Sunday, February 19, 2012
When your babies grow up
I was just reading a mommy blog where a woman said she grew up with her firstborn. In many ways, I feel like that with mine. I was twenty-one when I got pregnant with Melissa. The situation was not a good one; I was rebelling against my strict upbringing and a heart wrenching break-up from the second person I thought I loved and would marry. (Oh, youth) I was living with Melissa's father; but I didn't love him, I was only fond of him. I had even reached the point of being ready to break up with him when we found out for sure I was expecting. I'd had several negative tests, including ones in the doctor's office, but I had a nagging ache and no period. Sure enough, a blood test confirmed that I was pregnant and when an ultrasound did not show the little munchkin's presence, I was sent for an emergency laparoscopy. I had to sign a paper saying that, if the little one had settled in my tubes, they would terminate the pregnancy. Toughest thing I ever signed in my whole life. When I emerged from surgery, the anesthesiologist gently told me that I was still pregnant and that everything looked fine. So here we were; not in love and pregnant! Oy!
My parents came to see me in the hospital; anesthetic makes me very ill and I was kept overnight because of the profuse vomiting. When the older gentleman in the next bed fell (and I think, coded!) when they were helping him to the bathroom, I was very quickly moved to another room for the night. There I spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts and sore from the surgery. At least I wasn't throwing up anymore, though!
Much of my pregnancy is a blur. My mother encouraged me to consider adoption. My father was as gentle and kind and loving as always. My half-sister, whom I really hardly know, communicated through our mother that she was disappointed because I would probably never finish college now. I broke up with Missa's father. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a hellish year for my parents, really. Mom moved me back home, but we fought a lot and were both so stressed that it was not good for either one of us and she finally told me I had to leave again. My poor father was often stuck between us - a position he was likely used to since my relationship with my mother had always been fiery. Man, I loved my father! Eventually, I went to the local crisis pregnancy centre and was placed in a "shepherding home" for as long as I needed it. I lived with an amazing and kind lady whom I still see around town from time to time. I am very thankful that God provided that home at a time when I needed to be very selfish and learn to care for myself. Gail never said, as my mother had, that I was NOT the first woman to ever be pregnant. Honestly, the first time, you really feel like you are!
Finally, Melissa Catherine Filgate was born. I gave her my maiden name because I knew I would raise her mostly alone and, except for steady child support and visits from her father while she was younger, I pretty much have. She was a challenging baby; did not sleep well, had so much energy and did everything early. I remember reading that babies sleep a LOT. Well, this kid hadn't read any of the books and she did things her way! We had a rough go, Miss and I, but eventually we found hubby and he has been her daddy since she was two and a half. She really thinks of him as Dad because he has been the one who raised her, supported there, cleaned up when she was sick, cuddled her when she was frightened and just been a real dad.
Now that girl is getting ready to graduate and I'm not even 40. Where did the time go? I miss cuddling that wee girl on my lap, but I sure love the amazing young adult she has grown into. We laugh and talk and she is my best friend. I never dreamed that it could be like that after the tumultuous relationship I had with my own mother. I can't imagine life without her and have always told her that, even though she was unplanned, she was NOT an accident. God knew what I needed, even if that something (or someone) was a squirmy, active little girl who never knew how to stop. I'm so glad He let me have her for just a little while.