I remember it like it was yesterday.
I felt a funny feeling in my rather large belly. Not really a pain, but more of a tightness. It was 6 AM. I lay in bed for an hour. The tightening was starting to get a little more painful and was now coming at 5 minute intervals.
Finally, at 7, I got up and told my mom. I pointed to my stomach and said, "I think it's time."
My dad was in the shower. My mom went and told him it was time to go to the hospital, but he didn't believe her. He went through his normal routine.
His face turned pale when he came out and saw me sitting on the edge of the bed holding my belly and panting.
I got up and got dressed. I put on make up and curled my hair. (I know, what was I thinking?)
Then, it was off for the hour drive to the hospital. I felt every little bump in the road. Every time I moaned a little my dad would speed up.
Finally, we arrived at the hospital around 9 AM and I was settled into the room.
It was a long day. Someone was in the room with me all the time. But, there was one time when everyone had gone somewhere and I was all alone.
And, I panicked. The enormity of what was about to happen hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn't think I was ready for this, not the labor itself (although I wasn't ready for that either), but I wasn't ready to be a mom. I was scared to death.
Finally, at around 7:30 that night I started pushing. And I pushed. And I pushed. And I pushed. I screamed some and I pushed some more. Then, I screamed some more. One of the nurses grabbed my face and squeezed.. hard. She told me to stop screaming and to breath. I was confused, didn't you have to breath to scream?
Finally, the Dr. came in. He kept telling me to push.
"Come on Penny, one more push."
"Come on Penny, one more push."
"Come on, just one more."
Are you starting to see a pattern here? I stopped believing him. I remember at one point I said , "I can't do this." He assured me that I could. He was right.
At 8:42 PM the pushing stopped.
He was here. He was perfect. He was mine.
I had wondered if I really had a purpose. People treated me like I didn't. After all, I was just another pregnant teen. But, the moment they laid him in my arms, I knew why I was here.
I was made to be his mom.
I took him home and I loved him with love that I never knew existed, pure, unconditional love.
Nothing else mattered to me, but him. He was my life. He was my heart. He was my inspiration.
I've loved him for 16 years now. I've tried to be a good mom. I've tried to lead by example. I've tried to be his teacher. But, I think he's been mine.
We've been through a lot, just the two of us. Many times when I wanted to give up, I'd look into his little face and find my motivation to go on, my motivation to be a better person.
I can't imagine my life without him. I don't know where I'd be had I not had him. But, I do know this, I wouldn't be happy. I couldn't be. A part of me would be missing.
If someone had told me when I was younger that I would get pregnant when I was 16 and that the father would leave me to raise the baby all by myself, I would have told them they were crazy.
I would have done whatever it took to stay on the path I had chosen. I was going to college. I was going to be a nurse. A baby was not in the plans and I wouldn't give up my dreams.
But, I didn't know. I thought his "sperm donor" and I would get married. I thought we'd be one big happy family with the white picket fence.
I'm so glad I didn't know. I would have changed it and I wouldn't have one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
He's my baby and I love him more than life itself. I've always told him he's my dance.
"Now I'm glad I didn't know,
The way it all would end,
The way it all would go,
My life is better left to chance,
I could have missed the pain,
But, I'd of had to miss.....the dance."
Happy birthday Holden! I love you!