Saturday, January 23, 2010

Birthday Season

I wrote in an earlier post that
right now is birthday season -
January through February.
January 16 - my sister, Mary Ann
January 22 - my grandmother, Ella
January 24 - Sarah, my 3rd born
February 1 - Ann, my first born
February 2 -Andrew, my 4th grandchild
February 15 - Kate, my 4th daughter
Laura Beth, my 2nd daughter, is August 12

So - picture this -

I went to the doctor in the spring of 1980 - home pregnancy tests weren't a common thing at that time - and waited by the phone the next day, for the results. The nurse called me and I can still hear her voice and how she said it - I was so nervous, sitting on the couch - by myself - eating popcorn so hard and fast. It was definitely nervous emotional eating - I had popcorn salt and grease all over my fingers as I answered the phone.

"Mrs. Rhodes?" Yes? "Congratulations! You're going to have a baby! ummmm, Let's see - it will be due January 16".

I don't remember what we said after that - and so it began - I was shaking and couldn't believe it. Charlie hadn't even gotten home from work yet - no cell phones - I just waited. He knew I'd gone to the doctor, but I didn't even tell him why - I'm so weird about stuff like that. But he'd guessed it and wasn't surprised when he came in and I told him.

And so began our official season of winter birthdays - because it was a big deal that she was due on Mary Ann's birthday - only she didn't come until February 1. They didn't induce in those days, either.

By the time I thought I might be pregnant with Laura Beth, I did take a home pregnancy test. I looked at Ann, who was only 9 months old, sitting on my hip as I read the thing, and I said, "Well, Ann, you're going to be a big sister!". That was between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1981 when I discovered that information.

My nerves and emotions and hormones - well - they took a beating during that period - my two "precious" little girls who were 18 months apart - and - parenting under those circumstances is not for the faint of heart. My hat goes off to folks who have them less than that - 16 months and 12 months. I'm 58 and I still moan when I hear of someone having them that close. My husband, Charlie, is ONLY 11 months younger than his sister. And he is the youngest of 4 siblings!

Anyway - I waited - well - we waited - and in the spring of 85, I was pregnant with Sarah. I didn't yet know it was Sarah and I also did NOT want to have another February birthday child - so the plan had been to be pregnant the next month - so her birthday would be in March. I don't know what happened. Something happened. Boom - a month earlier than planned, I was pregnant.

So - here it is January 23rd, 2010 and tomorrow is Sarah's birthday. With C-Sections we get to pick the date. My doctor would give me a date and tell me I could pick any time, a week prior and a week later. He named February 1 as the central date and then to pick around that. I didn't want for this baby and Ann to have to share a birthday - the whole "unique" thing - so I picked exactly a week earlier - to get them as far apart as possible. That's how it became January 24th - Sarah's birthday.

Sarah was born on January 24th, I came home from the hospital 6 days later and the next day was Ann's birthday party at Pizza Hut. I planned the whole thing before going to the hospital. Of course Charlie was the biggest player in that day's events as far as moving about during the party. I sat in one of the booths a whole lot.

Another thing I remember about January 22, 1986 - because then, we were checked into the hospital the day before the birth. I had a meeting of ladies at my house - to plan a conference at Calvary Baptist Church - which would be held in the spring. I knew with a new infant in tow I couldn't do much planning for a couple of months - so I had to set up the committees before going to the hospital. I know that Mary Bratton and Janice McGee were there - and several others, but what stands out about that day - I found out Mary was pregnant with Beth. Sure enough, Beth was born in September on the 24th! Janice had just had Will McGee in October - so he was only 3 months old.

It's 24 years later, Beth is getting married in May - and several of us are having a party for her in March - and again, I'm doing the preliminary planning with several ladies, because I have a grandbaby due on February 10. Again, I know that the month of February will be taken up with new baby stuff. Crazy de ja vue situation.

Life goes around and around and around.....

Exactly two years later, after Sarah was born, I was due to have Kate, my 4th. I stretched Kate's birthday 2 weeks after Ann's which would be February 14th - Valentine's Day - and I didn't want her to have to share that day with VDay - so I picked February 15th. So - we were all on a sugar high all those years in January and February and had to come off of it after the 15th.

I wanted 6 children. I still want to have had 6 children. But - it was my 4th C-Section and I was 36 about to be 37. I loved being pregnant and I loved having babies. It just worked for me. I know that for some women pregnancy is so uncomfortable. That's unfortunate. I did NOT love having C-Sections. That was not in my plan. I really enjoy having the grown children - the big family - I wasn't always a nice mommy. I wish that I had been - and with daughters - well - I've managed to "screw with their heads" a bit - not intentionally - but - alas - we have worked through a lot of it - I guess sons just don't worry about it and move on - unless they have "stuff" regarding their dads. It's that gender thing. Anyway - I am so so so so so so so grateful that inspite of my human error, my girls, who I've really really really loved (almost to a fault) have been blessed by God and He's pursued them and they all have been redeemed, regenerated into a growing love for Him - Their hearts are His. That's the only thing that matters in this world. Isn't it? That's all I want - and now I want it for Ellie, Luke, Ada, Andrew, John, and any other little bits who are tucked away, waiting to be born into this family. I prayed for my children before I was even married - before I knew who I would marry. I did. I'd forgotten that until just now. I did. It used to be fresh in my mind - because I prayed fervently for each of my children during my marriage - before each one was conceived. I did that so much and it was so important to me. It's an eternal matter - issue that is thought out in the heavenly realms - is it not? "All of our ordained days were written in His book before one of them came to be." David says that of himself in Psalm 139 - so it has to be so for us, also.

Anyway - I didn't just "decide" on my own not to have anymore C-Sections or that I couldn't have children after I reached the age of 36 - but we weighed everything and prayed about it all and my doctor I think thought I was crazy to have 4 - He wasn't at all about it - I think most everyone thought I was a bit extravagant and wreckless to have 4. It wasn't a popular choice then - Stopping at 4 seemed like the way God was leading us - but I grieved after that. I had myself "fixed" during that last C-Section. That was tough.

Hopefully the body of Christ is beginning to move in the other direction - that children are indeed a blessing - a gift and not an inconvenience - we have lived such calculated, extravagant, selfish lives in this world for so long - and we are so cocooned that Mothers are rather alone in the nurturing of their children. But I'm not gonna get into all of that.

It's Birthday season in the Rhodes' home. Fortunately my sons in law have a May and an August birthday. Actually August is beginning quite a collection of birthdays - LB, Ada, Scott and then Luke is September. Ellie and Steve are April and May. I guess if we have enough people we'll pretty much cover up all the months. But this new little Moore baby is due right in the middle of our traditional Birthday season. He's joining the original cluster.

I have a special birthday post of pictures for tomorrow on Sarah's birthday. :-)

No comments: