The intuitive healer slid her hand under my tailbone and pressed on my stomach gently. She moved to the top of the table and cradled my head breathing deeply. I smelt something awful. I think it must be sewer or something dead under the floor boards. No, it’s coming from the healer, it’s her breath. I try to hold my breath so I won’t smell it. She finally moved to the bottom of the table and held onto my feet, “I see a being, it’s a boy” she said. “The spirit must be trapped in your face, that’s why your cheek is twitching. We need to move the spirit into your heart, focus on moving the energy into your heart.” For a brief moment I believed her. Is it the baby I’ve been so desperately trying to have, or is it one I’ve lost that I won’t let go of? But that thinking didn’t last long, I can’t wait to get out of here. The healer started to move back towards my face and pressed on my twitching cheek, oh no, I thought to myself, that smell, just hold your breath, don’t open your mouth, it’s almost over. “Today it’s $75” she said. “I offer a full intuitive healing session though you should come back for.” I gave her the $75 but felt ripped off and never went back.
Baby Boy Homer also has a birthday in February, the 26th. He would be 28 years old. The nurse told me I needed to hold him before I left the hospital. She handed him to me all wrapped up in a blanket. His eyes were big and brown, his cheeks round and soft, but his skull was large. He had been born without a brain, at least that’s what my teenage mind remembers them telling me. He wouldn’t be able to live for very long. I wasn’t allowed to keep him anyhow, my mom said. She told me at the hospital she almost turned back home while I was being driven away in the ambulance. She didn’t know I was pregnant. No one knew. Baby Boy Homer died a ward of the state. I’m not sure where he spent his last days or how. I moved on with my teenage angst and we never talked about the pregnancy.
Angel food cake, that’s what I’ll make. Nine egg whites, I’ll top it with strawberries. I have a memory of my mom asking me, “What kind of cake do you want me to make you for your birthday?” I said, “Angel food cake.” Betty Crocker or was it Duncan Hines in a box, just add water. But I loved it just the same. My first birthday is out of my minds reach and my mom died six years ago. My babies first birthday is a reminder of that. I feel the loss, I feel nostalgic. When I woke up this morning I thought how fast the night went, and can it really be another day? The first feeling was dread, all the chores, the cleaning, cooking. The next feeling was excitement about my morning cup of coffee, which I have begun to drink again against doctors’ orders due to my chronic anxiety and insomnia. I tried sneaking up the stairs but Jack called for me, I grabbed him, put him in his high chair, then Fiona. We all had breakfast together, it was lovely. I hadn’t even considered calling my dad to ask him about my first birthday. Saturday I won’t put up any decorations and we won’t wear silly birthday hats. I never liked how the elastic cuts into my neck. I’ll make a cake and buy some ice cream. I’ll let Jack and Fiona dig their little hands into it and make the best mess ever.
Dirty Laundry. Dirty Dishes. Dirty Floors: Distractions that I fight out of my mind. Babies napping now, though they may wake any time. I could write while I eat my lunch. I still may get frustrated when they wake. They may be frustrated too because they are babies. Quiet moments like these I cherish, I’m greedy for more. I worked in my studio for an hour today but that wasn’t enough time. In only three weeks Jack and Fiona will be one year old. The time is going by so fast, I don’t want to waste it. The first several months after the babies were born I was depressed, felt like I dropped everything. My whole life changed overnight. I got really worn out, I spent too much time cleaning. I felt like motherhood was bringing out the worst in me. I was a nag to my husband. I felt like all I did was change dirty diapers all day. I wanted to change and so I did. I accepted everything as it was. Let the sink be full. I take a hot bath or just relax when Jack and Fiona are sleeping. I try to enjoy every moment, even changing poopy diapers. I am fully present for Jack and Fiona and find the joy of being a mother. When I get stressed and tired I take a deep breath because, the moment will pass. Finding a sense of balance in my life with twin babies has been an introspective journey. It is a constant exercise in being aware of my thoughts, not letting worry or negativity take over. I have learned how important it is to take care of myself so I can feel good and healthy taking care of my family.