When asked to name my best holiday memory, I have a very quick response–December 24th, 1981 at 11:20 AM. That’s the day and time I gave birth to my birth daughter, Barbi. I had been in the hospital since the day after Thanksgiving, because I had a very “high risk” pregnancy. This was my third pregnancy, and my doctor called it “prime,” since the longest I had carried before was when I delivered twin girls at 26 weeks. Emily and Erin were born alive, but died within minutes. They were beautiful and perfect, but in 1980, too tiny and immature to live outside my womb. My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage at ten weeks. I had already spent two of those weeks in the hospital with clots in my legs and lungs.
So this pregnancy in 1981 was, indeed, prime. Stay in the hospital from Thanksgiving until I delivered? Sure, no problem. So it was Christmastime. My husband, Dave, and I only wanted one gift, and she was growing bigger and stronger every day in my womb. Back then ultrasounds didn’t reveal the baby’s gender, so we didn’t know she was a she. All we knew was she was almost full-term, and all indications were positive for a healthy baby.
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