Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Melody!

That's me, twenty-five years old and pregnant with my one and only child. On the evening of July 28, 1974, I went to bed as usual, only to be startled minutes later by a loud pop and a gush of water. Got back out of bed, threw some curlers in my still wet from a shower hair, and sat under the hair dryer. David headed to the store for donuts and cigarettes, then sat playing his guitar while waiting for me to get done. Then it was off to the hospital, where we waited for our breech baby to make her appearance, thankfully without a c-section.

At 4:47am on July 29, 1974, our beautiful daughter, Melody, was born. As with every mother since time began, I can't help but go back to that day in my mind, remembering most of it as if it was yesterday.

I had had a miscarriage in my early 20s, which I would find out many years later was most probably caused by my being hyprothyroid or having uterine tumors. I would also have miscarriages after she was born, and a hysterectomy five years after, so she was, indeed, my miracle.

Adding to the excitement of being pregnant with her was the fact that, since I myself was adopted, she would be the first blood relative I had ever known or touched. And, not surprisingly, I couldn't help but imagine what my birth mother might have felt knowing that she would give birth to a baby that she would be giving up.

Can any mother forget those early days in the hospital, the joy of holding that little bundle? Is there a mother anywhere who isn't scared beyond belief, especially the first time, and who doesn't worry about their ability to mother effectively?

I never tired of holding my girl, touching her, especially those tiny delicate hands, and looking deeply into those big brown eyes. So many things lay ahead of us ... tantrums, laughter, tears, dreams, the humdrum of daily living ..

First ice cream cone ...

First birthday ...

Early love of a good book ...

A budding musician ...

Fashionista ...

potty training ...

first terrible illness (acute cerebellum ataxia) ... terrible twos (and threes, and fours) ... first bike ... kindergarten ... first period ... first talent show (Eidelweiss on a flute) ...first date ... first trip to a gynecologist ... first kidney stone (and second, and third) ... first teenage job (which she applied for and got before even telling us about it) ... first car (which she bought and paid for herself) ...prom queen ... filling out college applications ... first trip driving by herself from Georgia to Colorado (I knew the true meaning of fear!) ...
Before I even knew what had hit me, in a blink of an eye, her childhood ended, the teenage years were safely passed through, she was off to college, working as a school counselor, married ... and becoming a mother herself.

My lovely daughter, no longer a little girl, but a woman for many years now.

I know I've said this in every birthday card since you were born, but the message will never change: I'm so incredibly thankful for having had you in my life, and for the close relationship that we continue to share. You are the most joyous gift I have ever received, the thing I am most proud of in my life. I would never have thought that I could love you any more than I loved you on that first day in 1974, but my love for you has grown with each passing year. It's absolutely incredible that a human heart can hold all that love, which you will find out for yourself now as you watch your own boys grow to manhood.

Happy birthday, Melody. How is it possible that you are 35 years old? Wasn't it just yesterday ... ?

5 comments:

Missy said...

Wonderful post! What a beautiful tribute to your daughter on her birthday. I have tears in my eyes! She is so lucky to have you as her Mom. :)

glnroz said...

Old Man here,,,,Ohh myy gooodnessss, I gotta call my babies after this post. One is coming to my house tonight with my little "Sputnick" and "Watermelon Eater"(pics on blogsit). Cant wait. You both are fortunate..You made my screen fuzzy,,,:)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Oh, Linda. What a beautiful post. And I'm jealous - you looked way too good at almost nine months pregrant. And your face was beautiful as well. Congrats on having a lovely daughter. You are lucky. Great post.

Wander to the Wayside said...

I actually gained about another 15lbs in the next few weeks, until my belly was so high that my tonsils were almost pushed out of my throat!

Ginger said...

What a great post. I love the way you wrote it.
What a beauty, both you and your daughter. Her family picture on the beach is really nice.
I too, had babies in the 70's, but boy, I was a whole lot bigger than you. Especially with the twins!!
Happy Birthday to Melody.