46 years ago this very morning a 22-year-old wife suffered a rather rough and horrible labor and delivery experience resulting in the birth of a baby girl. This girl child, before she was an hour old, was found to have no hip sockets; a birth defect most common in girls and interestingly enough, more frequently found in Native American cultures, whose Blackfoot Indian DNA, while less than 1/4, this baby girl shared…So the story goes that before this woman’s sister was delighted to find her 25th birthday present to be a baby girl given her name, and before this woman’s husband brought her a candy bar called a Baby Ruth, this girl child was immediately taken from this new mother and put into a full body brace and moved to intensive care.
The doctor who discovered this birth defect was sent a letter, and some photographs 15 years later from the mother, of a teenage girl on a stage in costumes dancing, a teenage girl doing a flying split on a basketball court, a teenage girl jumping and clapping with pom-poms on the sideline of a football field. This mother wrote how thankful she was that the defect was discovered so early and that by the time the child was a year old, the body brace was removed, and her soft and mailable hip bones had been able to jam their way into her pelvis sufficiently to create enough of a curve in the bone that one could call it a “socket,” and that the girl child grew up into a teen who danced and cheered and laughed and lived and had no understanding really what her life could have been like, would have been like, had that doctor not discovered the problem as quickly, and acted as smartly, as he did.
So this morning, on the morning of my 46th year, I am thinking about the life I have lived, the life I am living, and all the things I still dream to do, and CAN do, and expressing my gratitude to the universe & the doctor, that I’ve not spent a life in pain, or in and out of the hospital in surgeries, or in a wheelchair, I believe that I was given a gift… This doctor, as cosmic clues in my world are very real, was the pediatrician on staff at the hospital the morning my own daughter was born. When my child was just an hour old, before I was even taken to a recovery room, the doctor learned who I was, and came in and kissed my forehead and said, “your daughter’s hips are perfect, she’s perfect.”
Growing up, I liked to ask my mom to tell me about the day I was born. I have heard the story many times. My child, and now her children, also love to hear about the story of the days they were welcomed to the world. This afternoon I am having a lunch date with three of my favorite women: my Mother, my Aunt, and my Daughter. We don’t always get along, we seldom agree on social issues, we all roll our eyes at each other at times, we are sometimes blissfully happy together and sometimes unbearably annoyed together, but we four women are connected by blood, and a story 46 years young…