HAPPY-BIRTH-DAY TO ME...ON THE DAY I GAVE BIRTH.
Several years after the loss of twins, I became the mother of a healthy baby girl. The delivery proved long and complicated and at some point, my body experienced a tear between the vagina and the rectum. This specific type of tear is medically referred to as a rectovaginal fistula and can result after a difficult vaginal delivery.
Horrified by my body’s sudden abnormality, I begged the doctor to correct it immediately. All too soon, I learned that raw tissue has to heal before it can be repaired. So, for almost three months I was forced to live with my devastating situation.
My body was not built for pregnancies. Even my obstetrician/ gynecologist, Dr. Crane, admitted that, considering my medical history, he should have performed a caesarian section. He explained the baby was temporarily bruised from being squeezed in the birth canal for such a long time. But he assured me the baby’s bruised and flattened forehead would “smooth itself out” in a few days.
After the delivery, everyone who saw my baby girl—both the doctor and attending nurses—commented on the baby’s features as being “classic and beautiful.” She immediately became the “darling” of the nursery. As medical professionals who saw babies every day, they were able to look beyond her temporary bruises.
Soon after the delivery, Dr. Crane remarked: “We’ll get you back to your room for some much-needed rest. Later this evening the nurses will bring your pretty new daughter to visit you.”
Exhausted and nearly asleep, I heard a slight noise and looked up. There, in the doorway of my room, stood my mother. Unsmiling, she looked ready to unload some bad news. Instantly afraid, I asked if she had seen the baby and asked if the baby was okay. After a long pause and a very loud sigh, my mother responded “Yes, I’ve seen the baby and no, she’s not okay. She’s ugly.”
No, my first daughter, Myra, was NOT ugly. Only days after her birth, her forehead looked smooth and rounded. She was perfectly formed with a headful of thick, curly-brown hair, a dainty nose, and unbelievably-rosy red and full lips. Everyone who saw her raved about her natural beauty. But….I loved her far-beyond her great looks. She was sweet, loving, and so-very- smart… a priceless gift from Heaven.
Over the years, life has taught me endless lessons. The best lesson came late-in-life…when I least expected it….and… IT’S THIS:
I can never control anyone or anything in my life…. except me. Just because I gave birth to a child doesn’t mean that child will always love me, respect me, care for me until the day I die. My precious memories are mine and are most-likely not memorable to anyone…except me.
Now I’m alone--with no family--but I’m not lonely. And, I’m not a victim. I still believe in Love and….I find Love everywhere. I know that nothing lasts forever so I delight in what I have--- for the time I have it. I no-longer worry about the day it may leave me.
HAPPY-BIRTH-DAY, SALLY MILLER. I KNOW, IN MY HEART, YOU WERE A GREAT MOTHER.