February 19, 1989

This year is a year of anniversaries, of major milestones. For me, 2019 marks 30 years of marriage, 20 years as a licensed midwife, and 10 years of having my own practice, Local Care Midwifery. And today, is the first of those milestones – the 30th Anniversary of marriage to my beloved, Kevin Doyle.

Thirty years ago today, I woke in San Pedro, California, sick as a dog. While my fever had finally broken during the night, a hacking cough had started, leaving my normally deep voice well into Lauren Bacall range. Many cups of tea, frequent swigs of cough syrup and several hours later, I was waiting to walk down the aisle.

Actually, I was hiding in a community center bathroom, as my friends hastily created an indoor aisle of people. Our plans for a lovely outdoor wedding on a hillside park overlooking the Pacific ocean, me walking under gracefully bowing eucalyptus, were dashed by freakish weather – fog, rain and 40 degrees is not the usual So Cal February. Marrying into the Doyle Clan, I grabbed on to the idea that rain is good luck for Irish weddings. (And maybe it is, because 30 years later, we are still married, and more importantly, still treasure our time together.)

Standing in that bathroom in my wedding dress, my hair and makeup done, bouquet in hand, I stepped aside as the door swung open and my three-year old niece walked in. Her gaze was on the floor. Then she caught sight of my cream-colored, beribboned shoes, and her head slowly raising, she took in my stockings, tea length lace skirt, bouquet, fitted bodice, and finally, my face. Wide eyed, she whispered, “Are you a princess?”

Hiding in a bathroom on a cold and gloomy day, sick as a dog yet as beautiful as a princess, that is how I started my marriage.

May all babies be born into loving hands