My oldest, who's turning 21 on Dec. 26th, was born on St. Stephen's Day. When I went into labor in the early morning hours after Christmas Day, I knew I was going to have a boy since we had picked out the name Stephen. My husband didn't like the name Stephanie, however. I think he either dated someone by that name or knew someone and didn't like her...anyway, Stephanie was out. So, I was quite surprised when my baby was a girl! We had talked about girl names, so we had some picked out, but I just knew that since I was going into labor on St. Stephen's Day, my child would be a boy!
Shortly after giving birth to Maria (as in three months later!) I found myself pregnant for a second time. My second baby was due on December 26th! Fast forward to the following December. It's 4 days before my due date and my daughter's first birthday. We had just moved into military housing and still had moving boxes piled everywhere. I was on active duty in the Navy and my husband was on shift work for a defense contractor. We had a young child and precious little time to unpack boxes!
On December 22nd, I picked up Maria from her day-care provider. As soon as she came in the house she threw up on my expensive Pakistani wool rug. I had a very bad feeling as I cleaned up the mess. Within a few hours, my stomach wasn't feeling too good either. Since I was so close to my due date, my husband drove me to the urgent-care clinic at a nearby Air Force base. There was a lot of this sort of stomach virus going around and several people were throwing up. All they could tell me was "don't get dehydrated!" Before we left the urgent-care clinic, my husband had to run to the bathroom to throw up.
We went home and proceeded to throw up all night. Fortunately, there were two toilets near the master bedroom because we were using them both. The next morning I felt much better, but I called in sick to work because I had terrible stomach cramps.
"Were they at regular intervals?" my Navy petty officer asked me.
"Why, yes! They are coming about once every 5 minutes!" I replied. "Maybe they're not stomach cramps after all. Maybe they're contractions!" So I decided to make a hasty trip to the Air Force hospital at Andrews AFB. When they put me on the scale, I had lost 5 pounds from my last prenatal visit. So I guess I was a bit dehydrated, which brought on labor. As soon as they got an IV into me I felt better. My poor husband, who had also been throwing up all night, had to coach me through labor without the benefit of an IV.
Our son, Pier, was born on Dec. 23rd, 3 days before his sister turned one. On Christmas morning, as we waited for the on-call doctor to sign the release papers, we went to morning Mass in the hospital chapel with about a dozen or so others, some of whom were wearing hospital gowns. At least I could put my clothes back on! A friend had given me a cute little Santa suit for my newborn baby to wear on his homecoming. The nurses all thought he was so cute, one of them asked if she could "borrow" him to show him off to some nurses on other floors. I said, "sure," and she whisked him away for about 20 or 30 minutes. My husband, who wasn't there at the time, thought I was crazy letting someone go off with my baby. I fretted until she came back with him.
We came home from the hospital on Christmas Day. We had just moved into military housing three weeks before his birth, so we still had moving boxes everywhere and the Christmas tree, which was propped up in the corner of the room until we could find the Christmas tree stand, was dropping needles like crazy.
A kind-hearted neighbor brought us some Christmas dinner on paper plates, which we ate while sitting on moving boxes. We were so exhausted that evening, that we decided not to try opening Christmas presents until the next day.
So, here's to my first two Christmas babies, who will both be 20 for three days this year! There's a good reason to have babies when you're young!