That Time I Died

It’s been almost 4 years. I guess it’s time I told my story. You know, the story of how I died in childbirth. No, not figuratively. I really died.

Pregnancy for most women is a glorious thing. They find the amazement and the wonder of it a miraculous event. I’m not most women. I hated being pregnant. Hated it. With a passion. Every time.

I got pregnant the first time when I was 16. I have birthed 5 babies total. I didn’t like any of it, any time. I know that makes me sound like a dick but it’s the truth. I gave birth to my first baby (Pooh Butt) with the use of every possible drug I could beg for. My second baby (Buddha Boy) was a dry birth with NO drugs because he was coming too fast for them to be of any use to me. My third (Pea Pie) and fourth (The B) babies were by c-section because my cervix had decided that she too was not a fan of pregnancy, or birthfor that matter.

Then came my fifth baby. My little Princess La La. This pregnancy was just as gawd awful as the first four. Only…. More so. I had more issues and complications than I care to count. Just know: it was bad.

I was asleep one cold night in January when my body told me I had to pee. Not in a few minutes, right damn now! So, I rolled my fat ass up out of the bed and headed to the bathroom. But…. I couldn’t hold it. It was pouring down my legs. I couldn’t even make it stop. As I sat on the toilet, it just kept pouring out like I was pissing Niagara Falls. I flipped the light in the bathroom on so I could see to clean myself up where I had pissed all over myself and began screaming…. I hadn’t been peeing on myself, it was blood. And it was POURING out of me.  My bed, my bedroom floor, my bathroom… It looked like the Manson family had been there and forgot to write on the wall. And I was terrified.

My husband jumped up and called 911…. 30 minutes went by and the ambulance hadn’t shown. And I was still gushing blood from my baby shoot! He threw some clothes at me while he struggled to dress himself, and loaded me up in his work van. The hospital was a 45 minute drive away… He got me there in 10, I swear to you, 10 minutes. And the blood was still coming. This was the first time I had ever seen my husband in a panic.

I got to the labor and delivery area of the hospital and they began taking measures to STOP this from happening… I was told I would be hospitalized for the duration of my pregnancy. I was 31 weeks! That means I would be there for about 8 weeks. I was so upset, but I knew it was for the best, they could save my baby. Because as much as I hate being pregnant, I love my babies. From the moment that stupid line turned pink, I loved my babies.

So I resigned myself to the cold, hard fact: I was stuck there, and it was for the best.

At 1:10 on the morning of January 19, 2012, I asked the nurse to come in to remove all the crap they had me hooked up to so I could pee. She came in, did as I asked, and I headed to the bathroom. And she began to scream. It was happening again. Here screams were for help as I started to pass out and she tried to catch me… It was worse this time. So much worse. Giant clots of blood were falling out of me, I’m talking the size of basketballs and even bigger. I can’t even begin to express how that felt. When a veteran labor and delivery nurse panics, you know shit just got real.

I was rushed into surgery and my husband was called. I was 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

They couldn’t stop the bleeding. My husband arrived just in time to be there for the surgery. I mean just in time, they had already made the first cut.

The room was hot, it felt like a furnace, I was pouring sweat. They were squeezing bags of blood through my veins because the regular drip wasn’t getting it there fast enough, I was bleeding out. They would later tell me that I had lost over 80% of the blood in my body and I shouldn’t have survived that. My husband would later describe it as “buckets of blood.” He said they were in such a rush, they were throwing my internal organs into bowls… They were in such a hurry to get the blood in my, they couldn’t even tape down my IV, my husband was holding it in my arm.

My heart hurt. Not my figurative heart, my literal heart. I felt it POUNDING and it was painful. “My heart hurts. Am I having a heart attack?” I asked. “No, Hun, it’s just because this is such a rush. You are juuuuuust fine,” they said. They lied.

“I’m dying, aren’t I?” I asked, weirdly calm. “No, you’re fine,” they lied again. I closed my eyes.

They delivered my baby, my little La La. And she was the tiniest baby I had ever seen. Barely over 4 pounds. Just over 16 inches long. I opened my eyes to see her but they whisked her away and that is when I got scared. “GO! GO WITH MY BABY!” I screamed at my husband. “STAY WITH HER! DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE HER!” I cried.

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And he obeyed.

An anesthesiologist came in and lost his shit. “What the fuck is happening in here?! Where is all your help?! Why do you not have more nurses?!” And I knew right then, they had lied. I was going to lay there and die and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Nothing. I was tied down to an operating table and couldn’t do a thing to help myself or my tiny baby. As he got on the phone to call a code, I closed my eyes again. I was dying. I felt it. I knew it.

A nurse came to my head and smacked me. “Wake up! Don’t you dare fall asleep! You have to stay with me!” she yelled at me.

And then everything went black. I remember feeling nothing, seeing nothing, hearing nothing. My heart didn’t hurt anymore. I was honestly at peace for what felt like the first time in my life. Real, genuine peace. And it was ok. I was ok with it.

They would later tell me that my heart had stopped, that they did code me, and that they were mere seconds away from pronouncing me: dead. From childbirth. I had no idea that women still ran that risk, I mean, it’s fucking 2012! With all of our technology and medical advancements and fucking science…. I could still die giving birth?! Yes. The answer is yes. Yes they do, and yes I did.

The doctor says he has no idea how I survived. He says I shouldn’t have survived. But I did. Over the course of 2 days, I received a total of 6 bags of blood and 3 bags of plasma. And I survived.

La La stayed in the NICU until we were finally able to take her tiny butt home in March. She, unlike most preemies, never had a single set-back. Not one. She was so strong! She fought for her life, and showed progress daily.

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Now, here she is, about to be 4, and I can finally tell my story. I can finally heal my psyche. My body has mended but my mind has not. This has fucked with me for many reasons.

I’m sure by now you are wondering what the actual fuck happened. Well, what happened is this: her placenta tore itself away from my uterine wall and when it did, it tore a piece of my uterus. This is called an abruption. When that happened, my uterus tore to pieces, essentially exploding. I would never be able to have babies again, my uterus was destroyed. But, that part was ok with me. I was having my tubes tied after this one anyway.

But instead of just taking out the murderous bitch (my uterus), the doctor sewed it back up. I spent the next 2 years in and out of surgery, addicted to painkillers, and living in pain regardless of the painkillers before they finally removed that bitch. But, she had one more blow to give. The damn thing had attached itself to my bladder and in order to take it out, they had to cut my bladder. I spent a few months with a catheter while my bladder healed, but, thankfully, my uterus, that murderous bitch, was GONE.

And now, La La is a happy, healthy, vibrant toddler. And me? I’m thankful to be alive. And for this reason, she is so much more special to all of us. We could have lost her. Things could have gone a different way. But she fought for her life and I am so very, very glad she did. ❤

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I Swear I’m NOT Crazy!

WalMart makes people crazy. It makes people think YOU are crazy. I fucking hate WalMart. Here’s why….

When my nephews were much smaller (they were 12 and 9) I took them with me to WalMart for some random groceries and sundries. This was when their Mama was still alive and before they became MINE. No big deal, you would think. Well, it’s what I thought. I was wrong. So, so, so very wrong.

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These kids made me look like the biggest crazy ass hole on the planet. Seriously.

These boys ran a muck all over the damn store. They hid in clothing racks. They knocked over displays. They ran. They yelled. Hell, these little fuckers played TAG! They were the most disrespectful, misbehaved kids on the fucking planet. No joke.

And then there’s me.

I was trying like hell to corral these two heathens. I really was. But it was useless. They were savages intent on destruction.

So, our 10 minute trip to WalMart, or, as I like to call it, Our Trip to Hell, ended up being an hour and it sounded a lot like this:

“Stop running!” “Oh my gawd! Put that down!” “No, that does NOT look like a penis!” “Stop running!” “Don’t put that down your pants!” “What’s in your pocket?” “Stop running!” “Don’t tell me what’s in your pants!” “Where is your brother?” “Stop running!” “Get back here!” “Use your manners!” “Stop! Fucking! Running!” “Are you seriously playing TAG right now?!” “What the hell is WRONG with you people?!” “I KNOW you have a penis!” “Run one more gawddammed time!” “I swear to GAWD!” “Don’t throw things in the store!” “For the love of gawd! STOP RUNNING!” “Do NOT pull down your pants!” “This is NOT fucking funny!” “Get back here!” “Again with the running?!” “Were y’all raised in the HILLS?!” “Jesus what a bunch of rednecks!” “STOP RUNNING DAMMIT!” “That’s it. I’m killing the BOTH of you!” “You are gonna need Social Services when I catch you little fuckers!” “STOP RUNNING!”

And with all the running, most of the time, my yells were for naught. The boys were no where to be seen. So the people around me could’t SEE the boys and I have no doubt thought I was just randomly yelling crap to no one…

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To this day I will NOT take them to WalMart with me. They are 22 and 19 now, and they can stay their asses at the house!

What We Didn’t Have to Say

You can’t help who you love. Love really IS blind. Your emotions and feelings are the only thing about yourself you have no control over. You can’t help who you love. Period.

When I was a kid, growing up, we didn’t talk about things like homosexuality. My father was a minister in the Nazarene church and he preached love, acceptance. I remember that there was a man who came to church in his sweats and sat in the back with a cup of coffee, every time he came. My father welcomed him with a smile, a handshake, and a heartfelt greeting; he was genuinely glad the man had come to church; he couldn’t have cared less what the man was wearing. My father went to where his parishioners were to preach the message, even if that meant going to a bar to support a church member in their musical endeavors. The message was the important thing, not where people were or what they looked like. Love, acceptance, that was the message.

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I spent all of my memorable holidays at Nany and Pop’s house, my father’s parents. My father was one of five children so as you can guess, holidays were pretty full. And pretty fucking awesome! And we didn’t talk about things like homosexuality. We loved, accepted each other. We were family and that is what family does. Love, accept.

I have always had a “favorite” aunt. Always. I think everyone should have at least one super cool woman in their lives and for me, that was my Aunt Kricket. She had it ALL: brains (she has a PhD and is STILL learning while she teaches women’s studies at Western Kentucky University), determination (she worked her ass off and put herself through school), she was worldly (she traveled and spent a semester studying at Cambridge), she was strong, though I didn’t know it at the time, and she was openly gay. She, along with my father, introduced me to the WIDE world of music as well as helped instill a love of music, of all kinds, in me. She was everything that I thought was beautiful, and still is. And we never talked about things like homosexuality.

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No one ever told me Aunt Kricket was gay. In fact, about 20 years ago, I finally just came out and asked my father if his sister was gay. He laughed at me and said something along the lines of “You didn’t already know?!” But we didn’t talk about things like homosexuality, so how could I have known? But, it didn’t really matter. It didn’t change a damn thing. I still loved her fiercely. She was still my favorite aunt, favorite woman. But that was the moment when I understood, and she became my hero.

I am an advocate of love. I am an advocate of acceptance. You can’t help who you love. Love IS love. It is without question, without guilt, without remorse. Love is love and you can’t help who you love. So, thank you, to my hero, to the best woman I know, to my aunt… I love you, you are beauty, you are confidence, you are encouragement, you are you, and you are everything I wish I could be. ❤

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Super-Size Me

I am a largely built woman. I am tall, I have thick bones, I am meaty… I am a largely built woman.

As a very young child, I was slender, but as the years went by, I , like everyone else, changed and grew and was chunky. You can see the progression in pictures over the years, and by the time I was 9, I had a weight issue. And began having self-esteem issues.

Me at 2 years old.

Me at 2 years old.

“Thunder thighs.” “Cow.” “Hefty.” “Lard ass.” “Porky.” “Shamu.” “Fatty-fatty-2×4.”

I began making jokes about my weight before anyone else could. I figured that if I did it, they wouldn’t have to, it wouldn’t hurt as bad.

“When I run, there’s an earthquake in China.” “Don’t leave anything around me, I’ll eat it.”

I saw myself as a fat kid. I was a fat kid. I saw myself as ugly. I saw myself as unwanted, unloveable. And I acted accordingly. I embraced my size and used it for good, all the while suffering inside.

My size made it easy for me to stand up for the little kids who got pushed off the swings. I was considerably bigger than the fucker who pushed them in the first place.  Because of my size,the underdogs were safe simply because they knew me. But I was still in pain. I could save the “little guys” but I couldn’t save myself.

I took my pain and turned it on the bullies. I fought for the little guys. But it wasn’t enough. It still hurt. And I still ate. Everything. Anything. I was hungry for something and though I didn’t know it wasn’t food, I just kept shoving it in, trying to fill that void.

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I am 37 now. I am just under 6 feet tall and weigh 190 pounds. This is almost my high school weight. I am very sick, am loosing weight because of that, not from effort. Only a few months ago, I weighed 265 pounds. I am a largely built woman. I have struggled with my weight for almost as long as I have been alive. Until recently.

Recently, I have had an epiphany.

I am a largely built woman. I am a smart woman (I earned my GED after almost 20 years after I dropped out of high school and I did it with the HIGHEST honors in the state). I am a strong woman (I have SURVIVED my life and the choices I have made). I will continue to survive. But more importantly, I like me. I may not be happy about how I look, but I. Like. Me.

I have the most amazing head of blonde hair that hangs almost to my ass. I have beautiful green eyes, and if you look closely enough, there’s a brown freckle just under the iris of my left eye that is unique and gorgeous. I have some amazing lips, not as sexy as Angelina Jolie but I can hold my own. I have given birth to 5 kids, I own miles of stretch marks to prove it and they are my Mama Badge of Honor, I wear them with PRIDE. I am hilarious. Seriously. I have made MYSELF spit coffee out with my antics.

I may not be society’s idea of beautiful. I may not be your idea of beautiful. But I am happy with who and what I am. I. Like. Me.

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The Award I Don’t Deserve

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I have been nominated for “The Very Inspiring Blogger Awards.”  And, the truth is, I don’t really know WHY. I have never thought of myself as “inspiring” or anything even close to inspiring. Most of the time, I am not sure what people see in me. I just say what I think, feel how I feel, and make no excuses for who and what I am. I am me. That’s all I can be. I don’t know how to be anything else. I don’t think that’s very inspiring. I think that’s just human. But INSPIRING? I don’t even know what to do with that! I am, however, humbled at the thought that someone thinks I am or could inspire people. Can you imagine?! ME?! Wow, y’all. Thank you. Seriously. Thank you from the bottom of my little black heart, Sassy Lassie, for the nomination. I don’t even know what to say other than thank you. ❤

Why did you start your blog?

To get things off my chest. To say the things I can’t or won’t say out loud. To heal. To grow. To learn. To move on. To let go. To remember. To live. To write. To feel. To be free. To share. To not be alone. To show others that they are not alone.

What book has touched you the most?

The one with words in it. I love to read. I will read anything. Even the shampoo bottle because I’m pooping and there’s nothing else within reach. And what the fuck is cocamidopropyl betaine and why is it in my shampoo, anyway?

If you could eat dinner with a famous person, still living, who would it be?

I have no idea. But if I could have dinner with anyone at all, it would be my Pops. He was my father’s father. He suffered through brain cancer, brain surgery, then later, the tumor returned, larger and inoperable, and we lost him. I loved him dearly. He held, and still holds a pedestal in my heart that no one could rise above. Ever.

What is the one place you have visited that gives you complete calmness?

Home. Longwood, Florida. Nany and Pops house. This will always be home for me. Nany will always be home for me. Pops was always home for me. Home is where I am the calmest.

Are you a “Bucket List” person? If yes, name something on your list.

No. No list. I haven’t thought that far ahead.

What is the goal for your blog?

See the first question. The goal for my blog and the reasons for starting it are one and the same.

What is a day well-spent for you?

A day that my kids are happy, well fed, healthy. That is a good day.

How do you start your day?

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. well, first I pee. Then lots of coffee.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Halloween, hands down. I love the dressing up, the pretending, the fun. I love that I get to share it with my kids and my friends. I love seeing all the families doing things together as families.

What is your favorite quote?

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So. There it is. My award nomination acceptance. Thank you for the nomination, Sassy, my friend.

xoxo

TJQ

The Little Girl I Will Always Be

I have many memories of my childhood, like most of us do. I find that the older I get, the more I reflect, the more comes to mind and the more I remember. Some memories are good, some bad, all is as all goes.

I remember Friday nights in Olathe, Kansas before Dr. Dad had the “Dr.” addition. He was then studying theology at Mid America Nazarene University, and worked MANY jobs to pay his way and pay our bills. But this memory, he was a janitor at a school (elementary, maybe?) and on Friday nights The Mother and I would load up crackers, shredded cheese, sour cream, bowls, spoons, etc, and a crock pot full of what I remember as the world’s greatest chili and head to Dad’s job. We would then unload everything and sit around one of the school’s TV’s and watch Dallas and eat chili. Together. As a family. And life was good.

But that memory, those Friday nights, that is really all I have from The Mother. I try, but no matter. All the memories are of Dad and Dad’s side of the family. All of them.

I remember she was fat. She struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember. And her feet stank. I mean really, really stank. And she always wore too much make-up. Her hair was thin. She always gave too much of a damn about what everyone else thought and not enough about what really mattered. I never really felt “connected” to her but I don’t remember ever thinking I wasn’t connected to her. Are those memories?

She was, and still is money hungry. Money above all else. The end always justified the means, regardless. I was a burden I think, and I think Dad was too. We were a burden. He loved her. I think maybe I did too. I had too, right? She was my mother…

But I don’t remember her.

There is only one memory aside from those long ago Friday nights. The two are separated by 1,297 miles and about 9 years. That Sunday afternoon in Largo, Florida when she left… Oh, I remember that day.

Go to the church (Dad was Rev. Dad then) and help get ready for evening service, she said… Rev. Dad’s request. But it wasn’t. And when I went home, she wasn’t there and it wasn’t “home” anymore. She didn’t want him. She didn’t want me. She didn’t want us. There was no “good-bye” or note or explanation or fuck you or any damn thing. She was just gone.

And nothing has changed. 596 miles and 23 years later she is still the same. We speak when I call her. She doesn’t call me. Her side of my family doesn’t exist. Or I don’t. She “visits” me once a year for about 4 hours as she is passing through on her way to where she really wants to be or go. And she devastates me while she is here… She is mean, cold, passive aggressive, hypocritical, better than me… I am not worthy, you see… And then she is gone again.

And I am that little girl again.

And I don’t know why she doesn’t want me.

But that little girl in me will forever strive to be the Mommy that The Mother would never be.

The Hunters, The Mamas, and The Hoard

The Zombie Walk of 2014 was fucking EPIC. We had SO much fun…

We begin the afternoon, trying like hell to coral 6 wild ass heathens with only 3 adults. You would think that at a ratio of 2:1 we would be able to take the little fuckers, but you would be wrong. So very, very wrong. 4 of the kids were under 3, 1 was 8, 1 was 13, and 1 was 18. None were any help. At all. So there we were, trying to put make-up and tattoos on us AND them… So now there’s oatmeal cram pie in the carpet, somebody ate dog food, the rabbit got out, one of them pooped, we discovered that baby wipes are delicious…

We finally got our shit together and got everything loaded up (which was an amazing fucking fiasco in and of itself): a wagon, three diaper bags, 4 baby sippy-cups, a gallon of juice, a multi-pack of chips, 3 blankets, enough military-issue gear to protect ALL of us in the event of a REAL zombie apocalypse (the three oldest, the boys of the group, decided to be hunters instead of part of the hoard), vodka and Mt. Dew (for me), vodka and Red Bull (for The Hippie), cameras and cell phones, cigarettes, jackets, baby seats, paint ball guns (minus the paint balls), nerf guns (minus the nerf bullets), BB guns (minus the BB’s), and all of us….

Finally we head out. And this is a lot of what could be heard if we drove past you, just read it like 19 times in a row and you will get the gist of our ride to Fayetteville:

“Put your shoes on.” “Stop pulling her hair.” “Let me hear that gun one more time.” “Put your shoes on.” “Stop yelling.” “Sit down.” “Let me hear that fucking gun one more time.” “Don’t throw chips.” “If I have to climb MY big ass back there-” “Give me the gawd damn gun!” “Give her back the fucking gun.” “Who has a gun?” “Give it to the baby, dammit!”

The Hippie and I are, at this point, feeling some kind of way about our decision to even GO this year because we are now stuck in Shit-fuck Kid Land (according to The Hippie) and we BOTH hate kids… Yet here we are… What the ever-luvin-fuck have we gotten ourselves into?!

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Then we arrive! The angels are singing, and everything is right with the world, because we are in heaven and heaven IS the Zombie Walk! We are ALL pumped up, happy, excited, peeing by a strange dumpster, and just unable to contain ourselves! We load up the wagon with 4 baby girls wearing zombie makeup, 3 blankets surrounding and cuddling all of them together, one diaper bag (consolidating all of them together), 4 sippy-cups full of juice, and a mountain of chips. The Hippie and I had our cups, phones, smokes, camera (me), and were taking turns pulling the wagon full of the second generation of the hoard while being lead by our very own zombie hunters (we also had a friend of The Hippie’s with us but I’m not mentioning her because I don’t know how she would feel about that)…It was fucking awesome!

                                              
                                                           
And we near the crowd… The babies begin to see the other zombies and such… La La freaks the fuck out and climbs my leg like a spider monkey with her ass hole spitting fire, Fat Fat (The Hippie’s grand baby who is a big chunky ball of juicy delicious baby and ❤ I her) just grabs for more chips and takes it all in stride, Large Toddler looks a little afraid but mostly unsure, and Awesome Baby laughs her fucking ass off, growls and lunges at the other zombies. So the 3 adults (as it were) begin to act like idiots to hype these babies up and keep them from being afraid…3 grown ass women wearing zombie makeup began throwing their arms in the air and yelling dumb ass shit like: “WOO! ZOMBIE WALK!” and “YAY BABY! YOU’RE A ZOMBIE! SEE THE OTHER ZOMBIES!” and “THE NEXT GENERATION OF THE HOARD RIGHT HERE!” and other equally dumb shit. It worked. They were all down for it now, but only if someone held La La’s hand. The whole time…

                                                      

Elvis is not “dead,” he is UN-dead, and I know, cuz we saw him. We also saw zombie Mickey which almost made The Hippie have lady boner issues, she ❤ ‘s Mickey so hard, y’all just have no clue (she’s in the Guinness Book, for real). We saw Pin-Head with a mini Pin-Head, a zombie woman with a real baby zombie-ed up coming out of her belly, a group costume where one was in leather from head to toe and chained pulling another in a cage being pushed by an equally leather-clad man asking for souls, and I tried to give them This Kid’s but they weren’t interested after La La gave them a “don’t even think about it or I will fuck you up” look along with an equally evil finger wag and Awesome Baby growled and lunged at them and Large Toddler stared and Fat Fat surveyed the situation while munching back more chips.

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Once it was all over, we had to go back through the corralling, loading, “give the baby those chips,” finding, yelling, “give me that muthafucking gun,” dumpster peeing, finding, “where’s the baby’s juice,” corralling, loading, “get back in the car” escapade. And head for the traditional hot chocolate. By the way, Suri is a lying cunt: there IS a Dunkin’ Donuts on Raeford Road and it IS open until 10, bitch. They do NOT, however, serve rum and Coke, nor will they go GET a rum and Coke FOR you. I know cuz we tried, fuckers.

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My kids crashed like downed planes… And so did The Junkyard Queen. It was every bit worth it and I can’t wait to go through every bit of “Shit-fuck Kid Land” again next year. Only, *note to self* next year, bring more alcohol. 😉