Happy, Happy!

As I write this it has just turned over to Chloe's 14th birthday!!!  Happy Birthday to my first born!  This photo was taken at Zydeco, Chloe's favorite restaurant, on Friday night.  Today we will start the day with her favorite homemade cinnamon rolls and then will spend the afternoon with my parents.  More to come on that.

Fourteen years ago I had just gone into labor starting with my water breaking and a 45 minute drive to the birth center where Chloe would be born.  It was The Birth Place in Menlo Park, CA and we were the only family there.  Chloe was one of the last babies born in this free standing birth center.  A shame really because her birth was so peaceful.  The only thing that would have been better would have been to have her born at home. 

There was only Mark, the midwife, her assistant and me.  It was very peaceful, but I did have trouble with the pushing.  After three hours of pushing Chloe was born at 5:20 am and had the most incredible cone-head!  The photos right after birth are shocking if you didn't know that that's normal and it would settle down into a very nice round head before long. 

We went home a few hours after the birth and I just remember what a lovely, sunny morning it was and how glad I was that it was a beautiful day.  On the way home I remember really wanting a donut!  When we did get home we settled right into the living room and slept the day away.  Chloe was a very healthy baby except for a bit of jaundice at the beginning.  I remember undressing her down to her diaper and setting her in the window while I sat at the kitchen table to read.  We have several great photos of that time. 

All those first baby memories are so precious and make me tear up just writing this.  We were so charmed by the funny baby sleep faces and noises.  Everytime she'd start doing that we'd get out the video camera to try to catch it.  I nursed her right from the start, but had some trouble with soreness.  Her pediatrician said she ought to get bottle supplementation because she hadn't regained her birth weight by the two week checkup.  I had such a determination to nurse that I went to a lactation consultant, got the help I needed and she ended up tripling her weight by the time she was 6 months old.

All along I could see what a creative little one she was and when I started reading about unschooling when she was 2 I knew I couldn't send her to school.  I'm so glad I found out about unschooling when I did.  She has learned so much, retained her incredible creative spirit and blossomed into a lovely young woman.  She has matured so much in the last year that it's truly amazing.  I'm awed by her creative mind and compassion for people and animals.  Happy, Happy Birthday Chloe!  Love you!