I finished staining the deck that afternoon, frustrated that the labor pains I had been enduring for three solid days, had come to a screeching halt, seemingly without producing that long anticipated birth, the birth of my second child. I resigned myself to the fact that I was not in control of this situation, but that the child within would dictate arrival time, and I might as well just get on with business….at least I’d be able to sleep that night.
And sleep I did…for three and a half glorious, lovely hours….before I was bolted out of slumber with back searing pain…they were back and with a vengeance! “Great,” I thought to myself as I moved from the bed to the living room and the reclining chair that had become my “bed” of late, not wanting to disturb the soon to be father-of-two who slept beside me. I got in the chair and tried to get comfortable, but there was no getting away from this pain…this HAD to be “IT.”
Less than an hour later, having endured the uncomfortable ride to the hospital in a car driven by an “immediately awake” eagerly-awaiting-the-birth-of–his-second-child father, I was in the room, being “prepped” for delivery. All about me there were people rushing and trying to find a place to allow me to give birth. My husband was coaching me, telling me not to push, while every fiber of my body was revolting against his “suggestions.”
And only thirty minutes after our arrival at the hospital, the announcement that rocked my world was made. With the plaintive “first cries” of my newborn child, came the exclamation…”it’s a GIRL!!!”
While it should have been obvious to me, being of the human race my entire life, that there WAS a distinct possibility that the child to be brought forth was just as likely to be a girl as it was to be a boy, the realization that I had, indeed, created a daughter of my very own was astounding to me! Somewhere in the hallways of my brain, the presumption had been that the babies I created would all be of essentially the same “mold” and since my son was evidence of that mold’s characteristics, I was surprised to discover, there had been another “option.”
We named our new bundle of girl the name we had selected two years earlier when anticipating the birth of out first child. Since he had been a boy, “Jennifer Marie” seemed inappropriate, and we had given him our “male child” choice, “Stephen James.”
From the day she arrived in this world, at 5:39 am, June 16, 1983, Jennifer has been a world of surprises all her own. She has brought me untold happiness over the years and continues to do so. Early “make believe” versions of her own eventual marriage to a “handsome young man” could not have come close to the reality of life’s plan for her.
And today, as I anticipate the small ceremony that will wed Jennifer to her handsome young man, Benoit, I find myself in awe of a young woman who came from me, from my genes, and who is far from what I envisioned she’d be when first I laid eyes on my little girl. My dreams for her could not come close to the dreams she dared to dream herself. And it is with confidence that I look forward, confidence that she and her new husband will make their own way, and I will delight in their journey together.