When you think of launching something, you generally think of a business, or an app, or a missile. Something that requires a lot of effort and work. Certainly not a baby. Unless you’re me. Let me introduce myself: I’m Shana, Margaret’s mom. Twelve years ago today Margaret was launched. I use “launch” because I think it sums up how I have felt about my oldest daughter since she was born on August 6, 2004. She’s never been what you’d call an ‘easy’ child. And I don’t care that she hasn’t been easy. I’m not the easiest person in the world so she’s very much my daughter that way. But let’s just say that nothing really ever came easy about her from the day she was conceived. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Since this is my inaugural post for I Can’t Relate Blog, I figured I’d start out with a pre-Margaret story to set the backdrop for what I mean about Margaret not being easy.
It started in the womb. When I was pregnant with her, her bilateral ventricles (the ones located in her brain) apparently thought they were grass and kept growing. My OB-GYN was concerned that she had either a genetic disease or developmental condition so they asked me if I wanted to abort her. I told them I wouldn’t, that even if her butt ended up on her lip I’d still love her (although then I couldn’t have said, “don’t sh_t where you eat!” and I really do love that saying so it worked out well that her butt ended up where most people’s butts end up). We had so many high resolution ultrasounds of her during my pregnancy that my husband wrote a “How to read sonograms so you don’t have to wait for the results from your doctor for dummies” book – but that’s another story. I refused all the genetic testing because I wanted to be happy during my pregnancy. Apparently, I’m not a “need to know” kind of person – I’m a “need to delude myself” kind of person.
So fast forward to August 5 – the day before Margaret’s launch day. My water breaks and I go into labor immediately and within an hour my contractions are a few minutes apart. I push for around 3 ½ hours and am told that despite her small size, she’s too big to launch organically. They prep me for a C-section. It’s now the wee hours of the morning on August 6. A bunch of pushing and shoving behind the curtain ensues and then suddenly I hear this baby cry. The nurse is holding her and brings her over to my side of the curtain to meet her. For those who know me, I am a very direct person. So you can imagine that, amid exhaustion, two epidurals and lots of meds, I’ve got no inhibitions whatsoever. So I turn my head to see my beautiful baby for the first time, and say to the nurse, “Is she all f—ed up?” The nurse, clearly not used to a new mother asking this type of question in this manner, says, “No, no she’s absolutely perfect!” So I say, “No, really, you can tell me. I just want the truth. Is she f—ed up?” It wasn’t like I wasn’t going to love her if there was something wrong. I just had to know!
At that point, my husband stepped in and reassured me that she was healthy and that they were doing an ultrasound on her brain to confirm – and they did.
Once we took her home, things were still not easy. It’s like Margaret and I couldn’t relate even from launch. I wanted to sleep at night, Margaret liked to scream. I liked to stay clean, Margaret liked to explosively poop all over me when I was changing her. I liked to relax when I nursed her, Margaret liked to pretend I was chewing tobacco. Throughout the years, we’ve experienced more of these situations. Now that she’s older, we’re both shaking our heads, thinking, “I can’t relate.”
So bringing this full circle, Margaret and I are committed to sharing our different life perspectives on this blog. And it starts now, on this day – the 12th anniversary of Margaret’s launch day.
Happy 12th birthday Margaret – you’re the “launch” of my life!