{ baby cries }  

From the few bits of information I have, I believe my birth took place somewhere outside of Indianapolis, Indiana, in a place called St. Joseph's, a Catholic home for unwed mothers. I picture a younger version of me ­ 18, I'm told ­ lying in a stark room with iron beds and crucifixes hanging on the walls, trying not to scream as fists of pain grip her.

At the moment of my arrival, as soon as I'm severed from the life source of my mother, I'm whisked away to the nursery on the far side of the building by a stern and shuffling nun.

And there, in the wake of that glorious event, my arrival into the world, my mother was left on the cold white bed, exhausted from pushing me out. What did she do? Was she awake? Or did they mercifully let young mothers who were giving up their babies have a dose of sleeping ether so that the traumatic event was no more than an operation to be recovered from?

I don't know if she even ever got to see my face, or kiss my chubby baby cheek as I bleated like a lost little lamb.