Chapter Thirty: Thinking with the Heart

By December 2011, Curt had returned to Panama City, and intended to stay. I was in too much pain at this point to really care. I knew something was wrong with the baby and couldn’t do anything for myself. It got so bad that I could no longer stand straight up or sleep lying down, so I spent almost all of my time sitting in my late grandmother’s old Lazy-Boy recliner. (RIP)

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Finally, I decided to go to the doctor, who made me lie down flat on the examination table. When my body was stretched out, I started shaking and crying. He sat me up and said “We’re going to induce tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.” It was December 13, and the baby was not due until December 21.

The next morning, at 6:00 a.m., we arrived at the hospital to find Curt’s sister already waiting on us (I do still love that girl to pieces, despite the falling out between our families) I got set up and told the doctor I ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT A DOUBT WANT DRUGS FROM THE BEGINNING. (yeah, laugh it up, I went 14 hours with my son – dilated to 7cm before getting drugs, and 5 hours with my daughter. I know how this goes) And within 5 hours here, my second daughter was born. When her head popped out, the doctor told me “DON’T PUSH” and I freaked out because I am on drugs and can’t feel my lower half to know what the hell is going on down there to begin with. Thanks for that, Doc. But it turns out that the reason I could not straighten my body without severe pain, the reason I could hardly move, was the umbilical cord was wrapped around my baby’s neck – twice. Had I straightened out, or slept in the bed instead of the recliner, had I not followed my instincts, I could have very easily stretched that cord and snapped her neck in-utero. My neurotic obsession with my hunchbacked penguin waddle saved my daughter’s life. I’m lucky I had the doctor I did, though. Sam Wolf Jr was the absolute best, and he’s funny as hell.

But there was more – my baby had abnormalities. She had a large red birthmark covering half of her body, and a huge second toe on the same side. We stayed in the hospital for a few days and discovered that it was called a Port Wine Stain and a Morton’s Toe. She was otherwise very healthy and happy and beautiful. Whereas my son and older daughter were beautiful with dark hair, dark eyes and my olive complexion, my son skinny and my daughter shapely, my new baby girl was fair skinned, blue-eyed and blonde, very petite and fragile. In so many ways, I was blessed with the best of all worlds – to have both light and dark, boy and girl. Each of my children were so unique and individual, yet similar in many ways and close to each other. I was completely in love all over again…but I wasn’t exactly “stable” yet in terms of hormones.

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To put it boldly: Gypsy and I had been having issues with the custody arrangement lately, and he had been constantly denying me my visitation. The court case was still pending, and there was no custody order in place at the time – nor was there an adjudication of paternity. My aunt was insistent that we could make it work if I really wanted the kids with me, so the next time I got the kids, I kept them, and by law there was nothing Gypsy could do about it.

I loved every single moment of it…but I didn’t know what it would cost me later.

 

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