17 years ago today, my first-born daughter made her grand entrance onto this giant stage we call life.

Wow, that was sappy.

I was thrilled when I found out I was pregnant. I got married at 29, so I wanted to start a family right away – my eggs weren’t getting any younger!

The pregnancy was a breeze. I only got sick once, and that was the day I came back from the doctors after the official diagnosis of bun in the oven. I think I was overwhelmed and a tad freaked out by the enormity of the news.

I never got a baby shower though. My sister had one all planned, but her kids got the chicken pox just two days before the party, which made it a bad idea to have throngs of women and children in your house. With no time to snag an alternate location, poor little Slovie and littler Slovie soon to be were showerless.

As my due date loomed nearer, my doctor concluded that the baby was not dropping, nor was she in the right position for an easy birth. With the diagnosis of her being breech, we prepared for a C-Section.

I have to admit I was bummed. Gone for me was the waiting, and then that moment where you knew the baby was coming and it was time to rush to the hospital. Gone for me were the hours waiting, numbed with an epidural, until I was told to push, and then getting to hold your child for the first time.
I know there are sucky things about natural childbirth too, but would any of you moms trade that experience?

My C-Section was scheduled for August 18th. I was a little bummed because I discovered that day was Kathie Lee Gifford’s birthday – what a lame celebrity to share your natal anniversary with.

On the evening of August 14th, 1995 I was sitting eating a large bowl of spaghetti. I had skipped lunch and was hungry. As I rested the bowl on my large belly, it occurred to me that I had not felt the baby move for quite a while. In fact, I could not remember her moving the entire day.

A wee bit panicked, I called my doctor. The nurse asked if I could come in, and I quickly changed, grabbed my purse and headed out the door. After an examination, my doctor decided it would be best to admit me immediately and perform the C-Section that night.

There was no real danger, it was just a precaution. It’s not like she needed to bake for another two days or she wouldn’t come out right. I called my husband, who left work, and picked me up at the doctors. We drove to the hospital and got ready to have a baby.

The actual birth experience was a real disappointment for me. Getting the spinal hurt like hell – I don’t ever want to feel pain like that again. During the actual operation, the doctors were all business. They quickly brought my girl into the world, and then wrapped like a ninja, they flashed her in front of my face and whisked her out of the operating room – hubby followed like a leaf caught on a breeze.

I was stuck strapped to a gurney while the doctors stitched me up. They talked to one another about golf scores and who they liked in the upcoming football season. Here I was a brand new mother, and except for closing the gaping wound in my abdomen, I was largely ignored.

Once I returned to my room I was tired, cranky and in pain. I think they brought the baby in once, but they kept her in the nursery through the night. The next morning I had to wonder if I’d had a baby at all…where the hell was she?

The staff did not encourage me to breast feed. Because she was 5 pounds, they decided she needed supplemental feeding via the bottle regardless of the fact that she had perfect APGAR scores. After a few days on the bottle getting her to nurse was impossible for an inexperienced mom with absolutely no guidance.

The day we took her home was sunny and bright. The first song we heard on the way home was Todd Rungren’s “I Saw The Light,” and to this day, I consider it her official song, much to my husband’s dismay. I think it’s absolutely perfect.

And that was 17 years ago. My first-born has been an absolute joy to have as a daughter. As a baby she was quiet and sweet. As a teenager she is on the shy side, but has grown to have an appreciation of things that are funky and slightly retro, loves to read and draw, and is not afraid to laugh at herself.

Just like her dear old mom.