Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I don't need no education

Country living. What an adjustment it's been, is going to be. I'm most challenged by the changes in Tyler who is really stretching his wings and feeling his oats and all of those other horrible cliches for which I can't find any other phrasing without stepping over the line into how it makes me feel: he's working my very last nubbly little nerve.

Admittedly, I'm in a rather delicate space still (see yesterdays post), but the things he's been letting slip have shaken me to the core. I'll start with the easiest one, the fact that girls are no longer creapy and annoying but are cute and pretty and in one instance hot like me. He's still innocent enough that he eventually tells me most things, and I always try to listen and respond without the soundrack in my mind which sounds something like this:


Friday he came in from school, dropped his bookbag and hopped on his bike to go meet up with Jessie and Matthew, his buddies from the bus who live about a mile and a half away. No helmet. Fine, there is no helmet law in Ohio, one of maybe 7 states in the union that hang on to the idea that there's nothing better than hair blowing in the wind and that if I'm in a wreck, why live with a beat up body, let my brains spill out of my head all over the road. Freedom! The ultimate! I could make him wear it, but then he'd probably get beat up by the older kids who live in the shack at the end of the road-the ones Tyler's already calling Hillbillies and saying it with a fake southern accent that has a bit of a Monty Python influence. He wants to fit in so much that he's sitting down to dinner and saying things like: I don't need no napkin, I ain't no pig. Mmmm. Indeed.

So after about an hour of riding free, the three boys tumbled into the house laughing and punching one another, the two friends vying for Tyler's attention, T.J. check this out!

T.J., his school persona, bestowed upon him by his 4th grade teacher last year in NY. Thanks so much Mr. Brown. T.J. has to spike his hair every morning so WON'T be wearing a hat. Or should I say I don't need no hat and I ain't wearing one cuz it'll mess up my hair!

Tyler leaned against the arm of the couch and pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket. Mom, check it out. Remember that girl Dee on the bus? The one who likes country music and has real red hair and freckles? We'll she has a crush on me. He handed me a folded up note from another girl telling Tyler all about how Dee feels about him. One gem of a sentiment sticks in my mind:

She be crushin on you. I don't know why.

and I kept a straight face.

So that's the girl thing, which is natural enough and was bound to happen eventually, but is shocking to me when it's just two weeks after he was overheard (by me) on the phone with his friend Sascha back in Ny—who is just starting 9th grade and is interested in a particular girl—saying, Dude. I don't know anything about that, but good luck with the whole GIRL thing.

Next up: Guns! whoo hoo. Jessie's got a gun. For real. And he disobeyed the first rule of gun usage for a kid...and he SHOWED it to MY SON without an adult to SUPERVISE! A shotgun! Jessie's going to hunt with his Grampa this fall and wanted to impress Tyler with the fact that he has a big ole' shotgun IN HIS CLOSET. Tyler ignored another important rule of gun handling and BELIEVED it wasn't loaded and HELD IT. Guns are always loaded. Always. Even when they're not. Jessie also bragged that he was allowed to keep 3 bullets in his desk for In case a burglar gets in, I can pop a cap in his butt. Well, at least Jessie doesn't cuss. Not sure if the bullet part is true, his mom categorically denied it.

So yes, amen my son is still willing and able to tell me things, even if it is just in passing, like it's a chit-chatty bit of information, nothing too important, just a by-the-by, did I happen to tell you about the time...

I spoke with Jessie and his Mom about the fact that Tyler has never handled guns, has absolutely ZERO experience and that he should be treated as such...which is essentially that he should be treated as someone who it would be deadly to allow near your guns without some very experienced and focused adult supervision, preferably me or Chris. Jesus. She wasn't home, Grampa was and she's not particularly happy about the hunting to begin with...but my question to her was...Shouldn't the gun be locked up out of Jessie's reach as well?

He's not to speak about guns in school, they take a zero tolerance stand on guns here just like everywhere now and can be expelled. Chris' friend went to school around here (he's just 43) and he and his buddies brought their guns to school every day during hunting season. They put them in their lockers when they got to school and took them out and hunted on their way home at the end of the day. Noone ever got shot. Noone stole a gun. Some kids brought meat home for their families though. It was a different world as little as even 25 years ago. A much different world. The high school where I went now has metal detectors at each entrance. When I was there the worst thing that happened was during senior prank week someone stole all the fetal pigs from the biology lab and made Cherry Jell-O molds out of them and put them in the salad bar.

So now Tyler desperately wants a gun, to start with a bb gun, a Daisy. We were in Wal-Mart to pick up a backpack on wheels for him (man they carry a lot of shit in 5th grade!) and he disappeared. I found him in the "sportsman" section, sighting down the barrel of a Daisy air gun right into the toy section across the aisle where a Mom was panicking to get her kids behind her. The guy behind the counter where you buy ammo was standing there watching him and shaking his head. Yeah. He's definitely ready for a gun.

Chris came up with this plan: Tyler is going to practice indefinitely with the stage prop musket that he has. It will be stored in the safe and only be taken out with Chris present and be treated like it's a real gun. In the meantime, Ty can read as much about guns as he wants to and educate himself about how they work, what the parts are called, and safe handling of them. Chris will go over these things with him again and again and then we'll see from there.

Now on to part 3, the part that I've been having nightmares and daymares about. On the way to the store to replace the washing machine on Sunday (oy!), Tyler did another, Hey Mom, did I tell you? and proceeded to tell me that You know that guy Shane who lives out back, Harvey's son? The one we met twice. The one who showed up at our door the afternoon before asking if we'd seen his dog anywhere? Mmmhmmm. I know who you mean. Well yesterday when you let me walk to Matt's, (I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO!) he saw me walking and stopped and gave me a ride. Just writing those words gives me a small heart attack. I mean, where the hell was he raised? Who was he raised by? Some total fucking idiots? Apparently.

So we had to scare the living shit out of him and show him some news pieces about kids who have disappeared, one in particular here in Cleveland, a young girl from a neighborhood where there are over a hundred known sex offenders living in her hood. Had to tell him that more often than not kids are hurt by someone they know, that taking a ride from anyone not absolutely sanctioned by the parental units and without said parental units KNOWING ABOUT IT AT THE TIME OF THE RIDE GODDAMMIT! is REALLY FUCKING STUPID! You know, without all the swearing.

I don't think my poor little heart can take anymore. I really don't.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Yicky Poem

Twelve zits on my face
like 7th grade ...
and who wants to go
there again?
Yetti-ish tangles of hair
on pillowcase in morning,
clinging like dying squid
at mouth of shower drain.
Early-onset baldness.
Fear; a yellow river of bile
running with my
blood, clinging to the underside
of my veins,
showing me danger
everywhere I look.
Many close calls.
Heart always jumping ahead.
I've been to this land before.
Here's the map in pocket,
four months journey
at most.
Catch breath,
deeper still.
this is not who I am.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Knock, knock...Who's there?

She stares at the ceiling as if there are beautiful creatures floating above her head and I'm beginning to wonder if there are. Her facial expressions change the same way they do when she's communicating with me, the flash of smile and eyebrows lifted quick and flirty, the slow grins and cooing burbles of noise at the back of her throat, playing with the shape of her mouth to change the sounds-tiny person speak-and I know she's in communion with someone or something that I can't see or feel. Her eyes follow something across the ceiling, she turns her head and lets out a yell and then snaps back to look where she was before and a wide, gummy smile spreads across her face...as if the being was leaving and she insisted "Come back!" and whatever or whoever it was obeyed.

She's also forged a lasting friendship-with someone I can trust to sit with her and entertain her for as many as twenty minutes while I sneak in a pee or run down to the basement to switch the laundry.

She's head over heels in love with her friend Mr. Ceiling Fan.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Alien Life Form

My Peterson's Guide to North American Wildflowers is buried somewhere at the bottom of the great tower of boxes that takes up the entire garage. Anyone have any idea of what on earth this flower is called? It grows on a large-leafed vine up the side of the front porch. I'm so in love with this plant. I think it might be in love with me too. It crowds my path whenever I want to get up on the porch, sending out tendrils to tangle in my hair and snag against my shoe buckles. Yes, I wear buckle shoes. Don't you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

We're getting hitched!

And look at my engagement ring!

Yep. I'll be showing off a rusty old 1951 Allis-Chalmers Farm Tractor with a 5' mowing platform and a hand clutch and one of those fancy metal, spring-mounted, ass-shaped seats. I'm a lucky girl.

But really. We're getting hitched and I'm not getting a ring because we bought a tractor. Really.

I'm okay with this. Mostly.

I'd like a ring. Nothing fancy, just a simple silvery band that'll catch the light when I'm typing in the slant of afternoon sun and when I'm driving the 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store I'll see it glinting in my periferal view. I want to have the traditional symbol for having bound ourselves together in this crazy cycle of life. I could do what I did the first time around and get a cheapo silver band at a head shop. I don't want to do that again. We're getting married in a couple of weeks, j.p. city hall and having a big bash next summer when we have some cash.

No ring.


Monday, September 22, 2003

Song of Life

A rather rambly post this morning...

I'm sitting here in the temporary office which is really the master bedroom, but is going to have hardwood floors put in to replace this kinky red Las Vegas carpeting.

It's a very still and quiet morning, cloudy and warm and humid. I'm nursing Lila and reading Barbara's blog and the poem that her daughter Bekah wrote that was used only months later as part of Bekah's obituary. A bird has come to the tree outside the window and begun to sing, it's singing is so loud I can barely think and find myself reading the lines of the poem over and over again. It feels like the bird is telling me to stop and really listen to what I'm hearing, in the song and in the poem. I look down at Lila's contented face and I know that Barbara did that many times with Bekah and I know that my mother did with me and maybe even Barbara's mother with her and so on backwards through time. The poem sounds so much like how I felt in my 20's and the remarkable thing is how Bekah seemed able to reach some clarity. I'm only just now finding that inside of me at 36 and the hardest part of that clarity to swallow is the knowledge that there are no guarantees.

I just put Lila down on a blanket on the crazy carpet and I trust that she'll wake up.

What else can I do?

Please also take a moment to go check out my dear friend Katherine's blog; Dating God. She's doing some great stuff in her corner of the blogdome just as she's taking great care of her piece of the pie. Show her the big love!

That was mind bloggling. Comments back up. New post on the way.

Friday, September 19, 2003


I've lost my comments. I thought I'd put the tags into my template again because seems like lots of people have visited the last few posts but not a single comment. Maybe noone had anything to say. It's possible. But I worry. So I deleted the old code and put it in again. And now no comments. Argh. I've redone it ten times. What am I not seeing? Did I accidentally delete something else that needed to be there to let the code work? I'm floundering here. Urgh.
Late again

Well, I let another birthday go by without acknowledging it. Tuesday was Baggage Carousel's one year birthday and I didn't even send a card or make a cake or phone call. Ah well. It was a spotty year. Thanks to everyone who made it here to read and comment. You're all the best.
Oh maaaaan, school sucks!

No really Mom, it's only 5th grade and there's NO RECESS! No recess! I need my recess. I need to get my ya-ya's out.

I'm going to use that stupid study hall to get my homework done so I can come HOME and have my RECESS. I'm just gonna use my powers to block out the other kids talking and having fun. This school rotts.

When you go to the PTA will you talk to the principal and tell him to give us back our recess. My old school let the 5th graders have it. I'm gonna tell my friends that you're going to take care of it.

We have to change classes. It's so confusing and I run out of time to pack things up and write down my assignment. It's always time to go to the next class.

The social studies teacher is mean. She grouched at us on the first day just because some kids were talking when they were supposed to be writing. I hate her.

We don't get gym or art until the 3rd semester. No recess and no gym? Now I'm gonna get fat. And when do I get to draw? Do I have to do that at home too?

They don't let you buy a drink at lunch if you bring your lunch. I want to go back to NY. I miss my old school.

The only good thing is the kids. Pretty much everyone's my friend already. One girl on the bus even said I'm super duper hot and her friends agreed.

ahem...(tap, tap, tap on his shoulder) excuse me...but, WHAT? Super duper what? Did she mean you got left out in the sun too long? She really said that? Hot? You're too young to be knowing about hot. You're cute, okay? Cute. Sweet. Funny. And eleven. NOT HOT.

(Mom turns away shaking head...)

Oh my god. It's started.

My son is the hot new kid in school.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Not So Miraculous

So, I'm $32.00 and 5" into a gallon jug of Nature's Miracle and the smell of cat piss is still there.

Still where?

Still embedded in the seat of my brand new, only been rocked in for 6 weeks, upholstered coriander denim rocking chair that my mom got me for a baby gift.

Oh, there. Bummer

No, not just there. Also ruining the brand new, only been slept under TWO TIMES, down comforter my mom bought for Tyler for his new room. AND an older comforter.

The Great Urine Wars of Ohio being waged between my 3 cats and the 2 of the 5 of his who survived being let out into the great wide open here in the country have caused me to have a near nervous breakdown and the 5 cats are now living in the basement while they work together to figure out who's going to be King Shit. Oh yes, someone also left a steaming pile on the comforter on Tyler's bottom bunk. Mom bought two of them!

Now, I can't help but wonder if some of the deposits were made to say "thanks for nothing" to my mom because when she stayed with me those weeks she made it abundantly clear just how much she can't stand cats. She kept the room she slept in closed up all day and night, sleeping in the sweltering heat with just a window fan and forfeiting the air conditioning from the livingroom that I circulate with floor fans so that the little bastards wouldn't get up on her bed. She shooed them out of my bedroom constantly because that was where the baby would be sleeping. I don't know, just a theory. I'm probably wrong, they're probably actually pissing and shitting on these things because these cats are too damned smart and they know that it's the fastest way to get my head to explode and kill me, leaving them to live with the man of the house who has always let them do whatever the hell they want to.

I'm going to reapply the expensive bottle of what smells to me like rubbing alcahol, Christ! and give that one more chance today. After that? I'll take myself out and shoot me.

Seriously though, if this nonsense continues after they've lived in seclusion down there in the dungeon then these cats are going to become barn kitties just as the really cold weather hits. Let them fend for themselves out there where 3 of their own disappeared in the night, probably eaten by a coyote or fox, or chased up a tree by hound dogs and shot by one of the crazy hillbilly neighbors. That'll show them who to appreciate and how to use their litter boxes!

I can't live like this. My fucking chair. Jesus.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Girly girl

With a nod to Heather of Dooce (one of my favorite daily reads) I confess that I'm not the liberal, tie-dyed hippie chick I once was. If Tyler had been born a girl no pink would ever have touched his body. All frilly, lacy, be-ribboned, sparkly, embroidered clothes would have been sneeringly passed over or tossed into the Salvation Army bin if received as a gift. No Barbie dolls allowed unless used for sarcastic role playing. No poke bonnets or patent leather shoes. I'm not sure what happened to me and she may not like it, but I do because she's pretty in pink.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The Gory Details

I'll just go ahead and get this really long birth story out of the way so I can move on to more entertaining writing...

At the beginning of June I had a high blood pressure reading at a prenatal exam but I had a fever from a slight sinus infection at the time so we just assumed that was why. When I went back 2 weeks later the b.p. was even higher. Julia (my midwife) whipped out her prescription pad and wrote me a note to stay home from work for the rest of my pregnancy and stay on my left side. Oh Joy! Out of work 3 weeks earlier than planned and with full pay and benefits...on my left side. Ever had to lay on one side for what feels like eternity? With 50 lbs. of extra flesh? With severely swollen ankles in the summer with more ounces of cat hair per square foot than can be measured? A week into it I got my landlord to lift my behemoth of an air conditioner into the window. Amen and alleluia! Now my main problems were that I couldn't drive so Ty had to stay with his Dad and that I couldn't get up and clean or get things ready for this baby. Once again I have the opportunity to learn to NOT LEAVE EVERYTHING UNTIL THE LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE. Did it sink in? I'll let you know next time there's a major event in my life...this last minuteness carried over into packing for the move but I'm considering having a baby and moving all one event rather than two separate events because it all happened bam! bam! bam!

Katherine-angel and pack mule-stayed with me for a few nights in the beginning and ran errands for me and made me food and scooped the cat poop and fed the kitties and brought down the trash and held my hand. She'd look at me like she was waiting for the signs that I'd had a stroke, like the whole left side of my face would droop down and she'd have to fly into action and try to lift my 185 lbs and squeeze it into the front seat of her little Saturn, pushing at my ass with her foot and her hands "c'mon, dammit! You're going to the hospital!" I fully expected not to wake up a few times myself my heart was beating so fiercely in the night, so I can see her point. She did drive me to the hospital to meet Julia when I thought the baby was trying to rip his (oh yeah, I'm sure, it's a boy) way out through my ass one night. I don't know how I would have done any of it without Kat. I love her.

That night was a turning point-my b.p. was quite high but went down when I got on my side again. We couldn't figure out what the pain in my pelvic floor and back was from because the monitor wasn't picking up any contractions. But the baby was fine and I stabilized so they sent me home to make my left side a little more flat and numb with instructions to see Julia's backup OB the next week.

Mom came to stay for a week and wow....she'd been offering for a few days but I kept saying wait, let's see what happens...but then I felt so overwhelmed with everything there was to do and called her crying and said the words every mother of adult children wants to hear: "I want my Mommy." Pretty simple. So true. It was all I wanted. So she came and she washed all the baby's clothes, and all of my things-bedding and couch covers and curtains. She cleaned so deep that if I could have a homebirth (we were still hoping the hypertension would reverse in time) it'd be more sanitary than a hospital. She started my packing for me and organized my things in a way that is so logical that I'm dumbfounded that I never saw it in the four years I'd lived there. I clearly didn't get those genes-the ones that can look at a big mess and break it down into prioritized and manageable parts. No. I got my Dad's genes, the ones that just sit on the couch and mope and watch the clutter build up and wait for a tornado to come and take it all away. I got the futile genes. Thanks God.

Mom took me to see Dr. D. and he told me I'd need to be induced-sooner than later-that the only cure for pregnancy induced hypertension is to get the baby out before it turns into preeclampsia, which I was very close to having. He talked about the baby's lungs, that if they weren't developed enough then I'd have to deliver at a bigger hospital, closer to the city where they have NICU units and 24 hour surgical teams. This was serious. Hmm. So much for natural childbirth and thus began my questioning of what natural childbirth really is. I went home and cried for a couple of days about having to give up my homebirth and began to face the fact that I'd be spending time in a hospital, like it or not. Little did I know it'd be much sooner than I expected.

Mom went home and Chris came - changing of the guard. He came when he was needed most and in the meantime he'd been buying a house for us and working his ass off to keep his business above water. At my next visit with Julia my b.p. was 159/104 and that after I'd been laying on my left side waiting for her for a half hour, so she turned to me and said "Go pack your bags and make arrangements for Tyler. You're going to live at the hospital for a little while until we can determine if it's safe to take this baby or not."

Shit. Fuck.

What an amazing thing this hospital stay was for me. I had a chance to get very friendly with western medicine-what with having my pressure read every hour, having to keep every drop of pee for 24 hours in a jug on ice on the bathroom floor, having an ultrasound every morning, being woken up at 6am by the lab coming to drain more blood from me. I'm utterly amazed that I had any blood pressure at all with the volume they took out of me over two weeks! That should be the cure, dammit. Chris stayed with me, sleeping on this horrible little chair disguised as a pullout bed. Kat brought Scrabble and loads of popsicles, Sabine came and did some amazing deep tissue massage and talked and listened. Mom came back so she could bring Tyler back and forth and keep things sane for him because his Dad didn't have a car at the time.

The powers that be decided July 3 to induce me and I got all hooked up to the monitor and the IV and waited it out. The contractions started, hard enough that they hurt-a little...but I was able to walk around and talk through them...so they weren't doing much work. After 12 hours of pitocin I hadn't dilated at all. Not surprising, it was 2 weeks early and it just wasn't time yet. Julia came in and said "Time to have the church talk, Kelly."

Hmmm. That didn't sound good. She talked about it being a holiday weekend, that the surgical team was already sent home, on call but that it takes a good hour to get everything going when they're not in the building and that Dr. D. would very likely come in and check me shortly and say that he wanted to do a c-section because it was a failed induction and that he didn't want to risk something happening to me over the weekend. My pressure was climbing still, but everything looked good for the baby. She said if it were her, she would refuse and let him transfer her care to the teaching hospital in Westchester where there's a 24 hr surgical team and they would do their best to give me the vaginal delivery that I deserved to have. She felt that this would be an unnecessary Cesarean. So did I. So I was ready for that after I cried a little and got mad at the system...but he called and said he wanted to try to give me another day, to induce me again after 12 hrs.

So Julia put in another dose of Cervadil to ripen my cervix a little more and went home. I sent my people home, Mom, Tyler, Kat, Sabine, Lorin...told them all I'd call in the am and let them know what was happening. Chris walked them all outside...and I lay there feeling relieved that I'd have another chance...and then I felt it. Sharp pains in the same place as that first visit to the hospital. I looked down and saw a little blood on the chuck. Hmmmm. Okay, maybe I was losing the plug and it'd all go fine. But within a half an hour I'd nearly soaked the chuck. I listened to the hustle and bustle out at the nurses station, they were bringing back 3 C-sections from recovery and getting them settled and handling the babies, very busy. I waited a little hoping someone would come in just to check the monitor, I hated to buzz them now...but I continued to bleed so I had to call.

The nurse was incredibly calm, held the chuck up and said soothing things like, "It's not so much, could just be your cervix from being checked so much, maybe some capillaries broke, let's just give Julia and Dr. D. a call, let them come take a look. Don't worry, you're fine, it's a little abnormal, but this is okay." My heart started to really race when I heard her on the phone trying to describe it to Dr. D. "It's a 10" diameter stain on the chuck. NO! It's not a 10" clot! Jesus, it's a stain!" Fear. Lots of fear.

Once Julia arrived I felt calmer, but I could feel deep inside that something was wrong. We couldn't find the heartbeat in the same place we'd picked it up for the past two weeks. I was still bleeding and Julia had her poker face on. I could tell she was working at staying calm. I just lay there following instructions and cried and Chris held my hand. Dr. D. rolled in an ultra sound machine and then I knew the jig was up, usually they send you downstairs...this was serious if they brought one to me. He rolled the wand around on my huge belly for a few minutes then turned to me and said, "Your baby's transverse- turned sideways and that's impossible to deliver vaginally. We have to do a Section." I asked if the baby might turn back? Not likely in time, and with the bleeding and the blood pressure...I looked at Julia and I her eyes locked with mine and I could see that this was true, that there was no alternative. A wave of hysteria rose in me and I rode on it for a moment, but then started to ask questions, for them to please explain everything to me, I'd never paid much attention to the C-section chapters in the books I'd read. Not an option for me I'd thought.

Within minutes they catheterized and shaved me. I joked that if they were going to do that could I opt for the Brazilian wax? I heard them calling back the surgical team from their BBQ's and I prayed that they were all sober enough to do this. I had Chris call everyone back so this baby could have lots of people with him when he arrived because I wouldn't be able to touch him for a couple of hours. Within a half an hour I was wheeled into the OR. My first surgery ever. The anesthesiologist was incredible. He opted for a spinal block and a 12hr. morphine drip. I only felt the first pinch of the needle to numb the area. After that, just pressure. The people in the OR treated me like I was their sister, so kind and loving, explaining every single thing they did to me, trying to let me know what things should feel like and then checking to make sure it was true for me. While I was bent over with my head against a nurses chest for the spinal Julia saw the tattoo I have on my lower back, asked what it represented. It's a Celtic symbol, a continuous wave in a circle. I laughed and said "Ironically, it's about being in the flow of life." Everyone cracked up and the nurse said I sure was doing a good job of it.

A few minutes later the Dr. said I'd feel some pressure, and that's an understatement. I couldn't feel sensation, but my body was being shaken like it was strapped to a rollercoaster. I felt nauseous and dizzy but held onto Chris' hand with what little energy I had and listened to the voices telling me how well I was doing and tried to stop looking at the distorted reflection in the stainless steel tile on the ceiling. Dr. D. yelled, "The baby's out!" and I heard his straining first cry and then he said "It's a girl!" I burst into tears, crying "No way. Holy shit." Chris was ecstatic and stayed with me while they finished me up, Julia went over to where they were working on my baby girl. 7lbs, 7.75 oz. and 20" long. Dr. D. called Julia over to show her some large blood clots under my placenta. Apparently the placenta had abrupted partially, which would explain the pains and the bleeding.

They wheeled me into recovery and the baby to the nursery with Chris in tow. Recovery was a trip because the morphine had kicked in. I experienced closing my eyes and being able to see what was going on in the room. I'd check it by opening my eyes and closing them repeatedly, yep, same scene. Freaky. Mom and Tyler were allowed in and Mom was just sobbing because I'd given her her first granddaughter. Said she'd called everyone. Tyler was jumping up and down and singing, "I'm a brother, I'm a brother." He wasn't at all upset it was a girl after all. When they brought me back to my room everyone was there with lots of hugs and kisses and warm blankets to help me with the shaking. They brought our unnamed girl to me to nurse and she took right to it. Donna, one of my favorite nurses held my hand and said I'd given them all a good scare. That's when it hit me how close we'd come. Julia checked in with me and said she'd talk to me tomorrow. Everyone tucked us in and went home for the night.

She slept on me most of the night, so pretty with these huge pouty lips and her little starfish hands swimming in the air around me.

Julia called the next day from bed, said she was taking a snoozer and if I didn't mind she'd come see me the next day. I felt like I was in good hands and told her to rest up too. We named Lila Grace (the Grace for my paternal grandmother) and had her picture taken and everyone came to see her and I had to get up and walk. Boy did I miss that catheter once I had to hobble my way to the toilet every half hour! Yeesh! Amen for Vicodin. I had a minute of guilt about it being in my breastmilk, but then thought about trying to take care of her in constant pain and let that go.

Next day Julia came and she sat down with me and started to cry. Said that now that it was all over she could talk with me. She'd had 4 emergency sections that week. The last few years she'd had one or two sections in a year and that her midwifery skills had been pushed to their limit the last few days. I told her that I felt like Lila was my guardian angel, that I got it if she hadn't turned we'd be in big trouble. She said that if Lila hadn't turned, we'd most likely both be dead because if I'd gone into full induced labor the next day my placenta would likely have abrupted very quickly and we would have bled to death before they could assemble a surgical team. She saved our lives. Funny. I said all along that if I had to have a section to save our lives, that was fine but that I didn't want to be cut to suit someone's schedule.

I got what I needed and what I wanted.

Tyler and Lila (about an hour on earth)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Rusty hinges make a creaky door

Damn. I'm not going to apologize or make excuses...instead over the next few weeks I'll attempt to tell the story; not in any particular order and very likely unedited and unpolished.

I'd like to introduce a new player: Lila Grace, born July 3, 2003 at 10:09 pm by the grace of whatever makes these things happen...God, I hope. She's my guardian angel this child, she saved both of our lives, literally and figuratively. I'll figure out picture uploading soon and get one of the winged wonder up here.

New setting here at Baggage Carousel as well...we're officially moved and in Ohio, plunked down in a nice sized house with ugly walls on nearly 4 gorgeous acres. Big plans people! Can't wait to order seeds in February. We've been here for two weeks and the best part? Tyler came with us. His Dad agreed that for now it's the best possible situation for him. He starts school next week and has already made a lovely friend-a boy his age across the road who lives on 25 acres with a pond and horses and raises bird dogs. Things are looking up. We're busy painting walls and steaming off hideous wallpaper and living out of the garage for the most part.

Lila is asleep on a blanket on the floor behind me, though not for long, I hear her grunting and farting like a trucker...the prelude to her arising.

These are just some of the things I'll likely be writing about in the weeks to come:

• The Great Urine Wars of Diamond, Ohio
• The Indie-500 of Lawn Mowing and How To Live With a Man
• Whose Bright Idea Was it to Move With a Six Week Old Baby?
• Um...Where the Hell am I?
• The "What the Fuck Were They Thinking?" List-Home Decorating 101
• So You Say You Wanted a Homebirth?-or-If You Want to Make God
Laugh: Tell Him Your Plans
• Surgery, Schmurgery!
• Of Course It's a Boy, It's Total Boy Energy. I'm Sure of It.
• No Choice but to Receive-the Deepening of Friendship
• Sleep Depravation and the Onset of the Daytime Stutter
• Them's Some Biiiiiiig Nipples You Got There Lady...
• Cooking on Electric and Stinky Sulfer Well Water Showers

Okay. Now I'm going to go visit all of my favorite sites for the first time in months and see what you all have been up to while I've been down in the depths...which is also a blatant way of saying "Hey! I'm back! Come see me!"

Feels good.