My turn! In my usual style I have waited for the last possible moment to guest blog for Mary Alice AKA Mean Face AKA Dearest Sissy. It’s not that I had nothing to say but rather too much to say and couldn’t decide where to start. I mean there is just so much to Mean Face. But, my idea began the moment I read the title of Practical Sis’s blog and has been formulating all week. So…here goes.
Most of you readers know that quite a bit of our growing up was accomplished in a sort of haphazard way in a very small town in the nether regions of California. We were also homeschooled in a rather haphazardly manner and together A LOT. Lets just say there was not a lot of privacy as we careened through adolescence. Plus, our father did not believe in doors, which did not help. At all.
So, you may not be surprised when, at the tender age of thirteen, I was intrigued by an air of secretness that had invaded our home. I noticed heavy talks between my mother and older sis surrounded by an aura of hushed, nervous secrecy. I was obviously annoyed at them having a secret--especially when there was no hope in hell anything exciting was going to happen to me; surely nothing so exciting as to warrant secrecy. How did my sister get so lucky, I wanted to know, and beyond that, and most importantly, WHAT was the secret? Plus Mean Face was being meaner and weirder lately. I couldn’t handle much more.
Finally I confronted them when they were found AGAIN in one of those weird, hushed conversations we could all hear because there were no doors. Faced with my annoying demands to be let in on the secret, Mean Face finally caved, “well, I guess you’ll find out soon enough anyway, I’m preeegnnnaaant!”
Now that set me back. I had not considered this. Hmmm. Again, as when Practical Sis told me she was pregnant, I went into complete shock. Gradually, as the months went by and my sister’s stomach filled with promise, I got very excited. I love babies. And my littlest sis, Katrina, was certainly not a baby anymore.
She was already ahead of me in home school, I am sure, by that time!
I read all the books about what was going on in my sister’s belly, I read about what would happen when she went into labor, what to expect afterward. Everything.
Then the day came.My sister had a home birth. We were all there. In the house with no doors. I do not think I can adequately describe my emotions completely for that day except that I have never before wanted to take someone’s pain away from them so much EVER. I remember thinking if I could just switch places with her to give her a break I would, or if somehow God could just give me half her pain so that I could help. It was the most helpless feeling I have ever had. But Mean Face did it, and there arrived a handsome, healthy baby boy we now call Rescue Ranger whom I have ADORED from the moment I layed eyes on him.
But it really looked like it hurt.
Needless to say, it took me a really long time before I had kids. I was traumatized for many years thinking back on that day. But life and hormones have a way of changing your mind and one day I found myself delightedly pregnant. I thought about the day I would give birth but just sort of glossed over it. I mean if Mean Face could do it in a mountain town far away from nice helping drugs of any kind, in a home with no doors, surely it wasn’t as bad as my memory of her experience. I’d been through a lot, I was tough, I was athletic. I’d be fine.
Finally the day arrived that Babou decided would be the perfect day for her to begin her journey into this world via my nether regions. As those of you who have had kids know, the pain cannot adequately be described. To those of you who have not had kids, I say the same: the pain cannot adequately be described. I labored long and hard and somewhere in transition, as I screamed for an epidural and C-section RIGHT NOW $$%%^^&&***(((*(*!, I thought of my sister, of how she had gone through this too. That not only had she been through it but she had been through it with no drugs, no doctors, no nice nurses with more nice drugs, in a house with no doors, with her sisters huddles wide eyed in a corner WATCHING her. But thinking that made the pain worse (like when you think about how you slammed your finger in that door after you slammed your finger in the door and it makes it hurt worse?) so I stopped and tried to focus on the fact that it was too late to change my mind about having a baby and that I’d better get to pushing.
But I did not forget that one clear thought that formulated as I gave birth to Babou. Mary Alice is one of the bravest, toughest, most focused women I know. She can HANDLE her business. It may have taken me 30 years to fully understand, but it’s amazing what you can learn in one night.
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