Friday, November 6, 2009

Thoughts On My Birth Day

Two years ago, after I found out that Momma's cancer had returned, the birthday card she sent me made me cry.  She told me about Halloween the year I was born: "I remember walking through the neighborhood trick-or-treating, holding a flashlight in one hand, Bethany's small hand in the other.  My arms would go to sleep I was so large with you.  The neighbors were out on their porches handing out candy. It was the end of an era."

The idea that this time of year--fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving--reminded her of my birth had never struck me before.  I suppose that's just what mother's do is think about their children.  Not that father's don't of course :) but mothers have all those special memories of their babies all the way through their lives.

I was born at 7 in the evening, at home in Florida (having been raised in CA, I always adjusted the time for Pacific time--4 pm, thankyouverymuch).  Daddy was in California at the time (I can't recall why--business trip? looking for a new job?) and so Momma was "on her own" for the end of her pregnancy with me. Of course she had a wonderful community of close friends in the area, so she had lots of help.  That day, Momma took the older three kids to Church's Fried Chicken drive-through for dinner.

She had been having mild contractions all day (and didn't feel like cooking), but hey--with her fourth kid, she was a pro at labor by now, right? :)  At the drive-through, she pulled into the lane, ordered her chicken and pulled forward to wait in line.  Another car pulled up behind her and--as if on que--her contractions intensified and she began to feel claustrophobic.  I mean, who wants to get stuck in a drive-through lane when your water breaks?  She she started her breathing exercises and told the kids to sing!! Musical distraction, she told me--to let her body know that right now is not a good time to deliver Baby.

They got their chicken without incident and drove home.  I can't remember what she did with the older kids--sent them to a friend's house or just let them watch TV?  She started walking around, breathing through the contractions, rubbing her lower back, as she called her friends to let them know "The time has come." My God mother delivered me at home, in my parents' bed.

[Have I told you I have pictures of my birth?  Don't worry--I won't post them here! (They're in my baby box--and I only looked at them once, until I realized what they were) :) haha... I guess my God mother wanted Daddy to experience the birth too?  I dunno...]

Momma always told me, "You just slid out, you were so small."  I was 7 pounds 8 ounces.  A perfect baby :)  ...a perfect baby with such fatty thighs that they had to peel them apart to see if I was a boy or a girl!  Daddy picked my name, Anne Michelle.  At first, he thought "Michelle Anne" would be nice, but then he decided that sounded too much like Michelin (as in the tires).

I was just two and a half weeks old for Thanksgiving. I wonder what Momma did that year--with Daddy out of town.  Did he come home for Thanksgiving to meet me?  For my first Christmas, I was nearly two months--and probably quite fascinated with the lights of our Christmas tree...

Momma and three of her girls

This is the first birthday I haven't gotten a birthday card from Momma... so I'll send her one, in prayer, this year.

Happy my-birth-day, Momma :)
Thank you for the gift of my life,
and for the gift of yours!

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