Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh so many countries and years have passed. Or, 40 years ago today.

This photo would've been taken about halfway through Betty's pregnancy with me.

Isn't she pretty?

And this one was not long after I was born.

My mom said she woke up on August 13 with labor pains. She was supposed to go shopping that day with her friend Helen.

She picked up the phone to call and tell her she was in labor. But it being India, and telephone service then being sketch, the phones were out.

So she called a taxi and went over to Helen's to tell her that she simply couldn't go shopping, since she'd be having her baby.

And then, knowing labor took a long time, she taxied home, by which time the phones were working. She called my dad, who rushed home to find Betty having a leisurely shower.

He insisted they head to the hospital. Which they did. To find their friend Helen had beaten them there in her excitement. But also in her excitement, she'd forgotten cab fare.

They paid the cab, headed in, and a few hours later, Betty had me.

She said there was maybe some yelling of "Fuck you, Dr. Lamaze!" in the process. It's pretty hard to imagine, but I love the idea.

And that's my birthday story.

If you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear something about you, your birthday, your mom, your kids, your dog or cat, or really anything you'd like to share.

Also, no sign of the boy. Stubborn like his mama already.

Hugs to all of you and thanks for joining me on my birthday!


  1. My mom had a crown fall out, in the sink! the morning of my birth-day. She was feeling kind of weird and like she MIGHT be having the baby later, but decided to go to have it fixed anyways. And so she fished it out of the drain, went to our dentist, and then went into full on labor half way through. Our dentist told her to keep her legs closed as he was not equipped to handle birth in his office. He finished the temporary crown, she went to the hospital and then push push, I was here. She said that the whole thing was rather nonchalant. HA!

  2. I love this. I could be wrong but I think that we have so much more information now and we notice every little twinge. Whereas our mothers were much more casual and all, well, everyone has babies, about the whole thing.

  3. Happy Birthday!!!

    I am celebrating mine with friends tonight on the Pedal Pub ( and then going up to the cabin over the weekend for the family deal, which is by no means boring with my family.

    So, I was born 10 days late and was too big for my mom to push at almost 9 pounds so she had to have a C-section. Not to scare you! I'm sure it only happened because it was 27 years ago and they didn't yet know when the appropriate time to induce labor was! =)

  4. Aww...Happy birthday! And happy Giving Birth Day, Betty!

    My mom calls me every year to tell me the story of the day I was born. It's our special ritual.

    She and my dad were living in Cyprus and had gone to a Valentine's Day dance (which was actually held the night before Valentine's Day), and she had danced and danced and had a great time. The next day, she and my dad tried to go to the movies, but she was starting to have little contractions and was so excited she couldn't focus or sit still. She kept calling her doctor every time she felt something, and finally he got so annoyed with her that he told her to just come into the clinic. I was born the next day, and all of my parents' close friends were outside in the waiting room to be there for the big event. The next day, the dog somehow found his way from my parents' house to the clinic as well, and snuck into my mother's room to hang out with her on her bed.

  5. happy happy birthday birthday!!!!

    my mom doesn't remember anything about my birth, including what time it happened, which completely screws up my chances for a good astrology chart.

    i, on the other hand remember tons of stuff about my kids births...

    here is the song i played on repeat while my enormously patient midwife endured:


    and have a great birthday shoe extravaganza tonight!!

  6. Happy Birthday! I was born at 12 minutes after midnight on August 12. Until she died 2 years ago, my mother would call me early on my birthday and say : do you know what I was doing XX years ago on this date? We would laugh and have a good time. Wishing you and Betty the best. Much love to you and the boy! Oh and Noick. ; )

  7. Raw Food, Real People - That sounds like a fantastic way to celebrate!

    I don't know that they know any more about "appropriate" at this point. i am hoping my hips are helpful and that the baby isn't crazy-sized.

    Happy almost birthday!

    Wendy - I love that story and that it's a ritual for you and your mom every year. It's just so sweet. And it's spectacular that the dog wandered over (and was able to sneak in - can you imagine now?).

    xuxE - Thank you, my friend! Yes, that does screw up your astrology chart immensely.

    As for the Bjork is pretty but boy if I were your midwife I'd have gotten kind of nutso after the third repeat.

    Anonymous - 12 after 12 on the 12th! That is cool. And I love that your mom called you with that same question every year. Hugs to you!

  8. Happy birthday! After I was born, my dad held my sister up to the window of the room where they keep all the babies. As he's a bit of a sicko, my dad asked, "Which one do you want?"

    Skye pointed to a completely different baby. Dad pointed to me, and said, "What about that one?"

    Skye said, "NOOOO! She's too small!"

    The extra-funny part is that this is also my sister's first memory.

  9. I was almost a month late. This was back when they didn't induce once you passed your due date. We lived in Hawaii and my mom was running late for a check-up and she spilled a glass bottle of juice on the floor, but didn't have time to clean it up. She went to the appointment, told her she'd be staying, and I was born less than an hour later. My dad is in the military and was on duty, but came straight to the hospital. She and my dad came home a couple days later to find ants and cockroaches crawling over the floor where the juice was spilled.


  10. Happy birthday! :)

    My favorite story of when I was a baby... when my parents brought me home and introduced me to my older sister (who was 2), she took a look at me and then stomped on her dolly's face.

  11. Happy birthday!

    I was born prematurely after my mom begged her doctors to let her leave the hospital (bed rest) to go home for Thanksgiving dinner. My grandma (dad's mom, obviously) stressed my mom out so much that she went into labour and I was born the next day.

  12. Oh my, Betty is quite beautiful.
    And "Fuck you, Dr. Lamaze"!! Awesome!

    As you know, I am due to have #2 in less than 5 weeks. We decided to have #2 even though we had previously heard from everyone with more than one that it was SO MUCH HARDER with more than one kid. But we both grew up with siblings, couldn't imagine life without them, so we went ahead.

    People have stopped saying things like "We must have been crazy to have another one! It's so hard!" Except my parents. (Who are awesome.) They recently told me that when I came along (I am #2 daughter) it was SO MUCH HARDER than with one. But they also said that #3 and #4 were not so much harder. So hmmm, maybe they were just telling me that I, I specifically, made their lives difficult? Hee!

  13. the day my daughter was born i went into full blown nesting instinct mode, which for me meant going to a framing store and spending entirely too much to frame two pieces of art by my sister. being normally very cheap ("frugal") this should have been a sign, but it wasn't . . . how is YOUR nesting instinct progressing, birthday girl?


    My birth is a lesson in the differences between then (1971) and now. My mom's water broke on a Saturday, 6 weeks before she was actually due. She called her doc and since she wasn't in active labor her doc told her to stay home and come on Monday unless she went into active labor first!!! Luckily, nothing happened and I was born at 4:50pm Monday, May 17. (6 weeks early!)

    Here's a story from my daughter's birth. We had a birthing room so my mom and dad and hubby were there. The plan was for my parents to leave before things really got going. Yeah. Right. You couldn't have pried my mom out of there with a crobar! It was an amazing experience and made even better when my mom thanked me for letting her stay. She said it was incredible to see your baby have a baby.

  15. One of the things I was most interested in bringing back from my late grandfather's house was a dresser, on which he was just putting the decals (little bears and blocks, tres cute) when my grandmother went into labor with my mom. It is unclear whether he stopped what he was doing, or made her hold on until he was finished. He was a project guy, so the latter is not outside the realm of possibility.

    In the second medium of the day:
    And also: awesome. ;)

  16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY!! this place just wouldn't be the same without you!

    as for me, i've got nuthin except i was supposed to be Benjamin all the way until my little booty came outta my mom... i believe there was some disappointment in the room as they already had a girl, oh well. i'm here to stay folks.

  17. The exciting birthday story in my family belongs to my brother. My mom was a hippie midwife when my younger brother was born. My mom loved being pregnant. She even loved being in labor, and she'd already done it twice, so in her hippie midwife way, she rigged a mirror to her bedroom ceiling, and had my brother at home. She was able to watch what was going on in the mirror, so she could tell my step-dad what to do. Jimmy delivered my brother, and a room full of people watched and cheered as he was born. Actually most of them cheered. One child screamed and cried because she thought his head was inside out. And I said, "Are we going to wash the sheets?". Ever practical, Al.

    Oh, and, yes, she was granola enough to save the placenta for a nourishing post-birth snack - but not hard-core enough to actually eat it. They buried it in the back yard.

    At the time, right after Viet Nam, they hid my brother's birth from the government, so he could never be drafted. He didn't have a birth certificate or a SSN until he started school. It was a nightmare finally getting him a passport when he was in high school. The bureaucrats needed a doctor to vouch that he was present at the birth. Uh oh.

  18. And happy birthday, Lisa!

  19. I was born during the 1976 Summer Olympics. The nurses had to go to the hospital roof to fetch the doctor who was out there suntanning. He grabbed his coat, which he had hung on one of the chimneys, and ran down to my mom's room to help me into the world.

    I agree, it's amazing how lax people used to be about childbirth.

    Happy Birthday!

  20. No exciting story but I'd like to share some happy birthday wishes. Have a wonderful day!

  21. Happy birthday! (I still can't believe you're 40!!! You do not look it AT ALL!)

  22. Happy Birthday!

    Soon after my parents had me, my mom had to go off to an appointment and left my father at home alone with me. It was the first time in his life he'd ever been alone with a baby and realized at the worst possible moment that he had no clue how to really change a diaper - my mom had done all of them up until then.

    He tried on his own to change it, made a huge, disastrous mess and ended up having to call in his mother, my adoring grandmother to come help him and give him a diaper changing lesson. He learned how to do it on his own after that day but still has never lived down the story and is teased about it whenever he's left alone with either of my sister's diaper-age children.

  23. Happy B-Day Lisa!!

    What a funny B-Day story. I love it. An interesting thing about my B-Day is that my girlfriend and I were born on the same day, in the same hospital, 5 hours apart, and we didn't meet until we were 29.

  24. Betty was so beautiful! I love that picture!

    Being the last of five kids, my mother usually yadda, yadda, yaddas through my birth story.

    She said that, 16 months after having twins, I was a cinch and practically came barrelling down the birth canal. She always told me when I was little that I've been in a hurry since the day I was born!

  25. Happy happy day! Even though I'm a perpetual lurker, wanted to just say I'm so thrilled for you and even more so, that you'll be able to celebrate in style tonight (style comprised of NOT being in a hospital gown with shooting pains of labour).

    All the best! Enjoy.


  26. Happy happy birthday to you!

    (Wowza, do you look like your mom. Lucky lady!)

    I was due at the end of January, but on the night of Dec 23, my mom started having labor pains. Being a tough nurse, she wrote them off as false labor. Oh no no. But by then there was a blizzard outside and the nearest hospital was a 25 mile drive, so there was nothing else to do but call for backup. I was born at 1 AM on Dec 24, in a Minnesota blizzard, in the bedroom of my parents (in the house they still live in). My dad delivered me, with assistance from two ambulance drivers (Rosie & Jackie) who had never delivered a baby before. The sheriff was there too, but he was in the living room, smoking a cigarette while keeping my 8 year old sister company.


    I think you should go and take a dip in the koi pond just because you're the birthday girl!

  28. Happy birthday!

    I was born during a football play off game (Eagles and Cowboys). I was a c-section and all my mom remembers is the anesthesiologist bitching the whole time because it was supposed to be his day off and he got called in for her and he was missing the damn game.

  29. Happy Birthday!

    I just want to take a second to tell you before you're, uh, distracted by actually having a baby...I LOVE reading your blog. You're so real, and so funny.

    Have a great birthday!

  30. Happiest of Happy Birthdays to you!

    I held off being born for a bit so my parents could finish moving into their house - they moved on my due date!

  31. Happy Birthday! I love the pictures you've posted. I try to wish my kids happy birthday at the exact time each was born.

    My own mother talks about how we weren't so much born, but removed from her body while she drifted in some weirdo "twilight sleep." After three natural, no drug births, I can see the beauty of that!

  32. Happy Birthday! Have fun wearing the shoes and enjoy yourself.

  33. Happy Birthday! I hope I look half as good as you on my 40th (now with my 30th next month, I don't think I look nearly as good as you, ick!).

    My name was supposed to be Alexandra. The night before I was born, my dad woke my mom up, from a dream, and said "It can't be Alexandra, it has to be C" and at the last minute, I got a new name.

  34. many many many happy returns! i must admit though, every time i see a new post from you im like, "what is she DOING isn't she having a baby already?"

    my birthday? well without doing a totally inappropriate TMI...I'm adopted, but my mom remembers the instant she got "the call" saying she was chosen by my birthmom. She cries every.single.time she even *thinks* about it. The best part about my brithday? i was loved so much by two sets of parents to end up in the bestest home possible. and i am so thankful for it every day. i truly believe it was fate that my mom and dad got me.

  35. Lisa, Happy Birthday!! And here's to many more!!

    I was born in the winter, and on my birthday, it snowed. My dad, an intrepid photographer, and never one to miss out on an opportunity, decided that the ideal time to take photos of the snow was on the way to the hospital because 'the light was right'. I'm not so certain my mom agreed, but I like to think that I was born in perfect light. ;-)

  36. My mom is American and my dad is a Quebecer, so my mom was in Qc, not speaking very much french when I was born. I was laready a few weeks late, and my mom went to the Dr's for a checkup on Dec. 22nd. The doctor checked her and informed her in broken english and hand gestures that I looked to be a new year's baby.

    My mom burst into tears, completely unconsoleable, until she eventually actually cried herself into labour.

    30 someodd hours later the doctor finally gave up realizing that there was no possible way for me to be born naturally, with my mom being a very un-curvy woman and me weight 11odd pounds.

    So I was born finally on Dec. 24th, and my mom's christmas dinner consisted of dry toast.

    A few weeks later my mom called the doctor at 3am panicking trying to explain to him that I was making a sort of death rattle and not breathing properly. The doctor showed up in his PJs (being a small town and back when house calls were still done) only to inform my mother that I was snoring LOL.

  37. i dont have any fascinating story, other than my parents said they found me in a green dumpster on an army base in kentucky, and they actually pointed it out to me when we drove past it when i was about 6. I cried.

    Happy Birthday!!!!!

  38. My mother was in the mall with my grandmother, in line to order a milkshake when she went into labor. She insisted on staying in line to order, then staying in the mall to finish the milkshake before actually heading home to pick up my father and head to the hospital. I use this as the reason why I'm addicted to ice cream.

  39. You've probably heard this before, but the monsoon didn't arrive in Patna until the day after I was born. While my mother was napping in the stunningly oppressive heat my father drew a picture of a foetus with a flower coming out of it's belly button on her belly, in indelible ink. She went into labor a few hours later and was mortified at what all the staff in the hospital were thinking of the outlandish foreign lady.
    I'm still happiest in hot weather and I've always loved to draw. Maybe you and Nick should draw a few traits you wish for in your son on your bump tonight. Just a thought.
    Happy Birthday lady!

  40. Happy birthday!

    My mom's labor with me was 2 hours start to finish, and I was her only baby. Because it was so fast, I was delivered on the kitchen floor. My parents love to joke about how my mom asked for a pillow, and my dad threw her a role of paper towels since they were in the kitchen.

  41. Happy Birthday!! I hope you get a glitter covered unicorn that poops rainbows as a gift!

    I was born in a log cabin in Skowhegan, Maine that had no running water, no electricity, no phone and an outhouse! Yup, an outdoor shitter!

    My father delivered me and cut the cord and everything because the midwife was out of town. I was also three weeks LATE. My Mom was preggers with me for almost an entire YEAR. I weighed in at a 10lbs. Big baby but completely healthy, as was my mother. My father burried the placenta under a big old Oak tree in the backyard.

    My parents were total hippies in case you couldn't tell from this story!

  42. Happy happy birthday!

    I'm pretty sure my mother has never talked about giving birth to me, because it was that long and that traumatic. I was evil from the beginning...

  43. Happy Birthday!

    My mom went into labour with me in the middle of the night but she didn't want to wake up my brother (he was 7) so she could go to the hospital, so she figured she would just wait it out. She spent the night in the bathtub and then the next morning she had to keep sitting down while making my brother's lunch and he said, "Mom, I think you're going to have that baby today." She got him on the school bus, got to the hospital and I was born 30 minutes later!

  44. Happy birthday!

    I was 4 days late, which my mom has never quite forgiven me for. Also, she can't remember if I was born just before or just after midnight - making it impossible for me to have a proper horoscope done up which is why I obviously have absolutely no idea who I am.


  45. Happy birthday!!!

    My mom constantly reminds me that she was in labor with me for 30 hours. Apparently "the experts" had scared the daylights out of her about infection risk, so when her water broke fairly early in labor she went right to the hospital, where she ended up flat on her back strapped to all kinds of monitors. She said if she had to do it all over again, she would have ignored "the experts", walked up and down the street for awhile, and gone to the hospital when she damn well pleased.

  46. Happy birthday Lisa! I hope your birthday is a dream come true! My Mom's birthday is the day after mine, she was happy about that even if I weighed 10 pounds. Sorry i'm late wishing you happy birthday , i'm at the doctor with step throat and pretty delirious. Have cake & ice cream!

  47. Hi Lisa,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Nord Dakoda. It is my hubby's friday. So, if we go out, I'll have a drink for you, and one for me and one for Nick and one for...


  48. Happy Birthday! My favorite picture of me at a birthday party, or me as a little kid, is at my 1st birthday. My mom mad a beautiful 3-layer cake, frosted and topped with sliced strawberries. We're outside, probably at a park, having a picnic, probably with family, as lots of them lived in the area at the time. My mom had set the cake plate on top of the ice chest for just a moment and turned her back, then turned around to find me, two cubby little 1-yr-old hands filled with cake, face smeared, grinning like mad. Best birthday picture ever, and I have yet to top it in oh-so-many years.

    Hope you have a great day!


    The day of my arrival was an interesting story too. I'm adopted. I was born at March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA and when my mom (adopted mom) went to go see me, the hospital told her I was "with my mother." My poor mother thought my biological mom had changed her mind about giving me up! So to make herself feel better, she did what any good woman would do: she went to the salon to get her hair and nails done. I was then delivered to that salon. My first pictures are of me in my mom's lap -- she's bawling with happiness -- with hair dryer chairs in the background. :)

  50. Happy Birthday Lisa

    Our local doctor delivered me at home in my moms' bed and every time I had to go to the doctors our doctor would proudly tell everyone in the waiting room that I was one of his babies - not so cute after you are 16). I guess I was lucky really, there aren't so many home births these days.

  51. Happy Happy Birthday Lisa!! I hope you're having a wonderful day. The pictures are great.

  52. Happy Birthday! My Mom was out having ice cream and finished it before she gave in and went to the hospital. After all, ice cream is her favorite food. Pushed under an hour and I was out and about. So eat some ice cream and see what happens! Beautiful pictures. Hope you're near water!

  53. oh my gosh lisa, your resemblance to betty is incredible - for a second i actually thought that first picture was of you, and i was having cognitive dissonance because it is so obviously an old photograph! wow. amazing.

    i hope you had a great birthday - mine is saturday - my mom pretty much just likes to complain about how hot that summer was! which you'll be able to do for your boy every year, too ;)

    i also find it funny/cute/interesting that jason, my husband, was born two days after me - i think of our mothers sweating through that same summer together, albeit a thousand miles apart, and then giving birth within 48 hours to two people who would eventually meet and fall in love :) awww cheesy i know, but i like it.

  54. Happy Birthday fellow Leonine.
    I was born at 11.45pm on Thursday 12th August 1965. My dad rekons its the only time he prayed........he prayed I would not be born on Friday 13th. In later years as a teenager giving him grief he said it probably wouldnt have made any difference anyway as I was a demon child anyway. :)
    Many Many Happy Returns from down here in the Antipodes Lisa :)

  55. Lisa, happy happy birthday, hope your day was wonderful! Your blog rocks, I always connect with your stories. I have to say, if I could only look at 5 sites on the Internet, yours would be one of them, hands down kick everyone else's ass.

    A little about me - I'm a flight attendant for a major airline. I really enjoy having a job that doesn't feel like work and in a way visiting cities where I know a blogger resides makes me feel even more of a connection, as a get a tiny glimpse into what their part of world looks like and how they live.

    My boyfriend has the same birthday as you, so we took a trip out west to celebrate. We get 2 extra hours of birthday time, yeah!!

  56. My mom writes a blog every year with my birth story. She went into labor around 4 AM and woke up my dad (who had just gone to bed at around 2:30 or 3) and told him she was in labor. He looked at her for a second and then said, "Are you sure it isn't gas?" She labored at home until around 7, then they left to go to the hospital and on the way there, he made a comment about he "thought" he had enough gas to make it to the hospital. My mother, being in labor and rather convincing (read: super scary), made him pull over and put gas in their little Toyota Corolla because she was not giving birth on the side of the highway in a little podunk town at the beginning of January!

  57. Wow. There are a lot of comments. But I had to share this.

    With my third baby, I was sure he was going to come early. My brother-in-law took us out to lunch on my hubby's birthday to a chinese restaurant. I opened my fortune cookie and it read "A short stranger will soon enter your life and bring many blessings." That night, my water broke and my little man came the next morning.

    Good luck with your short stranger.

  58. Happy Birthday Lisa!

    My mom had 5 kids, and she said she was drugged and woke up after each one, asking, "What did I have?" (3 boys, 2 girls).

    I had 4 'unofficial' foster kids & 1 biological son.

    My doctor in Montreal, Dr. Patrick was amazing. On the 1st visit, he told me "I've delivered 5,000 babies, and each one is as exciting as the first!" Well, that was No Lie, let me tell ya - he blew my mind when he held the afterbirth, arm stretched up high over his head. It was centered under the ultrabright delivery room light, and he turned his hand this way and that, as to display it. As I watched it glistening, he asked said, "Look at that, Mrs. B., Doesn't it look JUST like a QUEEN's CROWN?!" And damn if I wasn't on some kind of a trememdous, hormonal high, and it did!

    Some months later, the neighbours across the road were having a home birth. I didn't know them well, so wouldn't have been there but their water pipes froze, and I'd been running over with buckets of water, and offered to do the laundry after, and was invited to stay for champagne. As I was sipping, somebody popped their head out the bedroom door and said "She's eating the afterbirth, and wants to know if anybody wants a bite." I SWEAR this is true. I said, the only thing I could think of, which was to stammer, "Ah, no thanks. I'm sure it's nutritious, but I'm a vegetarian. I'll come have a look though." Ucky mistake; didn't look anything like a queen's crown. She said it tasted like cherry pie. That hormonal high is somethin' else again!

    And yes, your mom is gorgeous!

  59. Here's a short one for you:

    We didn't find out the sex for Marion. The doctors and nurses were anxious to tell us since, according to them, it was rare that people don't find out. So, when Marion came out, the doctor exclaimed "It's a boy!" followed by, "No, wait. It's a girl."

    I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to get that one wrong!

    Love that first picture. Happy belated birthday!

  60. Lori Bouzane8/16/2009 8:48 AM

    I LOVE the picture of your mom pregnant in the beautiful sari! You should get this enlarged and framed...susch a great picture! ps: Sunday morning..have you had the baby yet???


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