Friday, December 16, 2011

Take That, Staring Men!

Hi, guys! Wow, I've missed blogging!

But between internet problems, the end of a semester, two kids, and making Christmas presents, it's no wonder I've been absent.

I have had something sticking to my brain that I have to share, though.

When I go to the pool, men stare at me.
Even when I'm with Michael. Like, very obviously WITH Michael.

And, sadly, this is the reaction I've gotten since high school. Men stare at me. So my tactic has always been to ignore them, not give them my attention except for some angry looks.
But you know what? That won't stop them. I've realized that ignoring them simply gives them permission to keep staring.
And that makes me angry.
Like, if I could illustrate how angry it makes me, it would look kind of like this:
Plus some fire.

So upon realizing that ignoring is not the way to go, I determined I would never be so passive again. 
The next time I went to the pool, I was only lucky---no wait, HE was only lucky that Mr. Staring Guy of the Day was on the other side of the window in the gym. As soon as I caught him staring, I sent fiery darts at him, silently snarling my loathing disgust. 

He kept staring. 
And kept staring. 

As I furiously thrust through my laps, I began think-praying. Basically, I was rationalizing to Heavenly Father that it wouldn't be so naughty to flip him off for staring at me. After all, how else would I get the message to him if he wouldn't STOP? I was ready to do it. Guiltlessly. 
But when I came back, he had moved to another machine (from which he could barely peer through the window) (but he was still trying). I thought "Oh...yeah...well Heavenly Father is doing us both a favor, I guess." 

And I grumpily finished my swimming. 

When I recounted this to my papa, he said "I know something you can say next time a guy does that to you."
I listened eagerly. 


Now I can't wait to catch some jerk staring...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Plethoric Momly Snappishness

It should probably be a rule that cashiers don't comment on the amount of junk food you buy. But maybe this one couldn't help himself when I showed up at his register with 10 truffle bars, 2 six-packs of Hershey's chocolate bars, and two bags of giant marshmallows. All for adding to the collection of chocolate waiting at home for me already.
PMS has hit me hard this time. A stab in the gut (like miniature contractions), a pounding to the head, and not one ounce of patience left. I'm moody, cranky, hot-tempered, and so tired I've been rendered nearly useless as a mommy. I regained the pound I lost, I grew a beard of zits, and my throat hurts from the number of times I failed at keeping my voice in a reasonable talking range (my excuse? Ender was opera-sobbing so loud he couldn't hear me to even start being comforted...and I was far away trapped on the couch nursing Scarlett) (I still don't feel justified about it). I admitted to Michael that I hate having neighbors on days like this because I'm sure they can hear me...
Arg! And my legs are hairy again! Didn't I shave recently enough?
Being "sick" when you're a mom is so hard. Duties never do end. I mean, the kids live with you, and their kind of living needs more help than I ever thought before I was a mom. Days like today, I feel like all I really can do is make sure they keep living. We're down to basic survival here. Curled up on the couch. Ugh.
The only thing keeping me from hauling out the carton of chocolate ice cream is that I don't want to share.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Doodle Day: Sleeping Reality and Possible Doodle Fail

Here come the doodles. First up, Sleeping Reality. Because who looks that good when they're sleeping?

And this kind of evidence of how strange my humor comes out sometimes. When I told Michael my idea, he wasn't sure everyone would get it. Or that it would work, really. So if you don't get it, my apologies...I'm just weird!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Random Q-toids: Voices and Faces

1. I love to read with different accents. It got me through many boring homework assignments (Christopher Columbus was more genuine with a lisp, and the long studies of economics went by much nicer with a Spanish anchorwoman's smooth voice).
2. One time, Maddie and I pretended we were British friends with carefully chosen aliases for a plane trip. We were a little too giggly to pull it off very convincingly, but we imagined we surprised at least some people.
3. In London, I psyched myself up to order lunch with a British accent (I'm sure I'm not the first "tourist" to get that idea). When it came time to perform, I was uncharacteristically nervous about it, and I whispered out my mumbled order with red cheeks and hot ears. I couldn't tell if the look I got was for my shyness or my badly executed accent.
4. My favorite way to play a board game is when I'm hyper and with people who understand that I may not take the game seriously. It's especially better if I feel free to sing little tidbits stuck in my head, speak in different voices, and laugh so hard I snort. What good friends to tolerate that!
5. I make faces. All the time. But I especially make faces in the mirror...literally. I highly recommend storing a dry erase marker in your bathroom drawer (it's good for love notes, too). Check this out, and do try it at home:
(I love the incriminating notes above the woman's head...)

I look good as this guy. ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Qusings: Running

I just realized.
I don't really have a love-hate relationship with running like I thought before. I actually LOVE running, everything about it, but it has to be a solitary thing.
That's why I don't always come away from running with the feeling that I loved it.

I'll run with Michael when we work out in the mornings, and I love his company. But I don't really care one way or the other about the elliptical machine.
I'll run by myself on the elliptical at the gym, and it's better with my music on, but I'm still in a room full of stinky, sweaty people.
I'll run with a friend, and I sincerely enjoy the laughter and conversation, but I'm not alone.
I'll run with a stroller...but that's not alone, either.

I relish the chances to shut down and lock up. I'm jealous for time with myself, just as much as I'm jealous for time with Michael. Would you believe? Sometimes Michael and I resist going to events or being with friends because we want each other all to ourselves. It's so true.
But I can get just as greedy for time with Me.

When I think of running in the most ideal way, I think of myself on a trail wide and open, with no one in sight (nothing, preferably). Ideally, I would have a stretch of beach to myself. I adore the ocean, especially when it's cold. A cold ocean is private. Hot oceans equal crowds and parties and lazy vacations. Cold oceans I get all to myself.
So putting it all together, I would run along a freezing cold shoreline with no other people in sight. Alone. Blessedly alone.
Because that's when I can finally let my brain eject its possessions. That's like my secret chance to climb into the attic and unlock my treasure chest without worrying about intruders. I get to cry ugly, I get to laugh ugly, and I even get to sing ugly if I feel like it. I get to be ugly, and no one will insist that I'm not.
I'd feel the cold wind whipping pink into my cheeks, throwing my hair into a flying mess, making my fingers brittle. And I'd feel the sand puffing under the pounding of my legs, making my toes numb because I would run barefoot, my absolute favorite way to use the feels like a more honest way to run, too.

The freedom running, as I've come to think of it, would be medicinal in so many ways. I would be allowed to feel bitter, depressed, lonely, and then-- my thoughts would evolve into the most honest of prayers, and I would feel raised to such a feeling of joy and fulfillment.

Running for me is supposed to be a time that I can take out the garbage. But the garbage is so personal, the running has to feel secret. It has to happen in my secret world.

I would leave the beach with a new level of privacy. Clean, rinsed out, relaxed, with a secret adventure of self discovery and self revelation behind me. Left safe behind me, the treasure chest locked once again, though feeling light as if it were empty.

I am an undeniably introverted person. I live on the inside, and then I project, instead of living on the outside and then internalizing. But I'm also extremely picky about my projection. Who, where, when, what. Picky, picky, picky, picky.

I thought for some time that I hated running because it didn't always give me what I wanted. The physical part wasn't as much a big deal as the mental part. And if the running didn't bring an emotional purge, what was it for? So I thought I hated it. Rather, I loved it and hated that it didn't "work" for me as it seemed to for others.

I'm practically itching to gear up for a marathon. It's laid out in my mental calendar, waiting for me. And I'm waiting for it. I get so into the idea I wonder why I'm not doing it now, but then I remember I have to wait. Because I have a new, nursing baby. Because my husband is in school. Because, because, because. And unfortunately, they're such good reasons that they're not excuses.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Questions for Q: Ask Your Kids

This is a different take on how I'll normally do this. I couldn't resist this little interview! Christy did it first, and Rae copied...and I copied!

Questions with Ender (he is 3½ years old)

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
You say "yes you can watch a movie, Ender!" Sometimes you say that.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
Make you smile! You make me happy and then I am happy.

3. What makes Mommy sad?
If I cry if you don't. You make yourself when I cry. When you're frus-chated.

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
She makes me laugh! Sometimes she blows up balloons.

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
You were being really quiet to the stories from Grandma!

6. How old is Mommy?
Three when she's three. Three when Grandma read you some stories when you were a kid.

7. How tall is Mommy?
When you grew big, you were into my mommy!

8. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
She loves to do...what do you love to do, Tate? (Qait)

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
We go sometimes and Daddy! I'm gone when I drive inside my home.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?

11. What is Mommy really good at?
You're good at ...she loves love to draw a house. And you love to draw a rocket.

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
She sings that she has to write at the computer.

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
You do for building a giant, GIANT ROCKET!!! You make balloons. Sometimes you make three balloons. Sometimes you make butterflies out of balloons.

14. What is Mommy's favorite food?
Your favorite is ....uh...chicken.

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
Because I'm proud of you. That you came home.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Ferb! That would be funny.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
We and I help us make ourselves eat popcorn and then watch a movie with popcorn!

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
We and I match like the same as our clothes!

19. How are you and Mommy different?
We and I are not ...the colors are not the same.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
Because I very love you too.

21. Where is Mommy's favorite place to go?
You love...what do you love to go to? You love to go to the grocery store.

Blast from the Past: The Count of Monte Cristo

I went to summer school once. 
But let me explain! I wasn't a delinquent! 
I was an Army Brat. 
There's a difference. 
Each school I went to treated me like a permanent student, so if I didn't have all the same classes other kids my age had, I had to make up for it because each school wanted to believe I'd graduate in that school. 
So at Pleasant Valley High School (it's just as valley and snobby as it sounds), I was "behind." 
And instead of wasting my time with taking those classes during the school year, I decided to get them behind me and do it in the summer! 

Here's a little assignment I found. It kind of makes me laugh...I'm not sure why...oh I see why. Because I don't agree with the teacher's last comment. But that's okay! :D
I think we were just supposed to draw a portrait of Dantes and then talk about his character? 

I saw the Count of Monte Cristo as a darker man than portrayed in the movie and on the published book cover. Edmond Dant├ęs seemed to rid himself of his innocence after the suffering and turmoil he endured in the Chateau d'If. Gaining intelligence and strong knowledge, his countenance changed. The torment he underwent transformed his entire being. His image, eccentricity, and confidence presented somewhat of a threat to his enemies and an idol for his admirers.
In forming this portrait, I tried to render both the bitter anguish the count held and the kind deity he possessed. A regal figure, I wanted him to look strong and independent. The Count looked to God for direction in how he led his life. Because of this, nearly all his acquaintances looked to him as their leader.
teacher's remarks: 
Excellent portrait --
You definitely capture the anguish of Dantes.
That book meant a lot to me, actually. I still love it. I recommend it to anyone...but you might be better off with the abridged version. You're not missing anything. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blog Newness!

There will be some changes here-- more like additions to and an organization of what's already here! 
I'm excited, and I hope you are, too! 
We all know I'm busy, so I'm not going to glue this to myself like a promise, but I'm hoping to do a collection of posts each month, falling under the following themes. I will still blog outside of those themes and continue as usual, so this is mostly going to bulk up what I already do. 

Stories, pictures, memories!

Something doodled by me and perhaps other doodles that I find hilarious.

I sure hope this one will be interesting for you...

Posts written by others! So far, I have no rules in mind.

Pieces of ponderings - this is what I often blog about, but these will be more specific vignettes.

Short snippets, random blips! Just like it says!

This has been going on all year, but I will now have this doodle (which I am unabashedly proud of) to mark these creation posts.

What do you think, my beloved readers??? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Emotional Salad

I am an emotional salad today. It's not fun.
There's a little bit of everything, and it's all tossed together:


I feel bipolar in the way I can be calm and exuding peaceful vibes but then explode the instant I discover I've walked into a puddle of pee in the bathroom. There goes that happiness, in comes utter frustration (accompanied by a battle of trying to help Ender understand WHY it is not cool to pee on the floor just to take a bath...while Scarlett cries, desperately hungry...and I have to change my now pee-soaked pajama pants). It's almost warthog level. But warthog level doesn't have confusing moments of joy or bliss. I almost prefer that to this emotional toss-up (spin the wheel, what will it land on?) because I at least get what's going on.
And no, it's not something I can blame on birth control. (Although I CAN blame it on my period...oh that lovely Monthly of mine).
:'( I've been stressed. This week, my milk supply has suffered. Not exactly sure why, but I think I can pin it on forgetting to eat (honest, I'm not trying to miss meals), being stressed with Ender's recent renewal of whining and wetting, being stressed with what seems to be teething for Scarlett already...and not getting enough sleep, at all. I think part of Scarlett's discomfort is that my milk wasn't as plentiful, but she really does have the symptoms of teething, along with a little hint of tooth under the gums.
In my pumping this week, I've managed to get 2 oz in 20+ minutes (4 oz. when I did it in the morning once) instead of my used-to-be-usual 6+ oz. in about 10-15 minutes. This is too early to dry up...I just can't stand the thought of drying up yet! Nursing has gone so well this time...
I've read up some ideas to get the milk coming back. Nursing less frequently (you'd think otherwise, but I was going at it every hour thinking she was going through a growth spurt). Normally, I'd think nursing more often would help give my body the signals to make more milk. That's just how it works. But doing it so frequently, my body never really had the chance to make enough for Scarlett each time (which was hard for her), and she wasn't getting the better, nutrient-rich milk like she should have. I'm also pumping every night again. And I'll take my dietary supplement Lactation Ease, even though that's not the same as straight fenugreek. And we're praying...

I don't like feeling so unpredictable with my emotions. :( I'm not even sure exactly why I want to share all of this except that maybe there will be some comfort in reaching outside the walls of my house today.

Oh, haha. I just realized a joke in all of this. I'm calling myself an emotional salad...but aha, salads are good for us, aren't they.
That's not really what I want to hear.
But I'll try to learn from all of this.
I can't WAIT for Saint Husband to rescue me this time with his unfailing magic...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

He DID Care! ...and 200?

Remember this recent post? Guess what. A week later, while driving to pick up Michael, Ender announced, "Mommy, we're too far. Will you say a prayer?"
:) He got it! He did learn the lesson!
Of course, I had to explain that we were not lost this time, but we had a nice conversation about how we can always pray for help when we are lost (and that when we are not lost, we can pray again that we're thankful).
That just about made my day. I said my own little prayer of gratitude that Ender had actually paid attention.

Oh. Woops...apparently, this is my 200th post, and I had something cool planned for that. But on my blogger home page, it says I only have 198 posts. Maybe I'll go by that number...erm, in the meantime, Yay! Congratulations to me, and Thanks to you! My blog is now Mature (hehe!).
Here's what I wrote for the 100th post. Did I maybe not notice it was the 100th? Because why would I choose to celebrate potty training as my 100th post? And if I'm wrong and the 100th post was actually the next one, I really couldn't have known, because there I'm talking about my bad-mommy-ways and bemoaning a day-long poop catastrophe while struggling to maintain my wits. REALLY? But...but...then I missed it! I never noticed when the 100th came and went!
*sigh* It's probably not a big deal to anyone else (psh, 100? Piddly), but it makes me proud to blog. I love blogging. So it's an accomplishment. Which means! My 200th post will bring about a change to my blogworld!

At least, if this one isn't the 200th. Seriously, Blogger's a little off with its math.
(For the record, I'm quite certain this IS the 200th post, but I'm not exactly ready yet, so I'm pretending I agree with the home page).

August Creation

I almost feel like I should let that last post settle, you know? Give it breathing space. Because I think it's incredible. I keep coming back to it.

As expected, in August I did not try to be Martha Stewart with any creations. :) I simply rearranged the furniture so that Ender and Scarlett can share a room and have the other bedroom freed up for my sewing machine and bookcases and the TV. Nothing fancy! Although, it was sweat-inducing work.

So here's what you get to see... my messy house! :D It's not terrible, but it's not camera-worthy. Everything was clean after the arrangement, but I've obviously taken so long to even mention my August Creation that there was plenty of time for that to change (we all know it only takes moments, don't we).

There's Scarlett waving her hand in her crib!

Ender didn't want me to take a picture because his hair isn't spiky. Hah! 
I didn't want to take a picture because there's stuff all over the dressers! Including a weensy bundle of a diaper. Yes. The diaper genie is full (plus, I was lazy about it--that's the deeper truth).
But my laundry is folded, so it's not the worst mess to capture in a picture, is it! :)

July Creation

Scarlett is my July Creation. That isn't cheating, by the way-- I didn't count being pregnant all those months as my monthly creations, but giving birth? TOTALLY COUNTS.
Scarlett's birth story isn't necessarily graphic, but if you're ever uncomfortable about these things, skip (if you MUST). Because I don't try to be subtle, I don't try to abbreviate or euphemize.
I present to you...THE BIRTH STORY OF SCARLETT ESTELLE! I first started writing it July 26th, and finally finished today with a "third installment." Because I worked that way, there are just a couple things I repeat. Shouldn't matter, but they're separated into visible sections. In my rolly cursive, it takes ten and a half journal pages, and it's amazing to me to see Heavenly Father's love in all of it.
Incredible photography by my sister Rae (I can hardly express my thanks-- it means so much to have these moments preserved for revisiting. I am so deeply grateful she was willing to do this for Scarlett's birth).

It takes time to process a "birth story." I've felt like I could pound out the medical half but that the emotional half is perhaps beyond words.
Friday, July 15th, began with very few, very irregular (and sometimes very mild) contractions. They didn't get my hopes up. I went around the house doing normal chores, talking with Ender and pretty much chilling. Finally the evening seemed slow enough that I figured I might as well try to start some labor! It would be nice to have Michael home from his last shift at Radio Shack. Since nipple stimulation had worked a bit before, I got out the breast pump and settled myself with some no-bake cookies and the "Nanny 911" show. I pumped for about 2 hours, and the contractions started really grabbing my attention-- I'd sit up and say "Oh..." and breathe carefully to divert my attention from the pain.
I thought of the contractions as waves or surges. A great, swelling feeling, which I could depend on to recede. I focused on the recession of each and didn't allow myself to think anything negative (non "pain" or "can't" words).
So as the pump-induced contractions seemed to pick up and burn through my lower back, I decided pumping wasn't fun anymore (since Michael wasn't with me and would still be at work a while). I figured I had done my part, so to speak, and labor would simply come or not.
The contractions slowed considerably. Michael came home, and we folded laundry while we watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 (after putting Ender to bed). Once in a while the contractions were very strong...and finally, we could tell they were not going to go away!
Once we realized that, there was a great buzz of excitement in our home! We happily bustled around, checking the overnight bag and grinning at each other. It was only at that point that Michael started timing the contractions. They'd become much stronger and more frequent. I sat at the harp and played through my favorite songs; it was funny to me-- my contractions either made me play faster or very clumsily! Once or twice I stopped playing.
It seemed like I had no true concept of time! I'd mention that I thought the contractions had slowed down, and Michael would laugh and say "It's only been [two] minutes since your last one!"
We were giddy with excitement! I couldn't stop smiling! We called the midwife, and she said we should head over to the hospital! Michael and I looked at each other... it's happening!
As soon as Michael's grandma came over to be with Ender (asleep, of course, at that point), we left. And it seemed as if the contractions stopped. I kept glancing at Michael, biting my lip and raising my eyebrows. He reminded me that it still hadn't been long. But for the 20-minute drive, I only had one strong contraction and perhaps two super mild ones. Somehow I still felt sure.
We arrived at the hospital about 2am.
I forgot to mention something. It's important, too. Michael gave me a priesthood blessing before we left. We were assured that I would have the strength to give birth naturally, unmedicated, as I hoped. My blessing called Scarlett and me eternal spirits, and I felt a deeper bond with her than ever before. I felt like her sister, her equal, and just as I felt honored to be her mother and teach her what I've learned, I felt honored that she would be teaching me as well.
I love the feeling of peace combined with excitement. The times I've felt that way are the best times of my life-- my very first time in the temple, all subsequent times, getting married, having babies, and performing a well-prepared harp piece.
Earlier in the day, my emotions had crashed. I had done so well keeping patient, but I suddenly felt a great wash of...what would you call it? I felt exhausted of Waiting. There's so much anticipation, and it had reached a peak. I started to cry. I wanted my baby here.
Knowing it would calm me, I washed my face and prayed. After sobbing my feelings to Heavenly Father, I felt the familiar comfort that it would be alright. I knew everything would happen "soon enough." Even if that meant more waiting, I was comforted. I dried my face and proceeded to do my makeup and curl my hair.
Writing this part 2 months later, I don't remember everything that happened before the contractions really started. I think I washed the dishes, checked email, and went about my normal daily doings. But my  house was moderately clean when we left, which helped me feel even more ready for the hospital.
When a nurse checked me, I was dilated to 5, I think. That was exciting, and things were picking up (the contractions, I mean). It was exponentially harder to lie in a bed during the contractions, but I grabbed hold of my sanity before it ever seemed at risk of panicking. I breathed the contractions in, out and away. I imagined the waves receding the moment they surged.
Michael and I grinned at each other the whole time. Michael tuned into my body and knew what its signals meant. He watched the clock and watched me. I felt his happiness, pride and concern. I felt his presence the entire time, whether he was touching me or not.
My sister Rae and my mother arrived, and we wasted no time getting into laughter. We all grinned at each other. I fed off the sparkles in their eyes, the sound of their voices. It was even funny--it was like a party in our room, and my midwife seemed in awe, delighted with the atmosphere.
We all chatted about numerous topics, sometimes random and always comfortable even switching from humorous to spiritual. At one point, Michael said "You should be having a contraction about now...," interrupting me with a note of concern. I laughed. "I am! Just trying to talk over it!"
We were sitting on the floor. I sat cross-legged with Michael behind me. As the contractions built, he pressed my hips while I breathed and rocked. It felt beautiful, and my midwife praised us. She said I was built for childbirth and made it look easy.
My midwife and the nurse were perfect for me. Kim, the nurse, went about her business unobtrusively, allowing us to keep a consistent, natural flow of events. And my midwife, Jennifer Walker, was everything I needed her to be. She talked with all of us in easy conversation, coming and leaving seemlessly. When she was in the room for good (things were going fast), she let me dictate the way things went. As she put it, she just sat back and let me have a baby!
I moved pretty frequently. The floor worked well for a good part of the time, and it helped to stand with Michael or Rae wrapping their arms around me, pressing my hips or shoving down on my lower back.
I'm not sure what time it was when I decided I'd like my water broken. It was a simple choice. I thought on it long enough to gear up for the faster pace it would bring on, and I knew I could handle it. I was ready for the next step.
It really did kick things up a notch! And while the excitement persisted, that was when I let everyone else carry the conversation. I formed a world of focus in my mind. I turned my body's work exclusively towards the task at hand. I felt so aware of my own body that rather than noticing much of my physical environment, I felt the strength and love of the spirits around me.
Michael, always there. Rae, watching every detail. Mother, loving me with all her might. Jen, confident in my body's instinct. Kim, quietly keeping things smooth.
I stood with Michael behind me. I pressed his hands on my hips. I rested my head back on his chest, against his chin. He didn't have to talk or whisper much. We danced; I rocked my hips in a circle, breathing and softly moaning, and he held me, rocking with me. It was timeless. Beautiful.
The contractions became one long ache. I never did let myself call them contractions. I didn't let myself think the words "can't," "hard," "pain," etc. Instead I would think about how I knew what my body was doing, and how I wanted to let it do that. My thoughts became progressively abstract.

At some moment, I needed music. I needed its wordlesspower to lift my mind into a higher plane of peace and endurance. I needed more than breathing. As the music filled my mind, I fell into my mother's arms and let her rock me while my body crouched and flooded with an inner weight aching to be released. I felt so much love from Michael, his presence the most constant support. I felt so much love, it was everywhere, even inside me.

My body felt heavy with pressure. I gripped my mother's shoulders and knew she understood the world we were wrapped in together. As the Danse Profane by Debussy climbed to climax, so did the tug of birth. Gravity hugged me in a wash of pain--though I called it desire. I felt like my body was reaching for Scarlett, furiously strong in its coaxing. I breathed her name, wanting her.
We moved--everyone around me--closer to the bed, and I crouched deeper. As my moans picked up, they got higher in pitch, and I felt like I was singing. My midwife (and everyone else for that matter) coached me into lower moans, even moaning with me. But I decided I didn't want things to happen that way. My moans were too distracting if I had to change the way they wanted to come out. Everyone helped me onto the bed. Scarlett was close, I knew it.
Again, I felt surrounded by love, by strong and supportive spirits. But my mind went to a secluded place. In a jungley garden of green, I was Eve. Giving birth to the first baby of the world. I roared like I had seen the leopard do. I bent and pushed with my entire body. I roared through the searing burn of things spreading. I was Eve because I was mother. I was letting my body take over, feeling the deepest reality of Nature and Life.
I roared and roared. My body burned, raging in heroic strength. "Push," they told me, "one more time." And could it be I wasn't done? She wasn't here? That last push had been everything my body could do! But I pushed again, again, willing it to be bigger. Roaring. In sudden delight, everyone exclaimed "We see her hair!" And everything halted. I opened my eyes.
"She has hair?!" I asked.
And with new ferocity, I mentally opened my body, and I roared Scarlett into the world.
*     *     * 5:07am *     *     *
The world changed that instant. Holding my wet little girl, I basked in the mother-euphoria. My legs were warm with blood, and I learned later that it was more blood than anyone had seen with a birth. I heard the midwife's calm concern about getting the placenta to deliver, but beyond obeying her murmured requests to push, I ignored her and gazed into Scarlett's eyes, the darkest blue.Neither of us had words; we shared with our souls, feeling the after-peace of what we had just been through. Michael and I smiled at each other, love in our eyes. I cried quietly.
I felt so good. Even hungry. I even enjoyed the fact that my throat was sore from roaring (I did not exaggerate). Perhaps tired, but sleep was almost impossible the next 24 hours at the hospital. I was just so pumped full of natural birth adrenaline.
Michael slept (sharing my hospital bed), and Scarlett slept, curled on my chest. And I lay there with a smile on my face, so in love.