Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 1985... 24 Years Ago...

...my little girl was born.

Each year takes me back to the first rumbles of labor, having dinner in Brooklyn Heights at Henry's End with my husband and our friend Charlie. I casually checked my watch and noted that the contractions were regular, but a good 20 minutes apart. We went home, After dinner, at around 11pm, Mark drove Charlie home to Manhattan and I went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, knowing that "this was it". Still, our midwife said it was a good idea to take a bath and have a glass of wine (at 5am!). If this wasn't "it" the contractions would stop. Believe me, it was "it".

A bumpy ride up the West Side highway from Brooklyn to St. Luke's Roosevelt on W. 59th Street is not the most pleasant thing when your uterus is in a vise. But once we got there, the labor was quiet, peaceful and smooth (I kept hearing a woman screaming in the next room, only to be assured by my midwife that I was actually farther along than she was!). With the exception of the crowning of her head (why does the Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire" come to mind? Hm.), it really was not that bad. Until she was born.

Emma had aspirated meconium into her lungs (if you've gotten this far, I'm assuming you know what that is. If not, look it up. Isn't that what all mothers say?) which led to her being rushed via ambulance to another hospital, one with a NICU, where she remained for a week. Her first APGAR score was a 3. (See "look it up" above). Unlike these days, I was transported there as well and was able to stay with her until she was well enough to come home. I feel very sorry for parents now who have to leave their sick newborns in the hospital alone... I don't know how they do it.

Although she gave us a lot to worry about at birth, she was the easiest baby! She slept ALL THE TIME. And when she wasn't sleeping, she was smiling. She never cried. (She made up for it later, believe me!) She's still happiest when she has slept for 12 hours. Some things really never do change...

This is pretty much indicative of all her baby pictures:


My favorite school picture...


And a modeling job that she did for a store catalog for "Think Big!"


Happy Birthday, sweetheart.


For years, when both of my kids were living at home, our tradition was to eat the same meals on their birthdays that I ate the night before they were born. For Lucas it's chicken fajitas... for Emma, it's soft-shell crab.

I'll get to spend a few days with her later this week and we'll go see "District 9" together. But this morning, as I walked past the Crayola crayon boxes and sticker books at the local pharmacy it took me back to what doesn't seem like so many years ago...