so our first day of school was not a dreamy joanna newsom montage. it did involve jolene puking in the car, almost running out of gas and getting lost trying to find all of my classes. of course i have been idealizing the start of school for sometime now, forgetting that the first week is usually a crazy mess. my daycare vouchers did not process in time and i was left paying for a week of daycare out of pocket (ouch). i rearranged my schedule about 8 times so i could take an Anthro seminar on Gender and Agriculture which was then CANCELED. bean has had some trouble napping at daycare, refused to take a bottle for the first few days and has made a habit of screaming the entire ride home every day. i forgot how lonely it is to transfer to a new college and know roughly two people. but these things, my friends, are some very very small local fingerling potatoes.
it is incredible to be back in school. i know i was in school last semester, but it was just not the same. my brain is being cracked open in the best way possible. i am writing again. i am thinking expansive thoughts. the world feels bigger and brighter. i can go to the gym! i am really happy with the daycare jolene goes to. no doubt it (and still is) difficult to leave her there, but not only is she well cared for, her world is expanding and brightening along with mine. we are both so exhausted and challenged by the end of the day, but well nourished.
more later, i just wanted to let you far away friends know that we made it through week one. also! we we’re featured on Early Mama today! check it
we sailed away on a winter’s day/with fate as malleable as clay
…and you best believe this song will be playing as jolene and i sail off to the first day of school tomorrow.
We listened to Iron &Wine’s Creek Drank the Cradle on the ride over and sang. We arrived at the hospital and immediately started pacing and panting down the hallways on the birthing center. My midwife showed me to breathe deeper. Each contraction was only for the moment. I told myself- “just this one,” touched it and then let it go. I pictured holding you in my arms and walking down the beach- the pain was like the hot sand on my feel. I would escape and return, leave and come back. Touch and go. By midnight I was only 2cm, so they gave my Pitocin because I was exhausted, and still had miles to go. The next 5 or 6 hours were some of the longest of my life.I longed to leave my body and fly to the future where you were born and healthy. We checked again so many hours later- there was no change in my dilation I collapsed. My spirits felt so broken. I had roused myself again and again and again and I could not imagine continuing on for another day. I was sinking into a rabbit hole of fear when the midwife suggested an epidural. All my sadness, all my fear, all my despair melted. I would nap and then push you into the world. The time floated by like a dream.
I was 6cm and then I was ten! I tried to sleep more but I couldn’t stop talking with Yaya, Anna, Bompi and the nurses. The midwife (I was on my fourth one at this point) came back from lunch and we set up for your arrival. She gasped when she checked me- “I can see her head!” I started pushing. I couldn’t feel my body but I could feel yours, sliding down faster and faster. I reached down and touched your head. Could you feel me, ushering you into this bright world Do you remember what happened next, when Anna grabbed one leg, Yaya the other and I pushed three more times> You, a flash of bright light appeared! A shine of pure energy, expanding into space, hands shooting out in every directions like little stars. The midwife placed you up on my chest and we melted. I covered your sticky body with kisses and tears. Everyone in the room was laughing and crying and rejoicing You didn’t cry- you made little mewing sounds. I held you so tight. You were rooting around on my chest when suddenly, your eyes shot open and you looked right at me. I felt into those eyes and we lay there for hours as nurses, family, friends drifted in and out. It was a blur of love- truly the most incredible moments of my life.
You are the best thing that has ever happened. I love you so much.
I woke up on the morning of Friday the 13th with a secret. I knew you were coming. It was four in the morning so I rolled over, with great effort, and fell back asleep. The contractions started small, like the best things. I got out of bed and worked on the curtains for your bedroom all morning- but it became difficult to concentrate. By evening I though I could have a restful night- watch a movie, eat some meatballs (my favorite). But I couldn’t eat. And even Water for Elephants made me feel disoriented and light headed (to say nothing of the opening sequence of Contagion). Yaya stayed up with me all night as they got intense. She read Harry Potter out loud (book 3) and I bounced on the birthing ball and traced the same race track around the living room. Cosmo (doggie) was pretty freaked out, but I felt serene and so peaceful. We called Anna at 6am and told her to meet us at the hospital.
I will never forget the car ride driving through the frosted fields (so unlike the stark white fog and sunlight of this morning) with the bright half moon low in the sky and the dark silhouette of the mountains hugging the horizon. When we got to the hospital we covered the birthing room with beautiful fabrics and soft lights. We peeled citrus fruit and as the scent filled the air, Anna and I danced in circles to James Brown, singing “Get down! get on down!” to you.
But I was growing tired and after a brief nap, I woke up to find the contractions gone. I was so ready to meet you, to see your shining eyes after so many months. You were so close but felt so far away.
I went home with Bompi and Yaya, demanding we stop for frozen waffles so that we could make breakfast for dinner. We all four ate at the kitchen counter. I went to bed but was awakened again at one by contractions. The night early morning stretched on forever. I grew so scared of the pain, despite its fleeting quality. The recovery between surges. The anticipation.
I remember going for a walk the next morning with Yaya. It was zero degrees out. I was miserable.
There was snow on the ground- enough to crunch and the wind was fierce. Anna spent the day at our house and we all labored together. We stoked the fire and danced to Aretha Franklin. I remember sitting in our room, feeling the sunlight on my belly as it streamed through the bedroom window. I truly began to believe that I would always be in labor and you would never come. I felt so sad and so tired. We called the midwife again and decided to come back to the hospital…
i was going to write up part one of jolene’s beautiful birth story, because one year ago today i was in labor with her but i am so white hot with range and upset that i have spent much of the last two hours trying to get her to go back to sleep. and again at one and then up at six for the day. i am perpetually exhausted. i have no idea if this is typical- do any one year olds sleep through the night? i dont want to sleep train i don’t want to sleep train i don’t want to sleep train (i cant start sleep training because bean is sick) but i dont want to co sleep and i can’t keep waking up in the night, grinding my teeth from frustration, pacing, bouncing, singing, nursing and eventually just putting her back down because i am too worked up feel safe holding her.
maybe this is like labor (isn’t all life?)… this too shall pass this too shall pass…
2012 was a beautiful crazy exhausting exhilarating humbling wild ride of a year- the best one of my life so far (I remember playing this at the beginning of 2012 and boy I had no idea). I’m not usually a big New Years person- I like celebrating the changes in the seasons and a new calendar year just isn’t that significant to me because ITS TOTALLY MADE UP. It just feels a little silly, plus I hate feeling like I am supposed to drink a lot and wear a dumb hat and watch television at midnight. But despite all that, I had a GREAT New Years Eve this year- Jolene came to a party at my friends house and went to bed upstairs in her pack n play (monitored by a skype call) at 7. I stayed up until THREE THIRTY which is nuts because I don’t think I had gone to bed later than 1 in nearly two years. So the night was good friends, good food, a smattering of dancing and some baby snuggles just after midnight.
So I’ve been thinking about resolutions for the past couple of days- I usually like to burn regrets from the past year on New Years Day and make some resolutions. I have a lot of changes coming up. Jolene is about to be in daycare 4 days a week (although if I don’t find a high quality place that actually accepts vouchers soon… well I just will) because I have transfered out of community college land and into liberal arts for non traditional students land! (I am a little paranoid about talking specific geography, but I am probably getting ahead of myself assuming that this blog makes my life look cool enough that someone would want to stalk me)
In general, I find that vague behavior changes (“write more”or “loose weight”) don’t work, but concrete changes or events to attend are better. So here are a couple of things I am thinking about for the coming year.
- write more
- exercise 4 days/ week (and go on a walk outside at least once a week)
- go on a trip with Jolene… out of New England!
- start some small chores with Jolene- watering plants, feeding the doggie and so on
…3 and counting! doggie (“daaawde”), hot (“aut!”) and bye (“ay”). Of course she has been talking all along, in her own way, but oh annunciation! Exciting, exciting, exciting times!!
- I am sitting in the cold car, in my driveway while Beanie sleeps. Its been a car nap kinda day
- I can’t stop listening to tUnE-yArDs, mostly Powa… don’t you love it when you don’t listen to one of your favorite artists EVER for 6 months… and then you do.
- Best friends are leaving, best friends are arriving.
- I am getting real excited about school next semester! And anxious.
- I hear MUM from the back seat, which is my cue. Thats all for right now, but I owe some posts and break isn’t getting any longer…