i asked my mom to write my birth story for me, for my birthday.
i always think about how much i want to record life happenings for my own children ... and i wanted something ... recorded ... for me.
i had no idea what she would come up with ... and i had, virtually, no idea how much it would make me cry... (the slobbering ugly cry, mind you.)
and i couldn't change a thing. i have no desire to edit for colors ... or increase and decrease fonts ... to make it look like my blog.
the way she wrote it ... is the way that you will see it.
(note ... the color changes in there ... were her thing).
i highly recommend doing it too. it made me feel really good and happy and ... loved ... blessed to have a mom that would do that for me.
introducing ... my mommy.
Where do I start with the story of an incredible woman -- my daughter Jen -- of course, you are not only MY daughter, you are your father’s daughter, a big sister, a granddaughter, a niece , a wife and a mom.
For your birthday, you asked me to write your birth story which is a story that has been told now and again over the years, but never written down. I may ramble a bit, having drunk - oh, a half glass of wine so far, (not too far from the tree huh?!) but I’m sure the story will come together at some point and evolve into a cohesive, and hopefully not lackluster (due to my story telling inexperience) account of your birth.
Being pregnant with you, my first born, was in itself a life changing event. We were young parents, by today’s standards, enjoying this awesome transformation of our lives. For me, my body went from I guess thin to what I like to call “well-padded“ all for the protection and growth of the baby. (My OB/GYN actually said that I was developing fat pads on my hips that I had never had before!) Well I didn’t stop there, I happily gained 60 pounds (I was young & naïve…and the docs didn’t worry about it like they do now). We were very much into Mexican food (the hotter the better) and Margarita’s at Chi Chi’s in Bloomington, GuadalaHarry’s in St. Anthony Main, and I think it was called Del Coronado which was downtown on 3rd and 7th or something -- it was across the street from the Butler Square.
Moving on with the story…Jen’s EDC (Expected Date of Confinement--do you believe they used language like that!!)--was January 9, 1977. I was working full time, but planned to take 3 months off and return to work full time again.
An aside: We decided not to go to visit my parents for Easter that April (bear with me, this part of the story becomes relevant later on) we bought a brand new Volkswagen Beetle, lime green with a sun roof that we purchased approximately a week or so before I knew I was pregnant. The VW got rear-ended on Lyndale Avenue sometime in the wee hours of the morning, and I woke up feeling hung over from a party the night before, and a different kind of nauseated and dizzy feeling (first inkling I knew I was pregnant), plus the sinking feeling of seeing my new car smashed up! We fixed it up, but it was never the same.
Sorry, I went to get caffeine because I was droning on and on, this is getting long so let’s move up to January 6th between 8 o’clock and 12 midnight, lost the mucus plug (it did feel like a “pop”) and had some mild labor, it seemed to increase and become steady so we left for the hospital which was 40 minutes away and downtown, it was also very cold outside, and we heard there was snow on the way. Got to the hospital, continued in labor for a bit -- then it all but stopped. At this point the weather worsened and we were having a blizzard, so we were kept there -- also due to the fact that our VW had become unreliable (for some reason I thought the car played more of a major role as I was remembering it earlier!).
Anyway, We walked and walked the halls, the contractions continued, by the way, your dad was a very enthusiastic and supportive coach throughout this period of labor. He took notes in a booklet that I still have. We were very anxious to have this baby, but things were progressing very slowly and I was eventually hooked up to an IV. This went on for 12+ hours, and they began to talk about “helping the labor along“ with pitocin. They explained that the contractions would be harder, but it would shorten the labor time. So after a round of pitocin and hard contractions, they hooked up a fetal heart monitor which consisted of a tight belt that was strapped around my waist and over the abdomen that constricted with every contraction. There was talk of fetal distress. Another round of pitocin was injected, and there was talk of c-section or a forceps delivery. Then, I finally had the urge to push and they told me not to (why do they do that??!!). After 29 hours, on January 8, 1977, we were finally taken into the delivery room, and I was given permission to push, and with the help of forceps you were delivered at 8:02 a.m.!! The doctor then handed the scissors over to your dad (who had a look of disbelief on his face) for the honor of cutting the umbilical cord, and you were placed on my tummy and in my arms
-- Now that, --
was an amazing moment -- that is the moment in my mind that has not dimmed over the years, and that was the moment of your birth. I believe I bonded instantly looking at your perfect tiny face and eyes, your sort of pointy head and forceps indentations at your temples (sorry about that punky), all your ten fingers and toes, and all 8 pounds 13 ½ ounces of you. You were perfect to us!!
We both somehow knew you would be a special little person, and you did not disappoint! Everyday you were such a joy, such a happy, sweet baby. You made us laugh and made us look at you in wonder and awe. To this day, you continue to surprise and amaze me. As special and amazing as your birth story was to me, your life story has gotten better and better with each passing day. I am so proud to be your mother and I love you with all the breath, the smiles and the tears of my life.
Happy Birthday Jen!