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Short Assignments - Page 2

post #21 of 28


We saw it when I was about 7 weeks pregnant and starting to feel like hell. It caught Bryan's eye because it bore Iowa State's colors, red and gold. He realized we had to have it when he saw the little tractor on the chest. I stared through my nausea at it, a little piece of familiarity in the baby clothing section of the department store, a little onesie that the baby inside me would wear. Any reference to home for Bryan, who grew up on a farm in Iowa, was comforting to him, and any reminder that someone I would love was making me feel so sick was comforting to me, so we bought it. The next weeks were a blur or wretching and sleeping, but we hung that onesie from the fruit basket in the kitchen. I could look at the tiny red and gold piece of clothing with the little tractor on it and imagine the tiny person who would wear it someday. Our little girl wore it. Though it would have looked great on our little boy two years later, we didn't put it on him. It was too much Anna's.
post #22 of 28

One More

My face is red and I have beads of sweat popping out on my forehead and above my lips. The nurse is standing near my head and she leans down and speaks. “That was a good one. Just one more and your baby will be here.” What??!! I’ve only pushed three times; isn’t it supposed to take longer than that? I’m not ready yet… Again the nurse leans over and says, “just one more.” Just like that; as though someone were saying “I’ll just have one more slice of pizza,” or “It’s just one more day until the weekend.” Birth isn’t that commonplace is it? I realize women do this every day, but this is going to change my life forever in ways that I can feel in my soul but cannot begin to comprehend in my mind. I breathe in and curve myself over my enormously round belly. I bear down, red-faced, cheeks puffed out, and with strength and fear and wonder I push my way into the eternal sisterhood of mothers. She is here, and I hear her voice for the first time as she announces her displeasure with the cold the light the open, open space. They place her on my chest and she quiets and looks at me out of the bluest eyes I have ever seen. She stares into me and breathes deep and everything stands still. Don’t anybody move or speak. I want just one more moment suspended in this very time and place...
post #23 of 28

The Metamorphosis of a Breast

The first time I was pregnant, my breasts were the first sign we noticed. Tender, sore, juicy, and lusciously large. They were a bitter-sweet treat. Second time around, the only sign post was my son nursing-- like finger nails on a chalkboard. My breasts were not voluptous. I just wanted to put them away, for good! Now they are soft mama breasts on a mama body. My babes have changed me on every level-- inside and out.
post #24 of 28

My armpit

a warm, soothing, softly flowing shower. body exploration amid a steamy fog. my soft, large breasts with large, expansive areolas around my dark nipples. my growing belly, stretching wide to welcome my new world. my strong back, achingly sore and covered with unsightly rashy bumps. my bushy undergrowth, bustling like a heathery moss thriving in the shade of that full moon. my legs, also covered by a soft, dark down since efforts to groom gave way to others--the efforts to sooth, accept, embrace. my feet, tired but strong, supporting two bodies, eight limbs--a sturdy stand for my spinning globe. my arms, my hands, traveling across my face and neck. my armpit. all other changes, i will come to love. even the rash, i can happily ignore. i feign distaste and disgust for his sake only, for i do not have to see it. (it baffles my doctor, and resists all treatments and scrubs, persisting until the baby comes, then vanishes overnight.) but this armpit. i have developed an unsightly skin tag, like ugly debris on a pristine and sacred ocean. this was unexpected. my body--inhabited by another, accepting and embracing everywhere but here, where one little eruption sends up a petulant, insistent complaint. i sense it will be soon forgotten. but for now, i study it, giving it its due. i mourn the loss of a perfect armpit, virgin territory from a brazen, virgin youth.
post #25 of 28

Stacia's Short Assignment

One More

Push past the burn! You have got to be kidding. The nurse was great and sounded like she was coaching a football game. My first son was a c-section and this one was going to truely be a VBAC. All the 9 months of well meaning people cheering" You can't be too sure dear"...what did they know now huh?!?!?!?. One More push hon- you can do it. I could not believe the cheer. Then he was there- Stop pushing WHAT! Okay one more...YOu already said that. Then he was there. What did they know! I called them all and announced- Natural birth all!!!!!!!!!!!.So there. Then I continued to enjoy my new baby.

Taking Blood

As they squeezed his little heel and he cried, I felt my heart shirvel. How could I be letting this happen. I am his protector , his mother. Then the dreaded..."Well honey I am not getting enough from this little heel. I will have to do the other one too. You know he is slightly jaundiced and you did test positive for strep." Boy- the line " Slap the stupid right out of her for doing her job" ran its mantra in my head. Then it was over and I had him in my arms and I was crying. Swearing that this would not happen to my next child and I would not let this happen again to this child. My new babe, poked and proded, now nestled feeding and nursing at my breast.

My Armpits

Wow, So this is the changed chemistry of a mother huh. This sucks. This smells. I never had body odor like this. God, do I even leave the house LOLOL
You arms smell mommy. Thanks I sat laughing. Making a mental note to talk to my naturopath. The rest of my body has now attained its own agenda, and the pits were the last stand. Thankfully after the naturopath visit..I have learned about this new body that I have lived with for years and then had children. Well the many wonders of what we forgo for our kids. First its this then that ....now the need for "kill all" deoderant....the crystal ain't cuttin' it. The serach for the almighty "aluminum free" product begins. *sigh* Then I get an oatmeal kiss, boogers on my shoulder and a nose in my pit. "Honey that smells." "Yeah- but it's you Mommy."
post #26 of 28

One More

one more. contraction, doctor, nurse, hospital round, intervention, injection, disturbance, one more thing and person to fight. one more time to insist on a choice, some power, a fragment of my birth fantasy. breathe deep, focus in, look in his eyes, concentrate, hum, relax, hold yourself together, let yourself go. hours slip by. no progress. pitocin goes in, tears stream out. monitors beep constantly. doctors tell me again. c-section, c-section, c-section. circling in their minds, a foregone conclusion, spinning their web over me as i weaken. one more crisis. heartrate plunges. one more rush of staff to flip me, tickle her head, check me, break my water on the sly. i cry. one more time. will i have nothing that happens on its own? will no-one trust my body? not even me? she was not ready yet. that is all. leave me alone. but wait. tell me you're close. one more time. that nothing will happen. like it did that other time. use your furrowed brow to send me a clear message, even as you reassure me. i know there are no promises you can make. none you will. you know what i want. i know what you want. one more try. to do it my way. until one more doctor comes on duty. no-nonsense. sending sharp edicts to end my torture. to begin your life. i give in. they cut me open. you are perfect. relief floods in. and yet, i am sorry it took a while for you to see my face. to feel my arms. to be with those you belong to. a fantasy slips away. a new life creeps softly in. and now, i think, one more.
post #27 of 28


what if she disappears in the night, quietly slipping away to dance with fairies, leaving me cold, to discover her body left behind like some shell that got too heavy, too tiresome to carry around?

what if i become paralyzed in the bath and she slowly covers with water, unable to save herself, unable to see the love and shock in my eyes?

what if i drop her, fall down the stairs, have one careless second and slip or don't watch her closely enough?

what if i forget she's asleep in the car and leave her there?

what if i don't love her enough?

what if i love her too much?

what if she doesn't love me back?

what if nothing happens, and i waste tears and worry? what if this fear keeps me from her?

what if i die and leave her motherless?

what if she inherits my depression?

what if she never knows how much i want for her?

what if all her dreams come true?
what happens then?
what happens if, after a sunny day in july, when her dream has flown in like a bird lightly landing on an open window ledge, she's too busy worrying about the clouds in the sky behind him to listen to his song?

what if she's just like me?
post #28 of 28


Fear sits in my chest-- like lead. My heart can't breathe. I wake in the morning with it clenching my stomach. I speak. It sommersaults into my throat. What if my baby gets stuck in my pe3lvis? What if he dies and my husband and I do not make it? My baby is breech. We try to turn him. I hear his little heart beat slow way, way down. Fear sizzles through every cell. But his heartbeat goes back up. I can breathe again. Fear flows out of me in red and black on the page. Fear is my friend-- a wise grandmother who releases me. Labor begins. I am beyond all fear, suspended in a loving knowing that all will be well.
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