were before children?).  But at my weekly OB appointment, my blood pressure was significantly and dramatically elevated over the previous text book perfect numbers.

"If your BP is still this high in the morning, we'll have to induce you right away," said my doctor.  I sort of laughed it off, not really believing it to be true.  That Thursday evening I watched the series finale of "Friends" on televisions.  When it ended, I decided to call my mother and let her know what the doctor said, just in case.  She was six hours away and planning to drive down for the delivery and to help afterward.

Yes, my plans and hers, were about to change -

I'm sure you've realized that the next day I did continue to have high blood pressure and was admitted to the hospital where they began an induction almost two weeks prior to my original due date.  Unbenownst to me, my own mother had already packed up and was on her way when I called to say I was headed to the hospital.  The staff and doctors were fantastic and I had a great birthing experience.  My firstborn arrived at 7:40 pm the evening prior to Mother's Day.

We didn't make it to church the next morning, but I promise the birth was announced a fern delivered to hospital just for me!  I won that prize and it was just a sweet memory.  I felt like so many people were cheering me on and celebrating with us that day.  There was a steady stream of visitors and while I was exhausted, I enjoyed every single moment of my First Mother's Day.

It was a direct positive answer to our specific prayer - God really did save me from experiencing one more Mother's Day without being a mother.  I know there are many who have the same longing which remains unfulfilled.  Don't give up hope.  Don't feel alone.  You are not the only one who suffers in this way.  I know the great turmoil you face emotionally.  This day can feel like a knife in an already raw wound.  I do pray that all who desire are able to find their way to motherhood through natural or medical means, adoption or mentoring.

This year is my second Mother's Day since separation and subsequent divorce.  It also happens to be that first born boy's seventh birthday!  We plan to attend church then join my former spouse for lunch to celebrate "Mommy Day" and Happy Birthday.  I believe it is good and healthy for the children to enjoy some times when all the people they consider to be family are together in one place.  I can do this for him, for each of them.  After lunch, the children and I'll will enjoy some time together.

My own sweet Mother already sent a sweet photo album with recent photos of me with my little ones.  I love being in the photos and seeing us all together.  She even sent a card for them each to sign and it is currently on my mantle.  I'm one proud mama.

So you have a special Mother's Day memory? 

These are photos of photos because they were in my pre-digital world.  Still, I love this photo of me in the hospital on my first Mother's Day.  The daughter in this photo is now a mother herself!  Our God is so good.