The Birth Day That Changed A Birthday Forever

by | Jan 30, 2016

The Birth Day That Changed A Birthday Forever
By Cindy Alfino

It’s not all that common to wake up on the morning of your birthday and think of someone else’s birthday instead. In fact, it’s probably safe to assume that when given the choice, most people would try to avoid it at all costs.

Except for me, that is.

Waking up on my 26th birthday was different to any preceding year, or any year since, actually. Instead of being woken up with cards that had hand prints in tomato sauce (this really happened) or getting the coveted chance to sleep in, we were being roused at 5:00 AM with the most annoying alarm. Not that I needed it – I’d been waking up every 10 minutes, either to go to the bathroom or to ponder how the day would turn out.

I got up that morning, not preparing for my own birthday celebrations, but for the birth day of my son. This year my tummy was bulging, not from eating too much cake (although that probably didn’t help), but because the little life growing inside it was imminently ready to exit the building.

Just a week before, we had been sitting in the gynaecologist’s office, debating what would be the best course of action for both baby and me. My pregnancy had me feeling persistently awful and constantly sick. The myth of morning sickness being confined to the mornings or only the first 13 weeks was just something that I witnessed in my gorgeous pregnant friends. And with two toddlers still demanding my full-time attention, I was over it. This baby needed to come out by whatever means necessary.

Having married into a family where sharing birthdays is somewhat of a tradition – my husband and father-in-law share the same birthday, [i]and[/i] my mother-in-law and sister-in-law do too – it was up for debate to see if we would follow suit. Since my baby needed to relocate as soon as possible, spending my birthday in labour sounded like a good idea at the time.

On my birthday, I was already in labour. We added a successful induction to help him along and then a not-so-successful epidural resulted in a perfect bundle being placed in my arms that day. Holding your newborn baby for the first time is an incredibly overwhelming moment – no matter what the date. The rush of hormones takes you from love to joy to terror to love to fear to happiness and then back to terror and love again. Having been through it a couple of times, I found that they were pretty normal feelings considering the weight of the situation,
but this time was different somehow.

Did I love him immediately? Absolutely! Did I suddenly wonder how on earth we were going to cope having three kids under three? You bet I did. But I also felt this remarkable sense of connectedness that I hadn’t felt with my two older children.

I’ve heard that mothers and sons tend to have a different type of relationship than mothers and daughters. Maybe that was it. It could also be that we’d decided that this was definitely going to be our very last baby. That could definitely be it. But I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s because we share our birthday. I’ll go full cliché and claim that it was the most amazing present that one person could give another.
So what’s it like sharing your birthday with your child? Well, I think it’s the gift I never knew I needed. I always wanted my birthday to be a huge event, and I guess that’s pretty normal considering that without it I wouldn’t be here. But before my son was born, no matter what we did to celebrate, it would leave me feeling like it wasn’t enough. Ridiculous really.

Sharing my day with my precious baby boy has been fantastic. On our birthday, I can’t wait to wake up and snatch him up in my arms; whispering a birthday song to the both of us in his ear and opening presents together. Shifting the focus off of me has made celebrating the day so much better than it had ever been before he arrived.

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