Surprise! A Christmas Baby

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Most would not expect to wake up Christmas morning in labor – especially when your due date is 2 1/2 weeks later. I’m not due until next month! Heck, I’m not due until next year! Although my due date was January 11, 2008, that’s exactly how things went on December 25, 2007. 

If it were any other Tuesday, we could have sent our son to day care. But, did I mention this was Christmas Day!? Luckily my parents only lived about 20 minutes away. I called to let them know that I was in labor and that we needed them to come over to stay with my three year old son. I’ll never forget the first thing my mother asked was if she had time to go get coffee before heading over! Mother – it’s Christmas Day! Ouch contraction. And I’m having a baby – please can you just get over here? Ouch contraction. 

I don’t recall how long it took for my parents to head over or if  my mother had that coffee with her, but as soon as they arrived, my husband and I headed down to Montefiore Medical Center (Einstein Hospital) in the Bronx. Our little girl arrived a few hours later at 1:12 p.m.

The 12 Days of Christmas: In the spirit of the season, here are 12 holiday songs to help describe why a December 25th birthday is a little different than all other birthdays.   

Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt)

Who wakes up Christmas morning  in labor? The answer to that question is “this girl right here…!” A December 25th birthday is pretty rare. In fact, December 25th is the least popular day to have a birthday (according to Data Journalist, Matt Stiles on How Common is Your Birthday).

Merry New York Christmas (Rob Thomas) 

At the time we were living in lower Westchester. The ride to the hospital in the Bronx wasn’t too bad – I’m guessing that’s because it was at the crack of dawn on Christmas Day! No traffic and very little folks on the road. 

I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas (Bon Jovi) 

Numerous times I’d been told to hope and pray not to have a baby on a major holiday. Reason being that supposedly the “best of the best” do not work on the holidays. NOT TRUE! I could not disagree more! Everyone was great – from the minute we walked in to the minute we left. Think about it – no one is coming for elective surgery on Christmas Day. There are no planned inducements and/or C-sections. We walked right into the hospital and there wasn’t a sole in the lobby, besides the security guards. Even though I wouldn’t doubt that they were missing their families, the doctors, nurses and staff were all quite festive.  They seemed genuinely excited about a Christmas Baby! Less patients in the hospital equals more personal care and I got lots of attention. Quite the different experience when I compare it to my son, who was born on a random November day. 

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Day (David Bowie/Bing Crosby)  

These were the days before the social media boom, so we actually had to call people to let them know our little girl had arrived!  But in this case, because it was December 25th, we only needed to make one phone call about my daughter’s arrival to my husband’s side of the family because they were all together. No reaching out to our jobs to make the announcement to colleagues. I don’t think I reached one friend either – only voicemails were left. Nice and quiet, but sort of an anti-climatic announcement and a little lonely! But – for better or worse, no visitors!

Something About Christmas Time (Bryan Adams) 

There are many celebrated holidays during the year – but Christmas is THE holiday. It’s the day of the year that everyone waits for. Adults are enthusiastic and kids are giddy. There really is something about Christmas and it’s generally a beautiful, peaceful day. The focus on the daily grind stops and instead, it’s on friends, family, food and giving back. Most stores, restaurants and such are closed. My parents had little choice other than to eat Chinese food for dinner, as their plans to spend Christmas Day with us in Long Island didn’t happen. My husband and son were hoping to grab Burger King, but opted for cereal as it was closed. 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams) 

Once the holiday season begins my girl definitely feels like it’s a celebration for her too. We all sense that birthday season has started as well. In theory, she has a long celebration. This time of year has a different feel – joy, happiness, togetherness, love, smiles, laughter and friendliness – and in a way, we feel like a piece of that is all for our girl. And she does too.  

Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses) 

You know when your child asks for a game or toy and you respond with, “Wait for your birthday” or “Wait for the holidays” – whichever is the next celebratory event? This doesn’t exactly fly in our house. While her birthday “day” may get a little lost, the presents do not. Overload.  Even my son makes out a bit with a little extra because we feel bad that, between us and our family, his sister has so many presents to open.  

Do You Hear What I Hear? (Bing Crosby)

Friends, schoolmates and acquaintances do give a little extra smile when my daughter relays the date of her birthday. Often we get, “Really? Actually on Christmas?” Oddly enough, once someone knows, I always expect people to remember – which I know is silly, but really how could you not?

Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Band-Aid) 

But on the other hand, when I call to make an appointment for a doctor, let’s say, and they need her date of birth? I wait for the reaction….and nada. Ahem? Don’t you think it’s cool that she’s born on December 25th? You know that’s Christmas, right? Bah-humbug!

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays (Perry Como)

My daughter will always be off from school on her birthday and likely work as well, depending on her career of course. Neither my husband nor I have to be concerned with work conflicts, including a business trip. It is lovely that we’ll always have the whole day to celebrate together. That said, she’ll never receive the full range of those in person birthday wishes that most of us receive at school or work. And most likely, she’ll will never “just” celebrate her birthday on December 25th. As it’s traditionally the biggest holiday of the year, Christmas will always be celebrated right along side of it. 

Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney) 

Simply said, we currently celebrate Christmas Day with family and it is a wonderful day! We hope that our daughter will always be surrounded by friends, family and love. And we never have to think twice about what we’re bringing to the get-together – a birthday cake, of course! She gets a full chorus of the “Happy Birthday” song too. I will mention that she loves, loves, loves that her birthday is on Christmas. People tell us that this might not always be the case, but she’s turning 11 this year and still loves it!  

Last Christmas (George Michael)

We will always have a great story to tell when we speak of Christmas – past, present and future.  

They Say It’s Your Birthday

Coincidentally enough, as Jewish family, we do not technically celebrate Christmas and I should probably be referencing the Chanukah Song (versions 1, 2 or 3!) – but both my husband and I have always celebrated all that the holiday season has to offer. His extended family has always celebrated the holiday season together on December 25th. My family typically celebrated on one of the days of Chanukah (or whatever day was most convenient to all), but the celebration was also about the full holiday season.

Ever since our beautiful daughter was born on December 25th, we feel a little more connected to the Christmas holiday, possibly by mere default. She feels a connection and creates that awesome spirit into the whole holiday season, which is so much fun! And man, she is over the moon when Chanukah crosses over on December 25th too! She knows that we don’t officially celebrate the holiday and we do not have Christmas decorations – although we do not deny her putting out cookies and milk for Santa.   

Opening our hearts to one another to celebrate the holiday season is what it is all about and my daughter’s birth date reminds us of that each year. Whatever occasion you are celebrating this time of year, have a happy! But don’t forget to give an extra hug and kiss to those holiday babes!

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Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.