Monday, April 18, 2005

Mom's Story, Part One

Every Monday morning for the next six weeks or so, I will be posting portions of my mother's testimony. This is the story of my life, told through her eyes. Here is Part One.

I had dreamed of having a little girl for as long as I can remember. Having had a wonderfully close relationship with my own mother, I longed to experience that kind of closeness with a daughter of my own. My husband and I already had a two-year-old son and had lost an infant daughter three years before his birth. Then there had been two miscarriages; but now, at long last, I hoped and prayed that the child I carried would be the little angel I had so long desired.

As I lay on the table in the hospital delivery room, I suddenly knew something was wrong.

The atmosphere in the room changed from light-hearted banter between the doctor and nurses to a hushed, tension-filled silence. The cheerful music that had been playing in the background was switched off. The overhead mirror, which allowed me to view the birth, was turned away. Casual conversation turned to whispered directives as my baby was delivered. Something was very wrong, but all I could ask was the one question I had harbored for so long, “Is it a girl?”

“It’s a girl,” the doctor replied curtly.

The umbilical cord was cut, and the baby was handed off like a football to a waiting nurse, who rushed the infant out of the room. In silence, I suffered a flock of unanswered questions as the attendants completed their tasks. I was carted to the recovery room, where a nurse told me only that my baby had some physical problems. Then I was left alone, still with no answers.

I hadn’t dared to ask. I didn’t want to know.

It wasn’t customary in those days for fathers to be present in the delivery room, so I had no idea if my husband knew anything more than I did. I wished he were with me now.

I was wheeled to my room, which I would share with two other new mothers. I heard them talking and laughing as I approached, but when I entered the room, they froze into silence. I felt their eyes on me as I painfully crawled into bed.

Later, three nurses arrived, each pushing a tiny crib on wheels containing a newborn. I watched as two of the nurses lovingly scooped up a baby and gently handed it to its mother. The third nurse, with downcast eyes, wheeled my baby to the side of my bed, then turned and hurried out the door. I already felt rejection from the other mothers. Now, apparently even the nurse didn’t want to so much as touch my baby. It was the first of many hurts to come.

While the other mothers cooed to their babies, I forced myself out of bed, to stand at the side of the little crib. With heart pounding, I looked down at the tiny bundle tightly cocooned in a pink blanket. Her face was covered.

The other mothers, apparently apprised of my baby’s situation, pretended to fuss over their babies, but I knew each one was darting glances in my direction, eager to see my reaction when I looked at my baby for the first time.

I was afraid.

Already I felt like a failure as a mother. I should be filled with love and joy, I scolded myself. Instead, all I felt was dread.

I took a deep breath and slowly lifted the blanket from my baby’s face.



Anonymous Pastor Scotty said...

Thanks Momma Anderson, what a great write and a blessing to read

8:58 PM  

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