It is 7:59AM and exactly 25 years ago TODAY, my amazing daughter Belinda was born. As the doctor said that morning – she doesn’t do anything by the book. I am proud to say that is still true today. I had a rough pregnancy – bedridden at 4 months having had a stitch put in my cervix to ensure that she was not a preemie. My past mistakes were catching up with me and I desperately wanted to have this baby. My job had a phone put in at home so I could continue to work and so the journey of waiting began.
When the doctor removed the stitch, I was told that Belinda would be born any MINUTE and would be small but definitely not a preemie. That was about the last week in September. So I prepped for a small baby and waited and waited and waited. Her due date came and went but she still was not ready to be born. The doctor scheduled a stress test for 10/15 at 9AM at which point I would be 2 weeks late or should I say SHE would be 2 weeks late. Imagine my surprise when I woke up about 3AM with contractions and began nesting (cleaning the apartment) I called the doc about 5AM but I was told to just come to the stress test (it was at the hospital) and not to worry. By 6AM, I couldn’t stand up from the pain and called back. I was told to go to the hospital. Elsie hurried over to take me. Arriving at the hospital at about 6:45AM, Admitting wanted me to fill out MORE paperwork but opted out when they saw how bad the contractions were. Imagine my surprise when they told me that I was not dilated enough to have pain medicine. Doc went to do an emergency c-section only to be called out when Belinda decided to be born. NO, my water never broke. NO, I never got my pain meds. NO, Belinda was NOT tiny – at 9lbs 5oz and 21 inches long. Opps! She looked like she was 6 months old in the nursery compared to the tiny newborns.
Fast forward 10 months, when she began walking. A direct result of using the walker to move her from room to room as I cleaned the apartment. Once those little toes could touch the floor, she was off and running. We even had to teach her to crawl because the doctor told me it was important to her development. Just picture all of us crawling on the floor to play games while she walked around laughing at us. It really was comical! I tossed away the baby books when she was off the charts in the first year – she definitely wasn’t following the norm. Nothing changed over the next 16 years of her life.
Today, my talented daughter is a Social Worker studying for her Masters. She has made me proud every day of her life. Okay, so there were some days that she made me cringe with her frankness in any given situation. We always said that she had no tact – Don’t ask her opinion if you don’t want an HONEST answer. This kind of spirit has brought her great success with difficult children and dual diagnosed addicts. I am honored that she wanted to follow in my footsteps in the area of Social Work. She is blazing her own trail – with no one even trying to compare our work.
The miles between may be great – her in North Carolina and me in NJ but the bond is always there. Our family has grown with the addition of her step-dad, Rob, but our tag line of “you and me kid” will always be a reminder of our amazing journey when she was growing up. The good times and the bad, the struggles and the celebrations. I truly believe that God placed this strong-willed, loving child in my life for a reason – as her mom, I grew too and for that I am grateful. She is blazing new trails in the field of macro-Social Work, fights for causes she believes in regardless of what others think and has a heart of gold.
Happy Birthday Belinda! I love you, kid!!!