here is another page. i am having fun with creating moses jones pages again. judging by audience participation (number of likes & comments) mojo is not nearly as popular as my other creations, but i love her–so i will keep writing her.
this comic is another way for me to work out my feelings as a mother, as an ex-wife, and as someone who used to live in a dysfunctional intentional community.
it’s kind of like my self-portrait art journal…but a bit more involved.
i know another reason why i’m feeling warm & fuzzy towards dusty right now. when we were married, i surmised that if we were ever trapped somewhere, dependent on working together to get to safety, we would die.
my observation was true of every time i needed him to be there for me.
except one…misha’s birth.
misha is my third child. my first two were c-sectioned because my body likes to take more than 42 weeks to perfect a baby–& doctors do not like to let a woman go much past 40.
so, twice, i let them cut the baby out of me because they said that it was for the best.
when i got pregnant with misha, i could not bear the thought of another c-section.
so i fired all the doctors.
problem was, none of the midwives in madison would support my birth because i had been deemed too risky.
i had never had a vaginal birth. i was 40 years old & prone to long pregnancies. these were my crimes.
misha is the one who suffered for them.
i found an outlaw midwife who lived one state over & would travel to me when i went into labor.
second problem…i didn’t know what labor looked like because doctors had never let me get that far.
by the time i was certain i was in labor–& not wasting the midwife’s time–misha was on her way out.
she came out fast. relentlessly fast. none of the stages of labor i had read up on were observed by misha as she rocketed out of me.
there was one doula present and dusty.
we were in a kiddie tub on the fourth floor of a 30 person cooperative.
when misha was born, she was having trouble breathing. she probably just needed a few puffs of air to get her going, but none of us knew what to do. by the time the mom down the hall called her midwife to come help, misha was showing signs of seizure.
the paramedics took her away.
the NICU kept her for 12 days.
they told dusty & me, best case scenario: misha has coordination issues & learning disabilities.
worst case scenario: cerebral palsy or epilepsy
i cried so hard as they said that. my heart broke. it was all my fault. if i had just been unselfish enough to get the fucking surgery…to have another fucking c-section…misha would have been fine.
i waited for dusty to blame me. he blamed me for everything. it was always my fault.
this time he would be right.
he didn’t blame me. he told me it wasn’t my fault. he zoomed me around the hospital in my wheeled chair–being silly & sweet–as i was still too wrecked to walk much after the birth. he watched the boys while i kept vigil at her side. he came to be with her when i was forced to go home & sleep.
he took care of us.
he was there for me.
seven years later, just as i would remember & be traumatized by a bad event, the good things that happened feel as fresh as yesterday.
and i miss that version of dusty.
(in the NICU…& one year later when the neurologist said, “oh…nevermind.”)
i put up another page of my memoir in progress, don’t tell, over on tumblr.
like my art journal, this memoir is a way for me to exorcise some demons. right now it is not really formatted…i am just ranting about what is on my mind for the day. connecting it all together, in the way i think it fits.
so it’s a mess. which is true to my history.
in this self-portrait, i have long hair. fun fact, for my first child, before my second pregnancy, i was guilty of having the mom bob. i had long hair for my first pregnancy because i just always pictured it that way…plus dusty wanted the long hair on me.
but then i had a baby that wouldn’t stop pulling my hair.
i freak out when my hair is pulled.
so i got a mom bob.
then i got pregnant again. had an identity crisis about being a stay-at-home mom. started wearing doc martin boots and shaving off my hair.
but for a brief time in my life. i did have long hair.
“you are a mean mom,”
the four year old says to me.
“i wisht i killt you.”
he has just woken up
maybe he had a bad dream?
maybe he remembers
maybe he remembers the nine months
my wishing him away
of every day
of that pregnancy
or maybe he remembers
those 26 hours of labor
those two hours of pushing
as i fiercely
& he turned sideways
he turned me inside out
refusing to leave
maybe fearing what i would do
once i finally
got my hands
as i remember
as i can never
i love my son
…but there was a time
when i did not.
i don’t think i will ever fully recover from my last pregnancy. i just wish i knew for sure that my son will. i don’t want to take him down with me.
this is what i started with
so i found the mama first.
man, she looks sad. the weight of the world, right?
i found her imaginings of her unborn child around her.
fairy creatures by her feet.
i wonder…with all that is going on in the world. it is a tough decision to bring new life. the weight of all that is wrong, balanced with what all could be.
that is my drawing today.
despair and hope.
all mixed together.