Posted by: Brenda Kula | December 16, 2008

Oh Baby Girl

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In less than 48 hours, my first granddaughter, little Marley Ross, should be born into this world. Tomorrow I shall drive the six hours to be with our small family in Oklahoma to welcome her.

Thirty-four years ago last month, her mother was born. It was a very different scenario. I was 17 and fairly alone in the world. I don’t even remember going to the hospital, or how I got there. I vaguely remember her birth by C-section, as I was very sick with pre-eclampsia. What I most recall was a young doctor coming into the room during the nights before she was born, continually asking me who the president was. Did I know what year it was? I drifted in and out.

Probably this was the time in my life when I most needed a mother myself.

Back in those days, you didn’t get a baby shower when you weren’t “happily” married. Most girls who found themselves pregnant had fathers who “coerced” the young man into a quick wedding.Β  A baby shower usually followed, and a baby was born “early.”

She came into the world on Thanksgiving Day, 1974. Every time the door to my room opened after her birth, I thought it might perhaps be her 19 year old father, with a change of heart. Wanting to see his child. But he had already found love with another girl, and she carried his second daughter. They were married and living the “couples” life with others our age. Still… I waited.

I held her and nursed her, amazed at the connection of mother and child when skin touched skin. Spellbound by the tiny perfect fingers and pudgy little toes. I finally had what I’d always yearned for, a family. Albeit a family of two. And not exactly the one I’d envisioned.

In those days you normally were expected not to attend school in “your condition.” Instead you stayed home and were given lessons. Mine was to read books. Less than two months after her birth, I returned to school. I attended classes during the morning, while she stayed at a church daycare center. Then I picked her up and took her to a job I had babysitting two little boys. And then I turned around and went to night school, while she stayed with a great-aunt of mine. This was to catch up so I could graduate high school with my peers. And I did. My daughter was in attendance when I received my diploma in May of 1975. She was six months old. I then purchased a trailer house for us to live in. I won’t even say “mobile home” because this was basically a tin can on wheels. The cost was $900.

When she was two years old, I married. He was a college professor, and was quickly enamored of my child. He adopted her and life went on. I had a second daughter in 1978. Both are grown now, of course. And very close.

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is for girls to continue their education. To not let anything stop them. Because that is one of the best gifts you can give your child. The future is often abysmal for those who drop out. And the cycle of poverty usually continues.

Marley Ross will be born to a couple married over ten years. She will have a five year old brother. A loving home with her father’s parents living a mere walk away on a beautiful piece of land out in the country. There is a lake and many trees. Nature abounds. I will travel to visit her whenever I can.

I will be in attendance when my first child has her own C-section come Thursday, December 18th. I will anxiously wait, worrying about both mother and child, as the surgery takes place.

Perhaps I will think of that time in my life, similar yet so different, 34 years ago. Or maybe it will just be a hazy distant memory that lays dormant. As I wait in the wings to hold my granddaughter for the very first time.

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Responses

  1. Brenda, thank you for sharing your personal experience. I hope that you are proud of yourself every day of your life for the choices you have made. I’ll be thinking of you and your family here in Oklahoma.

    Stacey πŸ™‚

  2. Brenda .. that was such a personal story to share about yourself .. thank you !
    Emotions must be running very deep for you at this time. You had such a difficult start with your little girl but you stuck to your education and graduation. You were one brave, persevering young woman.
    I was actually in university at 17 .. a little too young and naive to believe. I had so much growing up to do myself.
    You did a wonderful thing for yourself and your daughter at that time. I admire that tremendously !
    My best wishes for your daughter and the birth of your granddaughter ! Hope all goes well and you enjoy your time with them : )

  3. Congrats! Travel safely and keep in touch; plug the laptop in and send photos and email when Marley Ross makes her arrival! You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers! Hugs and positive vibes…

  4. Brenda, darlin, that was a beautiful story. As you know, my mother married my errant father when she was 16 and had me at 17, but things weren’t all peaches. I’m so glad you get to have this experience with your precious child.

    Did I ever tell you the Diva works at Birth Choice? It’s a program to help girls keep their babies, or if they choose, they may give them to a family for adoption. It’s been an enlightening experience for the Diva to see girls her age making very mature and difficult decisions.

    The older I get, the more I see that this world is a tough place. It takes tough and tender people to navigate it.~~Dee

  5. Brenda,
    I sit here with tears in my eyes, I am so happy for you and so moved by your story. I graduated from HS in 1972 and there were 2 unwed pregnant girls in my class, who continued to attend school throughout their pregnancy. Interesting how different area’s of the country handled this ‘back then’.

    I became a Grandmother on New Year’s Day of this year to baby Cora Leigh and I can’t begin to tell you how it’s impacted my life. I too …. drive or fly to visit my daughter/son-in-law/granddaughter and will continue doing so as long as I am able. You will be doing the same πŸ™‚

    Be careful on your drive, take lots of pictures and God bless the new addition to your family. I will be thinking of you.

  6. Brenda, Thank you for sharing your story. It is an inspiration. Congratulations on the new grandchild. Travel safely.

  7. Congratulations, Grandma!
    What a Great Christmas gift for your entire family. I will be thinking about you all and waiting to see those new baby pictures.

  8. that’s some story Brenda and quite remarkable. How exciting for you to be a grandmother again and a little girl at that. Stay safe on your journey and have a grand time.

  9. Thanks for sharing a part of your life which had to have been so difficult for you and so personal. I admire you the way you still got your education and provided a wonderful family for her.
    Bless your heart this coming Thursday and be careful on your drive.
    Give a soft kiss on Marley Ross’s sweet neck and cheek. I love the smell of new little ones!
    You are an inspiration!
    Beth

  10. No doubt you have had quite a ride in your life and you made the most of it.Its quite a touching story Brenda.You have earned every happiness in every way.
    Hug that new grandbaby and shower her with love.Hug your daughter too as she will need her Mom’s love as well.
    Congratulations to your family!
    Diane

  11. Thanks for sharing your story. I will share this with my daughter(-: I hope your daughter and her baby both do fine and you have a wonderful visit!!! I can’t wait to see the pictures!!!(-:

  12. How wonderful for you and your family to welcome this new “bundle of joy” into the world. I’m so happy for you.
    I wish it was on the 19th because that is my birthday.

    You’ve been through so much in your life. I appreciate that you continue to share your heart and wisdom with all of us.

    Congratulations and travel safely. Come back with pictures!

  13. Brenda,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are definitely an inspiration. Be safe, and I can’t wait to see photos of Marley Ross.
    Blessings,
    Lorilee

  14. What a very personal and realistic story for so many of us. Good luck with the birth of your newest grandchild and best wishes for her mom’s speedy recovery and you a safe trip.

  15. your story has left me emotional and teary. It was such a different world back then, but you can be proud of how both your daughters turned out and how its all about a mothers love. good luck to your dd with C section, and you will be a grandmother! what a wonderful post.thank youfor sharing it with us here.

  16. What a lucky child she will be, to have you in her life. What a magical holiday season for you all.

    Take care, congratulations, be safe, and give hugs & smooches to the new little one for me.

    πŸ™‚ Debi

  17. Hope you are safe in your travels and that everything goes well with your daughter and grand-daughter. Can’t wait for you to post pictures!
    Congrats!!

  18. Thank you Brenda, for sharing your incredible story. I applaud your strength and tenacity and the love for that sweet baby, all those years ago. I look forward to hearing the news of your granddaugher’s birth. What a fabulous way to spend Christmas! I love it!

  19. Hi Brenda…what a beautiful story. wow. Thank you for sharing something so personal about you. I miss you stopping by and hope you are well over all. **hugs**

  20. Congratulations Brenda!!!!

    My mom had the same experience you went through, except for the fact that she was rushed (by my grandfather) to Vegas with my father where she was married and where it was promptly annulled before I was born. I’m so glad that this time and the time before were different for your daughter.

    Much love and many hugs on this special day!!
    rue

  21. What a lucky lady! Enjoy πŸ™‚

  22. Dear Brenda ~ you have touched my soul with this beautifully written tale, a true Christmas story. Warm hugs blanket you, your daughter and new granddaughter. I promise to look at the brightest star in the sky on the 18th and think of you.

  23. Saying a special prayer tonight for Momma, Grandma and Marley Ross. Hope all goes well in the morning .
    Can’t wait to see the baby pictures.

  24. Oh Brenda, I want to give you a big hug and not let go! May all go well for little Marley Ross’ entry into the family waiting with love for her. Your story was riveting, I too had my first child in the fall of 1974, I was older than you were, how frightened you must have been. Your courage is inspiring for overcoming the obtacles of those times. Well done, my friend!
    Frances

  25. Hi Brenda, have a safe trip to OK and best wishes to all. What a wonderful way to spend the holidays, with your new baby granddaughter. She’s going to be a lucky little girl to have such a sweet and loving grandmother. xo, suzy

  26. Brenda,

    Marley Ross is going to be one lucky little girl to have such a supportive and special Grandma.

    Love,
    Gretchen

  27. Happy Birthday baby Marley!

  28. Today’s the day!

    Congratulations Brenda! I, too, started out the ‘wrong’ way, and was super blessed with a man to provide for my children, and myself. (emotionally, spiritually, financially)

    You can’t top grandbabies, can you? Travel safe, grandma, and bring back lots of pictures of the new addition (and the ‘old’ addition).

    Be safe, and God bless! (and how cool you had her at Thanksgiving, and she is giving you another grandchild at Christmas:)

  29. What a touching story of your life….. you really worked hard at making a difference in your little childs life….. Blessing to you and your daughter …. and new grand baby…..you have done a wonderful job
    Drive safe….
    HUgs
    Linda

  30. Congrats Brenda! I’m glad that you will get to share that special moment with your daughter & her family. Can’t wait to see the pics of your new grandbaby. What a nice Christmas present! xoxo, Joanna

  31. Congratulations! Where in Oklahoma? I have lots of family there.

  32. Hi Brenda,
    All my best to you, your daughter and your new grand-daughter.

    As always, thank you for sharing. Everyone has a story and you really touched my heart with a piece of your story today, Brenda.

    Can’t wait to hear how it all went today.

    Happy, happy holidays!
    xo~Tracie

  33. Brenda, Your granddaughter has some wonderful genetics to get her started. What a fantastic holiday gift your family is getting. All the best for the birth. Have a safe trip there and home again. I’m looking forward to a baby picture. β™₯, Susan

  34. Oh Brenda,

    This post was so moving. Many things could be learned from your experience about how we treat young people, loneliness- aloneness, the need for family, a mom…on and on. How different for the little one you will now welcome to the world surrounded by family. You and her.

    Have a lovely time on this wondrous occasion!

  35. Oh, what a poignant post! When you read this I assume you’ll have already met your granddaughter – congratulations! I hope all is well… Be safe!

  36. You must be a grandmother by now! Congrats to you and to your daughter! Thank you for sharing your courageous and poignant story with us…we we hold it in our hearts. Gail

  37. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!

    Merry Christmas!

    Susan
    xo

  38. This post touched me so much and you can see it touched so many of your readers. It’s a lonely place to be when you are just a girl yourself with a little girl. My heart aches for that 17 year old whose face looked at the door in anticipation with every entry..but my heart sings for the thought of your new granddaughter being born into love all these years later.

    I hope all went well. Blessings this season.


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