I became a mother 42 years ago today. It was something I had wanted since I was a little girl and, even when it was hard and when I had no clue what I was doing, I never regretted it.
Christian was born 4 ½ years after his father and I were married, but he was planned long before that. For years I crocheted blankets, sweaters, and booties; I embroidered bibs and baby blankets; and I filled a huge jar with pennies that were eventually used to buy his crib. His first name was chosen several years before he was born when Andy Williams introduced his new son Christian on his Christmas special. I chose Damien as his middle name while I was pregnant, and he has spent his entire life explaining that he was named after the priest in The Exorcist and not the satanic Damian, the movie that came along several years after he did.
My pregnancy was relatively easy – the delivery – not so much. There were technical explanations, but what it came down to was small mother and large baby who was sunny-side up. His paternal grandmother had her own theory. She said he was inside, little hands and feet braced on the walls of the only home he had known, screaming, I’m not coming out!! You’ll have to come in and get me! And they did. Here’s an excerpt from something I wrote about the experience:
The delivery room was a jumble of relief, anxiety, and laughter. When the anesthesiologist rolled me onto my side for the epidural, I didn’t think about the needle going into my spine. All I thought about was the absence of pain. But just as I was beginning to relax into the relief, I felt a tugging sensation somewhere below the sheet that draped the lower half of my body. I couldn’t see the surgical team, but I could hear them.
“The baby’s stuck. I can’t get him out.”
Well, you’d better figure something out quick, I thought. He’s not staying in there!!
They must have figured it out, because the next thing I heard was Christian’s first cry and the doctors’ laughter.
“This kid’s peeing all over me.”
That’s my boy.
Yes, that was my boy, Christian Damien Piatt, making his voice heard and pissing some people off in the process. Some things don’t change much.
Happy Birthday, Christian!