Today I have been a mother for a decade. I’ve spent 25% of my life being a mother. But this post really isn’t about me, it needs to be about my birthday girl!
I told Sugar yesterday that she should enjoy her last day as a “single digit” because as of today and for the next 89 years, she will be a double digit. Instead of thrilling her like I thought it would, it seemed to make her a little sad. She said, “Nine was a great year.”
Like all mothers, on my girls’ birthdays I think back to the day they were born. My body is not good at being pregnant, so they decided to induce me weeks before my due date. They checked me and my ridiculously high blood pressure into the hospital on May 2 and planned to induce me bright and early the next morning.
We got up early on the 3rd and EN went home to shower and let the dogs out. I planned on getting in the shower myself but my blood pressure refused to go down, so the nurses kept me lying on my side in bed. My mother called to see how I was doing and said she’d be up to sit in the waiting room while I labored. The baby monitor started doing funny things and I was feeling worse by the minute. The nurses kept asking me how far away EN had gone and where the hell he might be. I wanted to share his favorite line with them, “Fucking off takes time, sorry I’m late.” But I couldn’t bring myself to say it.
As it turns out, EN put the car into gear rather than reverse leaving the hospital lot and hit another car. He started to write a note when the driver of the other car showed up and took off quickly. The damage was so minimal that it wasn’t noticeable anyway.
EN finally showed up and the baby monitor went crazy so they decided a c-section would be the best thing to do. I will be forever grateful for that decision as it turned out that Sugar had flipped herself back around and was breech with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice. The biggest surprise of all was that she was a girl. We chose not to find out the sex of the baby, but I swore I was having a boy. If you know me, you know that I’m always right about everything, so being wrong was a stunner.
I remember telling her “Hi Baby” and then commenting that she was so tiny. She weighed in at a whopping 4 lbs, 14 oz. Unlike some tiny babies that have gigantic ears or a big nose, everything about Sugar was tiny. She was so very precious. The doctors were concerned about her so they brought her to the NICU where she spent her first 24 hours. I could see that EN was so torn-was he supposed to stay in the OR while they sewed me up, or should he follow the baby. I told him to just go and be with her.
The nurses wheeled me back to my room just before my mother showed up. I said, “Oh did you see her?” She looked confused and said, “Who?” I told her that they had done an emergency c-section and my baby girl was in the NICU. She dropped everything she was carrying and left. Obviously, I no longer rate.
As I felt so miserable being pregnant, I can honestly say I felt fabulous within hours of having her. It helped that she was so little and sweet, we just couldn’t stop looking at her! The nurses kept nagging me for a name and I was unable to come up with one. I needed to really look at her first. We finally named her and when they woke me up and said she was hungry, I said, “Who’s that?” Lots of drugs, that’s my story.
Sugar started off sweet and was a very good baby. From the very first day, we could pack her up and take her anywhere and she would adapt. She always loved being around people and charming them with her smile, then her laugh, now her silly jokes.
To Sugar, life is an adventure filled with sunshine and rainbows. It is always her expectation that she will have a FABULOUS day, surrounded by people that love her and will be nice to her. It absolutely devastates her when that turns out to not be the case. It goes against everything she is, to the core of her being, when someone speaks harshly to her or doesn’t like her. She expects that the entire world will love her, if only because she loves the entire world… unconditionally. She has the sweetest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. That is not to say that she always behaves like a perfect angel and is kind to her sister, but her true nature is to face each day with a smile.
Now that she’s ten and about to enter middle school I’m seeing signs that perhaps she is too kind and easygoing. I have been seeing more and more instances of her being taken advantage of, and it seems the only person she can bring herself to be mean to is her sister. Just yesterday she invited three friends to see the movie “Soul Surfer” with her to celebrate her birthday. Her best friend said, “Yeah, I don’t want to see that. Pick something else.” True to her character, Sugar came home and asked if we should do something else instead.
I know she would do anything to make her friend happy but I felt like I needed to put my foot down. I reminded her that it was HER birthday and she could do whatever she wanted. Her best friend’s mother may have had a similar talk with her own daughter, because BFFL called first thing this morning to wish her a happy birthday, then mentioned that they should each wear their shared “Best Friend” necklace. When I picked her up from school she said that her friend changed her mind and was now willing to go see the movie. I find myself in the strange position of wanting to teach her to be tougher, but also wanting to maintain that sweetness that is her.
While we sometimes have mother daughter issues, I am always proud of how hard she works on doing well at school and what a good friend she is. She has a great sense of humor and has greets every day with an excited grin. I am blessed to be her mother. I adore her even when she’s conning her sister out of her favorite toys, because I too am an oldest child and would have absolutely done the same thing.
Happy birthday to my sweet baby girl.