My Son is Turning Seven! – by Cara
It all began 7 years ago, on a Tuesday evening at exactly 9:20 pm – according to my watch next to my bedside. I was reading a book, a Harry Potter book in fact, thinking, “It’s okay if I start this book now, I’ll have plenty of time during maternity leave to read the rest of it while the baby sleeps.” Well, my baby had other plans. And Harry’s story was left unread.
I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy. Especially considering that I was an “older” maternity patient at 39 with my first pregnancy. I saw my high-risk doctors regularly. I never developed gestational diabetes, which they all thought I was doomed to get. They also thought I was headed for pre-eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure in a pregnant woman) since my blood pressure was slightly elevated at the start of my pregnancy. Never happened. In fact, about the only significant thing about my pregnancy (except for periodic night legs cramps which make you want to scream bloody murder at the top of your lungs as you massage the cramp out), was that I had real, but random, contractions, starting at 34 weeks gestation. The doctors wanted me to reach 37 weeks gestation so that the baby’s lungs would be fully mature, so I was placed on “modified bed rest” and went to the doctor’s office every other day to undergo fetal monitoring.
I met their goal of 37 weeks, but I wanted my son to be born closer to 40 weeks. See, his due date was 2 days before my 40th birthday. I wanted him to be my 40th birthday present. I would never need another present again for my birthday for the rest of my life! I wanted him to be IT! However, I also didn’t want him to be born ON my birthday. I wanted his birthday to be his and his alone. I didn’t want him to feel that he had to “share” his special day, even with his mother. I prayed that he was not born after me, because then the excitement of celebrating Mommy’s birthday may overshadow his own, especially at the age he is now – the grade school years. When birthdays are magical and completely eventful and young children want it to be THEIRS, and theirs alone!
My daily prayers were finally going to be answered that fateful Tuesday evening, August 5th, 2003. My own 40th birthday was 2 days away. At 9:20pm, the first of many contractions began. I didn’t wake my husband because I knew he needed the rest for the long day ahead. So I monitored, and practiced my labor breathing techniques all night long. Finally, around 5:30 am, the contractions were 5 minutes apart and I needed my husband to call the doctor. Our son was ready to be born! Oh how I prayed he would be born that day, Wednesday, August 6th!
After 23 hours of labor, 3:45 minutes before my 40th birthday, at 8:15 pm, my gift arrived! A gift like no other I have ever had or ever will have! And he came on the best day possible, the day before MY birthday!
Every year since, when I celebrate my son’s birthday, it is as if I am celebrating my own! The planning of his parties, the invitations, the party favors, the balloons!! I have not one ounce of resentment nor care that my own birthday is the one overshadowed or overlooked! This is EXACTLY what I wanted! So…to my son who will be celebrating his 7th birthday this Friday, Happy Birthday, my precious, beautiful, amazing boy!! I love you with all my heart, and much more! My gift!