Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Birthday Blogging- Or, why I am not a RADish

(This is not meant to put any blame on the radicals I love so much- Just something I was thinking on)

So, today is my birthday and I am 23- and I asked myself why I have been able to make it so far, when, if you look at my life on paper, it looks like I should have some pretty big issues.

My Mom got pregnant when she was 16 and gave birth to me 10 weeks early. For the first two weeks of my life, no one could touch me, and they even told my Mom "Don't get attached to this baby." Even when I could be touched, I was fed by ng tube for another 6 weeks, as my sucking reflex was "broken"

I spent the first year of my life shrieking in pain from muscle spasms no one knew I was having, while my entire family took me from specialist to specialist trying to figure out why I cried so much, why I couldn't sit up or hold my head up, why I didn't use my left hand, why I hated being swaddled.

It's hard to love a kid like that- Pain cries especially.

But I put the blame of loving me on two people- My Mom and her mother, my Nan.

Nan was the first person to hold me. She had 10 children already, and simply took me on as #11, cutting my mother's fingernails in the caseroom so that she wouldn't scratch me with her long 80s inspired talons. She also learned how to drop the feeding tube down my nose like a pro so she could do my noon feeding when Mom went back to school, and there was *never* any talk about not taking me home once I got out of the NICU.

Mom is another story, the sheer weight of which didn't hit me until I was 16. See, my Mom made some big mistakes... So my whole life I had wondered what it would be like if I had a Mom in her 30s or 40s like my friends had... someone who wasn't taking classes or still having "girls nights out".

And then I had a pregnancy scare- REALLY only me sitting close to a boy and being very naive- and spent the worst 3 days of my life hoping my cycle would come, and scared out of my mind that it wouldn't. It came, of course. Sperm can not jump through 4 layers of clothes and across distances!

But, when it was all over and I sobbed to my Mom over the phone (I had taken refuge at Nan's just in case) "How did you EVER have a baby? Weren't you scared!! Someone must have made you!!"

She answered,

"I wanted you. From the minute I knew you were there."


Lisa said...

Gee...thanks a lot Ashley. Now you have me crying. ;-)

That was the sweetest thing!

Alyssa's Mom said...

Happy Birthday!

Linda B. said...

Happy Birthday! This is a really nice post Ashley. I just hopped over from reading your comment on my blog. Thanks for delurking! I always feel bad having to use general anesthesia for Andrew's casting, but i know it's the only way to do it with him.