Monday, June 27, 2011


What were you doing 16 years ago today?

Do you remember?

I do.

I know exactly was I was doing at the very moment I am writing this post.  I can't say that about many days in my life, but I can say it about June 27, 1995.

It was one of the very best days of my life.

It was the day I became a mother.

Sixteen years ago today, I was sitting in a bed at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, California watching re-runs of Perry Mason on television, while my husband sat in a chair in that very same room wearing an ice cream moustache he had recently acquired from visiting the shake machine at the hospital cafeteria.  I was starving; my husband was not.

It was a long, long day of Perry Mason, being probed, and waiting.  It did not end the way that I had expected.   I imagined pushing, sweat, and screaming, but what I got was "your labor isn't progressing so we have to do an emergency c-section."   Those words both scared me, and made me thankful for modern medicine.

I left Perry and was whisked down the hall into a bright room wallpapered to look like a forrest.  A host of masked faces greeted me, and a voice said "Are you ready to do this?"   Matt yelled "Yes!" in the same matter you would cheer if your favorite soccer team scored a goal.  But,  I was scared out of my wits, especially when  I saw a doctor hovering over me with a giant knife.   So I closed my eyes and prayed that everything would be alright.

The end result was Claire, a beautiful red-haired baby girl.

Motherhood is my greatest joy, and my greatest challenge.  I have Claire to thank for the induction.  We have shared 16 years of discovery -- laughing, reading, playing, fighting, forgiving, and loving each other.  It's been a wonderful, wild ride.  Sometimes I have to cover my eyes and hold on tight, but most of the time I can throw my hands up in the air and scream 'wheeeeeeeee'.

Happy Birthday beautiful daughter.   I treasure your presence in my life.
P.S.  For those of you who are wondering.  The red hair fell out two months into it.  A year later, it came back snow white and turned into blonde.


Nanette said...

What a beautiful memory. Birthdays for our children are so much more important to us than they will ever know-not only was it the day they cam into the world but it is the birthday of our motherhood. :)

Honour said...

This is such a sweet tribute from an [obviously] devoted mother. As I read it, I could not get my 3 month old infant to tear her eyes away from the computer screen to focus on her "task" of eating! She must love pretty faces, like the pictures you shared!
Happy Birthday to your daughter!

PS Does she still have red hair? It doesn't look like it in the picture. I can't explain my curiosity except to say that my mother instilled in me a love for red hair and yet it doesn't run in my family!

Kristi said...

you became a mother 6 months and 2 days before I did! such a wild adventure it has been.

Eve said...

That is crazy that Claire had red hair for two months! My little brother did, too, but it was more strawberry before it fell out and grew back blond.

That bit about Matt's ice cream mustache is hilarious, that must've bugged the crap out of you. It would've made me mad! These husbands have it so easy.

Happy Birthday to your Claire! I can't believe it.

Kelly Marie McKee said...

What a wonderful posting about your daughter! This was my first visit to your blog and the first thing I read is that your daughter was born at Scripps Hospital in S.D. My daughter was born 22 years ago on June 15 at Scripps Hospital in S.D. Too funny. We only lived in S.D. for a month longer before we moved to be closer to our family.

Genevieve said...

Great post! Happy Birthday Claire!

Jenni said...

what a sweet post. while i can't remember what i was doing 16 years ago, i can remember the births of my own babies just like it was yesterday.

happy 16th birthday claire! what a big day!

AMCutler said...

I remember 16 years ago (and bringing a not so good dinner to your house)! What some 16 years it has been. Thanks for the memories!

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

What a beautiful baby she was! Happy Birthday Claire!!

And I know the feeling of being in labor, starving, while the husband eats. Mine had the nerve to hork down a souvlaki plate from my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake right in front of me. Men.