It was Friday, August 2, 2002. It had been a crappy day, because my boss had informed me that she was not going to be paying me for maternity leave after all. She waited until FIVE DAYS before my due date to tell me this. I was just glad that it was Friday, and I hoped that I would go into labor so I wouldn’t have to go back on Monday and deal with that.

Daddy, your brother and I went to Steak & Shake for dinner, and as we were finishing up, I felt a contraction. I never had those Braxton-Hicks contractions with you or your brother, so I knew this was probably the real deal and I was going to monitor the situation closely. Sure enough, they started coming pretty regularly.

So, did I call the doctor? Of course not! I knew that your Grammy would be coming to visit as soon as you were born, and I had to clean the bathroom! The master bathroom, that she would never be using during her stay. So there I was, on my hands and knees, sweating profusely while scrubbing the floor in between contractions. By the time I finished the floor, the contractions were three minutes apart. So I called the doctor, and we went to the hospital around 9:00 that night.

Once I got settled into my room, the nurse measured me and said I was dilated to about 4 cm. I tentatively asked for my epidural, and the nurse responded with, “Sure, I’ll call the anesthesiologist!” This was nothing like when I was in labor with your brother. They made me wait hours before getting it. I loved this hospital already.

When the anesthesiologist came in, I assumed the position of sitting on the edge of the table, with my back curled down as much as I possibly could with a large watermelon attached to my midsection. As he was performing the procedure, I could smell something that smelled like dirty feet. “Man, the doctor’s feet reek!” I thought to myself. After doping me up quite well, he left, but the smell still lingered. A light bulb went off in my head, and I ominously brought a foot to my nose. Yep, MY feet! D’oh! I had the nurse bring me a washcloth so I could spare the rest of the staff the glory of my odoriferous footsies. (See, pregnant women sweat. And when it’s August, they sweat A LOT. Especially the feet.)

Time marched on through the night. I dilated slowly, but at least I was progressing. The nurses kept a close eye on my blood pressure, as it had dropped very low after the epidural. It stayed quite low the whole time, but I was fine. I loved watching the contractions on the monitor, and blissfully feeling nothing. I would be all rested up for your arrival.

At one point, one of the nurses came in, looked at the fetal monitor and said that your heart rate was dropping during contractions. Nothing too concerning, but they gave me an oxygen mask to make sure you were getting enough too. Very quickly afterward, I was dilated to 10 cm, and it was time to push.

The doctor came in, not my regular doctor who was on vacation, but her partner. He was a such a nice, funny man. As my next contraction came, the doctor and nurses instructed me to push while Daddy counted to 10. I did, and at 5:18 a.m. on Saturday morning, you came out! In ONE PUSH. I’m pretty sure that’s a world record.

The umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck TWICE, and the doctor gently lifted it over your head, with no problem whatsoever. Daddy cut the cord, the nurses bundled you up and handed you to me, and I got to see your sweet face for the first time. You were such a handsome guy, even way back then.

My dearest Surfer Boy, it’s been such an infinite pleasure to be your Mommy for the past seven years. You are such a blessing to everyone who meets you. I don’t know if you realize how truly blessed you are. You’re so smart, at the top of your class. You’re so loving, kind and funny. You’re so handsome, with your blonde hair, green eyes and tanned skin. You’re so talented, excelling at every sport you try. You have it all, sweetheart. Use it wisely.

Thank you for still hugging and kissing me when I drop you off at school (even though you won’t hold my hand when we go out in public). Thank you for still letting me call you “baby”, because that’s what you’ll always be to me, no matter how old you are. And thank you for bringing me so much joy to my life, more than I ever knew was possible.

Happy Birthday, Surfer Boy. I love you.


Sweet catch!

Sweet catch!



  1. CJ
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Very sweet! Happy Birthday, Surfer Boy.

  2. Mother of The Luke
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    So sweet that I’m tearing up on a Monday morning!

  3. Posted August 3, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    So sweet! Happy Birthday, Surfer Boy.

  4. Posted August 3, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    A very Happy Birthday to you SurferBoy! August 3 is a great day to be born!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I read your post today, how awesome!

  5. Lori
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    AAHHH!! Brought tears to my eyes! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK!

  6. Justin
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Jack! Tell mom to bring you to SoCal for your b’day present! That’s be more like a present for Aunt Lori and Uncle Justin, though.

  7. Gramps
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday Jack! I well remember the day you were born. You’ve always been good about sharing your feelings with others.
    You are lucky to have such caring parents. They have helped you become an excellent student and athlete. Keep up the good work.
    Love always, Gramps

  8. Posted August 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Ben was born August 20, 2001. Good kids, ours.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Sweet! Gotta love those Leos. He’s a Leo, right? I always get confused around the 20th or so.

  9. Posted August 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to your son!

    (Funny that you remember your smelly feet.)

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted August 4, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Thanks!! It’s a hard thing to forget, trust me. I’d been wearing the same shoes for weeks, so you can imagine…

  10. Honeybee
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday, Jack. Hey, one of your other blessings is having a mommy who is such a great writer! Now you can always have this story to remember how much you were wanted and loved!

  11. Grammy
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Jack!
    I am so very proud to be your grandmother.
    Every time I think of you I smile. You have and continue to bring me such joy. You are kind, thoughtful, considerate, smart, talented, and handsome. Our family is truly blessed to have you and your wonderful brother, Alex. I love you more than all the stars in the universe.

  12. Neisa
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jack,
    Happy Birthday!!!! You are a very special young man with a big family that loves you! Hope it was a wonderful day! You will cherish what you Mom wrote forever. Thank you Suzy for sharing it with us!

  13. ElectraWoman
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful story! (sniff, sniff)

    Jack, I hope you had an absolutely wonderful birthday. You’ll be almost 14 when your cousin Dashiell turns 7. I hope he’s half as cool as you!


    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted August 5, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Jack says thanks! Don’t get me started on thinking about him being 14. Sheesh!!

  14. Posted August 5, 2009 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    The epidural description had me cringing in my seat and made me a little light headed, but I just about fell over from laughter thinking about you bringing your foot up to your nose to locate the source of the odor!

    Happy Birthday, Jack! I hope it was a good one.

  15. Posted August 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful tribute. I love reading posts like this, after some time has passed and the memories of childbirth have softened around the edges.

    Happy Birthday Jack! Hope it was a brilliant one!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted August 9, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Thank you so much! I’d never written his birth story down, so it was wonderful to go back and remember. He just had his “kid” party last night. Ten 7-year-olds playing baseball, having a watermelon eating contest, pizza, cake, presents, etc. My ears are bleeding today from all the yelling. 😉

      p.s. I love your blog! And your pictures are to die for!!

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