Monday, February 21, 2011

And now I shall tell you the rest of the story.......

The few short hours after my sweet Michelle was born (4 hours to be exact), the Army nurses came round and gathered up all the Mommies got us out of bed and strip our sheets off of our beds. Then they herded us down to the Mommie's mess hall so that we could sit on metal cafeteria chairs (yup, right after having given birth....oh my aching ya haa) to have all of our meals together. After breakfast, lunch and dinner we were given some "personal time" to do what we wanted......uh like make phone calls on the 1 and only pay phone at the end of the hallway and other luxurious activities....after all they had a ping pong table, a fuzzball table and lounge chairs in a room with no tv, no radio, no windows. Then all the Mommies went into the "feeding room" and gave the babies their bottles while "nurse rachet" watched to make sure we didn't unwrap the babies from their secure torture blankets, because they wanted the babies to remain "sterile" and not infect the other babies with anything the Mommies might have on them.

I swear to all I believe in and hold dear....the life of my SM, daughter and grands that every bit of the above statement is factual and was painful.

I was the only Mommie who was breast feeding, which the Army nurses did not care for....so they fed Michelle formula after they got her back to the nursery....poor baby wasn't getting anything from me. NO really????? With all the other woman watching us and thinking I was an alien from another planet trying to stick my boob in her face. And Michelle not knowing what I was supposed to do and vice versa?????????? Duh. And besides, she was getting formula and why would she want my milk then.....oh it was charming.

Needless to say in 48 hours, I was a hurting Mommy with engourged breasts, a screaming baby and my hair was standing out on end and I wanted my Mommy, who by the way could not come in to see me. No one could, except he who had impregnated me (he never did until he picked me up) and he was off drinking with his friends and having an affair with my best friend. He had to borrow money from my parents to get me out of the hospital. Well not me, it was free for me, but the formula and etc. cost him $10.56. Yep, the Air Force/Army socialized medicine, well Mommy and well Baby clinic and all the screaming alone and delivering my baby in the hallway, the all those cushy amenities and my helping them with the laundry and dining arrangements only cost $10.56 and I had to stay an extra day because the Jack ass from Canyon Texas couldn't pay to get me out.

BTW, I married him because my parents were so afraid of what everyone would think of them, me, them mostly if I had a child out of wedlock (folks, this was the early 70's).

And you know what I got to bring home with me when I got out of the hospital.?....my baby. That's it, Todo. Well except the story of a lifetime.

The Jack Ass family just before we said ado. (Don't I look thrilled?)
So all my family got to see Michelle Leigh when she was 3 days old. And with the rough beginning we had with nursing.....I am sad to say the we only had 6 weeks of mutual torture because I had no one to instruct me and I knew no one who had breast fed. I know that is why my own daughter nursed her daughter until she was almost 3.....pay it forward and all that. Shelley also helped so many other Mommies to be secure and feel good about nursing their babies. It's a Karmic thing.

And before any of you get the idea that Sweet Man and the Jack Ass are one in the same....uh no. I married Mr. Canyon Texas because I was one of those silly girls who took a trip to the back seat and came home with more than had bargained for. He and I were married for 13 months. He never paid one penny of child support. He saw Shelley about 4 times after we divorced and then not again until she graduated from high school. She asked if I would call him for her and ask him to come. I did. Then she saw him a couple of times while she was in college and then the last time she saw him was at his funeral. He was out waterskiing with a girl half his age, got drunk, and fell and broke his crown and they had not vinegar or brown paper to fix him. He died the way he lived his life........messy and self centered.

But like so many tales of woe....it isn't. I made a huge mess of lemonade from my life lemons, and stomped those sour grapes into wine not whine and refound my soulmate, have been married to the bestest man in the world for 39 years, have a lovely daughter who is kind, caring and loving and has given me two adorable grands who keep me on my toes. I am a lucky lady.........and I have a great background for my self portrait.
The helmet hair cuties who lived happily ever after
My life's tapestry is thick, embellished with all manner of  tales, stories and encounters and I am proud of all that is me.....and mine. As Paul Harvey used to say.....and that is the rest of the story.

And as of today there are 26 days until CELEBRATE OZ.

15 comments:

  1. Boy, I know exactly what you went through, sweetie. Only those who have given birth in an army hospital can fully feel the pain!!! But how wonderful to have found your soulmate, and you have a fantastic daughter!!! thanks for sharing that story. My husband and I have been married 26 years, and I was one of the lucky ones to have him with me at that effing hospital.

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  2. Holy crap, what have I missed since I've been gone....seems like eons, believe me. I too gave birth twice in an military hospital, once here at Beaumont at Ft. Bliss, (nothing blissful about Ft. Bliss) and then, two years later in Bad Canstatt, a burb of Stuttgart, in what was then, West Germany!! I think I had that same nurse Ratchet when Joel was born, then I had Hitler's baby sister in Germany!! The herding wasn't as bad as you described, however, if you were an officer's wife, as I was, you were treated like caca by the enlisted aides, however, I did not lack in speaking out and telling off!!

    Like you, I too found my soulmate and haven't been married but for 9 years, only because I was married to the other for over 1/2 of my life when he left, but I met him and I've never been happier.

    Planning on blogging about my experiences in Vegas tomorrow...I'm just pooped right now and my eardrums have decided to return after texting me Friday they were giving their notice!!

    Loves ya, and the goats are so happy mommy's back,
    G

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  3. Wow! I can't imagine what you went through! But I'm so glad that things are so great for you now. It's one of those things you have to tell your self that if this didn't happen I wouldn't be where I am today. Just sucks you had to go through it. But you have your beautiful daughter to top it off :) P.s. I just love the "helmet hair" family pic!!

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  4. I guess the Air Force was better because my Mom never told me horror stories about my birth [or my sibs] who were all born on base. [60s]

    Which she was still here so I could ask her. She did say that my Dad was not allowed in to be with her. I don't think she minded that much.

    Sorry those are the memories - but at least you have the bonus in Miss Shelley. YAY! I love the pic of you three when she was a little girl.

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  5. Amazing the paths that lead us to where we are now. Those photos tell so much. Glad you have arrived where you are and who you are with. hold on tight!

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  6. what a pile of shit you had to swim through to finally get to the good stuff.

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  7. Well I'm glad you all got to live happily ever after (or at least the heros of our story did) but I do admit I had to chuckle at the caption on the last photo, sorry :oD

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  8. So sweet of you to share this story :-) Michelle have your looks for sure and so does GK! Sweet man is much more handsome than Jackass ;-)

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  9. Reading this made me feel like I was there, like I was reading a Memoir...I want more!!!!!!

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  10. You are such a light in my life! Karma is such a bitch LMAO sounds like Karma got him in the end too!
    So glad you found your other half, I long to find mine and sadly at my age I don't think I will. I love the love you share, thank you for sharing your life with us on your wonderful blog Linda!
    Blessings,
    Sherry

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  11. It sounds more like prison than a hospital...are you sure this is the whole story???

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  12. Linda, my sis gave birth in an air force hospital and had much the same story. I am so happy that things have changed but would still not trust any hospital on base. You can see shelley in Ry so much. loved seeing the pictures.

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  13. I can relate on the no help with the nursing scenario, complicated by the fact that my son was in NNICU for the first eleven days of his life. It makes you appreciate the good nurses even more when you find them.

    Love the pix. Shelley sure takes after her good lookin' mama. Things have a way of working out, don't they?

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  14. Bless your heart! I was born in an army hospital and I have heard such tales from my own mother, my heart bleeding for every first time young mother who had to endure such a nightmare at what should have been the most beautiful time of their lives.

    Then to top it off marries to Mr. Texas mainly due to that puritan taboo; "unwed mothers". I am so happy that your life took a turn, that you and SM found one another, that your beautiful Michelle grew up in a love filled home and gave you 2 of the most beautiful grands ever to be! Many blessings to you, sweet friend.

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  15. Mmmmm now that explains a lot...
    Are we feeling in a show and tell mood then Lindy?
    I really loved reading about your 'primitive' past...it's what has made you my lovely girl...so we have to thank all concerned I s'pose ;o)
    I see you feel the same way about Jack-asses as me!
    And I adore the pictures!!!

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