Today is my younger daughter Kaitlyn’s 7th birthday. Yes, I am feeling sentimental. She wasn’t an “oops” baby but she was somewhat unexpected. Our road to parenthood was not smooth. I had a miscarriage followed by a stillbirth at 6 months pregnancy. My husband and I had planned to have one biological child and to adopt a child from China. After the losses we decided to go ahead with the adoption.
Thus, Ashlyn came into our lives in December of 2006. She was 21 months old when we adopted her. The following Spring I found out that I was pregnant with Kaitlyn.
I would like to say it was a happy and healthy pregnancy but it wasn’t. After losing a baby it is almost impossible to feel good about a subsequent pregnancy. I had a further complication, kidney stones. The stones were too big to pass but because I was pregnant they could not immediately treat me for the kidney stones. The pain was so bad that my husband had to take me to the hospital late one night. The doctor surgically placed a stent to relieve the pain and gave me medication that was safe for the baby. It was my first surgery.
Up to this point Ashlyn had been a mama’s girl. But after this she gravitated to Dad. It seemed that she no longer believed that I could be depended upon. I was taken away in the middle of the night and was gone for a few days. I could go away again. I understood this. It hurt though.
Because of my prior loss the doctor was very careful with Kaitlyn. I had weekly ultrasounds. This was very reassuring but I never felt “safe” and I was always prepared for the worse. The doctor decided to induce labor as soon as my baby was full term.
On November 7th, at 6AM I reported to the hospital and labor was induced at 7AM. Kaitlyn decided that she didn’t really want to come out. At about 7PM the doctor discussed a C-section soon due to the stress on the baby. At this point, labor started progressing. I joke that Kaitlyn heard what the doctor was talking about and decided it was in her best interests to come out. The rest of the delivery was fairly easy and Kaitlyn was born at almost midnight.
My brother had flown in from Boston to be present for the baby’s arrival. My husband called him to leave a message and my brother actually showed up at the hospital a bit later. Seeing my little brother holding my baby was incredible. Looking at my baby was incredible.
I can’t imagine my life without my two girls. They will always be my babies. All of a sudden something is more important than you are. You want nothing more than for your kids to be happy and that they always get what they need. These are some of the best feelings and at the same time some of the scariest feelings. It feels like parts of myself are living outside my body and they are out of my control.
I feel so privileged to be called mom. I went to Boston to visit my brother recently and when Kaitlyn saw me for the first time the morning after I came home she screamed “Mama!” and hugged me so tight. Later she said, “It was like a dream come true when you came home”. To be loved like that is amazing.
The degree of responsibility is absolutely bewildering at times. It’s worth it though. Being a mom makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to be the person that my girls believe that I am.
In truth, they are my dream come true.