Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chapter 1: In the Beginning...

Chapter 1: In the Beginning (My Birth Story)... "My grand entrance into this world occurred on May 20, 1967. Although I guess it really wasn’t all that grand. In fact, it was about as “normal” an entrance a baby could hope to make. I was born into a “typical,” middle-class, American family where my father was the sole breadwinner of the household. Working as a pharmaceutical sales representative yielded him a comfortable salary, health insurance benefits, a company car, and two weeks of paid vacation each year. The income he provided allowed my parents to purchase a small starter home—three bedrooms and one bathroom—located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. My mother’s chosen occupation was the same as so many other women living during that era: staying home and caring for her husband, house, and kids; an occupation she still cherishes with all of her heart!

Living in a house with three bedrooms meant that I would be sharing a room with my sister, Angela (which remained my fate until the day I got married!). Our house was part of a friendly neighborhood where the kids ran from yard to yard freely. They sold lemonade from roadside stands on hot summer days. We had a backyard with a chain-link fence. This allowed for open communication between neighbors, which meant that our next-door neighbors were also some of my family’s dearest friends. You get the picture…we had everything a typical family needed to live out the American dream. (I’m sure there were even a few apple pies thrown in somewhere along the way!)

I was born the third child and second girl in my family. My brother Mike and sister Angela found their places on the family tree a few years before me. Our little family also included a much-loved canine member, a wonderful dog we called “Pete.” Pete was half Irish Setter and half Weimaraner and had an unusual ability—he could smile. Pete’s smile was what greeted us each time we walked through the door, his own unique way of saying “Welcome home, People!”

At the time of my birth, Lyndon B. Johnson served as President of the United States. Our nation was a couple of years into the grieving process as a result of having lost a much-loved president to an assassin’s bullet. On the other side of the world, American soldiers were courageously fighting a war in Vietnam, and at home a war of a different kind was being waged—a battle for civil rights and equality for all. In the entertainment world, the Beatles were introducing the world to the music that would make them legends. American families spent their evenings gathered around their television sets, laughing hysterically as they enjoyed the latest episodes of “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” and “Green Acres.” The median household income for the nation was a mere $7, 143 and the cost of a postage stamp was 5¢.

I was blessed with a mother who took good care of herself during her pregnancies. Mine was no exception. She didn’t smoke or drink or take drugs. She ate right and visited the obstetrician at all the appointed times. I believe that the time leading up to my birth was joyous because my mother told me it was. On Mother’s Day of 2008, she wrote me a letter telling me how happy she was to learn about her pregnancy with me. She had just suffered a miscarriage that had left her with a hole in her heart that only another child could fill. I have seen first-hand the value she places on the process of bringing forth new life. The birth of a child is something she treasures. She absolutely adores babies! In fact, I’ve never met anyone who loves them any more than she does. And for as long as I’ve known her, being a wife and mother is all she ever wanted to do with her life. She seems completely happy when she’s doing just that. So I am certain that the addition of another little one to her flock was met with lots of joy."

Examination Point: Now it's your turn. Answer these questions and share (blog) your story with us! Let's see what our stories have in common...

Was your own conception anticipated or was it a surprise? What have you been told about your mom’s pregnancy when she was carrying you? Were there any difficulties or was it an easy pregnancy? How old were your mom and dad? Were they married at the time she got pregnant? Did she take any drugs or drink alcohol during the pregnancy? Did she work? If so, what type? What type of job did your dad hold? Did he travel a lot during the pregnancy?

Were there siblings awaiting your arrival? If so, how many and how old? What was your place in the family (first, second, baby)? How many were boys/girls? What about your extended family? What changes were made because of your impending arrival (move to new home, get a job, quit school, etc.)? Was your family experiencing any financial difficulties during that time? Were there any major traumas (deaths, moves, job losses, etc.) that occurred in your family during the pregnancy?

Where was your first home? What type of dwelling was it (house, apartment)? What did it look like? How many bedrooms and bathrooms did it have? Was a nursery decorated in your honor? What theme was chosen and why? Who did the planning and decorating?

In which era were you born (the Depression, Baby Boomer, Generation X, etc.) Who was the President at that time? What major events were going on in the world during the time of your birth? What music was popular? What were the fads? (Hint: To find this information out, you can do a Google search on the Internet and type in your birth year.)

Who did you learn this information from? (If you don't know the answers, is there someone you can call and ask?) How do you feel about examining your birth story? What feelings surface as you answer these questions? Why?

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