I was in labour and went shopping
Today we are celebrating my daughter, #LittleK’s, ninth birthday. A date she’s been reminding me of since her eight birthday, Christmas, New Years, my dad’s birthday and just about every second day. We never hear the end of it. Nor do we hear the end of possible birthday gifts. Which happens to be a smart watch this year. As if. After a not so gentle reminder yesterday, as if I’d forget, I thought of the day she was born. The day I was in labour and went shopping.
The day my doctor announced my pregnancy I could slap him. I really wanted to but I didn’t. He issued my birth control for crying out loud. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Being mom of two was going quite great actually. My pigeon pair. Seven months into my pregnancy I still didn’t fully come to terms with the fact. My body had tripled in size and I didn’t recognize myself. Literally. I was so huge that I had to go off work two months before birth. It was just a horrible pregnancy. Life as I knew it was over. No more sleeping in. No more watching series or reading countless amount of books. My hobby would have to take a backseat while I learnt to juggle being a mom of three.
The day I went into labour I didn’t even realize it. It was different than my previous two. It lasted two whole days. Two days I spent ignoring it as best I could to sneak in some more time with my older kids. Most of my memories of those two days are hazy because of the pain. The one memory I recall clearly is going to hospital and deciding to check out even after I was dilated more than a couple of centimetres, so I could go home to sit in a hot bath. No way was I going to get into one of theirs. I didn’t care what they cleaned it with then and I certain don’t now either. Besides, they did say that it would be hours before baby would make an appearance. So off we went.
On our way home, I realised that I hadn’t done my monthly shopping yet. What were my kids going to eat while I was away from home? Being Friday I wanted to make sure that they had some sweets for the weekend. My mind raced with all the things on my to-do list. I wasn’t ready for baby yet. My shopping! And if not now then when? Two kids, eight and six, were a walk in the park by then, but toss a baby in the mix when were we going do anything. I needed to go shopping. I also needed to get my mind focussed on anything but the contractions. Off to the shops we ventured. FYI: I hate shopping.
We walk into the store and I grab a trolley. Against the husband’s wishes obviously. Luckily he knows not to argue with me during labouring and birthing. Our first birth is still etched in his memory like the bruises we both sported after the event. Shame, the poor guy had to hold me down on the bed so I wouldn’t get up and walk. As he pushed down I pushed back. Oh the memories we make.
Off I went from aisle to aisle merrily dumping non essential items into the trolley. Not even bothering to get food. The actual reason I went there in the first place. Every time I’d get a contraction I would stand still, grip the handle and breathe. I found my Zen in those moments. Also, walking makes labour bearable for me. I’m not too sure if and how we paid for the items. I still wonder if we actually left with anything at all. The husband would be able to tell me, but nine years later I still can’t bring myself to ask even though we laugh at the birth story often enough.
Turns out that my body knows how to speed up my deliveries. Many women claim different ways but walking is it for me. A hot bath upon returning home and the final trip to hospital and I was ready to deliver. Their prediction of hours didn’t necessarily mean two hours. But that’s what it took before I held a sweet Asian looking bundle in my arms daring me to ask the husband if they’d just removed her out of my you-know-what. If he was absolutely sure about it. Even her first cry sounded foreign.
The same baby I couldn’t imagine having nine years ago is the child I cannot imagine life without. The one who wakes up with a smile on her face and talks non-stop. A feisty little girl who is both a force to be reckoned with and the most thoughtful little person. Always putting others before herself. She was made to love just as much as I was made to love her. My cup runneth over. She is wise beyond her years and often gives me food for thought. Strange how we learn aome of life’s most important lessons from our kids.
Today, the same baby loves shopping. She’ll hop into any car headed for the mall. Family and friends cars, that is. Ever since she was two I would take the day off on her birthday and we’d go shopping. It’s our thing. We missed out on our trip for one birthday but made it up on the weekend. Every year we have to take it back to where it all started. I’d never really thought of the symbolism of it until now.
My wish for my daughter is that she finds happiness beyond measure and that she learns to know that true happiness comes from within.
I hope that her dream of becoming fashion designer materializes. I hope that she will know that if it doesn’t I’ll still be proud of her even if she becomes a cashier or something. An honest job done with excellence will do just fine. I need her to know that life matters and we all have a place in this world. I wish for her to know that perfection is not a standard and that life is not a competition. We all finish the race at our own pace. I want her to know kindness and show it to others. When she opens her mouth I hope she speaks from the heart. I wish that she never forgets who she is and where she comes from. That she remembers to laugh and be silly sometimes. It’s good for the soul. Above all I hope she knows that she is and will always be loved.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have both a fuss to make and cake to bake. I also have a crown birthday to plan. Have been planning it since the day she heard the term. What moms have to put up with…