Monsters, Zombies, Witches, and The Great Pumpkin

Halloween is HERE! That means trick-or-treating, dressing up as something scary, or something pretty, parties and spooky stories and spooky movies.

We seem to be a little obsessed with this Holiday and it’s pretty obvious why–who doesn’t enjoy the gruesome bloody zombies, evil witches, crafty wizards (thank you Harry Potter) ghost stories, ghost movies, and monsters that eat you up, and then of course there is the “Great Pumpkin.”

I am a HUGE Peanuts fan, and when I read a piece of Charles Schulz Biography I was surprised to discover that, “It is often recounted that Charles Schulz was a Christian. This is true but incomplete. After his baptism Schulz was for many years an active and zealous member of the Church of God. But as the years passed Schulz’s faith began to cool as be became increasingly disillusioned with religion.” It surprised me, but then again, those comic strips and movies I adored suddenly made a lot of sense.

I have struggled myself with religion and I although I consider myself a “believer” I watched the “Great Pumpkin” and realized just how much I relate to Linus. No matter how crazy, how many times I have been disappointed, no matter how many times people in my life laugh at me for what I believe, I keep sitting in the pumpkin patch waiting… For what? Could it be happiness? Could it be peace? Could it be belonging? Could it be our perception of a perfect life without any problems? Could it be our true selves? Or God?

Maybe Halloween is such a fascinating Holiday because we can relate in some way to the monster, the zombie, the evil witch or wizard because we know we are not perfect- in some ways we sometimes feel like we are outcasts of society because of our beliefs or our weird taste in clothes or music. Or maybe we are just “different” than the people around us- and so society labels us as “monsters.” The God I believe in, is the God of monsters. A God who not only loves monsters, but became one and rescued us from our ugly-selves.

So I stand with Linus! The “Great Pumpkin” does exist! I’ll keep sitting at the pumpkin patch waiting for it to appear and hand me all the gifts that my heart desires. Not gifts of material possessions that fade away, but gifts of love, peace, harmony and joy. A gift that gives others permission to sit in their own pumpkin patch and know that they are not alone.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Also, don’t listen to me either, I have no idea what I am talking about!

Love Always!

Five Years Later (A birth story)

Every mom has a birth story. A story that is filled with awe, wonder, and lots of love. The truth is, that some birth stories are not always movie worthy or worth repeating. Having been on both ends, the laborer and the supporter when my first nephew was born, I have many stories of birth.

Avery’s birth was a difficult one. She was already past her due date, and we were already cautious with the her heart rate with every contraction I had. For reasons we did not know at the time, her heart rate would drop after every contraction.

After a few hours in the hospital I decided to try the cheating way and get an epidural. The other two babies before I had natural. I was in my early twenties so I was naive and didn’t know better. After watching my sister deliver her first born with her epidural, can you believe that little brat was talking on the phone and saying, “Oh look… I’m having a contraction right now,” with the biggest smirk on her face. How stupid was I to go through all that pain?

Needless to say, the epidural did not work. It worked for maybe an hour. Then there was something called a “hot spot” on my lower left abdomen. It was a perfect circle. With each contraction the hot spot grew. They pumped my I.V. with more medicine to numb the area, and with just my luck, nothing happened except that my legs were numb and I was feeling every contraction. Oh, I forgot to mention, that Avery was not dropping either. That means even though I was dilating, her head was still not in position for delivery. So after artificially breaking my water, they decided to pump me with more water to encourage her to drop.

All that I could do was listen to this classical music Dan was playing for me and breathe through the pain. Then after a very strong ass contraction, and I was finally dilated to 10 cm., Avery’s heart rate dropped to an uncomfortable rate. I could see in Dan’s face something wasn’t right.

The Doctor looked at me and said, “We are going to have to perform a c-section.” So they gave me more drugs to stop the contractions, and gave me a bunch of paper work to sign. They placed that funny looking cap on me and made me drink some god awful syrup to make sure I don’t vomit while I am under. Since my epidural failed, I would have to go through the c-section completely under and without Dan by side.

They made him pack up our stuff and lead him to another room and they wheeled me in the O.R. and I waited. Then when it was time, they gave me the anesthesia and everything went black.

With all the details above, this is not where the birth story ends. I believe that every mom dreams about her birth story. In fact, now a days, we create birth plans. Plans that will help mothers have safe, healthy and memorable birth stories. Dan and I definitely had one, however, it did not prepare us for what happened.

See, while I was still under, Avery was taken from my womb and wrapped up to give to Daddy. I missed her first cry. I missed Dan’s face when he first met her. While carrying this child for nine months, and not only did I carry her, I was incredibly HUGE! All I could dream about was that day, the day she met her mommy and daddy together.

When I came to, I was shaking uncontrollably. I saw Dan holding Avery. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t control the shaking.

Even with all that said, it still does not end there. No. What followed after that day, was nothing but hurt and pain. I was already disappointed with the c-section and then discovered that her Grandma was able to meet her while I was still under. This event caused a huge rift between us. I am not going to put blame on anyone, it just happened, and it hurt me.

It took two hard years to work through it. Mostly because communicating honestly and openly was something I couldn’t do at the time. Turns out I was going through Post-Partum Depression so I was a huge ball of fucked up.

So we are celebrating Avery’s fifth birthday tomorrow, and although we have come along way, and I am so happy that Avery and her Grandma have a wonderful relationship now, one that warms my heart and brings us all joy. Unfortunately, it is also the reason why her Uncle, Dan’s brother, continues to alienate us. It has been five years since we all talked. Five years and Avery does not know her uncle. It pains us all, but we cannot control anyone and we cannot change the past.

So tonight I write this little blog to finally accept what is. To let go of the hope that a perfect family exists. So tomorrow we will light the candles on her unicorn cake and she will make her little wish and we will smile, laugh and enjoy the moment even though there will be an empty chair at the table.

Life goes on my friends and even though our stories don’t go as plan, and sometimes our story just fucking sucks, but it is so important to let go of what cannot be changed and embrace the life that is.

Happy Birthday my little princess!

Love Always