sweet sixteen

My daughter is 16 today. I can never remember what time she was born. I vaguely remember it being evening? I can say with some degree of certainty that it was a really cold day but that’s just an educated guess based on the fact that she was born in February in NY.  Of all my children, the details of her birth are the foggiest. I’m not sure why because really and truly, I love that little bugger. Our little Pookie.
I also can never remember how to spell her middle name, even though it was a name I chose.

I do remember I was pissed off at the hospital for labeling me “high risk” since I was aiming for a VBAC. Especially since I had already had a VBAC with twins just fine. Worse, hospital policy said I needed to be hooked up to every monitoring apparatus ever and stay in bed. On my back. Terrible. My OB knew I didn’t want any of it to be like that. When it came close to time to push, she kicked some people out and shut the door. She stepped back and let me do my own thing, pushing my husband in closer to help deliver and cut the cord. “It’s all you, Dad.”
She was a great OB-GYN. She’s retired now and spends her time doing free surgeries repairing obstetric fistulas on women in Africa. Not all heroes wear capes.

The nurse in the room was the nurse who delivered me way back in 1973. She retired just after. I began her career and my daughter helped bring it to a close.

It was a good birth. I was ready to go home a few hours later. A pediatrician threatened to report me for whatever if I left. I stayed put until the next day but then I was out of there. I was thinking about a part in Cheaper by the Dozen (the book) where Mother has a baby and walks home from the hospital with baby in tow the same day. I didn’t have time to lay around in bed. Later,all.

That was my last hospital birth. My last two were born at home unassisted. My oldest daughter mused the other day how ironic it is that those two were my most hippie-dippy earth mother births and they are the least natural, hippie dippy kids ever. Don’t tell any of the natural birthing community. They might launch a full investigation into what went wrong.

The only parenting advice I will ever give because I’m 100% confident that it’s accurate is that you can do all the “right” things when you’re having babies and raising them through the ages and they’re still going to do and be things you didn’t design or plan for. Making people can be like that. Sometimes you will see glimpses of yourself in them. Don’t get too excited. It’ll be like holding up a mirror and you’ll soon see that sometimes these are the worst parts of yourself! It’s so much fun.
If you’re having a baby to have a baby ,the parenting gig is not for you,my friend. Have a baby to grow good people. They will surprise and annoy you with their totally unapproved- by- you and individual personalities but as long as you give them a good foundation to not be an asshole, it’ll all work out great. Or pretty fine,anyway. Better than terrible at least. I promise.
They will mess up and it probably won’t even be your fault because making mistakes is pretty human thing part of natural development. Or maybe it is your fault! Who knows!? But one thing for sure, it won’t be because you didn’t feed them organic gummy bears.

Pretty much what I’m saying here is that parenting is a total crap shoot. Sorry.

Chocolate vertical birthday cake with raspberry mascarpone frosting:
This is like the cake she wanted. She’s getting chocolate on chocolate instead. Reason #410 why I’m a terrible mother


song of the day: “Take It All” by Sawyer Fredericks because my Pookie loves him.

One thought on “sweet sixteen

  1. Sometimes it’s real hard to remember that there’s anything in life other than being poor. Then the little reality highlights crop up, so happy birthday Pookie

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