Today, I’m guest blogging on my husband’s site, and he’s blogging here on mine. We each wrote about the birth experience from our perspectives. If you would like to read mine, please click here to be redirected to my husband’s site. His perspective is below.
First of all, hello to all the people that don’t normally read my words, just reflections of them through Myshell’s blog here. If you were so inclined to check out my steez, there’s that (including my blog, Twitter, et cetera), and thus ends my pimping of myself.
That was one … interesting weekend.
On New Year’s Eve, my wife underwent a Cesarean section and gave birth to our daughter, Ella Simone Tabu (who already may have a nickname, but I lost the coin toss to “announce” it before it’s “branded”). If you’ve been following our path and our struggle thus far (even discussed in other arenas), you know what kind of a frustration this could be for us. We spent a lot of time, spiritual energy and money, coordinating the assistance of a variety of friends and relations to try and make this latest Team Tabu production go off smoothly.
It did not go as we planned. Despite going 18 days past our December 11th due date, we ended up at the hospital down the street, our daughter at what’s called a “negative three station,” which is a long way away from being down and ready to roll. Said daughter was healthy and so was my wife, but something called an “irritable uterus” (and I had no idea you could irritate uteri … uteruses … ah crap) was making Myshell’s life a living hell in terms of chronic pain and denying us both sleep.
The introduction of a scalpel to my wife’s delicate skin, in her mind, is a failure. We have a house full of crap — lead-free water hose (I made a lot of jokes about that), tarp and so on — that’s now a reminder of the holistic birth experience that didn’t happen. We had to pack for a hospital trip and secure places to stay for our daughter (which came from truly great friends pitching in), each item stuffed into a container a reminder of what wouldn’t happen. The constant (and I do mean constant, like, upwards of 40-60) text messages and calls when all we wanted was privacy to absorb the complications … it was a pain. Myshell asked me to break out my Bad Cop routine, and when the incessant “Y’all haven’t had that baby yet?” interrogatives kept deluging us, I threatened and growled and did what I had to do to silence the questions as best as I can, ignoring bruised feelings along the road, regardless of the source. Only one group of people mattered, and they lived under my roof.
There have been tears and self-recriminations and more. There were sleepless nights and heartfelt hugs. Given the pain alone, Myshell believed that save some bright points, last week was the worst of her life (which she considers something of a tough race to win). Did I mention that, coming home from the stepdaughter’s final Kwanzaa show (she killed), I dropped and smashed the smartphone that’s been my constant ancillary brain for close to twelve years (I’ll likely blog about that over at The Hundred and Four later this week)? There were challenges, y’all.
However, there’s this …
… and for me, that’s the ball game.
Things didn’t go the way they were planned. For me, that’s nothing new. I was on track to make a million dollars in cash by the time I was thirty one, but some bad decisions on the field screwed that up. I was supposed to have an Image comic book with Eric Battle. That didn’t happen. Before the turn of the century, I worked sixty hours a week building a website that doesn’t even exist any more. Life has thrown a wide variety of challenges at me, and I have adapted, because of the wisdom of Harold Grant: “there’s two types of people in the world: predators and prey. Who you are is your choice.” I believe that I have a choice, and I choose joy. I am happy because it’s less awful than the alternative, and often has some pretty great advantages.
For example: new feelings. I’ve done a lot and seen a lot and often people consider me pretty jaded. Then, stuff like this happens, and it’s an all new experience. To hold a baby who’s not even two hours old, singing probably my favorite song in the whole world, and having her respond and strain her little neck to turn towards my voice? Dude, you can’t beat that. I thought I knew what things like “pride” felt like, figured I’d explored all their nooks and crannies. Nuh uh. Kids open whole new vistas (that aren’t as crashy … oh, you know I had to jab Micro$oft if I got the chance) of emotion that are worth every single second of struggle.
So here’s my perspective on things: despite some pain management concerns (I’m sure she’ll go into detail on that), my stupidly beautiful wife is essentially fine. This child, who is apparently The Most Interesting Baby In The World, is healthy and beautiful, with a full head of hair, a sharp little natal tooth (I’m sure the wife will have stuff to say about that as well, so no need for me to cover it, but the idea a child of mine would show up with nails and a sharp tooth, ready for battle, came as no surprise to me despite the discomfort those facts cause) and an attitude that “if she’s not sleeping or getting something to eat, she wants to cry,” hence the working title nickname … well, you’ll hear that soon enough.
Four fun side comments. I’ve been doing this “walk and sing” thing to settle Ella a lot, with maybe a 65 percent success rate. She doesn’t seem to like it when I freestyle the words to songs I half remember or when I repeat, so I’ve strained my memory pretty hard and sang almost every song (within reason — no Nirvana) I know. Steve Wonder, Coldplay, The Temptations, Madonna, T-Pain (sorry), Spandau Ballet, Shai, Hall & Oates … my head hurts and I don’t know (without music playing at least) nearly as many songs as I thought I did. A project to keep lyrics handy … hm.
Second, a poetess friend of mine Ymasumac noted that every year people will party for my daughter’s birthday, which is kind of cool. When she’s an adult, she’ll be able to have a good time every birthday, no matter what … not that she’ll drink or have relations with men until after she finishes her Ph. D. *Hannibal stares innocently at the sky* In any case, she’ll always — legitimately — be the life of the party, especially ours. I love that celebratory energy surrounding her.
Also, my main dude Jason from the Chi made a comment that nihilism loses. People just don’t get me. Nihilism and fatherhood don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This little girl, should she be so inclined, could easily grow up to become my vengeance. Or, she could grow up to change things where I wouldn’t need to feel this way. Or she may have completely different ideas and I’ll be dead sooner or later so who cares what the crazy old man has to say? She’ll never know a time when her father didn’t have white hairs, and that’s funny all by itself.
Finally, as I walked her around and sang to her as a calming gesture, I found myself saying a kind of strange chant. “Mommy provides, Baba protects and Sister leads the way. All will be well,” the last part of which is the mantra of the Blue Lanterns in the “Blackest Night” crossover DC Comics has going on right now (fun fact: very few Black people in “Blackest Night,” it’s true). Anybody who’s ever read my comic book reviews at CBR knows I hate, hate, hate “Blackest Night,” so for part of it to have crept into my mind at that time is hilarious all by itself. To be fair, I did only read one new comic last week, Blackest Night #6, and still don’t know why my 2009 summary didn’t post. Messin’ with my money …
Anyway, for me? I’ll tell you like Chel E. Mac — “I can’t complain.” I am so happy and so pleased that everybody’s here and essentially whole. I believe my wife is going to feel better from the stitches and the pitocin and the duramorph and what not. I believe Ella Simone Tabu is going to grow up and be the most amazing whatever she wants to be, and the Most Interesting Sisters In The World (sorry Venus and Serena) will be a phenomenal pair. Ella Simone is my new year’s resolution, my bright star showing me the way, and I couldn’t be happier to see where we’ll end up.
To all the people who’ve been so supportive of us — the nagging questions and the actual stuff we liked — I wanna say thank you for your help and your caring and your time. We’ll be back in effect shortly, y’all. Family time now, gotta run.
Playing (Music): “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder