A Child Is Born – On Becoming A Mother


Ash and Mom

Our family is in the midst of celebrating our daughter’s 21st Birthday, which is today.  I say ‘in the midst’ because the nature of this particular birthday entails much more than 1 day.  It will be a series of events that we, as parents, will be given vague details yet may find them revealed later on MySpace!  Well, maybe not, now that Ashley is getting older. 

Ashley and her Aunt Linda were both born on January 15th

Ash and her daddy

Anyhoo, the Collective We shake our heads in wonder how 21 years flew past us so quickly.  It didn’t feel like it was flying, at least not most of the time.  It’s only in retrospect we view it as a blink of an eye.  Life is funny that way.  I reluctantly admit that I now know why those annoying strangers in grocery stores felt compelled to tell me that my baby would grow up before I knew it.  I used to HATE that because I was in that amazing personal bubble of enjoying those precious moments and didn’t want to be reminded that it would ever end, especially before I even had a chance to savor the sweet gift of time with my children. (Note to Self:  Try to refrain from informing new parents their babies will be adults after cooing sincerely over their cuteness.)

21 years ago we experienced Ashley’s entrance onto the planet, our second child.  It was her first necessary, painful transition into life as we know it.  We had good company though, attended by her daddy, her big brother Benjamin, who was all of 7 at the time, our sister-in-law Linda, who was also born on January 15th, and our parents who took Benjamin in and out of the room helping him pass the time, going through a necessary transition of his own.  Then of course there was the cluster of nurses and our doctor, Gerald Carlson, of the Family Birthing Center.  We had planned to have our birth there but ended up unexpectedly across the street at Mercy Medical Center as Ashley turned out to be a breech baby.  We tried to birth naturally even so, but after 10 hours of labor, followed by an hour of pushing, we agreed to a C-Section at the wise urging of Dr. Carlson.  We were grateful we had insurance, grateful for a caring staff, and grateful for modern medicine in our time of need!  Most grateful, though, for a healthy 7.5 lb newborn, complete with all 10 fingers, toes, and everything else one needs to survive in a world such as ours. 

Both our children were winter babies.  (Ben, born in February, is a story for another time!)  After Ashley was born, I surprisingly penned a song about becoming a mother, drawing from both miraculous occasions.  Believe it or not, Inspiration came calling, an unexpected night visitor, deep in the evening of Ashley’s birth.  Stan, Ben and the other family members had gone home and I was awake-probably from the euphoria of giving birth to such a beautiful little angel.  An 18.5 inch papoose, Ashley burrowed snugly into my side, only a few inches from her previous 9-month home, and was a comfort to me from the very beginning. 

The window curtains were left open and snow was falling – big fat flakes – the kind we like to catch in mittened hands.  There was a peaceful hush in the room – one of those spaces of time that give you pause, like a presence you all of a sudden notice.  I realized then that Inspiration hovered near bearing a gift, waiting for me to partake as I took everything around me in.  All that gratitude, wonder and awe, with a tad of trepidation about nurture and care for another life, mingled together mulling around inside my heart–I guess it had to spill out somewhere!  Words poured forth as I managed to scratch them down on the back of an envelope before I lost them to sleep or to the unfortunate reappearing of an unbidden night nurse (who would unknowingly break the wonderful spell). 

So, a song was born on January 15th 1988, too, about becoming a mother and having a daughter and a son; how solitary yet joyful it all felt.  It’s about the beginning of our children’s lives, a journey I’ve never once regretted and will forever count as the privilege and blessing of being their mother

Here’s a vid of an acoustic piano version – I may be uploading a version with my keyboard soon since my flip isn’t recording my piano too well.  we learn as we go right? Oh, the lyrics are below the baby pics!

Ashley JoAnne - Born January 15, 1988Benjamin Eugene - born 2-6-1981A Child Is







Snow is falling down and all is silent
Everyone in town is fast asleep
Not far away a mother starts a journey
to a place and time love will always be
At first she's counting minutes and then hours
Feeling things she never knew she could feel
She wonders if the pain she feels is ever going to end
as she ponders if the journey's even real
Even though untold millions have tread this path before
To her this road is newly made just for her
No one can walk it for her though companions hold her hand
No one else can become a mother for her
At last it's time when mother ceases labor
Life is born yet not without a fight
Giving Birth is such a violent way to start a life
But a peaceful day follows the stormy night
A child has struggled through its first transition
Both mother and the child have paid a price
Attended by those who can best support them
All share the joy of hearing that first cry
This is the beginning of a journey life-time long
The first measure of one eternal song
They'll always be together yet their lives remain their own
As a mother takes her child safely home
Snow is falling down and all is silent
Everyone in town is fast asleep (how could they be?)
Not far away a mother and her baby
share a place and time where love will always be
On a gentle winter night a child is born
A gentle winter night a family formed
On a gentle winter night a child is born
NancyKellyMusic © 1992 / Penned January 15, 1988