Today is my baby boy’s 22nd birthday. Like all three of my children, he ignored his due date and lingered with me for awhile. Though my midwife Peggy (aka the Babycatcher) knew this was a pattern with me and mine, she thought the baby was getting too big and decided she better hurry things along.
“Happy Birth-day!” she said greeting me at the hospital on the morning of the 10th to break my waters. “See you back here in a few hours–just go about your business until labor begins.”
Easy for her to say. She wasn’t the one who would be hooked up to an IV and induced if she didn’t go into active labor within the next 24 hours. But I did my best to have a normal day. I went out to breakfast with my husband, played with my little girls, took a short walk in the woods and an even shorter nap. But still no labor.
“Go to the movies,” said my mom who was already in town hoping to help with the new baby. “The girls and I will bake a pie if you’ll pick up some ice cream on the way home.”
So off we went to “Mister Johnson,” a Pierce Brosnan movie set in British Colonial Nigeria that I’d recap if I could. I think it had something significant to say about race relations and overcoming challenges, but I was embarking on a challenging period of my own. Mid-movie I felt that familiar low-down cramping that told me labor was finally underway.
We left the movie uncertain about whether we should stop for ice cream or check into the maternity ward and pulled into a grocery store parking lot two blocks from the hospital to call Peggy–on a pay phone, I guess?–for advice.
Peggy said to head over to the hospital where she’d see us sometime in the middle of the night. Fifteen minutes and one admission exam later the nurses called her and told her to get over to the hospital NOW. Within half an hour all 9 pounds and 10 ounces of William Grey Pritchett had arrived. I learned then that when that boy decides to do something he does it quickly, efficiently and with a lot of enthusiasm!
So on this Mother’s Day weekend I’m celebrating the chance I’ve had to mother three terrific kids, but today I’m grateful for Will. And for Peggy who helped usher in all of my kids. And to my own mom, who bakes the best pies ever.
Looking for a few last minute ways to celebrate another mom or your own mothering experience? Consider:
1. Babycatcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent. Yes, she was my midwife and is a good friend but she’s also a terrific storyteller.
2. Roses. Personal favorites? Abraham Darby, Bewitched, Bonica, Hot Cocoa, Julia Child, Just Joey, Sterling Silver, and to honor my own mom, Wise Portia.
3. Ancestry.com membership—to help connect all the mothers who came before.
4. 21-Day Meditation Challenge – Perfect Health by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Helpful, hopeful meditations to download.
5. This recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie—both the crust and filling are exceptional.
Happy Mother’s Day!