I’ve been rapping for about 17 years
ok, this post isn’t about rapping at all. more about raising a baby. for about 6 months exactly. crazy!
on this momentous occasion, i thought it would be interesting to look back at the events leading up to ramona’s birth.
also, to prove that i don’t have a shred of vanity, i am going to post The Worst Ever Picture Of Me, taken exactly 6 months ago:
i hope you all enjoy that. i know krispin did (he thought it was funny when i texted it to him. he didn’t think it was so funny when he got a call from the hospital several hours later). i woke up one morning 6 months ago and could hardly open my eyes, they were so swollen. and i couldn’t smile. everyone had been repeatedly assuring me that a little swelling was normal, that everything was fine, but this was just so ridiculous.
in retrospect, everybody really did think i looked terrible. my good friend jenni, who was due one day before me, literally saw me balloon in front of her eyes as we led a somali basketball camp together. in three weeks i went from hardly showing to looking like danielle the cautionary whale. i guess i was friends with people who were too nice to say, “wow, your face looks really fat”. except for, of course, my darling friends from other cultures. the bhutanese refugees i hang out with looked panicked whenever i lumbered near them, forcing me to sit down and having hushed and urgent conversations that centered around the momentous size of my ankles.
anyways, krispin shouldn’t have laughed. my mom didn’t when she came to pick me up to go garage saling, but she didn’t think it was urgent enough to hit up at least one sale on the way to the hospital for a pre-emptive blood pressure check.
the blood pressure check was high, so they kept me for an hour. then it got higher, so they had me stay for 3. then it got higher still, and they told me i probably would need to stay overnight for observation. i hadn’t packed anything, and didn’t think i would be staying long. i never changed into scrubs but stayed in my tank top and shorts. pretty soon i had an i.v. in and was being pumped full of anti-seizure meds that made me feel like death and my blood was being drawn every 3 hours, my blood pressure taken every 20 min. krispin finally showed up.
and i know i have written about this before. the rest kindof blurs out, the next day spent waiting without hope that i would get better. the triple whammy of realizing i was very, very ill, that we were going to have a baby (!) much sooner than we thought, and that said baby was going to be 7 weeks premature and need care that the hospital we were at could possibly not provide. by the time we realized this i was too sick to transport.
so we had a baby, not the old-fashioned way. a surgical procedure, and then miles of i.v.’s and tape and lights and beeping monitors coming from all angles, and the nicest nurses in the world helping me and my baby get better at the same time. we were there for 2 weeks, but it felt like years.
we were eased into the baby thing by a preemie who looked like a gnome and who slept all the time, who barely paid any attention to us except to furrow her brow in consternation. and then she turned into the colicky whirling dervish of a baby, one that had us tethered to our apartment (although her shaky immune system had done that to us already), fervently shushing and rocking and jiggling and swaddling 3 months away.
and then the dawn broke, and she became a baby. still not like a sitcom baby, the one who is just there for the little jokes and smiles and coos (i am thinking of you, lily-the-cute-asian-baby-wh0-never-cries from Modern Family). but like a real baby that i had prepared myself for: one that laughs when you do stupid stuff, a baby that i can sing my painfully earnest renditions of “peace train” and “hakuna matata” too, a baby that grabs at my hair and shrieks in delight.
ramona’s arrival stopped our life right in its tracks. and i feel like it has taken a good 6 months for it all to start feeling even semi-normal.
but here we are, living life together. today i taught an esl class with six students (!) and the ramona baby front and center. it is becoming so much more fun, and so much more rewarding.
and now here is the requisite so-cute-it-makes-your-head-explode pic:
ah, here’s to never being a newborn again. i mean, here’s to getting older and discovering things like cupcakes (only for special occasions, ok?) and legos and disneyland (but not the princess thing) and all the wonderful plans that god has for you, my little ramona baby.