Friday, November 02, 2007

Rosie #1 -- Birth Day

"Rosie" is,quite literally, my best birthday present ever. When I was a kid, I thought it was quite cool that I had a cousin exactly four years older than I (except when we had to share our birthday parties ;-D )and that my father had been born on his mother's birthday. But the coolest thing of all was that I also shared a birthday with my great-grandmother, my mother's maternal grandmother. Her name was Salome Edna, and the Salome part of my name comes from her -- it's a family name; taken, in case you're wondering, not from the story/opera of Salomé, but from one of the women in Mark chapter 16, who went to the tomb of Jesus Easter morning. I was VERY proud of sharing her name (suitably updated to the 1950's, when every third girl had Ellen in her name), AND her birthday. That is, until I was about 16, and put together the information that I had been born by planned C-section with my birthdate and realized that it wasn't a lovely coincidence; they had picked my birthdate. Major bummmer!

Side note: I was still happy about the name! I had found out by this time that if I'd been born any day but great-grandma's birthday, my name would have been Elizabeth Marie. A pretty name, but since my three female cousins on my father's side were Stephanie Marie, Angela Marie, and Glenda Marie, I enjoyed the non-conformity!

But getting back to Rosie. Arwen was born while my husband was still in college (I married a "younger man"!), and although we knew we wanted a big family, and I was already 32, we didn't think two children went very well with college/ almost no income. So it was a bit of a surprise and a shock when, 10 months after Arwen's birth, I found myself pregnant again. My due date was in February (my birth month), but that was four whole months before my husband would graduate and presumably find a job that could fully support this growing family, currently surviving on work-study and VA benefits.

As I made my regular doctor visits, and February drew closer, I had a sudden realization: this baby could actually be born on my birthday, which would completely make up for the disappointment I had felt as a teenager! But as babies are notoriously unpredictable, I didn't get my hopes too high -- Arwen's due date had been one day off my MIL's birthday, and she didn't arrive until three weeks later.
So on the day before my birthday, when I felt those first labor pains, I was resigned -- close, but no cigar. Besides, it could easily be pro-dromal labor ... By late afternoon, it was clear that that this was the real thing. We left Arwen with friends, and headed for the hospital.

My labor with Arwen had been very long and slow, but this was moving faster. By about 9 PM, it was clear we'd have a baby shortly; but which day? The anesthesiologist, who the hospital was legally required to have on site even though I had no plans to use his services (and no need, as it happened) was sitting at the nurses' station reading a professional magazine, and when he heard about my hopes for a "birthday baby" he said "Oh, just go on and get it over with. Then I can go home. We'll fudge the paperwork!" But no fudging was necessary.

Just before midnight it was clear that I was ready to push. About ten minutes later, in the midst of it all, I grabbed my husband's hand and said "This is so worth it! Let's have at least six more!" (thereby flabbergasting the doctor!) At 12:15, Rosie arrived. And I haven't changed my mind in the last 23 1/2 years. She is so worth it! The only better birthday present I can even imagine would be a grandchild born on OUR birthday!


Arwen said...

I've heard this story before, obviously, but I still enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting, Mom!

Lindsay said...

Your kids are so lucky to have a mom as loving as you. I am envious.

ellen said...

I'm so glad you're participating in NaBloPoMo. I'm really looking forward to reading about you and your family and whatever else you post about.

I think it's funny that you were almost named Elizabeth Marie. My middle name is Elizabeth, so we'd have shared a name one way or another. :)

Grace and Peace,

Rosie said...

Oh Mom, Thanks for thinking I'm the best birthday present! I love you!