I can see this cross-pollenization of mom-daughter blogs will have to be worked through. Does anyone have an operating manual handy? In the meantime, I'm going to risk this open letter to my daughter at breed 'em and weep. It's the closest I can come to a Hallmark "Get Well Soon".
I nag because I care.
Ever since you and I were first introduced (you knocked first, remember?), I have not been able to get you out of my mind. I was quite new at this whole preggers thing and had no sisters to fill me in. My Polish-American momma and assorted cousins were wonderfully supportive but did not offer much in the way of practical advice, except for my mom’s classic adage: “Don’t worry about childbirth – they expand when they hit the air.” All this because I felt your first kick and expressed some anxiety over my ability to handle the Big Event five months later.
Well, I did handle the BE with all the strength and prayers I could muster - mostly alone in a very small cubicle with a young intern who stopped by once or twice, in between my Hail Marys, to tell me I had a very high threshold for pain. The gauntlet was thrown down with those words. I had to live up to the hype. Say one Hail Mary and call me when you’re fully dilated. Having been the good Catholic school girl, I knew not to question authority. Just offer it up for the salvation of all those pagan babies whose mommas obviously had issues of their own.
Your dad heard the same words too but elsewhere in the hospital. The culture at the time did not really support all this grand sharing of maternal pain and birthing tubs with the daddies-to-be. The mommies were expected to wing it alone with their trust and devotion in the male authority figures who dispensed the orders along with the patronizing platitudes.
Nevertheless, your birth was every bit the Big Event I had anticipated. You came, you saw, you conquered me in the first few seconds I glanced down at your tiny face. I’ve never been the same since. And I got to repeat the wondrous experience all over again with your brother! Who would have thought those Hail Marys could garner such blessings. Childbirth, the gift that keeps on giving. Four unique grandchildren, with another on the way. I’ve got a silly smile on my face as I write this. I secretly think a pagan baby must have adopted me and showered good karma in my path.
Exponentially, you did expand when you hit the air. You grew bigger and I grew with you, learned from you, laughed with you and cried with you. I may have not had all the answers and disappointed you at times. But you never disappointed me. You were my Big Event, my baby girl with the bright searching eyes.
Now look at you, happily married and a mother yourself. Nanny wasn’t so wrong after all, was she? Babies do expand … and so do hearts.
I’m worried about you, a mother’s prerogative. My heart tells me that you have probably been over-exerting yourself and there can be a hundred good reasons for the “ehh” symptoms this past week. But my head tells me that I don’t like that false-positive reading on the EKG and that maybe your bloggers are on to something. And so, I push a little. Send some emails to your brother. Say a few Hail Marys (they seemed to have served me well in the past). And get on your case!
It’s called tough love. Live with it.