Monday, May 13, 2013

Smilin' In The 'Hood

I guess y'all could tell from my previous post I don't much care for hospitals.  Beats me as to why soap operas feel the need to base their story lines on them. Personally I do not find all that green paint and stainless steel sexy in the least.  I had days to look, but couldn't find one thing to fan the flames of desire...unless you count my desire to get the heck outta Dodge.

 For the record, I didn't have a single doctor, much less an intern, try to talk me outta my non-slip socks or even think of enticing me into joining him in the supply closet.  Maybe my "come hither" look was a bit too cock-eyed for their liking or maybe it was my peek-a-boo gown that scarred scared them.  That's okay y'all 'cause I didn't care much for their...ahem...bedside manner either.  Besides, their hands were always cold and Eau de pHisoHex has never been my favorite manly scent.  I'm more of a Lava and Old Spice gal myself!

The only good thing I found in being incarcerated for a week was the time it gave me to think.  A girl can only sleep so much you know...even on pain meds.

(Did I mention I only got decaf coffee in the mornings?  Now I ask y''s a girl to get in the mood for amour du jour without caffeine? Impossible to get the ol' blood roiling when there's no Starbucks flowing in the veins!)

I've only been in the hospital for any length of time 3 times in my life.  Twice when becoming a mother and once when having my remaining chance for further motherhood removed.


Be glad I'm not doing a rant post on the cost of medical care nowadays.  I'm pretty sure my three previous stays added together wouldn't be as much as a hospital stay is now.  I wish I'd taken a photo of the sign in my room that read "We strive for very good care".  Really?  Whatever happened to excellent care? Also, what the heck is going on and why is the push for medical devices now the big deal?  It's got me wondering how the heck folks survived anything 15 years ago! But like I said...I'm not going to get on a soapbox about it...for now!  I'll just say between the insurance companies and medical product lobbyists tying the caregivers know.

   Meanwhile back at the ranch...

(Hard to believe that in two short days after this photo was taken Easter I would be sick as a dog!)

like I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, becoming a mother was two of my stays.

I was young...very young...when I had the oldest melonhead.  When I had him, I had never changed a diaper, much less even held a baby.  I thought I didn't even like children.

(Factoid: His birthday was earlier this month.  Second factoid:  Both my of my children were delivered at 10 months! Jenn to the day.)

Lying in my bed at Baylor, I remembered the first time I was left alone with him.  Me who hadn't ever held a baby...remember?  Was I scared you ask?

You betcha.  Pea green.

I sat there in a chair, him in my arms, scared as all get out to move...much less breathe...afraid I would wake him and not know what to do.  For two hours I just sat there staring at this tiny creature, my heart pounding in my ears, trying not to cry when out of the blue...he smiled.  Y'all know the smile I'm talking about.  The one the nurses call gas, but I think differently.  In my heart of hearts, I know those sweet, smirky smiles are the baby's response to angels whispering in its ear.  God knew I was terrified beyond belief and I truly believe it was His way of letting Joey reassure me, in the only way he could, it was gonna be okay and he knew I'd never hurt him, but love him with all my heart.

It was the same with the Bella Mama.  She was born green as grass due to MAS and had to stay in the NICU for a week.  My OB/GYN, God love him, finagled it to where I wasn't released until she was.  Again I was one scared mama, but for different reasons.  I had to scrub up and don hospital duds just to go in and see her.  The day I got to actually hold her?  I can't even describe the joy I felt as I smiled through the tears at the wonder of her and her resiliency.  Resiliency forged at her birth that would serve her well with the birth of Bella.  God always at work at the details...even at the beginning of life.

(For all you young mothers out there who are wondering if you can possibly love a second child as much as your can and will.  Just when you get to thinking your heart couldn't possibly love any the Grinch's, it grows 3 times with each child.  Trust me on this one.  It takes 3x's to hold all the love you feel for each and every baby and still it spills over!)

On the day we brought Jenn home, my little lucky charm was no longer the color of a four leaf clover, but was perfection in cream with strawberry hair.  My but that baby was teeny tiny at 5 pounds. So small everyone but me was scared to touch her...even her daddy.  Mother came and helped me the first week and even she was a little frightened of her so we made a deal.  She'd take care of Joey and I'd take care of Jenn.  Looking back and remembering, I know she got the short end of the stick, 'cause Oh Mylanta, he was quite the handful!

Which brings me 'round to my mother.

(Open that can Helen 'cause what's a picnic without pork and beans?)

My mother loved being in the hospital.  Raising three rambunctious kids couldn't have been a picnic.  For her, it was comparable to a trip to a spa.  No kids to deal with, all her meals served in bed.  No bathroom to clean.  Waited on hand and foot and the center of attention.  If we came to see her (which we did) fine, if not, why that was fine too.  With all the books she could read while reclining in a bed that adjusted to her whim, she was content.  What could be sweeter?

That was how she dealt with life.  She took any given situation that was thrown at her and made the best of it.  Even at the end, when finding the good seemed impossible...her heart and health deteriorating...she was still smiling.  When we said goodbye for the last time, that smile is what I remember making the unbearable bearable,.  That smile told us she knew there was a better world awaitin' and at the end of her life, she was happy with the knowledge she was loved and at peace with the life she had lived.

It's kinda like the oldest melonhead pointed out to me while I was whining lamenting my incarceration.  He reminded me of something I would tell them when they were growing up.

When life seems to cover you up in crap...start digging.  With that much crap heaped up, there's bound to be a pony in there somewhere.

Law, but I hate it when my words come back to bite me in the butt, but I listened and I started digging.
And by golly...there it little ponies.

(A beautiful immigrant bridal trunk we just bought at an estate sale. think a little ol' thing like a leash and harness is gonna keep this ol' grey mare from a good sale? Think again y'all!)

I was given time to reflect and remember precious memories.  And if that wasn't enough, to date I've lost over 20 pounds...although this is not a diet plan I'd recommend to everyone.

But the time...oh yes...that I hope you are given and if not, take it anyway.  Steal it if you have to.  I won't tell.

I hope everyone reading this had the time yesterday to remember their own precious memories of motherhood and mothering.  Write them down, frame them, carry them in your heart forever.  These are the things that will sustain you when days are dark. 

Why else would God give us the ability to forget the pain of childbirth, but remember the joy of being a big part of someone's life and they ours?  Oh and for the takes more than blood to be a mother.  It takes unconditional love for others regardless of age or circumstance.  That is mothering at it's best.

Happy Mother's Day...just a day late.

Now I think I'll go saddle up my unicorn!

~Hold her head up Ma. She's goin' to the barn!~Cat Daddy 


holli said...

You're such a beautiful writer. I could read this post over and over again.
I hope your Mothers' Day was a great one. That trunk is stunning!
Hugs xoxox

Stephanie said...

So happy to see a post from you my dear! I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Laura said...

You're so smart.
That's pretty much it.
I am so glad you are on the mend and writing your dice throwing sentences again.


Olive said...

I just said I hoped nothing exciting happened over the weekend and sure enough it did! I am glad you are home PICC line and all. I am an RN and I detest hospitals too. ICK. Big Big Hugs Olive

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Gosh I'm so behind...just catching up with you and am so sorry you've been sick! But, am so glad you didn't lose your sense of humor and outlook on life! Loved reading your last few posts, nobody makes me giggle like you do! Oh, and as for soap operas and hospitals...are there ever any good looking doctors around ~ only on TV!!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I'll say it again, I love how you paint pictures of wonderful memories, felt like I really there, your hospital stay and all! Hope you had a great Mother's Day friend.

Vintage Home said...

You are a true story teller and a delightful inspiration! I got to spend the day yesterday with my family...which now includes our dear grandson!
Glad you are in the saddle again!
Glad you are praising our Lord!

Sue said...

I so loved your story my friend. But then again, I always do. Keep taking good care of yourself, okay?

Take care,

Ann said...

loved the photo of the "tailgate party"!!! it is fabulous!
so sorry you were in the hospital...hoping you are much better.
ohhh...i have not forgotten the pain and agony of back labor!!!..22 hours..was convinced i was dying..even asked the nurse to find a good home for my baby after i died!nope..will never forget!!!
luckily..the others were c-sections..far more civilized!!! cut in an acceptable area and plenty of pain relief after!!! back in those days..(i was an nicu r.n. at the hospital i delivered at)it was pain killers and cigarettes...nursing a newborn and having meals delivered!!! back then..a 5 day stay(a day added just "cause!!!).
haven't had a full nights sleep since then!!!(once they sleep through the are up worrying about them!!!)
wouldn't trade motherhood for anything!!!
it has been the most important and rewarding thing i have ever done.

Lisa said...

I love this post. Wish I'd read it on MD but it was a busy, busy weekend. What a beautiful story. Mother's Day is very intense for me. I think I've shared the story of my kids with you & what we went thru for them. I don't know if I've told you I lost my Mom to cancer on Mothers Day when they were only 2. So on MD I think how lucky I am that God blessed me with not one but 3 amazing kids. I think also he knew I needed a miracle to get me thru losing my Mom.
Wow, it's way to early to get heavy like this so let me just say you scored big time at the estate sale. Can I be your assistant? Chauffeur? Bag carrier?

Bohemian said...

What a profound Post and I'm glad you're feeling better and got released... I too am not a big Fan of Hospitals, but sometimes the Sideline Time of Infirmity can and will give you Precious Time for Reflection and to Rest and be Still... something I rarely do when I'm not sick. I Loved your Mom Memories being Shared... and always with a great Sense of Humor.

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Deb!

I had no idea you were sick, and I am so glad you are on the mend. Your story telling belong around camp fire....they are told with such love, laughter, and truth as well! I will have to remember the crap and pony line!
I totally get the hospital thing, and I won't go into a rant over that as would be pages long! But know that you are loved and you sharing your thoughts are a gift to us all. Thanks for visiting my btw...always makes my day brighter.

Big hugs