Ten Years That Changed My Life

April 13, 2017

Sherí Taylor

   Ten years ago at this very point in time I was in the middle of a 24.5 hour induced labor that should have gone smoothly... yet was still nine hours away from an "Emergency C-Section". This is beginning to sound like one of those scary pregnancy stories batted around by so many moms, who want to show that their birth story was the hardest. I had it pretty bad and yes, it was very scary, all birth stories are and can be, but let's rewind to just before his big arrival.

   I knew my Austin was going to be a pure force of nature. He was very active in the womb, there was one time that the station had listeners sit with an On-Air Personality for Camelot starring Michael York. We were orchestra, three rows back in The Peace Center. At seven months along, I was very obviously pregnant, Austin began to dance with all the show tunes... proving "Camelot to be a very silly place". My sister and I, along with the listeners next us were very amused at his antics. I am pretty sure that he orchestrated a full on kick line to every song. I still remember the gold satin maternity top swishing from side to side and tears of joy rolling down my cheeks. No doubt his love of theatre was set in stone from the experience. 

   Two weeks before his arrival he decided his favorite place to hang out was my vena cava, which is the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood between the heart and the lower body. I am sure he was having a great time bouncing around in there, but not so much for Mom. So after a few near passing out scares and dizzy spells, I was sent out of work on bed rest and maternity leave. Anyone that knows me, knows that I cannot stand to sit still, my kid gets it honestly. I was supposed to only lie on my left side and only be on my feet for no more than 60 minutes a day.

   I had co-workers and friends come to visit me to make sure I was not going stir crazy. One great memory was my dear friend from work and church, Monnie Whitson brought me a wonderful assortment of baby gifts for Austin, in the bottom of the package was a small bottle of rum that said this is for you mom... she knew that I do love my frozen fruity drinks and eventually would get some free down time once he made his arrival.

   One conversation that will forever be a huge part of my birth story, is a call I received a few days before from my father-in-law, Banks. He said the most amazing true thing anyone has ever said to me. His words were from the heart and point on, he said "you think you know what love is now, but you don't. You cannot even imagine how much your heart will grow, from the first time you hold that baby in your arms you will know truly know what love is. You will meet the person that you are willing to lay down your life for. Banks, is no longer with us, but those words are with me forever and that is an amazing gift to share with someone. I cannot wait until the day I can pass that knowledge onto Austin before his own child arrives.

   Fast forward back the Friday the 13th, 2007... I was in the middle of a near failed induction and some serious stress to me and Austin, by 8:30 p.m. my doctor decided it was go time to save both of us. A little after 9pm I became a mother, then what felt like an eternity later, I heard his cry for the first time. It was the most beautiful sound... then he followed it up by peeing all over the nurses and the scale.

   He then did something that no newborn should do. He turned his head on his own toward my voice. Yes, joke all you want that I do talk a lot, but the kid had some serious neck muscles and there is no doubt he knew his mama's voice. Strong willed and ready to see where life takes him, that is my baby boy. 

   I could tell you all about the horrors of my birth story and how a hematoma that came up and a scary return to the hospital, almost made Bank's words very prophetic. All of that fades and what you are left with is pure love in an 8 lb 6 oz package. All of the pain and near death experiences that got him into the world have all been worth it. Knowing that sweet boy was up against the odds and has been giving this world a run for its money for 10 years, makes it all worth it. Yes there are days tougher than others being a mom, but we both are learning along the way.

   Ten years of being a mom has taught me so much, he has caused me to look at the world thorough beautiful Austin colored glasses. Everyday is an adventure to him, I tell him he has a new soul. He asked me one day what that meant. I said well son, everything is new and fresh in life with you. There is never a boring moment with you kiddo. He questions everything and challenges boundaries constantly.

   One of my favorite "Austin-isms" is when he got in trouble in first grade for talking in class and being the class clown, his teacher Mrs. Sandzen sent home a note. He handed it to me in the car and said before you read this... remember, I look like Dad but act like you. How can you get mad at him after that very true statement?

   The one moment that shows he is definitely so very much my child happened when he was three. I walk into the kitchen and see him talking into a wooden spoon in the glass window of the oven. I ask what are doing honey. He waves his hand to the side and says hush Mom, you are interrupting my sports report. Definetly a proud mama moment. 

   To sum up what I've learned in the past ten years would be, that my boys grew under my heart and now they are truly my heart walking around in the world.