Tuesday, April 15, 2008

i'm allowed

Having kind of a crappy day over here, but working through it. I resent having to even say this, but if from my last post any of you thought I was equating getting an epidural with being medicated for freaking dental work, you are sorely mistaken. I resent feeling like I have to explain myself, to explain that that kind of rhetorical question as an answer to another question is simply an aspect of my sense of humor.

I sit here crying as I reflect on what this day means to me. My oldest daughter is nine today. I'm a bit sad for her because she has been throwing up since the wee hours and no one should be sick on their birthday. But as I look at the young woman she is becoming I am touched beyond measure. She is so good. Pure. Lovely.

I'm someone who gets the "I'll never forget XX number of years ago today..." talk from my dad every year on my birthday. He went home after I was born at 1:38 a.m., and didn't go to sleep; he sat in a wooden rocking chair, completely stunned, until the sun came up.

Nine years ago today I was sitting in a hospital room, watching The Price Is Right when the show was interrupted by news of the shooting at the family history library in SLC. I spent some time resting and talking on the phone, but I was just so excited all day long (not about the shooting, for all you nobs out there). I asked a million questions: What's that you're putting in my I.V.? What is it for? Any guess of when it will be time to push? I asked the nurses about their own experiences: Jennie, the nurse who helped me most of the day that day, didn't have children of her own, yet. Another nurse told me, "Babies arrive in lots of different ways; what's important is that they get here." I got an epidural. I pushed for over three hours. Foreceps were involved. I have a video of my face when the good doctor announced, at 9:11 p.m., what I had known deep down since the previous July, even though we declined being told: "It's a little girl!" He placed her on my tummy and...I kind of shook her hand a little bit. I didn't really know what to do. I was overcome with visions of her life: Her childhood, first day of school, baptism, dances, activities, growing pains, her own marriage. She was cleaned and measured and goop-eyed and handed back to me before being taken to the nursery to be better-cleaned and have her hair styled. I talked on the phone and peed on the floor (yes, I'm serious, but I'm not getting into it now). I was taken to my recovery closet (the rooms were ridiculously tiny back then) and given a turkey sandwich, some crackers, and juice. I laid down on my stomach. In the middle of the night, a nurse brought a wailing baby in to me and said, "You've got a screamer!" I nursed her for the first time. The next morning, after breakfast, I sat down with my daughter and said to her, "Okay, who do you look like?" I decided she looked like her dad. Nowadays people only say how much she looks like her mom (who looks nothing like her dad).

These are just a few of the details of the memories I have of that day, nine years ago.

Do you want me to tell you my memories of getting my wisdom teeth removed? It was a week after my son died, just a few days after we buried him. I took a valium. My sister had to practically carry me to and from her car. For the next few days, my brother and sister took turns helping me out at home with my little girl while I dozed in and out of consciousness, blood pouring from my mouth and getting all over my clothes and couch.

There you have it. You tell me.

And here we are, back to present. I finally admit that I am overwhelmed beyond belief that my son is partially deaf. I have no choice but to press forward. We are trying our damndest to teach him sign language and I'm getting frustrated that it doesn't seem to be working because he's already a year and a half old, not starting sign at 4 months like all these other cute babies around me have done. And we're doing it because we have to, not because it's charming. And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg because then I remember (yes, because it really has slipped my mind) that, oh yeah, I'm having a baby next week, and I'm just not in the mood for any crap from anyone. On the other hand, Mama Bear is IN and ready to fight. So, all you anonymous commenters, have a crappy weekend -- I hope your house burns down.

28 comments:

sue-donym said...

As I look at lil~j today, and how you have raised her, you can be assured that those visions you had for her nine years ago have turned into wonderful life experiences that she can credit a wonderful mother for.
You are truly amazing and I admire your undending strength.

sue-donym said...

Did I just end that sentence with a proposition?

Shar said...

Can you believe you have a nine-year-old? I know I'll be where you are in about 7 1/2 years. I can't believe I have a kid, let alone a 17-month-old. Happy Birthday to lil~j!

Happy Pushing (especially with the epidural!) next week. Since I didn't get in on the middle name game below, I'll just play now. McGillicutty. I like it. Has a nice ring to it. It's very Lucille Ball.

And I hate anonymous comments. I've turned mine off. People that leave lame comments in the name of anonymity are just cowards.

Tori :) said...

Happy Birthday to Lil J! I'm so sorry she's sick. :(
J- I started sign language with Taj at around 14 months and around 18 mth is when he really started "getting it." Don't worry- it will happy. Leah, from Signing Time, was over a year before they found out she was completely deaf and look at her now!

Those Anonymous people suck.

Tori :) said...

Happy = happen
Duh.

Jolyn from Colorado said...

I have happened over to your blog from my friend Kalli's blog and I just love reading what you have to say. I hope you have a really fantastic labor/delivery (without the pain) and with all the joy that comes with bringing a baby in to the world and into your really lovely family. Best wishes.

tia frijoles said...

I remember when you had lil ~j. I was working and strutting around all day saying, "I'm gonna be an aunt today". Then I ran into a few girls I knew and said, "My sister's in labor". One replied with "Your sister's having a baby?" to which I said, "Oh no, dear, she is having a litter of puppies." She didn't dig it and I thought she was going to punch me in my face.

Queen Scarlett said...

Amen. And... you know I love your humor, and girl... I'll back you up Mama Bear...so BURN BABY BURN! heheheh *CACKLE*

ps. There are certain topics/issues... where people are seriously out of line with their self-righteousness and adamant need to tell everyone else how they ought to do [fill in the blank]. To them I give a hearty SUCK IT... BITE ME. Grow a pair anon.

Kalli Ko said...

Seriously, why do people think that their opinion matters?

Don't piss with pregnant women, or Mama's in general.

I love it J.

Dalene said...

Happy Birthday Lil J!

La Yen said...

I love it. And I love you. And I love LJ. And you did have a screamer, for sure. And I love the young lady he is becoming. And I love Bub and I love baby Valentine Clark. And I love you. And, seriously, I will come out swinging on your behalf. Summon the Chollas now.

Rynell said...

My daughter turned nine last week. I've been thinking about her birth. I loved your account and I love how every birth is different--mine all were very different.

I have babies in the hospital where they have saved my babies' lives and managed emergencies. Someone else cleaned up the mess and brought me food and took very good care of me.

Epidurals are the route I choose-- except for the one time when general anesthesia was required to save my baby's life.

I just love modern medicine.

Mo and Jayme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mo and Jayme said...

It amazes me that somehow in our culture it is seen as stronger, more spiritual and more brave to have “natural” child birth. I had severe post partum depression that was fueled, in part, by this notion that there is a “right” way to have a baby. I read, was told, and believed that the right way to have a baby is without medicine and out your vagina. I was also told (and read) that the right way to bond with your baby is to have her immediately put on your naked chest so that they can nurse and hear the sounds that they have been living with for nine months. I was also told and read that you should keep the baby with you in your room in the hospital so that you can be the one in charge of your babies care and so that those nurses don’t give formula *gasp* to your baby while you sleep.

Well, I was screaming at a 4 (and do not tell me that it’s because I can’t handle the pain, or that I am weak, or that I am lying) and was not getting any rest between my contractions because they never let up. I had the epidural (and morphine, by-the-way). I progressed swimmingly to a ten and then pushed for half an hour. After about 20 minutes (I really believed it had been hours) the doctor told me that the she was going to try the vacuum. When that didn’t work (and after the doctors in the room had been exchanging those looks at each other for 10 minutes) the doctor told me that the baby wasn’t doing well and that I had 3 more contractions to get the baby out. I wish there were words to describe the next 5 minutes for me. I prayed with more faith than I ever knew I had. I knew that I could do this. I knew God wanted me to, the right way. I told myself that if the pioneers gave birth, without medicine, in the snow, then I could do it in this hospital bed. I pushed.

I have never before in my life put forth all my effort into anything. Admittedly I am a quitter and a follower. But that day in that room tried harder than I ever had before. When I thought I couldn’t push anymore, I did anyway and then for a full minute longer. Three times I did this. Three times I failed. I begged the doctor for one more chance. She gave it reluctantly and I pushed again.

At 10:01 PM Eliza was born via cesarean section. I was so disappointed in myself. I also didn’t get to bond with my baby because I was under the knife and she was struggling to breath. Then, to make up for it, I asked the nurses to keep Eliza in my room and I took care of her right after I had major surgery and got no sleep that night, nor the following 1,100 (or so).

Why do we keep telling each other what the right or wrong way to do something is, when the only person who knows is God? Why do we even need to think it? Giving birth is an awesome, emotional, personal and very spiritual experience regardless of how it is done. I wish that I could go back as my more wise self and tell Monica that the point of giving birth is to fulfill our destiny as women. God did want me to have my baby the right way, and I did. I chose to have her, I chose to love her and I chose to do my best. I hope I can learn to block out the criticism so that I can fully feel the spirit as it speaks to me (and in my case, tells me to get an epidural).

And ~j, I am mentally giving you flowers today. Good job having babies. I am glad you had all 6 the best way you knew how. I love them.

La Yen said...

The young lady SHE is becoming. Stupid no sleep.

(And I love the other two, too.)

AzĂșcar said...

Cholla Number Two reporting for duty.

If you don't have the cojones to say it to my FACE, well then you're an idiot. I didn't even read what they said, but if it upset you, then I don't like them.



I didn't know you shook her hand. I think that's just about the sweetest thing ever and something I can totally picture you doing.

Amy said...

Anon was a jerk. You are cool.

Amen to what everyone else said, too.

I love you and your fam!!!!!!

Dexter's Girl said...

I second the motion on the whole c-section thing. That was me on number two which meant that number three was also c-section (even though people told me i should go vbac-to which I said-not worth the risk to me). There's a whole lotta love for the ~j and ~d fam, isn't there? :)

momofteens said...

I found your blog from a friend and read it periodically. We have a child who had a hearing loss and there are many emotions, feelings and hard times dealing with the reality of it all. One thing that has been such a blessing though is that, because her sight is her first sense, she sees things that most people overlook. She notices the beauty and details in things that she sees, that most people overlook. It has made us look at the world through a different lense,and opened up the world in a whole new light and it is beautiful and good. Good luck with your new baby and all your other children and the challenges that come with them all. You seem to be a strong, wonderful mom.

tia frijoles said...

I also remember the day you had your teeth pulled. And I did have to carry you to my car. You were so gorked you don't remember? Yeah, we put a cowboy hat on you and I carried you piggyback as I galloped through the parking lot singing the theme song to Bonanza.

Kacy said...

Isn't it great to sleep on your stomach after you have that baby! Like I always say, better out than in. Hang in there.

Lucky Red Hen said...

Yikes! I guess I should be reading comments so I know when to jump on my Harley and come down there to kick some A. How dare them.

Logan said...

you inspire me girl. See you on Saturday!

Geo said...

I love that you shook her hand.

You are healthy and real and I like you.

Bek said...

Jen...

You are the greatest. Hang in there. The ASL will come and he will get it faster than the rest of you. I promise. IN fact, I have a feeling that Superstar will be tutoring you all very shortly (damn those kids with their sponge like brains...).

I hear so much of me in your post. I can empathize. I know what it is like to have a baby on the way, issues with the one you already have and an overwhelming feeling that you can't possible do the next 20 years. One day at a time sister. I am here for you... call me anytime.

Grace said...

Jen,
Don't worry, most of us know your sense of humor. I remember when you had your first, second, and third. I hope everything goes great with #6! Take care!
Grace

more caffeine, please said...

You are awesome and I love Bek's advice... one day at a time. Can't wait to virtually meet the babe!

Leisha said...

I need to remember to come read your blog more often. I enjoy your "voice" and think you must be a fabulous person in real-life.

I love honesty.