There is something to be said about that special bond between a mother and daughter, especially when it’s strengthened by 19 hours of back labour.
There was no sleep for my husband Darren or my mom Marlene when over-indulging on fair food at Silver City Days and watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes finally sent me into labour at this time two years ago.
The maternity ward at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital was nice and quiet that Mother’s Day when I was dilated enough to claim my birthing place. Don’t worry; I’ll spare you the gory details in this recollection, which has been further masked with the “halo effect” – the reward and all-encompassing happiness of holding a healthy baby glossing over all other aspects of labour.
I was in for the best Mother’s Day gift of all but word of a (FREE!) gift basket to the first baby born on the hallmark occasion sent me further into labour.
I can be ridiculous at the best of times, and in this unfamiliar situation I decided I was determined to win that prize. But next door, Rossland’s Heather Gauthier was steps ahead of me.
Brayton Gauthier, son of Garnet and Heather Gauthier, arrived first that afternoon. Dr. Trudy Toews was the doctor on duty who brought their wee one into the world, just as she did for mom and dad about 30 years ago.
“I think the first thing I said was ‘It’s a boy,’” recalls Gauthier. “Our families were all waiting in the waiting room so the doctor went to get them right away.”
The element of surprise was about to strike next door, too, as the three of us waited for the new Rossi addition. It wasn’t until that evening however, that Lola came out sunny side up and straight into daddy’s arms with midwife Jennifer Arnosti by his side.
After going through labour, I wanted the mom next door to have the basket because I knew then what she had gone through. However, because I was a Trail resident at that time, we both ended up being honoured by the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary with a beautiful gift each: I received one from the Trail group while Heather took home a second from Rossland.
Congratulatory gifts or none, childbirth is tough; it is also, however, extraordinary in how it reveals the meaning of life and helps to strengthen relationships. Ever since that day I look at my mom with a whole new appreciation: “it’s your fault you brought me into this world” is now more like “oh wow, you brought me into this world.”
Now as I await the arrival of my second child, the approaching days in which I navigate through life as a new mom with spit up on my shirt and three hours sleep is still somehow only a hazy memory. The reward of being a mom and watching my daughter grow before my eyes trumps all. At nearly two, Lola is stringing together little sentences, challenging me to dance offs and surprising me with her endless affection. I run into Heather more frequently now that I live in Rossland and I feel like we have an understanding of one another that was formed that Mother’s Day – even an unspoken alliance of a sort.
The last time I saw her confirmed that we were both onto baby No. 2 with due dates only five days apart.
My mom is now preparing for another warrior princess experience. The fact that she still loves me after late pregnancy hormones have taken over any semblance of rational thought amazes me.
Although Mother’s Day can be just another card or bouquet of flowers, it’s nice to stop and remember how much you’ve put your dear mom through; after all, consider that she’s a victim of that same halo effect and consequently very likely holds you, her darling child, on a pedestal above all.
Valerie Rossi is a reporter with the Trail Times, mother of Lola and expecting her second child right around Father’s Day.