milestones

babygirlfifteen years ago today I gave birth to my only child, my daughter. It was a difficult pregnancy, as I went into premature labor at twenty-six weeks when she weighed about two and a half pounds. In 1989 there was very little chance of survival at that stage and I spent the next eight weeks in a perpetual state of high alert. With the help of the midwives and the medical staff at the University of Michigan hospitals I managed to hold on to her until just two weeks shy of my due date.

She came into the world on May 5 at 9:10 in the morning, by c-section, rounded and pink and squalling, five pounds, twelve ounces.

Three years from this spring she’ll be graduating from high school and getting ready to go off to college. This great adventure, this raising of a daughter, will enter a new phase and we will watch and worry from afar, and assure each other that she is doing well, that she will turn to us when she needs us, that we made the most of her childhood and adolescence, and most of all, that she’ll come home to see us not because she needs to, but because she likes us, and wants to. That’s my wish, on her birthday.

7 Replies to “milestones”

  1. It will happen that way. Our family is living proof. Our oldest daughter, who is heading off to law school in DC this fall, was a teenage tyrant. We used to be afraid to come home some days, knowing what creature lurked in the upstairs bedroom. Now, she visits frequently (she’s here now, in fact). She’s smart and funny and charms us every minute.

    Our younger daughter will be flying the coop in a couple of months. It’s sad, but I’m hopeful that she too will want to return.

    Happy birthday to your girl.

  2. I always wanted a May birthday… the picture is adorable. I was born at 31 weeks, and therefore have grown up hearing stories about having a premature baby! You have my respect, (i realize you didn’t give birth till later – but still) Fifteen is a real krazy year… (I’m not that far ahead) so wish her good luck!

  3. thank you (everyone) for your kind comments. It’s a week later and the birthday glow has worn off, but I think we’ll keep her, anyway.

  4. Belated many happy returns to your daughter.
    Our eldest daughter (& child) was 15 on 8th June 2004, and I agree that we have reached another delightful,daunting step on the journey of parenthood.
    I have often observed that no matter how skilled we may get at parenting, the eldest child (or only child), is always a learning curve for all concerned.
    Kind Regards,
    Sally. (South Island New Zealand)

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