Monday, May 19, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog

This post will be pretty off-topic, but I love my city so I wanted to share this.

Four hundred fifty days before its 450th birthday, Pensacola will begin the celebration.

The public is invited to the kick-off event to "Celebrate Pensacola" at 5 p.m. Friday at the Escambia County Courthouse. The culmination of the celebration will come on Aug. 15, 2009, with a big birthday party.

Don Tristan de Luna and his band of Spanish explorers sloshed ashore somewhere along Pensacola Bay in 1559. Two years later, the settlement was gone, besieged by a hurricane and other problems.

As for my personal part in the festivities and celebration, I have followed this template and written my "where I'm from" poem. Enjoy!

Where I’m From
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I am from a hot sidewalk on tanned bare feet, from Cool Whip and melting grape Popsicles and sounds like Pepsi Cola.

I am from the house with seventeen pine trees and two banana trees, a yard filled with children, a grill that always smells like last night’s barbecue and a cracked concrete patio stained with muddy foot (and paw) prints.

I am from palm trees and orange blossom, azaleas and sand-spurs, seaweed and the gritty ocean breeze, from sand in your hair and in your toes and everywhere in between.

I am from vowells and dabbs, with a Half but no Steps, Granddad’s hidden candy bars, Mary’s back rubs and money, both old and new.

From “wait ‘til your daddy gets home,” Stille Nacht and don’t wake the baby (there was always a baby).

I am from three-to-a-tub, mom’s home at five and the great Blue Birds flyin’ in that hot Florida sky.

I am from faithful church-hopping, endless summertime VBS and always, always Hopkins wax paper-covered, fat-filled absolutely the most delicious Southern fare this side of anywhere.

I’m from Spanish lore and conquistadors, quests for gold, Five Flags and forts of old.

From the time Great Uncle I forget who nearly chopped his foot off cutting wood and had it wrapped in turpentine and rags because there was no hospital and mama and daddy honeymooning on a beach they didn’t know was topless.

I am from the backs of closets, lining the walls. From baskets and under beds and in old backpacks and all those nightgowns mama got for each birth (there were seven). From seven birth certificates, first-day-of-school shoes, three sets of bunk beds, and from knowing five different ways to get anywhere I want to go.

From survives hurricanes and supports troops, from trains pilots and tans visitors. From hopefully not many shark attacks and knowing that horrible secret that takes the yee-ow from a jellyfish sting. From knowing a red light means stop and a red flag means don’t go in the water.

And knowing in my heart that Dorothy Gail had it right, except that maybe there’s no place like home and the people who make it so.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The legacy my mother leaves

I am the oldest of seven children. There are five girls and two boys. The boys are right in the middle: girl, girl, girl, boy, boy, girl, girl. Seven singletons. No twins (and, because we were often asked: no, we’re not Catholic).

My mother had three vaginal births, then a c-section, then three VBACs. Her VBACs were in the late 80s, early 90s.

All seven of my mother’s births were epidural-free hospital births. For her cesarean she had general anesthesia because it was an emergency situation and there was no time for an epidural or spinal.

I am 27 years old and my youngest sibling will be 16 in June.

This is the birth legacy my mother left to her children:

Birth is usually safe.

Judicious use of life-saving medical technology is imperative.

A mother’s pain or discomfort should not trump her child’s well-being.

Babies should be born vaginally if at all possible.

Cesareans should be considered carefully, and should only be performed when the life of the mother or child is in immediate danger.

This is the legacy I hope to leave my children as well.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

At da doctor in case your house is on fire

This is my daughter discussing what she has been taught about birth. When asked, she says babies come out of the "fer-gina", but if for some reason the baby can't come out of the vagina, the "doctor cuts a hole" for the baby to come out. She also says that we have our babies at home, unless there is an emergency. In her mind, an "emergency" is your house being on fire. So she says, "you have your baby at da doctor in case your house is on fire"

Monday, May 5, 2008

International Midwives Day

Happy Midwives Day! To celebrate, I am going to show the blogosphere what my midwife did for me.

This is a picture of my son and me leaving the hospital. I'm smiling and laughing because I'm so happy to be leaving the hospital with my gut intact. My midwife did that!

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This is the photo montage of Caleb's birth. What a wonderful gift a midwife is!!