At 7:57AM exactly 28 years ago my baby girl was born – Belinda Joan Heldreth Steinel. I am sure she is cringing at me calling her my “baby” but she will always be my baby no matter how old she gets.
When I found out I was pregnant, there were a whirlwind of emotions. Belinda’s dad opted to leave us since he “wasn’t ready to be a dad”. Was I ready to be a mom? Probably not. This fun-loving, workaholic, partying women thought “I can do and have it all”. Whatever “all is” right? Reality quickly sunk in as I was banished to bed for most of my pregnancy. I will admit I was a party girl – drugs, alcohol, late nights and not eating healthy all contributed to high blood pressure and being toxic during my pregnancy.
Life was a little, okay ALOT, crazy but I knew we would be okay. I had family and friends who were there for me. I searched high and low for a book on what a busy career woman could do when she became a single mom – YIKES! There was no book, no script and most of my friends had never had a baby so tips were few and far between.
The morning Belinda arrived, I was due for a stress test because despite the doctor’s prediction, she was NOT early nor was she a preemie! When I called the doctor to tell him I as in labor, he was like “I will see you for the stress test”. NO WAY! Within an hour, the pain was unbearable so off Elsie and I went to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital and admissions said “we need paperwork”. REALLY? I was here and did it already. I just want the pain to stop – NOW! I was having contractions but the doctor said it was too early for pain meds. By the time the doctor came back in it was too LATE for pain meds. Yup, 100% natural labor along with a vow I would NEVER had another child.
It was always “you and me kid”. You were the reason I got clean during my addiction. I picked and chose my battles while you were growing up. Some things just weren’t worth it. I was blessed. You were basically a good kid. A gymnast (thank you Edythe & Grams). A field hockey player. An All Star Cheerleader. A hard working girl at the age of 16. You always said “I never want to disappoint you” and I can say you never have.
Yes, I had tremendous support from my mom and the rest of the family. But at the end of the day, it was “you and me kid” snuggled in our mobile home getting through life with the cats and Tinkerbell, the dog.
Do you remember the first time the realization hit you your “baby” was a grown up? Was it when they went to HS? How about when they got their first job? Or was it when they got their driver’s license? Most will say, it was when they went off to college. For me, the realization came as Rob and I walked her down the “aisle” to the waiting arms of her finance. Yup. It took that long – just one year ago. I was not ready for the flood of emotion I would be hit with as we drove back to Jersey after the wedding.
Belinda, you have grown into an amazing woman. I have always been proud of you. I love your giving heart. I love your energy. I love your self-confidence. Yes, I even love your lack of tact when telling people how you “really” feel. You have inspired others to reach for their dreams. You have fought for those who could not fight for themselves. You have blazed a trail advocating as far as Capital Hill for the things you believe in. You stand up for what you believe in even if it goes against the norm.
Our family has grown – Rob became your step-dad and Ashley your wife. And we are blessed to have them. They love us for who we are – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Yes, mom is shedding a tear or two as I write this. We are not physically together today but our hearts will be bound together forever. I wish you a day filled with love and happiness. I hope all of your dreams come true. Happy Birthday Baby!
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!