“You never truly know what a mother goes through until you are one.”
On this day, 28 years ago, I came into the world. Of course I don’t remember that day, but I get the chance to celebrate the beautiful life God has given me. The older I get the more I realize my birthday is actually special to one other person. Yes, my husband, family and friends make me feel loved. They are thankful for the day of my birth. But my mom celebrates my birthday different from any other. This is why I thank her on my birthday.
After becoming a mother, I started to experience the emotions that I had only heard about. You never truly know what a mother goes through until you are one. For example, when your child is born. I can recall almost minute by minute what happened leading up to the time Aurora came into this world. I remember how scared I was, how much pain I was in, and even remember the first moment I saw her. I will never forget that wonderful day on April 17, 2016. No matter how old my child gets, my mind will always replay that special day on her birthday.
That’s when I thought about my mom. For years I’ve been thanking her for having me. Mostly because I caused her to have a long labor and delivery. So I felt I owed her gratitude. But now I thank her with humility, emotion, and love. My mother will always see my birthday as the day I came into this world. The moment she first saw me. How quickly I grew into a wife and mother of my own. I only know what happened on my birthday by the stories my mom tells. But for her, this day will remain one of the most precious days of all.
That being said, I asked my mom to write a little something about that day. I wanted you to hear from her what it’s like to look back 28 years to the day I came into this world.
When Mr McPhail laid Heather on my chest after her birth I felt her warm moist body and heard her making sucking noises. I was completely exhausted and so was she. Almost immediately she was asleep. My labor had started three days earlier. With that much notice I should have been prepared when my water finally broke it was 11:30 pm the night before. Her dad had just finished a 16 hour day and had just put his head on his pillow when I said well we need to go. He, her sister, and I rushed out the door to the hospital. Maybe 100 yards up the street when the car started sputtering, I got the look from her dad asking , “did you remember to put gas in the car?” No. I didn’t. I was laboring. He turned the car around and we coasted back to the house with a shove from her dad and got into our other vehicle. Another 30 minutes to drop her sister off, call my best friend Annette, and finally we got to the hospital. I am not sure why we hurried, or tried to, because it would be another 17 hours waiting on this child. Heather took so long to arrive her dad slept many hours, Annette left tired with a migraine, and she and I labored on and on. Finally she arrived.
I remember Dr. McPhail waking me up saying, Annette if you don’t hold her to your chest she might fall off. I put my arms around around her tiny body not knowing at the time I would be holding on for many years. As quiet as she entered the world it changed quickly. She slept most days and played and cried at night for months. She set her mind to grow and chase her sister very early. She bounced around with “tigger Acrobats”. If an object was shiny or red it meant trouble for Heather. If it belonged to her sister, Tiffany, sometimes it might get broken. If we walked somewhere, she ran ahead. She colored her world with pink, red, purple, orange and green. If only she would be still for a moment… She asked every question and one day I said, “I don’t know the answer, Heather.” and she said, “but mom you know everything.”
All I knew was God sent her to me and I needed to hold on to her and keep her as safe as I could yet let her recognize the good and bad in the world and know how to face it.
Each year when I receive a birthday thank you from my daughters on their birthdays I feel honored but I also worry. Did I build a path you can follow? Did I pray enough? Did I love you enough? Did we laugh enough?
The next time your birthday roles around, I encourage you to thank your mom. Yes, your dad is just as important but let’s be honest. Your mom did most of the work the day you arrived. I think those amazing ladies need some recognition. I even thank mothers of my friends and even my mother-in-law. Without them those people who are so near and dear would not be here today.
Mothers need to be reminded of how amazing they are. Let’s be honest, they’ve done a lot for us. Many still do. So between the Facebook Birthday wishes and cake for dinner, be sure to say thank you to the woman who worked so hard to get you here.