Twenty-Five Thousand Dollar Baby

Down Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana, snow is so rare it only happens once or twice in a lifetime.

The first time my mother saw snow was the day I was born. I imagine she was a bit upset about having to watch it through the hospital window, she likes rare and odd things. Usually.

Just after the doctor delivered me, just after he said, “It’s a girl,” she looked at me in horror.

“Take her away! I don’t want her!” She screamed over and over again.

It’s true, she did say that. My dad and my aunts all heard her say it. The doctor who delivered me told me the same years later when he removed my tonsils.

This sounds like a horrible mother story, but it isn’t. It’s not the whole story.

She had been heavily drugged for the delivery (this was before epidurals) and thought she had given birth to a monster. She said I was so covered in vernix that I looked like “a cement baby.”

The next day, a childless couple went to her hospital room. They had overheard her screams. They offered her twenty-five thousand dollars for me. That was a lot of money back then. That’s a chunk today. And that was just their starting bid. Who goes in with their highest offer?

Of course, my parents didn’t even entertain the idea, so there’s no telling how much these people were willing to pay.

I could tell you I have deep psychic pain over being rejected in the first seconds of my life by my own mother. But I’d be lying through my teeth. The way I saw things, I was priceless, my parents had been tested. Proof with a bottom number that I was loved.

There were days when things weren’t so great with my family, days when I would daydream how my life might have been if I’d been sold to the people with a suitcase full of money. I’d imagine being dropped off at some exclusive school with “Imaculate Conception” in the name. My driver would open the limo door for me. My “parents,” who looked like movie stars would never be around. I could jump on the mattresses and leave my plate on the table for the servants. The daydream would come to a screeching halt when I couldn’t imagine getting as much as a hug from my rich fantasy parents. I’d snap back to reality, happy that my real parents (or I, literally) could not be bought.

I used to tease my brothers, tell them I was worth a ton of money to some family out there. I’d work the supply and demand angle. Tell them if it had been one of them born that day, they might have been sold because I was the only girl and they were one of four boys. I left them wondering if our parents might have at least gotten to the negotiating table if it had been one of them instead.

These days I wonder if there is any amount of money my mom would take to have me back to herself again? I see her and Blane at the negotiating table, my mom pushing away stacks of money, “No way man, you keep her.”

So that’s how I was born. On The Bayou, covered in cheese, rejected, worth maybe millions, and then some… All on a rare snow day.

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35 thoughts on “Twenty-Five Thousand Dollar Baby

  1. I remembered you and Z are both hard working Capricorns. I had a vague memory of your post about a dream so I searched birthday on your blog to confirm. According to LLewellyn’s Sun Sign book for 2008 ….” Jupiter! The lucky planet will be in Capricorn throughout 2008. ……..memorable year of new directions……. begin the year by deciding what you hope to achieve. Um can you meet me in Vegas??? LOL

  2. Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Kittyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Happy birthday to you!

    Love the story of your birth…proving once again that there is no such thing as a beautiful newborn baby. We are truly babies only a mother could love…unless heavily sedated.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS IN LAW!!!
    I emailed you on Friday to wish you an early Happy Birthday in case I got bogged down today with kids, etc., but before I start my busy day (Sophia’s birthday too!) I again wanted to make sure you knew I was thinking about you on your big day! Get my bro to make you a nice cake or something. Ha! Give everyone my love……….

  4. Wow, I’m thrilled to read this story.
    And to know it’s your birthday, and how you had such a magical, dynamic beginning in this world.
    Congratulations on your birthday and I wish you a happy new year!

  5. When you have a magical birth story it must give you the feeling through your whole life that you are special. What a great gift! Happy Birthday.

  6. Lets try again

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY KITTY!
    Just for your information only, when I looked at your baby picture, but you were looking down, I saw Candance, beautiful as ever.

  7. Daily, thanks for the song and the happy.

    Thanks Jill, got your email and just sent one back to you. Hope your little Soph had a fun birthday party. She is one of two people I know who share my birthday. It’s a rare birthdate, I find.

    Anita, I wish I had a photo of me looking like a cement baby. Thanks for the good wishes.

    videoxy, thanks, yeah, I love my birth story. I think if it hadn’t been for the couple making that offer, no one would have told me the part about “I don’t want her!”

    Thanks Finicky and Ape.

    Yeah, Kym, it did make me feel special sometimes. Especially if I needed to get back at my brothers for something like beating me at arm wrestling. Thanks.

    afr, people always said that about Candace while she was growing up. I think she looked a lot like Shane and Paula. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

    Thanks Max and Sulya.

  8. Happy (belated) Birthday!

    This post was wonderfully endearing and hilarious.

    Did you and your mom ever have the “What if I was kidnapped?” conversations. Mom would walk off and leave me and I would run after her and say things like “If I was kidnapped: You’d be sorry!!” and mom would reply (lovingly) with “They’d sooooo bring you back.”

  9. Betty, my mom used to say my brother looked just like a bird when he was born. We used to tease him about that.

    Thanks, lilithtenille. I don’t remember any kidnap convos with my mom, but we sure have had some with my kids. Apparently, I made my kids overly paranoid about getting stolen. My son grew up in the 80′s when all that kidnap paranoia was all over the tv every day. By the time my daughters came along in the 90′s, it had tapered off a bit. Poor kids, when we would go to the store he would hold their hands tight, worried someone would haul off with his little sisters.

  10. Better safe than sorry. If I had to let go of Klaus’ hand when we were out, like at the check out in shops, I made him hold on to my pocket so I could still feel him when I had to take my eyes off him for a second.
    lillithtenille, I like your mom’s style. “SOOO bring you back”……

  11. Thanks Voodoo. Lorne looked like the bird. He was the cutest kid growing up, however. Cuter than the rest of us. We had to use that bird thing against him to keep his ego in check.

    No, didn’t get the phone yet, we’ll go out to the ATT store this evening and choose phones.

  12. Happy happy belated birthday, Kit. I’m sorry I wasn’t here on your birthday, but I wished you a thousand times in my head, so chances are you heard me. Your mama is a smart woman but Blane is even smarter.

  13. hi kitty,
    i think iam very very very ……..late but cant hold on to say the words “happy birth day”.,
    and even i think today i spent most of the time reading ur blog, didn’t work at all, ok any how i am happy, even though we are some thousands of miles apart it keeps me healthy reading ur blog.

    regards,
    kumargandhi

  14. Thank you, Kumar.

    I have tried to read your blog but I do not understand programming and all the technical things. I’m sorry I can’t return the favor and read yours.

  15. its ok kitty , my blog is based on Adobe Flex technology, as iam working on web domain [ design and develop web sites for my company ] ,so writing a blog on it to share my knowledge with other Flex developers around the world.
    keep writing

    regards,
    kumargandhi.

  16. One thing I can honestly say about your blog, since the very first entry I read years ago, your stories never fail to amaze me. They make me laugh, smile, frown, and always ponder the little details of my own life. Thanks for sharing, Kitty.

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