Throughout her pregnancy with me, Mom had a gut instinct, so to speak, that I was going to be a boy. That was the first in a long line of miscommunications between us over the years.
So when I appeared
sans penis on this date in 1961, my parents had to go back to the
drawing board and figure out a new name for me, because the one they
had pre-chosen, Roger Allen, just wasn't going to cut it.
They finally settled on Lisa Ann, to the horror of my maternal grandmother and her sister, devout viewers of "As The World Turns," who asked my mother how she could name me after "that Lisa," the resident bitch of Oakdale.
Mom swears to this day that she just liked the sound of it and in no way was it a payback for not being born a boy.
Family legend has it that Dad was so happy about having a little girl (after the still birth of my sister Carol, and my healthy brother Greg) that he went out to celebrate with buddies and got drunk. I'm thinking maybe I scared the crap out of him with my baby stink-eye routine:
"Be careful what you wish for, Daddy!"
This first official portrait, taken in the ayem after my evening birth, is a clear illustration of how, to this day, without eight hours of sleep, I'm the world's worst morning person.
Thanks to my paternal grandmother's diaries, I have this additional record of my birth:
What she doesn't write, perhaps because she didn't know, was that Mom went to the hospital at 7:00 p.m. because she insisted on waiting to get the weather report from Sonny Eliot on the 6 O'Clock News. (Low 34°F, high 59°F.)
My friend Robyn suggested to me that when I talk to Mom today I should remember to thank her for having sex with Dad in the summer of 1960 so that I could be born the following May. That would be an interesting twist that would probably make her laugh and blush. I usually thank her for not dying in the proccess.
It wasn't until years later that she told me of the complications associated with my birth, that she had issues with fever and massive bleeding. According to Gram's diary, she remained in the hospital for 10 days after I was born. Brave woman that she is, she went on to have one more baby after me, my sissy Laura. Kudos, Mom!
As I've gotten older I think about this on my birthday and it always gives me positive perspective on the "Ugh, I'm another year older," mentality, especially now that I'm 16 years older than Mom, now nearly 78, was when she had me. Every year above ground is a good one, for both of us.