Birthday blessings

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A baby girl named Gianna Ryan Lindbloom was born on Tuesday, July 2 — exactly 29 years after her mom, Lorraine, was born, and 52 years after her grandmother, Joanne, was born.

All three generations of these women in this Rio Communities family were all born on the same day — July 2. The odds of that are pretty slim. Sharing a birthday with just one family member is rare. Sharing it with two? Practically unheard of.

Clara Garcia-News-Bulletin photo: Grandma Joanne Luna, left, daughter, Lorraine Lindbloom, right, and granddaughter Gianna Lindbloom, center, all share more than a normal family bond. All three were born on July 2.

The family — not surprisingly — is over the moon.

Joanne Luna, aka Grandma, gets to share her big day with her daughter, Lorraine Lindbloom, and now her new granddaughter.

Joanne, who was born in New York in 1962, married Lorraine’s father and exactly nine months later, she was born. Her due date was July 12, but after a somewhat strenuous pregnancy, Lorraine showed up early on the same day her mother was born.

July 2, 1985, Joanne’s 23rd birthday, began like every other day, but as the day went on, she knew something wasn’t quite right. Joanne never thought her first born would come that day.

“I began feeling crappy, but it was sporadic, it was on and off,” Joanne says of the day her oldest daughter, Lorraine, was born. “Around 5 o’clock, I felt (the contractions) a lot stronger and a lot closer, so I drove myself to the old (Presbyterian) hospital here in Belen.”

Joanne remembers that the delivery was “very easy,” and Lorraine was born at 9:24 p.m. The whole time while she was in labor, all she could think of was that it was her birthday.

“I even told my mother-in-law, who was in the delivery room with me, ‘This is the best present ever, but I’m not going to get any cake?’ I really love cake,” she said laughing.

Even though she didn’t get to have her scheduled birthday dinner or cake, Joanne says that to this day, Lorraine is the best present she ever received.

“It was kind of cool,” she says of her daughter being born on her birthday. “My friends and family would always say how cool it was.”

When Lorraine was little, the family always made sure they celebrated her birthday during the day, while leaving the evening to commemorate the day Joanne was born.

“I would give her the day and I would take the night,” Joanne says.

One of Lorraine’s best birthdays was when she turned 7. Her mother had thrown her a party with clowns, games and she even made her an elaborate princess cake.

“I felt special because I was Mom’s birthday present,” Lorraine remembers. “My teenage years were different because … well, because I was a teenager. That’s when I started to hate it. I didn’t want to spend it with her, I wanted to go out with my friends.”

But as Lorraine got older, mother and daughter became closer and realized how much alike they really are. Not only do they share a birthday, but they share a lot of characteristics as well.

“We’re both homebodies,” Lorraine said. “We’re both very emotional, like silly things — even crying at cartoons.”

Lorraine, who had three daughters, Jayden, Lauren and Sophia, before becoming pregnant with Gianna, said she never thought that having one of them on the birthday she shares with her mother would ever happen. But two weeks ago, it did.

Gianna wasn’t supposed to arrive until July 19, and Lorraine says she and her husband, Elijah, didn’t plan on having her early, but in the back of her mind, she kind of knew.

“The week before, my emotions had all changed and I was telling everyone that she was going to be born on our birthday,” she remembers. “It was just a feeling.”

Two days before the delivery, she started getting anxious, thinking about the delivery and wondering if everything was going to be OK.

In the early morning hours of her 29th birthday, Lorraine woke up, feeling labor pains. It was 4 a.m. when she started feeling contractions, but she waited an hour before she woke up her husband.

“I told him, ‘I think I’m in labor,’” Lorraine said. “I called my mom and said, ‘Happy Birthday, we’re on the way to the hospital and we’re going to drop off the kids.’”

Joanne, excited about her newest granddaughter, kept calling her daughter every hour, but couldn’t get a hold of her. It was at 10:37 a.m. that Lorraine got her very own special birthday present, Gianna, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19-inches long.

“It was a hell of a day,” Lorraine remembers. “It’s just amazing that we all share the same birthday. What are the odds?”

According to Julie DePree Ph.D., the chairwoman of the mathematics department at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus, the chances of three family members having the same birthday is significantly lower than 1 percent — .000075.

But because she doesn’t know how many people are in the control group, it’s difficult to come up with an exact number.

“Let’s just put it this way, it’s highly unlikely,” DePree said.

It’s not only grandma, daughter and the new baby in the family who celebrate their birthday on July 2. Lorraine’s father-in-law, Bob Lindbloom, who lives in Texas, also shares that special day, being born in 1959.

Both Joanne and Lorraine say that from here on out, instead of celebrating all three birthdays on the one day they share together, they’ll make sure that baby Gianna will be the one who feels special by giving her a birthday party every year.

“I kind of gave up on my birthday because I’m too old,” Joanne says laughing.

“Me too,” Lorraine says. “But we’ll celebrate hers.”


-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.