A Day

April 29, 2010


Twenty-six Aprils ago, flanked by a midwife and my husband, I gave birth to my second child, a baby girl, in my very own bed in our Biloxi duplex apartment. I don’t remember the weather or the news of that day. I doubt I ever knew them. The signs of labor had woken me early in the morning, and I was devoted to that important work.

I don’t have photographic proof of what happened on that day, but I remember the curtains I had sewn, the porta-crib in the corner of the room, and the old needlepoint chair where the midwife sat drinking tea. I remember my husband unpacking the contents out of our mail order home birth kit, and clamping and cutting the cord; and then, she was born. The midwife held her while I took a shower and my husband went out to The Shrimp Boat and bought three fried oyster dinners. Hippie mud-covered mountain bikers, customers from our bike shop, came to greet the sleeping baby in the porta-crib. The midwife went home. Another day done.

A nice thing… on any given day the ordinary and the extraordinary can mix and mingle and change the world we inhabit forever.


On our roadtrip from Austin to Keene, back in 2009, we found the house where Emily was born. Katrina hadn’t blown it away. Unbeknownst to us, it was irreparably flood-damaged. It has since been torn down.

6 Responses to “A Day”

  1. Gary Spykman said

    Truly, that was an extraordinary, and powerful, day.

    On days such as these, the important, extraordinary events lend some of their strength to the ordinary happenings. In our memories, even the oyster dinners are tinged with some of the power of that new life.

  2. Julie said

    An at-home birthing kit and an actual birth? Yeah, the mixing and mingling of the ordinary and extraordinary!

  3. Emily said

    I remember that day! No, that’s a lie, I don’t want to remember that. It sounds messy. But thank you very much for making that day happen in our lives, I am forever grateful. And now I’ve seen that duplex, and imagined that room, and the shrimp dinners, and it does seem a very ordinary set for an extraordinary play.

  4. what a vivid condensed story, like looking into a living diorama. I love that Gary chimed in too. beautiful and definitely a nice thing.

  5. Annie said


    I find the space between the ultimate power of delivering a baby and shifting right back into real life to be absolutely transcendent. Beautifully told. Left me craving shrimp and new baby smell.

  6. Dennis Knight said

    Extraordinary parents blessed with extraordinary children. No matter how “normal” the manner is in which the story is related it brims with love that is above the ordinary mean.

    Happy is that child and happy are those parents who can recall the time as you all do.

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