Monday, April 27, 2009

Mom, thank you for my birthday.

Like most good Irish Catholic sons, I think my mother is a saint -- most of the time. She certainly has earned her spot in heaven. And not the least of her many miracles (of which she has often reminded me) is the story of how I came to be.

After two miscarriages and seven live births, her doctor advised her to STOP birthing babies. He said her body had been through enough and was wearing down to the point where she couldn't handle another pregnancy. He strongly recommended a hysterectomy. She strongly recommended that he have one instead.

My mother heard another voice, which had other plans. That voice came from the vicinity of her heart, and it told her that she wasn't finished multiplying. At age 37 she was pregnant with her eighth child in 12 years. That was me.
And she was OK shrugging off the medical warnings, because, she says, she knew she had to bring me into the world.

A couple of weeks past her 38th birthday, while she and my dad were painting and papering the bathroom off their bedroom, she went into labor. Piece of cake for a woman with her track record. Boom, I came screaming into this world at 12:25 a.m. on April 27, 1965.

A few months later she was back in the hospital having that hysterectomy. There was no denying it now. Her body had gone above the call of duty. And she recounts how I would lay next to her in that hospital bed and coo and gurgle in her ear, as if I were telling her that everything was going to be fine. And she claims that's what got her through it.

Thank you, mom, for listening to your heart and not the doc.

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