Today is my eldest child’s birthday. Amanda turns twenty-four today, and to commemorate, I give you this picture of us, twenty-four years ago, less a day.

Amanda was born in the evening (two weeks late, but whatever, I’m over it) at the first legal birth centre in Ontario, into the hands of a midwife in the "pilot program".
We came home ten hours after she was born, on a brand new early release system that was the groundwork laid for the way that Ontario mums and babies can now come home when they like.ย  We walked in the door, and I tried to figure out how I could possibly be a parent,ย  and we took that picture. She was delicious and scary to me, and the last twenty-four years have been the same.

Thank you for making me a mother, Amanda.ย  I love you.

(PS. You were a horrible baby. You cried all the time. Thanks for getting it all out of your system. You’re super nice now.)ย 

253 thoughts on “Amanda

  1. Can I just say that for a picture of a woman who has just given birth a day ago, you look really good!
    Thank you for sharing stories about your family with us!

  2. Happy Birthday Amanda! (I think I had the same glasses 20+ years ago.) Don’t let your mom guilt you about something you couldn’t control:) I was born on my mother’s birthday and she always liked to mention that she couldn’t have cake that year!

  3. Happy Birthday to Amanda! I agree with Eve; you look awfully good for someone who just gave birth!

  4. Sweet photo. My 24 and 26 year daughters make fun of all old photos of me with the big glasses.

  5. Awww! Happy birthday to your first baby. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s born the same year as me!
    I love her cheeks in this picture.
    Have a wonderful day. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Katie =^..^=

  6. Happy birthday to you both! That is so sweet! I’m a little teary-eyed!

  7. Good lord! You look so young! I delivered my second (and last) child as the first birth in our local Alternative Birth Center 37 years ago. We left after 12 hours. What a delightful system for uncomplicated births. Amazing how fast time moves. She was a little person just a minute ago. Now she and her son are such a joy! Her only failing is that she doesn’t knit….. Yet. lol

  8. Happy Birthday, Amanda!! And Mum, you look scared to death. (Weren’t we all in those early days?) Good job, both of you!!

  9. My first baby will be 24 this year too. If you’re anything like me you can’t really believe that you’ve had 24 years with your precious little bundle!

  10. Happy Birthday, Amanda! Good job, Harlot!
    My first baby will be 35 this fall. Funny I don’t feel (or look) 35 years older than I did that day. (Do not show me pictures, I prefer to retain my illusions.)

  11. Look at those cheeks! You are both beautiful. (I have a horrible, screamy, adorable baby right now too. Thanks for giving me hope.)

  12. Happy birthday Amanda! And crazy! Mothers getting to go home when they’d like?! Makes you think that birth is a natural process, not a disaster waiting to happen. What a great way to respect women and their autonomy, it’s inspirational to this south of the border birth activist.

  13. I gave birth to my only child 29 years ago, a boy, which was 5 days after my birthday in May. He was born in a hospital, back in the day when the insurance picked up the tab after you met the deductable. Came in Monday 3p.m., was in labor(induced) for 4hrs & 20 minutes, and left on Thursday in the afternoon. Can I say there is no way I would have wanted to come home 10 hours after birth?

  14. My firstborn is also 24, and I have a picture of us that looks an awful lot like yours, right down to the glasses and the “I’m not old enough for this job” expression.

  15. Happy Birthday Amanda!!! My daughter was scarey also to me and my husband. First is a trial for sure!!! Now she has kids of her own and is doing great!!! Thanks for the beautiful picture and story of your family.

  16. I was about 10 weeks away from my own picture like that, 24 years ago! My older daughter was born at the beginning of August.

  17. Happy birthday, Amanda!
    *Ten hours*? Good grief. Isn’t that kind of soon? (Then again, I had two c-sections, both unplanned. They threw me out two and a half days after the first one, which I still think was too soon.)

  18. Happy birthday Amanda! And I will join everyone else in wishing I could have squished those wonderful baby cheeks!

  19. Happy birthday Amanda!
    Stephanie, your eyes say it all in this picture – incredibly happy and incredibly vulnerable (scared?!).
    As you’re on a cute baby stuff trip, I thought you might enjoy these baby socks. I’m able to resist booties most of the time but miniature socks for tiny feet? Right over that edge. Especially when stripes are involved …

  20. “brand new early release system” sounds like something they would have when they are releasing prisoners from a maximum security prison. But then again, you did do some hard labor.

  21. Happy Birthday, Amanda. Stephanie: you look
    like you were about 12 or 13 in the picture. Much too young to have a new baby. Congratulations, albeit much delayed.. Deedee Winters

  22. Perhaps this is why you have baby bootie cravings at this time of year.

  23. Happy birthday Amanda! My girls are older than yours and it still feels like I only had them 15 minutes ago!

  24. My first born was also two weeks late. She has never done anything before being good and ready and coming into the world was her first affirmation of that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Great photo! You became a mom just a month before me. I had those same glasses. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Happy Birthday to Amanda! And Stephanie, how about this for payback – when you’re an old lady and she has to push you around in your wheelchair, you can be horrible and scream all the time? “Revenge is mine! Mwa-ha-ha!” or something along those lines…

  27. Wow that girl turned out to be one great Mom and that baby girl one great daughter!
    You both did that really well!

  28. Happy Birthday Amanda! And congratulations Steph, on being what sounds like a pretty great mom for the last 24 years, to more than just that little girl, but to all 3 of them, and a pseudo-mom to all of us knitters, from fledgling beginners to experts.

  29. Beautiful mum, beautiful babe! Our “trainer kids” not only teach us to be mums, but give us our reason for being. Congrats on becoming and thank you for sharing.

  30. Happy Birthday, and birth day. You two seem to have grown together.
    You probably knew what it took to do as a new Mom – feed her, change her, bath her, hold her. Figure the rest out later.

  31. First, how is it possible that 1989 was 24 years ago!! secondly… were you 10 when you had her?? ๐Ÿ™‚ All the best!

  32. Happy Birthday, Amanda.
    Maybe the overwhelming desire to knit booties is a response to the birthday of your eldest child? Because you really aren’t old that old, right?

  33. Happy birthday, Amanda, and to you too, Stephanie…. In a way it is most definitely your “birth day” as well.

  34. Adorable baby, remarkably calm-looking mom! Best wishes for the day!
    And I do so miss the big glasses – the part of my glasses that’s useful for seeing my knitting is so darn tiny now! (seems that way, anyway…)

  35. I want to eat those cheeks. Happy Birthday Amanda! And if it makes you feel slightly better the Dr. had my mom convinced I’d be born September 5. She spent 29 more days cursing his inability to add to 40 weeks.

  36. 24? She’s not 24, you’re mistaken, she was 12 like 2 minutes ago.
    Happy Birthday, Amanda, many happy returns of the day!

  37. Happy Birthday Amanda! Stephanie, you didn’t look like you just gave birth. wow. I had both my sons (ages 27 and 25) with the help of midwives. Yeah to all the midwives out there!

  38. A lovely photo of you both. Happy Birthday Amanda! P.S. I had those glasses, but in green.

  39. Happy birthday, Amanda! It’s hard to imagine that you were once that squishy-faced baby.
    Steph, was it really an “early release system”? Or was it more like an “early parole system”? After all, you had to bring your probation officer home with you ;-)!

  40. I knew there was something special about us – my daughter Erin also turned 24 today! Even if it was the end of the 80s, it was a great time to have kids!

  41. Happy Birthday Amanda! Being first born you helped shape your Mum into the wonderful person she is!
    My youngest was born today. He is 17. He shared his celebrations today with a friend whose birthday is also today albeit a few years older

  42. thanks to that pilot program, i got to go home 4 hours after my daughter was born 7.5 years ago, and although she was born in the hospital, an amazing team of midwives handled the birth. and she went home wearing the same hand knit sweater and hat that my grandmother brought my mother home in, and that my mother brought me home in. *wipes tear* happy birthday to amanda!

  43. Happy Birthday to Amanda! And to you! Seems to me the mums should get the gifts and good wishes just as much – they sort of did all the work. Hope you’ve had a wonderful celebration today.

  44. You and Amanda both look surprisingly good for having just gone through childbirth. Happy birthday to Amanda, and good work to you, Stephanie!

  45. It’s great that your family members agree to be a part of this blog.
    Happy B-Day, Amanda! I hope that the celebrating continues into the weekend.

  46. OMG. My son, our first, turned 24 in February, and our youngest turned 21 last week. LOVE the big eighties glasses! Seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? How is it possible that they were that tiny and vulnerable?!

  47. You were both beautiful then and have only gotten better with age. Happy birthday to both of you!

  48. As the mama of a 2 year old and a 5 month old, I know that they will someday get big but can’t really believe it in my heart. Happy birthday Amanda and thanks for the lovely picture and post.

  49. Happy Birthday, Amanda!
    Early release sound like a prison program. You’d think they could have come up with a better name for it.

  50. P. S. I can personally attest to the fact that the whole ” oh they’re so cute when they’re tiny and furry, lets get more” phenomenon only gets worse when one of the tiny adorable humans growers up enough to study to become a veterinarian.

  51. I don’t think those little booties you’ve been working on are going to fit her…

  52. Happy birthday to your first baby Amanda! My first baby was born just 7 weeks ago…I’ve got a long way to go, lol.

  53. Happy Birthday Amanda, and Happy Mother’s Day to you! My son was born on May 30 also, at 7:30 am in our bed in our apartment in Chicago 18 years ago. I blinked and he grew up!

  54. Happy Birthday Amanda!!
    So neat to read about your experience with midwives. I had 3 of mine with midwives … and actually your niece was part of my team for my littlest one. I remember her coming to my home the day after he was born and spotting my knitting and mentioning she knit too but her aunt was a really great knitter.

  55. Snorgley baby cheeks! Happy Birthday to Amanda, and happy Mum’s day (she made you “Mum”!) to you.
    Now I feel like I need to design something I can call Snorgley Baby Cheeks….

  56. Happy Birthday Amanda!! You’ve come a long way, baby!! Wishing you many more…

  57. Our oldest are a year apart and much the same. Horrible babies. Wonderful now. Love that!

  58. Happy Birthday Amanda!
    OK, hopefully the reversal of traits is not universal. Ours was a great baby, and now as a college sophomore is still a delight.
    And egads, I think at one time I had the same glasses!

  59. Happy birthday Amanda! And I’m so glad such a wonderful young woman was once a cranky, crying baby. I currently have one of those and I look forward to her getting it all out of her system, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. My mom was a nurse and midwife, and says God makes babies adorable so you won’t throw them out the window when their crankiness drives you crazy. Amanda has certainly come a long way, but heck, Ms. Harlot, so have you. You look about 12 in that picture!

  61. I must say that the eye-glasses sort of steal the show though… Having been there, I can attest that the eighties were dark period for eye-wear. Happy Birthday Amanda. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Happy Birthday Amanda! My firstborn is also Amanda and also cried ALL THE TIME! I wonder if the name has something to do with it…

  63. I love the PS, its exactly how I feel about my soon to be 21 year old daughter.

  64. So sweet and so glad you share so much of your life with the blog world. Thanks for being my online friend and knitting mentor. Love, love, love the baby booties. Prays for you and your family during hard times. Good luck on the ride.

  65. My first was a horrible baby too, she cried, I cried, I had no idea what to do with this bundle of screaming pooping humanity. But she turned out fine, in spite of me! Happy birthday Amanda!

  66. Since I’ve discovered Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions, I’ve gifted a huge succession of women the enjoyment of a little reading preparation for that huge rush of “OMG—-now what? I’m going to be responsible for this perfect little person’s SURVIVAL????!” Too bad it wasn’t yet published when I got to experience it myself for the first time, 49 years ago! I’m one of the people who got involved to help us begin to move toward use of midwives, doulas, and respect for women and families—believe me, we’ve come a long way, Baby! It’s been a good movement to identify with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  67. I first looked at the picture, read about Amanda’s birthday and said wow, she looks just like her Mom. I wonder who’s baby that is….
    Happy Birthday, Amanda.

  68. I’m not sure I looked that fabulous when I brought my son home but, I sure felt that way.
    I agree, he was delicious and scary.
    I still don’t know why the clouds didn’t open with chorus of Hallelujah and a marching band didn’t march through my house. There was no fan fair at all. Just a sweet little baby that hung out on my breast non stop. A leach, a leach I tell ya!!
    It was almost anticlimactic after a whole pregnancy and 6 years of infertility.
    Happy becoming a Mama day to you and a very happy Birthday to Amanada.

  69. This is one of the most honest and brave accounts of mothering that I have ever read! I love it.
    Plus, it takes some serious balls to post that photo of you. Those glasses, wow!

  70. Happy, happy birthday. You both look great in the photo, and still do. I had the same glasses, and my daughter is the same age. They were all the rage ๐Ÿ™‚

  71. I think I had those glasses when I was about 10, which would have been 25 years ago! We must have been the coolest. ๐Ÿ™‚
    My oldest cried ALL THE TIME until she was 5 months old, but now she’s the most perfect teenager I could ever wish for. I sure don’t miss that, though.
    Happy birthday, Amanda! And Happy Birthing Day, Steph! The day you first became a mother is huge, and I always get teary when my daughter’s birthday rolls around in August. You both look beautiful!

  72. 1. You had a baby at 12 years old? O.o
    2. I love newborn’s floppy cheeks, like big ole doggy jowls. I would love to be that relaxed, even for just 5 minutes.
    3. Happy (now belated) birthday to your baby girl :0)

  73. Happy birthday for yesterday Amanda!
    24 years ago both me and my mum had glasses similar to those you’re wearing, I was 5…I am glad my daughter has been born into an age where glasses for children are funky and fun and not only slightly smaller versions of adult glasses should she need to wear them!
    As someone in the UK it’s really hard to imagine births not being midwife led, that has been the norm here for I don’t know how long and doctors only get involved if there is a problem. If I ever have another though I would rather like a home birth and to avoid going near a hospital full stop!

  74. Happy Birth(ing) Day, you two. My first baby is twice as old as yours, Steph – 48 in November. I must have scared the bejesus out of her with my nervous inexperience because she cried all the time, too. I was 19. What did I know about keeping that precious, beautiful little bundle alive? But she taught me. And she has continued to do so till this very day. She’s my best friend and a very accomplished professional woman now. I’ve enjoyed so much watching that happen. Thanks for this post.

  75. Hey Amanda,
    Run! Run for your life! For Birthday Kittens are coming, and will not stop until you have had your fill of chocolate cake and punch!
    If you don’t like chocolate, I’m sure they will improvise.
    Happy birthday! ๐Ÿ˜€

  76. Wow, a lot of ‘firsts’ in that story – you were very brave. What a great picture!
    Happy Birthday to Amanda!

  77. Happy Birthday Amanda!
    By the way, most first babies cry. Like puppies they can feel our inexperience and take advantage. My firstborn is age 46 and he is also super nice now.

  78. I don’t usually comment here but oh, what a lovely picture. Your young scared hopeful face and the lovely cheeks on your baby. I am a grandmother now who was a mother for the first time only a few years before you, and your picture makes me happy with memories.

  79. Delicious & scary – yep, that sums up parenthood pretty much for me!
    Best wishes to all of you, and many happy returns of the day as well.

  80. Happy Birthday Amanda. You were a pretty baby! Best wishes for the coming year <3

  81. Hi, Steph, Wasn’t she cute! Happy birthday to Amanda and her mom. If my son had been a girl he would have been Amanda. I had my 2 at home with midwives in 79 and 83. Not that that was easy in those days in California. I hear it’s better now. The registrar was trying to deny my daughter a birth certificate to punish “the rebel home-birth mom”, when I explained to him how I would be telling the judge how sorry I was to waste the court’s time with a court-granted birth cert after I had been to the registrar 3 times to try and get one in the normal way. He decided it would be better to give her one. Both kids turned out just fine, so there. I too had those glasses and loved the big field of vision. I would wear them now, but my hubby says, please no.
    Julie in San Diego

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  83. Super cute. I did notice, however, that she is not wearing any thing hand knit! ๐Ÿ™‚

  84. Many happy returns of the day to Amanda. BTW, Steph you look 10 years old…couple of cuties.

  85. Oh. My. Gosh.
    Those cheeks are killing me. I’m finally trying to wean my 5th and last little dude (he turned 2 in April), and that pic is making my boobs hurt. In a good way.
    Congrats on your 24th year of parenting.

  86. Side note – I don’t know why I never realized this before this very moment, but long ago, when we were barely engaged, we decided that our first boy would be named David Michael after both our fathers, and our first daughter would be…wait for it…Amanda Kristianna. Amanda just cause I loved that name, and Kristianna after my sister. We never did get our Amanda, but I’ll keep my David, Patrick, Russell, Christopher, and Nathan. I still love the name Amanda though. Maybe I’ll get a cat.

  87. Isn’t it wonderful that they come out looking and sounding like that, and grow into these amazing people? It takes good parents to make that happen, so do remember to take a bow.
    We meant to get to the midwife, but things went sideways. 20 years later, he’s still a happy, interesting boy. My only child, who I carefully Didn’t name after anyone on either side of the family!

  88. Those are some seriously kick ass glasses. Hope it was a lovely birthday for both.

  89. My goodness – you’re so gorgeous in that picture! Especially right after giving birth. Well, I guess Amanda is kinda cute, too … ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  91. Happy Birthday to Amanda!
    I find the juxtaposition of your final comment in the post before this one and the subject matter of this post rather ironic. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but either way, it brought a smile to my face.
    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  92. First booties, and now baby pics. You are seriously messing with me here!!
    and thank you for being a pioneer. With my first two I was kept in overnight because of complications they wanted to keep an eye on, but with #3 I had him at 5:30 in the morning and was home for a late breakfast, and #4 ended up being an unplanned home birth she came so quickly!
    Thank you for contributing to making that possible.

  93. I was reading back issues of the blog, and ran across the photo of a guy named Steve in this post , and he works in my office now(not in NYC). He does not remember being asked to hold the sock! I would have thought that having stranger ask you to pose with a sock would be memorable, even if you are not a knitter (maybe especially if you are not a knitter). Lesson: it’s a small world, and you should ask always ask someone to hold the sock.

  94. Happy birthday Amanda.
    I belong to the two weeks late club too. My kiddo, now 8months old was 16 days overdue when she came into this world. She wasn’t coming till she was good and ready. Actually, you sort of met her when you were in cleveland a year or so ago. You told me that babies come when they are ready and boy were you right.
    I wish we could have gone home at 10 hours.

  95. Happy birthday to Amanda! And happy day to you too, Stephanie. The day I brought home my little one, my life changed completely, so I know how you felt.

  96. With my first just a week old, 24 seems so far away. And yet, as fast as it’s flown by so far, I think I’ll wonder how it happened so quickly. Adorable picture and happy birthday Amanda!

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