My Little Girl Yesterday, My Friend Today, My Daughter Forever

My Little Girl JLM

 26 years ago, January 16, 1987, 5:21am, a miracle happened. Kenny and I, was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Kyla Shay, weighing in at 7 lbs 3 ounces, and 22 ¼ inches long. She had blue eyes and soon enough would have blonde hair.

 I was a virgin until I met Kenny (Kyla’s Daddy). And I was a virgin with no sense of knowledge to anything… and I mean ANYTHING. For instance, how is a baby actually conceived? How did the girl deliver a baby? What does it mean when your water breaks? What exactly is dilated? Where is the cervix? What is morning sickness? What is an ultrasound? What is the after birth? What is postpartum depression? How does breast-feeding work? How did that milk get in that breast?! What is an epidural? Why am I swelled? Why do I have odd cravings? Why do I get nauseated at the sight and smells of certain foods? Why do I pee every time I sneeze? Why do I feel I have to pee all of the time? Why am I constantly hungry? Why do I have to take vitamins? Why am I moody?

 I was 19. Kenny was 20 when I got pregnant. We were high school sweet hearts, dated for 4 years, and were in love. We already had plans to get married. It was actually Kenny’s college graduation weekend when we took the pregnancy test. I was awfully nauseous for no apparent reason and I felt different then how you feel with the flu. We questioned the first one, and even questioned the second one when they both came up positive. Could it be?

 I came from a very strict, well grounded, and groomed childhood, my dad a preacher, and my mom a preacher’s wife. Growing up we may not have always seen eye-to-eye or communicated very well. We didn’t discuss sex or anything related to it. Sex was taboo and was frowned upon until marriage. And even after marriage, sex was still kept on the down low.

 In High School, I didn’t really have any big dreams or goals in life as far as what occupation I wanted to go in. Nothing ever really stood out. I knew I wanted to have a family, be happy, enjoy life, and be the best wife and mom I could. I knew I wanted to be young too, just so I could still be able to run, play and enjoy my child through those wonderful and exciting childhood years.

 After test number two and after Kenny’s graduation, my mom and older sister took me to the family doctor so I could get on birth control (A little late for that!!!). I remained silent about the news. We had our wedding date set and Mom thought it might be a good idea to go ahead and get on birth control to get it in my system before the wedding. Oops! I didn’t have the heart and wasn’t prepared to inform my parents of the news. So I played it off as though I was still virgin. Double Oops! Young and naive. When we arrived at the doctors office I assumed they would prescribe me the pills and I’d be on my merry way, giving me some time to stall until I’d have to let Mom and Dad know. Nope. I went into the back room and they did a urine test.

To my not-so-surprise, the test showed I WAS PREGNANT.

 The sad part, the nurse and the doctor went out into the waiting room and informed my big sister and Mom of the news. I felt cheated that day. Is this the way to start becoming a Mom? I was of age, I should’ve had that opportunity to share the news, especially on my own time schedule.

 My due date was set for Christmas Day but it was obvious after 9 months of carrying my baby girl in my tummy we developed a bond. We were both unsure if we were ready to separate. Once my belly started to bottom out, the constant dribbling pee every time I sneezed, and the swollen tight ankles and feet, we (Kyla and me) agreed it was time. It became obvious it wouldn’t be a good idea for her to stay in there forever. She would soon grow too big for me to carry. I was excited to see this little life that I had taken part in creating and nurturing. I already loved her, now I wanted to hold her and create a life with her outside.

 It’s an out of the body experience to give birth. It’s almost beyond belief. Giving birth, it’s like having the strength of the world’s strongest woman. I could’ve lifted a car by one finger. Also, you know you were pregnant. You gave birth. But that 9-month period of carrying a little bundle, your body goes through a lot of changes. You body is and will no longer be how it was 9 months prior to getting pregnant. You now have loose skin, stretch marks, pain, stitches and exhaustion.

 I might not have known a lot going into this whole having a baby bit, but I did learn as I went along. For example, I know you have an enema prior to giving birth so you don’t crap on the doctor. The nurses shave your vagina to prevent irritation, infection, and make for easier clean up. An epidural is a shot to relieve some of the pain (NOT for me!). They spank the baby to wake it up, so they can clean out its ears, nose, and throat to prevent choking on any mucus. I know the reason of warming milk and letting the air out of the baby bottle – this prevents a bellyache. I learned how to change a diaper, bath, and dress a baby. Sing and rock my little girl to sleep. I learned how to schedule feeding times, and how to pump breast milk. I learned standing in a hot shower will not relieve breast pain (The beating of the water only manipulates the breast and causes it to fill up with more milk!). I learned to dress a baby the way you dress. If you are shorts, they will be comfortable. Babies can over heat and freeze. I learned baby’s cry. This is the first learning process. When you don’t pick them up every time they cry, no matter how much you want to. I learned there is no right or wrong way of parenting, as long as you show love, honesty, respect, and always have an open ear ready to listen. And be on call 24/7. Stay involved and never stop being a parent at any age.

 One thing is for certain; parenting never gets easy, for my parents today and even for myself. It is a full-time job, from birth to adulthood. My parents did the best job they could do in raising me. For all they knew about parenting was what they had observed from their parents. A parent’s job is never done and that’s one of the biggest pleasures of being a mom. I choose to be in Kyla’s life, then, now and in the future. I choose to be in her life and take part in sharing all of her dreams, goals, and ambitions. I have always been and will always be her biggest fan. I enjoy being her mom and I was so blessed with a beautiful and loving child. I have always said to her, it doesn’t matter what you choose to do in life as long as you are happy.  For what you love you will be good at and the things you are good at people will notice and love.

 Would I change anything if I could about having a child so early? Or the way we have raised her?

Absolutely not.

Trail and Error.

 You learn from your mistakes.

 I chose to take the way I was raised, the good and the not so good, and apply the good and change the bad. And make it to the best I possibly could. I’m not a perfect mom. But I strive everyday to be the best mom I could possibly be. We love our daughter and she was so perfect to us, we decided to stop at one and leave well enough alone. We didn’t want to jinx it by having 2 or more.

 Being a young mom, I learned that many people like to voice their opinions whether you asked for it or not. The best thing to remember is you have the final say. Everyone learns by doing, and no one is the perfect parent. You learn as you go, follow your heart.

 I love you Kyla Shay, and I am the fortunate one. For I was blessed with you!

 I love being a mom. I loved it then, I love it now. And I will love it in the future. It was the best career choice I could’ve made. I’m proud of you, Kyla and I’m proud to be your Momma.

 Smiles, 

Joy

Kyla and JoyJoy is mother to OAM’s Kyla! This isn’t her first appearance on OAM, last year she shaved her head in the fight again cancer. She enjoys crafts, health and fitness, laughing, family time, and warm weather.

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6 Comments on “My Little Girl Yesterday, My Friend Today, My Daughter Forever”

  1. May 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I love the way you describe the birth as a shared experience; I’ve always thought of it that day. And while I have three children whom I love w/ my whole heart, my daughter holds a very special place, for we share more that the mother/child bond, we share the bond of being women. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. May 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    This was an AH-MAY-ZING post! I love how honest, raw and real Joy’s words are. Joy looks totally kick ass in that photo by the way and I hope she’s beating cancer’s ass! Happy belated Mother’s Day.

    • May 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

      Thanks for the lovely comment! Joy doesn’t have cancer ( knock on wood ) but her mother in law, dad, and a few other friends and family have been affected thus the shaving of her head in the fight against cancer! 🙂

      • May 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

        Phew! I should’ve clicked on that link to read more about what was going on. I’m so glad to hear that! It still sucks about all her loved ones being affected by cancer. What a fabulous thing to do in solidarity with them.

      • May 25, 2013 at 5:11 am #

        You’re okay no worries missy! 🙂

  3. May 17, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Shit, that was so damn sweet. I actually started tearing up near the end! Very lovely

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