Friday, September 13, 2013

Kathy's Book of Me #2 - My Birth

Writing Prompt  #2 from The Book of Me, Written by You:

Your Birth

Do you have any baby photos?

Where were you born?
Who was present at your birth?
What day was it? Time?
Did you have hair? Eye colour?

And so begins...

My first impression of this writing prompt was... meh. It really didn't grab me at all like the first one did and it didn't take me long to figure out why. 

I don't remember my birth!

I had the basics down, my birth certificate in hand, and my Mom is still around to fill me in on the details... but it still felt like homework. Especially since I went back to work this week after having a week off and my energy is totally depleted. I couldn't even work myself up to a Wordless Wednesday post. In the end, I learned a lot and am really glad that I looked into it! Thanks, Julie!

First, let me set the stage...

Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King & Robert F Kennedy, Civil Rights movement, Rosemary's Baby... The Love Bug, the Beatles found Apple Records, Hair debuts on Broadway, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Simon & Garfunkel... War and Conflict in one hand, Peace and Love in the other. 

Gas was 36 cents a gallon, a first class postage stamp was 6 cents.

Sunny California in the 60s... 

Although I have always imagined them being older, Mom was 32 and Dad was 37. He was a Crib Clerk at Ford Motor Company, she was a housewife. She's half German and half "Scots, Irish, Dutch, Yankee"... he was English, Irish, Scottish with a dash of Welsh that he probably didn't know about.

Mom was admitted to O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, California the night before my birth at around 10pm. I wasn't her firstborn, but it had been 12 years since my brother Tony way born, so they were taking precautions. Times were different back then. People didn't have have babies in their hospital room and no one was allowed in. According to Mom, my Dad couldn't stand it in there anyway and had to leave. He was a softie.

I was born on Friday June 14th, 1968 at 1:45 in the afternoon. Flag Day! Mom says that she still has one of my birth announcements somewhere. I'm sure that has information regarding my weight and dimensions. I'll have to post that at another time.

Mom stayed the hospital for about a week and since Dad had such good insurance with Ford, it only cost them $250 out of pocket (Karen's bill was $320, 3 1/2 years later). They made Mom take home pain pills that cost about $2 at the time, but she didn't take more than a couple. She's like that.

It wasn't until I really studied my birth certificate this week that I discovered that the house on Orlando Drive wasn't my first home! That would be this house at 418 South Temple St, Milpitas CA. (Thanks, Google Maps!) Now that I see it, I swear that I've seen this house in photos but thought it was someone else's. I think the color is pretty close, too! I'll have to ask Mom about the house in Milpitas and see what kind of photos I can dig up.

When they brought me home from the hospital, Grandma Freda (Dad's Mom) came to stay for 4 or 5 days along with Uncle Bill & Aunt Deanna. Mom says they were a big help to her. Grandma bought her a couple of housedresses that would be easy to nurse in. One was yellow with blue polka dots... I think I may have seen a picture of that dress somewhere along the line as well! 

Here's my first photo with Grandma Wait! This is the earliest photo that I have here at my house. Maybe the earliest photo, period! Grandma made that blue blanket on the back of the couch and it moved from house to house with us as I grew up. It was always there... 

The kitchen in the background is definitely my mother's! Red checked tablecloth and probably strawberry decor just out of view. 

I was raised in a loving, fun-loving family and couldn't have asked for better parents. 

And here's where the story of my birth ends... 

Interesting factoids:

  • I share a birthday with Donald Trump, Che Guevera, Burl Ives, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Boy George! How's that for diversity?
  • I'm a Gemini and according to the book The Secret Language of Birthdays, was born on The Day of Gutsy Confrontation!
  • My Life Path Number is 8. (established by adding up all of the numbers in my birthday 6+1+4+1+9+6+8 = 35 / 3+5=8). 8's are known as The Executive, and my life lesson is to establish financial security.


  1. Isn't it great how you can just pop in google maps and see the house where you lived ( or anyone else in your family lived before, if it still there?)

    I like how you ended this post to say that you had a happy home-life. Me too!

  2. Absolutely! I remember when they first rolled out Street View... one of my friends who lives in Maryland sent me a picture of my house and said that he was in town and wondered if I was home. haha... Thankfully, the photo Google had was a couple of years old it showed Mom's old camper in the driveway. That would have freaked me out!

    Here's to happy home lives!