Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, I celebrate my 33rd birthday. And since my mom and dad always share bits and pieces of my birth story with me each year on this day, I thought it only appropriate to have my mom document the entire story as my guest blogger. Hope you all enjoy reading how I entered the world!
I always laugh out loud when I hear someone say “a pregnant woman just has a certain glow about her.” I’m indeed happy for the women who emit such an aura, but when I was near term with you, I was tipping the scales at about 220 pounds, battling toxemia and swelling by the day. I guess one might say I had a certain glow about me, all right! Let’s see…as I remember, I didn’t see my ankles or realize they were even attached to my legs from about my 6th month on (and yes, we counted months back then, not weeks). There wasn’t even a cankle present---(can kle`: when the calves and ankles become one and aren’t separate in nature). Anyway, it had been a while since I could wear shoes. For several weeks, I was on bed rest at home and then hospitalized to try to reduce the effects of the edema and high blood pressure with stronger medication and to be more closely monitored. The first night in the hospital I lost 8 pounds---it felt like 28! After an ultra-sound revealed that I would have to have a C-section due to the size of my pelvis, it was decided that I would be discharged for the weekend (it was Friday before the Memorial Day holiday) and return on Monday for the surgery and birth. About this time, I begin to think: Geez---just how big is this baby going to be? Ballooning weight gain and not big enough to deliver? Yikes! Will the room we have prepared for our baby be adequate?

With these things to ponder, Dad and I left the hospital in our cool 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and headed for Grandmother and Grandad’s house to spend the weekend. On the way there, as we were driving through a residential neighborhood, a little boy on a bicycle suddenly darted out in front of us and we hit him. Because these were the times of non-seat belt use, I was slammed into the dash from the impact. I wasn’t injured, just a little stunned at the jolt. After Dad checked out the little boy, found that he was okay and walked him to his house (where his Mother promptly spanked him), we continued on our way.
After getting settled in at the house, a few hours passed before I realized my water had broken and labor was beginning. Dad believes that the little incident with the boy on the bicycle was a contributing factor to cause the early labor---your due date was still 2 weeks away. We loaded up and went to the hospital and very quickly preparations were made for an emergency C-section. Now here is where I get a little fuzzy---I regret that anesthesia has such effects on me…but I know that at 8:45 pm on the evening of May 28th, 1976, the year of the bi-centennial, when The Eagles sang “Take it to the Limit” for the first time and on the day Gerald Ford, as president of our country was signing a nuclear agreement with Leonard Brezhnev from Russia, a beautiful baby girl was born to your Mom and Dad. The first grandchild for Grandmother and Grandad and the first granddaughter to sashay among four grandsons of Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw. I actually slept through your arrival, but I recall that as I was being wheeled from the operating room a sweet voice whispered to me that I had a baby girl and asked if I wanted to see her. Uh- huh. And I did see you---the next day. You were just like I had imagined, except that you weren’t near the size I had expected---a tiny 5 pounds 7 ounces (just how little is that pelvis?), with a head of black hair---brushed to the middle in the cutest curl! Those nurses in the hospital nursery must have a lot of fun with hair styles and getting the kids dressed up for Mom. My doctor confided to us later that when I got to the O.R. that my blood pressure had really shot up to a more dangerous level and he had like 2 minutes to make a quick surgical incision (from the navel down---what’s that---no more bikinis with a newly discovered small pelvis?) and get you out. He told me his hands were shaking and he was very nervous. I have a crooked scar to prove it. Neither Dad nor I ever asked him what the 2 minute warning was about---some things you just don’t want to know.
Now, 33 years later and every year on this day we will celebrate this special day when you came into our world---our first child, our only daughter, our joy and our delight that we have been blessed with beyond measure. Happy Birthday, dear daughter!

(As a footnote to this, and as we await the birth of Baby C, you might care to know that while I was pregnant with your brother, I was afraid and anxious because I thought it would be impossible for parents to love another child as much as we loved you…I was wrong.)


wherever HE leads we'll go said...

What a great post! Happy Birthday!

Love your mom's sense of humor about the "fun" of pregnancy, labor & delivery. Very sorry to hear that she cannot sport a bikini. : )

Sharpshooting by Sherri said...

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Loved the story.

I was 33 when I had A.

And yes the love is just there.

Anonymous said...

happy birthday ashleynee!!! mom thanks for the blood,sweat,and tears. your a trooper!!! love joshua

Cheri Pryor said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks, mom, for the Ashley-history lesson. Hope your day was wonderful...and can't wait for YOUR baby "C" story!

Cheri Pryor said...

I just came back to add...I do hope the 2nd picture is due to lack of sleep and not the actual "excitement" your mom was feeling. That picture cracks me up!!

Nilsa said...

Great story! Happy Birthday!!

Lee-Ellen said...

love your mom's birth story for you!! how special

happy bday!

Jenkins said...

Happy Birthday!
Great to have your mom write it!

Patti H said...

Thank you Ashley's Mom for the wonderful birth story! We all love Ashley too!