A girl born in the ’70s in Indianapolis.
Third child to a couple who’d left their home state of Utah for graduate school in the midwest, a first job in New York and then a job transfer back to Indy.
In many ways, my birth story feels so typically typical that it hardly warrants recording. Reviewing the details with my mother, I recognize that I am my mother’s daughter in many ways. I also realize that this is her story as much as it is mine. You’ll hear the story and perhaps the personal health history facts will remain translucent for comfort sake…maybe.
My two brothers are four and six years older than me. My mom always wanted to have a girl. Whether the gap in age represents a struggle with infertility or not, she was thrilled to learn she was due with her third child around Mother’s Day.
It was a Saturday, like most others – chores and young boys underfoot. Midday, her water broke, the only time it would happen with her six pregnancies. With no contractions and a due date three weeks away — my mother slowly realized — I was on my way.
My dad was in Cinncinnati for the day, checking out computers. My arrival wasn’t on the family’s radar yet. My mom called the neighbors, requesting a ride to the hospital. They’d just had twin boys, so they knew the way to the hospital. Nothing urgent, she said. She’d call back when it was really time to go. She showered and did her hair, putting in the rollers and hooking up her hair-drying bonnet.
This is probably my favorite part of the story because I realized I did the same thing before my babies came. Yes, I love my hot rollers too. I’ve been teased that in my “Just-Delivered” pictures look like I was going to get a new drivers license. Really? Do you think you’re going to have time for a shower or your hair ever again after a baby? Doing my hair was last rites before passing into Parenthood.
My mom arrived at the hospital in the early evening and within an hour or so, I was born. No epidural. Just a couple of pushes and here was a dark-haired, 7 pound baby girl. Reminds me of when I slept through my labor. My dad did get the message and arrived within the next hour. A traditional, typical birth in the Hoosier state.
The next day, my mom would need two blood transfusions. We finally left the hospital only to return within the week. I’d contracted a staph infection. Not just your regular, antibiotic-solving infection. Nope, ultimately I’d need to have a golf ball-sized lump surgically removed and my hospital stay would extend out 10 days.
We finally made it home and life could get back to normal. By the end of May, my mom and my brothers were ready for the summer break. We headed back to Utah where my Grandma could help while my mom had to deal with the non-laproscopic removal of her gall bladder. As she recalls, I laid on the floor and she laid on the couch while my Grandma tended us both.
I’ve been told my older brother dragged me out to the mailbox and left me there, hoping I’d get shipped back to wherever I came from. I’m sure my Grandma had a breakdown trying to find me. Feels just like a family which has added its third child. Maybe I didn’t move in with my mom the summer my third child arrived, but I know I happily sent my two oldest to her house and accepted all the help she generously offered us.
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