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Hometown stories:Heidi McElfish

Baby brings lifelong changes for parents

September 22, 2010 - Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake. What wonderful words they are. I'm going to love saying those to you. Because I just found out that I'm going to be a mother.

We sit here and contemplate how our lives are going to change. What names will we choose, what if you get sick, how will we handle all the responsibilities, where will we get the extra time and money? It has just been your Dad and me for the past 5 years.

There you are standing in your crib, you can't talk yet.

Daddy sees you in the bathroom mirror as he shaves and you are smiling at him. And he is making funny faces at you and you are laughing.

Slowly we start getting ready. Daddy and Grandma paint your room. It is a beautiful baby blue with pink and white "bunnies" on the wall.

The crib and changing table are white and there is a tall plant stand that is cut out of wood to look like an ostrich and it is painted white. You will be so happy here. Are we ready?

What about when you are 5 and starting your first day of school.

Here we are waiting for the bus. You look beautiful and excited in your new outfit and backpack. We are so proud and happy as you get on the bus.

You blow us a kiss, then you are gone. Will you be ok? We worry.

Every month I would feel something new, the movements inside of me, the kicking, the rolling over and even the hiccups. Then, we hear the most wonderful sound, your heartbeat. Yes you are alive inside of me.

What happens when you get hurt?

Your knee goes out. You end up in the hospital, having surgery. You have to have crutches for six weeks. Will you be able to walk again? How will I comfort you? What will you do? How will we cope?

Our friends are so wonderful. They gave us the most beautiful baby shower. We got everything we needed and I was overwhelmed with, first, all of the generosity, then how many things a baby needs.

I woke up in the middle of the night and sat in my new white rocking chair just looking at everything. I massaged my large belly and thought it's all for you. You will be here soon in this room. I will be changing you, dressing you and bathing you.

What will you be, a boy or girl. I don't want to know yet.

Now you come home at 16, to tell me you just crashed your new car. You weren't paying attention and you ran into someone else at a stop sign. The damages are over $2,000. How will you pay it? How will we act?

Again we hear your heartbeat as I still am getting bigger and bigger. We still don't know what you are boy or girl. We talk to you and read you stories knowing that you will recognize our voices when you come out.

How will I handle your first heartbreak? When you fall in love and they fall out of love with you.

You cry in your room every night. How will I console you? What will I say, "You will be ok, and you will move on, time will heal all things". Will those words be enough? We hug you and kiss you and let you know, " It's not you, and you will find someone deserving some day. You'll see!"

We know we love you already even though we haven't seen you yet. I am feeling pain now, contractions. Is it too late to stop this?

Now I'm getting scared, the pain is overwhelming. The contractions are getting closer and closer. We're at the hospital, the Doctor comes in

I see you at 21, walking down the aisle, in your wedding dress.

You are so radiant and your eyes are beaming as they look to your future. You join hands and are ready to start you new life together. We are so happy we are crying knowing, that soon you will be gone from us, but it is all part of life and we would not have wanted it any other way.

You are finally here on this gorgeous, sunny day in May a girl, beautiful, happy, healthy and smart.

We start our lives together and we don't know how it is all going to be. but we know we love you and we will always love you.

Raised by Polish parents in the metro Detroit area, Heidi McElfish was always entertaining the neighborhood kids with stories and plays. In school she majored in English Literature and Creative Writing. Now living in her dream city, Clarkston, where she raised three spunky kids, she spends her days snuggling with her high school sweetheart and husband of 29 years. She loves to entertain, has a passion for antiques and loves to make people happy by baking her famous polish cookies.

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