Happy Birthday, Winter Baby

This is our daughter's 18th birthday, and coincidentally, my brother's birthday. They were born 40 years apart--you do the math.

My third pregnancy was a surprise. I don't usually tell people since I don't think it's fair to my daughter to advertise that. I'm sure none of you will break it to her, though. Because I was an "older" mother--all of 38--I had some genetic testing done early in the pregnancy. The alpha fetal protein test, the one that checks for neural tube deficits like spina bifida, came back positive twice and I ended up having to have amniocentesis. We chose not to find out the baby's gender.

My daughter was due on December 12 and early in December, my doctor was telling me that it would be any day. On the 12th I had definite signs that labor should begin soon, but nothing happened. On the 17th, I went to the hospital to be induced. On the way, my husband and I speculated about what the baby would look like. We already had a boy with blonde hair and brown eyes and one with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. We thought the baby would have dark hair and blue eyes. After four hours of being induced, nothing happened and we went home from the hospital without a baby. I went about my business making cookies, going to my son's kindergarten holiday party, going shopping and welcoming my parents who came to help us out. I was royally tired of strangers and store clerks stopping to stare at me and asking whether I should be out walking around. (Do you think anybody asked that of those prairie women who dropped their babies in the field and went back to work?)

Finally, on the first day of winter, I went into labor and we headed to the hospital through some snow flurries. I looked at the clock as we went into the elevator and saw that we arrived at exactly 9:00. Once we got to the labor room, I asked for drugs, but was told it was too late (to this day, I think they lied). My husband's coaching consisted of looking at the fetal monitor and announcing to me that I had just had a big contraction. I guess he figured that since this was the third time, I had the whole childbirth business down and didn't need much help. At 10:26, the baby arrived and was screaming so loudly I had to ask the staff to repeat whether it was a boy or a girl.

She may have been a "surprise", but what a gift she's been. She's bright and articulate and has a quirky sense of humor. She's also a good friend and has a compassionate heart. (And she has blonde hair and brown eyes.) Here's to a happy birthday, and the start of another great year!

Comments

  1. Hi Susan - I have been unable to post comments on certain blogs (yours is one of them) on my new PC at work - urgghhh - it is terribly frustrating trying to figure out why - I always read every post and want to comment SO bad - then it dawned on me to try my laptop - anyway - what a wonderful story about the birth of your daughter - she sounds like a treasure. Glad your son will make it home for christmas in grand style in first class - hope you have a wonderful christmas now that you've gotten it started. I've had a few problems finding christmas this year - we;re doing the no exchange - no money routine this year - it's NO fun! take care - Melody

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