My mom and dad tell me the story of my birth every single year on my birthday. I’m sure this year the tale will feel much more significant to me, for obvious reasons. I can only hope that my child displays the impatience I did for getting out into the world. Apparently, in my enthusiasm to be born, I didn’t hold to this labor business. I practically clawed my own way out of the womb. I was like, “it’s May 27th! My birthday will always fall on a long weekend! Let me out of here, because it’s the perfect day to be born!’
I typically hear the greater portion of the story from my dad. He loves to tell stories and loves repeating himself even more. He’ll tell me how he rushed my mother to the hospital and was stuck at the nurse’s station filling out paperwork as they took my mom into a room. He’ll tell me how by the time he was finished, they were wheeling my mom out of the birthing room, holding me. He’ll prompt my mom to say what she said to him, “It’s a girl. Can we keep her?”
I’ve always loved that story, because to me it paints a perfect picture about the kind of person I am. Impatient and eager. Always excited about something. I love the fact that I was so excited about being born and getting on with life.
This year I’m going to shatter that image of myself my asking my mom about the TRUE story of my birth. My dad never witnessed my mom bearing down with all of her might to push me out of her tiny body. He never saw me emerge into the world in a splash of blood and fluids. He never got to hold my mom’s hand as she delivered her first child into the world. He didn’t get to see my mom’s face, twisted and contorted with pain, or hear her grunts, moans, and screams. Not because he didn’t want to, but because the goddamn hospital made him sign over his firstborn child (not me, but my oldest sister, who has been the property of Allegheny Valley General Hospital ever since although she has no idea) just for my mom to be able to have her baby there.
This year I’ll ask my mom low long she was in labor before she went to the hospital. I’ll ask her if my head (which is abnormally small now) was so big that she had to get stitches. I’ll ask her when her water broke and where she was. I’ll ask how long she pushed until I came out. I’ll ask if there was a lot of blood or if she didn’t even notice because she was so enamored by her bald headed, skinny little baby girl.
It’s funny to look at my teeny tiny little mom and think that I came out of her. I’m at least 5 inches taller than her and outweigh her by 30 pounds. It’s even funnier to look at my gigantic beast of a husband and think that he came out of his teeny frail looking little mom. I suppose some day I’ll look at my adult kid and think, “wow, he/she came out of me and was so tiny then.” At least I hope he/she is going to be tiny. Or at least inherit my abnormally small head.
When I woke up this morning Ryan rolled over and said, “Happy Birthday, Buddy.” It hit me that yes, indeed, it IS my birthday. For just a second, I forgot. The same thing happened when a lady at work wished me happy birthday. I keep forgetting that today is the 28th anniversary of the day I was born, which is odd for me. Usually I’m psyched on my birthday. Today is no different, I’m hyper, in a good mood, and excited to get out of work. But for the first time EVER, I’m not the first person on my mind. Someone else is. And that someone is living inside of me right now, plotting out his or her day of birth, the day that I will celebrate every year as the day I gave birth to my first child.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes so far, everyone. Have a great holiday weekend and drink one for me.