Since it’s almost Mother’s Day, and since our daughter just gave birth to their second adorable baby girl, it’s especially appropriate to write about moms today.
Because without them, none of us would be here!
Each of us had a mother who gave birth to us. She carried us for some 8-9 months (maybe less, depending on her circumstances, but that’s a different subject). In many cases, especially with my own mother and our daughter, she was terribly sick the entire pregnancy.
My mother spent the majority of her pregnancy in bed because she was so sick with me, a fact I only recently discovered. She couldn’t eat much, and had trouble keeping food down. Instead of going to regular doctor appointments her doctor came to the house to see her (yes, 69 years ago when doctors routinely made house calls). She felt so bad she didn’t even tell people she was expecting, because she was so afraid she’d have another miscarriage. How many she had, I have no idea, nor does her sister. My Aunt Mary came over almost every day to help my father out by taking care of her while he was at work. My Aunt Pauline also helped her as much as possible.
When the time came to have me, the doctor told my dad to “Take her to the hospital now. Don’t break any speed limits, but don’t waste any time either.” Because I was a breech baby, and he knew it would be a difficult delivery. My mother didn’t know, and I’m not sure my father did either. But the doctor obviously did.
And my mom said when I was coming out, the doctor was carefully watching the clock in the delivery room, because he knew he had to get me out quickly! No C-sections then! And he did, and knowing that good doctor, I’m sure he was as happy as my parents when I was born safe and healthy!
How many other mothers go through such things that we never hear about, never even think about!
Our own daughter has had two pregnancies so far, both of them very difficult. With each one, she was sick and threw up almost every day. The foods she regularly enjoyed she couldn’t eat. She couldn’t drink water because it made her sick; ice chips were ok, and soda. No milk. Ice cream once in awhile would stay down.
With the first pregnancy she got so dehydrated she had to go to the hospital for IV fluids five times, and even had a port in her arm for home health to give her fluids. This second pregnancy was better and she only had to go for IV fluids twice! But she was still sick almost daily, and that was with taking anti nausea medication.
My cousin’s wife was on bedrest the last 3-4 months of her pregnancy with their twins. Several of my friends or their daughters have been told to do the same because of the risk of early delivery.
Pregnancy is obviously not easy for every woman. It’s difficult. Even if you’re not sick like my mom and my daughter, and many other women, you’re still carrying around a lot of extra weight, and as it gets closer to the due date, your back hurts, you have trouble walking, you can’t get comfortable, and you’re just genuinely miserable.
And then there’s the actual birthing and delivery. The baby has to come out, after all! And he/she is coming when it’s time, whether you are or not.
Even with pain killers, it’s not a fun process. And if you have a C-section, you’re having major abdominal surgery as well as having a baby. Your muscles are cut, making it difficult to move around, much less care for a newborn! I had that, and if I hadn’t had my husband AND my mother (who was 76 years old at that time) to help me out that first week, I don’t know what I’d have done. Our daughter has had both babies by C-section, and the last one was quite difficult for her, and very painful afterwards.
But was it worth it? Absolutely!
So let’s think about all this as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. What did your mother, wife, or girlfriend go through to have her baby? Then thank her for what she went through. Because I can tell you, it wasn’t easy, but it was sure worth it!
Please don’t miss Celebrating Moms, Part Two, to be published May 9.