Babies and Their Mommas
This baby (post) has been marinating for 365 days. That's roughly half the gestation of an elephant--in case you're curious. The other day, and again today, I realized I basically missed April and Mother's Day is tomorrow (at least that's what I'm telling myself so I don't forget).
All these babies being born (the fresh ones) and the babies still being 'grown' (still on the inside) and all the babies that are being 'hoped for' (obvious) made me think of ALL the mommas in my life-- my friends, my aunts, my grandmas, and [of course] my own Mother--and how truly grateful I am for each and every one of them.
In case you hadn't heard...I used to work in an OB/GYN clinic. I did so for a few years, and that office became my 'other' family. Because of that job, I will always have an appreciation for women's health and those that are in that field of medicine...but this one isn't about me, or that office-- it's about the babies and their mommas.
Even though we're experiencing a pandemic and things are a little scary right now, there's still a lot of joy [still] happening...a lot of good news (thank you John Krasinski)... I mean how exciting is this?! ---> A co-worker of mine just had her second baby a week ago, and another co-worker's wife had their first a couple days later. --AND another one of my co-workers--his wife is pregnant with their third. One of my sweet friends just had her second, while another one of my best friends is working on a fourth. There aren't many things sweeter than a fresh baby. How lucky are these mommas?! (And dads, too) Tons of congratulations to all these parents! I'm sending you all virtual hugs and tiny squeezes for the tiny humans!
-Anyway-Sometimes when I was at the clinic, I would imagine conversations with some of our patients' babies-- but not as babies, more like when they're 18 and graduating high school (...remember it's that thing where you wear a robe that makes you look like Judge Judy...what the kids are supposed to be doing now but can't because...COVID-19) and how I'd tell those babies how badly their mommas wanted them, how scared they were then, and probably are still a little or a lot scared now.
My clinic job taught me so many things, but most of all how every. single. baby. is a true miracle. Being part of that environment taught me that you can be deemed the healthiest woman on planet earth, but something still goes wrong, or you thought you were done having your babies and *BAM* you aren't done...yet...while being an older mom comes with its own set of worries, your baby comes out completely healthy. I also learned that no matter how much you plan, it's better to go in not having a plan at all...them babies come when they darn well please, and don't care if it's Aunt Frances' birthday or if you're waiting in line at Dairy Queen for that damn ice cream cone...those babies come when they want. (I mean, how rude right? [joking]) MOST of all I learned that there are a lot of ways to 'get' a baby...a lot of LEGAL ways to get a baby...just so I'm well understood. Before we get to the meat and potatoes of this-- I just want to wish all the mothers I know a Happy Mother's Day. I am truly honored to know you and I am sending you all really big hugs on this day--and probably any day of the week because I come from a hug-a-licious family.
So...here's where I make this about myself...just a little bit.
This may shock some of you, but I was adopted (I know, I know, alert the media). I don't think about it every single day, but it's definitely sets the opening scene in the story of my life. During my time working at the OB office I witnessed M A N Y mommas and their struggles before their tiny (sometimes larger) miracles took their first breaths...all the tears, anxiety and excitement--all the fertility drugs--and the hopes--and the blood draws--and prayers--and referrals to more specialized specialists--and the losses. My heart truly ached for those mommas before they were holding their miracles, and my heart will always ache for the women that I don't know--that want their own babies so. very. badly. These women and their struggles are something I hope to not have to experience, but I am aware of the possibilities and I know many women often struggle. I truly empathized with these women because had my own Mother not had her own turn on the not-so-merry-go-round of infertility, I would not be here.
My Mother struggled with infertility and my parents chose to adopt (hallelujah to Jesus). I truly cannot verbalize my gratitude nor properly express how overwhelmingly B L E S S E D I know I am. Before my Mother was a Mother, she struggled and had to find peace within herself and make peace with God for the struggles. There were countless prayers she and my Dad prayed for a baby. They both had to stand strong against more than just the wait for me to come to America. --AND-- after they were approved and while they waited for me, (as I've been told) every part of the process (even in the late 80's) was quite the deal. I won't bore you with the details, but the one that continues to astound me is this----Once my parents got the call that I was en route, they could have gotten another call once they got to the airport that I actually wasn't on the plane. (Remember kids, that's back when the cellular devices were not what they are today...) SO the three-hour drive to Denver, my parents were basically zombies, riddled with excitement and fear that they'd get to Denver and have to turn around sans Molly. If anyone knows Donna Mayer, they know she's easily excitable as-is, just imagine her a few years younger knowing she was getting a baby. (I'm kidding, mother, I would love to time-travel back and be a fly in the car with you...or maybe a butterfly, I'm afraid you'd swat me if I were a fly) Spoiler alert--I was on the plane.
Mother recently had my 'Coming to America' video made into a DVD--super grateful for this, too. It's a 1.5 hour video of my whole family in a different time wearing the best clothes just hanging out, waiting for me. Talk about making a girl feel special. I think that's why I look to my aunts as my 'other mothers' ALL of them awaited my arrival with a lot of anticipation with my mom and they've all taken their turns caring for me as if I was their own. My grandmas, too. All these women are incredibly special to me.
It's definitely something special to see your friends and your cousins become mommas too. My friends are still the same, and my cousins are still the same, but they're also different. It is truly a privilege to see this next generation as tiny versions of their parents and see that "karma" is sometimes called [insert child's name here]. <-- this is probably meant more for 'Father's Day' and more for my brother--not to get overly specific, but I think you get what I'm saying. Also, I'm not overly sorry, he deserves it. We have stories.
Anyway, all you mommas, I don't care if you have one baby or if you have 19, each of you is incredibly special and cherished beyond belief. -BUT- Today (and especially on Sunday) I celebrate my own mom a little louder, a little sappier and a little funnier. --because Donna Mayer is one-of-a-kind--but also because everyday I have gratitude for her and I am grateful for her larger-than-life faith, her continual support and how she truly just wants everyone to be happy--but on the day (...this Sunday) everyone's mom is celebrated, I celebrate a little harder because of the struggles my Mother willingly went through before I was even here...and then again when she and my dad waited for Drew...and even with Brad. She's a very special lady, and incredibly tough. Sometimes she's a bit silly, but who isn't...she definitely keeps things interesting. Her relish tray being the best in the midwest, is flawless. My mother mows the lawn with so much grace and talent she dazzles the garter snakes. Her ice water is perfection and she can dial up DJ's number to get some cheeseburgers with real finesse. Her driving skills are wildly fantastic and she gives the best hair cuts (see photo below). Most of all my mom loves and she accepts people just as her mother taught her. I'm sure when she's 80, she'll say [just like Grandma Ruby] "Nothing shocks me anymore." While she is easy to excite, that is truly one of her best qualities. She's always been the biggest support for me, Drew and Brad. (and Dad)
My Mother was made to be a mother. I love you, Donna Mayer. Happy Mother's Day.