My birthday was this week. And I almost forgot. Sure, I knew it was April and creeping up, but life has been so busy recently that I didn’t even realize how close it was until, BOOM! Birthday!
Listen, if you knew me pre-kids, this would really surprise you. You see, I didn’t just have a birthday, I had a birth season. Once April hit, it was fair game for all-about-me time. I had to get it in since my sister’s birthday is eight days after mine. So, from April 1 to 18, I celebrated me.
It’s not that I don’t like to celebrate me now — I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to celebrate themselves? Maybe it’s age and maturity, but I actually think that it is motherhood that changed that a bit. The world revolving around me crept out the door when I experienced true birthdays: the days I gave birth to my kids.
Those days of birth, they are now my favorite birthdays to celebrate. Beyond how proud I am of all of their milestones and accomplishments, I love thinking back to the days that God blessed me to bring my two little girls into the world.
Miss Maylie’s labor was calm and chill, very structured. Sailing through the entire process, I thought it was a breeze. That is, until the pushing started and her stubbornness shone through.
Funny, it is almost an exact replica of her in everyday life. Always trying to make things easier on me, she is my rule follower and helper. However, once she has something stuck in that big old head of hers (no pun intended ha), she is one persistent little girl.
Unlike Maylie, Reagan came with all sorts of discomfort and worry. Much more pain, three epidurals, nausea, oxygen, and, finally, a quick drop into position at the end leaving a bruise on her forehead after her swift arrival.
Because of my easygoing labor (and life) with Maylie, I never saw Reagan’s labor or wild personality coming. Much like those 8 hours before her arrival into this world, she still fills me with worry almost daily. And exactly like her quick arrival, she always has some surprises up her sleeve.
While I was staring at a blank page this week thinking about my favorite birthdays and trying to come up with a topic to share with you all, my mom called me. It was late. We both knew we should be sleeping and that we would both not want to get up in the morning (but we would talk about that on our phone call on our way to work in the morning).
She called for nothing. That’s what we do. “Just checking in, seeing if you were up. We should go to bed.” You know, normal things for us. And even though it was too late for such a story, my mind was already thinking about giving birth, so I asked her to tell me again about mine.
“Are you serious?” she asked, knowing I knew the story all too well. Oh, but I was serious! I mean, it was my birthday coming up, but, as a Mama myself, I knew the importance of the day — the memories of the experience — were actually hers.
As I had heard before, she shared the story of the timing of it all — how she felt contractions while walking at the mall that day, how she napped that evening, how my dad wanted to eat before they headed to the hospital. (Men!) She told me again how the nurse was insistent on her having me during her shift and how the doctor almost didn’t make it. Topping it all off was the cord wrapped around my neck and a blood transfusion.
I came in like a wrecking ball. And my teenage years proved true to that.
And yet, through the suffering of my eventful entrance into this world, the adventurous adolescence, and the come-to-Jesus college occasions, this woman is now my so-similar-in-so-many-ways best friend.
So, this birthday, year 34, I have two wishes. When asked by my little ones what I wanted, I replied very specifically: a nap. Ha! No, I am serious, I need a nap.
But I also hope that the woman that birthed me, my Mama and best friend, knows just how much I love her. It may have taken having kids myself or maybe just actually growing up, but I finally realize and truly appreciate the sacrifices and love of a mother.
It may be just another day, another year, in this fast-paced life, but I am so thankful for the lady who brought me into this world.
So, happy birthing day, Mama. I love you so much!
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.