September 17th, 1975. I was living in Austin, Texas. I was barely 20 years old.
I had been released from the Air Force just two months earlier, which was something that I did not want. But at that time, under the circumstances, that’s what happened.
I also had been married 17 months earlier to someone I only knew for 25 days. It had been a stupid, impetuous decision, and one that I wish I had not made in my life for reasons that I will not discuss here today.
Labor was very tough. In 1975, we certainly were trying to be better-equipped for the birthing process with Lamaze classes, but that assumed willing partnerships with the coaching father, and also with the medical team. There was little support from either, so it made it even tougher, but when it came down to the actual birth, I remember other women rallying around and helping me through it.
When I look back on my life, there have been a lot of struggles. I don’t remember a lot of easy or good times. Birthing a child was one such struggle, as it is for many of us.
But the one thing I remember that gave me great joy was at 3:03 p.m. Central time on September 17th, 1975, is when I heard the doctor say, “Congratulations! It’s a little girl!”
Happy birthday to my dear daughter, Dawna Marie.