Do You Remember Your Eighteenth Birthday?

My daughter turned 18 today!  Since it was the last day of the holiday weekend we chose a homespun day, a special breakfast feast with brother. It was an awful day out, sleet, snow and grey skies.

My Kate often asks me to share the story of the day she was born:

Twas a day like today actually – exactly. COLD, but bright. Warm from the sun but mitten weather. My son and I went to the park that day and it struck me then. This is it. It’s the last time I will have you all to my self. We are going to be invaded. I didn’t mean to think of it like that but this pregnancy was tough and my marriage was not in a good place. I was depleted nutritionally and rather emotional. I didn’t even know how how emotional I truly was at the time. We walked – my son and I – mitten to mitten home from the park and had a grill cheese lunch – he was 4 and I could eat him up with a spoon I loved him so much. I had completely and insanely nested in a holiday way and had the tree up/decorated, the cards done – ready for baby has arrived – insert, I had all the gifts shopped for and wrapped. I had cooked and frozen meals. 

I had befriended my midwife – long story how that happened, but I got passed around a bit and lost my ob/gyn to an insurance stupidity.  I gained a wonderful midwife who nursed me – literally held my hand during a horrid 1st trimester, only to have her leave the state to follow the man of her dreams. Her best friend became my midwife. We had a ” date ” to attend the holiday open house at lill street galleries. I had always wanted to go – she too, we planned it – this was the day we were going.

Husband arrived home after work, dinner was waiting for him, I got in the shower. I kept wetting my underpants once I got out. NEVER occurred to me that my water broke – until the pains started. Yikes. Called Melissa and she said,  “talk to me darlin – yup your moving along.” She was right because things started speeding up. “Guess were not going out tonight, eh?” ( Want to hear something funny ? I never did get to those galleries. Lill Street is known for it’s ceramics!)

One never really exactly plans for the day or moment one gives birth – first delivery was classic text book, lovely and calm. This one was as she said totally movin’

We had to drive into the city, drop off my son and then get to the hospital.

Not like a kid really gets the urgency.

I remember saying to my husband – you are going to drive fast aren’t you?

The baby dropped into the birth canal while my son was being dropped off – my sister comes out to the car like it’s a tea party – darlin I’ve got a bowling ball between my legs.

The hospital we went to wasn’t loop chicago, but it was city. NO convenient parking. Busy streets. They have this nifty feature – a seperate maternity entrance and special elevator – like the bat cave or something – waddle me in – push the button – straight up to the pregnancy ward.

The rest is quite the blur 

honey you have got to take my underware off,
oh hi melissa,
damn you karen –your going to have this baby without an ounce of help from me

scream, push, s-c-r-e-a-m louder, push harder  
PLOP — a girl!! 8 lbs 3 0z 19 inches long

This was 20 minutes after I was put in that nifty elevator

I am amazed to this day how different each child is — this lively brand new baby girl latched onto my breast STARVED – she took what she needed purposefully and rather energetically and then seemingly was like OK what’s next ? As if she had things to do and places to go. This is my daughter to this very day

I really wanted to name her Rachel Ann.  My mother in law apparently knew a Rachel once with green teeth. She declared that  she would never call my child by that name. ( do you find that hysterically funny like I do? )

My alternative name was Kate Lyn.  However preposterous it was that my mother in law would try to influence the naming of MY child – the truth is ….Kate was a Kate the moment she was born.

Happy Happy Birthday darling. I simply adore you.


me age 18


My daughter age 18 shot taken by sam – photography student

Kate – my beauty. Stunning vocalist, theatre drama queen, thoughtful director, amazing writer, funny – right on funny – perfectly silly funny, photographer, artist, compassionate and caring beyond her years,wise, very talented scramble egg maker,culinary chef – ha! total slob, adores reading, music, shoes, scrapbooking, babysitting, great hugger

her photography
my favorite of her brother
her poetry – the illustration to madame zarimba (someday my files will all match)
her binder collage work (oops one is missing – arghh)

resume is just too darn long to post here. pretty amazing

K a r e n     H a n r a h a n
Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant
Mentoring YOU to Health Success
708.482.0678
 
Websites:
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Member of BNI – West Suburban BNI: “Chapter Mentor”
Member of West Suburban Women Entrepreneurs
www.wswe.org
WSWE Board Member and Programming Chair 

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8 Responses to Do You Remember Your Eighteenth Birthday?

  1. nadine sellers says:

    so, i was giving birth, kinda busy…what with polishing the stairs between pains, and what if my mother came to visit while i was gone? or, or? what else do you do for your big day?gorgeous girls, you and she. she, you, two talented ones on this calendar.

  2. Lori Friedman says:

    Hi Karen,I LOVED this blog about Kate. Happy 18th Kate. Big birthday!!!Your love for her is very evident and lovely.My David was born 6 weeks early (I told him he was in a hurry to be born), had 13 hours of contractions 2 minutes apart – when he was finally born, he only weighed 4 lbs. 15 oz. and was 17 inches long, but he screamed his head off and made his presence known – he’s been that way ever since- travelled by himself across country every summer from the time he was 9. Couldn’t wait to go to live at college and left at 17.He’s still in a hurry to reach his current academic goals. AND he still makes his presence known!!!Yep, we have them for a small time, then they move onto thier own lives – the best things we can give our kids are wings so they can fly.Lori

  3. Karen Hanrahan says:

    isn’t that the truth ????? Thanks for saying that we are gorgeous – gorgeous!

  4. Karen Hanrahan says:

    and perhaps hope that they learn patience along the way too …thanks for the wishes for Kate’s Birthday!!  I once held a premie – 1 lb 12 oz and fed her breast milk from her mother, the girl survived and is a year older than my son – it was like participating in a miracle

  5. Happy Birthday Kate. If she is like me, being a Saggittarian just means she has a ton of other things that she would rather be doing than cleaning. I am very organized in some areas and could care less about others.

  6. Karen Hanrahan says:

     I would say you are very accurate about her “sagitarious” wise — if you have a birthday around now Patricia – oh very happy day!!

  7. Patricia says:

    What a lovely blog post in honor of your fabulous Kate. Happy birthday, Kate!

  8. Karen Hanrahan says:

     Thank you Patricia!

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