All posts tagged: #pain

Crows

Once I was held prisoner in my room for 10 weeks. Preterm labor demanded bedrest if I wanted to give my unborn babies a chance. I lived in fear of losing them. I also lived in fear of crows. ***** Almost every day of my bedrest crows came to haunt me. They curled their talons and straightened their black cloaks on the bare winter branches outside my window. They stared in my room with sinister eyes and cawed menacingly. I trembled. There was no roadkill in my room for them to eat. Whose death were they waiting for? Were they circling over the twins I was desperately trying to grow inside my huge belly? Did they think my babies weren’t going to make it? Did they know something I didn’t? One day I couldn’t take it anymore. I untangled myself from the contraction monitor, subcutaneous terbutaline pump, long white compression socks, and twisted blankets and heaved myself out of bed. I punched at the window with one hand and guarded my babies with the other. “Go …

Scabs and Scars

At eight years old I overheard a woman say an Arabian prince could only choose a woman with no scars to be his princess. I was devastated. I had scars from mosquito bites, chicken pox, bike accidents, and scraping my feet in Gramma’s big cement pool. I also had a belly button, and wondered if those princes were smart enough to realize that everyone had at least one scar. Did the holes from getting our ears pierced count? I’m an almost albino redhead. I’ve had eight suspicious moles removed. The first one was near my right breast. I was 20, and the plastic surgeon named, I kid you not, Dr. Scarzella, said he didn’t want to do the surgery because the scar might hinder intimacy with my partner. I was not even close to being sexually active, but I somehow had enough sense of self to say, “well, I don’t think I’m going to be intimate with any guy who couldn’t handle a scar on my boob.” He laughed and patted my shoulder. I had …

Not Yet (Thanksgiving)

The best Thanksgiving I ever had was in 1994. I’d finally been kissed by the man of my dreams the night before. After months of writing letters overseas, he flew home and invited me to Thanksgiving dinner. I met his whole family, his closest friends, and his grandma who forlornly asked, “she’s not Norwegian at all?” My heart raced when I caught him looking at me across the room, and when he held my hand under the table. I was falling deeply in love. I was thankful. Several years later, the man of my dreams cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner for our friends. We had a great time laughing, drinking, and admiring Chris’s culinary skills. After dinner we all went around the table to share what we were thankful for. One friend drew a tiny circle on a piece of paper, pointed to it, and said, “I’m thankful for our baby, who’s about this size in my belly right now.” We all clapped and cheered. Then 5 minutes later another couple announced their pregnancy. We clapped and cheered …

Wrecked

Our first child was born October 3, 1998. We had been married 2 years. It was an unexpected, terrible birth. She was an ugly, horrible baby. She’s an awful demanding 17 year old. And while we’ve made peace, most days I fear her. My first baby’s name is Pain. She was born the night I was hit by a drunk driver. That day, my sister and I were hit from behind, pushed into oncoming traffic, and crashed into a second car. The guy who hit us side-swiped 3 other cars and sped off. My sister was covered in sparkling glass, we had some cuts, headaches and big bruises, but the paramedics couldn’t find anything severely wrong with us. But there was. Pain had arrived. She was an insufferable colicky newborn for 2.5 years. She demanded my full attention day and night. It felt like a steaming hot iron was being dropped on my tailbone every 10 minutes. To keep her quiet, I carried a pillow and ice packs to client meetings. I tried 8 different pain meds. We saw …

Kintsukuroi – I Guess We Have to be Broken

A few years ago my son and I had a very bad day. As I tucked him in, I hugged him, and prayed out loud, “Oh Lord, I put a hole in this dear kid’s heart today. With my mean face and impatient, harsh words. Please forgive me. Would you fill in that hole I made? Will your light and love chase away the yucky darkness?” Enough time had passed since my outburst, so Caleb was in the place to hug me tightly back and I say, “I forgive you, Mom. I know you love me.” I laid there holding him in silence a long time. I hate that I hurt his heart. I struggled to believe God would really fix it. We’ve all been broken. Sometimes we are jerks, and we toss someone’s heart on the floor. Sometimes other people are jerks and our hearts get shattered. My kids have had pieces chipped off by peers, teachers, their own choices, pain, and me. God and I had a conversation a long time ago, when I felt too …

Giving Birth

My mom was a Lamaze instructor. I grew up dropping dolls through a pelvis model on our green shag carpet. I fell asleep hearing expectant couples practice “hee-hoo” breathing. I watched birth movies. My mom even coached our mean cat Susie when she delivered 4 kittens on her bedspread. Blood poured down my mom’s hand after Susie bit her. In serene, hippy, 70’s style Mom said, “Susie’s just in pain right now. It’s okay.” I watched from the doorway, eyes huge. I always assumed I’d have a baby. When we finally got pregnant after years of infertility and all the gazillion dollar interventions, it was twins. I surrendered to this massive endeavor, happily eating pounds of bacon and Walker shortbread cookies. My belly swelled ripe and proud. Then it just gave up at 25 weeks and decided to eject the babies. I spent the next 10 weeks in and out of the hospital trying to to keep those babies inside. Miserable and terrified, I was forced to submit to the strange prison of strict bedrest. When we and our extensive …