I remember going to visit one of my old roommates from BYU one day. She and her husband lived locally and she'd just had her first baby - a little girl. I'd always admired Bronwyn - so funny and so solid. It was from her and my other roommates that I first became serious about my religious beliefs. They were my mentors, and now she was a mother. I started to think more about having a baby of my own.
I became pregnant in 1976. I was convinced I was having a girl (why, I don't know - there was no ultrasound or anything like that) and I got out some beautiful little dresses that had been mine that my mother had saved. I ironed them and hung them up (no such thing as permanent press back in my babyhood!) I dreamed about what a wonderful mother I would be. So loving. So encouraging. So perfect.
Somewhere along the way we began to pick names. It's funny, but I can't even remember the girl's name we picked out. I do remember we agreed 100% on it though. We couldn't come up with a boy's name to save our lives. My husband kept going for names like Trajon (what??!?), while I went for dreamier names like Patrick or Timothy. We got a little desperate towards the end because we just couldn't find a name we agreed on. One night we were sitting watching the horse trials in the Olympics (1976? 1977? I can't remember) and there was a beautiful horse named Rex something. Rex... Rex... We both looked at each other and knew that was it! I looked in a baby name book and came up with Rexford, and that is how my oldest son got his name. True story.
We meant to go to the LaMaze classes... we really did. But my husband was in sales and worked a lot of nights, and I didn't have the wherewithall to go by myself. I thought to myself, "How hard could it be? A little breathing, a little concentrating. Easy!" Are you laughing yet? We convinced ourselves we could wing it.
I went into labor at around 7am on February 10th, 1977. We were living a good 30-45 minutes from the hospital - and that was with no traffic. I was having some pretty good pains, and it was rush hour. Sweet. So there I was in the car, bundled into my pink fleecy robe (I still remember that) and we were stuck in traffic. It took forever to get to the hospital. I remember feeling sorry for my husband because he looked so stricken that there was nothing he could do to make it better.
Finally we were in a labor room where I moaned and cried, and a nurse came in and told me to be quiet. There was a Mexican lady down the hall yelling "Ai yi yi, Ai yi yi" and no one told her to be quiet. It was finally decided (after several hours) that things weren't progressing and that a C-Section would be performed. I wanted to dance. Finally - an end to it. I've never had a thing about natural childbirth, and I certainly wasn't seeing any charm in it at that moment.
So off we went to the OR - they put me completely out and when I woke up I was freezing. In recovery they piled warm blankets on me. I'll never forget how good that felt. When I got back to my room, they finally brought my little Rex to me. He was 8 lbs 6 1/2 oz - good thing he was a boy, because he wouldn't have been a very dainty little girl! I remember looking at him and thinking I'd never seen such a beautiful baby. I think everyone feels that way, but in my case it was true. He was gorgeous. A little jaundiced so he had to go under the lights, but it just made him look tan.
Rex was the best baby anyone could ever have. Happy, even tempered, easy going. Bald. Soooo bald. But sweet chubby cheeks you could use for pillows. I've never gotten over my love affair with that little boy, who grew into a sweet young man, and a sweet husband and father. He has tender feelings he tries to cover up with toughness, but I will always see the sweetness in his heart.
Now, I know the other two are a little upset that I haven't talked about them. As a mother, I could go on all day about each one. Katie, the peacemaker and scrappy athlete who fought back from a broken neck and 3 knee surgeries (not all in the same day) to become a champion water polo player, college grad, and wife and mother. She is not afraid to tell you how it is, but she'll cry about it later. Scott, who is at once tough and sensitive, athletic and afraid of cockroaches. He loves his wife and Project Runway. He is not embarrassed to carry her purse on his shoulder in public. All three of my kids like good smelling bath products. We have read hundreds of stories, sung a million songs, and laughed about everything under the sun. I taught them about "Jesus' plan" and they believed every word. Their faith put mine to shame. I tried my best to teach them to be good people and live a good life, but in the big picture I think it was me who learned the most from them.