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Archive for the ‘growing up’ Category

“Those first days I felt so helpless.”

I knew right away that my daughter wasn’t like normal babies, she seemed weaker, less alert, less capable. These feelings made me want to help her all the more and increased my feelings of helplessness. What the hell could I do for her?

She was put under an oxygen tent immediately after being born. Her mother wasn’t able to hold her for more than a minute before the nurses whisked her away to her plastic tent. My daughter was in the hospital for two weeks before the doctors told us it was ok for her to come home. Every day was an exercise in super-human patients; Isabelle would take one step forward and one step back, then another step back, and another.

I was at work when they finally told us we could take her home. I didn’t believe it, neither did her mother. We had been waiting so long for her to come home but we didn’t want her to leave too soon. In the hospital she was surrounded by machines that told us exactly what was going on with her heart, nurses were on hand twenty-four-seven, doctors came by in scheduled intervals to check on her; she was in the best of care. What hope did we have of offering her that kind of care at home?

 

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“…Isabelle was born right on time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter”

Now winter in San Diego isn’t a real winter so get the images of cold, storm filled nights out of your head. When my fiance told me her water had broke I rolled over in bed and asked if it could wait till morning. Then I asked her to double check and repeated the late hour. She just stared at me till I got up.

The pregnancy was fairly routine, more checkups than a normal pregnancy would have: the doctors wanted to keep an eye on my daughters heart. Lots of reading up on Down Syndrome and what to expect, lots of meeting with my daughters Cardiologist learning what to expect. A lot of talking and expecting, and expecting.

When we  got to the hospital they had to induce labor. What followed was 18 hours of increasingly painful contractions for my fiance. Or at least they seemed to be from my point of view; not much was happening so I kind of nodded off in the middle a bit (never gonna live that one down.) But I was wide awake for the big part. Isabelle’s heart rate started to dip so things became very hectic very quickly.

The doctor attached a giant suction cup to Isabelle’s head and told us that my fiance had about four big pushes before they were going to do a c section. She did it in one. I was terrified. I was frantic, I didn’t know what to do, what to think, what to …expect.

Isabelle was born right on time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter. She took my breath away and then she was rushed to the NICU.

Her heart was weak, it had holes in it and couldn’t properly oxygenate her blood so the nurses took her down to the NICU(Natal Intensive Care Unit) and put her under an oxygen tent. I followed along, never letting her out of my sight. I thought to myself that this is what I’m supposed to do, I’m supposed to keep watch on her.

Those first days I felt so helpless.

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When she told me I didn’t react. I stood there thinking to myself “Is the part where I laugh? Or where I cry?” I didn’t do either, instead I sat down next to her and said, “ok,” and let the world wash over me.

Time seemed to both stop and rush forward, my breathing became shallow, I stood up and wandered around the hotel room… Why does life altering news have come to me in a hotel room?
She left to take a walk and I, I went to the bathroom to puke, ended up hyperventilating and falling into the bathtub; all-in-all a better choice. That done I went back to the bed and sat there. “I’m going to be a dad.” The thought rolled ’round and ’round my head forever. “I’m going to be a dad.” with each repeat of that thought new emotions and ideas crept up. “I’m going to be a dad. I am not ready for this. Me? A dad? Oh man, the world is not ready for this. How could this happen to me?! Well I know how it happened… I’m going to be a dad! This is so cool. I can’t wait to teach the kid all about old cars and baseball and… wait, what if it’s a girl? I’ll still teach her about old cars and baseball and fishing and… What am I going to do?! I’ve never done this before! How do I do this? What do I do now?”

She came back into the room and we looked at each other. “We’re going to be parents.”

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Nothing

 

The sun beat down unforgiving on the frozen landscape. Nothing moved nothing breathed it was as if the world was holding its breath, waiting for something spectacular. Small Brown Eyes opened on this world of ice and silence, they opened and blinked, and then they closed. The Small Brown Eyes closed on the world and the world returned itself to void, to nothingness. It was a silent, gentle transition, no cataclysm just…

 

Nothing

 

Two children played in a sandbox building worlds of imagination and sand they had wars and adventures; they brought empires too their knees; turned knaves into heroes and always won the girls. Two ordinary boys on an ordinary day doing ordinary boy things. Two Brown Eyes blinked, Two Brown Eyes closed and Two Ordinary Boys disappeared into… well,

 

Nothing

 

Two people, one bed. The sex was loud messy and every teenagers wet dream. She was gorgeous passionate, he was masculine strong; both virile. She arched her back and cried out in her release her long black hair falling picture perfect about her shoulders and breasts. Wide Brown Eyes watched. Wide Brown Eyes blinked and reluctantly closed and The Two Lovers dimmed and turned to mist to…

 

Nothing

 

Two Brown Eyes looked out on a world that was normal, predictable, boring and real. Two Brown Eyes closed and the world disappeared, and reappeared extraordinary and unbelievable. The world unrolled, folded itself, rearranged and remade itself. Two Brown Eyes watched and orchestrated. Two Brown Eyes, blinked and closed and returned to the ordinary, the boring. The World unrolled, rearranged, remade and disappeared into…

 

Nothing

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“Shutting down now,” Go to sleep.
“Forget you saw,” Don’t repeat.
“Ignore and turn away,” You didn’t see.
Flaws and failures, There still a mystery.
“Just shine and shine,” Cover up so much.
Truth is blind so don’t even touch.

“I don’t ask this lightly I expect you to comply
if at first you don’t succeed then just lie lie lie.
Its a simple favor really to just turn the other way
its a game you see, to win you must play play play.
Its a masquerade, it’ll be fun, here’s the mask I made.
So like your face they wont recognize, its you in disguise.
So straighten your collar, square you shoulders, lift your chin
go out the door and down the steps, and forget where you’ve been.”

Staring into eyes of my own not my own yet I know them.
I blink, stare, turn slightly watching me watching me.
I smile and wave, turn around. I wonder: am I still watching me?
Turn quickly but I’m too fast for me, there I am staring back at me.

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Another airport bar, just after Christmas. A place of random open conversations; people you will never see again from places you’ve never heard of.
“Yeah? You know what I got for Christmas!? Zanex!”
The holidays always see such a rush of people. People who otherwise would not be flying. People who rarely leave their comfortable suburbanite dream.
Here is the real melting pot of our nation; the myriad of stops between “Here” and “There”, between comfortable home and, to some, a once-a-year destination. Across the bar someone laments a year they weren’t “There”, a year they missed,
“I wasn’t there… I don’t know what happened… They all hate me over there now.”
Still, there is something about these places, these never empty yet shortly lived in bar stools, these polished counter tops and harried bartenders. For as new and spotless as these places look there is a sense of use, of purpose.
“…I’ll have a Tubalow.”
“I guess they don’t want our business…”
“What can I get you?”
Well used and seldom unoccupied these places during the holidays. Everyone has their someplace to go, their someplace their from, their somebody waiting for them, their somebody to see; their something to say.
A faintly alluring feminine voice calls me, “Calling all passengers for Delta flight 95, services to LA and Hawaii, your plane is now boarding.”
I sigh, pay my tab and thank the cute bartender.
“Have a nice flight”, the ubiquitous phrase on everyone’s lips here.
I smile my appreciation, gather my things and head down the causeway. I too have my someplace to go. “Someplace”, no real home, no “from” just a destination; no one waiting for me, just a lot of people to see.
“Have a nice flight” indeed; I hate the hollidays.

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Your stuck in my brain
I don’t remember feeling a thing
Your face is a haze of shadow and light
All that’s left of alcohol nights
Your voice I can’t recall
Your name you never gave
There, at the tip of my tongue, your taste.

And

From me you have nothing
From you I took nothing
Neither the richer for it
Just a little stickier, older and spent
We part our bodies before the sun
We hug a goodbye , have a nice life
I remember you paid for the room.

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