Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday to the Girl who changed my life.

Mads was born on February 16, 2006. I would like to say that I was patiently awaiting her arrival, with a calm Mona Lisa smile on my face. Truth? She was 12 days late. I was ready for her to COME OUT of there.
We had everything planned. My mom would be there for Mad’s birth, then a week later my husband’s mother would come down, and a week after that my sister would come to visit. This way everyone would have their own time with us and the baby.
Wait a second, let me backtrack. My family is from Oregon, but my husband was stationed in California, so we were living down there. (I flew home a lot.) So when it came time for the baby to be born, we made a lot of plans for my family to visit.
Back to Mads’ story.
So we had made this elaborate plan, with all of the family taking their turns to visit. This way, after I got out of the hospital, I would have a couple weeks of company and help with the baby. Except…it didn't work out quite the way we had planned.
My mom arrived around the time I was due, and we waited. (Keep in mind that my mom works full time, and had to take the time off work) No baby. Then a week later my mother in law came…still no baby. A week after that, my sister came, and there was still no Mads! I was…losing my patience to say the least.
When we would go grocery shopping, people would ask when I was due. My reply? “3 (or 4 or 5 or 6) days ago!!”… then the person asking would quickly take a step back. I don’t know why this always happened. Perhaps they saw me as a ticking time bomb. Back away from the pregnant lady, her water may break and get you! Or maybe they thought I would go into labor and THEY would have to deliver my baby in the Costco bread isle. It was pretty funny now that I look back, but at the time it was a little mortifying.
Finally the day my sister arrived, we went out to dinner. I had contractions all day, but it wasn’t until about 8pm that they started getting good. We ate at this place with hard wood booths, and I was extremely uncomfortable. The service was the worst I’ve ever experienced to this day, and it took them an hour to get our check back to us.  By the time we left I was exhausted and in a nasty mood. We finally got home, and I asked my mom and sister not to go back to their hotel, because I thought I might need them. We went to bed, and less than an hour later my water broke.
I turned into a blubbering, crying, scared mess.
I took a shower…cause eeeewww. Then I had my sister braid my hair like she used to when I was little. We finally headed off to the hospital to get checked in.
I won’t go through every single detail, because I was in labor for about 22 hours after I got to the hospital. I also won’t complain about their ridiculous policies (I couldn’t get out of bed to walk!). Finally after all that time in labor, the head of the maternity ward talked me into having a c-section.
I was really scared. It was terrifying. Especially to a girl that had never even had stitches before. I had given myself a pep talk daily about giving birth naturally. People have been doing this since the dawn of time etc. But now they were changing everything! Umm, no thank you, I really don’t want you to strap me to a table and cut me open while I’m awake. I’ll just keep this baby in here forever…
It turned out ok. The doctor ended up giving me some sort of tranquilizer, so I wasn’t aware of anything for a while. However I knew exactly when she was born. It’s like I snapped out of a trance the minute I heard her cry. The most beautiful sound I had ever heard was her screaming at the injustice of being pulled from her cozy little nest into that freezing cold 76 degree room. They brought her over to me so that I could kiss her, and then they whisked her away to the nursery.
I had told my husband that I wanted him to stay with me in the operating room, so we asked my mom to stay with Mads in the nursery so she wouldn’t be all alone in there.
Here’s the story about Mad’s birth that makes me emotional every time.
When the nurse came out into the little room my mom was waiting in, she had Mads in her little incubator bed and she said, “Here’s your baby!” Instead of feeling relieved, my mom said, “No, I want to see MY baby.” That nurse brought my mom over to the operating room doors and opened them so my mom could wave at me, and see that I was ok. I saw her, barely, but I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t tell who it was. But my mom got to see that I was ok, and that was what mattered.
The rest of my stay was… horrid. Truly. I had this crazy Ukrainian nurse that acted like I was starving my daughter because I was breastfeeding, and Mads had to have her little stomach suctioned out (which happens with c-section babies sometimes), I pretty much got walked all over for the rest of my stay. I was too young to know better, I felt like the doctors and nurses were in charge. Big mistake. (no worries though, by the time daughter #2 came along, I wasn’t taking any crap from anyone!)
And you know if you’ve ever read one of my stories before, that there is always one last thing that goes wrong. So here it is. By the time I got out of the hospital, all of my family was gone except for my parents. They had to leave the night I got home. My mom was so upset about that, but she had taken 2 weeks off of work already and HAD to get home. So it was just me, the husband and Mads.
Every single minute of those horrible doctors and nurses, every time I was scared, every minute I waited, every little pain (and big pain) I had was completely and totally worth it. I would do it all again, and smile. I’d kiss those doctors that cut me open, right on the mouth. I’d punch that Ukrainian nurse in the face… but then I’d help her up and give her a hug as I ordered her out of my room.
In short, it wasn’t so bad after all, because look at the present I got to take home. Lucky lucky me.
So now for the pictures! My favorite part!

Here's the first picture of Mads. That's my mom's well manicured hand in the picture. She didn't even hold her while she waited, she just held her hand and talked to her. My mom wanted me to be the first one to hold her. I think that hour they spent together must have imprinted Mads somehow, because she is extremely close to my mom... sort of like those baby ducks that see a dog when they hatch and end up following it around.

Here's the first time I held Mads. (outside my belly) Please cut me a little slack for the greasy hair... I had just spent over 24 hours in labor... you sweat a little.

Here she is at 6 months old. Where did all that black hair go?!  Look at those blue eyes. Lovely.

1 year old.
 She wasn't walking yet, but she was talking. She never said just one word, It was always these long sentences that no one could understand, with one or two words that were recognizable.

2 years old.
She loved getting her picture taken. She would pose and smile every single time she saw a camera come out.

3 years old.
She seemed so big to me then, because Roo had just been born,and she seemed so much older when compared to a newborn. Now when I see this picture she looks so little! My baby.

And here is her this fall. Almost 5 years old. My beautiful girl.

I'm lucky.
Not everyone gets perfection on their first try.


  1. She is a keeper. Just like her Mom and grandmother!

  2. Wow, what a wonderful story. Thank you so much for letting me be such a huge part of yours and the girls lives! I love you very much and could not be any prouder of the Mother you've become.