March 11 was a Sunday in 1984, the year she was born. I had insisted on doing the birth naturally, without any drugs, exactly as I'd delivered my son four years earlier. I labored nearly twenty-four hours and was going into shock. The doctor told me it was a Victorian childbirth since she was breech and huge -- nearly nine pounds. He told me we were both going to die and I'd be buried with her inside me like something out of a Thomas Hardy novel if I didn't allow them to perform an emergency Caesarean.
That got my attention. I agreed to the c-section and she was out of me in minutes. The doctor scooped her out of my womb, held her up and she looked around the operating room with her huge cobalt blue eyes. The radio played, "Isn't She Lovely?" by Stevie Wonder, as if on cue. She sucked on her wrist -- in fact, she'd already given herself a hickey since she was post-term and hungry those last days inside me. Her father had to hold her while they sewed me up and then moved me to the recovery room for an hour. When he finally laid her on my breast -- how huge and beautiful she was, like a pink rose! -- I said, "So there you are, Miz Pie!" I guess it was a pet name I coined based on Sweetie Pie, but it stuck.
She latched onto my nipple and nursed voraciously. I fell in love with her immediately.
She is still my treasure, my brilliant, unique, loving, talented, funny, complicated younger child.
I'm meeting her, her partner and a few of her friends to celebrate at a favorite Indian restaurant after work. I have a "Pat the Bunny" birthday card for her with cash in it, a harmonica and a few thrift-shopping finds that looked like her to me.