On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth.
On the other hand, we can open all our own jars.
~ Bruce Willis
Twenty-five years ago today, a stubborn little person fought her way out of my womb as I lay whimpering in a hospital delivery room. After more than 20 hours of back-breaking, toe-curling labor, my brilliant (I use this term loosely) medical team tore themselves away from the World Series and decided perhaps the monitors suggesting you (who had been in distress for the umpteenth time) might need to come out of me ASAP. Well, DUH! There was no way this beast of a baby was coming out of tiny 4′ 10″ Amy. No way, no how.
We scrambled to the operating room. Your dad was fascinated by the whole operation. You’d think seeing his wife cut open by a stranger would have bothered him a little bit, but he had a wonderful anatomical conversation with the doctor while I barfed.
I was definitely bothered by the play-by-play commentary delivered by the doctor. “We are now slicing open your abdominal wall.” Well, those weren’t his exact words, but you get the gist. I was a little preoccupied at the moment. I asked him to refrain from sharing and just put on some tunes like they did in M*A*S*H so I could get lost in my happy place.
Thanks to Julius Caesar, our healthy little girl was born…all 9 pounds, 2 ounces of you. Oh, lest I forget your 22″ body and 15-1/2″ head. I am 58″ tall on a good day… you do the math. Why is it that all my tall friends had six pounders?
Medical personnel thought you were a boy based on the breadth of your shoulders alone. “He is going to play football,” the doctor said. He was as shocked as the rest of us when your parts were more carefully examined. Had he not intervened surgically, you would probably still be kicking me in the ribs.
From her very first day on the planet, Kaia was able to hold her head erect and walk up her daddy’s chest. It was an incredible sight to behold. Although she screamed bloody murder for the first months of her life, I was pretty crazy about her. I’m sure she had a stomachache from being so cramped in my little belly, so who could blame her. Her colic ended the day she was baptized. A coincidence? I’m not so sure.
You have grown from a strong athletic little girl to a strong, purpose-driven woman full of hopes and dreams. And she is going after these dreams with a vengeance. Here we are a quarter century later and we are still joined at the hip. You may live 400 miles away, but we take every opportunity to be together and communicate electronically. We are true heart friends and I know I can call on you day or night.
You are warm, loving, beautiful, funny, generous, smart, and talented, and you are driven by the kind of faith for which most of us have always longed. To you, doing what is right is far more important than doing what is popular. You even promised to change my diapers when I’m an old lady. :)
So here’s to you, Sunshine. Twenty-five years down, an eternity to go.
I’ll love you forever.
Amy Hammond Hagberg
Author, Editor, and Speaker