December 15, 1998
December Baby

Working on it, slowly but surely. (Although "slowly" seems to be winning out this morning.  We stayed up wayyy too late last night -- enjoying an unexpected IRL visit from an online pal, followed by a *bed picnic* and a rental movie.  Then we got up wayyy too early this morning -- "enjoying" the *#&$% GARBAGE TRUCK right outside the bedroom window.  The combination has left me with a creeping case of "I Wanna Go Back To Bed-Itis." But I'm fighting it. I figure that another forty-one cups of Non-Swill French Roast ought to do the trick.)

You know the drill ... click here to read that last fabulous entry -- a mushy/gooey/icky-pooey (and 100% heartfelt) public declaration of love for The Person With Whom I Share A Pink Stove -- complete with horrifying grammatical errors & corrections ... and then check back later.

Later That Day:

A lovely e-mail from my mom:

Subj: Greetings
Date: 98-12-15 10:49:35 EST
From: My Mom
To: SecraTerri

Happy Birthday to you! While my memories are about 25 years less fresh than yours with Jaymi, let's see what I can remember.

In the first place, for reasons too crazy to go into--we were living in White Center and the hospital I was scheduled to deliver you in was in Northgate. Now, in today's world, with freeways and faster cars, that's not such a big deal. In 1957, it meant driving what we now call "surface streets" all the way through the city and out Aurora Avenue in a not-too-dependable '49 Chev.

I began feeling "something" in the early evening--not pain, just a regular tightening of my abdomen. It went on for quite awhile and began to twinge a little. Given the distance we had to travel, by about midnight I was having the feelings close enough together to call the doctor. I was still not in "pain." (Don't you just hate me!)

We arrived at Northgate Hospital (now a medical office building) and a nurse gave me the standard examination. No significant dilation--false labor. Well, rather than send us all the way back to White Center and the uncertainty of another long drive in the middle of December, Dr. Yarbro decided to induce labor.

I have absolutely no recollection of the labor, other than it was a fairly solitary time period. Father's weren't allowed to be part of the process so it was just me and the occasional nurse with lubricated fingers. I don't even have a clear memory of what the anesthetic was--although I know I was awake during your birth. I've been awake for all but one (Todd), for all the good it did. Without my glasses I could'nt see a thing!

What I do remember, vividly, is hearing the doctor say, "It's a girl."

And, even more vividly, I remember my first look at you--wrapped in a soft, new, pink receiving blanket and looking exactly like a little pink rosebud. You were absolutely the most beautiful newborn I've ever seen!

Happy Birthday! I love you!!


More Later That Day:

Birthdays have never been that big a deal to me. I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that mine is plunked smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season, so it has always been overshadowed by all of the Yuletide celebration stuff. (Only a fellow *December Baby* can understand what it feels like, opening birthday presents wrapped in Santa Claus wrapping paper every year.) 

Or maybe it's because I spent my teens and early twenties so preoccupied with whether or not I had a date for my birthday, and what I was going to wear on said date, and whether or not we were going to be able to find someone to buy us booze on said date  --  ad nauseum  -- that I sorta lost all perspective.

Or maybe it's because I spent sixteen years married to someone whose idea of a birthday present was an unsigned grocery store greeting card, still in the paper bag.

Whatever the reasons, "low-key" long ago became the norm where my birthday celebrations are concerned.  And this year is no exception. I've spent the day puttering around the apartment, listening to my new Monkees Anthology CD (thank you, David), writing to friends and family and trying to pull together the details of my Christmas trip to TicTac next week.  I took a nap,  trying to catch up on some of that sleep I missed last night.  I read.  I vacuumed.  I had a tangerine for lunch.


David will be home in a little while, and we'll go get some of that cheap Chinese I'm hopelessly addicted to.

All very ordinary, and subdued, and low-key.

But the thing is, I have already given myself the absolute best birthday present possible, this year ... and that is my precious, miraculous sobriety. Everything else is just icing on the (birthday) cake.



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