Very early in the morning 21 years ago today, I had an excessively long needle plunged into my spine. “Bring your knees close to your chest,” said skinny nurse. “OK,” said I, the one who has 70 pounds of bulging baby belly between said knees and chest. This was an impossible feat and the most fearful part of that day’s excitement. I was most terrified of falling off the cold metal table that I was laying on sideways. It was about as wide as a kitchen counter top. I was about as wide as a Barnum and Bailey circus tent. I considered my current unbalanced state of being – a reasonable thought – and the speed at which I would fall off vs the reflexes of skinny nurse and anesthesiologist with excessively long needle in his hand. No doubt, I would have splashed on the floor.
Meanwhile, JR was scrubbing up and dressing in surgery blues. My parents were at the end of their 15 hour drive. They started the MN to CO journey 1 hour post a phone call that October 8 would become the day for celebration. Babies were coming. Very early October 8, 1992 JR was ready to cut the cords, my body was successfully numb from the chest down, my was mother in the room standing next to the pediatrician (whom she had previously worked for), and my dad, waiting in the wings.
“It’s a girl!” Then: “Make that baby cry” were the 1st 7 words spoken by the doctor. One minute later (geez thanks for the breather) “It’s another girl!” That surprising statement was followed by a screaming baby who peed on the doctor. Thing One and Thing Two showed up at 5 pounds 1 oz, 5 pounds 2 oz later that early morning. Many know the tremendous relief, joy, love at first sight when those infants show up on the outside. That was true for us as well. I only saw them for a minute, then off they went with their daddy for weigh in and check up.
The next thing I remember was that starving feeling, and the non-existence of heartburn. Weeks 35-37, TUMS were my best friend and primary food source. No more pasty powdered tablets, Bring on the coffee and substantial, even spicy food! I really did have a cup of sweet powdered coffee happiness in my new mother mug as soon as I hit my regular room.
My desire for being fed was soon overshadowed by these tiny babies need for their first meal. I shall not bore you with the personal details of learning to feed a 5 pound baby with something you don’t prepare in a kitchen. I will simply comment that the learning curve was steep the first few days. I’m certain it was simpler to make my first meal as a new wife. It was special to love those little ones during breakfast ,snack ,lunch, snack, snack, dinner, midnight snack, 3 am snack 5 am snack each day/night. True confessions however, after 2 weeks, the meal time was still sweet, the sleeping for an hour and a half at a time became unsustainable.
Every year on this date for 21 years, I have made celebration food for T1 – Lyndsay Grace and T2 – Lauren Elizabeth, the non-matching focuses of my affection (after Jesus and JR). Tonight I find myself 1300 miles from these remarkable young adults. I love them even more than that day with the long needle and skinny metal table. There was no celebration food prepared in Delray Beach FL by this mother. There was however celebration food prepared in their college town. Last night Lauren and her housemate Liza cooked up a birthday dinner of Chili and Mother Mary’s Cinnamon Rolls – Laurens first solo roll out! I participated by phone support, negating the first unsuccessful proofing of yeast and cheering on the second successful attempt. No one is exempt from learning to cook by trial and error. This evening I’ve just been informed that Kathryn, another housemate, made this years birthday cake, Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with “yummy frosting!” Thank you dear Kathryn for taking on this special task.
I asked each of them separately what they would have requested I make this year. Lyndsay would have asked for Ice Cream Cake and Homemade Pizza. Lauren said: Calzones or homemade pizza, yummy salad and Dairy Queen Blizzard for dessert. Though they look different, their taste buds are hard to tell apart!
Here’s to you Thing 1 and Thing 2. I hope today was extraordinarily splendid as the two of you are.
Love Your Mother.
ps…I will make celebration food for you and friends when we come. Birthdays have extensions once you are an adult.