About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Angst Rippling Away

Photo credit:
J. D. Morehouse

Barnes & Noble was a bust last night. The one square foot of shelf space dedicated to fitness and exercise was occupied by books on only Pilates, Yoga, and losing one's "mummy tummy" after childbirth. I went home and ordered my marathon walker's bible online, paid extra for quick shipping and expect it soon.

When insomnia visits, I've learned to go to peaceful or pastel places in my head. When I try to resolve world hunger or global warming or peace in the Middle East, I ensure that I'll never drift off. I never get those things resolved, either.

So last night, sleepless, I tried to think whether I'd ever taken anything on like this walk. And I have! And I was good at it. I exceeded the expectations I had of myself and that anyone else had of me.

I have a memory like an elephant and I'm sentimental. I can give you the dates that most important life events occurred. I have a friend who celebrates April 8, 1968 with me because that's the day we met in person for the first time. People wonder why my cool big belt buckle sports "1968". Because it was a momentous year for me.

Twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play and I learned that I was pregnant for the first time in my life. This was startling news to me as we had tried to make that happen for more than 18 years, it didn't happen, Blue Cross and we threw an awful lot of money at fertility treatments that had no effect, we gave up hoping with much regret and moved on, accepting we'd have no child. I now had a career that ate up to 20 hours of my day 6 days a week and my huband had the same career with the same hours, except he worked throughout the entire state of California. We weren't home much! For me, the age of 40 was not too far distant.

This pregnancy was harrowing. I was pretty sick pretty much of the time for nearly 10 months. Lots of time in the emergency room. I was scared of every part of it. Scared I'd lose Amber and never have another chance. But mostly, I was scared of childbirth. I'd grown up hearing the horror stories and the glory stories from all the women relatives and friends. I knew that 100,000 women could tell me how it was for them, but not how it was going to be for me. The thought of being an old first time mother lying screaming (read this "looking foolish, not admirable") made me cringe. So what did I do?

I got myself educated. Lamaze classes, every book in the world, a TLC network series. I told my husband and my girlfriend who would join us at the birthing center what I wanted and needed from them. [Note to self today: educate yourself so you'll enter the endeavor from a standpoint of knowledge, if not experience!]

One of the best things I've ever done in a long life occurred during the 36 hours of labor we shared, Amber and me. I used what I had learned and it was effective for me. I only failed to breathe through two contractions, saying, "I can't. I'm too tired." Each of those was so bad, I quickly huffed through the next and all of the rest of the contractions. In a highly dramatic finish, Amber's heart became distressed after 35+ hours and she was delivered some 18 minutes after Dr. Zucconi said, "We're going to the OR, stat." I talked to everyone in the OR throughout that C-section. I'd been logical throughout. I didn't forget how to use the tools, tips and tricks I'd learned. I gave birth to a human being who was nearly as large as I was at the time.

And that puts a little 26.2 mile walk into perspective. Learning to do new things well is a thread in my tapestry.

In my ears right now: Benson Bird tearing the holy Ned out of the cage fixtures. My voice hollering, "Little dude, stop it. Do not tear up the parakeet palace."

Something that charmed me today: Thinking about Dr. Zucconi coming into the exam room to say, "You're pregnant. I have never said this with such surprise to any patient." The ex-husband letting out a war whoop of pure joy. Me sitting stunned and wondering what just hit me.


  1. Psh...the marathon will be a cake walk compared to giving birth!

  2. That's what I'm thinking (hoping). But even if it's no cake walk, I'm reminded that I have done difficult things well after getting enough information. Thanks for the encouragement.