It’s Maggie’s birthday today, and the sadness I’m feeling now caught me by surprise. I’ve been so focused on making sure she enjoys her day–getting her a cat, shopping for birthday presents, going to the movies, taking her for frozen yogurt, buying a red velvet birthday cake, making pancakes, and so on–that I didn’t think about how I might react to this day. Then, after dropping her off at Sean’s house and watching her walk into the house he’s been living in since September, I became incredibly sad. It was 2:30 pm. She was born at 1:17 pm.
Her birth was much less traumatic than Jake’s, since I had a scheduled C-section. That day Mom and Dad had Jake while we were in the hospital for Maggie. I remember noticing that I didn’t feel this one–didn’t feel the tugging and pulling that I experienced with Jake–though Katy later told me how the doctor (Jenny) had to do quite a bit of maneuvering to get Maggie into position to be pulled out. My sister Katy was there for both births. I love that she later decided to specialize in OB and now routinely performs C-sections herself. Once she was delivered and before Jenny tied my tubes, I asked Sean, “is she healthy? is everything okay?” He assured me all was well. So I told Jenny to proceed with the tubal ligation.
Later, in our room, I fell in love with this beautiful girl. She really looked perfect.
I could have stayed alone with her in that room forever. But that afternoon Weber State called for an interview. And the next day I returned their call. On Sunday we were discharged. I had that evening to prep for a phone interview on Monday.
Maggie folded into our lives so easily, so peacefully. Everything was smooth: sleeping, nursing, pooping. So often, during her thirteen years with me, I’ve willed myself to pause, to linger in her calming presence. Because she’s always been that way. She’s always been the girl who compels you to soften your voice, to listen more closely, to pay attention to the way the sky looks, to slow the rapid pace down to a crawl, and to still yourself to a snuggle. I love you Mary Margaret McShane.