Monday, May 23, 2022

a sleepless night and another birthday


I had planned to put in a couple of hours over at the studio working on the box and a couple of hours later working on the watercolor yesterday. I did neither. Saturday night we finally got some rain. It started with lightning and thunder and woke me about 2:30 with a trembling panting dog. I got up because the Queen of the Night (night blooming cereus) had three flowers that were going to open and when I went to bed, they hadn't even started to open. But, at 2:30, surely they would be open and so I threw on a shift and went out to look in the lightning and thunder as it was just barely starting to sprinkle. As soon as I went out the door I could smell their fragrance so flashlight in hand I managed a few pictures before going back in.



It wasn't long before the rain started so lightning, thunder, and hard rain and crazy fucking dog who would not settle or even be still for longer than about 30 seconds...under the sheet, no not under the sheet, on my head, on my pillow, on my head, under the sheet, not under the sheet, at the foot of the bed, next to me, next to me on the other side, on my head, just over and over, a panting, trembling, bug-eyed perpetual motion machine. I threw her off the bed a couple of times and then felt guilty and let her get back up. Poor thing. Consequently I didn't get any sleep between 2:30 and dawn even though the bulk of the rain was over by 4 AM (average for the area was about 2 1/2”) but the diminishing lightning and thunder continued for a couple more hours. I think I got maybe 2 hours sleep after Minnie settled down. So, yeah, didn't get any work done on either project and Minnie was lucky to get a short walk.

Today is another birthday, this time my son, my second and last baby. I guess you can tell what we were doing on those hot August nights. My two were born 2 years and 3 days apart. Everyone thought wouldn't it be cool if they were born on the same day. No, I'd reply, that would be terrible having to share your birthday with your sibling. So I encouraged the new little person to hang in there a few more days and he did. This time I woke up early, maybe around 6 or 6: 30 with some discomfort. By 8 I knew I was in labor but I had learned my lesson and declined to call the doctor right away since my water hadn't broken yet. By noon my contractions were close enough that I figured it was time to go so I called and we gathered up the stuff and headed to the hospital. At 1 PM, settled in, doctor came in to examine me and before I could object he pricked my bag of water to 'speed things up'. Then they gave me an enema (they still did that back then) and before I could get off the toilet I was in transition. Aaron was born at 3 PM, wailing and indignant. Since he was born at shift change, the nurses handed him over to Marc and I and put us in an unused room for the nurses coming on shift to deal with so we got to hold and be with our son for the 15 minutes or so before they came to fetch us and took him away to the nursery and 24 hours later we were all at home. This boy could be a sweet and loving child or very difficult and always so sensitive. After foolishly joining the army reserve in his early 20s and serving two tours in Iraq, at 43 he and his wife live quietly and are fixing up a house she inherited that they will move into soon.

The plan for today is yesterday's plan, work over at the studio after breakfast, work on the watercolor after lunch.

A parting shot or two, the poppies are done in the back flowerbed and the black eyed susans have taken their place

and the nile lilies sending up their blooms.



19 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday , Mother of son!! What a day, eh? I don't know why people are so complacent about births really, it is amazing that women live through it!
    That flower was well worth the trip out into the night! What a beauty and I wish there was a scratch and sniff on this post.
    Dogs in storms are convinced that it is a war.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Great shot of that beautiful flower! My oldest son has his birthday tomorrow. He will be 43 and I still remember how excited I was when they said, "It's a boy!" I remember his birth the most out of the 5 births I went through - 4 boys and 1 girl. Happy Birthday to your boys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Ellen! five kids? Two was plenty for me. Though when they were in junior high I wished we had had a third. But I got over that pretty quick.

      Delete
  3. Great flower picture, thank you. And happy birthday to your son, who sounds as if he's doing fine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy birthday to both of you! We will never forget these birth experiences, won't we. I was absolutely certain I was going to have a boy (no ultrasound in 1982 Ireland for me) and we had a name ready only to be surprised by a premature girl at week 32. She is turning 40 this year.
    And that Queen of the Night is a stunner.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am sorry about your dog and her fear of storms, my sister, who lives in the midwest, puts her dog in the closet with the light on, does the trick everytime. Maybe this will help next time...the flower is so pretty even in the dark, lol...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Look at that Queen of the Night! Absolutely amazing pictures!
    My second child, May, has a birthday tomorrow. She will be forty-four. She and her brother are about two years and two weeks apart. It was good spacing for them.
    I loved this birth story too. Did you know that now they almost will not let a baby sleep in the nursery away from Mama? Not unless there's some dire need. And when we had our kids, separation was absolutely the rule for a long time. That was the main reason I wanted home births.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had had home births. It was enough of a battle just to convince them of no drugs. When my daughter was born they brought her to me later in the day but when Aaron was born, because it was at shift change, the outgoing nurses left it for the incoming nurses to call the pediatrician and the incoming nurses thought the previous shift had already done it so it wasn't until hours later that they discovered that and they wouldn't bring him to me before my pediatrician had checked him out and since it was so late when they contacted him he didn't show up til the next morning. I was so angry. It was one of the worst 18 hours of my life. Get some rest they told me. Fuck that! How could I rest without him? I'm still angry about it.

      Delete
  7. The Queen of the Night is just spectacular. Thanks for going out and photographing it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your night blooming cereus pictures are beautiful.
    I remember a time in my life my parents continually asking me if I would like a real baby for my birthday. My answer always was NO. My brother's birthday was the day after mine.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy birthing day to you! And to you son. I sense there is a story in those two tours of duty he did. I’m glad that the fire dept came through for my son before he joined the military. He was toying with the idea, and I’m glad he took another path, became a firefighter instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes. He wasn't a combat soldier thank goodness, but in an engineering battalion. His first deployment was for 6 months just when it began and they spent the time in the desert building gas supply stations, only ever saw some Bedouins in the distance. His 2nd deployment was for a year. When he came to the house to tell us, he said, Mom, sit down. I burst into tears because I knew what he was about to tell us. The day after Bush was re-elected they told him he had 5 days to get his affairs in order and was sent out during the worst of the worst and while he stayed on bases building barracks and other facilities, the bases were bombed daily and they had to travel in convoys to the different bases when the convoys were getting blown up by IEDs all the time. He saw a lot of death. It was easily the worst year of my life (and his). He came back physically and mostly mentally whole but emotionally damaged. The army really does a crappy job of helping these soldiers re-enter into public life. After he was deployed the second time, I couldn't even talk about it. It was months before I could tell anyone without crying. I'm so glad the fire department came through for your son.

      Delete
  10. That comment above is from 37P by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Now I'm going to associate the night-blooming cereus with your second son's birthday. Happy 43rd Birthday to your son!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your night blooming cereus looks like an Orchid Cactus to me. Gorgeous, no matter what you call it. Thanks for sharing!!! And a very Happy Birthday to your son.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I consider black-eyed susans an army invasion, but my native Nazis have told me to get over it. Loved the story of your sweet son.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful flowers, beautiful son. Now, if only we could find a way to make rainstorms a beautiful experience for that cute little pup, we'd have something! I'm glad you got rain. I suspect you might have had more since publishing this. We finally got a bit, but it looks like overnight and tomorrow morning offer the best chance for an inch or two. I'll pass on the golf-ball sized hail they're having up around Midland-Odessa.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy Birthday to your son. We once knew a man when we were young with babies who had the opinion that the one who gave birth should be celebrated on the child's birthday. He said that the mother did all the work. He was a funny man with no wife or children of his own, a man in a position of authority where my husband worked. He just liked hanging out with our family and ended up dating my mother-in-law for a time. He is right in that the mothers are the ones who never forget that day of birth! I am still unaccustomed to the growing season here. I hope I have a better handle on it next year as I am currently bloomless! I had it down in Missouri and always had something in bloom. I love your flowers!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a gorgeous flower! I'm sorry you were sleep deprived, but it was fortuitous that you woke up then! Happy late birthday to your boy - I'm glad he gets to live a quiet life.

    ReplyDelete

I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.