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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Monday, August 04, 2008

Journey to Grandmothering: (No) Baby (Yet) Update

Well, there’s no baby yet, out in the world that is, so there’s not much to update.

Tessie had her last day of work Friday, August 1st, the baby’s due date, and now is officially on “maternity leave” which in this country is short and cheap – i.e. 3 months (if she’s lucky) unpaid time away from the office.

I still have such clashing feelings. Iraq. Baby. Iraq. Birth. Iraq. Labor. Iraq. Death. Iraq. Life.

My daughter and certain of her friends who are actually choosing to have babies seem to think these new little lives are coming forth to rescue our planet. I try to appreciate their view point, I try not to place their ideas into my lala land file. Or my why-aren’t-YOU-changing-the-world-NOW file along w/Obama and Clinton who claim as president they will suddenly do what they are not doing as senators: i.e. end the occupation of Iraq.

On the other hand, didn’t I have my child knowing she was going to change the world? hmmmm

I do the ‘expecting grandmothering’ version of perusing the news yesterday, and glimpse something about the 5 super powers and Germany all voting for sanctions against Iran.

So today it is Iran. Baby. Iran. Birth. Iran. Labor. Iran. Death. Iran. Life.

I glance over to share the Iran news with my daughter, who is having a frustrating day trying to deal with getting her internet to work after a brilliant thunder storm knocked out power several times the previous nite.

Even in her techno angst, she is glowing burnt golden and emanating happiness like the breath of a dazzling sunset after a difficult day and I weep, burying the news along the long strands side of my hair.

I think about all the golden womyn around the world who will never get to deliver their baby, let alone experience her growth in the world, and I ache. And I fear for my child and my child’s child. And all children.

We go to the midwife, Yael, whom I met in February, every Wednesday now. In the beginning, I have to tamp my anxiety waiting for something medical to happen. We are at her home, what I think is far out of Atlanta but Tess assures me is not so far – a 25 or 30 minute drive which seems to also be normal for folks here.

We stagger through the humidity across the lawn, around the gardens, and enter Yael’s house. We take off our shoes, walk down a few steps and Tessie makes herself comfortable on the plump double futon which rests in a corner of Yael’s neatly made-up bedroom. Beverly, Tessie’s doula, perches on the bed’s edge, and yet another womon Star, Yael's apprentice, is sprawled on the floor at the head of the futon. Yael herself squats on a small stool, after she offers me a plastic padded chair.

Tessie is glowing as usual, confident and calm. Yael asks her questions about her week, how she’s feeling, where she’s gone, what she’s been up to. The doula and midwife-in-training join in. Everyone is so happy and engaged. They talk music and festivals, food and friends, classes and drumming for what seems like forever. No one mentions stripping from the waist down, donning a gown that needs to open in the front, and hopping up on a waiting papered table.

Tess rubs her belly, Yael rubs Tessie’s legs, feet and belly as they chat and Tessie tries to get comfortable. Plans are made to go places, check out a new restaurant, and look for needed items at the weekend yard sales. Finally Yael pulls over a black bag I hadn’t noticed, reaches in it and pulls out a couple of medical-appearing instruments.

I listen to the baby’s heartbeat – Yael announces it’s 140 and everyone seems extraordinarily pleased. Tessie’s belly is 39 centimeters, measured by Yael who is studiously patting and massaging, feeling this side and that, and finally proclaims the baby is about 7 ½ pounds pointing out her back, her butt, her little feet!

They make another appointment, although everyone nods happily in agreement when Yael proclaims she'll probably see Tess at her home before next Wednesday. Tessie lumbers to her feet and the appointment is over.

We have two more days for the baby to come out into the world or it’s back to Yael’s once again!