Today is "Baby Girl's" birthday. She will always be my baby girl, but the nickname was given to her by an aunt. It now always reminds me of the book, "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl", but she appeared before the book and somehow I think I said those very words when I knew I had a daughter after two sons.
A mother loves her children. Doesn't matter what the sex, she only asks that they be healthy, and from there it doesn't really matter. With two boys already I was pretty sure I carried another near my heart. I remember little being different with this pregnancy, though subtle things happened towards the end that I just put to being the way this miracle happened and was scripted to end. She was 3 days over the due date, the closest any of mine had been to getting here near when they were supposed to. The last visit to the doctor, a day before the due date, he told me the baby was dropping, which is usually a good sign. I had gone to bed the night before uncomfortable, but then when you're nine months pregnant, you're in perpetual "uncomfortable". I woke up somewhere after midnight noticing that I had "leaked" a bit and that every time I rolled over, more seemed to leak out. I wasn't sure it was my amniotic fluid or water responsible as when I had Ryan it broke in the hospital in labor and came out in one large whoosh, and with my other son, the water was broken during the last stages of labor. I hadn't noticed any contractions but towards early morning contractions started, and I got up to start walking, as I had no intention of heading to the hospital before the contractions were strong and fairly close together. Korey had been 5 hours start to finish and only two of those hours were in the hospital, so I had motivation to stay home as long as possible.
I don't rememeber the weather that day as I did so well with Korey. It had been August and warm as I had walked outside when labor started with him. I have to believe it was probably a day much like today is dawning to be, partly sunny with clouds, the snow had disappeared but temperatures only in the 40's. I kept Kurt home from work, pretty sure this was it. The contractions seemed to be coming pretty regularly and the amniotic fluid continued to leak but there never was any great flow. After calling Mom to tell her my suspicions, my dear Dad came right over, sure this was it and took the boys home with him. This was about 10 in the morning and after that I just sat down and waited. In hindsight, probably not what I should have done as it slowed down the contractions and they became irregular. We went all afternoon and they never seemed to attain the strong contractions I remembered from the other two in the end. At 3:00 p.m. we called the hospital and they urged us to come in, in the advent my water really was breaking as I risked infection if I let it go too long. So, we headed for the hospital, a half hour away.
Upon examination at the hospital, it actually was amniotic fluid and I was set up in a room and a bed. Unfortunately, the birthing room which was a new addition to the labor wing, and which meant I wouldn't have to be transferred to delivery wasn't available. I had it for Korey and it was wonderful to stay in the same room, labor, and deliver and recover. Now, from what I understand it is the norm, but back then, just like knowing the sex of the baby, for most of us its time had just not arrived. I sat in a rocking chair unwilling to be strapped and monitored in bed until it became completely necessary. By the early evening, the doctor on call decided it was necessary to "augment" the labor which meant taking an IV drug to essentially induce heavy labor. I had always managed to avoid being induced but no such luck this time. Luckily, I was far enough along that it didn't take but a few hours to get to the point of transition and heading to the delivery room. In their haste to get everything set up in the delivery room, the overhead mirror that had allowed me, literally, to see Ryan being born was not adjusted. By that time I didn't much care as getting this baby into the world was all that was on my mind.
At 9:31 p.m., Ann-Marie was born. When the doctor told me it was a girl, I didn't believe him as I had just talked myself into a boy and thought the lovely name we had picked out, named for both of her grandma's would never be used. She was healthy and already then had a pretty good set of lungs on her. When laid on my stomach to cut the cord, she immediately wet on me. That's my Baby Girl.
We waited in recovery until they brought her to us before we called both sets of grandparents. She was the first granddaughter for my family and as I called Mom and Dad, she was crying loudly and I told Mom laughing, "Here is the girl, you wanted". That year my daughter happened to be born on Good Friday, the saddest day in the World's history, but also the day of hope for what had been promised, had come and been fulfilled.
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl. For twenty eight years, you have filled my life with joy and all the emotions in between and around. You have made me a keeper of the flame of life, and you are truly God's greatest gift to me. Happy Birthday....