Thursday, July 27, 2006

It had been a wet and cold June and this 4th of July was the coldest on record; on my personal record, at least. As my little boy lay sleeping upstairs, I stood at the front window and watched the rain pour into the streets, creating swiftly moving streams along the curb, streams clogged with mud and debris but moving quickly towards downtown nevertheless. I was 36 weeks pregnant.

I had been waiting for this baby for 7 months; that little boy of mine, now 3 years old, waited with me, full of anticipation for the new baby. He was a very busy boy and he kept me very busy. More busy than I wanted to be , with a big house and much responsibility. But this was my life and I accepted my responsibilities dutifully. My little boy was a curly-haired firecracker who talked and laughed and played with a curiosity and humor that was irresistible but exhausting. He was all boy. I had prayed and prayed and hoped--hoped so deeply for a girl. As the sister of 3 brothers and the mother of a boy whose father only had unmarried brothers, I really, really needed another woman in my family.

This was not the kind of thing I could say out loud to anyone in my own family, not to my mother, because it would too wonderful a thing to happen to someone like me. I could not express my fervant desire for a girl to my husband or his family because they thought the best babies were boy babies. So I stood at the window on the 4th of July and watched the rain come down, wondering what the month had in store for me, wondering where my fate lie.

I shivered and watched a log jam in the gutter break, which sent the muddy stream moving ever more swiftly down the street. Then I saw the most curious thing: pieces of sod, the size of a yard of fabric, floating down the street towards Sacred Heart. The neighbors up the street who had just relandscaped were losing their sod to this relentless rain. Just about as soon, they appeared, chasing their sod down Rockwood. I laughed to myself and turned to find a sleepy blond boy at my side, fresh from his nap. And this was my life as a 26 year old mother expecting her second child.

July 9 was the date the rain broke. It was beastly hot that day; I remember perfectly because that was the day I went into labor. I wasn't too excited to get to the hospital remembering the last marathon, so I took my time but finally decided to go when it got really hot in that big old house of ours. Good thing.

I went into the hospital through the emergency room entrance; from there I went up the non-public elevators on a guerney to the ninth floor where I was met by a delivery nurse as the door opened. A quick examination revealed that I was in the final stages, moments, of labor so they decided not to move me but to set up shop right there as a baby was going to be born any moment.

And born this baby was; She was wide awake and uttered not one cry or sound but began chewing on her fist happily. She turned her head to look up at me as She lay on my stomach, fully taking me in with her bright, pretty eyes. She watched me cry as the wish that was too impossible and too utterly wonderful to say out loud had come true. I had a daughter.

She had the face of an angel. She WAS an angel. She was an angel who was sent to me so that I could cope, I could persevere, I could survive and rise again. This angel was sent to me as covenant, much as God sent Noah a rainbow, so that I would know I was going to make it. And my little boy and I were going to be okay. On that day, my life changed forever.

I named my little bright-eyed rainbow Angela.


JBelle
Bellemaison
The 'Kan EWA

15 comments:

BX_boy said...

beautiful.

i couldn't have asked for a more wonderful and supporting sister.

sorry it took so long to get up here, these are group efforts and, as you know, world traveling takes a lot out of you.

vendella von messershmitt said...

God, Schmeebs. God.
That was, is, beautiful.

Of course.
It's you.

Mommy Dearest said...

I love my boy, but the fact is that he'll never let me paint his toenails or have much fun shopping with me or sit down to make-believe tea parties or let me play with his hair for an hour straight. Each of our children gives us a different set of adventures, challenges and reasons to love.

Pixie said...

Well... that made me cry. Good to get these things out of our systems early, no?

Sweet babies... forever your babies.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my sister is ok. Til she punched me in the face when I was asleep in the car because she was mad and thought I was "fake sleeping". Never been hit like that in my life! Other than that, she's pretty cool.

jb3ll3 said...

yeah, Rule Number One around here: never wake the baby when he's sleeping; you'll still hear about it 25 years later. :)

curtcon said...

I was just so positive my third kid would be a girl. We made girls. Perfect girls. My wife carried them all the same way, each one was two weeks early, they were all within an ounce the same weight. I remember in the birthing room...watching the head emerge and then whoosh...I kept saying "so what is it...what is it?" as a little cock n balls floated by my eyes..."It's a boy you idiot" was the doctors reply...

I remember thinking how impossible that was to me...We made a perfect boy too:-)

Mike said...

Yeah JBelle, I'm kinda the cynical dude round here but that was sweet. Was that about PDXpup of HBO fame?

jb3ll3 said...

Curt, I bet that boy is way perfect. Two big sisters? Has he ever wanted for a thing? :) I'm glad he got to go to you.

jb3ll3 said...

Mike, thank you for stopping by. I'm surprised to see you. :)

Yes, that's The Pup. She still coaches soccer and currently she has a 16, 15, & 14 year old on US National Team. They are all kids she has coached since they started playing and she was at UP. Time just evaporates....

jb3ll3 said...

This July reminds me so much of the year she was born. It was so hot and she had a hard time coping with the heat. All she could stand was a diaper; I felt like a derelict mother. Brand new baby: no clothes on 24/7. Good thing that little boy kept me otherwise occupied--I would have fretted myself into a frenzy. August came, it cooled down, I started putting clothes on her and she turned out just fine. Even has a masters' degree now!

MarmiteToasty said...

I was soooooooo scared that if I had had a girl I would of 'acted like my mother' did towards me ..... thought it might of been in me genes if I had had a girl...... so instead, I had 4 sons :)....... was mega chufted..... but it would be nice now to have some girlie things around and to hang about with..... and now I KNOW I am nuffin like my mother...... all that worry for nowt...... xx

JBelle your posting made me tears fall down me cheeks ....... luv you x

jb3ll3 said...

Mel, Now I know I'm nothing like my mother, too, and that I can love my daughter madly, and it's okay, and if she ends up "spoiled" both she and I will cope. BTW, my daughter is spoiled rotten; SPOILED ROTTEN, and is still a lovely person who is acclaimed as a champion of the people. I think 4 sons is a special gift--much like a rainbow child. :)

PDXPup said...

As long as we're bringing up past family injustices here, there's a small matter of an unsettled $50 French Toast bet...

...but seriously, thank you so much for this. I am truly blessed to have a family like mine, who puts up with my endless amount of crap with a fairly good sense of humor. The love and support I have gotten from you guys is more than any one person could ask for, so thank you.

Ana Martin said...

What a wonderful story. She radiates "blessing."