the first one...
today i am recalling the events which led to my eldest child's birth.
some people might call it "Babies Having Babies".
while i was certainly the most mature 21 year old i'd ever met, in reality i was an infant myself. spiritually. i made the decision to quit college, marry young, and get a real job. what a life we were living! brand new house (mortgage - $329/mo.), brand new car (1979 thunderbird) and brand new boat (24' sea ray cabin cruiser that we kept in our driveway, which made it necessary to park on the street). to these defining possessions we were adding a child. perfect.
back in the day, early gender identification was a crap shoot so we decided not to have the official guess and be surprised with whoever god brought to us and just decorate in primary colors...which we all know is the major reason anyone REALLY wants to know...to solve the nursery design mystery.
because i came of age in the 70's, i chose no drugs for delivery. ( i also read breastfeeding books published by LaLeche League so that should tell you i was basically a dairy cow for all of my 20's.) poor baby jourdan. tugged into this harsh world with forceps, and then given a name that cannot be found on any magnets, mugs, or mini license plates. while i was weak, weak, weak with post-partum exhaustion, my mother-in-law slid a quick one in on me and asked me to spell my new baby's name with a "u" since it happened to be a family name on her father's side...of which we were totally unaware or else jourdan's name would have been "alexandria" or "edith" instead.
i was supposed to go back to work after 6 weeks and finish out my first year at my job so i could get a check for 2 weeks paid vacation. i opted not to for a couple of reasons:
1.) i could not tear myself away from this child,
2.) when i told my boss (a proud member of N.O.W. and hater of babies) that i was pregnant, she asked, "well...are you going to HAVE it?" uhmmm....yeah, jerk. i'm not only going to have "it", i am going to be proud to be a mother who doesn't have a career that requires a business card and sensible shoes. so we sold the sea ray and became poor so that i could stay home with my perfect baby daughter with a "u".
at first, she slept in a hand made cradle next to my side of the bed. i tied one end of my robe belt around the rocking part of the cradle and held onto the other end so that i could lay in bed and rock her after she woke up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night. and jourdan loved to rock. i rocked her every day until i was too pregnant with her sister to lift her up out of the chair after she fell asleep. i'm sure that was traumatic for her. she was one of those you had to lay down with in order to get her to sleep.
if i knew then, what i know now, i would have laid down with her every night until she left home for texas at the age of 22. she has been "that" kid. the compliant one. the peaceful one. i should have had an inkling what her personality would be like when i was told my due date was dec. 24th and i stated, "i do not want to have this baby before christmas because i don't want to be in the hospital on christmas day." so she waited until the 27th, after i had packed up my christmas decorations, to come stay.
i could write an entire day about this first one. how we grew up together, how she became a friend, how proud we are of her, how strong she is, the way she cares for her younger siblings, her loyalty, her gifts, her importance to us. but today, i will just reflect that she is ours and i'll never understand why. except that god has used her to grow me up and to teach me unconditional love and make me grateful i know jesus better because of her.
Happy Birthday, Jourdan.