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Happy Birthday!
My youngest daughter turns 12 today. It seems hard to believe.

It's been a good year for her. She was baptized. She finally developed a love of reading (now she fits in with our family, at last!). She's really turned from a little girl to a young woman.

Here's a column I wrote a few years ago on the occasion of her birthday, and I thought I'd reprint it for her today. She liked it. I hope you do, too!

My youngest daughter Katie turns 11 today, so I thought I'd reprint a column that I wrote a few years ago for her birthday. Hope you like it! She did.

My youngest daughter turned six yesterday. I think I should have been the one getting the presents.

Having Katie pretty near killed me. Five days before Katie was born I called my husband at work, called my mother at work, and told them both to get home because the baby was coming. Mom arrived to look after Rebecca, and Keith and I went to the hospital where they pronounced me not in labour.

Two nights later, at 2:00 a.m., I woke up my husband, called my mother, and ventured to the hospital again, certain that this time this was it. They told me it wasn’t.

The next night it happened again. Katie was my third baby. It’s not like I didn’t know what contractions felt like. These felt like contractions. I hadn’t slept for a week. And worst of all, people were starting to get mad at me. When I called my mother at midnight two nights later, she almost wouldn’t come. She was exhausted, and she had a meeting first thing in the morning. My husband told me that I better be sure this time.

Luckily, as soon as we arrived they said the baby was coming, hooked me up to the IV and told me to relax. Within a few minutes, though, I had the nurse back in the room. “The epidural’s not working,” I said. “I feel pain. I’m not supposed to feel

“Oh, the epidural just hasn’t kicked in,” she replied nonchalantly, walking out of the room.

I started reciting. That breathing thing never really worked for me. It didn’t distract me enough. So when Rebecca was born, I tried reciting “The Lord is My Shepherd” instead. It required concentration, but I knew it well enough that I could pull it off. The Lord is my Shepherd helped me through Rebecca, and it helped me through Christopher. But this was different. This was PAIN.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not—get that nurse back in here, NOW!—want, He
makes me lie down—why are you still standing there? NOW!—in green pastures…”

By the time the doctor arrived I was starting to forget the words. “He makes me lie down” (WHACK! WHACK! in Keith’s stomach) “WHERE? Where does He make me LIE DOWN?”

Keith said, “In green pastures, honey, in green pastures.”

“In green pastures. He leadeth me—WHERE?” (WHACK WHACK).

“Oomph. Beside still waters. And honey, you have tension in your jaw. Remember? Don’t clench your teeth, honey. We want loose, not tension.”


The nurse later commented that in all her years in the delivery room, she had heard the Lord’s name used in many creative ways, but never quite like that.

Katie came along pretty soon after that. She was 9 ½ pounds (and I’m pretty tiny). I have never quite forgiven her. She was also really ugly. She was all purple and wrinkled and looked odd. I can say that, of course, because she is absolutely gorgeous now. If she were still ugly, I’d never admit I thought so then.

Unfortunately, my mother failed to load the film in our camera correctly (something which all but cancels out the lack of sleep I gave her that week), so we don’t have any pictures of her first few days. By the time the pictures turned out she was no longer as ugly. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I can look back on the whole thing and laugh now. You really do forget the pain. During my pregnancy with Katie, I threw up prolifically, I had constant searing pain in my legs, and I had contractions for the last two months. She also gave me with varicose veins I had to eventually have removed (now there’s a gross surgery). And when I look at her today, I know I’d do it again in a minute. So maybe I don’t need a present. Maybe all I need to do is watch her as she plays and sings, and kiss her tonight as she sleeps. She’ll always be my big, fat, ugly baby that I love more than I can imagine. Happy birthday, honey.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum



At 10:18 AM , Blogger Michael and Annalea said…

First off, may I send the happiest of birthday wishes to your daughter from sunny, southern CA! Turning 12 is a BIG deal. She will move from double digits to double TEENAGE digtis in a matter of 12 short months; there's a kind of holding of the breath that comes along with that knowledge; for her and....for you!

Wonderful post! Funny and sweet all at once ~ loved it! It was the perfect way to start my day and put me to remembering the births of my three boys.


p.s. Just noticed that your little swirl has a plug on the end - charming!


At 10:29 AM , Blogger Mrs W said…

Wow it's my boy's birthday today too! He is ONE. And his brother has been giving me contractions for days but I hope he doesn't come today I DON'T want them to share birthdays lol.


At 5:07 PM , OpenID thehorizontalyoyo said…

Happy, HAPPY birthday. My boy turns 12 in November and I can't say that I'm ready (although ready or not, it's coming!)

I had to giggle at your camera issues. Today, we wouldn't have that problem because most of us have digital cameras. Isn't it funny how much can change in 12 years?


At 12:23 PM , Blogger Vaughn said…

This post gave me a huge double take, so I had to comment...

July 27 is MY birthday, too, so I read the title of the post... and was seriously freaked out. How the Heck does she know it's my birthday???? I thought it was some weird Javascript you had going there. :)

Also... there's a lot of other comments about their birthday being the same day. My niece was born on the 27th too. Is this some kind of blessed day or something?

Anyway be well. Thanks for the uplift...

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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