32 years ago January 3, I went into labor. I called my estranged husband and told him for a birthday present he was getting a baby. He took his time coming over to the house and adjusting the baby seat for my 4 year old. (they weren't required then, but I thought my son's safety was important.)
He thought we should go to the nearest hospital instead of the one 30 minutes away and drove slowly down the road. I wanted to go to the hospital with my doctor and where I'd paid my deposit. I'd picked a hospital that always had a pediatrician on duty, not common in my area at that time.
Unfortunately, we didn't make it. We pulled off the side of the road and my husband got to deliver his daughter on his birthday. Thus started a strong bond between them. He'd been a medic in the Air Force and worked in an emergency room during grad school, so it wasn't a stretch for him.
We've celebrated their birthdays together except for 2 years. This year my mother and stepfather joined us at a local hibachi grill. My ex had received a cake from his office and had a 2nd cake from someone, so he brought us all large pieces of chocolate cake. (I noticed that no one had known his favorite cake flavor)
Whenever I hear the phrase "a gift that keeps giving" I think about the birthday present I gave him 32 years ago. In some ways she's the gift that keeps taking, but I think he's happy with Daddy's Little Girl.