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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last for the Van Living Series

Five children and two adults in a full-sized Chevy seven-seater van.  It was pretty stressful.  The greatest concern was probably our awareness of others' and the climate of decreasing parental rights in this country.  We were very mindful of everything.  Hyper-vigilant is definitely an appropriate way to describe that time.

I started to lose my hair big time.  It was so super thin on top that I could see my scalp readily when I parted my hair in the middle (so I didn't) and I had a bald-spot at either side of my head where I could've had bangs except that there wasn't enough hair for them.  I'm relatively sure the combo of post-partum hormones and stress from our circumstances contributed to the hair loss.

Jessie wasn't sleeping well toward the end of our van living experience.

But it was good in lots of ways.  Being together was good.  The children were so happy to have us all together all the time.  After all the time Jessie was busy with cheffing... it was definitely a good change to them!  We emjoyed being able to pick up and go whenever and wherever.  No prep, load, and depart... just figure out a general idea of where and head in that direction... figuring out the details as we went.

One of the difficulties was how to spend down time... when you have a house, you just kind of hang out there when you don't have anything else you have to do.  But when you don't have a house... what do you do?  We spent time in libraries all over East Texas.  We stopped in shops to walk around.  We ate in restaurants (that was a big time consumer when we did it and that was an added benefit to that choice).  We spent time in various parks and at many playgrounds.  The children loved that, of course.

There was so much good in those three months.  Lots of difficult.  And, if I'm honest, maybe I have a tendency to focus on the negative so that's why that part of that time stands out in high relief in my mind.  There really was lots of good in it, too.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Van Living

As I mentioned last time, EmJ and I slept on the rear seat-bed.  Jmy slept in his seat, tilted back, sometimes.  Other times he slept on blankets on the ground.  The way back was fixed up as a bed with lots of blankets.  Ria and sometimes Tea slept there.  I laid out another blanket pallet between the driver's seat and the first row of seats where Kat and sometimes Tea slept.  Jessie slept in the front seat leaned back.

He wouldn't consider sleeping anywhere else.  He was on hyper alter and very vigilant.

We hung blankets over the front windshield and from the driver's and passenger's windows.  The rest of the windows had pull-down shades and some of the side windows also had curtains.  Those were really helpful!

Because we were all over East Texas looking for our land, we couldn't leave all our stuff with the trailer in Tyler.  We used that to store much stuff, but we kept a couple changes of clothes for each of us in the van.

Also, we had to keep food and a way to prepare it... so we purchased a huge cooler and used the smaller one that we already had as a dry-goods pantry.  We also purchased a coleman-type stove.  We did eat in restaurants, but not every meal or every day.

When Jessie searched for a place for us to van camp, he was always very mindful that he must unload the ice chests so that the way back area could be used as someone's bed.  I think that was one of the most stressful aspects of his almost nightly effort.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Our Move: Van Living

We left Florida and had a few neat experiences.

It was part of our plan from the beginning that we would do our very best to save all the money we "made" on the sale of the house for the purchase of our new place in Texas.  One way we planned to save money was by living out of our van during the move and subsequent search for our place.  Some folks believed it would take us a long time to find what we were looking for... but I knew with a sure 'knowing' that we would find it very quickly and since we were buying with cash, we'd move onto our land more quickly than anyone could imagine.

As it happened, I was completely correct.  Yet, even though we found our land super fast and closed unbelievably quickly, we still ended up living in our van for almost three months.  Thankfully the van's rear seat reclined into a bed of sorts...  It was big enough for me and the baby, EmJ, at least.  I'll tell you the rest of the story of how we slept next time.

We did it for almost three months.  It was probably the worst best experience of my life.  You know those, right?  The really bad experiences that teach you so much that you have to qualify them as good in some way, shape, or form.

Next post about van living.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

More About Hair

Hair is helpful yall!

For one... regardless of how "advanced" we are... long hair tends to be a differentiating marker for females.  Short (especially clipper-guard short) for guys.

It helps you stay warm.  I've taken to wearing a hat to bed... at least until I'm warm enough to deal with not wearing it.

Cushion.  Have you ever considered how many times we knock our heads?  Hair is a nice bit of protection from those knocks and bumps.

Sensory overload.  I've experienced greater issues with sensory difficulties since I shaved my head.  Strange?  I'm not sure.  It seems like I'm not able to process information from my environment as well.  I feel like I'm overloaded much of the time and just want to hibernate!

Did I mention the warmth factor?  Yeah... given that it's turning winter around here and I'm still more Florida acclimated... hair was really helpful!

Feeling pretty... or, at least... feminine.  I'm not a beauty.  I know it.  I don't wear makeup because I choose not to afford the products I would be willing to wear (not stuff from the drug store, that's for sure!).  I don't really wear jewelry.  So my long hair was really my only adornment... and I didn't style it all up or anything.  It was just there.  Usually in a bun on top of my head.

Anyway... I was looking in a window (in lieu of a mirror) while I shaved my head and I realized to a lesser degree (than when I saw myself in a real mirror) how rough I was going to look and I started crying and repeating a mantra that I need to say to myself much more often... "Hair doesn't make me pretty.  I am more than my hair.  I AM more than my body.  Beauty shines out from within.  I don't need hair to feel pretty."  *sigh*  It sure helps, though.

Be kind.  You never know what battles someone else is fighting.... or what troubles they are working through in heart, mind, or soul!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hair Revisted

Most pertinent is the fact that I still hold the same position as the last time I shared my thoughts on hair.  Actually, I think my experiences of late have only added to my belied that hair is helpful in innumerable ways.  Among them are things I have heard of, but not experienced to the degree I have recently.

Have you ever felt something coming for years?  Have you heard someone tell a story of their own life and felt like they were talking about something you would yet experience?  Have you ever felt as though you could see a path being laid out in front of you and you didn't want to walk it, but knew you would regardless of how much you may dislike it?

All of those experiences have visited me in various ways and for different experiences in my life.  I've felt them all come together concerning my choice just a bit more than a week ago to shave my head.  Number three guard.  My hair was long enough to hang past my bum, yall!  Number three guard.

I've been writing a LOT lately.  I promise this is pertinent to the hair thing... just give me a sec and you'll see.

I love writing and have gone through spurts of great productivity before... but nothing like this recent laying out of realities that are only real in my own head.  The characters have arisen from a dream in three parts the morning of October 15th, I think.  The overarching story has been developing in me since I was first preggie with Ria (my eldest who is almost twelve now!).

When I say I've been productively writing... I've had many ten-thousand word days since the end of October when I really started writing on the story.  Even a few twenty-thousand word days!  Thus far (and I haven't been able to write on it much since the discovery) I've compiled about three novels worth of words, assuming an average novel is sixty-thousand words long.   I realize I may not keep all of those words... but the scope of this story has always been epic... definitely series-type stuff.  Now with three novels already written... it's just coming to fruition.

So what does this have to do with shaving my head?  Okay... okay....

Well, Tuesday Novemeber 24th (and dang it I just realized I didn't call a brother to sing 'happy birthday' to him because of this upsetting "find"....) I found a louse.  Not just anywhere... but on me.  Well, really... in my hair.  I was shocked and upset.  Yet not.

I searched the heads of the three children home with me (two were out with Daddy) and found lice on each of them.  Dang it!  I knew, because we've done this dance before, that if the three I had with me housed lice, the other two surely did.  So... I felt the press of all the preparation... years of whispers and 'knowings'....

Two roads rose up in my mind's eye.  One involved my desperate effort to retain my tresses and the time requirement such an endeavor would mean.  I already knew the next ten days to two weeks would be full of conditioner treatments, picking lice from heads, ridiculous laundry washing, nit picking...  Oh, the torture!  And adding my own head into the mix would mean more time... and how would I pick through my own hair?  Honestly... that's just not likely to work out well.

The other option was cutting my hair.  And by cutting, I mean shaving.  I saw this as a way to reduce, at least, the conditioner treatment time consumed on myself (and money spent on said conditioner, which is no small consideration given our circumstances of late).  My hair was around three feet long... maybe more... so the amount of conditioner and plastic wrap necessary to deal with the darn bugs on me would be... well, ridiculous is an understatement.

So, I shaved my head.  Not as completely as I shaved my son, Jmy... I took his down to no-guard.  I used a three on me. 

Funny little guy!  I know he thought I looked weird.  Pretty sure he actually said that word to describe me.  And then, after I'd cut all his hair off he asked me at least three times, "Mama, do I look weird?"  Each time I stopped, looked at him, and considered.  When I answered I told him some version of, "You look like my handsome Jmy-boy with no hair.  Not weird.  Just my Jmy."  He was satisfied after the third query.

My husband didn't deal with the shock of seeing his shorn wife very well.  At least, not for my vanity.

One daughter (who was away with Daddy while Mama cut all her hair off) told me right off that she liked it and told me I was beautiful.  Kat.  My sweet exuberant Kat.

Tea, my seven-year old... well, she was WAY less tactful or encouraging, "Mama!  What did you DO?  You look wee-eird!  I mean, you seriously look WEIRD!"  Yeah... thanks kid.

I don't have many mirrors around our place.  Actually, most of them are on vehicles, honestly.  There's one in our house... medicine cabinet mirror.  Right now I'm really glad.  But it was a bit shocking to see myself for the first time in a real mirror.

You'd definitely know I'm related to my brothers and Dad right now!  Mannish.  Yes, definitely.  Tranny... probably could be mistaken as one.  I'm pretty sure I was stared down by a group of guys who thought I was a man dressing as a woman.  That's probably the worst reaction so far.

The second worst could be considered nice... or positive, but unfortunately not by me... It's the really nice way some gay girls treated me when previously they've never paid me any mind.  Butch.  Yes... I look butch.

Funniest of all... I realized only just recently that I'm turning forty in a couple weeks and now I look like I'm having a mid-life-crisis!  Good grief!

So... if you see a fat chick (preggie, too... but that's not altogether apparent since I'm fat) who looks mannish or butch... and she's got a bunch of kids... maybe she's not crazy or gay or tranny  ... maybe she just wanted to get back to her writing and had to take time off to deal with lice.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Soliloquy #31: The Wedding

We decided on a masquerade ball for the theme of our wedding.  I remember the two of us talking about how most people wear masks in the various interactions through life.  I felt then that I didn't, but could definitely see how others did.  Jessie liked this idea very well and that's what we did.

Our wedding was on December 31, 2002 and we were able to book a room in which to hold it in a hotel on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

We found a really accomplished cake decorator and ordered a fabulous cake that was also very symbolic of us and our life at that time.  It looked amazing and tasted more wonderful than words can describe!  But let me try to share some of it's amazing loveliness with you.  Each cake was a different flavor with a complimentary flavor filling in between the layers and an awesome buttercream topped by a tastey rolled fondant (most rolled fondant I'd had up to that point was horrible... peel-off-able!).  Each cake had a topper.  Both the flavors of the cakes and their toppers were symbolically relevant.  Unfortunately, I cannot locate my notes about the flavors right now.  The biggest cake was "our" cake.  The topper was a hand-sculped sugar mask rendition of Jessie's sun/moon tatoo.  The next smaller cake was "Jessie's" and had an awesome sugar crown for the topper.  I called him my 'king' at that time.  Next down in size (but higher in the display), was mine.  The topper was hand-scullpted sugar wings because Jessie used to call me his angel.  The smallest cake's topper, the one we saved for our first year anniversary, was a store-bought topper of a woman holding a man up in both her arms.  I painted them so that the man was in orange and the woman was in blue, just as Jessie and I were.  The cake maker was also a master stylist.  The table was stunning.  Folks from the murder/mystery dinner celebration came to see it very frequently.

Favors for weddings can be rather plain and unimaginative, at least, that was our impression at the time.  Because our wedding was meant to be a masquerade ball, we purchased various kinds of masks as our wedding favors.  They were very cool.  More than 10 years later we still have some!  Our children have enjoyed playing with many of them, which we imagined we would enjoy.  I think we may have enjoyed it even more than we imagined.

The night of our wedding we and our friends and family set everything up.  Then we began our party/reception.  We went to another room for our ceremony.  After exchanging vows, we went back to the party room and continued our reception including cutting our cake.  It was really quite fun!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Pressing thoughts.  The kind you cannot push away too long.  Haunting until they are released.  And so it has been for me these last few months... and longer.

To hair or not to hair.  Or, perhaps, to rephrase in a way more socially understandable: to shave, or not to shave.  Those are the questions.

And what a tumult of thought and feeling has come into my little world as a result.  And so much insight and understanding of things I never questioned before.

You see, as long as I can remember, I had some sort of aversion to hair.  Not to the point of utter and complete disgust... but darn close.  And so, at around 10 (maybe younger?!), I shaved every part of my body that I could.  My legs?  I think so... not sure if I had time for them.  My arms?  Yep, that's where I started... I think, because I could see them most.  My belly?  My chest?  Yep.  And yes.  The funniest part... I was shocked when my Mom asked me if I had shaved!  I mean, how in the HECK did she know!??  I was sure she had special "Mom powers of knowing" before that, but it was just solidified by that question.

Now, 29 years later, I see so much that I couldn't even comprehend then.

I see that I was in complete rejection of a basic and instrinsic part of myself at a very young age because I saw my Mama rejecting the same in/of herself.  If she didn't like it on herself, it must surely be unacceptable/unwantable on me!

To question why she did what she did was not a tool in my skill set at such an age.

Partially in answer to the unknowable question (why did she do it?), I now see that my Mama was conditioned by a sick culture to reject this part of her womanhood and femininity.  How very sad, right?  I mean, who wouldn't want to be a woman!?!!?  (HA!  I love it, but I know lots don't... but that's a whole other post!)

Another unknowable question back then: why would a culture condition it's women to reject a part of the process of their maturation?  Of course, I didn't ask it.  Not then.

But I sure have in the last few years!

And then, the pieces of the puzzle that is the sickness in our country and world today began to come together for me.

One huge piece of that puzzle was when my Mom shared a prophecy with me.

She did not proclaim it a prophecy.  Indeed, she would never describe the things she foresees as such.  But all of us should be prophets with the gift of prophecy, if, indeed, we have faith in Christ.  Even as Moses said, basically: I would that all in Israel were prophets.

What prophecy did she share?

She told me that it would not be a great many years before the lawmakers in our country began the process of making pedophilia "just another sexual orientation".  When did she say such a thing?  About 10 years ago... maybe it was just 8... but it was a WHILE ago, yall.

And what's happening?  True, it's been 'only' a little here and there.  But that's how it starts.  That's how the movement to make (and this is also part of her prophecy) homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenders socially acceptable and even "popular" began.  If you don't think it's popular, you are living in a place of denial... and I have a river to sell ya.


Are you wondering how I've gone from shaving (or hairing) to pedophilia?  If you wonder, I might question your discernment.  Surely it makes perfect sense if you are using your spiritual eyes.
Just in case I have any among those who have made it this far who do not see, but desire to:

We are the frog in the pot.  In MANY ways.  Humans, I mean.  But especially those of us here in this blessed (at least it once was and could be again if we would turn with one accord to our Father in Heaven and serve only Him) land called The United States of America... or whatever version you desire to reference it.  Those of us who are supposed to be benefited by The Constitution of said....

We are a frog in a pot.

The heat is sin.

The fire is temptation by the devil.

The water temp rises as a greater and greater number of people in this Nation choose sin (and making evil good and good evil).  And we begin to cook, sitting still, thinking we are comfy... without even knowing it because the temptations were so small in the beginning.  Until we are frozen in the state before death when our muscles are paralyzed because they are already cooked, but our brain is still alive...  thankfully, we are not an actual frog and we can remove the heat through repentance and return to God and His truths... as a Nation.  And that's the difficulty, isn't it?  But difficult things are accomplished with one person's choice to see as God sees.

God loves even those who trespass His laws.  He is ever ready to forgive the sinner and loves them even as they sin.  He does not turn away.

We, as a culture/Nation, have turned away from God.  I was among those.  In so many ways.  And because I know I have turned, I know we, as a Nation, are able to do so as well.  Forgiveness is REAL.  The Atonement our Savior performed is more real than this life with all it's experiences.  We are able to be forgiven and become new in Christ Jesus!

How have we turned away?  We have accepted sin as good.  Homosexuality is not a sin.  Acting on those natural tendencies IS.  Accepting that someone is homosexual does not mean condoning any choice to live out those impulses.  Loving someone who is homosexual does not preclude knowing the sin of acting on that nature.  Yet, our culture/world says it IS good to do wrong.  Even to the point, now, in this Nation, of our Supreme Court ruling against the majority of constituents in the Nation regarding marriage and how it pertains or does not pertain to those who are other than heterosexual.

God ordained marriage in the Garden of Eden when He gave Eve to Adam and commanded them to procreate and replenish the earth.  Man has been defiling the sanctity of marriage in any number of ways and many decreeing that "God said this was good because of ______".  Even prophets, both current and past, are human and make mistakes.  Period.  Accepting and acknowledging that does not reduce all else they did or said to worthlessness.  It just doesn't.  Someone can say something right and righteous and Godly and God inspired in the morning and make a total fool of himself (or herself) in the evening.  The evening's ridiculousness does not negate the morning's  near perfection (or vice versa).  It just makes said person human and  as such, just like the rest of us: perfectly fallible.

I couldn't see it plainly or clearly as my Mom did when she said it those years ago.  But I certainly see the fulfillment speeding upon us.  And the incremental turning up of the heat....

I could trace this descent from much greater righteousness to where were are now.  However, that would be far more work than I'm willing to invest (and thus take away from my family)... If you do it, let me know and I'll share thoughts!  I'd love to see what you come up with.

Because I see the hair issue as a truly integral and HUGE aspect of the cultural acceptance of pedophilia, I'm going to simply expound upon it... in case anyone who doesn't still see the connection is still reading and interested.

Dark hair arriving in special places is one of the indicators of oncoming manhood and/or womanhood.  It heralds a special and important change from childhood to adulthood and all the responsibility inherent therein (perhaps especially the ability and responsibility of parenthood).
Pedophilia rejects adults as desirable... of course.  That's the whole problem with it, right?
So, one of the fundamentally necessary notches on the temp gauge for the frog in the pot that is us is to make hair unwanted....  First among women... because we already accept on some fundamental level that we are sexual objects to the men we desire to love us (how sad, but it is true no matter how we reject it)... so the devil appeals to our desire to remain young and appealing...

I'm sure the first women to go hairless purposefully were in the limelight.  Held up by the media as THE look.  Mass hypnotism was probably implemented at least a little.

But we went willingly and fell into a trap we didn't recognize as such and willingly removed one of the indicators of our maturation, femininity, and womanhood.  We forsook our hair in many places through shaving or other forms of removal.  Just to be clear, I was definitely among those who fell into this trap.

And now the movement is among our men.  Men who are hairy are seen as unkempt... or somehow gross.  Many men (at least among those I used to speak about these things with) WANT to be seen as sexual objects (no wonder they DO it... thinking in terms of the 5 Love Languages....), so of course they want to either shave completely or trim it up so as to be able to be desireable.

Moving the heat up.  Frogs in the pot.

Do you see what I see?

As a result of all this, I will share that I have chosen hair.  Interesting?  I don't know... I don't think so.  Honestly, I think it's the only choice for anyone who truly understands what I've come to know.  I think it's the "right thing to do" for those who desire to honor the gift these bodies are.  Both male and female.

"What?  You mean, let hair grow... down there... with no shaving, trimming, or otherwise?"  And I would return, "Yes.  Anywhere there is hair that grows naturally, let it grow.  Let it grow!  Don't hold it back any more!"  hahaha

Seriously, though.

I admit I still pluck the hairs from my chinny chin chinS... and I don't know that I will stop that any time soon.  I also pluck my eyebrows... a little.  I'm struggling with those hair removal efforts... and the inherent public disappoval inherent it letting THAT go!  *sigh*  I am not free of caring what others' think!  As much as I wish I were truly free....

Lest someone mistake me:

I am now, only better than I was before.  I am merely equal to or less than others in every regard.  Yet, I know God loves me just as He Loves you and everyone else.  I am so late to this change....

I see how this whole hair thing could become a sort of Pharasaical-type issue.  Let it not be so.  If anyone among us choose to grow our hair (anywhere and/or everywhere), let us do it because of our own desire to change.  To grow in self acceptance... because I can tell you, from my own experience, it has opened an awesome flood-gate of self-acceptance!!  And what a huge and awesome gift THAT is!!!

To draw nearer to God is the greatest gift... And I believe that as we accept every part of the gift He has given us in these tabernacles of clay, we grow to know Him more clearly and dearly. 

As a last note, and something I've learned by experience of having hair: there are little things that hair help with... skin sensitivity only one among them.  Maybe you won't keep it forever.  Maybe I won't.  It's good to try new things.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Birth of GrA; the extended version

Warning... this is long.

Our second boy (though we didn't know he was a he until he arrived) was "due" to be born March 6, 2016. His birthday (so when he was actually due), is April 1, 2016.
Do you have any idea what our culture... our medical system does to a woman like me? Ria was born 11 days "past dates," Kat 14 days, Tea 17 days, Jmy 5 days.... clearly, just based on averages, I take longer to finish my babies than the *system* deems necessary. GrA was born 3 weeks and 5 days "overdue". That's 26 days "past dates" yall.
Trust me. This is very pertinent.
Now, there's no way I can really adequately convey what I went through... or my feelings... so that you could actually understand. So I'm going to try to help you understand by telling you YOUR story. If you want to understand, you'll have to work with me and imagine... really try to imagine how you'd feel.
So... what is THE thing you have most anticipated in your life? It has to be something that had a firm *finish by* date. Imagine that experience as I tell this story. Maybe it was the birth of each of your children... just choose one anticipated birth or other experience and stick with it. I'm going to pretend it's the birth of a child because it most closely parallels this since this is about the birth of mine.
Begin Imagining NOW:
You're ready! Baby is *due* in 3 weeks and you have everything in place. Birth kit purchased and items in place and waiting for your fifth homebirth, yep. Baby blanket specially made by Mama, done. Baby space set up and waiting, definitely.  Heart ready to welcome your sixth child, yessiree!
Your midwife has already started saying little things like, "You can legally have this baby at home now!"
You think, "I've told you for the last 13 + weeks about my previous births... you don't seriously think this baby is coming any time soon, do you?"
But even though you know what you know, you still feel a little pressure to *have the baby* sooner than later.
38 weeks. Baby is still super high, definitely not engaged. Everything else is just fine. Head down. Heart rate good. Blood pressure terrific.
Midwife says, "You can have this baby any time. My calendar is clear. I'm here for you."
You think and want to say something like, "Um... two weeks til we're going to see anything... are you trying to pressure me already? Sheesh."  But you stay quiet believing that there's nothing more you can say than you've already said about the subject.
You feel more pressure and wonder if this baby will be like the last... who was also the first to be born on her due date. You feel hope that it might be so.
39 weeks. Same as last week. All stats good.
Midwife says, "You can start applying clary sage to your belly. It won't do anything unless baby is ready. I'm here whenever you need me. Just call."
You think something like, "Seriously? It's a whole week before my earliest arrived. It's not likely, lady!  We can hope all we want, but let's consider history and figure the odds.  I mean, really.  Pressure much?"
You hope baby decides to come earlier than all the rest. It is possible, after-all.  Anything is possible.  Surely baby is finished in there... right? You feel ready to have baby in arms and want to be done dealing with the frustration of everyone expecting you to have the baby already!
40 weeks. Same as the two weeks before.
Midwife says, "What are you doing to try to get this baby here? We need to make a plan to have this baby."
You think something like, "Yeah... like anything I do will make a difference. I don't want to try to induce with homeopathics like I did with two of my homebirths! I also want to respect this baby and allow the birth process to happen on it's own. Surely I'm not broken. Surely if we just wait, this baby will come on its own."
People at church who you've never even told your due date ask, "You're STILL pregnant?  Don't you want to have that baby?  Aren't you going to have that baby sometime soon?"  No.  Not all from one person.  But perhaps it's worse coming from multiple people.
And you think and once even have the nerve to say, "You don't even know when my due date is, for all you know the baby isn't supposed to be here yet."  Technically it's potentially true since the 40 week day is Sunday.  And the last Sunday you go to church while still preggie because of the following thoughts which torment you, "Maybe they are right... maybe I should have already had this baby.  Maybe I'm broken.  But I didn't tell them my due date precisely because of this kind of thing.  Why do they think I should've already had the baby?  Are they talking about me?  Only two people in the whole Congregation know anything about this pregnancy.  They've probably told others and then they told others.... why do people gossip?  And about me!  I'm not all that interesting!"  And more and similar.  It feels horrible!
As a result of the midwife and others statements and questions you feel something like, "Maybe I am broken. There is no sign of this baby being born. Aside from the prodromal labor that's been happening many nights for the last couple weeks. Nothing is going anywhere, that's for sure. Maybe I am broken."
41 weeks. Same as before.
Midwife says, "We only have one more week. I won't be able to help you have this baby if you go any longer than 42 weeks. We have to get this baby here by 42 weeks."
You think and want to say something like, "This isn't helping! I feel like a watched pot! Can't we just let the baby be born when the baby needs to be born? What's wrong with THAT?!!  I want this baby to come .  Why won't this baby come?"
You feel something like, "I'm broken. Surely I am. I can't seem to have my babies really even around their due date... except for the last one. Why did it work with that one and none of the others? What's wrong with me?"
And well-meaning, caring, loving friends and family are asking about the baby. You can't help but wonder if they think you just won't tell anyone when the baby is born.... Do they just think you're leaving them out of the good news? You think things like, "Don't they understand that I want to have this baby as much as they want to know about it? Don't they realize they aren't the only one asking... can't they imagine how much pressure and angst their questions compound? Why can't I have this baby like a normal woman???"
During the process of this week, you lose all confidence in yourself and your ability to have this baby like a regular human woman because your midwife and husband seem to have teamed up to *make* the baby come... Midwife suggests something and husband is the enforcer. Nothing works. You feel like you are more broken than normal... surely that's why the baby won't come. And you feel sure that's what everyone else thinks about you, too. That's why they keep calling and writing and asking, isn't it?  You KNOW that's not the case. You really do. But the feeling... so many horrible thoughts and feelings about you running through your head. You know those bad thoughts need to be ignored and something better put on the stage of your mind... but they feel so true. And each time someone calls, or asks....
Most nights during this hellacious week, you wake with contractions.  A few times you even begin timing them hoping beyond hope that this is it.  You go back to sleep thinking that it'll get more serious and real labor will establish itself and wake you up.  Then you wake in the morning feeling tremendous pangs of anxiety and panic because you slept SO well through the rest of the night.  No more labor.  And your children, Mom, and husband look at you with such expectation.  And you just want to cry.  And sometimes do.  And each day you feel increasingly broken... if that's even possible.  It is, because that's what you feel!
By the end of the week you've tried it all. 
Sex? Check. 
Nipple stimulation? Yep. Manual AND breast pump.
Walking? Definitely. 
Spicy food? Yes. 
Homeopathics? Yep.
Herbal stuff? Yes. Two kinds.
Essential oils?  Uh-huh.
Won't do castor oil. Causes Mama to poop. Wouldn't it cause baby to poop, too? And if baby isn't born right away... can't that cause baby problems? Nothing else has worked, castor oil is just a ridiculous long shot. There's no way I'm endangering my baby because my midwife and husband are afraid.
During this week you realize that both your baby and your husband (knew about the husband, but have actually felt it now) are afraid and you're feeling the waves of fear from both of them as well as battling your own fear-mongering thoughts.
You start to meditate to release fears for self and baby. It helps. Lots. Probably especially for the baby. You feel fewer waves of fear radiating from your belly. You still struggle with your own thoughts of brokenness and continue to wonder if you lack the ability to be a normal woman... especially since you already know you're not just based on how "overdue" you are.
Husband has been reduced to tears over this at least once that you've seen. You have cried daily at one time or another.
You seriously think you might die, so you start doing things to feel less fear about that  potential outcome. You record yourself singing hymns and children's songs for your family. You write everyone a letter telling them how wonderful you think they are and how much you love them. You pray that you'll just be able to have a healthy live baby and be alive after baby is born. You still pray for a successful homebirth... you really do want it, but more than anything you want to live beyond the birth and for your baby to live.
If you slept through the night, you wake up crying because you didn't go into labor. If you had labor and then slept, you wake up in a panic attack because it didn't keep going. You cry off and on almost all day by the end of the week because nothing is happening that will result in the baby moving into your arms.  But you try to take yourself away from everyone when you cry because you don't want them to worry more than they already do.
42 weeks + 1 day. You let our midwife know you no longer expect her to come for the birth. She was going to tell you basically the same thing, anyway. It's the law! Next day you receive a certified letter in which she is releasing you as clients. So... now you and your husband are really on your own. And although you're basically okay with that, your husband really isn't.  The horrible thoughts come more fiercely and frequently.
Questions. Fears. Horrible thoughts of dying or baby dying during the birth plague you. One day will be peaceful and wonderful... happy and good. The next will feel like the world is ending and there is nothing good to be seen. The bad days usually begin with someone writing a text or calling to ask about the baby and whether it's been born or not yet. Thankfully the midwife isn't calling or texting every day now. The burden of that daily check was just way too heavy! You and your husband pretty much just don't talk to folks at this point, but you know why they are calling and writing.  You are grateful for their love, care, and concern.  It's just that the pain of being so abnormal is almost a physical discomfort for you now.

43 weeks. Baby is still moving regularly and strongly. Surely that means everything is fine in there. 
One of your children asking if you had any labor the night before causes you to start sobbing uncontrollably. You feel like a freak. You just want to have the baby, but nothing is happening. You comfort yourself with every uncomfy kick you feel. Rejoicing that baby is telling you via the pain in your body that he or she is still alive.
43 weeks +1 through +3 is a repeat of the first day of the week.  You meditate and pray and sing with your whole heart.  Seeking with every moment of focused effort to focus on the light so that the darkness will fade.  It works.  But then you receive another text.  Or a phone call.  Or hear someone talking about you and the baby.  *Freak.  Weirdo.  You're not normal.  You can't have this baby.  You're going to die!*  Versions of that and more torment your waking hours.
43 weeks +4 days. Lots of labor stuff. But you don't tell your husband, your Mom (who has been living with you for almost a month now so that she could be there to help during your labor and after the baby is born... she's due to leave tomorrow and there's still no baby), any of your children, or anyone else because it could stop and then everyone will be disappointed... and you'd be responsible because you didn't have to tell anyone.
43 weeks +4.5 days. Labor still happening, but barely. It's just like all the other prodromal stuff... but there was a little pink when you used the potty. Could it be? Won't tell anyone. Don't want them to be disappointed, too, if it's not.
43 weeks +4.75 days. Labor is probably happening. You tell your husband about bloody show because you've had it a few times. Contractions are totally manageable. Definitely like a beginning, but you really do think it's likely to stick this time.
Labor is totally manageable.  It's not really painful.  It's just hard work.  Focused work.  Praying and reading affirmations through each contraction and you feel the work of it, but none of the pain that existed in the previous five labors.
Around 4 hours into active labor waters break and there is meconium. Pushing afterward results in late decelerations (of the baby's heart). That's happened with other births... but you've had someone with you who would help you if stuff went wrong.  Your midwives have had oxygen tanks and other emergency sort of equipment.   This time it's just you, God, your husband, and your Mom....
God feels very near.  But you feel very confused.  The fears that have plagued you are just as present as the feeling of Father comforting you.  You don't know what to do because you can see the fear your husband feels. It's in his body and all over his face. Before this point at which you hear  that you can't hear the baby's heart strong and sure...  You've felt like pushing wasn't working. Something just feels WRONG. Now, after each push, baby's heartbeat is more and more difficult to find until you can't find it after the last effort to push... you don't want to kill your baby trying to get him/her out at home!
All urge to push vanishes. You don't even feel contractions any more.

You and your husband decide to go to the hospital. As soon as you make that decision, the confusion abates and the comfort of the Lord is all you can feel.  You feel one contraction during the drive. Once you arrive, to the hospital, you sorta feel contractions, but they aren't very painful... except when you feel the fear that bangs at the edges of your mind. As they rush you down the hall in the wheelchair, you cry out from the fear more than any physical pain.  The fear welcomed you in the stern unkindness of the nurse that greeted you at the emergency room door.
 It seems like you feel fear until just before a contraction and then it fades to the edges. So, there is only pain when there is no contraction. There is no urge to push with the contractions.  Something is WRONG.  This is not like me at all.  Normally I feel urgency to push.  I feel a comfort and enjoyment in pushing.
The doctor has really horrible bedside manners. He probably thinks you're an idiot homebirther who couldn't do it.... like most of them (in his estimation). He doesn't know you had a natural hospital birth with the first and four successful homebirths after that.  He tries to get you to push and you do try, but it's not working. Something is wrong. It's not working. It just feels wrong.
After maybe about an hour at the hospital, you're taken to the operating room for a c-section. Everything feels surreal.  Yet even though you feel otherworldly, you feel the Peace that surpasses all understanding.  You feel comfortable even in horribly uncomfortable circumstances.  Why isn't it working this time? You've given birth naturally five times. The last four of those at home. What's wrong?
The baby is a boy.  He is, all of his face that you can see, beautiful! You send your husband away to stay with the baby. The doctors tug and pull... and sew you up. Everything went fine. They take you to your room where baby and your husband are waiting.   It's less than an hour between finishing in the operating room and holding your baby... you receive your baby joyfully and he latches on like he's been doing it forever! What a nursing champ!
You nurse your baby for about four hours. He is doing well, it seems. You are tired and realize you've dozed off a few times only when you wake up. Baby was born just after 2:30am, so surely that's normal.  You're really glad you have pillows supporting your arms or you would've dropped your baby. During that 4hours some machine or another goes off a few times. No one comes to check on it. You've been sweating and it seems to be getting worse. Your hair is wet with sweat and you feel like it's dripping whenever you run your fingers through it. You've already asked your husband to turn the AC down and now you're worried about keeping your baby warm because you can tell the room is very cool... maybe even cold, but you feel ridiculously hot and keep sweating.  Your husband has asked about the alarms, but two or three nurses say it's fine without checking the monitors.
When the day nurse comes in at shift change, she bustles around doing something or other and introduces herself and her trainee. She seems nice. Before she leaves your room she asks something.  You answer and then you to ask about what is bothering you. You start with the way you're sweating... wondering if it's because of the spinal during the c-section. She offers to turn the air down.  You refuse telling her it's already been done and you're worried about keeping your baby warm.  Then ask about the monitor that's been alarming... what is it for? Should someone do something about it? What is the noise supposed to tell us?
As she looks at the monitor thing, she seems to become alarmed. It's around then that you fall asleep again. When you wake up, your nurse asks if you just passed out. "No, I just fell asleep like I have been since I got in here." She seems even more alarmed. Your husband tells you later that she removed the pad under you and it was alarmingly full of blood.
The doctor comes back. He palpates and looked very concerned.
A portable ultrasound with accompanying tech comes speeding in. There is a huge hematoma.... Doctor rushes out (apparently to get paperwork for you to sign). You're not exactly sure what's happening, but when he tells you he must take you for surgery and that he might have to remove your uterus, you know it's really serious. He has you sign papers and you're alarmed that you can't keep your name along the line... you've never had a probably keeping words straight.  Yet even though you are aware of great concern in those around you, you feel absolute Peace and comfort of an otherworldly sort.
Watching the lights move by as you're wheeled to the room for surgery, you feel the first discomfort and concern since you arrived.  You talk to God and tell him, "I just want to live. I still want those twin girls you showed me all those years ago, but if my uterus is taken, I'll take that as an indication that I'm not responsible for them any more. Please let me live. Let me see my sweet new baby again.  Please let me raise my children!"
You live. You wake up in recovery and feel so strange.  It's very cold, but feels good.  They take you to ICU.  Melissa as your sweet nurse. You like her a lot. She's funny. You sleep a lot... like a baby.  Many wakings, but falling asleep just as easily as waking.

Over time, you learn that you received 4 units of blood and before you leave ICU you will have received 2 units of plasma. You lost a lot of your own blood, it would seem. You still have all your own parts, though. The biggest part of you rejoices to learn that you still have your uterus. A small and very big-feeling part of you shivers and shakes at the thought of getting pregnant and giving birth again. Surely the twins you've wished for since  long before you first found out you were preggie with your first child won't be angry if you can't do it....
And so it goes. The beginning of the horrible thoughts on this side of the experience. Why couldn't I do it? Why didn't I do it? What's wrong with me? I've always been a good pusher... but this time I just couldn't push. Why is that? And so many more horrible thoughts.
I talked with my sister. She's 6 earth-years younger than me... but you wouldn't know it to hear the words of wisdom she speaks. She spoke light, hope, and peace to my heart and mind very soon after GrA's birth. Her words did God's work in my mind to enable me to ask Him the right question. I honestly don't remember which question I asked that brought the revelation, but it came!
Heavenly Father showed me that no matter how or where GrA was born, this birth experience included (as an inescapable part of it) hemorrhaging. If it happened at home, I would have gotten closer to death than I did... or maybe died during the trip to the hospital. If I'd accomplished vaginal birth in the hospital, it would've been as bad or worse because I probably wouldn't have been hooked up to monitors and I would've explained away the "symptoms" of the problem (just as I did even with the monitors). In one of the ways it could've played out, GrA died. Basically, I came to understand that as much as c-section is not my ideal birthing method, in this case it was my life-saver. Not before or during the fact... but simply by virtue of being hooked up to monitors afterward that a nurse could check and see that I wasn't doing well.
After this personal revelation, I have felt a return of the absolute peace I felt almost the entire time at the hospital. The only time that the blanket of peace was pierced was during my prayer about my twins on the way to emergency surgery. That should've told me a huge bit afterward... but I was focused on beating myself up overmuch.
So... that's the long of the long of it. I apologize for not writing to each person who has asked me about stuff.  I would like to talk to you individually if you would like to talk to me after reading this if you have more questions.  I simply felt unable to share this story to each person in a more personal way.  Although I know things worked out the very best way they could, there is a lot of trauma for me to work through.  Feelings about certain aspects of the story that I haven't related.  Writing about it this way has been cathartic for me and I appreciate the time you have invested in reading my experience as your own. Even now it has been difficult... cathartic, surely. But very difficult to write.  I have cried.  I will probably yet cry.  If you would like to share your thoughts about this story with me, I will appreciate it more than I can convey.  It will provide affirmation that I year for, yet feel rather foolish in seeking in any direct way.
Even at over six weeks postpartum, my recovery is still in progress. I had nightmares about giving birth until after I wrote this. That's totally new and very upsetting for me. I'm working to figure out what I need to do to regain confidence in myself and trust in birth because I have felt people missing from my family (two little girls, specifically).  I feel them. Mostly when I'm trying to make sure everyone is with me... I feel an absence. You know it. The one you feel when someone has one of your children for an activity.... I feel that often and randomly when all my children are with me. I've felt this feeling after the birth of the last few of my children. I'm grateful for it. I know I need to get to work so I can be a happy home for them to grow in.
I know God carried me through all of everything both birth related and the difficulties we've had since GrA joined us. I can see it so clearly... like the single set of footprints in the sand. God is so awesome! I felt the carrying at times while I was being carried, too... I just wasn't focused enough to feel it the whole while.
If you have some suggestions for me, do share. I need to heal. The rather upsetting (now) thing to me is that while I was still preggie I kept feeling like the twins would come sooner than some of my others (they have mostly come two years and some-odd months after the one before them).... so I feel a need to work myself into mental, emotional, and physical shape more than I have after any of the others. I feel like my spiritual fortifications are going along pretty well. I just don't feel a really clear direction on how to improve my belief in birth (and self) currently. So, help in that regard would be great!

I do have Birthing From Within and have started to read through it recently.
I've had a couple experiences with realizing trauma that seems less related to the birth, but is totally connected in my heart/mind.  I want to write about them right now, but I feel concerned that this is overlong.  So, I'll hopefully share about that really soon.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for caring!

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