Happy Birthday!

Oh God please, I cried out time and again. Please- send me a baby, as my then husband, Charles and I struggled to conceive. God’s timing is always perfect although the journey to become a mother was a challenge. Because Charles mandated, I work full-time, the illness from pregnancy compounded the difficulties with my employment. Nonetheless, the joy of my pregnancy was far greater than the obstacles of a problematical employer.

It was time! I was in labor. When I stepped on the scale, in the hospital, the admitting nurse and I were both astonished to discover that I weighed one pound less than the day my pregnancy was confirmed. My lengthy illness during the pregnancy had been an unexpected weight loss program. Now my prayer was for a healthy baby, but not yet knowing if it would be a son or a daughter. Sonograms were not routine in the early 1970’s, so only God knew the gender of this little life.

As day and night wore on, my delivery was not going as expected. My obstetrician explained the baby was not in the normal face-down position, but face-up, resulting in a longer, more painful delivery. But finally, after twenty-seven hours of labor, the doctor announced, “It’s a girl!” My excitement could not be contained. Not only was the baby healthy as I’d prayed, but the daughter I’d hoped for. I cried tears of joy.

On that chilly spring day driving to our first home as a family of three, I held our tiny daughter, Andrea, on my lap for the duration of the one-hundred-mile trip. When I learned of my pregnancy we resided in Oklahoma City. However, two weeks prior to giving birth, Charles accepted a job in the city we would call home for the next several years.

Upon our arrival, I quickly made our two-bedroom apartment a home. The apartment didn’t have space or a hook-up for a dryer, so when it was too cold to hang the laundry outside, I hung cloth diapers and baby clothing throughout the apartment, doorknobs and doorways becoming makeshift clotheslines for the metal hangers. I would have to quickly remove hangers from the front door when Charles arrived home from the office. I was so ecstatic to be a mother, such inconveniences were trivial.

From the time I was a young girl, my only desire was to be a wife and mother. Even though life altered my status as a wife, I will always be a mother; a role which has brought more exultation than words can describe. It is impossible to reflect on these past five decades of Andrea’s life without tears.

The many emotions I’ve had with Andrea from infancy, childhood, teen years and now herself a mother of four has filled not only tangible albums, but also the memories of my heart. As mothers we have the beautiful reminiscences of our children which bring us joy for the duration of our lives. Happy Birthday beautiful daughter. You are a gift I cherish daily.  Nehemiah 8:10 KJV “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

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