Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Story of My Birth

I am taking part in the "Mommy's Piggy Tales: Record Your Youth" project. Every Thursday, I will be writing about a certain time in my life, starting with my birth. To read more about this project (and maybe you'd even like to get involved), visit here. .

While I wouldn't call myself a "pack-rat," I've always been a "saver" of things that are special to me. When Ryan married me, he quickly learned he would also be acquiring many heavy tubs, full of my keepsakes. (He's had to lug these tubs up and down apartment steps and attic steps during several moves.)

My great aunt Mert got me started scrapbooking when I was young, and I fell in love with the creative kind of scrapbooking that exists now after I found out I was expecting my first son. Over the years I have made scrapbooks for family members, and I've started a few (completed this one of my early years) for myself. I hope this project will spur me on to finish my other scrapbooks I have started. Maybe my kids will be interested in them one day, and I sort of see it also as an acknowledgment to my parents - that I loved my childhood, and I'm proud of the life they gave me.

What I had written on this page:

Mom and Dad went to her regularly scheduled doctor's appointment on July 22. The doctor told her to stay in town (We lived about 40 minutes away.) because she would probably have me soon. They ate lunch at Mexican Villa (surprise, surprise) and back at the hospital, Mom got really sick. The doctor started laughing as soon as he saw her and said he should have warned her not to eat spicy food. I was born at 8:25 p.m. that night at St. John's.

Little did I know...a force of nature (who would later become a dear friend) was also making her entrance into a room somewhere down the hall.

19-20 years later, while sitting in one of our elementary ed. classes, Julie and I had great fun discovering that we not only shared a birthday, but we also shared the same hospital nursery.
She wouldn't have recognized me, though. I hope I've changed a lot since then. (Although, I think I do still make that expression.) I weighed 9 pounds and 12 ounces. I apparently inherited the ability (curse?) of bearing big babies; my daughter was 9. 10. (Although, unlike me, my Mom was the superwoman who gave birth to her large babies without surgery.)

I'd like to say that hospital picture was a fluke, and I wasn't really that chubby...but, let's be honest.

My pretty momma and handsome daddy were married in February, when my Mom was barely 16, and my dad was 19. In September, my big brother was born. (You do the math. I remember when I was in elementary, telling friends that my brother was born really early because I couldn't have imagined any other explanation.) 2 years and 10 months later, my brother got a sister. (My parents have now been married 38 years! I'm SO proud of them for making it work.)
Matt and I were (are!) typical brother and sister: fought a lot and played and loved a lot, too.
There is no significance to my first name: Jenny (officially Jennifer). It was just a name my parents loved. They obviously weren't alone, as I think it was the top baby girl name in 1975. That's okay, though; I like my name. My Mom calls me Clara (or even Clara Sue), sometimes when I'm in trouble.
My middle name is Clara, which was my Dad's mother's name. (Don't my grandparents look like movie stars?) She unexpectedly died when my brother was a baby. My brother and sister-in-law carried the name on further by naming my niece Clara.

That's all I've got for now. My parents don't actually have very good memories of little things like our births, bless their hearts. I think taking care of 4 kids at such an early age zapped their memory processes. I ask her twenty questions, and she's like, "Hmm, I don't know," or "I don't really remember." My Mom won't even tell me if I was planned. "I wanted every single one of you. Of course." Me: "Yes, I know that. But was I planned, or was I a surprise?" She will NOT concede. She thinks that if she tells one of us we were a surprise, we'll think she loves us less. Silly Momma. I have really great parents.


Mom2three said...

Wow! What a story and accomplishment for your parents to be celebrating 38 years! Congratulations! I was a slight 9.1 lb baby, but our daughter was 9.14!!! Gotta love those big babies! I was amused at your "chubby" hospital. We didn't see our daughter's eyes until she was 2 days old! You would never be able to tell now that she was such a large baby though. I love Clara, as my daughter shares a common name - Claire. Great names to remember terrific people by. Looking forward to reading more of your story in the weeks to come!

LizzieV. said...

I think it's so neat that you started scrap-booking way before everyone else did. I think I was always drawn to that, too, but I wasn't lucky to have a mentor/friend like you. And you're right, this project might help me get a few more scrapbooks finished. Or at least started. Looking forward to reading your "scrapped" memories.

MaDonna Maurer said...

This is a great the idea. I might try it, but don't cross your fingers..especially since all my boxes (and I have a quite a few too) are stored at my mom's....may have to put this one off until we are back and I can scan a few pics from the ole scrapbooks.
And I had no idea about you and Julie...that is awesome!

Janna said...

Yes, the do look like movie stars and how neat that you get to carry the name Clara on.

38 years of marriage is awesome and I'm so glad you can look on your childhood with such joy:)

Anonymous said...

What a great story you have! How wonderful that your parents have been married 38 years - that is quite the accomplishment! I can't wait to hear more about your childhood in the weeks to come!!!

Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

Awww...Jenny! This was such a sweet post!! And so insightful. I liked hearing all about your parents and how your mom can't remember the details. VERY cute post. And great idea!! Wish I had time to do similar ones...or scrapbook my baby stuff! (Good grief, girl.)