It was a winter Friday when I was born. I stayed in the hospital with Mum for two weeks while she recovered from her birthing experience. Later, as a grown up and mother of three who only got 48 hours to recover, I thought that was a bit excessive. My mother stayed in the hospital longer recovering from me than she did recovering from the open heart surgery she had 47 years later. My own daughter only stayed in the hospital about 5 hours after she gave birth. Give it another generation and we will have come full circle and parents-to-be will just forego the trek to the hospital and be birthing babies at home again.
On examination after delivery the doctor announced that I would grow up to be tall. That I weighed in at almost ten pounds, and had a father who was 6’6” may have taken some of the guesswork out of his prediction.
In a humorous moment Mum told me that as she gazed upon my newborn face she thought if I had been her first, she might not have had a second. I was, apparently, not an especially cute bundle of joy. And as the months went by it didn’t improve. There are pictures of me with a little twist of hair at the top of my head, fat gathered in circles around my wrists, fat little legs, and chubby cheeks. I was “plump”. At about nine months, I was told, I struggled and pulled myself up to my feet in the playpen … and then plopped down to my fat little backside for another nine months before I bothered to exert myself again.