Sunday, November 28, 2010


I heard a long time before I considered having children that parents are stewards of their children. We don't "own" our children, and the point of having children is not to have children, but to ultimately have more adults. Merge those thoughts with a more zen approach of mindfully enjoying each day. Charlie was born last Sunday night after a very short active labor (9-11 pm), lots of the f word, exclamations that I was pooping, and that I could not, in fact, continue to give birth. The nurse midwife, L&D nurse, and Brad gave me enough encouragement that Charlie did come out, weighing 7 pounds, which seems like a lot, but Hank only weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces. So, here I am at 5 am, feeling totally hormonal, hungry, and freezing. I was freezing, I think from becoming slightly dehydrated during the night making the 2 tanker trucks of milk I am now schlepping around. I am happy to provide free food for the kid.
The other night, after putting Hank to bed, I got so weepy that he is already huge, and mad at myself for not staying in the zen, daily and minutely moments more often, and overwhelmed by feelings of how much affection and love I have for these people. Even for Brad, although he hasn't changed, I feel more love towards him as I see him being a dad. [As I am feeling hyper-emotional, I can feel my mammary glands topping off what were already overly-full tanks. Hormones are powerful substances. More powerful than synthetic drugs]. My point was that I don't want to overwhelm Hank and Charlie with my extreme and intense feelings. Brad can take it, so he may get overwhelmed. And the extreme emotions that accompany pregnancy and birth are adaptive in that they require a slowing down and promote mindfulness to enjoy every feeding and every burp. And the only thing truly required is to channel the love I feel into spending time with them doing what they want to do. Play with cars, legos, go to the playground, etc. And model being a decent human being. Providing direction and how the world works will not just come from me, and I don't think that is my primary purpose with them. I know I have heard in meetings, "God doesn't have grandchildren." That makes sense to me. I can't even get near the line approaching not having them in my life, but that thought is slightly less overwhelming if I think of caring for them on Earth in a way that God might care for them. Or at least that being the goal. I have been loaned them as a gift to stay with me until they are adults and will hopefully get to enjoy them well into their adulthood.

Slightly different subject, St. David's kicks Seton's ass so badly. My ob's practice at the Renaissance Women's Health Facility by St. David's North Austin Medical Center. a) I LOVED all the practitioners: 3 ob's, 2 nurse midwives, 2 nurse practitioners. One of the nurse midwives delivered Charlie. She was so awesome. b) the food was awesome. I made myself french toast this morning (with Hank's challah, no less) because I had had 2 awesome servings of French toast during my stay. They had a menu from which you could choose and order to be delivered at a time you wished. Awesome. c) The postpartum care was awesome. Adequate pain management, competent nursing staff, a comfortable room, which Hank called, "the hotel." I'll give Seton this, the food was OK, although I didn't get to pick what I wanted. Getting pain med was more like begging. I found the refrigerator sooner at Seton and was able to feel less like a lazy bum asking for water and crackers and stuff. I found the kitchen at St. David's the day we left, and actually, Brad found it. St. David's had locks on many of the kitchen cabinets, which I thought was kind of mean to taunt postpartum ladies with. I also had WAY fewer stitches this time, so getting around and up and down was SO much more manageable. I mostly had cramps when nursing, and achyness in my abs and low back. NOTHING like the wad of stitches I was sitting on after Hank was extracted from me by the male OB I didn't know at Seton. I know, a little dramatic, but, the more I consider it, the more I feel disempowered by that place and their practices. I know it's ultimately irrelevant. Got healthy Hank home, but why not leave the hospital with a beautiful feeling rather than feeling like we had to take Hank and run away from Seton at the first opportunity.
Anyway, postpartum day 7, I want one more baby. And no, I am not going to think about how unpleasant the pregnancies have been for me. Every pregnancy is different. The next one could be much worse. haha. I actually would like to be Angelina and Brad, if we had the nannies they have, also. But that is kind of lame. Why delegate part of child-rearing to strangers? If we had an aunt or some slightly older relative living with us who could aid in the care, I would be cool with that. When I am tired and don't feel like playing with legos, I want Brad to play with legos with him. I don't want Hank to miss out on playing with legos, but I realize it is not very motherly to delegate. I KNOW this is all a balance, and one has to bathe, brush one's teeth, EXERCISE, which I cannot believe how long it has been since I have done formal physical activity. I am going to do some right this second!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Problem with Us is Them

The American Psyche is crippled, if not paralyzed, by the constant self-declarations and designations of "us" and "them." In fact, there need not be a "them" in American politics, at least not if "we" truly want to change the absurd, and largely impotent, system of partisan politics. It would be political suicide for a lone or even a few Republican congressmen to accept President Obama's reach across the aisle, even if their convictions permitted. President Obama, although he can and has acted by example, cannot suddenly change the efficacy of Congress. Popular media vilify rogues, and the voters follow. The only way to change the system, what George Saunders eloquently dubbed, the "braindead megaphone," is to change our behavior. And behavior change requires a complete mutiny and damnation of the manner by which Congressional progress has eked along and been perceived since its inception. Early in our history, it was probably adaptive for us to have "us" nearly Americans and "them" English royalty. And, we made progress away from a monarch, house of lords, and unrepresented taxation. Yet this setup, like our Puritanical heritage has been toxic to preserve. Less than 100 years after we became we, we divided ourselves into us Southerners and them Northerners. I do not expect or even hope to find a consensus on most issues in American politics, however, digging into convictions of sound bites to defend "our side" leaves us stuck in a country full of ruts. I fantasize about a future in which we might regard "us" as earthlings, or even wilder, "Spirits of the Universe," all on the same team. But, I would be so thrilled if we started with "us" Americans, and truly pursued life, liberty, and happiness, not for ourselves, but for our fellow citizens, our only foe being divisiveness.