Shock

We’ve all had shocks in our lives.  Good ones, bad ones.  It’s part of the life journey, sometimes.  My favorite shock was when I found out I was pregnant at the age of 39, after being told by two specialists that I couldn’t get pregnant without medical intervention.  But that was with my EX-husband.  Four days before our first anniversary, my second husband and I confirmed that I was “with child.” WHAT???  At that age??  And I’d just started back to school to get my masters degree in education??  And we lived in an old 580 square foot house, along with two dogs (one large and one medium sized), a cat and a 55 gallon fish tank??  This was way before tiny houses were a “thing.”  There wasn’t a garage, or even a driveway for that matter.  We did have a driveway on each side of the house; literally right NEXT to the house, for the neighbors on each side.  We had to park on the street right in front of the house, unless a neighbor’s guest decided to park there.  There was no room for a crib or bassinet, a changing table, nor the gizmos, gadgets, and toys that one gets for babies.  Or baby clothes!  Punkin/car seat!  Stroller! No dishwasher, but we did have a washer and dryer in the scary old basement.  This wasn’t even remotely feasible in my mind.

I arrived home on St. Patrick’s Day, from visiting my oldest friend, Jo, in San Fransisco, during the week of spring break. Before I left on break I was exhausted all the time, and figured it was just because I worked 30 hours per week, was taking 14 credit hours at the university, and was very focused on receiving high grades, because, well, that’s how I roll.  My dear friend, who knows me so well, kept telling me I was pregnant, even though she knew I supposedly couldn’t conceive without “help.”  While visiting her, I took at least one very long nap every single day.  I almost got carsick riding the curvy roads on the Pacific Coast Highway.  I love that road and I never almost get carsick. Never.  Until then.  She kept telling me, with a chuckle, that I was pregnant.  My response — No way! And smells got to me. We were at her favorite Indian restaurant, and I couldn’t stay because the smells in there were getting to me.  Especially the chicken in my dish. (Turned out that the smell of chicken and bleach were the only things that would make me lose my last meal during my pregnancy! And it took well over a year before I could eat chicken again.)

When we were saying goodbye at the airport, dearest Jo said I needed to take a pregnancy test as soon as I got home.  Ya ya, whatever.  I still didn’t think there was any chance I was in the family way.  I mean, two very well known specialists told me it couldn’t happen.  And then we had turbulence on the flight.  oy.  I didn’t hurl, but wished I could as I was so incredibly nauseated.  But I didn’t want to subject my fellow passengers because I’m not very quiet about it.  Nor quick.  Right before we landed, my stewardess told me I’d been an ugly shade of green ever since the first sign of turbulance, and she lost a bet about when I would lose my cookies!!  She’d been plying me with gingerale and saltines, bless her heart, and asked if I was expecting.  I told her my story, and I remember her smiling at me, with that look that said, “Well, you are!”

I got home before my husband, and picked up a pregnancy test from the pharmacy on the way.  Took it and bam–an instant “yes, preggers.”  I drove back to the pharmacy and purchased a double pack pregnancy test.  I asked the pharmacist which was the best brand, the most accurate.  I honestly don’t even remember driving there the second time. I did both tests.  Instant yes both times.  And then I nervously waited for my unknowing husband to get home from work.  I’d pace, sit for a moment, get up and pace some more. It was horrible. Waiting. Wondering. Worrying.

At first, I was actually almost devestated that this was happening, while simultaneously excited out of my mind.  And scared.  My initial thought was that I’d FINALLY gone back to get my master’s and teaching certificate.  Thought about it and talked about it for years before finally biting the bullet and stepping away from my department manager position, pay and hours at the gourmet grocery store to become a checker again.  I immensely enjoyed being back full time in the academia scene, juggling that with work and still being a newlywed. What a shock!  I couldn’t wrap my brain around this turn of events.

I had the last pregnancy test sitting on top of a paper towel on top of the mail where we always put it on the kitchen table.  FINALLY, he got home, with a wonderful welcome home.  I remember feeling kind of weird and distant.  When he went through the kitchen, he glanced at the pile of mail on the table, and walked past it.  I said, “Well????” “Well what?”  “Aren’t you going to say something?” “About what?”  “THAT!!!” I pointed to the test, and he didn’t even know what it was!!!  When I told him, in tears, that I was going to have a baby, he was ecstatic!   Beyond ecstatic!  I literally told him, with a wail, “I can’t be pregnant NOW!!!!!  I finally have my life planned out! For the first time ever!!” He hugged me and said, “You can always get your master’s. But, honey, you can’t always have a baby.” 100% Logic.  Can’t fight that.  I was still stressing out, but we cautiously celebrated.  I was so scared.  And still didn’t believe it was really true.

I’d gone through a horribly intense mourning process while with my ex, because I didn’t believe I should have a baby with anyone else involved, besides my husband and I.  It was part of the reason that the marriage didn’t last.  He’d wanted six kids.  I’d always wanted three or four, maybe six.  That was part of my life plan.  He refused to adopt, and I wasn’t keen on having a surrogate. We couldn’t get past it.  That and other things. I think my body wouldn’t let me have a baby with the first guy because of how wrong that marriage was.  But now I was with the right guy.  And he knew that I believed I couldn’t have children from early in our relationship.  We planned on adopting, because we wanted a family with children.  But AFTER I was done with school, had a secure job somewhere, and we moved into a larger house.  Yeah, we had our plans all figured out.

I was aware of the health risks for a new mom at my age, which really is nothing compared to back in the day when you were a grandma by 39, not a new mom.  I was aware of the chance that there might be health issues with our baby, because, you know, my eggs weren’t so fresh anymore.   And how on earth was I going to go to school, work, and be a mommy?

When I went to my “new” obstetrics doctor the following day, she did an ultrasound and we saw and heard the teeny tiny blipping heartbeat.  I was already six weeks along!  All I could say was Ohmygoodness.  Ohmygoodness.  Ohmygoodness.  She assured me I was extremely healthy.  When I lamented the fact that I’d taken ibuprofen for headaches and cramps at the beginning of the pregnancy, cold medicine about two weeks into the pregnancy, and drank a lot of wine while in California, because we spent a few days in wine country, she said what was done was done, and I just needed to be a good pregnant mom from that point on.  ohmygoodness.  o h m y g o o d n e s s. ohmyGOODness!!!

My favorite “shock” is now 17 years old.  A gloriously healthy, incredibly smart, very handsome, hilariously funny, wonderful, loving young man with so much ahead of him. I am so incredibly lucky.  And my journey continues, with more shocks, I’m sure…

Warm wishes on Your journey!
Nance

via Daily Prompt: Shock

Shock

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The Swooping of a Red Tailed Hawk

Ohmyword. Sitting at my desk, which is next to a floor to ceiling window, I was privy to a red tailed hawk swooshing down from our roof, gliding across my yard and the street, where it swoop-landed on the roof of the house across the way. It took a short flight to go up further onto the peak, where it then spread it’s tail feathers broadly, precisely as I wondered what kind of hawk it was. No question–a gorgeous red tail was flashed for my eyes. Then it turned it’s head and looked back toward me. “Yes,” I mentally communicated. “I saw you, and I thank you for your visit. And you have a beautiful red tail.” ohmygoodness, I still haven’t caught my breath. The primal instinct to be afraid as a large bird of prey plunges in front of you, followed by the exultation of the glory of such a beautiful creature give quite a rush.

red tailed

red tailed face

I’m drawn to red tailed hawks, and have been my whole life. According to the Legends of America site, http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-totems2.html that I use to understand the Native American meanings of wild life sightings, hawks represent a messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship. Wowza–no wonder I love them so much.

Much of the representation connects. I’m not sure about the messenger part, although it could relate to this blog. I consider myself quite intuitive as I’ll sense something, and then have it confirmed far too often to be coincidental. The victory would be if I’m finally experiencing healing from my hyper sensitivity to synthetic fragrances. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve started NAET treatment, “a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine,” according to the site at http://www.naet.com . That would also totally relate to cleansing. Nobility, recollection, visionary power? Not sure. Nor with guardianship. There is another connection with that one, though.

Due to this window in the study, my dogs have a wonderful view of the cul de sac we live on. Gracie Jane and Spencer sometimes go ballistic as runners go by, or if people are out walking their dogs. The latest thrill for them is a marmalade cat, whom I’ve named Marmie and have decided is a female. She likes to sit under the shrubs outside the window, paws tucked under her body, just chillin’. Marmie looks very content out there, until they spot her. Then she scowls at the fiercely barking dogs as they try to protect their home from this awful intruder, pulling her feet out from under so she can take off quickly if need be. I’ll usually close the lower blinds so the dogs can’t see her and she can hang out, undisturbed. I like having Marmie around. She’ll dart away if I try to get close to her, and she doesn’t live with any of my immediate neighbors. I’m not thinking she’s feral, as Marmie doesn’t have that skinny, wild-eyed look I think of with feral cats. Here’s the connection I was talking about before. Cats represent guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, and independence, according to Legends of America. hmmm. She was my animal connection the last three days. Now today, I have a hawk. The overlapping representation is guardianship. hmmm. Wonder what the universe is going to show me next??

Isn’t life grand?? All these moments–they matter. Focus on them, be present in the present.

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

100 days of happy

I signed up today to do a photographic “happy” memoire over the next 100 days. On the website, it states that only 71% of participants succeed. They don’t have enough time is the main reason. In our extremely busy lives, we forget to be HAPPY. Or we don’t have time to note that we’re HAPPY. How sad is that???!!!???

I’ve been feeling pretty low lately. There really are legitimate reasons. Hubby is looking for a replacement job since his employer lost their contract; having broken my foot 1 1/2 weeks ago, I’m wondering if I also damaged the tendon (which will then require surgery;) still trying to come to terms with my uber hyper-sensitivity to fragrance. OH — and I resigned from teaching next year, by not signing the contract. Maaaan, what a hard decision. Even though teaching is becoming more and more challenging, the threat of violence hang over our heads the whole time we’re there, and the fear of more fragrance assaults that could literally kill me, I procrastinated with my final decision until the day the contract was due. And I still didn’t notify my principal until the next day because I just didn’t want to finalize it.

With all of this going on, a friend informed me that she was signing up for this challenge of showing/finding/honoring 100 days of happy. She’s a pretty happy soul, in my estimation; life seems to be going well, she’s young and healthy. Well, heck–if Kendra is going to do this, me too!!

I like the idea that by consciously thinking about what is making us happy, we become happier, more appreciative of what’s in our life, filling our minds and hearts with gratitude. As Kendra said, can’t hurt!

Today, one of my big moments of happy came from my 4-legged daughter, Gracie Jane. She’s a spazzo, crazy, joy-filled dog. Can you see her smile? Hard not to be happy with a creature who’d never had a home until ours, is so thankful when you come back to the pack that she smothers you in kisses and talks about how much she missed you. Watch it–she’ll jump up and give a kiss on lips if you’re not watching–she’s part border collie and jumps like she’s got springs in her feet! If we humans kiss on the lips, why can’t she? I mean, we’re all family aren’t we? Yeah. no. I almost lost my cookies one time when she even got her tongue in. blech. I do love her. But no French-kissing from a dog. nope. But, she sure knows how to make me feel happy!

Gracie Jane

Gracie Jane

What was your happy moment today?

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance