I had my miracle child at the age of twenty-eight. I call my daughter a “miracle” because she should have never made it to term. To understand where I am going with this, we need to take a look back through time to before she was conceived. No, I am not going to tell you “how” she was conceived. Perverts. Use your imaginations if you must. I’ll wait. Done yet? Good grief. Rub it out already so we can move on. Done? Good. We will let the cigarettes smoke themselves as they make you a sandwich in your favorite tee shirt. Now, where was I? Oh yes. We were moving backwards through time. It is January of 2009. I had met my daughter’s father and it was a whirlwind type of courtship. It was not romantic but after being alone for so long, I got swept away anyhow. I might be so smart that I tip toe on the thin line that separates genius from madness but I also tend to wear rose tinted glasses with blinders on them when around the opposite sex. I have since busted those spectacles to smithereens but that is another story left for another time.
I found out that I was pregnant in February. Pretty quick huh? Yeah I know. Dumb on my part but hey what can you do but roll with it. I was terrified of the prospect of becoming a parent. I probably should have thought about that prior to getting myself in this particular pickle but it was too late for that now. I never wanted children, to be honest. My well-meaning mother had helped to cultivate this in me when she had me babysit an unholy terror when I was a teen. This two-year-old was the miniature nightmare on chubby legs. Discipline apparently did not exist in this child’s world. I have to admit that most of the blame is on me here. I had zero experience with children. I might have been able to wrangle this bundle of unending energy if I had one clue how to do so. Needless to say, after two, eight hour days of that mayhem, I sworn off having children of my own. My teenage legs clamped shut faster than a Venus Fly trap’s open mouth on an unsuspecting fly. Do not pass go. Access to that particular ride is denied. So sorry but take your business elsewhere buddy. Obviously, my raging hormones made me break my rule otherwise I would not have wound up pregnant years later. How and when I broke the rule is again, another story for another day.
Three months into my pregnancy, I experienced the darkest day of my entire life. During my routine exam, the nurse could not find a heartbeat. She searched and searched, growing increasingly distressed with every attempt. The doctor performed an ultra sound. The nurse did not find a heartbeat because there was not one to find. I had lost the baby. In that moment, hearing those words, my soul shattered into a thousand pieces. I did not realize how much I loved my child until she was gone. I fell into the deepest despair. My family was a great comfort over the next month in helping me pick up the pieces and move on. The going was difficult. I felt as if a piece of me had been lost forever. I learned that losing my first child was a blessing in disguise. The child had what is called Trisomy Thirteen. If my precious child had survived and been born, she would have died in early infancy. Her existence would have been a difficult one that I would not have wished upon her. Even though I lost her early and never got to gaze upon her face, her short life changed mine. I knew she was in a better place, free from sorrow and pain. She was in a place of eternal light and happiness. My Serenity Rose, as I lovingly named her, made me rethink my decision to never have children. This is a gift that I am forever thankful that she bestowed upon me.
Much sooner than was probably healthy for my body, I found myself pregnant a second time. To say that I was worried, is an understatement. The dreaded three-month examination day came. The same nurse that had attended to me on the first trip had the unlucky duty of doing it a second time. I’m not sure who was more frightened, her or me. She did her best to disguise her worry. Bless her as she knew how important this was to me. We both burst into joyful laughs when she immediately found a strong beating heart. I have never felt such relief before in my entire life. Those months that followed were some of the most difficult, because I was so sick the entire time, and rewarding, because of the growing love I had for my unborn child.
After twenty-one hours of labor, twelve of which were in hard labor, my beautiful miracle daughter was born. I should notate here that I might have turned into a bit of a demon during the delivery process but I am going to blame that solely on the drugs I was administered and my utter lack of pain tolerance. Ok, at one time my mother said all I was missing was my head turning around and vomiting up pea soup. Not my proudest moment. I honestly don’t remember being that bad but again, I was heavily drugged. We will just have to take her word for it, let me hang my head in shame while laughing at myself and thank all the stars in the heavens that my mother puts up with my shenanigans with love.
My precious little one is my miracle child for several reasons. Firstly, the umbilical cord was not attached to the placenta properly. The life carrying blood vessels did not distribute as they should have. The doctors marveled how my daughter was able to flourish given that she was not getting everything that she needed. They contributed this to the reason why she was barely five pounds at the time of delivery. I am proud to say that she is every bit as healthy today as she should be. The second reason she is my miracle child is obvious. I have been pregnant twice with only one successful birth. That alone was enough to make me fearful. The last reason she is a blessing is that I am no longer able to have children. My cycles had become so heavy and painful that a week before they started, my blood pressure would drop dangerously low. So low, in fact, that no one could understand why I remained conscious. Honestly, the one time it dropped while I was in the shower, the only thing that kept me awake was my sheer determination to not be found knocked out in my shower completely naked. I have my dignity, well most of it anyway. For my safety, my doctor decided that it was time for a hysterectomy. No more children for me. I am saddened by this, but I did receive another wondrous gift in the process, my inner child was awakened.
Do you remember playing in the dirt, getting completely covered from head to toe in the grit and grime? Now a day, most of us so called adults frown upon the prospect. Who wants to be filthy? All that leads to is mountains of laundry, weird stains that never come out, dirt in your hair, and ten types of fun. Fun? Hell yeah I said fun. I was watching my wee one attempt to build a sand castle on day in her sand box. This is when my inner child spoke up for the first time. She said, you need water to keep the sand in place. A little water never hurt anyone. With a sparkle in my eyes, I drug the water hose over to the sand box and showed my little one how it was done. An hour later, a mighty fine fortress was built. My enthusiastic toddler was chasing me around the back yard spraying me down with the hose in a most undignified manner and we were having the time of our lives. I am sure the neighbors thought we had lost our collective minds. Screw them. They could suck eggs for all I cared. My inner child was out to play. There is nothing more delightful then attempting to “run away” from a giggling toddler as she “corners” you. As she closes in on you, a mischievous smile spreads across her face as she drenches you down to your bones. This in turn, triggers full out belly laughter.
My inner child has become very chatty over the years. Anything can become a game. For instance, one time I was cleaning the kitchen. My darling little girl was “sneaking”, which involves exaggerated steps followed by muffled giggles, up behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her grab one of my kitchen towels, smiling devilishly. It was play time! Before I could help myself, I yelled out “THIEF!” and chased my laughing little bundle of joy throughout the house. For the better part of a year, my towels were never safe and I ran more in my adult life than I ever did when forced to do so in my school years.
I speak to my inner child daily. My daughter is now six. She is at that special age where her imagination is blossoming. I never know when I might fall victim to one of her booby trap experiments. I have learned to take this in stride even though I am not the most graceful of ladies under normal circumstances. I can laugh at myself when I trip over my own gigantic feet while walking on flat surfaces. Now imagine me traversing through a tangled web of rope, string, chairs and other rickrack. It never works out very well for me but always ends in her extreme enjoyment. I usually have to reel her in and get her to dismantle everything so that I may live to fight another few moments. Tis never a dull day in our house. Armed with her imagination to guide us, we embark on all sorts of adventures. One night we might be light saber fighting throughout the house while wearing Transformer masks. Another, you might find us tucked in a blanket fort watching movies, when suddenly, the Tickle Monster attacks!
Every adventure, every bought of insane laughter, every moment of pure joy that I share with my beloved daughter, I owe to those constant conversations with my inner child. Because of that, I can share in my daughter’s joy. We can create and conquer our little corner of the world. As every day passes, we learn a little bit more. Our shenanigans are of the epic kind and we live life to the fullest every single day, together. You know what, I would have it no other way.