|Cade, December 2010|
|Cade, 4 Days Old|
Today is Cade's eleventh birthday. I found the following in my myspace notes; I wrote it three years ago, before I had baby daughters.
Just over eight years and one hour ago, my son was born. He was 16 days late. The 14th day after my due date was a Sunday, so the doctors induced my labor at 9 AM on the 15th day (January 24th). They inserted some kind of pill inside me, but they did not break my water. My water broke on its own while my pastor was visiting with me. The nurse was not convinced my water had broken, but I knew I had not peed myself. Someone put a fluid sample under a microscope, and lo and behold, I was "ferning."
I remember playing a lot of Yahtzee with my ex-husband and my mother that day. I did not have any medication until around 5 pm, when I started to get very tired, and the pain seemed unbearable. I took Stadol. Around 8 pm, I requested a shot of Epidural. The nurse put the (very long) needle in incorrectly the first time, and my mother had to leave the room so she wouldn't beat the nurse to death. Everything went smoothly the second time.
I did not scream all day. I was not mean, as my ex-husband feared I would be. I cried many, many silent tears.
When it was time for my son to be born, I pushed harder, longer than I was asked to push. I stared at my striped toe socks and declined the doctor's offer to watch, in a mirror, my son's head crown. My son shook his head back and forth as he was leaving my body. The doctor laughed and said, "Your son does not want to be born."
And then Cade was here. It was just after midnight on January 25th. My ex-husband cut the thick, blue umbilical cord. He, my mother, and I all cried. Cade weighed 9 lbs., 5 oz., and he was 20" long. I was almost 26 years old.
I look back and feel like I was born that day, also. I felt a shift inside me. I became cautious, protective...not only of Cade, but also of myself. I can't allow anything bad to happen to me; I am someone's mother. I can honestly say that, for the past eight years, I have not made one single, solitary decision without considering the well being of my son. Someday, he will ask me about certain decisions I have made, and it will be a privilege to explain them. I have to be fair, and I have to be kind. But I am allowed--obligated, even--to be honest.
I have a ferocious, savage love for my son. I love him most and best, and best and most. I watch him dance, laugh, and skip. I watch him love others, and I know: as many things as I have screwed up in my lifetime, I have not failed my boy. I may have been someone before he was born, but the self I have come to accept, even love, is the mother of my son. If I seem confident to you, if I seem happy to you, it's because I know God loves me. The proof of His love for me is the remarkable child He gave me, as a gift.
Someday, when Cade is grown, I will tell him how hard it was to let him go three nights a week and Saturdays. I will tell him there were nights I cried because I couldn't smell his hair and tuck him into bed. And I will tell him that--because it was best for him--I kept a smile on my face for him, shared him with his dad. He is a light. He is a bright light. He is a bright, sparkling scarecrow light.
He is the love of my life.