Dream

I dreamed that I had a baby boy, and I gave him to Prince Charles and Princess Diana to raise. The baby's name was David Matthew Something Edward. I hated to give him up, but the Prince and Princess were so grateful that I went to McDonalds and bought a round of Filet O'Fish sandwiches for everyone, to celebrate the adoption.



August 26, 1982

Jamie began pulling herself up to a standing position this morning! I was laying on the sofa, and she grabbed the edge with both hands and simply stood up. I was so thrilled! She did it several more times after that, smiling hugely each time. I can tell she thinks she's pretty hot shit.

Cloudy and overcast. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of summer. I'm not sorry to see the hot weather end, but I will be sorry to see the end of the nicest summer I've had in a long, long time. Last summer was OK, but most of the time I was too frazzled and overwhelmed with baby/wedding plans to relax and enjoy anything. This year, there's been nothing major to deal with ... just a lot of long, lazy, happy days spent with my baby. Jamie and I got acquainted this summer: the "bonding" process is complete. Now I feel closer to her than I've ever felt to another human being. I'll always remember the Summer of '82 as the summer I fell in love with my daughter.

September is here! And that means fall, glorious beautiful fall, the best time of the whole year, is right around the corner. The house is neat, orderly and sunny today. Tomatoes ripening on the kitchen windowsill ... anniversary cards ("One Year") taped to the fridge ... baskets of clean laundry sitting on top of the dryer. The entire day stretches out before me. I'm happy.




September 18, 1982

Dad got married last Thursday night, at Uncle Paul's house in Kent. Ray and I brought Jamie to the wedding (against the protests of Aunt Elva) and she was as good as gold throughout the entire evening. During the ceremony - which was short and simple - Ray stood holding her near the back door, stuffing crackers into her mouth to ensure her silence. He was ready to duck out into the hallway if she let out so much as a peep, but there was no need to worry: Jamie didn't make a sound. I was very proud (and relieved). After the wedding we all went upstairs for a buffet, and Jamie spread cookie crumbs all over Aunt Elva's pristine white carpet. What a great kid.

Jamie is crawling around the house in her jammies, chattering in her singsong fashion, investigating the album covers I've thrown onto the floor by the stereo. Now she has clambered over here to the stool where I'm sitting and she's standing beside me, trying to grab my pen. She says, "Mom-mom?," with a questioning look in her eyes. I ignore her a fraction of a second too long and she becomes insistent, pulling at the hem of my bathrobe. "MOM-MOM!" she says again, more firmly. I put down my pen and smile at her. Satisfied, she slithers back down to the floor and crawls away from me, off to the kitchen.

A smile from "Mom-Mom" is all she needed, I guess.




September 1982: Some things about Jamie

She has four teeth now ... two on the top, two on the bottom. I can't believe how fast they all sprouted: BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM, one right after the other. She can eat almost anything now. This morning I gave her a little bowl of Trix cereal (no milk), and she chomped it down in minutes. When Ray takes us to Dave's Place, Jamie sits on my lap and munches soda crackers and sliced dill pickles. In the past couple of weeks she's sampled orange wedges, bananas, white chicken meat, chow mein, a Hershey bar, parts of a Hostess cherry pie, dinner rolls, baked potatoes, tortillas ... even pizza!

Standing up is easy for her now. She grasps the edge of the furniture and pulls herself right up. This week I've seen her attempt a new trick: squatting down to pick something up and then standing back up again, holding the sofa with just one hand for support the whole time.

Jamie's favorite toys include: her yarn "baby," a doll her Great-Great-Aunt Helen made for her. The doll has bright yellow pigtails and a reversible face - eyes wide open on one side, closed tight on the other. This is the doll I like to pack in the diaper bag when we go bye-bye. She also likes the big clear plastic ball with the spinning butterflies inside, which her Daddy bought for her last week. When you roll the ball across the floor, the butterflies "dance." In the tub, her favorite toy is her squeaky pink bird. During naptime, she sleeps with her musical teddy bear (Honey Bear) and the fuzzy pink elf Judy gave her.

Rainy morning. I'm drinking coffee and listening to Phil Donahue and the lovely sound of rain on the roof. Jamie is crawling around the living room in her yellow nightgown, full of pep and energy. How do babies do it? I'm not going to feel any pep or energy until I've had at least two cups of coffee, and even then I could never hope to match Jamie. Already this morning she has:

Torn her bedroom apart.

Ripped up two of my new magazines.

Eaten half a dead bug.

Crawled behind the fireplace and stuffed a handful of soot in her mouth.

Had a minor tantrum because I won't let her have any of my coffee.

Followed me into the bathroom while I rinsed out her stinky plastic pants.

Checked our bedroom to see if Daddy is home (he isn't).

Played a game of patty-cake.

... And now she's tucked back into her crib with a bottle. Whew!



I just had a strong precognitive "flash" ... this baby will be a boy, and his name will be Casey! I just glanced down the hallway and "saw" him, toddling along behind a two year old version of Jamie.




Scenes From Today:

* I am standing in the middle of the living room, absent-mindedly watching something on TV, with my hands stuck in my pockets. Jamie crawls up behind me, grabs the leg of my pants and pulls herself to her feet. She barely reaches the top of my thigh. I reach down and fondly pat the top of her head; she looks up at me and smiles, fingers of one hand in her mouth, other hand tightly clutching my pants. I notice then that she is beginning to lose some of the new-baby wobbliness. She is steadier, more sure of her movements.

* Jamie is napping. I fix myself a fresh cup of coffee, nestle into my armchair and begin putting on my makeup. For a change of pace, I put a little extra pink on my cheeks, and use a darker shade of lipstick: it makes me look more "alive." As I put on eye makeup I plan the rest of my day ... what outfit Jamie will wear, what I'll fix us for lunch, when I'll bake my pies. Today I am glad to be Terri, glad that I'm a housewife and Mommy, glad that I have things to do.

* Mommy and Jamie are going for a stroll around the neighborhood. The day is clear, sunny and a little cool. The leaves haven't begun to change colors yet, but fall is in the air. Jamie is wearing a red hooded sweater, and she clutches one of her Daddy's white handkerchiefs as we roll along. We pass houses, cars, trees, barking dogs, occasional people on the street. Jamie sings, chuckles, hoots, clucks and jabbers. Once in a while she twists around in her stroller seat to look up at me, and we smile at each other. As I push her stroller along in the autumn sunshine, I fondly watch the top of her little head bobbing around, watch the tiny feet kicking happily, watch the pudgy hands waving in the air ... and I feel a surge of warm, protective, maternal love for my little cub ...

Fall 1982 is ... "Southern Cross" by Crosby, Stills and Nash ... wearing maternity clothes again ... four cats ... green grapes and apples ... pink fingernail polish ... the first autumn leaves, on the Harlan's tree next door ... soda crackers in the morning ... the Western Kraft picnic, and a fuzzy white teddy bear for the new baby ... "Mom-Mom" ... Christmas catalogs beginning to arrive in the mail ... Jamie sprouting her first tooth ... "Grandpa Ted" ... Carol Greene's whiny voice on the phone ... raisin bran ... torn up magazines ... Pepsi Free ... peanuts ... baking my first apple pie ... the football strike and the Tylenol scare ... my new dress, paisley and lace ... Dr. Pepper ... windstorms ... denim overalls ... library books.

Things I Hate!

Cooked lettuce! Emptying ice cube trays. Unexpected company! Pizza. Disconnection notices. Bare walls.




October 6, 1982

Jamie Lynn P. stood up all by herself today!!

Jay's thrilling lunch menu today: two baked fish sticks, steamed carrots, cheese chunks ... all eaten with her fingers ... and a side of gusto.

I'm beginning to think about how nice it might be to have another daughter. Kasey? Lindsay? Kelsey? Kimberley? Two little girls. Wouldn't that be lovely? I can picture Ray and I, taking "the girls" to the zoo ... one little girl is riding on her Daddy's shoulders, the other is skipping alongside, holding my hand and eating a big cotton candy. They both have long brown pigtails tied in ribbons, and they're both wearing bright colors and tennis shoes.

Baby ... who are you going to be?

When will you be joining our family?

Will you be in good health when you arrive?

Will your big sister love and accept you?

There are two things I especially love about babies. One is that the smallest, simplest thing can make them happy: the sight of a favorite toy or blanky. A funny noise. Standing up for the first time! Spotting Mama's face from across the room. The other thing I love about them is how genuine they are about their feelings, good or bad. There isn't a trace of artifice in Jamie right now. (Editor's note: Enjoy it while it lasts ...)




October 14, 1982

I saw Dr. Heffron today at 4:00. Ray couldn't take me, so my mother-in-law gave me a ride to the doctor's office, and then she sat in the waiting room with Jamie while I had my exam ... the usual blood and urine tests, the weigh-in, the pelvic exam, etc. ... all of which is very familiar to me now. I'm in my sixteenth week, approximately: it's hard to know for sure at this point. Everything checked out OK. I weigh 148 at the moment, and my blood count is low again so it's back on the iron pills. Otherwise, all is fine.

I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time today. (Hello, Mommy!) When I heard that funny, far-away "underwater" sound - a tiny heartbeat, deep inside me - I felt an unanticipated rush of joy. "This baby just became real for me, this minute," I said to the nurse. And it was true!

Now I put my hand on my tummy and press my fingertips into the flesh. It occurs to me that the baby is, technically, only inches from my fingers, separated only by a few thin layers of skin and muscle and tissue ... yet, whenever I think about her, she is in some far-off place, millions of miles away. It's hard to believe that the baby is sitting right here in this kitchen chair with me, sharing my lunch, going wherever I go, never apart from me. My child. My second-born. A son? Another daughter? Jamie's little sister or brother ...?

I can feel my tummy beginning to "balloon," just the tiniest bit, where the baby is growing. I spend a lot of time these days "listening" to my interior, hoping to feel even the slightest flutter or twitch. That was the nicest thing about being pregnant with Jamie: feeling her moving inside of me. There's no other sensation like it in the world. I can't wait to start feeling it with this baby.

I'm beginning to feel the "nesting" urge again. I want to clean and sort and organize EVERYTHING in this house.



I definitely felt the baby moving today. At last! There was no mistaking it for anything else: a faint but definite twitching, deep inside of me. I wonder how big the baby is right now?



I had my twenty-week appointment with Dr. Heffron yesterday. He used the ultrasound, and we watched the baby moving around. Dr. Heffron took a "Polaroid" of the ultrasound for me to keep, and I can't stop looking at it in absolute wonder.




November 1982

There's got to be an easier way to wash a baby's hair. I felt like I was traumatizing Jamie for life when I dunked her head under the kitchen faucet. She doesn't like shampooing in the tub any better ... when it comes time to rinse the shampoo out, she screams in terror. I hate it. I hate scaring and hurting her. Now that her hair is getting so long, though, it really needs to be shampooed a couple of times a week. What am I supposed to do??

Jamie added a new word to her vocabulary today ... "ba-ba," for bottle. Now I'm trying to get her to say "blanky" (or something similar), since the little orange afghan that her Great-Grandma V. made for her seems to have become her blanky of choice.

She got up by herself onto the sofa today. She can take a few steps, too, while holding onto my finger: occasionally she takes one or two by herself.

We had a grand total of twelve trick-or-treaters on Hallowe'en night. Jamie had her first lollipop that night - a Tootsie Pop, actually - and she ate the whole thing, clear down to the stick.

Yesterday while I was taking an afternoon nap, the baby gave me one good solid THUMP that I could actually feel from the outside, with my hand on my tummy. I was so startled: there really is somebody in there! A very active somebody. Even though I've been down this road once already, the wonder and miracle of it remain fresh and amazing.




Jamie P. at One Year

December 1982

In two days it will be one whole year since Jamie Lynn P. joined our family. We're planning a small ice cream and cake celebration here that evening, with the grandparents and a couple of the aunts. We'll dress Jamie in her new red velvet dress (a gift from Aunt Susie), and open presents, and she'll sit in her highchair and rub birthday cake in her hair, and I'll take pictures ... a nice little birthday party, appropriate for a young lady's first birthday. But here in my heart, the celebration has already begun. It's a quieter, more private celebration of remembrance and reflection; a mother's celebration.

The most surprising thing I've learned during my first year of motherhood is that babies don't stay babies very long. One minute you're marveling at the first little smile, and in the blink of an eye you're watching them take their first wobbly steps. Just as you're getting used to one developmental phase, they're zipping into the next. It takes my breath away. It's such a miracle, watching my baby turning into a real live person, right before my very eyes.

Jamie at age one: a busy, happy little perpetual motion machine, a chatterbox, an explorer, an innovator, a great manipulator, a flirt, a con artist, a tease, a charmer. She is never still for a moment; there is simply too much to do. Drawers must be pulled open and emptied, magazines crumpled, toilet paper unrolled and shredded, knobs twiddled and knickknacks rearranged ... everything must be investigated, tasted, dropped, rattled, fingered, poked, pushed, pulled, hidden, found again ...

She loves things that make noise, things that rattle or clang or jingle. She loves knobs and dials, or anything she can turn. She likes "big peoples' things" - my pens and makeup, Daddy's cigarette lighter, eyeglasses, jewelry, coffee cups - things that are mostly off-limits to her, unfortunately!

She is extremely forthright about her feelings. There is no pretense: when she is happy, she is very, very happy - and she lets you know it. Likewise, when she's unhappy, you hear about it. Loud and clear! Her emotions are still pure and undiluted.

She still chatters incessantly, in that garbled Oriental dialect of hers. Her favorite word is "ba-ba," which originally meant bottle but now seems to have taken on several meanings, including "mother," "blanket" and "I want." She understands most of what I say to her, and she can follow simple instructions. ("Give that to Mama," "Where's your bottle?") She has started pointing at things that interest her; she initiates games of peekaboo; she can (clumsily) clap her hands, use a spoon, drink from my cup and pull her socks off her feet. She loves her little white shoes, and she's very possessive of them: she might let you hold them. Sometimes. Or maybe not.




Jamie discovers the Christmas tree, one year

December 1982

Ray and I put the Christmas tree up on Sunday evening, after Jamie went to bed. I strung the lights and garland and hung all the old familiar ornaments, and when I finished the results were quite nice.

Around 10 p.m. I heard Jay thrashing around in her crib, so I wrapped her up in her blanky and brought her out to the living room to see the pretty Christmas tree. For a minute or two she didn't even notice it: she was far more interested in the taco her Daddy was eating! But then she suddenly caught sight of the tree. If I live to be two thousand years old, I will never forget the look on my daughter's face when she saw that Christmas tree. Her eyes grew big and round as dinner plates, her mouth dropped open in surprise, and her whole expression was one of awe ... all the magic of Christmas, reflected in Jamie's eyes.

Christmas 1982 is now a memory. Jamie got toys and clothes and books and puppets and you-name-it. Her favorites include the musical bear my brother gave her -- her delighted reaction to it was the highlight of Christmas Eve this year -- a little yellow chair from Grandma St. John, a shape-sorter toy, a potty chair and a little pink toddler car from the P. grandparents, and -- of course -- the empty boxes her presents came in.




Early 1983

The new baby is named

Something significant occurred a few nights ago ... on Wednesday night, the night of the last total lunar eclipse until 1986. Ray and I decided to go outside and watch the eclipse at 3 a.m. It was a clear, frosty night, and the unobstructed view from our backyard was amazing. Ray and I stood there with our arms wrapped around each other. At the precise moment that the shadow of the Earth began to darken the face of the moon, two things happened: Baby gave a mighty thump inside of me, and the baby's name crystallized inside my heart. I knew, at that moment, that this child will be Casey/Kasey P.! (Kasey with a "K" for a girl, with a "C" for a boy.)

Little Kasey/Casey P., soon to be my second-born ... little pumpkin seed, dreaming deep inside of me.



Jamie has an annoying new "game." She sneaks up behind me, grabs a handful of my hair and yanks it as hard as she can. When I yelp in pain, she giggles. At first I thought it was funny, but lately it has become painful. She's got quite a grip.




Liddle Diddle

1982

She has become very attached to her orange blanket. The thing looks like a burial shroud and smells like warm urine, but she clutches it lovingly and takes it everywhere she goes.



Last night I dreamed the baby was a girl. I was spoon-feeding Kasey applesauce, while Ray fed Jamie spaghetti and meatballs.




A Daddy Anecdote

1983

Ray was depressed when he got home from work last night. I did my best to console him, but nothing worked. Finally I said, "I know what will cheer you up," and I went and got Jamie out of bed. I wrapped her in a blanky and handed her to Ray. He held her and hugged her, and in a few minutes he was smiling again. Holding a warm, cuddly baby has that effect on some people! He began fixing hot dogs and beans for a late supper, and then he held Jay on his lap while he ate, letting her poke her fingers into his plate and feeding her little pieces of hot dog.



Just took a good long shower. As usual, my little "shadow" stood right beside the tub, watching my every move. While I take my shower she throws stuff into the water at my feet. Toys, spoons, books, a brush and comb, candy wrappers, any miscellaneous household junk she can lay her hands on.




Dream

Ray, Jamie and I were in a tunnel, walking along a railroad track; I was carrying Jamie in my arms. Suddenly, we heard the roar of a train, approaching us from behind. We couldn't see it but we knew it would be on us in seconds. Panicked, I tried to toss Jamie to safety, but I was horrified to discover that I was paralyzed ... I was completely unable to move, or to save my baby from the train. End of dream.




Last night I did a little shopping for the new baby, at Bonanza 88. I bought a new infant seat and pad, two nightgowns, a terry sleep and play suit, a package of cotton swabs and a vanity set (with a brush and comb and a little container for swabs, pins, etc.) Later this week I've got to buy nipples and plastic pants.




Dream

I dreamed that I had a boy, and we gave him the goofy name Casey Prince Matthew. I remember the way I felt in the dream: astonishment and sadness that the birth of my second child was over so soon, anger and frustration because no one was paying any attention to the birth. I was running around all over the place, telling people I'd just had a baby, and nobody seemed to care.




Jay and I had an adventure this afternoon! The sky had cleared up a little and the sun was peeking from behind the clouds, so we went for a stroller ride up the block. On a whim, I took her a little further than usual, all the way up to First Street. Then (on another whim) I turned and began heading in a brand-new direction. Imagine our surprise when, a block or two later, we stumbled across a nice little neighborhood park! I sat and talked a little while with a couple of other mothers, while Jamie delightedly explored every inch of the place. Freedom! She sat in the sandbox, ran around in the grass, pointed at the birds and had a grand time. I put her in one of the swings and pushed her back and forth a little bit -- her very first time on a swing -- but it was new and scary and she didn't like it much. "Down, down, down!" she screamed.




Jamie Stuff

1983

Jamie is happily playing with a bunch of plastic spoons and forks ... lining them up on the floor, sorting them into piles, dropping them into a basket and dumping them out again.

She still enjoys yanking my hair, and now she also pulls out my headbands and barrettes if I'm wearing them. She can point to her belly button, her nose, her teeth and her hair (invaluable skills). She has learned to pull the caps off of lipsticks and pens, much to my dismay, and is learning how to slide the kitchen doors open. When I walk outside to get the mail or retrieve the garbage cans, she clambers onto the sofa and peers at me through the living room window.

Much of the time her mood is directly influenced by my own. On days like this when I'm feeling pensive and moody, she is much quieter than usual ... she plays with her toys, alone, and leaves me alone. When I'm keyed-up and agitated, she is restless and demanding. When I'm buoyant and happy, she likewise is full of smiles and energy.

Of course, there are other times when our moods are polar opposites. Those days are a little slice of hell. I'll be tired and listless and will just want to lay on the sofa quietly, but Jamie will be climbing all over me, chattering a mile a minute, poking her fingers up my nose, pulling my hair and laughing ... my little tormentor.

Sometimes watching Jamie is like looking at a mirror image of myself. We are so alike. How much of that is genetic and how much is acquired, I don't know. But she has so much of Mama in her ... the flashes of temper, the hamminess, the studied concentration, the sense of rhythm ... even the facial expressions, vocal inflections, the belly laugh, the need for lots of close physical contact ...

I look at Jamie and I learn things about Terri. Some of it is disconcerting, some of it pleases me, but always it is a reminder of the huge responsibility I have to influence my daughter positively. I want her to acquire the good things in me and avoid the flaws. Impossible? Probably. Some of my crabbiness, procrastination and self-indulgence is bound to rub off on her. She'll watch me put things off, and fib, and cry, and argue with Daddy. She'll hear me swear when I stub my toe, and complain when I don't feel well, and gossip on the phone with Aunt Judy. Still ... if I can pass on to her even some of the good stuff ... my love of music and reading, my optimism and faith, my belief in God, sense of family, tolerance, imagination ... I'll consider myself a success as a mom.



Five minutes in the life of Jamie P.:

... Sits on the floor, pulls blanky over her head. Picks up toy turtle, carries him out to the kitchen. Drops turtle on the floor, pushes him, drags him along behind her. Sits down in front of the Busy Box toy: picks it up, lays it on the floor, pushes and pulls the knobs. Reaches into toy box and pulls out chain of snap-lock beads, then her toy telephone. Stands up and "talks" on the phone. Tries to pull the phone all the way out of the toy box, but it's stuck; she digs around in the toys and finally manages to get the phone cord free. Falls over onto her back. Stands up, tips over her yellow chair, walks quickly to center of the living room to pick up blanky. Comes over to Mommy for a kiss and hug; pulls Mom's hair just for good measure. Toddles over to the TV, falls down a couple of times. Walks over and plunks on piano keys three times, then picks up yellow chair and sits down. Begins to yell in anger. "Da da da da da!" Falls on top of blanky in unhappy heap. Blows a couple of spit bubbles, listens to TV for a minute, yells again, stands up and carries blanky over to far corner of room, makes little "motorboat" noises. Walks to the other side of the room, clangs lid on copper can a few times, drops the can and lid onto floor, sits down, pulls magazines off of coffetable and industriously begins tearing pages out.




January 26, 1983

Feeling fuzzy and out of focus ... I keep slipping into daydreams. Yesterday afternoon while I was vacuuming and cleaning Casey's room-to-be, I suddenly found myself standing on a chair, staring off into space ... totally lost in thought. Today I'm staring out the window, sipping my coffee, feeling the baby move slightly within me, considering the state of my life. Longing for something, but not exactly sure what. I should be satisfied: I have most of the things I wanted. A home, a husband, children, lots of time to myself. So why does it feel like something important is missing, something just beyond my grasp? Most of the time I'm content, but once in a while I have days like this, when one piece of the puzzle is missing.

At least there is one thing in life that has given me nothing but satisfaction and joy: my little daughter. Jamie is the dearest thing in the world to me. My love for her is constant, steady and reassuring. She is everything I ever hoped or imagined my daughter would be, and every day I love her better and better.




Jamie discovers babies

Age thirteen months

Jamie has become very interested in babies. Any time a diaper commercial comes on TV I say "Look at the baby!," and she'll stand in the front of the TV, smiling and jabbering and pointing. She sits on my lap and looks at magazines with me: her favorite pages feature babies. And she has three or four baby dolls that she lugs around everywhere.

Jamie has learned to kiss! When prompted, she puckers her whole mouth and makes a loud smacking noise. A "kiss-kiss"!

Here are some of the things she says all the time:

"gook" - cookie

"joo" or "doo" - juice

"gog" or "da" - doggy

"kee" - kitty

"bank" - blanky

(So why hasn't she started calling me Mama yet ...??)




February 1983

Jamie is playing in the corner with her toybox. A few minutes ago she toddled over to me with her favorite book, "The Poky Little Puppy's Wonderful Winter Day," "requesting" that I read it to her for the zillionth time today. Fortunately her attention span is limited; she sat on my lap for about a minute and a half while I read an abbreviated version. She'll only sit still for a few pages' worth, thank God.

Personally I wish the Poky Little Puppy would get run over by a cement mixer ...


Some of Jamie's favorite things: sitting on top of stuff (toys, pillows, large books, people, cats) ... spaghetti noodles, tomato slices, orange wedges, chocolate milk, meatloaf, cookies ... commercials with little kids in them ("I LOVE the smell of my DADDY!") ... spoons, forks and all kitchen utensils ... The Poky Little Puppy's Wonderful Winter Day ... balloons ... ice cubes ...



Kasey ... when are you going to arrive? Are you going to surprise us with an early entrance, or tease us with a late arrival, or show up right on schedule like your sister did?

What will you be like? Happy to be here at last? Or confused by the sudden changes in your universe? Will you be a noisy baby or a quiet baby? Will you have brown eyes or blue? Will I dress you in frilly dresses or football jerseys ... ?

I'm aware of the baby's physical presence all the time now. I can feel even the barest, slightest movement, and even when Baby is completely still I can still "feel" her there, lodged securely beneath my heart.




Jamie

Fourteen months, 1983

My funny little Pooh. One of her latest antics: slinging Mom's enormous purse over her shoulder and waving a cheery "bye bye!" Is she pretending to go somewhere, or is she requesting an outing?

Jamie had an accident a few minutes ago: she tripped and fell against the camphor chest, and now she has a huge purple welt developing in the center of her forehead. She howled in pain, but luckily -- at that precise moment -- a big noisy flock of bird flew over the house. She forgot her pain in a blink: she loves birdies. Right now she's still standing on the sofa, pointing at the sky saying "Bir, bir, bir!

Thank God for the "birs." They helped circumvent what might have been a very stormy and unpleasant morning.




Pregnancy stuff

Seven and a half months

Some minor physical discomforts: recurring lower backache, especially if I've been standing up for too long. (Washing the dishes kills me.) Leg cramps again, but only in the right leg. Puffy, tender gums that bleed when I brush my teeth. Nocturnal heartburn. Occasional Braxton-Hicks. Frequent muscle cramps. Frequent dashes to the bathroom!

Baby's movements have slowed down a little. Most of the time it feels like she's just gently swaying back and forth. Once in a while I do get a sharp poke in the gut, though.

Jamie has been a royal pain all day long, and I have a monstrous headache as a result. One minute she's eating dirt out of the fireplace, the next minute she's unplugging all the electrical cords, the next minute she's throwing toys out the door or into the toilet bowl. She follows at my heels everywhere I go, busily "undoing" everything I do. If I sort the dirty laundry, she pulls it out of the laundry basket; if I pick up the newspapers, she'll scatter them across the floor again.

I don't believe in spanking, as a general rule, but I did swat her across the bottom after she'd gotten into the fireplace for the umpteenth time. She didn't cry, but she plopped down and looked at me in utter surprise. I felt crummy for a long time afterwards, but within minutes she was back at my side, trying to climb up onto my lap for a little reassurance (which I was glad to give). There's an amazing resiliency about her, emotional and physical. I see it when she bonks her head and screams in pain, only to happily toddle off after the kitties thirty seconds later, pain forgotten.




A Typical Day

February 1983

7:00 a.m. Ray leaves for work; I go back to sleep.

8:30 a.m. I'm out of bed. Bathrobe. Fix pot of coffee for me and a bottle for Jamie. Jamie is up, drinks her ba-ba on my lap, "Donahue" on TV. Change her diaper. I fix toast and cereal for both of us, and we sit on the living room floor to eat.

Next I take my shower and shampoo my hair; Jamie watches, throwing toys into the bathtub at my feet. Dress. Change Jay's diaper (again) and get her dressed. Wash the dishes, do a little picking up around the house. I'm very pregnant now so I'm not moving very fast. Listen to "Love Boat" and "Family Feud" while I work.

11:30 a.m. Jamie goes down for her nap. I put on makeup, clean house some more, watch "The Edge of Night" and "All My Children." Eat lunch. Fix lunch for Jamie.

1:30 p.m. Jamie wakes up from her nap! Eats her lunch. Change her diaper (again). Open the doors and let the kitties come in and "play" with Jamie.

2-4:00 p.m. Jamie plays. I clean house, write letters, check the mail. Apple juice and cookie snack.

4:00 p.m. Jamie down for Nap #2. Some days she sleeps, other days she plays quietly in her crib. If I'm tired (which is most of the time these days) I'll nap too; if not, I work on my hobbies, watch TV, talk on the phone, make beds, curl my hair, play the piano. Fix dinner for Jamie.

5-6:30 p.m. Jamie up. Change diaper (again). Jamie eats dinner, plays until Daddy comes home.

7:30 p.m. P.J.'s on, bottle of milk. Bedtime, sometimes, unless I let her wait up for Daddy (who is home any time between 9 p.m. and dawn).




March 7, 1983

I got heart-stopping news at my doctor's appointment today: Kasey is a breech baby.

Dr. Heffron had me up on the examining table and had started my internal exam when all of a sudden he just stopped. "I think we may have a breech baby!" he said lightly. This means that Baby's head is where her feet are supposed to be, and vice versa.* Things just didn't "feel right" to the doctor. I put my clothes back on and we went to the ultrasound room. Using the monitor, Dr. Heffron was able to determine that Kasey's little head is just beneath my ribs, and her legs and feet are down in my pelvis. (Ouch.) On the ultrasound I could see her heart beating, strong and steady, and I saw movement from her breathing, so at least she's OK.

A c-section is usually performed in breech deliveries, for the baby's safety primarily. Before we decide on a c-section for sure, Dr. Heffron is going to try and turn the baby around "in utero." I'll be given a muscle relaxant to soften the uterine muscles, and then Dr. Heffron will try to manipulate Kasey from the outside. I know it sounds weird, but I guess it's successful a lot of the time. If it works, I can deliver the regular way. If it doesn't work, well ... then everything becomes more complicated.

Ray is sick with worry. Last night he kept going down the hallway to Kasey's freshly-painted nursery and just stood there, looking at it.

I don't care if I have to have a cesarean: that's the least of my worries. I just want Kasey to be all right.

* Interesting, isn't it? Her usual position even after she was born ... !




March 10, 1983

Cloudy gray morning. I have a heartful of things to say, but I don't know where to begin. The routine and order of my life have suddenly been turned upside-down. Overnight, nothing is the same.

Dr. Heffron couldn't turn the baby around yesterday. He poked and prodded and kneaded my tummy for a full hour, but Baby refused to budge: apparently, one little leg is bent back at an odd angle, and that means she's "stuck" right where she is.

So I'm going to have a c-section. I left the hospital feeling depressed and frightened. This is all so unexpected, and I'm unprepared to deal with it.

I am eating compulsively this afternoon: an apple turnover with tons of whipped cream, a cold egg roll, waffles, a dish of peaches and pears, several big glasses of milk. I'm anxious and worried, and I stuffing myself is a temporary means of comfort. I have a headache. The wind is blowing blossoms off the cherry tree; they are falling like snowflakes. Rain. Dogs barking. Jamie napping. I feel disjointed and far away from things. I'm going to go crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head and try to sleep for a while ... after I eat this little plate of leftover fried rice ...

Not surprisingly, I have a terrible stomach ache. Wish Ray would come home. Wish I could get my mind off my problems for a little while ...




March 14, 1983

Had an eventful appointment with Dr. Heffron this morning. We've set a date for the baby's birth! Casey/Kasey P. will be making his or her entrance into the world on March 25, 1983 ... eleven short days from now.

I'm strangely elated by all of this: I've been in a happy fog all afternoon. My mind is ticking with plans and lists of "Things To Do" ...

Please be healthy, Kasey.

Please be healthy and whole and alert.

Continued ...

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