Tomorrow, October 5th is my son’s birthday. He will turn 21. But I remember with clarity where I was on this day – 21 years ago.
Today is not much different from that day many years ago. Cool and crisp – but sunny. We were living in Fortuna, California, where Greg was pastor of Rohnerville Assembly of God church. My mother was visiting in preparation for the baby. He was due on the 2nd – but still had not come. I was HUGE and very anxious. In the middle of the night on this day – I felt some lower abdomen tightening and went to sit in the recliner in our family room. I remember this well – because I would watch the clock on our VCR and time the tightening.
By morning, nothing had happened so I said to Greg, “let’s take a walk”. It was such a nice morning – crisp and cool, summer was reluctant to leave and was giving us some beautiful long sunny days before waving goodbye. I was aware that there was an apple festival in our little town – and thought it might be fun for 4-year-old Ashlee to go and have a hay ride.
When we got there it was lunch time – because nothing was happening with me (as far as labor was concerned) I didn’t see any problem eating lunch. And eat we did – they had chili dogs and I HAD ONE!
Greg found where they were giving people hay rides and decided to go with Ashlee. They hopped on and quickly out of sight. My mother and I were left to roam around and look at several booths. I remember there was a building we went inside to look at some things – and it was then that I felt something. It was not painful – just different. It was not an emergency – but it’s funny how you go into emergency mode. With Greg and Ashlee gone – we weren’t sure what to do. After what seemed like hours – they returned. We left Ashlee with one of the teenagers from the church so she could continue to have fun – and the rest of us went home to see if this would be the real thing.
The little hospital was right down the road from where we lived – so going home was better and more comfortable until we knew for sure. I remember we tried to rest that afternoon. But it was more and more apparent that this baby was COMING! We decided that my mom would drop us off at the hospital – keep the car and go get Ashlee. She was new in our town – and had quite a time finding the place where the festival was – and then back home again.
I had a 5 hour labor with Ashlee – four years earlier. And would you believe – this labor with Shawn was also 5 hours long? It was just as intense – and completely natural both times, although Shawn was significantly bigger. But SO worth it!!
I will never forget my first moments with Shawn Tyler. Everyone had left, I was in a private room – holding him. I kept humming the Brahms Lullaby to him. And there was a very special bonding that took place in those moments. I knew at the time it was something I would remember all of my life – and someday tell him about.
Happy birthday to my sweet, sensitive, funny and crazy talented son. You are very loved.