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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why My Birthday is More Than a Birthday

Right now Owen’s birthday cake is in the oven. I will be attempting to shape it into Ripslinger from Planes a little later today. (Heaven help me.) Owen is sitting at the counter playing with a few of his Thomas trains while we wait for the cake to bake, chatting merrily away to himself, creating stories of near misses at the countertop’s edge. I am feeling beyond grateful for this moment.

owen's 3rd birthday and thoughts on motherhood from @janemaynard

Three years ago Owen was born on my birthday. Without a doubt it was my best birthday ever and Owen was the greatest birthday gift I could ever have dreamed of. Three years ago was also, without a doubt, the most traumatic day of my life. After a calm morning of labor, suddenly things changed. And, before we knew it, Nate was alone in the labor and delivery room and I was in an operating room being put under general anesthesia. Neither of us would witness Owen’s birth. Nate met him 15 minutes later. I met my son 2 hours after his birth.

thoughts on my son's birth by @janemaynard

I will never forget every last detail of that day. For nearly a year I would cry just at the slightest thought of those events. Now I just cry once in a while, usually when I least expect it. I always cry on my birthday, though. I can’t help it. I am just so grateful, it’s overwhelming. Grateful to have this greatest-of-all birthday presents in my life, playing with trains and asking me to play the Planes soundtrack yet again.

thoughts on my son's birth by @janemaynard

When I was being wheeled from the delivery room to the OR, I was a complete basket case. My anesthesiologist was a saint who talked me through the whole experience, with a calm and loving voice. The thing I was so fixated on was that I would not see Owen born like I had the girls. I couldn’t stop saying that over and over. As I look back it almost makes me laugh. There was so much on the line in those 6 minutes between discovering the problem (prolapse cord) and Owen’s birth. And the only thing I could think about was that I wouldn’t get the happy birth moment I had envisioned and experienced before. I didn’t think once about Owen’s mortality and, honestly, I am so grateful my neurotic brain didn’t go there, that I was protecting myself from those thoughts. I’m even more grateful that everything turned out okay in the end. We were so lucky.

owen's 3rd birthday and thoughts on motherhood from @janemaynard

I joke with people that Owen ruined my birthday. Not only did he steal it from me, but he turned it into my #1 PTSD trigger! Seriously, though, I love sharing my birthday with this amazing kid and I know that it is miraculous.

Life is good. It does not always go as planned. Sometimes it is more than we can bear. But it is always beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Owen.


  1. 1

    I share a birthday with my mother, too. She says I took them from her too, but that was good because she’s still 31 and well, I’m about to be 40. I think she got the better end of that deal.

  2. 2

    36 years ago I became a mother for the first time. Not as traumatic but oh so beautiful and still makes me cry to think of that very special experience. Love you my little child!

  3. Happy birthday, Jane and Owen! What a story — I am so glad he arrived safely. My husband also was born on his mom’s birthday! And Lucas was just three days shy of being born on mine. (He was already two full weeks late, though, so that was just fine with me!)

  4. Such a sweet post.s Happy birthday to you and your sweet little angel.

  5. Happy birthday to you both! Certainly a day you will never forget. <3

  6. Happy Birthday to you both!! What a scary time, with such a happy ending!

  7. 7
    Kelli Layton

    I forgot Owen was born on your birthday like my Jacob was born on my birthday. If only Jacob was born on your birthday and Owen was born on my birthday…. Just a few days off. Right? Sometimes I want to tell Jacob his birthday is actually sooner. Then I wonder if that is really the best idea because I know he will some day know the truth. Happy Birthday! You’re looking awesome!

    • I forgot jacob was born on yours! you’re right, if only those boys had switched! 😉

      I love that you’ve even thought about telling him is birthday is sooner – that is AWESOME. 🙂

  8. 8
    Kim from PA

    OK, so reading this just make me cry.

    Happy birthday to both you and Owen!

  9. 9

    The things we do for these sweet babies! I am in love with these pictures!

  10. Happy Birthday x2! What a hard thing to go through, but an awesome thing to celebrate!

  11. 11

    Boy do I hear you. My 1st, my girl, was delivered via emergency csection after my water suddenly broke big time at 35 weeks. I didn’t get to meet her for hours and I didn’t get to hold her for days. To say it was devastating to lay cut open on the table while my screaming girl was whisked away is an understatement, and I still cry every time I really think about it. She’s 3 and perfect now, and I’m so blessed to have her. She’s never been as cuddly as my son though, and I’ll never stop wondering if it’s because she spent the first week of her life mostly untouched except for poking needles and tubes. When my 2nd, my boy, was born full term via csection I couldn’t stop sobbing in the OR. The nurses thought I was sad about my failed vbac, but really I was mourning all over again for my girl’s arrival. He arrived robust as could be, and is 1 now and the sweetest snuggle bug I’ve ever met. But yeah, that couldn’t see/hold my brand new baby wound never really goes away does it?

  12. 12

    So sweet!! Not sure why I keep forgetting you share a birthday with Owen, since I share one too 😉 But now I’ll remember it well with that sweet sweet tribute! I teared up a bit reading. Love you tons!!

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