Thursday, August 29, 2013

Young Mothers Don't Always Know Best!


YOUNG MOTHER’S DON’T ALWAYS KNOW BEST…AT LEAST NOT THIS ONE!

For those of you who don't know, I married a few months after graduating from high school at eighteen years old. Just shy of my nineteenth birthday we were blessed with my daughter, Jenna Lindsay! As all first time moms, I thought nothing could surpass this picture perfect, wrinkled beauty.

As I said, I was a young mother and other than English class, I was not very interested in higher learning. I was in love and my head was in the clouds.

During Lamaze classes when they were explaining every tiny detail about birthing, I was mentally checking off every baby item that I must have, the colors of the nursery, and did I really need a Diaper Genie, or not!

The blessed moment arrived after fifty-nine of the most gruesome, painful back and front labor pains, of which I endured alone. Why alone? For one, the only part of the Lamaze class, my now ex-husband, heard was “getting as much sleep as possible before the “hard labor”…he took it to heart with television remote in hand and went to sleep.
My mother could be found wandering the halls of the hospital asking every maternity nurse and doctor to—my mortification—saying, “Just give her some anesthesia and take the baby out. She doesn’t tolerate pain well.” We eventually sent her home with orders to buy a bottle of Bailey’s on the way, and told her we’d call her the moment our new arrival came into the world.

My only other means of support was the maternity nurse, who was also a nun…a.k.a. Attila the Hun. By the end of Attila’s shift, I was very sure I had been ex-communicated from the Vatican and well on my way to Hell. According to the “ex”, you’re not supposed to use the “F” bomb in front of a nun, let alone tell her to leave the room using the term.
My former mother-in-law, finally waltzed in to the rescue, grabbed her son by the ear and demanded him to rub my lower back where the pains were near intolerable by this time. Within an hour and a half, my daughter was born. All 6lbs. 10oz and 21 inches of her came into this world screaming.
Remember that little tidbit about me not paying attention in Lamaze class? Yeah, well it would have come in very handy at this point. They handed me my little bundle of joy, and I took one look and I weepily said to myself, “She’s butt ugly, and she had the biggest “port wine” stain covering her face, but it doesn’t matter because I love her.” My heart ached for the ridicule she would probably endure at the hands of her peers eventually, but I vowed to protect her with every ounce I had in me.
Then the nurse did something that would shock me into full-fledged mother bear mode…she took off the little hat upon my daughter’s head and exposed the biggest cone head I had ever seen…and I’ve watched numerous episodes of Saturday Night Live to know it was HUGE!  Again, Lamaze class…had I listened would have been very helpful at a time like this. Once again, to myself I said, “Oh my God! She’s retarded. (I know…not politically correct, but in my defense I was nineteen). My poor baby girl has a misshaped head, but I still think she is perfection, and if anybody says, otherwise…they are so going down. Don’t worry Jenna; I won’t let anyone hurt you…ever!”
Eventually, they took my dearest possession to the nursery and put her in the incubator. It was 4:30a.m., and I had not slept in nearly fifty hours. After three hours of fitful sleep, I needed to see my baby. Just thinking that my poor little angel was in the nursery next to all the “normal” babies was torturing me. Visions of striped tents, a scrawny man with a barbell mustache, wearing a bowler hat, and large cane in hand saying, “Step Right Up!”, flowed freely through my young, inexperienced mind. I called down to the nurses’ station, and less than twenty minutes later they wheeled my precious cargo into my room.
I scooted off my bed and looked down into the tiny hospital bassinet and my eyes fell on perfection. I mean…PERFECTION! Even the nurse’s face was glowing at this beautiful baby, so what do I do…I say, “Ummm….this is not my baby.” Those words can give a maternity nurse the dry heaves, and it did. She says “What do you mean this is not your baby?” She reaches over and matches our hospital bands up. “The bracelets match…and she is the only girl in the nursery. She is definitely yours.” I literally was near tears, as I did not want to be overjoyed by this sudden, wonderful change of events. I said, “You’re absolutely sure. I mean my baby isn’t very pretty, and last night she had a birthmark covering half her face.” Leaning over, I whisper to the nurse. “And my baby is retarded…she has a HUGE misshaped head.”
Boy! Did I look stupid when she started to explain to me that my daughter had not been given a bath yet, which would explain the dried blood on her face, and apparently, infants have soft skulls so they can pass through the birthing canal, which gives them a temporary cone head! I was right all along,….Jenna was Perfection, and still is! 
 


6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, Angela.
    I had my son at 19, but was lucky enough to have a mother who was very straight forward and helpful. :)
    Good luck to you and your daughter!

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  2. My mom and my grandmother were too....I just thought I knew it all! Boy, did I learn the hard way when she woke up at 2:30a.m. the first night I was home. My mom tried not to intervene, but finally had too. I told I changed her diaper, rocked her, rubbed her back but she wouldn't go to sleep. My mom said..."Did you feed her?" My mouth hung open and I said "Who eats at 2:30a.m.?!" My mother said. "She does!" Oy Vay! Thank God for both of them!!! I learned quick!

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  3. What a sweet story! Thank you for sharing. It brought a tear to my eye as I remembered having My daughter and all the scary new stuff that comes with being a mom.

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    1. You're very welcome! Thank goodness for moms and grandmothers...they keep us straight!

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  4. Replies
    1. LOL Anne! Only I would totally screw up a heartfelt moment ;)

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