I remember the day I was born.
That is to say I remember being born. The rest of that day is actually quite foggy, I am pretty sure I slept through most of it, but the memorable event being the birth itself is quite clear. Not many people believe me when I tell them this. And by not many what I mean to say is almost everyone but my mom. The world is full of sceptics but my mom has a very open mind, she is wonderful like that.
It might help to know that I also have an excellent long term memory that has been thoroughly tested. My mom and I have spent countless hours together trying to find the limit to my recollection capabilities, so far there is none. I seem to remember everything, even decade old dreams. I remember my very first nightmare. I remember the first time I ate chocolate. I remember when words became words and no longer chicken scratch. I remember our budgie Tweetie Bird who died before I was 2. I could tell you what I wore the first day of kindergarten and what my mother wore and the bus driver and my teacher and the principle, as well as 24 out of the 26 students in my class.
It seems like people would be more apt to believe that I was psychic or could predict the future or something. I don’t understand why it is so hard to believe. Everyone knows what it is like to remember things, I am just able to recall everything as opposed the significant or the random. I like to think of it as a special gift that allows me to do something most people can’t do, like remembering my own birth. Naturally, this exceptional gift places me in a different category of people. There are those who are ordinary with no distinguishing characteristics, despite what they may believe, and no extraordinarily peculiar gifts which are usually acquired before being born, although this is not always the case. For me it had to have been the case, for others it might be developed later on but usually before adolescence. There are people who have distinguishing attributes like height or beauty, or talents like being a fast runner or having good hang eye coordination. These attributes shouldn't be confused with what I have. My gift is more like an ability. Other people have special gifts, people like supertasters or who have absolute pitch or tetrachromacy or the ability to predict the future or to read someone’s mind or to just know things like psychics.
Out of politeness sometimes people say that they believe me but I can tell they don’t. It’s not hard to see when someone is not being sincere. Then there are those people who try to convince me that I am confused and that most likely this “memory” is nothing more than a dream I had. But the ones with an education, like doctors, are the worst. They feel pity for my ignorance and take the time to set me straight. They smile an shake their head and explain how infants are unable to build memories and tell me how it is impossible for me to have retained this information and that people are not able to remember anything before the age of 3 and that infants are only able to retain simple information like colours and shapes only for a 24 hour period.
Well maybe I am not anybody is what I want to say to them.
I have done my own research on the matter. I was disappointed to discover that it is generally accepted as fact that people are unable to recall their own birth. And there is a name for this, childhood amnesia, happens to everyone they say. Never do they say there are exceptions even though there are exceptions to everything and that everyone knows that. No one could absolutely without a doubt prove that something like this, my memory, is false. I won’t go on and on about all the things that were at one time generally accepted and no longer are. Science is notorious for overlooking things.
It is considered a phenomenon, people remembering their birth. I looked up the definition of phenomenon just to be sure I understood what it meant. Like with everything, there is more than one meaning. In one definition a phenomenon is simply an observable occurrence. In another it is an exceptional or abnormal occurrence, rare and significant. I like the second one best, I feel like it fits closest to me.
Sometimes a person does believes me, and I can tell that they do. They ask questions and share their own earliest memory stories, though they are never as early as my earliest memory. But you might be surprised at how many people say they remember their 2nd birthday.
I don’t always remember all my memories, they have to be triggered, like with most people. Like when you smell a familiar smell and it reminds you of something from before. I first recalled my birth when I was 6. It was cold out and my mom was helping me squeeze into my favourite sweater, and just as my head was coming out the top I said to her that it felt like when I was being born, and that was it. In flashes of images and sensations the memory of my birth played for the first time in my mind and it was more vivid than the present, it was all encompassing. I relayed this new information to my mom as it was coming to me. She believed me, that is one thing moms are good for.
I have never met anyone else who says they remember their own birth. But on the internet I have been able to read many personal accounts very similar to my own. Some people say they remember being in the womb.
I don’t think it is that crazy of a story to believe. I am sure I would believe someone if they told me, even though it is a phenomenon. We cant go around not believing all the time. Imagine if nobody believed all those alien abductees or Christians or astrologists or JFK assassination conspiracy theorists or 911 conspiracy theorists or feminists.