Monday, April 15, 2013
Four weeks before the race, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my leg. I ran under water.
I ran the whole 26.2 miles by myself in a sea of other people with even more gripping stories. I saw a firefighter running in full uniform in solidarity with firefighters who died September 11. There was the man with the prosthetic leg for running that stood out so strongly in my mind. I had thought I had a lot to overcome. And I had. The marathon gave me the control I needed to feel and made me feel strong. It made me healthier and a better writer. It marked the beginning of health changes I'm glad I made.
When I crossed the finish line, I cried. It still makes me tear up to think of now. I took the first beer someone passed me and bawled. It was a huge accomplishment and the endorphins and the sea of successful goals I was swimming in was glorious. It was worth every Saturday morning I hadn't wanted to get up. It was worth feeling silly walking in a pool.
The more I read about Boston, the more angry I am that someone took this away from runners. The thought that some of these runners lost more than their finish line, that they lost limbs, is more than I can bare. And I can't even touch the sadness of the death of a child.
The finish line of the marathon was the single most pointed triumph of my life. I cannot fathom the tragedy of losing a limb just shy of that success.
Next year, I'm certain there will be volunteers from around the country there to support the race. I'm sure doctors and paramedics will volunteer and that mental health professionals will offer services to those in need. I'm certain there will be a finish line and that beautiful legs and costumes and joy will cross it. I'm also certain that one of these victims will run Boston next year with a prosthesis and the profound triumph of the human spirit will shock the socks off of me again. But tonight, I'm deeply sad for the losses of the day.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
My due date was 1/3/13, so when I woke on 1/4/13 with regular surges, and losing some pieces of mucus plug (pretty much the grossest term ever,) I figured it would be that day. So I texted my doulah and hypnobirthing instructor to let her know that it was likely to be soon. Then things stopped again. I got up to get something to eat and do some work in the kitchen and things stalled out again. My mom had planned to take my son Magnus anyway, so we just went with that plan and Rob decided to stay home for the day with me even though I wasn't sure he'd need to.
We took a slow morning which was a delightful thing we never do. Then we had sex to help move things along, which I have to say I did not think sounded good so much as necessary but turned out to be really enjoyable. Seriously, pretty much never a bad idea. It wasn't long after that that I felt things pick up. We'd planned to have Magnus come back for nap and my mom and I planned to take the dogs out on a trail for a short and very slow walk. We went ahead with that and my surges really picked up as soon as she picked me up. We walked a short ways on the trail and I'd had to stop several times to move my hips and center myself to manage a surge, so I decided we should turn around. I really knew it was going when we pulled into my driveway which has a very steep lip on it and the bump combined with a surge to steal my breath. It was a little rough. Still, I was worried I needed to poop and that the pain was more gas-related than uterine, so I didn't say anything to Rob when I came home.
Magnus was sleeping fitfully and I heard him cry out in his sleep. I crawled into his bed and held him for about 20 minutes and smelled his soft head and just enjoyed what I knew would probably be the last nap with him for a while. When I came out it was about 3:45 and I told Rob we should start calling people. A surge came, then another 8 minutes later, then 7 minutes, then 6 and I could tell the intensity level was rising. I told Rob to let my mom know to plan to take Magnus right after nap and that we should ask the doula to come over. He called the midwife as well to let her know not to drive back to her home town (which is quite a ways from here.)
Michelle, our doula, arrived shortly thereafter and Rob began filling the birth tub. By now it was about 5 pm and there was no question that this was labor. Still, the surges felt like they were far worse and more gastric and that if I could just release some gas, they would be much more manageable. It was probably only about 20 minutes after Michelle arrived that I went inward and stopped interacting much. I focused on Michelle's instructions and her touch when she'd tell me where to release and where to move the energy of my body. I focused on Rob when he told me I was breathing well and it became the only thing I heard and focused me on continuing to breathe.
The birth tub took time to fill since our hot water ran out part way through. We had to wait for it to refill. Then, unfortunately, the tub had filled with some cold water as well which had layered itself such that when the midwife, Alli, measured the temp, it read warm, but actually there was a layer of very cold water underneath.
Once I was in, though, there was no getting me out. Shaking or teeth chattering or no, I was not getting out. So, Michelle boiled pots and pots of water and poured them in and between that and a towel I wore over my shoulders, it would be enough to make it doable.
We put the hypnobirthing affirmations on. I thought I would want the relaxation track that I'd practiced relaxing to for the past several months but the birthing affirmations were what I wanted. Her voice calmed me and reminded me that my body could do this. Rob and Michelle constantly reminded me I could do this. Rob touched my face and gently traced his fingers along my upper back and occasionally kissed me (I think,) and he was the only connection I had to the outside world. I needed him like never before and he was wholly there and it made all the difference. There is nothing more important than that moment and a coach that made the baby to begin with and cares so much about how you're doing is the most amazing thing.
After some time in the tub, I felt like I might fart or poop and that it would help ease the surges, but whenever I tried to release anything it brought on a surge and I couldn't separate the release from actual pushing which I did not want to do. I wanted to allow the baby to come gently and not push this time. I'd pushed for 2 hours with Magnus and it had been exhausting and not particularly efficient. Also, I didn't feel the baby crowning so I kept thinking it was too early to push.
So I farted a little and it helped but I also nearly pushed so I continued to fight it and just focus on trying really hard to listen to Rob's voice and keep my lower abdomen relaxed through each surge. I just tried to take each surge as it came and focus on what he said. Sometimes it worked and I was able to not tense up and those surges were much more manageable. Other times, I whined and cried that I couldn't do it. He never wavered in telling me that I was doing great and that I was breathing well and just to relax.
Then I felt something I couldn't fight any more and my body began to push. I thought the midwife and doula were telling me to wait, but it turns out they were saying to go ahead and push. I pushed really hard and felt the head and then the body come out all in one push. I think someone said, "That's the head. That's the body!"I'm also pretty sure I heard my doulah say "Oh my god." Thank fucking god, it was over! I had never felt my water break though or the head crown so I was really surprised. As it turns out, he was born in the caul, meaning my bag of waters didn't break-- considered very rare and fortuitous for the baby.
At 7:13 pm on 1/4/13, Gavin Patrick Murphy joined us in the birthing tub at home. Since he was born before bedtime, his big brother along with his Grandma Marsha were able to make it over to say hi right after he was born.
It became real to me when Magnus said "Hi Gavin." And I cried smooshy, mooshy mama tears. I just love this baby stuff.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Friday, June 1, 2012
"I'll totally punch you and steal your lunch. What? I'm pregnant."
"I have to watch Grey's Anatomy now. I'm hormonally predisposed due to pregnancy."
"Shit happens when you party naked. Like pregnancy. Get it? I partied naked and now there's going to be lots of baby shit."
"Wanna see how much yoga pants can stretch? Watch me for the six next months. Due Jan 2013."
"Seriously, hand your lunch over. I'm pregnant and hungry. I'm not fuckin around."
"You've got to be kidding me! Lunchmeat? All that bullying and I can't even eat this!"
Looking forward to the current household indigents getting a new resident on or abouts January 3, 2013, you know, minus the giving birth part. That part's fucking horrifying.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
I took an test for my teaching license in Denver yesterday and went to a bridal shower and then fell asleep after putting Magnus to bed at 8. Which means I woke up at four. Sleep is stupid. There's never enough of it and I always screw it up.
I miss crapping by myself. Now there's this toddler who wants to come sit in the room with his snacks which is just gross. And since he's allowed in the room, the dog and the cat have to come see if the rules have changed for them. They haven't. Or shit, I don't care, whatever. I just miss not subconsciously echoing Magnus "poop!" "Yes, mommy's pooping." "Pee, pee." "Yes, you go pee pee in the potty." And on.
I got to use a babysitter to go to the OB the other day though. That's totally what I want to do with my kid-free time. Here's what I think is weird about the twat doctor trip: when they walk out of the room for you to take off the bottom part of your outfit. Then you sit for an indeterminate amount of time with a paper blanket on your bottom half but looking all normal and reading a book on the top half. Makes me feel like one of those children's books with animal parts. You know, where you turn the page and get an ostrich's feet and a giraffe head? I feel like that.
A lot of my identity feels split like that. Formal on top, silly bottom. My favorite tease-Rob tactic lately is a dramatic bottom shaking. It's a stylish dance I'm perfecting over time.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I almost emailed to ask if it was hairy. Huh, huh. I put my hairy Love Sac on Craigslist.
Friday, April 20, 2012
It doesn't happen a lot anymore. I live in a place that I'm perfectly suited for and that's partly why. I'm also good-looking and a lot of leeway comes with looks and age. But when my friends from home hang out, the middle schooler peaks out of me. Facebook is the worst for this. I should really abstain more.
When I lived in St. Louis, I was never part of any group. I had friends who were drug dealers, and friends from the honor's society. I had friends who were in college, and friends who were in drama at my school. I sprawled and felt awkward in most of those settings. I liked learning about different people and I always had a few folks in any given group that I felt a connection with. So I lingered on the outskirts of lots of groups.
I was never happy living there. Circumstances were never right, I never felt like I fit. Eventually, I gave up and left. I moved to Colorado and I've been happy ever since. And even though, I'm the one who did the leaving. Still, sometimes when the core of one of those groups has gotten together and had a good time, I feel like a loser who got stuffed in a locker and forgotten about. That's the thing. Of course they forget about me. I haven't lived anywhere near them in 9 years. But on certain vulnerable days, I feel sad and left out when my friends who are still friends and see each other often, stay friends and see each other often.
Oh, and I've been applying for jobs. Which involves a lot of rejection in the current employment climate. It's not exactly uplifting. While thinking, or obsession as the case may be, about what to say on a cover letter for example, I compulsively check email or FB or whatever. Which also means, I start to get a little wacky and free with the commenting. Then I found a job I thought sounded really interesting. So I contacted the only person I know who works for that organization. Wouldn't you know it, on FB. And then I realized he'd be my boss. Which is probably super uncomfortable and stupid but whatever.
Also, all this writing has had me on the computer a lot. Tomorrow, I'm taking a break to go to Denver and attend an information session on attending grad school. I'm seriously considering getting a Master's in creative writing. Is that the dumbest thing you've ever heard or what? What the hell does anyone do with a Master's in Creative Writing?
Thursday, April 12, 2012
So then Magnus decides to take the advice instead. I catch him in time. He's only licked a little bit of flavory wax off his fingers when I stop him. My house is getting taller and taller by the minute. The high shelves are in demand and getting fuller and more crammed. And damned if I can ever find my beer.
I remark on having caught him in time when Rob shares with me not to worry: the candles aren't toxic. He knows from calling poison control. He was wise not to mention this to me. I've turned into some what of a fretter, in a way I'm not especially proud of. I'm afraid I may raise a mama's boy.
A short time later, Rob shares how he spent 20 minutes driving around town because he was so enjoying singing Concrete Blonde's "Joey" at the top of his lungs but was determined to get through the entire song without laughing and was having trouble. Not laughing. He was having trouble not laughing. Singing "Joey" at the top of his lungs for 20 minutes wasn't a problem at all. That's why the 20 minutes. I swear I'll start whislting it if he ever comes to a meeting I'm at late.
In other news, I've been spending some time on creative writing and started this blog:
My plan is to do some writing on there every day for six months. We'll see how it goes. I know I've been known to start other blog projects in the past and... ahem, not follow through. Hopefully I'm more deligent on this one.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Then we came back to the mountains and dyed more eggs with Magnus and my nieces and then I went to a BBQ at a friend's.
I stopped nursing recently. My first response was to tear up. No tears actually exited my eyes. But then I discovered why women talk about having their bodies back. I can leave and go to a BBQ or out with the girls and bedtime is not disrupted. I don't feel weird about boobs during sex now. And in theory at least, I could buy a sexy bra now. And there's subtle things to that. Like that I actually went out with the girls and got hit on and didn't feel like I was stealing a small child's dinner to do it. All those subtle ways remind me of how much I like being in my skin. Moving around in the world and saying the weird things I say and shaking my ass in a dive bar. Just good to be out and about in spring.
Monday, April 2, 2012
In college I was going to quit and become a truck driver. Well, until I started having seizures and stopped being allowed to drive. That was kinda sucky.
Today I lost my first piano student before it even started. She just found another teacher closer to her house. Nothing I should take personally. But I'm just about out of patience with not know what the fuck I'm doing. So I took it kinda hard.
My escape was to Borneo this time. To be totally honest, I don't even know that I could find Borneo on a map. Well, with some time, I'm sure I could. Pacific somewhere, right? See.
Anyway, I told my mom I was quitting life and moving to Borneo and she told me the following:
My grandfather was stationed in Borneo. He didn't like it. Said that pigs were very important to the family there. So much so that he'd once seen a human woman nurse a pig.
Its annoying when even my escape route has an image of a loose-titted woman nursing a pig from around the corner.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I'm in Taos with a friend for a really quick trip. The idea was to spend the day in town milling about today and then ski tomorrow. Skiing's generally the highlight of any trip for me. I go to bed early for skiing. I forgo drinking in favor of skiing. I hump skiing. Ok, maybe not the humping part. But the rest.
But this trip... it might be today that was the best part of the trip. I usually only have the time of my life and the strange encounters and quirky wonderful people experiences when I'm by myself. But this time, oy. Such good stuff. I feel like packing my shit and moving here after just a few hours of being here.
It just fits. Some places have the exact imprint of your hand in a glove as you slip it in. And its orgasmic- that fit.
We rolled up and found the earthships. A community of sustainable housing. I showed a video on these homes made from mud and tires and cans that use no electricity they don’t make and no water they don’t capture to a bunch of teenagers once. They were rapt in attention and completely invested in the ideas and technology of the alternative homes we talked about. They all wanted one whent hey grew up. So off we went to tour the earthships. And you know what? When I grow up, I want one! The places catch rainwater to supply the home’s water. The water from your sink and shower is then run through planters that grow food all along the walls of the home. Then the runoff from that goes into your toilet when you flush. Because seriously, why on earth does the water that flushes my shit need to be filtered fresh? I’m going to poop in it.
The earthships are making their way around the world. They train building crews pretty often and send them to put up shelter after disasters all over the world. They also have a housing development for richy rich folks in Taos. And they’re working on building some affordable housing for Taos. Meaning they would charge about $1000/year for a room and you’d have no utility bill. How sweet is that? I left thinking, “That’s a possibility. Maybe Rob and I could get involved in that.”
Just before going to the frenchman’s, we went to a wonderful gallery full of artwork I’d love to own. Lots of artwork I see in galleries, I can easily walk away from without a second thought. Well, or the second thought is, what the fuck are people thinking puking away money on that crap. But I loved the work in there. If had an extra few tens of thousands of dollars around, I’d have a newly decorated room in my house. The proprieter there struck me as an awestruck teenager who’d spent 30 years following an artist around trying to be cool enough. But unsuccessfully. We humored her and listened to her and looked at the artwork she makes herself (wax dragons.) She clearly plays D&D in her parents basement even though she’s well into her 40s if not 50s. We left, ready to go and CERTAINLY not expecting the delight that was the Frenchman’s shop.
Frenchy man’s antique shop.
This part of the trip alone was worth the trip. Robert is the proprieter of a quirky antique shop with human teeth and a black velvet grid display case full of human teeth. He’s wonderful. With a thick French accent, we stood and listened to his stories for hours. Just before we left, he told me, “When I see a pretty girl like you come in ‘ere, I sink, If I were sree month ‘younger…”
He told us a story about a bear in his home and calling the police in. He was so worked up, he talked to the police at length before realizing he was naked shortly after a police officer told him to put his weapon away. The story’s not complete without a 73 year old French accent and gestuers though. Not to mention the swear words littered into the conversation. And you know how I love swear words!
He also told of trying to avoid jury duty by telling a judge that he doesn’t speak enough English (the judge knew he was a former professor so called him out.) He then told a room full of people that he ahs to pee every 5 minutes.
There was a man in his shop that clearly had issues. He told me about his 3 children being removed with 2 tallboys up his sleeve still in a paper bag. The shopkeeper told us stories of this man and how he is a petty thief but one who also fixes his airconditioner for free and grew up blind until he was 7 and has just led a rough life all around. He figures if someone steals $40 here and there but fixes his air conditioner for free, its fine. He said they all take care of him like that. He also complained about people getting bent out of shape about breastfeeding.
Finally, he talked about being a foster parent for his son’s best friend. How can you not love that. He said he said no at first but that he came home and there ewas his wife and the boy and his son and two people from the state and his wife had that look that meant: he would be a foster parent.
I LOVE this town. And I haven’t even skied yet. The last thing the Frenchman told us was about how steep the skiing at Taos is. I’m going to pee myself with excitement over tomorrow!
Monday, March 19, 2012
But now. NOW! I'm so happy. And scared to even type it. When life is good, you don't write about it. The goodness is bigger and better than my words. I'll pierce it like a balloon and all the good will goosh out and ruin things.
The words that are coming faster, fasterfasterfasertefastfasfaRRRRRRRRRRRR out of Magnus. His laugh and the time I'm spending with him. I'm redefining what makes me happy. What luxurious is. Its not going out for meals. Or getting new clothes. Its having time to make good meals. Goood. Its snuggling up and time for morning kisses.
My life is boring to write about. Its about grocery store trips and reading lift-the-flap books 3 times in a row. Its just another boring life. On paper. But to live it. I chase Magnus around ooh, oohing and aahhh, ahhing. He says "monkey" the same as "mama." Cracks my shit up. He says mama and pounds his chest and cracks up. He runs at me so full force that he ends up headbutting me and crying the rush of his exuberance and love so fast and free. These moments fill all my cracks and spaces. They take up space that used to be filled with fears for other people's children. These moments feel infinite, but they're not. There will be a day, not all that far away, when I put him on a bus and send him to school.
I'm redefining luxury. This life. This good, good life. Its luxurious.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
their sadness cutting lines
in a pavement walkway
between the front door: a grand entrance
lain with gold
and the dank side door
I bet it opens to basement stairs
on those lined up to go down
indoor outdoor carpet
many a deep-creased brow
same down caste eyes
disparity of reason
their sadness cutting them apart
a mingling in the front
a line down the side
One a funeral
the other a soup kitchen line
I wonder how many veterans
Thursday, February 23, 2012
A gal I know wrote recently about thinking that people who are parents and do extreme sports should reconsider when they become parents. I'm not sure I agree. Maybe to a point. But it would be like asking an artist to give up her palette for me to stop skiing steeps. To not take a chance here and there. Maybe its something you just can't understand if its not what you love. What you live and breathe.
I love the feel of skis beneath my feet. I mean, love. The feel of skis beneath my feet. I step into my skis and instantly become me. I love pushing against the ground and feeling my muscles making their presence known in my fun. Its exercise and cool and strong and confident. I don't have to pick out my outfit. I don't put makeup on. I just go. And fast. I love floating on a powder day. How you feel your skis lift up and down to turn instead of leaning side to side.
I love sharing it with others. I love to teach them and watch them grow in the sport. I like thinking about how to explain what you do with your body in simple terms that help someone get better. Help them access an ability they didn't have a moment ago. I love when they used to be afraid but they're not anymore: they're excited. I love that people feel confident they'll get better when I'm around and want to ski with me. I even slightly enjoy when men get over-confident thinking "well, if she can do it." Its resulted in more than a few broken bones and humbled egos.
I like that its a slight counter culture. A break from the rat race. Its cool and easy and full of slang. Sick, yo. That outfit's steezy. Did you see him throw that switch 9? Sicky, illy, powpow!
I love being outside. I love the quiet of the snow and the woods.
I love looking down the mountain and thinking creatively about my line. I love to think of the way water would flow and follow it. I love sticking my line and feeling like water. Strong and indestructible and smooth and beautiful. Its calming and exhilarating all at once. It is yin and yang. It is nearly a religion for me. A form of prayer and communing with others and with nature.