Category Archives: pregnancy

And then there was Kai – part five of five


If you would like to read the whole of the birth story in one go,

Here is part one
part two
part three
and part four

There are a lot of myths about pregnancy – about what you can and can’t do.  People will audibly gasp if they see you drinking coffee.  Pick up a box, and suddenly your a damsel in distress.  People tell will tell you your glowing – when you’re certain that you’ve done nothing but scowl all day because your sciatica is burning.  Birth educators and people in the know will tell you that childbirth is nothing like the movies, that there is no need to rush if you water breaks- and that in reality – only about of a third of women have their water break outside of the hospital.  Life, it seems is more fun than fiction – because it was straight up Hollywood in the house after my water broke.

Read the rest of this entry


Part four of five

Raining. Flood Warning. Ugh.

Kai was born over three years ago, and I haven’t finished his birth story.  I’ve started his birth story, but it’s not done. Last night I wrote about the music that playing the night he was born, and tonight, I’m going to start cleaning out the recesses of my memory –

In case, you want a refresher –
here is part one
part two
and part three


February fifth would begin the longest work week of  my life. February fifth was  when my long-term sub would come in to shadow me for her first days and my last before my maternity leave. When she walked in wearing a fur – I knew it was going to be a long day.  When she snapped her fingers in one of my student’s faces – well I knew things were going to get interesting – and When she started cleaning my room while I taught some of my final lessons to my ninth graders — I knew that my leave couldn’t come fast enough. Read the rest of this entry

paradigm shift.


part two of kai’s birth story


When Amy returned, she told us they had made space for us in the ultrasound room, and we could hop on down the hall. At this point, though, nothing I did to travel from one place to another looked like hopping. I guess you could call it waddling. As the ultrasound tech swathed my belly in that crazy gel, I prayed. This is not something I’m very good at. That is, talking to the creator. But at this moment I squished my eyes closed and hoped that they would see you head down, the whole while knowing for certain that you were head up, or breech, if you want to be technical. And sure enough there you were, on the screen, head up. A sweet little head tucked under my heart. Read the rest of this entry

Nothing like leaving things till the last minute.


Kai will be a year in a little less than a month.

Nuts huh?

I have promised for nearly every of those eleven months to write down his birth story. And except for a sparse paragraph here and there, I just haven’t gotten it out.

This week I made a commitment to have it finished by his first birthday. And there is no time like the present to begin. This will probably be an epic, so I’m going to post in parts over the next few weeks.


I have never been surprised by anything in my entire life. That is, until you were born. Your father would probably like to think that when he proposed, I had no idea what was going on. But I had inkling, I mean, and I’m assuming you know your father well enough by now to understand my thinking on this, he booked a hotel room and made dinner reservations. How could I not know something was up?

Your birth story really starts 2 weeks and 6 days before you were due to be born, January the 19th. That day after I finished teaching, I went with your father to my 36 week appointment with the Midwives. Towards the end of the appointment, one of my Midwives, Amy was doing my exam and said “hmmph”

– I responded in kind, “hmmph, what?”

“Well,” she said, “I think I feel a hand, but we need to make sure it’s not a foot.” Amy told us to wait right there, and she would check down the hall if they could get us an ultrasound, “just to double check.” For the first time in my whole pregnancy, I was nervous.

That might sound funny coming from your worry wart of a mother, but it’s true. I spent my first eight months of being pregnant with you, very much free of fret and worry. It had been a lovely change. Your father, who is always strong when I need him to be, patted my knee and said, “no worries, don’t cry, like Amy said, it could be a hand.”

See the thing is sweet boy, I had planned this very, intervention-free birth for you. I had these soft, fuzzy images in my head of a miraculous birth with lights low, and music playing, and you being handed right to me, and me just falling all in love with you from the very beginning. And at that very moment, several weeks before you were supposed to be born, it seemed I wasn’t going to get what I wanted.

And the thing is, I always get what I want sweet child. You’ve learned by now that your mama is a control freak, right? Well you should know that my belief that I could truly control the universe had been shored up the day your father and I married. I had prayed for a beautiful sunny day for our outdoor wedding. The Monday before it looked as if the universe had other plans, it was rainy, it was wet, it was miserably cold, and the caterer had emailed, speaking of heaters and sides for our tent. But I stood strong, it would be sunny. I would make sure it would be sunny. And for good measure, just to make sure, I hung your great-great grandmother’s rosary beads outside, just in case. And wouldn’t you know, Saturday came with bright skies, warm breezes and a temperature that was perfect for your mama to walk down the grass covered aisle with Blackbird playing, and the sun on her face. And ever since that day, I had been fairly sure I was tapped in with the Universe’s plans. . .


part two



today is like christmas.

what a wonderful day. i tell baby, the world is a little less scarry today!
though, what is it with states opposing gay marriage?
We’ve been doing it here two and a half years, and guess what folks, the sky, it has not fallen down.

Lately, I’ve been writing with my kids (that is my students, you would be surprised to know I have 90 kids wouldn’t you?)
I’ve been writing with them a lot. It is easier to get them to do something if we do it together.

I wrote this in response to a vingette from Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street, and I thought I would share.


My father has clear blue eyes- a perfect mix of his parents – Gram’s are a lighter, milkier, mother of pearl blue, like jewelry in old fashioned movies – and Grampa’s are steelier, harsher, hard, like he’s still in a ship in the pacific, during wwii

My eyes are dark — chestnut brown and almond shaped. They are the eyes of my mother, and her mother before her, and her father before her, and his mother before him. I am the fifth or maybe more generation of these eyes. I know since I have seen the pictures of my great-great-grandma Isabelle, who must have stood strong with these eyes, with her infant son in her hand, a widow so young, her husband gone form a hunting accident, while they auctioned off her farm—five generations of eyes see much.

I wonder what the next generation of eyes will bring– will my baby have blue eyes or dark, or maybe like my love, sweet green-grey eyes that catch golden flecks, like leaves in late September – though, I only wish for my baby, eyes that will see clearly the whole world around.