To follow your heart is to follow your soul, your passion, your desires. Nothing more, nothing less.
It was Father’s Day, June 1996. My husband and I had just returned home from a late evening after celebrating the day at my parent’s house. We always had a good time when food, family and jokes were readily available. I hadn’t been sleeping well because my belly was larger than a basketball, my back was sorer than a working whore’s, and my feet were swollen to the size of a hobbit’s! My first baby was two days over due, but had its own mind made up on when the big day would arrive. It was almost midnight. I was so very exhausted, and knew I was going to get the best sleep ever. (Defcon 5) By this stage in the game, I needed to sleep on our leather recliner in our bedroom. It was calling my name. Oh, but wait, just when I got frickin’ comfortable and ready to sleep, I felt an odd sensation (you know where) followed by another undesirable warming sensation. Oh good Lord, my water broke! Why now??!! (Defcon 4) I was too sleepy, grumpy and I didn’t want to do anything. For Pete’s sake, the next several hours were spent sitting on the ceramic throne in our bathroom. My body was happily cleansing itself while I became hungrier and hungrier!I had called my OB/GYN to give him the play by play. I was allowed to eat plain toast, whoopty frickin’ do!! According to him, it wasn’t time to go to the hospital just yet. All the while my, soon-to-be-father, husband was fast asleep on our comfortable bed awaiting to be at my beck and call when it was go time. Of course my husband and I both successfully attended those birthing classes to learn breathing techniques and what to expect before, during and after labor. I was confident that we had it down and we were well prepared. It was going to be a piece of cake. The plan was to not receive any medication for pain, deliver naturally, and lose all my baby weight before I was discharged from the hospital. You can’t blame me for dreaming. Back to real life: I forgot what contractions were supposed to feel like, and had to call my Mom for clarification. She said, “They feel like menstrual cramps, but more intense and last longer.” Yup, that’s what I was feeling alright while still at home and timed them approximately 2-3 minutes apart. (Defcon 3) By this time it was 5:00 a.m. and the doctor gave me the okay to get to the hospital. I remember the delivery room was gorgeous and my husband popped in a VHS tape into the room’s VCR and we watched “Field of Dreams”. Now I was really feeling the intense back labor pains, and for some strange reason my body decided to twitch/jerk (not twerk) every few seconds on its own. It was uncontrollable and so frequent to where my husband had asked me nicely to stop doing that. I thought, “Really? Do you think I’m enjoying twitching/jerking unexpectedly?” Instead, I just calmly replied that I couldn’t control it. Man, I just wanted to sleep!
Fast forward to about 18 hours into labor. In the earlier stages, the nurse gave me Pitocin to induce labor. Now, I already had two helpings of Statol, so much for not using pain meds. To top it off, my cervix was not cooperating or dilating to the exact specifications required for natural child birth. (Defcon 2) NOTHING was going according to my fairytale plan. Next step, cesarean section was discussed. I was so bummed about hearing that option, but the baby’s health was what mattered most. A surgical team was put together, and we all met in the not-so-gorgeous surgery room. I forgot to mention that the epidural didn’t work, so I went under general anesthesia! I went from not wanting any drugs, to having to use the full menu! (Defcon 1) It was as if I had just blinked my eyes, and I was struggling to keep them open. As I was laying on the delivery/surgical table, the doctor put this little, wrapped up bundle of joy directly next to my face. Success!! We had a healthy, baby boy!!
Today, marks his 19th birthday. He was such an easy baby to take care of. He was fun, loving, and amazingly smart. He’s grown to be a handsome, young man, and I’m so glad we have a close enough relationship to where we can talk about anything and everything. He loves to make people laugh. It hasn’t always been easy as pie, but I’m proud of his accomplishments and the individual identity he has made of himself. He’s a rare one. He’s my heart and soul.
This is the end result of a sketch modified by a friend a few years ago. I had contemplated the idea of it being a possible tattoo, but decided to put this design on a tank top! The simplicity of the artwork worked out perfectly. This is my “Angel Heart”.