Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

All of the Fourths of July are my favorite

Ah, the Fourth of July. We’ve had some good ones.  Last summer, we celebrated youth at the beach and will be doing the same next week. There’s something about sand, sun, and fireworks that make summer summer in a way that it never is up to that point.

A couple of years ago, we rented a house in Gatlinburg, TN and celebrated with my husband’s family.  It was even more special because it turned out to be his mother’s last summer.  The prior year, we had both families join us in Estes Park and then drove to Bozeman, MT with Robert’s parents to see my mom and her husband.  Magical.

I can’t talk about this holiday without sharing how vividly I remember proudly twirling my baton in a second-grade parade.  Oh and the high-school aged Fourths – barbeques, friends, and pilfered beer.  Sloppy kisses. To me, the Fourth of July is magical.  Amazing.  It’s summer.

There is, however, one favorite Independence Day that will forever be etched in my mind.  The one that changed my life.  It’s also the one on which I didn’t see a single firework.

2009.  I’d been on pregnancy bed rest for 13 weeks.  Bed rest, while of course worth it, is hard. I wanted to escape my pregnant self and run off to the land of whisky and Marlboro Reds.  Instead, I caught up on TV. I made it.

And so did my son.

July 4, 2009 was the holiday when I became more than I was.  More than I would have ever been.

It was on the Fourth of July that Tucker was born.  That was the day that I became a mom.

As those of you who have been through labor know, it’s not a picnic. It’s pretty much the opposite of a picnic because when you’re not writhing in pain, you’re starving and there’s no food allowed.  Between nothing happening for hours, a failed, accidental, spinal-tapping epidural that left my ladybits not numb and my right leg so numb that I couldn’t move it, excitedly calling friends and family, and those horrifying contractions, well.  There are moments from the experience that have become lost to me. It’s hard to imagine now that it really hurt thatbad.  Other snippets remain crystal clear.  Here are a few of them.

Driving to the hospital in awe that on our way home, we’d be three. No longer two.  A family.

Yelling at the man who tapped my spinal column to get his boss, who was a bit late to the party at that point.  Poor Robert having to hold my hands while a contraction ripped through me, sitting up, while they tried to get the epidural right. Robert asking why my blood pressure was 184 and the nurse who answered, “Oh it’s fine. It’s just the pain.”  (Just the pain?? Fuck.)

Peeing on the doctor while trying to push. Farting and smacking Robert in the chest when he giggled.

Reminding Robert to watch Tucker come out, him not wanting to, and then thanking me that he did, later.  Robert running – actually running – around the bed to admire his son and forgetting me, lying there.  And me, being okay with that.

Holding Tucker, naked, against my chest.

How my heart grew. The awe.

My baby boy. I’ve always loved the Fourth of July.  It is now my son’s day, and I love it in a way that I’d never have imagined long ago drinking beer and sharing sloppy kisses.  The fireworks hold magic for me.  But. To see fireworks through my little boy’s eyes after singing him the Happy Birthday song, washing cake icing from his hair, and getting all of my sloppy kisses for the rest of time from his sweet, sticky self… Well.

All of the Fourths of July are my favorite.

The below photos represent each birthday and Fourth of July, in succession – two each. 

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “The best Fourth of July I’ve ever had is…”  Your lovely hosts:
Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic (TwitterFacebook)
Can I get another bottle of whine? (Twitter, Facebook)
Mommy, for Real (TwitterFacebook)
Dawn’s Disaster (Twitter, Facebook)

Friends.  For those of you who hung in there while Finding Ninee experienced some crap loading issues this week, I apologize and thank you.  Thank all of the alls for Julie who runs Fabulous Blogging for helping me out last night, right then.  She fixed Finding Ninee.  She was patient, and kind.



  • Lori Lavender Luz - Happy early birthday to the young man who changed your life.

    Love this birth story! I can easily see you smacking Robert 😉

    Cheers to your little firecracker!June 28, 2013 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

  • Jessica Smock - This is such a lovely birth story! I love the pictures too. I can’t imagine a more memorable way to think about the Fourth of July. Happy birthday to your boy!June 28, 2013 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Awe sweet – how cool to be born on Independence Day. If I had to pick a holiday for a birthday that would definitely be the one. When Christopher was born I was so exhausted I didn’t even care what was coming out if me besides him. My husband likes to remind me that I smelled like a horse. Love the pics! P.S. TN is where were we last weekend.June 28, 2013 – 11:51 amReplyCancel

  • Considerer - Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Love this. What a story!June 28, 2013 – 1:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate - What a fun birthday for him to have! I am jealous! Enjoy this year’s 4th 🙂June 28, 2013 – 1:47 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - It’s incredible!!! Your Post is am exact, near mirror re-telling of most of the Fourth of July(s) that I remember!!*

    See!!?, I told you, it’s like a frickin doppelgänger!!!

    Have a good, hospital-free 4th!

    *except for the epidural**
    **except for the epidural-prompting childbirth thing***
    ***except for the drive to the hospital from the pregnancy thing****
    **** except for the (and I am not addressing the activities that may or may not have occurred in the) house in Gatlainburg, TN*****
    *****but! I did drive through Estes Park on last year’s Doctrine Road Trip!!June 28, 2013 – 2:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Jessica - This is so very sweet. How awesome for him to be born on your favorite holiday. Such great memories, and many more to come! My son was born in December, a few days after my favorite holiday, Christmas. He is and will always be my favorite Christmas present ever. 🙂June 28, 2013 – 2:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Maggie Amada - Awesome fourth of July story, Kristi. Sounds like you have this holiday set for life with Tucker. 🙂 Happy Fourth of July to you and Happy Birthday to Tucker.June 28, 2013 – 2:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - Oh! I love it! I love that it is his birthday, and he gets to celebrate every birthday with fireworks. I love that you get to spend it at the beach. So jealous. I also love that you peed on the doctor and told us about it. And I LOVE the photos. Beautiful post, friend- you totally captured the magic. I’m all tingly…June 28, 2013 – 2:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly - Love the story! Especially the birth parts, I think only moms can truly appreciate that. Happy 4th and happy birthday to your little man!June 28, 2013 – 4:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I think this had to be hands down the best 4th of July ever. Thank you for sharing and Happy Birthday to Tucker!! Loved all the pictures and seriously thank you for sharing with us here!! Also thank you for always linking up with us, too 🙂June 28, 2013 – 4:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Almond - The 4th of July is my son’s half birthday. He makes sure that everyone knows it. You know, just in case anyone wants to produce a half birthday present for him!

    I love Tucker’s shirt “Boob Man”, that’s awesome! I love all of the pictures. Happy 4th! 😀June 28, 2013 – 5:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel Demas - Talk about making your own fireworks! Love the pictures. Fourth of July has new meaning for me too, now that I know the story of Tucker and his mom and pop. Happy Birthday, Tucker! Or Happy Fourth of July! Or the same thing. 😉June 28, 2013 – 5:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb @ Urban Moo Cow - Aw, happy, happy birthday to your little boy.

    That first photo of you in labor is priceless, btw. Holy crap, it hurts.June 28, 2013 – 7:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Choquette Pugliano - I too was on bedrest, for 4 months because of high blood pressure. I was so huge with swelling that when I was induced (both times) my fingers couldn’t even bend. I wish I had my pictures sorted nicely. I love yours.June 28, 2013 – 8:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie Chenell DeNeen - Awwwwww. I love the pictures of you and Tucker. Happy Birthday little one! And thanks for the shout out! 🙂June 28, 2013 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - Ok, right there in the middle I had tears coming out of my eyes from laughing so hard. Hilarious! Then, oh how sweet. The pictures – beautiful! Happy birthday to Tucker! Have a great week next week!June 28, 2013 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Tatum - Happy Birthday, Tucker! 4th of July has always been my favorite holiday too (the only one with enjoyable weather in MN) and now I have more reasons to love it!

    PS – getting peed on is an occupational hazard for Oby-GYNs (not the field for me)June 28, 2013 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - I love this post! I love this story. The 4th is one of my favorite holidays too, I always look forward to it every summer. You and Tucker are lucky ducks! He gets to share his party with the world AND get fireworks! What kid wouldn’t want fireworks on his birthday!!June 28, 2013 – 11:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah | LeftBrainBuddha - I love this. You have beautifully captured the amazing and the painful and the embarrassing and the difficult and the awesome of birth. What a great, positive birth story!!! Happy {almost} birthday to Tucker. I loved reading this.June 29, 2013 – 6:57 amReplyCancel

  • karen - *wipes tears* what a beautiful post…what a special day to be born! Isn’t is amazing to go from a two to three? The world is just a better place because of that.

    I had a c-section so I made Tony tell me in detail what it looked like…he just responded with a “war zone”…thanks babe.June 29, 2013 – 9:42 amReplyCancel

  • Katia Bishofs - I love that he’s birthday is the fourth of July and I’m sorry, but women who had just been through labour, are not supposed to look that good. Tucker looks so precious on that photograph with Robert! With Ben I didn’t get any epidural and with Daniel the same happened to me, I got totally numb on one side of my body yet felt every single contraction. Turns out they forgot to check and I was already in labour when getting the epidural. Duh. Thank you very much. What a special day for your family, please give Tucker a big birthday hug in advance!June 29, 2013 – 7:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - How exciting that he was born on the 4th! I’ve been thinking and thinking about doing a post for this hop, but all we keep doing on the 4th is eat barbeque and hang out at the pool! How boring!June 30, 2013 – 2:06 amReplyCancel

  • Anita Davis Sullivan - It’s like the whole country celebrated with you that night! And what parties he’ll always have. Happy birthday week Tucker!July 1, 2013 – 4:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay - I love it! And how in the HELL did you look that good giving birth?? I mean, I know you weren’t in the thick of it right then, but still!July 1, 2013 – 5:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Nina - Happy 4th AND happy bday to your son. It’s so cool to able to mark time this way. Makes the holiday EXTRA special. My bday is Dec 30. I always felt it would have been better to be right ON New Year’s Ever rather than randomly right before.July 2, 2013 – 6:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Jak - That is certainly a vivid memory! None of your 4th of Julys will be like that, but each will be extra special now!

    No offense, buuuuuuut I’m kind of glad I wasn’t eating while reading that haha! I would have laughed at the fart too >.< how could you not? Just be glad that is all that happ… oh right… the tinkle. Ah well!

    Those are great pictures and I hope this 4th is a blast! Expecting a lot of pics.

    Come to think about it… I've not ever had a 4th on the beach… I'm deprived!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of InkJuly 3, 2013 – 6:58 amReplyCancel

  • Joy - Love this post! How you described what it took to get Tucker to you melted my heart. This will always be the best part about Independence Day! xoxoJuly 23, 2013 – 2:55 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - I love that you’re making Evan blog everyday! And? Awesome awesome kid photo at the top of his page. June 29, 2013 – 12:57 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Ugh to not bending your fingers! Bedrest sucked. It was hard to believe how necessary it was – I tempted fate several times and feel guilty now…so surreal at the time though. Glad we made it!June 29, 2013 – 12:58 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - He is a firework who continually lights up my life with oohs and aahs…and the occasional “oh sh!t.” But that’s okay. He’s amazing. I can’t believe he’s almost four. Time. It flies. Grandma was right. June 29, 2013 – 12:59 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Um. That’s actually before labor got intense so I’m cracking up that I look bad enough that it could’ve been after! Ugh to the epidural failures!July 1, 2013 – 12:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Barbecue and the pool is fun!!!July 1, 2013 – 12:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Anita, it IS like the whole country celebrated with us! Thanks so much and I hope you have a really wonderful 4th of July!July 1, 2013 – 4:55 pmReplyCancel

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