I don’t remember any longing in my life stronger than a longing for a child, and I tried very hard for the first one.
I had my first miscarriage at 19, when I was in transit from one Army assignment to another. That miscarriage was followed by two more.
Maybe I should back up and explain why I wanted a child so desperately. You understand, I come from a very large family — I have 5 brothers and sisters; my mother had 7 siblings, and my father had 6. That’s a lot of kids and cousins, and all of them in need of caring, nurturing attention and love. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well. My eldest sister seemed to adopt me as her “baby-doll” and I guess my mother thought that was sufficient attention. And, being an introvert — a keen and interested observer in all that is around me — I didn’t have the personality to demand attention from an already over-worked and under-appreciated mother. Add that to the constant moving and uprooting from friends and family, and you have a picture of a very lonely and unloved little girl.
That little girl grew into a lonely and unloved teenager who married the first guy that asked. Turns out, a big mistake. He didn’t love me and he didn’t want me to love him — he loved my income that allowed him to be just as lazy as he desired. He pretended to love me and only ‘let’ me get pregnant when I pleaded with him for someone to love. That someone turned out to be my little girl.
After years of trying and failing, my OB/GYN put me on progesterone shots the next time I had a positive pregnancy test. And, voila! It worked! I was so happy when I was pregnant, truly the most joyous time of my life was when I was carrying a child.
Of course, I deceived myself into believing that NOW he would love me. That also proved untrue. As I lay in a hospital bed hooked up to oxygen, he sat in a chair in the room smoking and flirting with the nurse. I called her attention to the fact that I WAS, in fact, hooked up to oxygen and perhaps he should put out his cigarette????? She came to her senses at that point and left the room after telling him he couldn’t smoke in my room, so he left with her. He, it turns out, was also a bigamist — or should I say polygamist — with a string of wives around the country that he didn’t bother to divorce as he moved on to the next opportunity. (Sigh — my daughter has many half-siblings.)
After 23 hours and 50 minutes of labor — and a warning from the doctor that at 24 hours they would perform a caesarean, my stubborn, self-willed little darling arrived, peeing all over the doctor, clearly announcing her disdain for the entire process. She’s sort of gone through her entire life with that same attitude! 🙂
I love my kids. I love my grandkids. If I hadn’t had so many miscarriages, I would have 6 kids by now! No, make that 7 — we mustn’t forget Richard — the child I was terrorized into aborting.
I dote on my kids, probably because they are the only source of love I experienced before I found Jesus — correction, He found me! And, I’m probably not the best example of motherhood, spoiling them and trying to make life as easy as possible for them. But the truth is, my life has been incredibly difficult, and if it wasn’t for them I would have given up long ago. So, I spoil them. And love them. And cherish them. And weep over their difficulties. And the joy I experienced at the birth of my first child is still with me today, every time I see my children, or even think of them. The lights of my life still light up my every day!