Short Stuff » Editor's Note

Tell Me a Story


Baby Alison with her mom, grandma and great-grandma - COURTESY OF ALISON NOVAK
  • Courtesy of Alison Novak
  • Baby Alison with her mom, grandma and great-grandma

Do you know the story of your birth? I'd always had just a hazy idea of what happened during mine. Recently, though, I asked my mom to recount my birth story — and recorded it on my iPhone for posterity.

My mom confirmed that my dad was indeed reading aloud People magazine's "The 25 most intriguing people of 1977" issue during her labor (which might explain my long-standing penchant for that publication). Upon my arrival in the early hours of January 3, he fainted and had to be revived with smelling salts. Infamous insider trader Ivan Boesky was also a patient at that New Jersey hospital on the day I was born. The next day, I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, an instability of the hip joints, which meant I had to wear a special brace for the first few months of my life. My mom cried when the doctors told her, and a mean nurse, who expressed frustration at the difficulty of taking on and off the brace, upset her further.

It always amazes me that, even though hundreds of babies are born around the world every minute, each one has a unique birth story full of interesting details like the ones my mom shared with me. In "Pathways Through Pain," Jessica Lara Ticktin shares three women's diverse birth stories to illustrate the different pain-management options available to laboring women. From a home birth using nonmedical interventions to a hospital birth with an epidural, it's clear that there's no "right" way to have a baby.

Also in our annual Mom & Baby Issue, find an interview with Kimberly Harrington, an art director and mother of two from South Burlington, whose dark, satirical McSweeney's piece "Please Don't Get Murdered at School Today" went viral in 2016. Harrington's new collection of essays, Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words, is being published this month by Harper Perennial.

Want to learn how to create a calm, minimalist bedroom for your baby or toddler? Turn to Jillian Kirby's advice. Looking for a fun, active family outing? Read about Essex Junction's MetroRock climbing gym. Always wondered whether strollers or baby backpacks are better for your little one? Ken Picard interviews Dr. Gina Mireault about her recent research on the topic.

Parents looking to round out their kids' vacation plans will find lots of options in the final installment of our summer camp guide. There are still some day and overnight programs with openings! And there are lots of spring events for the whole family in our monthly calendar — including a few that celebrate moms.

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