Dad, Erin, Matt and I flew from Caracas, Venezuela for Chicago just after Matt's 2nd birthday. I may have fudged how far along I was in order to make the trip as the airline seemed to be concerned I would go into labor - but you weren't due until May.
I was determined NOT to have my baby in Venezuela. Hepatitis, unnecessary C-sections, bringing in your own towels, bedding, food and caretakers... OK so call me spoiled. I packed my bag and flew home to my parents with 2 children in tow.
Doctor's were convinced you would come in April. Apparently they didn't believe me when I said your brother and sister were NOT small babies and basing your due date based on your size seemed very illogical to me. Either you agreed or were just too stubborn to make an arrival before May.
Dr. Zorba induced labor - it was Friday the 13th. Auntie Di spent several weeks on standby waiting to be by our side when you arrived - especially when we didn't think Dad would be in the States. How blessed we were the Navy decided to do some airplane trading and he had to fly a C12 to the States and take the long weekend to be present for your arrival. Did I mention they left me hooked up to IV's and monitors while they went to lunch with Granpas? It was a beautiful day - and they didn't want to stay in the hospital - guess I can't blame them.
You took your sweet time. Arrived at 8:59pm, Friday May 13th. You weighed 9lbs. 13oz. and were 22" long. We successfully kept you under 10lbs - but just barely. Not at all an unlucky day for me! You were a handsome little guy from the beginning. Such a sweet face. So robust and healthy. You were our only baby born with fuzz on his head - and yours was strawberry blond. Dad held you for a long time before the nurses finally took you to be cleaned up.
Dad had to get back to the Embassy in Caracas. We went back to Denie & Granpas until we could get back to Venezuela. Denie worked with folks at the State of Wisconsin, who processed your birth certificate quickly for us and we expedited the application for your passport. At the age of five weeks we returned to Venezuela, where you lived for the next nine months until the activists staged a coup while we were visiting in Washington and we were never able to return.
You have always had your own mind set (i.e. stubborn). My memories are filled with your independent moments. I see that even now as you are a young man. Who would have thought that frustrating mindset would help to make you the strong, successful, (still independent) person you have become. I am so proud of you son-shine. You always make me smile - even when I'd prefer to not. I love you.