OT- Happy Mother's Day, Ladies!
I have been priveleged to witness childbirth many times. Seeing the stages of pregnancy and labor come to fruition is always a magical time. It has to be incredibly emotional for the woman. The mixing of the fears of personal mishap combined with the expectation of the delivered child, particularly before the dawn of the ultrasound when the sex of the unborn was not yet known, has no need for further drama.
I was fortunate to witness the birth of all three of my children. My wife and I were “pioneers of privelege”. Even being a medical student on an obstetrics rotation, I had to fight to be in the delivery room. The father’s job was to be in the waiting room, pacing, sitting, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.....and yes....praying. The risk of loss of mother or child is still there, in spite of medical advances and “new age” birthing practices which really harken back to the “old ways” of making the experience more of a home birthing.
One of my partner’s daughters recently gave birth in a “birthing pool”. I teased him that they could have the birthing, the baptizing and the “group swim” all in the same setting. I don’t know that I could handle all that even at a younger, more naive age when only optimism prevailed.
I always tell my children that I count on my wife to give me the date of their birthdays, right down to the minute of deliverance. I, on the other hand, remember their moment of conception vividly. My wife and I would remark that, “Well, that was a take! Here’s to 9 months from now!” I would also refer to her as “the Nile Valley”. Whatever seed landed on her was sure to sprout. We laugh about the time when she was concerned by the press of the day that if one stayed on the birth control pills for more than 3 years, then conception was going to be difficult. She went off the pill because of that fear and didn’t make it to the next month before “the planned one” was in the oven.
And that’s only the beginning, the birthing, the lifelong commitment is the tough one. I understand those women whose son is on death row still remarking that her son is a “good boy”. I understand it when a child at the moment of a reward for some achievement thanks their mother. It’s a bond that is never broken, even by death of one or the other.
So to all you mothers out there......happy Mother’s Day. I made few promises to my wife other than to love, honor and cherish the time that we had together. She certainly has had the harder task in raising the children. I respect that.
As for me, all I could give her was a sunrise on a thousand hills, kiss her and give her seven daffodils. Trust me....there are SEVEN.