Friday the 13th

1:35 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
17 years ago today I was in labor.  All day.  I had been feeling crampy all day on the 11th (my grandfather's birthday!) but wasn't really thinking anything of it.  It was my due date but I hadn't actually done anything, like start to dilate significantly yet and it was my first baby - they're always late.  In fact, I was pretty much ignoring the fact that my life was about to change forever and had been working on some watercolor quilt patterns, exploring an idea for a pinwheel quilt. 

This one, in fact.  Notice that it still isn't quite finished?

When we went to bed that night I discovered that those little cramps were pretty... regular.  But they couldn't be labor because, Really?  these don't hurt.  They're not even uncomfortable.   (We endo types often don't now how to labor - early stage labor is nothin' compared to the the days we spend completely drained and incapacitated every month we're not pregnant.)

So when it became clear that these ... cramps?...  were taking place every three minutes and that was why I wasn't falling asleep and the hospital was over an hour away, we thought we should call our midwife who scolded us and told us to get to her house NOW and she would drive us to the hospital in her giant station wagon which had been the delivery room for more than one baby in its time.

We got stuck at a railroad crossing for 45 minutes on our way to Angi's.  That was when we knew that I was really in labor because the laws of the universe are pretty clear on this point - if a pregnant woman who gets stuck behind a train she must either be in or about to go into labor. 

To make a long story short, my labor never progressed beyond 3cm.  By dinner time on the 12th, my mom took the clock off the wall of my room and carried it out to the nurses station so it could do its little 15 minute/half hour/hourly chimes SOMEWHERE ELSE.  I got tired, I got sore, I got impatient but I never got to transition.  That baby (who was facing backwards and who had her little foot crammed up in my ribcage the whole stinking 36 hours that I labored - probably hooked neatly around a rib so as to avoid making her entrance in any but the most dramatic way) was not coming out.  Around 10:00 am on Friday, May 13th 1994, they prepped me and took me down for a c-section.  I came to - shaking and miserable - to the ER nurse bending over me saying "You have a BEAUTIFUL little girl!"

And she was beautiful.  And feisty.  When I finished my post-op shaking, they brought her to me screaming.  She wouldn't nurse.  I sang to her.  She looked up - right into in my eyes - and instantly became calm.  We've been getting along fairly well ever since. 

Music continues to affect her in ways that nothing else can.  She has an incredible voice - one that can sail powerfully through the Messiah, croon a soft lullaby for Maxx, blend and support the soprano section through Joy in the Morning or rock out some Journey.  (Speaking of Journey- she channels Steve Perry so much better than that new guy.  There's something really beautiful and empowering about about hearing your teen daughter belting out "Be Good to Yourself" as she rattles about the house.  I hope it is a lesson she is internalizing as she sings.)

My Friday the 13th baby is spirited, soulful, compassionate, firey, mercurial, stubborn, talented, intuitive, beautiful, strong willed, bold hearted, brave, determined, messy, lazy, driven, hyper intelligent, bouncy and 100% herself.  She will be 17 tomorrow.  I'm trying to come to grips that we've only got a little more time to enjoy her here at home. 

Some of you may have read about my struggles with infertility.  Molly's presence in our lives has made me wish many, many times that I could have borne more beautiful babies like her.  Knowing that I never will makes me realize that I am very blessed.  Since I could only have one, I am so glad that it was her. 



Cait Throop said...

What a beautiful love story, Ginny!! And a beautiful daughter!! xo

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