Sunday, December 21, 2014

The 10th year

This time has passed in the blink of an eye.  I barely had time to get over the initial shock learning you were to be.  I saw those two lines and cried.  Along came the sickness like clockwork.  I gauged what I ate by looking at the time because I knew exactly when my meal would reappear.  Rice Crispie cereal was a winner.  Daily, for twenty-four weeks, this was my routine.  Nothing gave me any relief from the sea-sick feeling.  Then another symptom appeared - nose bleeds.  If hurling into the white porcelain bowl six times or more a day wasn't bad enough, bleeding from both nostrils at the same time added salt to the wound.   I cried in defeat.  There were many, many tears because I just felt so awful and there was no escape.  The back pain worsened and my feet swelled.  I'd feel faint and was just miserable.

I'd lay in bed as the tears fell because this wasn't fair.  Why did I have to be so sick when so many others were fine?  I'd rest my hands on my belly and feel your little pokes.  Over the months, they grew into big kicks and weird, giant, rolls.  "What are you doing in there??" I'd ask.   And I'd smile as tears fell while you kicked in reply.

By mid-December, I wobbled.  I felt short of breath and even water gave me heartburn.  I'd feel my muscles tighten and hold, then release.  This went on for weeks.  I'd try to keep things progressing, but it would always stop,  Nine months of sickness had taken a toll on my body and emotionally I was drained.  I needed this to end.

With a little help from modern medicine, after two long, exhausting days, you entered the world on December 21, 2004 at 7:33pm.  My pregnancy ended, but at that minute, my life began.  Once again, tears fell.  My Valerie.  My Val Gal. My purpose.  I became a Mom.

Neither Clint nor I had ever fed, bathed, or changed a baby's diaper!!  We had no idea what to do.  It didn't take long to become pros.  Four days after your birth, on your first Christmas, it snowed.  The first and only snow in a decade. It was magical.  Before long you were sitting up.  My eyes filled with tears as you babbled your first word: "mamamama."  You crawled funny dragging one leg and were an early talker and late walker.  "Where we going now, Mamma?" you'd ask after we walked in the door from being gone all morning.  "Where we going tomorrow?"  "Go NOW!"  You wanted to be on the go all the time!  I cried from exhaustion.

On your first day of three year old preschool, you said "Bye Mamma!"  and ran into the door at school and never looked back.  I drove off in tears because you were growing up.

Next came public school and at five years old, you were insistent on riding the bus all alone.  You marched on that strange bus going to a strange place with confidence, with out fear, as I held back the tears and waved and watched until the big yellow bus was out of sight.

Today, you are ten years old.  A decade.  I can't stop the tears because you are so grown up.  I used to cradle your tiny form in my arms and suddenly you are almost as tall as me!   I look back fondly on ten years of sweet memories, but I look ahead with wonder because I know your future is bright.

Happy 10th Birthday, to my first born, my beautiful Valerie.

3 days old

age 5

10 years old

my Val Gal and I

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  1. Happy Birthday to Valerie! She's so pretty!

  2. Anonymous6:28 PM

    Happy birthday Valerie!