May 30th 1995 – was the day my perspectives began to change. It was a Tuesday –I wasn’t due until June 11th but I had been on bed rest for months on end due to Toxemia (what is now called preeclampsia; ya, I am so old that medical conditions have been re-named since I had them).
My mom was still going through her radiation treatment and chemo therapy for the first round of her fight with the cancer. I woke up around 2 in the morning because my back was KILLING ME! I got in the shower and hoped that the warm water would lessen the aches and pains. I went back to bed and woke up again, this time around 4am. I decided to take ANOTHER shower as the rest of the house remained pain free and tucked in their beds snoozing away. At 7 am I woke up for a 3rd time, took yet ANOTHER shower, and this time I dried off and crawled in to bed next to my mom. I was like a small child who was too sick to go to school and seeking out comfort from their parent. She awoke and I told her that my back was throbbing and I was in sooooooooooo much pain and that I couldn’t stay asleep it was so intense. My mom smiled and her face lit up like a Christmas tree and said “She’s coming! You’re in labor!” I looked at her in extreme disbelief. My mother, the woman who had not only given birth 3 times on her own but she was also in her Jr. year of her nursing degree at the University of Utah, and I was resolute in the fact that she had NO IDEA what she was talking about. I began to explain to this poor confused soul, who called herself my mom, that I was in extreme pain in my back, not in my stomach. I had gone to Lamaze classes, on her insistence in fact, and the videos, the visual aids, and the examples all demonstrated exactly where labor pains were felt and my back was never brought in to the conversation; besides I still had almost 2 weeks left before my baby was due. What on earth did SHE know anyway?. She insisted I eat breakfast but all I wanted was some Tylenol, a nap, and some relief. May 28th, 1995, was my last night of REAL sound sleep. The hospital had a VHS player in the room and a selection of Disney movies (hey, I gave birth in Utah, there wasn’t going to be anything over a PG rating on that shelf). I watched the Lion King for the millionth time as I waited to dilate more. My baby brother, who was 11 years old at the time, shoveled ice chips in my mouth and I thought I might die of embarrassment because my then husband was too “bored’ to stay in the room as it (my laboring) was “taking too long”, I remember thinking there was no way I could do it…no way I could handle a moment more. My mom later told me she was kept waiting for me to burst with expletives and rage but I was almost silent and it scared her. She had never seen me react that way to anything, ever. I didn’t yell at anyone, scream, or even complain….I was silent. I was TERRIFIED. 18 hours of back labor, some added pitocin, and an epidural that didn’t take later I found myself face to face with my sweet baby Madison.
She was amazing, she IS amazing, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I am still unsure as to how my grandmother, my mother, my baby brother, and my ex-husband were all present as I pushed. I remember refusing the mirror the nurses offered me and my mom told them to bring it back so that I could watch….instead I then spent the whole time pushing with my eyes closed shut. My mom cut the umbilical cord and she cried as she held my daughter in her arms before my baby made her way to me. That night I stared at my baby girl sleeping pressed up against my chest. My mom and the nurses urged me to set her down and to get some sleep myself but I couldn’t stop looking at her. The only thing I was prepared for when I arrived at the hospital was her name. I knew she would be called Madison…not Maddie….Madison. What I didn’t know was that I would be so in love with her the moment I heard her cry as she vacated my body. She was beautiful. I wanted to give her the world, the sun, the moon….whatever she desired.
My perspective on life changed that instant. My wants, desires, and my needs had all changed for the better….I have her to thank for that. She changed my life …she halted my crash course journey I was on…..and at 19 I brought home the most amazing creature I had ever met. She has been my sidekick longer than anyone else in my life.
She is my friend, my daughter, and my dearest most precious gift. Happy 17th birthday to my wondrous “baby”girl. Madison, I love you and I can’t begin to thank you enough for the joy you have brought to me.