Search This Blog


Monday, September 9, 2013

The story of me prompt 2: your birth

Young woman kissing baby in bassinet from the 
Library of Congress
The Prompt for week 2 is your birth:
Do you have any baby photos?
Where were you born?
Who was present at your birth?
What day was it? Time?
Did you have hair? Eye colour
Are you a twin?

The story of my birth is not a very exciting one but has been recounted to me many, many times. My mother had taken the year off from school. She married my dad immediately following the end of her 2nd semester her freshman year.  14 months later she had me, and she went back to school 6 weeks after that. However, that is another story, for another day.

My family is a storytelling one. In fact, we will repeat the same ones over, and over, and over again much to the annoyance of those who have married into it. I think it is because we honestly don’t remember that we have told the story and because good stories never go bad.  I am sure you can relate.

Prior to my birth, my mom was on a very good regionally known women’s softball team and my dad was the Coach.  They were The Washington Stars.  Dad still talks about how mom could really hit the ball out of the park at 8 months pregnant but unfortunately running the bases was a bit difficult.  She waddled too much to be effective.  When you talk to my mom about it, she is still upset; she could never hit the ball like that again thanks to physics.

On the day of my birth my mom and dad went to work like normal.  Dad owned a sporting goods store and mom was his main (i.e. only) employee.  She spent all morning scrubbing floors on her hands and knees because she wanted to stay busy.  Finally, about lunch time, mom announced that it was time to go and off they went to the hospital.

It was hot, muggy, and horribly sticky that day.  You guessed it, summer in the Midwest.  A make your potato chips go soggy kind of day with and no air conditioning. My grandmother told me one time I was born in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures in the high 90s.  The part my mom remembers: no AC in the delivery ward and giant rotating fans pointed at her to try and keep her comfortable. Let me just tell you, it didn’t.

I was born in the same hospital that my dad was born in.  Several generations of my family, on both sides were born in this town, just not all in the hospital. My mom had 2 nurses with her as no one else was allowed in the room and dad says he sat and read a novel in the waiting room.  If you ask their versions of how the time passed it really is an interesting testament to how times have changed.

My hospital  picture (aka baby mugshot)
In my mom’s room she has 2 women she didn’t know nor by the end of it liked very much.  Unfortunately there were consequences to my birth that were not fixed for over 30 years due to the doctor’s incompetence in stitching.  I don’t use those words lightly, those are the words my mother (the MD) uses to describe her care by this man. While my mother was in labor dad sat and watched, amused, the other nervous father’s pacing and chain smoking.  He sat in a corner, watching, reading, and drinking a coffee.  You see there’s a large age gap between my parents.  My father was in his mid-30s at the time and not like the young fathers in that room who couldn’t calm down and were in near states of panic.

At 4pm that hot summer Friday afternoon I was born, screaming the whole time. I weighted 7lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long. My dad talks about how he could hold my head is in hand and my feet would curl around his elbow. I guess this “football” hold was one of my favorites.  Of course I had the dark blue eyes that babies are born with.  In my case they would not stay blue and turn eventually to match my mother’s brown and gold fleck colored eyes.  On my head was a mop of dark brown hair with the glimpse of the widow’s peak that I inherited from my maternal grandmother.

We only stayed in the hospital overnight and by the next evening we were at my maternal grandmother’s house.  Then my story really begins…


  1. Those doctors who mess up the after stitching should be sewed up somewhere. Good story and look forward to reading the rest.

    1. That's what my mother thinks too. Especially since the outcome had decades of repercussion.

  2. I loved this! You're an excellent story-teller, and it's the little details that really got to me like the "football" hold and the wilting potato chips.

    In the sixties, I lost an infant-brother to medical malpractice.

    Looking forward to your future posts.

    1. Thank you. I

      was healthy, and I am sorry that my mom didn't have great care (even though he was supposed to be "the best" in town. She is a doctor now and thinks back on that practice with a little more than disgust.