Before Craig and I got married, we had to go talk to our Pastor. We’re Presbyterian, so the talk with our Pastor is nothing like what Catholics have to do in order to get married. Our talk was more like “just checking to make sure you really want to do this with one another.” We also had to take a compatibility test of sorts. I forget what it was called, but it was a written test with several questions in categories relating to finances and plans for family. They put us in separate rooms in the church to fill these out. They didn’t even score them at the church. They were sent up to the U of M.So, after the “test” results were sent back we had to go talk to our Pastor again. He pointed out any inconsistencies between our answers as things we might want to talk with one another about a little more in depth before making the big commitment. On the subject of kids, we were both right on. We wanted two. And we wanted start trying to have one about 2 years after we were married.
But we were only married about 8 months before Craig confessed he wanted to start a family sooner. Yes, it was my husband who wanted the baby as soon as possible. Not that I was opposed, I just hadn’t put that much thought into it. I assumed we were waiting for 2 years…
Six months later I got a positive result. I was pregnant.
It was exciting. It was scary.
At about 15 weeks I started to feel what felt a bit like a butterfly fluttering in my belly. It was my first tangible proof that there was a baby in there. That movement continued, and increased. Eventually I came to call my unborn child “Squirmy” because there was so much movement all the time. I could literally watch my belly go ‘flip’ then ‘flop.’ It was cool. And weird.
When I entered the hospital at 41 weeks to be induced into labor, I was scared about meeting my child. And terrified about labor. I was unsure if I would be able to do what was necessary. But I wanted to try to labor without pain medication, simply because I generally have a high pain tolerance.
However, I apparently have inherited my Mom’s lack of responsiveness to pitocin. Yeah, it just doesn’t work real well on us.
But after almost 6 hours of failed induction, a nurse came in to casually check the readout from the fetal monitor. She adjusted the monitor on my belly and stood and watched the printout some more. A little more adjustment. More watching paper. Then she leaves.
She returns with 2 attending physicians. They huddle around the printout. One of them leaves and the other approaches me.”The baby is not tolerating labor well. And you’re hardly contracting. I’m concerned that the baby will not be able to tolerate stronger contractions, so we’re going to recommend a cesarean delivery.”
As she’s talking about 10 more medical professionals enter the room, ready to get to work.
“Now?” I ask, starting to cry. This is not how I was supposed to have my baby.
I consent to the surgery and away we went to the OR. Craig was handed some scrubs and told to put them on and they would get him when I was ready for surgery.
They gave me a shot of something or other to stop the (minimal) contractions, and another drug to help settle my stomach since I had just ate a couple of crackers minutes before. Then the spinal. Yow! That stings. Then nothing from the waist down.
Except I was shaking. Shivering because it was cold in there and shaking from fear.
Ten minutes after the surgery started, my daughter was born. My daughter. I was certain I was going to have a boy. Because that’s all that the men in my husband’s family have produced in the last 60 years or so. We didn’t even have a certain girl name picked, so Craig brought her to my head (as I was getting put back together) and asked me what her name was. So I named her there in the OR.
Turns out she’d wiggled and flopped in my belly so much she had wrapped her cord around her neck and body a few too many times.
It really should have been an indication of her personality. But I was naïve. As a first-time Mom, I had no baby to compare her to. (I know, I know…you’re not supposed to compare anyway…)
It still didn’t really sink in, even when the early childhood teachers at the ECFE program we went to (and still go to) said things to me like “wow, she’s active” or “she’s a spitfire.” Her 2-year-old class teacher commented that she recognized that Miss M was “an Alpha female” and M got into fights with another little girl in the class who M apparently thought was trying to get all up in her face.
So, I guess I’m raising what you call a “spirited” child. A handful. A turkey. (This photo, by the way, was taken more than 2 months before she could walk.)
While this may sound like something negative (to have a spirited child) to some, I wouldn’t have M any other way.
She keeps me on my toes. She makes me get out of the house and DO something instead of hiding at home. Everything is interesting to her. Every day is an adventure. She lives life…really LIVES it.
And she doesn’t take shit from anyone. Including me.