…It’s been another scorching summer in the San Joaquin Valley, easily about 105 every day. The heat was exacerbated by my being 9 months pregnant driving 80 mi. round trip to the OB twice a week in the Datsun with no air conditioning! Gary picked up my mom yesterday at the Fresno Air Terminal, where he works on turboprops. Andy and Adam were thrilled to see Grandma and I breathed a sigh of relief to have my mama here with me. Gary actually went into work this morning and came home at noon to drive me to Sanger, the “Raisin Capital of the World” for my scheduled C-section. On the way, I brought up the remote possibility that this baby just might break the long chain of males and that we should select a girl name- just in case. So I suggested a first name and he a middle name, we agreed and it was settled! The nurses prepping me asked if I wanted a girl or boy, and after my response, painted a giant orange Betadyn “G” on my belly. I have to admit I was scared- far more than I was with Andy or Adam. Remembering how Adam almost died at birth- his heart did stop twice as they rushed him to a Children’s Hospital 20 miles away- and how my own anesthesia left me unable to breathe and created a rush of activity in the OR, I had a hard time being calm as I waited for them to wheel me in for surgery. But I was the only OB patient today- hey, this is a little town- and got lots of caring attention. When we finally made it to the OR, Gary and my doc took up a conversation about airplanes whilst I was being cut open! I thought, hey, you guys, pay attention to ME, ok? And then, miraculously, there you were and the doctor said, “You’ve got a girl.” This warm, smooth joy spread through me and when they handed you to me, I felt as if you had been a part of me for my whole life. Gary gently carried you to the nursery and was annoyed to hear people hooping and hollering loudly all the way down the hall- how rude... until he rounded the corner and saw it was our friends from church celebrating your arrival! He had already called home and your Grandma had brought Andy and Adam to meet their little sister. He snapped a picture of them looking at you through the nursery window. So now it’s dark and quiet in my room and, at nearly midnight, you are looking at me so intently but with so much pure trust, it’s hard to realize we had never seen each other until a few hours ago. And I pray, with thanksgiving, a blessing over my baby daughter.
…And now, 25 years later, I could not be more proud of you. I love you, daughter of my heart!
My mom and me on my birthday.