Monday, October 12, 2015

_The Hancock News_ Column-- October 7, 2015

It seems to me, the more you do something, the easier it should get. Riding a bike is a good example. Sure, you fall off a few (dozen) times, but soon it becomes no big deal.

So why is it that having a baby seems more difficult each time? You’d think that by the seventh birth, I’d have this job down pat. But no, it’s still a mightily daunting task--downright scary.

For me, the whole pregnancy started out tough. Instead of my normal three months of constant nausea, I suffered through almost four months of being sick.

Then soon followed some painful varicose veins in my feet.

Then there was the poison ivy incident.

Then I had to prick my finger four times a day to check my blood sugar to keep gestational diabetes in line. My summer was not filled with many ice cream cones.

Then there was the heartburn that during the last month had me up for an hour or two most nights.

And then came a couple of contractions that had me so excited I could barely sleep a wink. That happened for a few nights in a row.

Then as the sun came up on my son’s 8th birthday, it dawned on me that this might be the day our new baby was born. I kissed my birthday boy, and fearful of a labor progressing too quickly to get to the hospital, my husband and I headed to Hagerstown to walk around until closer to delivery time.

Our fears were completely unfounded, and after a day of stop-and-go labor pains, I finally found myself in a hospital room, discouraged, impatient, and just plain tired. 

Then the water broke, and I was thankful labor finally progressed.

Then I wanted it to stop.

Then I irrationally insisted that somebody make it all go away, just make the labor pains stop!

Well. Then they stopped. 

Then there was a full head of dark hair, ten fingers, ten toes, 9 pounds, 2 ounces, that first blessed cry, my complete joy.

There was my daughter. The center of my universe. The only thing I could see, hear, touch, or smell. It’s funny how quickly all those pregnancy complaints disappear, replaced by the very bundle of near-perfection that caused them in the first place.

Still cute under the crazy lights.


Our sweet daughter ended up not being born on our son’s birthday, and he was happy to retain the day as his own special one. Instead, she was born just before 1:30 a. m. In fact, all three of my daughters have been born between 1:20 and 1:30 in the morning. What are the odds of that happening?

My favorite eats after giving birth are Lorna Doone cookies--perfect for a midnight (or a little later) snack. I’d never heard of them before I had children, but the hospital where my first son was born had them available for new parents. Those cookies have became part of my birth routine. However, if you’d like to make some shortbread cookies of your own, this recipe is mighty yummy, too.

Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour until blended. Stir in pecans. Divide dough in half and chill at least 1 hour.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick between layers of waxed paper. Cut to desired shapes. Place greased baking sheet on top of cookies, invert, and remove waxed paper.

Bake at 300ยบF for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove immediately to a wire rack to cool.

**This post has been shared at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth for The Art of Home-Making Mondays.


  1. You are such a clever writer! I enjoyed reading this and am happy to hear baby came safe and sound! :)

    1. Thank you for the compliment. It is nice to have baby in arms now :)