Saturday, June 9, 2007

Birth Stories

We tend to be a forward looking family, focusing more on the future than dwelling on the past. With two teenage boys and their hectic schedules, the “future” might only be as far ahead as the next weekend. But the thing that gets us all reminiscing is a birthday. On their birthdays, the boys grant me one privilege; I get to recount the story of their births.

Few events in life are as indelibly etched into memory as the birth of our children. For me, each exquisite and excruciating detail remains crystal clear and my narrative has varied little from year to year. Naturally, when my sons were young, we kept the stories simple. But as they grew, we added “age appropriate” details. By now, at ages 16 and 19, they pretty much get the uncensored version. Sure, there’s some awkward squirming going on with the mention of water breaking, contractions, and epidurals. I do draw the line at recounting gory details; I can't seem to use the word “episiotomy” in front of them.

I had to laugh when my older son came home after seeing the new movie Knocked Up. A Newsweek review said the film was funny but that the delivery room scene was graphic and “icky.” My son's comment was that the birth scene reminded him of his own birth story--not that his birth was “icky” (although it was) but rather, that having heard his birth story year after year, he was pretty much unphased by the scene!

Birthdays also remind me of the quillts I've made for my family over the years. When my younger son was born, I made him a whole cloth quilt. The pattern, Princess/Prince’s Feather, was designed by Marianne Fons. In a workshop on drawing feather quilting motifs, she gave us the basic elements of the design but taught us how to mark each feather individually using a teardrop shaped template. The hardest part for me was not so much in marking the quilt top, but leaning over the table to do so while several months pregnant!

Sorry about the quality of the pictures.


  1. Oh Diane! That whole cloth is gorgeous! I"ve always loved feathers and whole cloth quilts with the crinkly look like that! Your story about the birth stories was so fun!

  2. I just had to smile at the sharing of the birth stories - you have a wonderful mom tradition *s* Your whole cloth is a gorgeous heirloom to go right along with the stories.

  3. Hi Diane!
    I love this quilt -- Of course, my whole cloth started in 2000 is still waiting to be finished.

    hope you enjoy the web albums.

    talk to you soon