Monday, April 26, 2010

He is here, he is perfect

Our son was born on April 20th at 12:22pm after 14 hours of active labor. We are smitten.

Funny thoughts during labor, or at the very least, extreme theo/anthro nerdiness...

During labor I much sense the connection between purity legislation regarding death is so similar to the legislation regarding birth; the fact that Mary gave birth in a stable, without an epidural or 2 people to hold up her legs for her while she pushed; and how much I love the Hail Mary.

Hail Mary, full of grace
the Lord is with you
blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb...

I get it. Or think I do. For now tho' I am snuggling just short of 8 pounds of pure love.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


So, we're still waiting for a baby at our house...

But, in the meantime I'm thinking of all the advantages to keeping him in-utero indefinitely.

  • I won't have to give him the "sex-talk", ever.
  • I won't have to figure out how to teach him to shave or pee standing up.
  • I won't have to worry about drugs (altho' I do miss the occasional for myself) or alcohol.
  • Sleep will continue to be interrupted by contractions--which I can remain lying in bed during as opposed to a baby who must have a diaper changed.
  • He won't have to go to middle school (a place and time infamous for cruelty).

Finally, I can indulge my love of science fiction and fantasy "literature" without any guilt and eat ice-cream every day--because I've been pregnant for almost 10 months (dang it!).

Which brings me to the book I read yesterday (yes, yesterday, mostly in one sitting). OA.TH OF FEALTY, by Elizabeth Mo.on--an offshoot of an amazing series (The Deeds of Paksennarion) which she wrote 20 years ago. And, I have to say, it had all of the elements of a great fantasy book--women/girls kicking butt and saving the kingdom; characters of peasant/base birth who are later revealed to be royalty; prophecy/fate (how very Presbyterian) as an inevitable part of the life course of each character; choices about the use and abuse of power, both physical and metaphysical; the intervention/interest of the gods in the lives of humans; hidden evils revealed; it was very well written; and it stands alone--no need to search out the sequel or prequel!

The only regret I have is that I read it in one day. But, I have that response to most "junk" books--that was fun while it lasted! So, what's your favorite junk book of the moment?

Extra credit if it contains vampires or women with swords...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've recently added to my vocabulary the word "prodromal"

Etymology: Gk, prodromos, running before
1 an early sign of a developing condition or disease.
2 the earliest phase of a developing condition or disease. Many infectious diseases such as chickenpox or measles are most contagious during the prodromal period. prodromal, adj.

Which is not to say that pregnancy is contagious--but to say that the earliest signs of labor are evident. But, for those of us who've never experienced the glory of full blown labor these "early" signs can be fairly daunting--you mean this could go on for days ?! It's all the energy of waiting for Christmas, Easter and your Birthday--all whilst running for a finish line that seems to be beating it's own retreat, pulling further and further away as you begin to draw closer and closer.

Apparently actually giving birth is more elusive than I thought. Our OB offered us the option of inducing labor this week--an option we'll turn down (no matter how little I sleep darn it!). But, I'm thinking that (for me) skipping this last little bit would be sort of like going from Lent to Easter without the Holy Week in between. Christmas without the journey to Bethlehem, the empty tomb without the cross.

That said, I do hope Christmas/Easter/the boy's birthday comes soon. Like the chair waiting in anticipation for Elijah, my arms are waiting for you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Here is Your Mother

When God is dead
We are not left alone.

"Mother, here is your son".

Who is there for you when God is dead?

Blessings on this Good Friday.

The Good Friday Quandry

This is an odd year in our household--the sorrow and grief of Good Friday juxtaposed with an expectant feeling (which to be quite honest is getting to be a feeling of "get him out!") of joyful anticipation...

And fear...

La Pieta continues to resonate.

When I served in the children's hospital it felt like the families I ministered to were trapped on Good Friday. They had all of the horror and grief without being able to see beyond to any joyful resurrection. The curtains of their hearts tore in two and the sun grew dark--as their children breathed their last. One essay I read at the time compared this loss to the loss of a limb--the pain of the moment of amputation would pass. But, life would go on with a sense of loss, the very real sense that you were missing something important. And, like an amputee living with phantom pain, the pain of losing a child would continue to haunt the parent.

La Pieta.

I want to rush through this part, this Good Friday. I don't want to think about the pain of death. I want to prepare my festive Easter garb without having to deal with the pain that comes first. I want the child without the uncertainty and pain of child birth. I want to rush through to holding my child in my arms (having every expectation of his health and safety--his diapers carefully folded, the lotion set out, his going home from the hospital outfit laid out across his dresser). I want the image of holding to be more nativity icon and less La Pieta. But, it is the same love that inspires both.

A strange Good Friday it is. But would/is any Good Friday any different?