Cutting the umbilical cord

December 2, 2007 at 11:47 pm 17 comments

cutting the umbilical cord 

In an episode of Home Improvement, Jill Taylor said to husband, Tim, “There is a special bond that connects mother and child.  It’s called the umbilical cord.”  Tim answered in his usual smart-alecky way, “If you haven’t noticed, the umbilical cord was cut at birth.  Duh!”  He he he.

Well, Jill is right.  I think mothers have a closer bond to their children because they nurture children inside their bodies even before they were born.

You all know that the umbilical cord is the tube that connects the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta.  It contains a vein which causes oxygenated blood from the mother to the fetus.  At birth, after the baby is born, the uterus expels the placenta along with the cord from the mother’s body.  The doctor clamps and then cuts the cord.  The newborn wears a plastic clip on the navel area until the compressed region of the cord has dried and sealed and then it falls off.

And did you know that the umbilical cord is made of Wharton’s jelly, not ordinary skin and connective tissue?  There are no nerves, so cutting it is not painful. *


Why a post about the umbilical cord, you might ask?  Well, you see, I had my first baby 18 years ago.  Can you believe that?  My first-born is already an adult.  Reggie is now of legal age.  He can vote in the next election and he can consume alcohol now, legally.  Not that he has shown any interest in drinking yet.  And he has to pay full bus fare now.

If you have been a regular reader of this blog, you might have witnessed the steps I have gone through in letting go of my children.  Letting them spread their wings from that first day in kindergarten, to going away to winter camp and band camps, going on the transit bus by himself (now you know which particular one I’m referring to), partying, dating, saying goodbye at the airport so he could experience his dreams of being a jazz musician, etc, etc.  You’d think that his turning 18 would just be another one of those birthdays.  But I didn’t realize that it is such a major event.

Let me first explain something.  Here in Canada, families receive child allowances from the government called the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB).  It is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18.  The amount a family receives depends on the family income, the number and the ages of children.  Families in the lower income bracket receive more than those who have higher incomes.  Also, when a child turns seven, the allowance for that child is reduced, which I don’t understand because clothes of children over seven cost more.  And what I just realized recently is that when a child turns 18, you will no longer receive allowance for that child.  Because he is no longer a child.  He’s an adult now.  Ouch!  I received the notice a few days before his birthday.  And that was when it really started to hit me.

And another thing.  Here in Canada, at least in my province of Manitoba, when a baby is born, his or her name is added on the mother’s health card. My Manitoba Health Card has my name, address and registration number at the front.  Listed at the back are my name and those of my three children including our dates of birth and our individual Personal Health Identification Number.  Everytime there is a change in location or family status, I have to report it to Manitoba Health and they would issue me a new card.  I’ve changed my addresses a few times and I have been issued different cards for all the changes that happened.  After the birth of a baby, I would also receive a new card and what joy was it to see the new addition at the back.  But it was such a contrast of feelings and emotions when I received my new card last week.  It was one line shorter at the back.  They removed Reggie’s name.  It was as if they cut his umbilical cord once again.  But this time it hurts.  I don’t even know why I feel pain.  It’s not like they’re taking him away physically.  It’s just a document.  On the other hand, I saw the smile on his face when I handed him his mail and the glint on his eyes when he saw and held his very own health card.

old health card  new health card

Maybe I’ve just been emotional lately with all the changes that have been happening.  Leaving home and working downtown.  It was the same feeling I had when going back to work after a maternity leave.  The feeling of guilt.  I know.  The kids can pretty much take care of themselves but it was the same feeling all over again when I come home after a long day from work and realize that the TV set had been babysitting my nine-year old and when I hear him say,  “I missed you, mommy.”  And of course, taking on a second job and spending lesser time at home.  It hasn’t been easy – more on my part.  Because I pretty much prepared the kids and even made schedules that they could follow when I’m not home – two months prior to my “going back to work.”   I know this is just a phase and these feelings will pass.  But this is where I am right now and it’s not easy.


Entry filed under: Midlife, My guilt trip, My life as a mom, Raising the 3Rs, Working mom.

Working girl Sending Christmas cards

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shoshana  |  December 3, 2007 at 1:02 am

    Irene, you’re a wonderful mother. True your children missed you when you’re out of the house, but you’re doing this for the family. I’ts not because you want to buy the next Manolo shoes.

    Here’s hugs to you. I know it’s hard to be away from kids. It’s why I opt to stay home and follow a strict budget so we could live in one income. Which means no Philippines trip for us every so often. There’s 7 tickets to buy.

  • 2. Kyels  |  December 3, 2007 at 9:14 am

    You’re an amazing mother niceheart, really!


    I guess it is hard to be away from the kids just like how hard it is for a child to be away from the mother and living all alone in the city; I do understand that.

  • 3. JO  |  December 3, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    I still got a long way to go… walang katapusan talaga ang maging magulang.

  • 4. verns  |  December 3, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    awwww Niceheart…I got teary-eyed. I guess that’s how being a mother is all about. Don’t worry everything is gonna be alright and your boys will always be your boys if you know what I mean 🙂


  • 5. annamanila  |  December 4, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Ineresting info about the umbilical cord, nice heart. That its not made of ordinary tissues and doesn’t hurt when during cutting. Thanks. It really does symbolize the almost mystical bond between mom and child.

    This is such a feeling, caring post. I agree, you’re an amazing mom!

  • 6. bw  |  December 4, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Things does change when one turns 18 years. Here in Ontario you are not even allowed to check your child in school anymore. They’re adults and they should be on their own.

    Masakit man sa magulang because we love our kids but that’s the cycle of life here. Independence is expected of adults and that’s what makes this country prosperous and progressive 🙂

  • 7. ann  |  December 4, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    My daughter told me just recently, ” 2 more years and I’ll be free.” She’s referring about her plan of going to college in Manila. I was alarmed. Nasasakal ba sya? or maybe over protective lang kami talaga. Para tuloy nakakatakot pakawalan when it is about time na kailangan na nya talagang magsolo.

  • 8. chase  |  December 4, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    I would say as well that you are an amazing mother. No matter what your children always love you. Btw, I actually cut an umbilical cord when we were giving birth to a lady on a street. It was during the time that I was working as a paramedic for a year

  • 9. Leah  |  December 5, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    I guess mother’s will never really let go. There are so many things that remind us of their childhood and more so that it is logged in our online journal.

    But I guess everyone grow’s up and we just have to cut the cord and be what we are…mothers!

  • 10. Leah  |  December 5, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    btw, I tagged you.

  • 11. Rach  |  December 8, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Belated Happy Birthday to your son, Reggie. Thanks for sharing this is a touching post. I understand the mixed emotions you must be feeling now that Reggie has turned 18.

    Mothers will always have a strong bond with their children no matter what age they are. It’s another big step for Reggie in his life but I’m sure it will not diminish the love you have for one another.

    Take care.

  • 12. TeacherJulie  |  December 13, 2007 at 6:47 am

    Niceheart, this is a touching post. In a way it hurts when reality sinks in that the children are legally adults even if they are forever our “babies”.

    About work, you do what you have to do, at least they are a little older now which would lessen your worries. I hope.

    take care 🙂

  • 13. erdinç  |  January 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm


    Elektrik teknisyeniyim. Evliyim ve iki kızım ve bir oğlum var.
    büyük kızım 22 yaşında ve NHL hastası. Ön mediastende 17*15 cm boyutunda bir ur vardı.
    6 kemoterapi ve 30 radyoterapi sonucu şu an 5*3 cm civarında. Gazi hastanesinde KİT için
    gelmiştik lakin gerek duymadılılar. kızımdan alınan kemik iliği örneği temiz çıktı.
    15/05/06 yılında hastalığımız keşf edildi , şimdilik bekle gör politikasında 6 ayda bir kontrole
    gidiyoruz Uludağ Üniversitesi tıp fakültesine………..
    bu süre zarfında internetten bir sürü bilgi okudum. acizane yorumladım….
    son zamanlarda göbek kordonu hakkında bazı bilgiler bulmaya çalışıyorum lakin nafile.
    ingilizcem de şöle böle olduğu için ve tıp terimleri hakkında en ufak bir bilgim olmadığından
    sonuç kocaman bir sıfır.
    Bu yüzden düşüncelerimi şurda yazayım okuyan okur okumayan kendi bilir ne diyeyim dedim.
    bir sitede hücreler arasında 3 mV gibi bir potansiyel fark olduğunu ve kanserli hücrelerde bu voltaj
    çok düştüğü için intihar etmesi gereken o hücre, öleceğine bölündüğünü ve kendini besleyen vücüdu
    sonunda öldürdüğü yazılı idi. ben de dedim ki vücüda voltaj verelim potansiyel farkı düzeltelim.
    gerisini o hücrelere bırakalım ………
    lakin nerden nasıl vereceğim sorun ….
    insanın – ve + sı neresi bayağı düşündüm . lakin kulak memeleri olabilirden ileri gidemedim….
    sonra insanın bir sanayi işi olduğunu kabul ettim…
    alternatif akım ve 3 faz dedim….
    lakin nerden…?
    sonunda göbekte aldım soluğu…
    bir kordon var dış kılıf : toprak
    arada bir sıvı var bükülmeyi ve izolasyonu sağlıyor….
    üç damar var ikisi gidiş biri dönüş (AC de de 3 faz da böyle iki giriş ve bir çıkıştır izafi olarak)
    ve 11 – 15 arası boğum var tıpkı kablolar gibi sarmal. kılıfı elektriksel olarak yırtmasın diye…
    ve tam merkezde ilginç….
    ve frekans var anlaşılan çünkü frekans taşıyan kablolar boru şeklinde yapılırlar….
    eh gerisi elektrik bilen bir sayın doktorumuza kalıyor bence…
    yada doktor olan bir elektrik mühendisine….
    bir de işlem doğru ise göbek bölgesinde yapılacak eski bağları bulma operasyonuna…
    ordan 3 mV verilse kondansatör etkisi ile.
    frekans varsayım olarak 7 katsayısı ile alakalı olarak (çünkü dürbünler bu katsayıya yakın olunca
    insanın titremesi görüntüyü az etkiliyor) mesela 7*50 Hz * 11 boğum =3850 Hz
    eğer olursa yaşlanma izlerini kaldırmak hiç bu kadar kolay olmamıştı olur….
    Kuran-ı Kerim cennette kadınlar 16 yaşındadır diyor. Belkide dünyada da olur….
    kanserli hücreleri alt etmek ……
    ilginize teşekkürler.
    bilim adına bişi olmuş ise ne mutlu bize.
    hepinize hayırlı günler.
    Bu yazı belki bir hiçtir…. Lakin birilerine bir kapı aralasa, bir lamba yaksa ne mutlu…

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