Father Shawn and son Joshua were both born on Independence Day, November 30, 29 years apart. (Picture by Lennox Devonish)
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HOW MANY INDEPENDENCE Day babies do you know?
Natalie James knows two. One is her husband, the other is her son. While Shawn James her husband of six years, and her 12-year-old son Joshua James were born 29 years apart, they have the distinct and unique honour of being born on November 30.
Shawn was born in 1973 and Joshua in 2002.
Smiling from ear to ear while occasionally glancing at them as she sat in the living room of their home at Lightfoot Lane, The City, Natalie told the WEEKEND NATION she was fussy after finding out that Shawn had been born on Independence Day.
“We were dating when I found out and I was extremely fussy that I was dating an Independence Day baby,” she said, still beaming with pride.
Upon finding out she was pregnant, Natalie said doctors originally told her that the baby would be due on December 5. She said both Shawn and herself talked about the possibility of the baby being born on Independence Day.
“I told her that it would be really nice if the baby was born on the same day as me,” Shawn recalled.
“I didn’t really expect it to work out like that, but I was hoping for it to happen.”
He recounted that Natalie had actually gone to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on two occasions prior to giving birth.
“She wasn’t feeling well and she went to the hospital the Wednesday before, but they sent her back home. She went again the Friday but they sent her back home again,” he said with a laugh.
The James family (from left) Joshua, Shawn, Natalia and Natalie.
However, Natalie said that on the day before Independence Day she began to feel unwell. Still cognisant of the fact that November 30 was approaching, she purposely waited until around 2 o’clock the morning of Independence Day to return to the hospital.
She said at first the nurses and doctors didn’t believe she would have given birth since she wasn’t dilated enough.
“The nurse told me I was only two centimetres and I was beginning to feel a little disappointed, but then she came back and told me that I was going to have an Independence Day baby for sure.”
According to her, Joshua, who was born around 3:15 p.m., was the “perfect birthday gift” for Shawn.
Unfortunately for Shawn, however, he missed the birth after running off to complete some work.
“I told myself he wasn’t coming because I was there for the whole morning and nothing was happening,” he said.
A second form student at Harrison College, Shawn said “it felt good” to share the same birthday as his father.
Shawn said as part of tradition, he and Joshua usually went to Bay Street to watch the bands passing in the Independence Day parade.
Natalie said she always goes “all out” to ensure both Shawn and Joshua are looked after on their special day.
“I always decorate the house and I wake up on the morning and fix them a big breakfast. I have to order two different cakes as well since Shawn likes Everton football team and Joshua likes Manchester United,” she explained, as she showed off several pictures of past birthday celebrations.
When asked if it meant she had to buy two gifts as well she responded, “Several gifts, not two. Several.” (RB)