Thursday, November 10, 2005

A birthday story

Yes, today is my birthday. And it hasn't been too bad. It's not been very eventful, but that's o.k. I had some disturbing news to share, but will hold off on that until tomorrow. Today I will tell you about the good things and then share a story with you.

Good thing #1: I got my rebates from Cingular today. It was weird though, because they sent them as four Visa gift cards. Oh well, money is money I guess.

Good thing #2: Today was the last day at school for this week... at least for me. That is why I am currently up past my bed time. I get to sleep in tomorrow!!

Good thing #3: We sold all but two of Josh's band cards. I may still have one sold if someone who said they would buy one actually does.

Good thing #4: We had a great choir rehearsal last night with two professional leaders that really helped us.

And for the birthday story:

It happened 15 years ago. It was my 21st birthday. I woke up to having mild contractions. I was nine months pregnant. The baby was due on Nov. 12, but I had a feeling he/she would make an appearance on my birthday. I called my aunt and told her that I was having contractions. I went over to her house to take a shower. (I only had a tub in my tiny house) We went to McDonald's to eat. They were running about 20 minutes apart. I was told that when they were five minutes apart I should head to the hospital. They kept getting closer so I called the father and told him. He was gracious enough to drive me to the hospital. (But I carried my own bag in... it was kind of funny because he remembered after the fact.) My aunt said she'd meet me up there later.
I checked in and they hooked me up to monitors to see if I was really ready to have a baby. My contractions were regular at 4-5 minutes apart, but I wasn't dialating. But they said I could stay. I decided to be brave and forgo the drugs for a while. After all, the contractions were getting a little uncomfortable, but not too bad. But then they gave me the pitocin.
Throughout the day I had visitors come. My best friends from college were there. They even ordered pizza and had it in my room. I didn't mind so much because the labor was getting intense. I could no longer talk through contractions. My aunt, uncle, sister, cousin, dad and mom where all there at some point. My mom called me before coming up to the hospital and said "Happy Birthday! What do you want for your birthday?" After I had just dealt with a contraction I told her I wanted an epidural. (It wasn't covered under medicaid) She asked how much they were and I told her about $500. She said no. So the contractions were getting unbearable, but at least I started to dialate. Actually I went from a "3" to a "9" in a short amount of time. I finally asked for drugs and they said it was too late and that I would be ready to push soon. So when they said I was ready, that's all I did. It hurt. A lot. I vowed to remember the pain and NEVER go through it again. So I did so well with pushing that I had the baby before the doctor even arrived. He was walking down the hall when the first scream came. (From the baby, not me... I had been screaming a while.) My sister acosted him in the hall and told him "It's about time you got here!" He replied "Oh, we have baby?" Well, he came in and finished up the stuff that comes with having a baby... won't go in to details there.
And that was the day my son, Joshua was born. On my 21st birthday at 6:42 p.m. (Coincidentally, I was born at 9:42)
My sister had brought strawberry dacquiris up there for me... but I passed... kind of wanted them a few hours before, you know? So after everything I had family and friends there and a new baby. It was a bit overwhelming. Some people immediately fall in love with their children the moment they have them. I have to admit it took some time with me. There's no doubt that I loved him, but I had to grow into that deep love. And now he is the most precious thing to me and I would do anything for him. But you have to understand that I was young, unmarried, in college and on welfare. Not the best of circumstances to be having a baby and raising it. But I did. I took the responsibility on myself. And I don't regret a second of it.
When I found out I was pregnant I considered adoption for a while. But I knew I probably couldn't go through with it. Jacob wanted me to have an abortion and my aunt wanted me to think about it because having a baby would ruin my life. I have found Josh to be the greatest blessing. I never even considered abortion. Although at the time I felt that other women had the right to make that decision, I felt it was wrong for me. (Since then I have taken the stance that abortion is morally wrong altogether.)
But I eventually grew to that deep, abiding love and learned how to manage a baby, college, and work at the same time. I think during those years I might have gotten a total of about 4 hours of sleep. But I got through school after another four years and managed to graduate with honors. I don't recommend this for girls who fantasize about having babies and such. Although Josh is indeed special to me, it was a very difficult struggle. I struggled emotionally and financially. It took great strength that I wasn't sure I had at times. But by the grace of God I made it. Sometimes I questioned why He could stand by me for so long and hold my hand when I didn't give Him anything in return, but His love is simply amazing.
So that's my birthday story. On my 21st birthday I received the greatest mother's gift - my son, Josh.


Diana said...

I'm a day late, but happy birthday to both you and Josh!

momacakes said...

Happy late birthday! sorry I was soo drugged up (dr approvrd) when you came by the house. You birthday sory has me bawling. Again happy birthday!

Kiera said...

Happy belated wishes to you.
Lovely birth story.