Month: June 2017
She was breathing her short little panting Lamaze breaths.
The nurse’s head emerged from between her legs.
“You’re doing great, Lilly. Not much longer now!” Lilly gave a small, sweaty laugh and sank back into the pillows behind her head. Then another one came.
“Oh!” Her eyes rolled and she grunted as she bore into the contraction.
“Push her knees up! Push them up! ” I had her left knee. I pushed that knee as high as it could go. Caroline was right knee, and we locked eyes with each other as she pushed along with me.
That one passed, and another came right behind it. They were in rapid, rolling succession now.
“Aaaaaaaaaah,” Lilly’s face went red, she dug her chin into her chest, her torso grew tense. I knew this growl, it came with the birthing push.
Sure enough, a head crowned, then emerged from her body. She pushed again. At this point, Caroline and I had her knees up to her ears, her nether regions were front and center.
The doctor walked in and deftly worked the baby’s shoulders out, which allowed the body to spit itself onto the bed.
“It’s a girl,” the doctor said matter-of-factly, clamping the cord and clearing the airway. He held her upside down by her tiny feet, she let out a lung inflating squall. Then, like a fish on a dock, the doctor flipped her up onto Lilly’s chest. Lilly grinned and scooped the tiny girl against her.
The nurse looked up at us from her work. “Ladies, you can release the legs now.” We hadn’t realized we still had Lilly in position. We laughed and put her legs down on the bed.
That night was many years ago, but I’ll always remember being there. It was my birthday, and probably the most heart-swelling birthday I’ve ever had.
And she made it look so easy.
I’ve heard there’s a way to live that is without pressure, or obligation. A way to avoid the mundane requirements of life; electric bill, rolling trash bins to the curb, changing batteries in the smoke alarms. I’m not real clear about how one achieves that no-pressure life without ending up under a bridge somewhere. I do feel pretty certain that there’s a way to find balance along the nothing/everything continuum.
I was watching Hoarders the other day. In fact I was watching Hoarders back to back. I was sort of hoarding the Hoarders series. I keep thinking about those people and wondering, what was their trigger? What was the last straw that caused that interior designer to pile her historic home so full of crap that she ended up living in the driveway, in her dilapidated van with her dogs? That when the cleanup people were climbing over the piles inside the home, she was cheerily bragging on it being her design studio? In her mind and eyes, there was no problem.
She literally hoarded herself out of her home. She crowded herself out of her life with stuff. And though she declared the high value of it all, much of it was … nothing but garbage.
Another woman’s home was over run with cottage cheese cartons, rubber bands – which she had huge piles of, and wouldn’t let the cleanup people touch – plastic bags. Anything. Everything. It appears that too much everything flips over and you get nothing.
I’m thinking balance. It’s a great term, most of us use it, and most of us think that, in some way, we have some sort of balance in our lives.
Those hoarders think they have balance too. Like the woman whose house was so filled with crap she was living in the makeshift aviary with her cats. She couldn’t live in her house. She cried. She didn’t want to let anything go, but at the same time knew she had a problem.
Not sure why I’m writing about this. What I’m sure of is, I need to hire a couple of teenagers to help me clean out my garage.
You never know when that last straw’s gonna show up.