It’s Mini Me’s 25th birthday today.
I can remember the day I discovered I was pregnant with her – just six weeks after her Dad and I decided to start a family. To be honest as a young girl I never dreamt about having children, in fact, my dreams always stopped at my wedding day (but that's a whole other blog post!). I never gushed over babies, on the contrary, I avoided them. In fact, I agreed to start a family because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my (now ex) husband would be an outstanding father and that was good enough for me! So after a couple of years of marriage, the decision to start a family was made (no pun intended!).
I can’t recall why I thought I was pregnant as I never had morning sickness at all so I guess it's just in my DNA to anticipate things! On that evening in 1993 when I rushed into the bathroom with my pregnancy kit as soon as I got home from work, Dad-to-be was a little intrigued by my suspicious behaviour, to say the least. When I emerged three minutes later announcing the news that we were going to be parents hilarity ensued as Dad-to-be endeavoured to pack my hospital bag!
I remember the day we decided on her name. Names are important (do you know any children named Judas or Jezebel?) so I wanted a name that was unique and special - like the child I knew we would raise. I was three months pregnant and convinced I was carrying a girl. We liked Robyn but decided on Terri and "May" had already been decided upon as it’s my mother’s middle name. When we said her full name we liked the way “Terri-May” sounded - yeah, we thought it sounded a little “Southern” too - and decided just like that to make her name double-barrelled.
I remember going into hospital with the first signs of labour. I was four days early but boy was I ready! My bags were packed weeks beforehand and both Grandmothers-to-be had arrived and were just as eager as me to meet ... well, we didn't know for sure if I was having a girl or boy so the anticipation was real. When we got to King's College Hospital I was convinced I was a lot - and I mean four times more – further along than what I actually was! This, I later realised, meant that the pain I was experiencing was nothing compared to what was coming.
I remember the gas, the Pethidine and the epidural – which, I have to say, all felt perfectly natural to me! Then the labour really kicked in and I mean REALLY kicked in like an agitated rodeo horse. It was then the midwife chose to inform me that no more epidural could be administered as it was necessary for me to feel the contractions to know when to push. Say what now?
I remember my beautiful Mother praying fervently at the end of the bed as she watched her only child writhe in mind-altering pain (no I am NOT being at all dramatic …) with an expression on her face that transmitted to me “My darling if I could bear this for you I would”.
I remember my sweet Mother-in-Love patiently coaching me on how to breathe (with six children of her own she was more than qualified in this department).
Oh yeah … and I vaguely remember Dad-to-be’s overuse (bless his heart) of the word “Puuush!”
I remember in my delirium noticing concerned looks being exchanged by the young midwives followed by a doctor being consulted and then being rushed into theatre.
Then not long after, I remember the moment – the very instant (some 24 hours after entering the hospital I might add) that we were told “It’s a girl!” and saying to Brand-New-Dad, “We have Terri-May!”
And finally, I remember as if it were this morning, the moment Mini Me was carefully placed into my arms. Up until this point, I had no idea that God had buried deep inside me a secret trust fund of love that would only be released when THIS special and unique child was born. I was overwhelmed then and I am overwhelmed now - exactly 25 years later.