Friday, September 08, 2006

About this time 23 years ago...

I was sitting in the courtyard at Flora Hostel in Nairobi. I was having a lovely visit with Sister Agnes, a hard working and somewhat unconventional Catholic nun and nurse, with whom I had worked teaching village health care workers in rural Kenya. As we visited, I started having contractions. Sister Agnes asked me if I thought I was going to have the baby that day and I replied, “Oh no, the doctor said it would be at least another week.” How wrong the doctor and I were!

I drove Agnes to the grocery store for some provisions for her before she headed upcountry and then I went home. I still think it’s amazing that I was driving all around Nairobi that day. At lunch time, I’d taken a Davidson friend who was visiting, down to the bus station in a less than desirable part of town. I’d even been having contractions at that point, but they seemed so easy and far apart, and given what the doctor had said the day before, I thought nothing of them. Anyway, Coty and I were planning to go out to dinner that night at our favorite Indian restaurant with a professor friend who was visiting from Stanford and I sure didn’t want to miss a meal at The Minhar. Certainly no baby tonight.

By the time Coty got home from work, the contractions had become a little more serious. My back started to hurt and I started to wonder. I drank some lemonade and promptly threw up. At that point, I was beginning to doubt the doctor’s words, but still….tonight??! We decided that even though we didn’t think the baby’s arrival was imminent, I was becoming too uncomfortable to go out to dinner. Bummer! We called our friend and cancelled. Less than an hour later we were on our way to the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital, the admitting nurse scolded us for waiting too long to come to the hospital. But they had told us to come when the contractions were 10 minutes apart. That’s what we had done! Labor progressed quickly and a few short hours later, Coty and I had received the first of the six most wonderful gifts of our life.

Erin Elizabeth Pinckney arrived at 9:30 PM, Kenya time, to our great delight and joy. She was a tiny babe - only 5 pounds, 6 ounces - a beautiful, perfect, little girl.

And now…she is a beautiful woman…inside and out. And I am the most fortunate of mothers to have a daughter who is...
a follower of the Lord Jesus, serious about her commitment to Christ,
happily married to a man she adores (and so do I!),
working hard at a job she loves in a gorgeous part of the country (too bad it's so far away),
looking forward to creating a home,
a horsewoman, a poet, a cook, a singer and
the most precious daughter imaginable!

Happy Birthday, Erin. I know I say this often but I mean it every time, and I'll always feel it...I wish I could be with you!



Nicole said...

:) Happy birthday Erin!!

Melanie said...

Happy B-day to Erin!