LOVE happens and grows in the grey. 

  It was July 2nd, 1996. I was 20 years old, 70lbs more than I was 9 months prior and 2weeks past my due date. Yep 2 weeks because back then they allowed that bullpoo to happen. 2 weeks prior My legs didn’t look like over cooked hot dogs that exploded in the microwave.

2 weeks prior I had prepared our bedroom for our new life and was ready to begin anew. I was so excited 2 weeks prior. 

But by July 2nd, I was done. 

Fat. Swollen. Hot. Moody. Miserable. Don’t let the smile below fool ya. 

But finally it happened, ouch… The tightening  of my belly and then ouch again 5 minutes later. So off to the hospital we went. Finally!!!

Because I had never done this birthing thing before, I was kinda afraid of the pain I was going to endure since I was determined to go at it the “natural” no drugs way. 

Well after 6 hours and still only being barely dilated to 3, they decided to induce me into the depths of hell. 

No time for pain progression. Just non stop hard back labor, and so much for the all natural thoughts on no drugs and doing like Jesus’s mom. 

F that.  

Drugs were the only thing I wanted other than to be done with it all. 12 more hours later and 1.5 hours of trying to push in positions only a pro yoga instructor could do, his heart rate began to drop. There was no more time to waste at that moment and in a flash I went rushing into an emergency c section where the last thing I remember was a mask on my face and the words 3, 2, anesthesia out. There was no time for daddy to scrub in so he stayed back. 

When I see the pictures and hear about the beautiful birthing stories of countless others I think what the heck happened here??? Literally not my story. Even my husband was traumatized. He was like …Chantel I’m not sure anyone REALLY knows how it’s all going to end. Anyway. 

I began waking up as the nurse was bandaging my belly dressings that were bleeding and stapled like Frankensteins head. I slowly opened my eyes and I got my words together enough to ask What was it? And is it okay? You see, we chose to not know the sex cause I wanted to be surprised and I honestly really did have the instinct that he was a boy. 

And I was right. 🙂 
He was a big beautiful baby boy. 9lbs 2oz and all I could said was hell yes to that!!! And thank you Jesus for almost 10lbs off my body. Head start! Now at this time in recovery, I still hadn’t see him yet. Don’t ask me why. 1996 wasn’t the dark ages but … Neither did his scared clueless daddy. Mike who happened to be remaining in the hallway where they left him 45 minutes prior to rushing me into surgery was still in the same hallway waiting. 

He always tells that story of how the moment he met his son for the first time in a hallway of the hospital. There was a nurse that happened to be passing slowly by with a baby (our baby) through the same area Mike was.He stopped the nurse and asked “Hey, whose baby is that?” The nurse looked down, picked up the card and asked, “Are you Mr Ferraro?” Which he replied yes… Mike noticed him wrapped in a blue blanket and said … “I have a son?” And she replied, “well it looks that way.” And in that moment, our life was changed. Me in the recovery room waiting to meet the boy who made me a mommy,  and Mike in the hallway marveling over his junior.

Our life was changing … Drastically. 
But regardless of the known and unknown obstacles ahead, for the first time I was confident about the fact that I was going to be a mom. My mind always feels safe and works best dealing with situations you have no other choice but this or that. You know… Black or White. Control freak is another way you can look at it. But we all know that 98% of our lives are spent in living and surviving in the shades of grey. The uncertain, scary, unpredictable shades of grey. Screw you grey.  

But for a moment, 20 years ago today, my purpose for living appeared to be crystal clear in the grey. 

I was a mom now.  

Something no one could ever tell me I wasn’t. Something that I really always wanted for my life. Something I knew would be the absolute most important part of my journey in this short time here on earth. 

Our Michael who would grow up to love Elmo, Lion King, Pokemon, and eat only eggs toast and jelly for breakfast for years. Our Michael whose gentle, protective, strong, spirit weathered through some crazy times with his momma growing up. 

Michael whose greatest gift has been to continue to be himself regardless of what other people think or say. My anime-loving, geeky kid, whose tender heart really loves people and because of that I love him even more. 

Michael the one whose greatest strength is compassion for those whose struggle with life and connecting with them through listening and helping them through. 

Our last 20 years were not black and white. Life has made sure that we would all learn to know for certain there is no map that takes you exactly to the golden gates of perfect motherhood. 

That even moms who really want the best for their children can screw up – struggle- and even fail at times. 

I know I have. 

But what Michael has taught me these past 20 years is that just because things don’t look the way you thought they should, doesn’t mean they won’t be good.
And that they are better than they ever could be BECAUSE of the trials survived it took to get to right now and the people who stuck in there with you. He’s my first born, my boy, but he will always be my baby. 

A mothers love, my love, is unconditional, strong, never failing, and true. 

So to honor my boys birthday, I want to say thank you to the one who may not know the degree of importance his life has played in mine yet. But one day when he is a daddy, I know he will. 

One of the best scriptures I believe was written about love, most use for weddings, but I think it’s message is universal. 

 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhoodbehind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Cor 13:4-13

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