Mr. Handsome and I tried real hard to plan our children, but it was obviously all for naught. "Obviously", because both times, I became pregnant while still on the Pill. Sort of.
Anyway, I wanted to have spring or summer babies, but no, I ended up with two winter babes. Not only that, but they were born two years and 51 weeks apart. Which, in the grand scheme of things, means nothing at all. But in reality, it means that we are barely over celebrating Dee's birthday when Em's special day rolls around, and if you know us, you know that just rolling out of bed and finding a clean pair of underwear and matching socks takes gargantuan effort. So, you can just imagine the stress and manic preparation involved in doing two birthdays in the span of one week.
Having said all that, today is Em's birthday. I shake my head as I type this because it's still so very hard for me to believe that my little girl turns 15 today. FIFTEEN. And that means that I'm OLD.
There's no denying that we are definitely parents of a full-fledged teenager, close to becoming a young adult. It takes my breath away when I think about this because it honestly feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in the wooden rocking chair, rocking her back and forth and singing softly to her as she slept in my tired arms, in total disbelief that I was now a mother to this real, amazing human being. Unbelievable.
My pregnancy with Em was not the easiest. I suffered from dreadful nausea for almost six months, spending most mornings sitting very, very still at my work desk, sucking on a sour plum, waiting patiently for the moment that the nausea lifted so that I could actually accomplish something. Although I loved being pregnant, the toll it took on my physical body was extreme: from nausea to splitting pubic bones that prevented me from actually walking more than two steps without crying in pain.
Em's entrance into this world was also not without some difficulty. I went into labour, but it progressed rather slowly, and my doctor, who knew me so well, was not able to be there. So, I laboured, and laboured for 32 hours, without pain meds, without sleep. I couldn't have an epidural because of previous back surgery, so I had to rely on IV meds, which gave me no relief. I was finally allowed to push, and push I did, for 8 hours. But Em wouldn't come. The doctors tried everything, and at last, when I could no longer even make a fist because I was too weak, they decided they would have to perform an emergency C-section.
They pushed me into the emergency maternity operating room, and just as they were prepping me, a doctor rushed in and said, ":Let's try one more time to get this baby out," and he made me push my legs back to my ears, so that I felt like a Cirque du Soleil performer, and Em popped out!
After such agony and time, my uterus would not clamp down, and major hemorrhaging was a result, causing six months of anemia and various infections that would invade my weak body. Six months of lying on the couch or in bed, holding Em, trying hard to be a good mommy, while Mr. Handsome went through his first year of his doctorate program and fed me fried liver to increase my iron levels (excuse me while I vomit). It was some of the hardest six months of my life. Mr. Handsome's mother would come over during her lunch hours, bringing me a salad or a Mr. Frosty while we watched the O.J. Simpson trial on television.
All this to say that Em's start in this world was not the easiest, but it's been a wonderful ride ever since. She is the best daughter a person could ask for: giving, thoughtful, kind, intelligent, a beautiful soul. Yes, we have moments when we don't see eye to eye, and there are days when I walk around with a knot in my stomach over one issue or another, but really, when it comes down to it, I wouldn't want anyone else beside me when I'm ill or sad. Em's empathy, her love, her sweetness is like no other. She is my best friend.
She is growing up, and will soon be an adult, but to me, she will always be my little girl, my firstborn, my love.
Happy Birthday, sweetheart!