She was born at 7:30 in the morning. She was scheduled for 7; I had a cesarean section so the time of birth was not going to be to much of a surprise. When the nurse handed my baby to me I only had the energy to look at her and check her to go to sleep. The first bath, feeding and bonding time was left to her father, and that was okay to me. Here is why:
I entered the hospital ready to be checked in for delivery. I was in Lawton, Oklahoma at Ft. Sill(y). My husband was an E-nothing in the army, this was before he was considered a hero, and we lived in poverty and ate only beans, peanut butter and government cheese. I had wanted to stay home and raise my first born, then when I became pregnant with Shannon, I knew I needed to stay home. If anyone was going to raise my children it was to be me. Money meant nothing to me compared to them- so I chose the cheese diet and we survived. Orders were given to take four vials of blood for pre-surgery stuff. I went to my room, unpacked and was sent to give 4 more vials. I was given some juice ( I was feeling wooosy!) sent back to my room where an orderly was waiting to take 4 more vial of blood- how many is that? When the next person came in I was pale , sick and begged them not to take any more blood!
It had been a mistake, the first four vial was all they needed.
Then I was old by the anesthesiologist that he did not like giving spinals and “would just as soon gas me.” I wanted to be awake when she was born, so I still opted for the spinal- big mistake. He stuck me over a dozen times and never got it right. As I rolled on my back in tears he looked down at me and said…”I told you I would just as soon gas you!”
I woke up in the recovery room and begged the orderly to tell me about my baby. She looked at me and said she knew nothing. I kept bugging her to tell me, so she became a bit snippy with me and told me that if I could stay awake for 30 minutes she would find out about my baby- nice lady! She made comments to the other workers in the room- she thought I could not possibly be awake yet, as very little time had elapsed since surgery.
She probably was NOT a mother! I forced my eyes to stay open, she kept her end of the deal and let me go to my baby. I won!!
After seven days in the hospital (my doctor went on a golfing trip and did not sign my release…I had to wait for him to come back) my black-haired, blued-eyed baby girl and I were released to spend the rest of our lives with each other. It has been quite a trip so far.
Shannon is 25, tall, blond and beautiful.
She was also my mother’s curse!
The curse goes like this: Someday you will have a child just like you
And you will know
All of the hell you have put me through!
She was a toughy! She was just like me! The ‘tween’ years were hard. ‘Tweens’ are called ‘tweens’ because they are between heaven and hell! The teenage years are tough because teenagers are like cats. They never give affection unless they want something. They don’t come when you call their names unless you jiggle a bag of chips at the same time. They sort of just show up in your home, stretched out on piles of dirty clothes, clawing all your nice things.
I had to give the curse to Shannon. It must be a Universal law or something because the curse works and I innately knew it had to be passed to her.
But how? When? Where? I waited for inspiration. It came in the form of my purple-fairy outfit I keep in my closet- don’t ask. It is deep-purple, crushed velvet, complete with wings and shiny-pink sequins which adorn the bodice. I have a wand, and because I am a teacher, as there is no other explanation, I have glitter.
The day came when Shannon and four of her cat-friends were conjugated in her dirty room. I long ceased asking her to clear the clutter. Instead, periodically, I would shove open her door, scream the primal scream, close her door and walk away. Cathartic release…nice. Our therapist had insisted we try our best to communicate our feelings.
I put on my outfit, grabbed my wand and burst into the room. Shannon’s friends looked..well…disturbed. “Hello Mrs. Kerley,” said Heather, Shannon’s best friend and my worst enemy, with mouth and eyes wide open. “Shannon, your mother has wings!”
Had these girls never seen a purple-mother fairy before? What IS this world coming to?
Shannon rolled her eyes. Her only comment was an impatient, impertinent, ‘WHAT?’
What? Shannon had no idea that WHAT was about to happen would change her life…forever.
I felt like Glinda, the beautiful Witch of the North, as I ran around the room, blowing my teacher-glitter everywhere. It floated onto the ground o’clutter, giving it a magical new shimmer. I sounded like the Wicked Witch of the West when I actually dispatched the curse. First, I blew the last of the glitter onto her face which was so distorted with attitude, some stuck in her angry furrowed brow. I aimed my wand directly at her ovaries (to make certain it stuck) then said: Someday you will have a child just like you
And then you will know
All of the hell you have put me through!
I ran out of the room.
We never discussed what happened.
Ten years have gone by and Shannon has grown into a beautiful young woman. She is in love. They are talking about lifetogether, maybe some kids.
I tell her how happy I am. And as for the curse, I know it is working, because to have a child just like you…well…you have to want them first!