September 28th, Wednesday: The charge nurse in Labor&Delivery gives me my NST. I tell her I have to go to the bathroom and though it takes one minute she leaves and returns 15 minutes later. The paper scroll runs out after 40 minutes monitoring the baby (I only need 20) so I remove the belts and detach myself from the monitor.
“Is there a reason you removed yourself from the monitor?” Her little nose crinkles up and her eyes narrow into a squint.
“Well the paper ran out and it had been 40 minutes so-”
“You did this last week. We don’t just go by time we need to check accelerations and we still monitor downstairs without the paper.”
Was she going to eat me?
The interaction didn’t frazzle too bad. After two ducks get in a fight, they’ll float off and flap their wings wildly to shake off excess energy and bad vibes. And so I do this with a walk. I am then visited by two kind and agreeable nurses. One brings the first season of “Poldark” and the other is going to hunt down her first season of “Outlander” and I am set for hours of Masterpiece Theater and Starz entertainment. Angelique has the same taste as me and we chatter about Downton Abbey and Les Miserables. I take the spaceship pill and a few deep breaths.
After lunch Charley calls. It’s been four days since he’s called and I’m relieved to hear his voice. He’s with Tracy at a hospital in Santa Fe filling out paper work, and they’re going to transfer him to a detox center. Tracy and Adam will watch the animals.
Charley is having heavy DTs (delirium tremens) from alcohol withdrawal. He says it hurts. He says I’m heavy in his mind, he misses me so much and he can’t wait till this is all over.
“Are you mad at me?”
“No Charley. I love you.”
He says he can feel his soul eroding and he’s sick of being drunk. He’s sick of being an idiot.
So now we are both in hospitals.
I feel hopeful again. And I feel stuck in a box.
Of all the ammenities the hospital offers, Reiki is my favorite. The masseuse talks too much. The therapy dog lady talks too much and stares at me. But Diana the Reiki nurse talks briefly and then there’s just music and silence and the feeling of her fingertips along my energy points and chakras.
She goes for 45 minutes today (it feels like ten), and lingers over my ear infection. In fact she can feel which ear it is like a psychic. The music moves from Tibetan overtone chanting to choral voices to whale sounds and conch shell and Pythagorean tuning forks. My eyes feel heavy. Dakota kicks like a jeet kune do master, and my legs restlessly twitch, about to explode.
Diana says to keep an eye on the thymic chakra (high heart chakra). The thymus gland is at the forward base of the neck. It plays an important role in the immunological defense system, stimulating the production of white blood cells that fight disease and infection. She suggests I tap this spot gently throughout the day. It will strengthen my immune system.
The high heart chakra is located between the throat and heart chakras. It’s an activator of higher consciousness and describe as a minor white-fire chakra associated with the thymic chakra. In Tibetan Buddhism it’s known as the fire chakra, possessing three petals. Some say it is where “intent” originates, and that it links the emotions of the heart with the reason of language.
I feel calm and at peace with the world, and this whole longterm hospital situation. But my calm completely falls away when I read a message from Tracy. She says Duke- my pit and collie puppy- is eating up the house and he’s just too much work. She says she will find him a new home.
In a fury I leave Tracy a message. “Tracy please don’t give him away. I’d understand a temporary home and I know he’s a lot of responsibility but I will handle everything when I get back.”
And I write her another message: “Please wait. I’ll figure something out. He’s my dog.”
Then I called my mom. “How are you going to take care of three dogs and a baby? He is a crazy dog, and needs to be on a farm; you can’t take care of him.”
And I called my dad.
“Your priority is your health and the baby right now. He’s an outside dog.”
“He’s my dog! You guys don’t get to make this decision! I’ll induce the baby and go back to my dogs! This is not okay!”
“Claudia, stay calm.”
I pass a girl singing to herself, “I waaant to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my biiiiikke!” I glare at her. Fucking bitch. Everyone is a fucking bitch.
And fuck this baby.
I realize I just walked around the whole hospital. My heart is pounding. My mouth is dry. My legs are falling off.
Back in my room, I write a Facebook post:
“Hi friends! So I am still in the hospital with pregnancy issues … If you’re interested and love dogs give me a message … not for sale! Just need babysitting temporarily.”
Ahh thunder. It looks like night. Maybe a storm will induce the baby naturally.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it when I said fuck you Dakota. But we have to save Duke. And you will love him.
“You’re not thinking rationally.” That’s my mom’s new favorite things to say. And she wonders why I moved away. A terrific response from someone who thinks I’m going to hell because I don’t go to church every Sunday.
I think there are two parts of ourselves: who we are and who we think we appear to be to others. There is also who we truly appear to be to other people, but that’s always dependent on their own experiences and perceptions. There is a little schizophrenia in all of us, balancing the authentic self and the perceived self, and it’s always evolving, dependent on whatever chapter of our lives we’re living through.
Right now I’m in this pregnancy chapter and it’s interfering with my other loves: art, writing, dogs, independence.
I don’t know how I see myself anymore. I don’t know what others see. Nothing else matters. I just want my animals and husband. Everything’s falling apart outside of this hospital room and they tell me to “stay calm”.
“You’re not thinking rationally! I’m 33! It’s my decision! It’s my goddamn dog!”
She hangs up.
We’ve never gotten along. “I hope you have children just like you one day,” she would threaten.
Me too. Fuck you.