The First

Tom and Sarah Swan 1977

Everybody’s story starts somewhere.  Mine.  Well, it should be coyote telling a Yakama, Chippewa-Cree, and Celtic Creation tale of how my story started.  I’m pretty sure, he could muster up something creative.   However, my story started in Goldendale, WA.  My parents Tom and Karen Swan were living in Glenwood at the time. I was their first.

I was their first.  My mother.  She was your typical primigravida in the late 1970’s.  She read Dr. Spock.  She made my dad do Lamaze.  Lamaze, huh?  That's cool.  Well, what’s cool about that is, my dad was one of the first dads to learn Lamaze on the rez.  You know what happened after that?  The other dads followed suit.  Not necessarily by choice though.  “Geez Tom why you go to go do that for now we all got to be in the delivery room?”  Is what he heard after I was born. 

February 3, 1977 my Mother was plum sick of being pregnant.  You know, its uncomfortable.  You have this baby sitting on your bladder and pushing up in your ribs all the while having prodromal contractions.  Since this is your first rodeo, you’re not sure if this is the real thing or not.  As my Mother was getting ready for bed, she told my dad “I’m so ready for this baby to get here!”  Then she sat down on the bed and her bag of water broke.  Fear and anxiety over took her.  “I’m not ready for this baby!”

Well, my Dad was super nervous.  He gathered everything up and got my mom in the car.  In those days, the winters in Glenwood were rough.  There was black ice all along the Lyle grade.  I can just image how his hand looked holding that steering wheel, white knuckles and all.  Obviously, he reached the hospital in Goldendale safely.  

Fortunately, my mom was the only labor. So, you know she got all the attention.  Even after I was born on February 4, 1977.  I was the only baby born the whole three days they were in Goldendale Hospital.  See back then you had to stay three days in the hospital.  So, every time my mother heard a baby cry she knew it was me.  My dad always tells the story that he was so happy that he cried all the way back to Glenwood, that night I was born.  When I was a little girl, I'd think quite puzzled and all, “you cried?  It wasn’t until I had my first son did, I know what he was talking about. 

There is just something about the first. 

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