Friday, October 8, 2010

The story of my birth

I decided to make my debut in this world a year or so after my parents met, nine months after they married, and precisely on my due date.

Labor began while my parents and my dad's best friend were in the middle of watching Charlie's Angels, which is extremely rude behavior before the age of DVR's or even VCR's.  How much more polite to come earlier, when my mother ran around the house several times vainly hoping to entice me? Obviously, my vague distaste for exercise existed even in the womb.

Despite her earlier attempts to jump-start labor, after only one major contraction my mother changed her mind entirely about that whole "delivering a child" thing. It obviously was not for her and she simply was not going to do it. My father, despite knowledge of my mother's fierce determination in most things, still realized the flaw in her argument and persuaded her to go to the hospital anyway; his persuasion taking the form of enlisting his friend's help in carrying her to the car.

I was born in rural, rural Arkansas in 1976 which  meant a few things. First of all, I would never like to wear shoes (true story) and would feel compelled to shop at WalMart (who shares its beginning in rural Arkansas).  Also, they didn't go into all those new-fangled things like epidurals or allowing the father's presence in the birth room. No, they still used laughing gas and made the father pace outside. As they wheeled my mother away, she grabbed my father's hand and left him with immortal words of wisdom: "Honey, I forgot to iron your shirts." I think they still used laughing gas just to give the husband teasing ammunition for the rest of eternity.

The rest of my birth is sort of unreliable as my mother was a little bit high and my father was not there.  I can assume that it actually happened. Pretty sure I wasn't dropped, even if that would explain a lot. It couldn't have been too horrid, either, as my mother did it 5 more times without any medication or epidural.  My siblings can thank me for their existence later.


Now anyone who has ever said, "What's in a name?" has never been through child naming negotiations. Sorry Shakespeare, but apparently there is a lot in a name. My parents were no different. My father, the driving force behind "Charlotte", made solemn vows to never abbreviate my name to "Char", a nickname my mother did not appreciate. I can't be certain what threats were made, but they must have been severe as the nickname was never used. On rare occasions when people insist my name needs shortening, I have gone by Charlie. I'm sure this is some cosmic commentary on interrupting Charlie's Angels with my birth.

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I would like to preemptively apologize to my mother for the preceding story. Obviously I can only go on what I've been told about my birth and, re-reading it, it must be my father who told me. Why else the knowledge of what was on TV and the good-humored teasing of my mother? Any inaccuracies can be blamed on waiting until late to write this so I couldn't call and double check facts and/or my own faulty memory . I was born under the influence of laughing gas, after all.

32 comments:

  1. I am laughing so hard, without the laughing gas thankfully. This was such a fun story to read first thing on a Friday. You are too sweet Charlie!

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  2. I'll send all the people cursing my existance your way ;) You captured both of our parents perfectly in this!

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  3. That has to be one of the best birth stories, despite the missing info in the middle. I like the part where they carried your mom to the car best :)

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  4. big smiles over here...
    what a fun story. Makes me wish I knew more about my own.
    Your mom is a real trooper!!

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  5. gah, laughing gas...that's awful! funnily enough minutes before my son entered the world I told everyone "ok I'm tired you can all go away and I'm going to nap now" they all insisted that was just not possible at that point...sigh...

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  6. Wait, do you have a southern accent then?

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  7. Hm, I wish I knew what happened when I was born... My parents did wait 8 years before deciding to try the baby thing again, I wonder if I had anything to do with that...
    Also, I could have SWORN I've heard your dad call you "Char"!

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  8. One of the best birth stories ever!

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  9. Laughing gas, ick. Although it could have been a little fun too I suppose.

    I never had a nickname until I started blogging. Suddenly I became Alli instead of Allison. But I kind of like it.

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  10. Ok, they had to carry me because I was NOT going to have a baby, it hurt I didn't like hurting. I would have gone before Charlie's Angels started but oh well. The first labor pain came at midnight and I told your dad I thought I was starting labor and he asked if it would be at least an hour, I told him it would and he said wake me up then.
    Glad I decided to have you though. I even laugh at your birth experience now.

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  11. By the way when I was born they actually put my mother to sleep so she has no memory at all. My memory at least is gassy.

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  12. Such funny details get passed along in our stories! Great first week post! I was always against nicknames too, and continue to be for my sons!

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  13. I had no idea they used laughing gas! That's awesome.

    I have an Aunt Char. But her full name is Charlene.

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  14. Love this! I never would have though to actually write down my birth story. I think that might require asking my parents about it, though...

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  15. seriously - an aversion to exercise and ironing are inborn traits I hear.

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  16. Okay that 4th paragraph about Arkansas was a riot!!!

    You have done a great job of showing your own personality, inserting history, and making us all giggle at our computers.

    I am SO glad you are joining us. It will be my treat to read along!

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  17. I think this is a sweet story! And I love the name they picked for you :)

    I also realized during this post that you are precisely six years older than me and have exactly six more children than I do!!! :P

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  18. This is awesome! I loved reading it. And your mom is beautiful. Is she even pregnant in this photo?

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  19. So fun to read! It also makes me want to make sure that my kids know their own birth stories that much better. Although none of them are quite as funny as yours. :)

    And when my brother Nathaniel came home from the hospital, my mother gave us a very long lecture about how we would never ever ever call him Nat. And of course we never did. He's Nate. :)

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  20. Family history stories are the best. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. When I was young, there was a perfume commercial for Charlie perfume. At the end of the commercial there was a little girl who peeked around the corner, then the narrator said, "the next Charlie." I loved that commercial and was going to name my daughter Charlie (Charlotte) for a long time after that. It's still an adorable name either way!

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  22. What a wonderful introduction to your life! Thanks for sharing.

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  23. I actually remember getting in trouble once for calling you Char, by Mom. I agree with Tami, you definately captured our parents personalities in your story.

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  24. It seems like there was a lot of getting high in the 70's... and it appears as if the doctors supported it. ;-)

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  25. How fun that you know so much about your own birth. All I know is that I was born while my dad was golfing.

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  26. A year after they met, 9 months after the wedding. Sounds like my husband! Love it!

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  27. I knew from the moment I met you that you were really a Charlie's Angel.

    And I see the wisdom in keeping the father's outside.

    I told my hubby that I hated him and had a strange urge to strangle him while I was having my all-natural labor with my last baby. :D

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  28. Heehee, I love how your mom has a gassy memory of the whole experience!

    Glad you came into the world!

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  29. Can't you believe you had the gall to ruin "Charlie's Angels"! That was one masterpiece of pure intellectual drama. Oh well, hope your mom caught it in re-runs.

    This post made me so happy for epidurals and for papas in the delivery room.

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