Every parent will tell you they can’t believe how fast their children grow up. I feel no differently. And as my daughter celebrated her 17th birthday today, I thought back to the day of and after her birth. A few things still stick out in my mind.
Labor was freaking painful. I know that should be obvious, but until you’re actually trying to push a tiny human out of your body, you don’t really get it. At least I didn’t. At one point during the hardest part of labor, I remember reaching out for husband and catching and scratching the side of his face with my very sharp fingernails. I also remember thinking he deserved to feel at least a little of the pain I was! (And to this day, I don’t have a clue how my mom did it 6 times!)
Labor was extremely exhausting. I was so exhausted after giving birth that I literally fell asleep in the peas and mashed potatoes the nurses brought me (my first real meal in 24 hours). And then they wanted me to nurse right away. I did, and I know it was the right thing to do, but I was so-o-o tired!
I cried. Probably not for the reasons you might think. Although it was one of the happiest days of my life, I was extremely sad that I could not share my beautiful bundle of joy with my next oldest sister, who had died unexpectedly just 19 months before. I miss her every day and wish she could have known daughter. I know they would have hit it off.
Becoming a mother was (and still is) the ultimate gift. From the moment I held her in my arms, I knew I could do it. I knew I wanted to do it. I knew I would love it, even on the toughest days. I wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything in the world.
And now my baby is 17. A beautiful, caring, happy young woman who I am proud to call my daughter. Happy birthday. I love you.