Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Fantastic Master Felix Fawkes: Nine Months In/ Nine Months Out

The Fantastic Master Felix Fawkes:  Nine Months In/ Nine Months Out

by Felina Lune Kavi

Category:  Soul-of-Thought Revival
Journal:  Earth Mother
Date:  10-1-2015

This is a week late, but I've been taking the time to reflect on the last 9 months of this year that our son has been learning and growing in this world, and the 9 months last year that he had been learning and growing in the world within me while we lived, learned, and grew on the outside.  A lot has changed with the many moons since Felix came into our lives. And since I have spent nearly all of the past 18 months with him, I can tell you (as close to his perspective as one is able to perceive) his journey thus far.

At first, life was warm and watery.  Then I started to hear a lot of ruckus outside of the womb…though sometimes the noises softened and I could hear music, singing, laughing, or make out different voices talking to me.  These people were as fascinating as they were noisy.  I wanted to be noisy too.  I wanted to meet them and learn their language.  I also wanted to teach them a thing or two about noise and silence, I could already tell the difference.  Since I had some time to prepare my own lessons, I kicked around a lot and made myself comfortable. 

Soon enough, I was grown and I decided the end of the Taurus Moon was a good time to make my move from that cozy little nook inside Mama to the home inside the larger universe.  Mama was right about the moon, just as she guessed the exact day my sister was born because of an already apparent Pisces influence in their connection.  She’s good at guessing the right moon for a birth…though I was still able to surprise them all on the birth date.  I thought it would be fitting for a new beginning to coincide with the first day of the year, and I like to make things a little later than expected.  On day one of the year, it would help them out as far as tracking my months to come.  I could tell both of my parents would appreciate the easy math. 

In my first months, I learned how to mimic my family by smiling and babbling.  My neck grew strong quickly from nursing and I was looking around at everything and studying it every day as my eyesight got clearer.  I found the comfort of Mama’s singing, the gentle strength of Daddy’s big hands, and the sweet silliness of my sister’s antics to be very enjoyable.  I met lots of family and friends, all of them smiling and wanting to talk with me and hold me.  Life outside the womb was pretty awesome.  I took it all in and learned how to communicate with everyone in my own ways.

Watching them all, especially my furry siblings, made me want to get moving too.  I started rolling around and grabbing everything I could reach…putting it all in my mouth to see if it would fit or how it tasted. Soon enough, I was able to twist and turn myself all over the place.  Now, I’m able to do what they call ‘the army crawl’.  They seem happy about this, but I can tell Daddy is worried now about all of the possible worst-case scenarios that could happen now that I’m on the move.  He keeps bringing up ‘baby-proofing’.  That sounds like a challenge. 

Now that I am nine months old, I can say ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’…though my first word was ‘waggle’ (I thought that would be a good one to make them laugh…after all, Alyrica’s first word was ‘Edna’).  I can’t quite say my sister’s name, so I just call her ‘Lala’.  In recent news, I just got my first tooth this week. It made them all very happy…but it made me pretty angry.  My mouth hurts a lot, so I scream about it sometimes so they all know it.  I’m a little over 15 pounds now…a little heavier than our oldest cat, Ani, but still lighter than our fat cats Zenya and Zephyr.  Our cats are funny.  I like to laugh at them when they move.  When I touch them, I make sure my hands are all slobbery first so I get as much fur on them as I can.

I’m great at sitting up by myself and I can stand with help.  Soon, I’ll surprise them all by walking but I’m not quite ready yet.  I like when my parents take me for walks.  I helped Daddy pick some peppers from our garden…and I picked a marigold for Mama.  Mama took me for a walk after the Fall Equinox and we picked up a bunch of fiery colored leaves.  I liked the crunchy feeling in my hand…and I crushed one into Mama’s chest so she got little leaf pieces down her shirt.  We stopped to touch a big tree on the way.  It was much taller than Daddy and I liked the feeling of the bark.  I really love being outside.  I’ve noticed that sometimes when I get fussy enough, they’ll take me outside.  I’m getting the hang of training them to get what I want.

So far, I’ve gathered that life is all about growing, learning, napping, moving from one place to the next, and making a bunch of noise while demanding quiet.   That about sums it up, right?  Mix in a whole lot of eating, drinking, and excreting waste from what you have eaten and drank…and I’m pretty sure I’m nailing it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Birth Journey of Felix Fawkes Kavi

The Birth Journey of Felix Fawkes Kavi
By Felina Lune Kavi

Category:  Recycled Visions
Journal:  Earth Mother
Date:  1-1-15

My Family was as prepared for the journey of my birth as they were ever going to be.  They thought I might come earlier than I had arranged, so by New Year’s Eve, Mama had nested enough for my homecoming and welcomed the beginning of what was to be a long and sleepless night of inner travel.  She felt rested and calm.  She knew to keep the excitement to a minimum to ensure our safety and ease in this endeavor.  Daddy knew as well, though we could both hear the adrenaline in his voice.  This was to be Daddy’s first voyage into the unknown of fatherhood, after all.  Mama and I felt he was doing an excellent job.

I heard the countdown to my birthday, followed soon after by my sister’s laughter as Daddy threw her on the couch.  I hear that is a tradition started by my Grandpa.  It sounded like fun.  When Daddy kissed Mama, I could feel their love radiate through me and I knew they knew I would be here soon.  They decided Alyrica should sleep, though they may have to wake her soon to take us all to the birthing center.  I sent her happy dreams about all of her favorite animals.

Mama and I centered ourselves as her body stretched more and more and the sensations increased.  I could hear her moaning through the pressure waves and Daddy’s voice began reciting hypnosis cues.  “Relax.”  He said calmly…and she went under momentarily. 

We spent a few hours in the bed as Mama rested her body and went to that special place in her mind where we could spend time together…floating in the water and holding me next to her heart.  She would say my name and tell me she was ready for me to come home, and I would coo back at her as she stroked my head upon her chest.  In dreamtime, we washed ashore to our little island and she carried me up a stone staircase.  We stood for a moment at the top of what looked to be a gigantic earthen bowl with a path that spiraled into the center below.  Mama walked down the spiral path with me, singing me a song about the ocean.  When we reached the bottom, there was a large nest in the middle of the circle.  Mama cradled me inside it and we slept.

When she woke up, the pressure waves were stronger and more frequent.  She woke up Daddy gently and told him it was time to get ready to go to the birthing center.  He began gathering our things and woke up my sister.  She was very sleepy.  The whole thing might have been like a dream to her.  Daddy called the midwife to tell her we were coming. 

It was very cold outside, but I was keeping Mama warm.  She walked slowly down the stairs to the car and everyone got inside.  The ride was long and bumpy.  Mama was very uncomfortable, though Daddy was trying to drive smoothly.  Mama listened to a hypnosis CD until they arrived at the birthing center. 

Rachael, our midwife, was already there.  She held the door open and welcomed us into the warmth of the birthing center.  It was 5am and a holiday, so no one else was at the birthing center.  This is how I meant it to be so Mama and I had no distractions. 

Mama got to choose from the two rooms and she chose the purple room.  Purple is her favorite color and it makes her feel calm and balanced.  There was a big bed in the center of the room and a bathroom with a tub.  It made Mama feel at home.  Daddy started setting things up on the bedside table and started some calming music.  He brought brownies and veggies and set them out for everyone.  Mama was hungry and ate broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers to keep her strength up and drank a lot of water to keep hydrated.  They got out a birthing ball for her to sit on while breathing through the pressure waves.  Daddy rubbed her back and held her hand while Rachael held her hips. 

In between waves, Mama and Daddy gave Alyrica a Big Sister Basket that had a camera, some snacks, and a shirt with two foxes on it that said ‘Big Sister’.  She wore the shirt proudly and started taking photos of things in the room.  Soon, though, she went into the library to sleep some more while we waited for my birth.

With each successive pressure wave, Mama’s brain waves begin to slow down and she enters into a deep altered state of consciousness.  Her body is still tightening with sensations but her mind is somewhere beyond.  Things are changing rapidly as she shifts into active birthing.  Daddy and Rachael help her walk through the halls of the birthing center to help pull me down.  The rocking motion was comforting to me and moved me to where I needed to be.

As the pressure increased, Mama would stop and hold on to Daddy and focus on moving me down.  In between those times, they would stop and look at the footprints on the wall of all the other babies that had been born there.  Soon they would choose a place on the wall for my footprints.

During this time, Mama was aware of everything around her but she was somewhere else entirely…somewhere closer to me.  Together, we moved to the rhythm of her body like we were dancing.  The music became louder as she moved back into the room to rest. 

At this time, Mama needed Daddy to be with her while she rested in the bed.  She wanted the intimacy of him being there to hold her, comfort her, and rub her back as her body writhed and quaked with our inner travels.  There was a sacred bond there between them that allowed us all to be in tune with each other during this process.  The room seemed to become darker, and everything else besides the two of them fell away.  The shift was palpable as Mama moved into a deeper state.

Daddy whispered encouraging affirmations to her as she entered into this stage of her journey.  He let her know that he was with her.  The transition was intense.  Despite her calm, Mama had a wild look about her.  She was accessing all of her personal power to bring me closer to home. 

Rachael was there, then, to guide her.  She would breathe and moan with her, keeping her voice low and open to encourage Mama to stay calm and open as she came closer to my birthing time.  There were animal-like sounds coming from Mama that Daddy had never heard before.  He was in awe of the powerful process he was witnessing as his wife was bringing his first-born child to him.

Rachael went to wake up Alyrica so she could be present for my birth.  They came back and Alyrica had her camera ready.  Rachael suggested entering the birthing tub.  They helped Mama into the bathroom and Rachael got the bathwater ready as Mama held on to Daddy.  The sound of the water brought her back to that place where she was holding me to her chest, floating in a calm ocean.  Her brainwaves had slowed and deepened more then, and a transformation was happening.  She was receiving a lot of information about me very rapidly and though she wanted to tell Daddy, there were no words to describe it.  She suddenly knew who I was meant to be…she understood my soul and why I had come to them.  As she entered the birthing tub, she felt the waves bringing us closer to the shore.

If she could have formed the words, she would have explained that she had never felt more alive than in these last moments as she was bringing me down the birth canal.  The urge to bear down came soon after.  She was wild-eyed and powerful and became a new woman in that moment.  While she was on one knee in the warm water, I crowned.  Rachael told Daddy he could reach down then and feel my head.  I felt him touch me and I knew I was almost there. 

Mama locked eyes with Daddy then, knowing what she needed to do and knowing that he was there to help her.  She rose up slightly, leaning forward and arching her back…the sounds emanating from her signaled my time to emerge and meet my family. 

The sounds coming from Mama filled the warm air of the room.  Alyrica didn’t recognize Mama in that moment and she couldn’t stay in the room.  She was afraid of what was happening.  Even Daddy admitted later that if it went on any longer than it did, he was afraid Mama couldn’t do it.  But Mama was doing what she was meant to do…the strength of a mother giving birth is nothing short of amazing.  She was not afraid.  In one last push, I entered this world in the loving hands of my Daddy.  And everything was as it should be.

Alyrica came back in then and took some photos.  I cried out to let everyone know I was here.  Daddy placed me on my Mama’s chest and she held me next to her heart, just as she had done in her mind.  We floated in the warm water for a moment, acclimating to the newness of the sensations surrounding us.  Mama’s voice was soothing me as I rested my head upon her.  Daddy’s eyes watered at the sight of me.  He told her how proud he was of her.  We all fell in love.  Our family was complete.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Love at Every Sight

Category:  Recycled Poetry
Journals:  Nest of the Bower Birds/ Earth Mother
Dates:  January 2008/ January 12th, 2015

'I Have Seen'
by Felina Lune Kavi
January 2008

I have seen myself in your eyes
smiling, in love.
I have seen our future
through golden rays shining
on your gray-green seas.
I have fallen deeper
into you, eyes entranced,
than anyone else could fathom.
I have felt you uncontained, pure energy,
in sync with every vibration in me.
I am into you so deep
that I can breathe only you.

by Felina Lune Kavi

Soft skin on my skin,
I watch our son sleep.
I see you, my husband.
I see a rebirth before me.
I am meeting ancestors,
Some of yours for the first time,
All in the gentle breaths of our baby.
When he opens his eyes,
He shows me everything,
Everyone present and past,
Guiding his future.
I wish we could keep the wisdom
With which we are born.
I see it in his eyes.
He gazes at me, then looks just beyond,
Seeing what most lose the ability to see.
He sees me too.
He sees all the past and present
Guiding my future.
He sees himself in me, as in you.
He remembers the story unfolding,
Though he may forget most of it
Before he can tell us.
Pieces of it will catch his consciousness
From time to time…spilling forth.
And we’ll wonder at the weirdness,
And smile about the creativity
Of a son born of two artists…
One of imagery and one of words.
A storyteller is born.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mother of Phoenyx: Honoring the Cycles of Transformation

Category:  Soul-of-Thought Revival
Journals:  Cup of Kavi, Facebook Notes, Earth Mother, Music of the Spheres
Dates:  9-4-2014, 5-12-2014, 9-13-2013, 9-3-2013, 11-24-2004

(September 4th, 2014)

Lives are full of awakenings.  Even those who appear to be constantly hitting the snooze button on their internal alarm clock…they can never fully go back to sleep, ignoring the responsibilities of being alive.  At some point they have to get up and move forward.  The only thing that stops that is death…but even death is its own awakening.  To awaken, in any respect, is to accept and allow a necessary transformation to unfold.  How we deal with those subsequent changes we are meant to experience in life determines the length of time we choose to endure the most difficult stages of our own purification process.
Can we simplify our story, dissolve our toxic emotions, release our demons, and embrace our shadow all at once and reach a point of resolution?  Possibly, if we’ve spent all of our lives learning how to make personal transformation a fine art.  But what of right now?  Right now, we are still learning.  We have to focus one step at a time.  We have to learn that impatience is actually a waste of time.

The past year has been a journey for me.  As a woman, as a wife, and as a mother, I have changed.  It wasn’t easy…and it wasn’t exactly the change I had in mind to begin with either…but it was necessary to experience it as I did.

For several months after losing our little Phoenyx last September, I didn’t quite understand what was happening to me.  I didn’t have sense, anymore, of who I was or where I was going.  Not at first.  What I could understand though, is that the birth of our nephew and the death of our baby happened on the same day last year so that I wouldn’t fall apart completely and miss the importance of what was unfolding.  I came to understand that the miscarriage lead me to take care of myself, and forced me to rid myself of what was stagnating new growth…purifying myself for new life to return in the Spring.  Love and gratitude had to be experienced in some way at each grueling stage of the process to remind me that life goes on and cycles of transformation are beyond our control.  And sometimes, even the worst of it is absolutely beautiful in hindsight. 

I relearned how to trust the process.  I openly and honestly felt the whole of that experience and came out of it changed for the better.  I called out my fears and let go of them for good.  I unearthed my feelings of inadequacy…and I admitted that though I may not be fully prepared for whatever was to come from this experience, I was ready.
And this process didn’t end in the Spring when we found out we were pregnant again.  It didn’t end yesterday, when I reread what I wrote about the miscarriage that happened last September 3rd and realized why it all happened the way it did.  I’m still going through some final stages of changing…still being tested a bit a long the way.  But I realize that it’s all so that when this baby is born, the new me will be born as well.

Excerpt from 'Mother's Day Confessions'
(May 12th, 2014)

One thing about being born in the Springtime is that you find it difficult to hold back from announcing new things happening in your life. 

Last month, during the week following Easter Sunday (the week the Cardinal Grand Cross was at its peak, for those of you following the planetary alignments), we found out we are pregnant again…due around the time of the Winter Solstice this year.

That blissful news being said, I feel it necessary to give some voice to the process of transformation that comes from the extremities of joy after pain. 

The end of April had been looming like a ghost in my mind since we lost Phoenyx in September. As the original due date drew nearer, the recognition grew clearer and clearer that I was still stuck in some limbo state of being and feeling…and definitely at a deadlock of doing. My once strong sense of identity had been shattered and scattered amongst fears I never realized before, thoughts that self-sabotaged my efforts to remain in tact, and emotions that had a grip much tighter than reason.  I took that time for all of it...and considered that I may never feel like myself again.

In theatre, you have this unspoken commitment to everyone involved (especially the audience), that unless you are physically unable to perform…you push through any pain, suffering, or sickness and deliver a performance to the best of your ability. This last show I was in certainly wasn’t the first I’ve pushed myself through while sick or in pain, but it was the first that gave me insight into that pattern being present within my own life.  I’ve always been taught by life that in order to be something you have to do what it requires of you.  If I want to be strong, I have to overcome my weakness.  If I want to be healed, I have to understand my own wounds and take care of them.  And if I want to be whole again, I have to retrieve all the pieces and rediscover the big picture in the puzzle.

I didn’t glide through those months gracefully, whether I appeared to or not.  I fought myself at first for a while, but I grew new wings within that chrysalis of transformation.  A voice, small and still within, whispered a calm knowing that I was coming home soon…though it was barely audible amongst the din of self-deprecation. 

Soon after the Spring Equinox, I began to dread the coming April.  I was about to turn 32…maybe I’m only meant to have one child, I thought.  So I told Michael, two more months to see what happens, and then I’ve got to give it up and move on.

And maybe Phoenyx heard me, because the ‘rebirth’ happened soon after.  When we found out, it was surreal.  Here I had been writing throughout April about the Cardinal Grand Cross of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto…and there I saw a blue cross on the pregnancy test, signaling the necessary change that was beginning.

Luna's Darker Half
Sept. 13, 2013

On the 10th day after The Great Departure
The impending night falls like a shroud.
A ghost unveiled, revealed in half-light;
Shadows cast upon an empty shell.

I hold my womb as if a memory;
I hold my husband like a distant dream.
Both appear just out of reach now...
Phantom pains in a broken heart.

So close we were to resolution.
Heartstrings now stretched and falling flat.
Discordia sounds that familiar tri-tone,
A restless interval to wake the dead.

Another flood from a weakened body...
Not one of blood, but saline tears,
And the heaving breath of a wounded mother.
The panic fear returns once more.

In The Awakening, I held a promise.
I felt it grow and touch my soul.
But all at once, I couldn’t keep it...
The void within can’t be ignored.

A week of grief seemed like acceptance,
But there was pain left unaddressed.
After some days of new distraction,
The half-moon lit the unearthed root.

This dark night is cold and lonesome,
And deep exhaustion refuses sleep.
Luna alone in city skyscape...
The stars all hidden within the noise.

This is a Test, says the Teacher.
You have a choice, don’t waste your time.
Within the deep there’s something thankful;
The sun returns with a hopeful gift.

And so I wait with trusting patience;
Illumination will break this night.
The dawn will fill the dark with color;
The day will come when all is healed.

The honest, uncensored, experience of what happened a year ago...the point of departure from everything I was and knew up to that point in my life, that eventually lead me to where I am now...can be read here:  The One That Flew Away.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beautiful Infinity

Beautiful Infinity
by Michael Kavi

Dizzy for the first time.
And all my life before we entwined,
Never have I felt a balance so sublime,
Side by side…a perfect paradigm.
Lost in the visions that I kept of you,
Your voice swimming circles in my head.
Floating down the river drifts this day.
Whirlpool dizzy vortex twisting,
Traces of you push this spirit to lifting.
Our aura embraced, our essence ablaze,
Spinning into our beautiful infinity.

Beautiful Infinity II
by Felina Lune Kavi
(inspired by 'Beautiful Infinity', written in January 2008 by Michael Kavi)
 Category:  Recycled Poetry
 Journal:  Nest of the Bower Birds

Dizzy like the first time.
Still side by side…essential, alive,
Radiant flames that forever shine.
Forging new paths since our stars aligned.
Journey through the poetry that holds your voice,
Your love swimming circles around my soul.
Floating down the river that never ends.
Rocky rapids, winding, weaving…
Being with you keeps my spirit from sinking.
Auras entwined in balance sublime,
One kiss began our beautiful infinity.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Welcome the Fall/ Witches' New Year

Category: Recycled Poetry
Journals:  VOICE and Kavi's Book of Stars
Dates:  10-16-2012 and 10-31-2013

Welcome the Fall

Mother Nature shows us the most majestic ways of death.
There’s no flood of tears to blur the beauty of the release…
Only a graceful letting go of dried up dreams in warmer colors.
There’s no painful screams to drown out the presence of the Fall…
Only whispers of wind to carry life scuffling along with new meaning.

She watches us too…in all our stubborn refusal of becoming.
Are we as frustrating as we feel, or does She share a similar awe?
Perhaps, in our Mother’s eyes, we are goldening in a fiery display...
Giving birth to new life in the midst of our own dying Autumn.
We stand our ground in the cold that surrounds us, warming what waits within.

We are aging together, side by side, like old friends.
She in her glory and we in our agony, reflections of each other.
We learn from each other our own catharsis, our own liberation,
And we let the old self go--in our own understanding of change…
Turning in season, we honor the harvest and welcome the Fall.

Witches' New Year

The fire flush of Autumn
that signals Summer’s End
sets her affairs in order
to join her icy friend.

The Winter Witch is stirring,
As if a cauldron brews
The coldest winds awaiting,
and she transforms anew.

The flames of fall to ashes
In bonfires after dusk,
And bones are chilled to rattling
While drums beat dust to dust.

Ancestors, can you hear it?
The Dark Moon calls you here
Amongst the grateful living
For death is not to fear.

The sounds resound to tribute
The mortal song of all.
Whether in flesh or spirit,
We celebrate the Fall.

And as we gather warmly,
Remembering the past,
We gaze ahead in starlight
At what may come to pass.

The time shall turn to no time;
Two months of inward quest.
For slowing pace we’re thankful;
For friends and family, blessed.

So shall the feasts of Winter,
In joyful gatherings,
Be fortunate and fruitful
To deliver us to Spring.

Disguises guide our loved ones
Between the veil that thins.
Whether in flesh or spirit,
We celebrate Samhain.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The One that Flew Away

Category:  Recycled Visions
Journals:  The 2004 Venusian Octave (Music of the Spheres), Cup of Kavi
Dates:  11-24-2004, 9-3-2013

I just woke up from my worst nightmare. 

I was happily pregnant.  But after going to the bathroom, I saw blood.  My first instinct, after telling my husband, was to call my parents.  When I called them, my mom told me that Karen, my sister-in-law, had to go back to the hospital.  They think they’re having their baby soon.  I had been waiting for baby Bryce to be born so that I could tell my family we were pregnant afterwards.  We wanted Bryce to get all the attention he deserved.  He was their first baby.  The first grandson for my parents.

Earlier that day I saw a female hummingbird in our flowerbed, drinking nectar from our pink lantanas.  She’s one of my primary totems, the totem of infinite joy and illumination.  I had been very happy to see her.  When my Aunt Kathy heard that I had seen one, she told me she just talked to my parents and that I should ask them about their own Hummingbird story.

So, on the phone with my parents, I asked them about the Hummingbird.  My dad told me that a few hours ago he was outside and he saw a female hummingbird lying on the ground.  She was flapping her wings a little, but she couldn’t seem to get up and fly.  He took her in his hand and went inside to show my mom.  Then he brought the hummingbird back outside and she flew away.

I told him I saw Hummingbird a few hours before that.  For both of us, it was the first Hummingbird we’ve seen in our yards all year.

Then I told them what I was worried about.  I told them about the blood.  I told them about the week-long cramping a few weeks ago.  I told them I was scared that I was about to miscarry our baby.

They told me I should get some sleep and see the doctor tomorrow morning,  They told me they love me and they hope everything turns out okay.

After saying good night, I knew the night would be far from good.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep.  Michael suggested we go to the ER.  He woke up Alyrica around midnight and dropped her off at his mom’s house.  When he came back for me, we went to the hospital.  On the way there, I began cramping again.  It was coming in waves of pain from a few sharp stabs to a long dull ache.

When we got to the front desk, the lady asked what was wrong.  I said, ‘I’m pregnant.’  Then, through a flood of tears, I forced out the words, ‘but I’m bleeding and cramping.’

They brought me to a room and had me change into a gown and lie down on a bed.  The TV was on.  It was playing ‘The Office’.  The whole scene that played out was about a woman who was pregnant and about to go into labor but was trying to get her co-workers to distract her.  She was avoiding going to the hospital, and the father of her baby was worried.  Just another reminder that I should have gotten checked out sooner.  Especially before I started telling our friends that we were pregnant.

Nurse Natalie came in to set up an IV.  She was beautiful, Lebanese, and very sweet…but like every nurse ever since I can remember, she couldn’t find a vein and had to poke me multiple times before giving up and finding someone else to do it.  It’s why I don’t like needles.  Nurse Jean came in and tried.  She didn’t look as sweet as Natalie.  She had permanently pursed lips with frown lines and a deep wrinkle of irritation between her brows.  I asked her why it was so hard to find my veins.  She said it was because I have freckles and pale skin.

Finally she got the IV in.  A young male doctor and another nurse came in to ask me the same questions two others had already asked me.  Then they had me scoot down in the bed for a pelvic exam, which made the cramps worse.

Even with Michael by my side, holding my hand…I had trouble focusing on anything but the pain inside me.  When I focused on anything outside of my body, it was always on something that looked like it was straight out of a nightmare.  I’ve never been comfortable in hospitals.  I couldn’t look at my husband because I didn’t want to see his fear or let him see mine.  I focused, instead, on some metal claw-like thing hanging almost directly over my head…or on the boxes of blue nitrile gloves…or the harsh lights above me.

After the pelvic exam, the doctor asked if I was okay with having them insert a catheter.  I asked why.  He said so they could drain the urine from my bladder to take a sample for testing.  I asked if it hurts.  He said it stings a little.  I said no, I’d rather just pee in a cup.

After they left, another guy comes in and asks if I need to go pee.  I said yes.  Then he left.  It was all very confusing, so Michael helped me out of the bed so we could find a bathroom.  There was blood on the white sheets.

With Michael’s help, I walked out of my room slowly while holding my gown closed in the back.  Everyone looked at me strangely, like I had done something wrong.  The guy who was just in our room rushed over.  ‘Do you need something?’  I said ‘I thought I was supposed to go to the bathroom.’  He brought us back in the room saying, ‘Just wait here and someone will come to take you.  Just stay in the bed.’

I had some trouble getting back into the bed.  Once I did, he left.  It was a while before anyone else came in.  On the TV now it was ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’.  Alyrica loves that show.  I thought of her laughing.  I was watching clips of little kids doing funny things, but I couldn’t laugh.  Even if it could’ve made me laugh, it would hurt.  I couldn’t even cough or blow my nose.  I had to just lie there, clutching my lower abdomen, while I watched the audience laugh.

A lady came in and told us we were going to get an ultrasound.  She wheeled my bed through the halls.  Everything was lights and ceiling tiles, doors and signs.  When we got there, there was a woman in red scrubs with an owl on the left of her chest.  I asked her name but she didn’t answer me.  I hoped that she would be nice like all the others I knew with Owl totems.  I have an Owl totem myself, and I wanted to feel some kind of kinship with this lady because of it.  It didn’t happen.  She was cold and seemed uncaring.  She quickly lifted my gown and began jabbing me with the ultrasound wand.  It hurt a lot.  She seemed impatient.  She said my bladder wasn’t full enough and she couldn’t get a good read.  She brought me some water to drink and said I needed to keep drinking as much as I could and she would be back to check on me.  I asked her name again.  She said, ‘Linda’.  I asked how long this would take and she said probably another hour.  Then she left.  I drank the first glass of water.  Then I started cramping really hard.  I was in a lot of pain and Michael got scared.  When it calmed down, I started drinking another glass.  Then they started again.  I was moaning loudly.  We were all alone in the ultrasound room.  Linda was gone.  Michael went to go look for her.

While they were gone I said prayers into my water.  I drank in the prayers.  They came back and finally had someone take us back to the ER.  Nurse Natalie hooked me up to some fluids in my IV to fill my bladder faster.  She asked if this was my first pregnancy.  I told her I have a daughter who will be 8 in January.  She asked if this was a planned pregnancy.  I said ‘Yes.  We had been trying for over two years.’  I started to cry, thinking about all of the failed attempts and all of the effort and love and intent we had been putting into this for so many years now.  Natalie said, ‘I’m sorry.  If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been trying for 6 years.’  No, it didn’t really make me feel better to know that.  I know how painful each month can be in those times.  It’s sad to think of so many women having to go through the same disappointments, questioning themselves over and over again, wondering what’s wrong with them.  The cramps started taking control again.

Natalie gave me a pain pill.  I asked her if I had to take it, because I don’t usually take pills for pain.  She said I didn’t have to but she suggested I should.  So I did, because everything that had been done already was against the natural way that I had hoped for with this pregnancy…from the fear to the ultrasound…I didn’t feel I could fight it.  I was in foreign territory.

The pain didn’t subside.  It became constant.  Michael had to leave, then, to go to the bathroom.  When he left, I felt blood begin to flow between my legs.  I heard pieces of the words of my 22-year-old self, and I had a vision of Phoenix burning to ashes.

Bird of the Soul (2004)
The symbolism of the caged bird appears in much of women's literature. And each time I encounter it in writing, my insides twist up a bit and my throat gets tight with emotional tension.

I've always felt the wings of my words like they were caged in my ribs...thumping out their message with my heartbeat as their rhythm. And this phoenix within me cannot be forced through my voice and out of my mouth, her wings are much too large. Instead she has found solace in the openness of my mind, where she can fly to the highest heights and across the boundless seas of a world that exists only in my perception. And though she was once a gypsy spirit, she has found a home with me.

And with her in mind, I can write like the wind. She knows not how to write, or speak in language discernable to ears, but she knows what she knows...and it's so much more than I have ever learned myself. Her stories, her poetry, her birdsongs...I translate them through to my fingertips. And there, in writing, lies my soul.”

Phoenix left me then in a rush of blood.  A feeling of peace came over me.  It was sad, but there was a promise in it.  After all, Phoenix is a symbol of rebirth.

Michael returned to the room to find me still staring to the left of the ceiling, where I saw what I saw.  He said, ‘It’s freezing in here.’  I looked to him and said, ‘It was the baby.’  He almost asked for clarification until it dawned on him what it meant.  His face contorted with sadness, feeling the reality of the loss.  We held each other for a while.  Then he helped me clean up some of the blood.

Nurse Natalie came back in to check on me.  She asked if I felt like my bladder was full.  I said ‘I think so.  I can’t tell because there’s so much blood, and the cramps, I’m having trouble understanding what my body is doing right now.’  She said she would come back in a few minutes to unhook the fluids and have someone bring me back down to the ultrasound room. 

We were there for a long time, just eye gazing…not knowing what else to say besides ‘I love you.’  Finally I could tell my bladder was really full.  I felt like I was going to pee the bed.  The fluid in the drip was nearly empty.  Michael went out to get someone. 

Natalie unhooked me and a man named Chris came to take us back to Linda.  When we got there, the place was completely empty.  He couldn’t find Linda anywhere.  He apologized many times.  I told him it was okay, it was over anyway.  He didn’t say anything more after that.  He just brought me back up to our room and went to go find Linda.  Michael went to find Natalie.  The TV had a white-haired evangelist on it reading scripture from the bible about death.  When Michael came back, I told him to change the channel because it was too sad.  He changed it to the weather.  Bright skies and sunny days ahead.  I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much of that weather for a while.

Another lady came in to bring us back to the ultrasound room again.  I was beginning to be able to predict which signs I would see next and how many bumps we would go over before we would be back in the same ultrasound room. 

In the room, Linda went through the same procedure.  Michael told her that it hurt me when she pressed really hard.  I’m sure she already knew.  She did what she did anyway.  I was a little more numb by then already…so I forgave her silently.

It took longer than I had hoped.  Each time she pressed, I felt like my bladder was going to explode.  When she finally finished with the first of the ultrasounds, she and Michael helped me off the bed and into the bathroom.  When I lifted my gown, my thighs were washed with blood.  I peed into the cup for the urine sample, and I kept on going.  It was the longest pee I’ve ever had in one sitting.  Each time we thought it was just about over, it just kept going.  When it was over, Michael handed me some wet paper towels to clean myself off.

When we went back in the room, they had to help me up on top of the bed which now had a strange pillow in the middle to prop me up for the next ultrasound.  Linda had me put a wand inside me this time.  Then she moved it all around to take the next series of pictures…this hurt even more than when she was pressing on my belly.

After all of that, she wheeled me out to the hall where we waited for someone to take us back.  An African-American woman was wheeled into the hall then as well.  She said, ‘Hi.’  I said, ‘How are you?’  ‘Terrible.’  She said.  ‘Me too.’  I replied, hoping she was not going through the same thing I was.  She said, ‘It’s okay.  We’ll get through this together as a unit.’  Then we were wheeled away.  As my bed passed hers, I held my hand up to reach out to her and she grabbed it.  Her hand was shaking.  I felt her fear.  And then we were gone, down the long hall again and back into the Emergency Room.

I was thinking about her all the way back to the room.  She was all alone, no husband there beside her to hold her hand and tell her he loved her and that everything would be okay.  We were going to get through this together as a unit, but I didn’t even know her name.  I knew I probably wouldn’t even see her again.  I hoped everything would turn out better for her than it had for us.

They told us it would take a while to get the results back from the ultrasound.  Michael and I waited for a while.  He started to fall asleep in the chair next to my bed.  His head was hanging over the rail and I was stroking his hair.  After a while, I woke him up and asked him if he would get in the bed with me so we could fall asleep together.  He did, and though it was really only big enough for one person…I told him to just melt into me.  We made it work, and it was the first time in the 6 hours we were there that felt comfortable to us.  He fell asleep spooning me.  I tried to sleep too…but was only going in and out.

Finally the young doctor came in.  He sat down in front of me at the side of my bed.  Michael was waking up, but still in a sleepy stupor.  He told me afterwards that it was like waking up from a nightmare into a nightmare.  The doctor told us that it was likely that we had a miscarriage.  Being only a month along, it was hard for them to tell for sure.  He said there’s still a chance, but a small one.  I told him calmly, ‘It’s okay.  I already know.  The baby’s gone.’  There was a subtlety in the expression of his eyes that confirmed to me he, and everyone else, knew it too.  He was afraid to tell me when he walked in, because I had been crying and very sad the whole time about what was happening.  He didn’t want me to lose it again.  But I didn’t.  It had been understood for hours already.  I had felt it happen, after all.  I had already reached the point of acceptance, though it still hurt deep down.

The doctor said we need to schedule a follow up to do the same tests again in two days.  They need to know that it’s not an ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal for the mother.  I agreed, though I dreaded coming back for the same procedures that left me feeling somewhat violated and empty.  The doctor asked if we had any questions for him.  I asked him if I was going to be able to teach my class at 4:30pm.  He said it depends on how I’m feeling, but probably not.  I asked him when we could try again to have a child.  He said probably after my next period.  Michael asked him the question that had been on both of our minds, ‘Why did this happen?  Was there anything we could have done to prevent this?’  The doctor replied, ‘You didn’t do anything wrong.  Most times it’s a chromosomal imbalance and this is just the body’s way of flushing out an unhealthy pregnancy.  It’s not anyone’s fault.  These things just happen.’

Nurse Natalie came back in to take out the IV after the doctor said goodbye.  I told her I hope that she is able to conceive soon.  She thanked me, and we left.

On the way home, we saw the sliver of the waning crescent moon.  It was a reminder of endings that ushered in new beginnings.

When we got home, I started feeling sick.  I opened the car door and my vision started to blur.  The sounds of the morning started to cut out and were replaced by a loud draining sound, like water rushing through pipes.  I fell to my knees on the grass before Michael could come around to catch me.  I felt the morning dew on my legs and put my head down to try to stop myself from passing out.  Michael wanted me to get back in the car so he could take me back to the hospital.  I refused.  I told him I had to get in our bed.  He helped me up and I started to walk toward our stairs.  Everything was starting to feel very heavy.  The sounds around us were still muffled in my ears by the loud rushing sound.  The morning grew darker as I climbed the stairs with Michael’s help.  I was determined to get to my bed.  I started to see what looked like a black hole in front of me.  I got to the top of the stairs, feeling dizzy.  I knew I was about to faint but couldn’t talk.  Michael fumbled with the keys and finally got the door open.  He caught me as I started to fall again to my knees.  My right knee hit the concrete of the stairs and our cats flooded out of our door, passing by me to get outside.  I blacked out for a moment.  When I came back, Michael was pulling me up and inside.  I started walking down the hall to our bedroom as fast as I could…the sound in my ears was terribly loud and I knew I had to lay down to make it stop.  I got to the bed and Michael helped me take off my shoes and my clothes.  He covered me up and got me some water.  I remember asking him to call John to see if he could substitute for my class.  I don’t remember much after that, I went right to sleep once Michael started making calls.

When I woke up, it was the afternoon.  That was the worst nightmare I’d ever had, I thought.  I got up to go to the bathroom and noticed the bandages on my arm and the hospital bracelets.  Reality set in.  It wasn’t a nightmare.  It was real.