Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Someone once looked at your little naked body and thought how perfect it was. Stared in utter awe at you as a miracle. I think that looking at Magnus and imagine that my parents probably did the same with me.

And it reminds me to be kind as I try to lose the weight. Someone made this body and was proud of their work. I made Magnus (I guess Rob helped too) and I stare and think "One day he will have a scar. One day he will damage this body. This perfect body I've given him. One day he'll say 'I can't' but I'll know better because I know what I made."
my heart races awaiting to hear yours
wanting to know its the right speed and rhythm
wanting to hear in its future the cries that will one day come
gritty and grainy like honey
like truth
that you swallow whole for sweet fortitude
wanting to hear your mommy say she's waiting for the same
hope above
raw fear that peaks out from scar
tissues we will rise above
heal and grow and
meet you at the apex
I think my kid has already learned to objectify women's boobs. Seriously. I bent over to put the pacifier back in his mouth for the thousandth time and I saw that look in his eyes. Ladies, you knwo the one. I'm pretty sure he looked straight at the boobs and his eyes glazed over and it was like seeing the future.

In grosser baby news, I picked his nose this morning and holy shit! It was the biggest booger. Like, grown person sized. He must've been constructing that thing since birth. He seemed none too pleased that I removed his masterpiece either. And this is confirmation that I have become a mom. I pick noses. Other people's. And blog about it. Wow. What is this blog coming to?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You expect your life to go on. To change. To age in some capacity. You know, like the things they ask you to come up with your senior year of high school that you'll be doing in 10 years. So you have a concept of yourself and future times.

But you don't necessarily accept that is what will happen to those around you. We all hear ourselves as the narrators of our own stories, and in our story don't we all expect to be the exception to the rules? We face our mortality, but don't we really just expect to make it through some loophole at the end?

There's a part of me that expects that and more. That my husband will fit through the same loop hole and so will my parents and my children. That we'll all escape the inevitable death at the end of the story.

I wonder if when you get to a certain age if you start to see the loop get smaller and smaller and suddenly disappear. If that is when you face and accept your mortality.

I wonder this because in conversation with my father, he brought up his expectation that he will die of Alzheimer's.

I immediately pushed his assessment through my loophole and said he was crazy to think that. There'd be signs already, wouldn't there?

He said he's seen signs. Things he can't remember that he used to be able to. Little things, names and such. He had support for his future diagnosis. His biological parents had both died of the disease as had several other biological relatives. He took it to be a biological certainty.

Sure, he does cross words to push it farther into the future. But he takes it for an inevitability.

It came as a complete and utter shock to me. My father is the organized, competent, independent type. He never needs much of anything from anyone. He'll accept help; he just doesn't need it almost ever. He's sort of on top of his game all the time. As in, if he died in an accident, I would expect to be able to walk into his house and find a file in a very logical spot that had every detail of everything I could ever need to know. There's also probably a second spot like a will that has the information too. Just in case I don't get the file.

But the only reason I ever think of this is because of a freak accident that will never happen. I fully expect my father to live well into his 90s and to be operating and full tilt the whole time. As in running AA functions and organizing other people's lives and gardening and going to the opera and hitting on men in the 30s and 40s via the internet.


When I was a baby, according to my mom, I would crawl to the door when I heard the sound of my father's car. I can't imagine that there may come a time when he not only won't enthusiastically be cheering on my every move, but where he will not even recognize a move as mine. Not know my face.

I'm a freakishly strong person emotionally. But I draw that from somewhere. At least in part it is from the rock solid foundation of my father. I've always assumed I would be the one to care for my father when he one day needed it. But could I handle that? With the carpet of bedrock pulled out from under me?

I think I'll go back to staring at that loop hole for now, and avoid dealing with problems I don't yet have. After all, there could be a cure or drugs by that time. Right?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Something that everyone talks about is how hormonal you are during pregnancy. Its such a trite joke to make fun of how neurotic pregnant women supposedly are. I wasn't too bad. I won't say I didn't have some moments. But for the most part, it wasn't any worse than PMS and I was still rational the whole time.

Something no one talks about is how hormonal you are after the kid's born. Its not baby blues either. Its just normal, cry-real-hard-over-nothing. As in, I'm not sad but am crying. Or I'm set off slightly by something and am crying real hard. And feel like I could cry all day. A cleansing cry, you know? Not a sad cry. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life.

One day I just got too tired and started bawling. One day I have no idea what set me off. One day Rob and I were talking and it was very slightly heated. I mean, very slightly. Not even elevated to the level of actual conflict. Bawling.

But then one day, I found a diet book. A you-just-had-a-kid-and-now-you're-not-pregnant-you're-just-fat diet book.

I know I'm fat now. I'm sure it'll work out. I've never been fat in my life. I weighed about 145 before baby. That sounds like a lot, but I'm 5'8" and a lotta muscle. My body mass index before baby was 21. That's the ideal healthy BMI. I'm not a fat girl.

Except, right now. I'm a fat girl.

And I have flub. That's what I refer to the belly as. Its shrunken significantly, but its flub.

So I found the fat girl diet book. And I knew the only person who could have brought it into the house was Rob. And I just started bawling. But this time, it lasted. I cried when I saw him and asked about it. He disregarded it, saying it was no big deal. It had come into the thrift store and someone gave it to him to give to me. Fuck that person, but whatever. No big deal. He clearly thought I was overreacting. I'm sure I was. I know he loves me and isn't worried about weight gain. But it just got me. Bawling.

It felt horrible. There's only so fast you can lose 76 lbs. I'd lost 35 at 2 weeks and found the book. I'm gonna need more than 2 weeks to drop this kinda weight. And I know I will. The things I can't wait to do: ski, run, ride my bike, do yoga. I'm sure the weight will come off just fine.

Rob's not the kind of guy to care either.

Later that night I cried in bed and told him about how upset I'd been about the book. He held me close (both arms snug) and told me he loved me, that I wasn't fat (even though I am,) and that I'm beautiful and he loves me. And that's all anyone could ask for from a husband.

And now I'm crying again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Quotes

"Carving the people around you into canyons doesn’t make you into a mountain by comparison. It just makes you dirty and low."

"Do not give me sports with my SMUT. I want that separate, like Church and State."

"Luke Lindberg is saddened that "Muslim" has become synonymous with "terrorist" in so many peoples minds. I never before understood how the Nazis succeeded in getting so many people to blindly hate Jews; it seemed so unbelievable. I am amazed now as I watch how easy to water the seeds of hatred are when they are planted in the fert...ile soil of fear and ignorance."

"Um... I just tuned in, but were they just playing the Black Eyed Peas, "Let's get Retarded" at the Jerry Lewis Telethon?"

"Let’s have the mediation in your office. I’ve never seen the inside of the Death Star."

"Skullcap? It tastes like if a mushroom could get moldy and fart in your mouth."

"I walk like a 90 year old cowboy who was on her horse the WHOLE time."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Magnus- a pictoral edition

See how puffy my face was? I thought the swelling had gone DOWN. I forgot what my own face looked like. But who the hell cares when this is what you're holding.

Just born!


Rob and Swedish Magnificence.


This is how the midwives weighed him.

I had asked folks to send candles with positive thoughts/prayers/meditations/intentions/energy for the birth. I got candles from all over. So Saturday we had birthday cake with some friends and lit all the candles in celebration of Magnus's healthy and safe arrival. I can't thank everyone enough for all the support.



It just doesn't get any sweeter than this.



Thursday, September 16, 2010

Homebirth: Still graphic but a little on the lighter side

On TV, the water breaks, the husband gets yelled at and blamed. In real life, that's fucking stupid. My water broke and I thought something exploded, had no idea what it was. Midwife got sprayed. That's just so gross. I can't imagine doing her job. Sooo, so gross. The same midwife got fucked at my birth multiple times.

Like the time toward the end when I was pushing and she tried to check my cervix to be sure that there wasn't a little lip of cervix left and while she was doing it I yelled at the top of my lungs "Get your fucking finger out of my TWAT!"

I heard the other midwife choke back a laugh.

I also never yelled at Rob. This was at least partially due to the fact that he used the strategy of listening to what the midwives said, watching for my reaction, and repeating the things I responded favorably toward. It worked. And I would never have known that's all he did either. Smart.

But I also never yelled at him because, I think that's stupid. Of course he got me into this. I told him to. I told him which days I thought he'd be most likely at being successful in knocking me up. I wanted a baby. Its not like I didn't know I'd be the one to labor and deliver. I just have never understood being mad at the man for it. He can't do shit about it. Except hold your hand and develop a strategy to try to help you out. I nearly broke Rob's hand I'm pretty sure. He didn't complain though. Smart.

The only time I yelled at Rob (ish) was at one point toward the end. The dog started licking my shoulder and I told him to get away. Rob thought I was talking to him and started to get up. "Not YOU! The dog. He's licking me." ChompSki was sent away. Rob had just changed the music and it turns out he knew he'd gotten the wrong thing and was trying to get up to remedy the situation. Next thing I knew, some shitty 80s classic rock was on. It was an awful song. And mid-collapse between contractions I said "What the fuck is this?"

That was me yelling. So it got changed to Toots and the Maytals and all was well again.

So after the birth, I had a tear and some other shit going on. Like, a HOLE in my labia. Both midwives said they'd never seen someone get a piercing out of birth, but here I am! Bullshit, I tell you.

So they start working on sewing my nanny-area, and I proceed to tell a skiing story to distract myself from what's happening to the girl downstairs.

A few years ago, we had a beautiful powder day. I got up and out on the hill for first chair. For anyone who does not ski, let me clarify that powder skiing is the best thing in the whole world. You float, you can try new tricks and jump off things you wouldn't otherwise. Because its soft. Its incredibly silly and fun and the whole vibe of the mountain is one of Christmas morning. Its people rushing to play and frolick and giggle and goof around.

So I was with some friends who I especially enjoy play time with, and we headed for some rocks they knew to jump off of.

I was game to hit the big rock, not sure how big but probably between 15-20' drop. I pointed my skis and hit it with confidence. Which usually means I land it.

Not so.

I don't know if my skis weren't tightened down hard enough or if I whacked something small in the landing or what, but one ski immediately ejected. The other stayed on.

One foot went through the snow. The other stayed on. Which meant that one ski's binding made a little go for my twat. It literally tried to fuck me. Probably about two inches to the left though. It didn't feel any too hot.

I took a minute to collect myself and then got up and got my gear back on and enjoyed the rest of the day. But my little girl swelled herself a goose egg that lasted for weeks.

So I tell this story thinking that it'll make me think of things I made it through just fine and distract me with thoughts of powder skiing and by the time I'm done, I should be done with the stitches.

When I finish, I realize the midwife's been listening and has not stitched me. Damnit. So then I proceed to heckle her while she DOES stitch me.

"You're not making all frankencrotch down there are you? I mean, you're not, like, sewing googly eyeballs into my snatch or anything, right? Cuz, this is taking a minute here."

I wonder if they normally have clients like me. I'm guessing not.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Home birth- The real fuckin deal

So the end of pregnancy is for the fuckin birds. I'm sure plenty of you out there know this. There's nothing to say but that you're sick of being pregnant. You're a little sick of the sweet smiles and knowing looks from strangers. You're just all over sick of it. You're spectacularly sick of the: when's your due date how far are you are you having a boy or a girl I bet you're sick of this what hospital are you going to, conversations. You miss when people used to ask about the soccer game you played or the book you're reading. You're sick of swollen handsfeetfaceneckanklesEVERYTHING. Oh and from the beginning of pregnancy until FRIDAY, I had NO stretch marks. Friday my entire lower abdomen erupted into one. giant. stretch mark.

So all weekend, I thought, please let this be over soon. Every cramp I felt I welcomed and thought, "whatever work my body does now, it doesn't have to do during labor." Little did I know how much work my body was really doing.

Monday was Labor Day. I convinced Rob to have sex to try to induce labor. I went for a walk with the dog to try to induce labor. I swam to try to induce labor. I drank a beer to try to induce labor. You see the pattern, right?

Well, the shit worked. Because I woke up Tuesday morning around 2 am and was in active labor. I'd heard and read enough about labor that I was sure it was going to be a slow puttering process and so was prepared to read/rest/prepare. Instead, I woke up with pains doubling me over that were about 30 seconds long and every 5 minutes. Within an hour they were 60 seconds long and every 3 minutes. It was going to be fast and furious. Which seemed good, but scary.

I was glad we didn't have to go anywhere. I was anxious for the midwife and her assistant to arrive. I knew their expertise would comfort me and that they would take over some of the logistics so that Rob could settle into helping me.

There was so much I was confident about. I knew my body would push the baby out. I was certain the baby would be healthy. I was sure that Rob would be the perfect support.

There was more I was wrong about. I thought labor would come in stages and I would adjust and get acclimated to each phase. I thought I would handle pain well. I thought I would kick labor's ass in all honesty.

Truth be told: I cried out in pain a lot and needed every step of encouragement and positioning coaching and advice that I got. My body did know what it was doing. When it was time to push I couldn't have stopped myself from pushing if I'd tried. But it was far more painful than I could have expected.

So let me back up a smidge. I woke up at 2ish and waited until I'd had 3 contractions to wake Rob. We'd been sleeping apart the last week because of my snoring and erratic schedule. So I hollered at him that I was in labor and we both got up to get ourselves organized. We timed the contractions and realized we already needed to contact the midwife, there would be no waiting until morning to call her.

She said to try to rest in between and to call back if the contractions got closer together or more intense. Both happened within the hour and I have to say that I was already growing concerned about my ability to cope with the pain. I was breathing and resting and relaxing wherever I could. If I was already relaxed and lying down when a contraction started, I did ok breathing through it. But the reality of what I'd committed to was staring me down as I realized how strong the contractions could get and feared that I might not make it.

But as that fear stared at me, the logistical issue arose that the contractions were so close together, there was likely no transferring anywhere or doing anything but just getting through it. I was scared and overwhelmed.

Its hard to describe but your state of consciousness alters at this point. You go somewhere. Its not like you don't feel the pain. You do. Intensely. But you can't process everything going on. So you feel the contraction, you rest in between, you survive, you tune out. I heard the music playing that my husband picked (quite well I might add.) We started with Erykah Badu, then went on to some Toots and the Maytals, and finished things off with Chopin nocturnes that I love. I heard the sound of the midwife telling me to breathe, counting, telling me I could do it, telling me I was ok. I heard Rob telling me I can do anything, telling me I was doing great, he sounded so calm and even. (Faker) But still, he can hold his shit together in the moment like none other. And I really can't appreciate that enough about him. He did confess that his strategy was to listen to what the midwife said and if I didn't yell at her, he repeated it. It worked wonders and he was right next to me the whole time. I'm sure I bruised his hands squeezing through contractions. He was perfect.

I saw the clock tick by but didn't really feel time. 7:30, 8:30, 9:00. Nearing 10 I had to push. As the contraction struck, there was nothing but instinct. I was terrified I just had to poop. But it was the baby. Well... in all fairness there was probably some pooping too.

I was pushing in the birth tub, but that didn't seem to be working to everyone's satisfaction, so they had me get out. Which was hard. I gained a lot of weight and I really believe some of the difficulty for me was holding up my own weight. Its a lot to have an extra 70 or so lbs. That's a LOT, no matter what kind of shape you start out in.

So I pushed and made it through contraction after contraction. Listening to Rob's voice, listening to Chopin, going somewhere far but keeping my feet in now cuz you just don't have any other choice. You feel it all.

After I got out of the tub, they had me sit on the toilet, but then there was concern about my baby dropping in and I didn't like that idea either. So I came out and squatted at the end of the bed. I started getting tired doing that. So we changed again and I lay on the bed on my side with my foot pushing against one of the midwives. The small one. The one who weighs about as much as I've gained. I didn't say anything but I was so worried I was going to push my strong ass legs against her tiny frame and kick her straight into the birthing tub. Never happened though.

I stopped having a concept of time. But I did have a sense that the midwives wanted to see the baby come out. That it was maybe taking longer than they really liked. The problem was the contraction part where I could push and really use the contraction to push, wasn't lasting long enough to push the baby out. So then I was pushing past the end of the contraction.

I got up and they had me hang from a sheet in the doorway and push and then they had Rob attempt to hold my fatass up to push (which keep in mind he weighs my prepregnancy weight of about 140.) Neither of those was sustainable but they did see the top of the baby's head. "you can reach down and feel your baby's head." gross. I passed. "You're going to meet your baby soon." I have to say that did nothing for me either. I just thought, "Whatever. I just want this to be over."

We got back in the bed. Rob and the tiny midwife were back on pushing against my legs while I pushed right back. I became determined to push the dang thing out, contraction help or no. I pushed and felt myself ripping and burning. It stung and felt wrong. They assured me I just had to push through it. So I pushed more.

I pushed from the good point in the contraction, past it, after it, until finally, I felt so much tearing and this giant slimy thing come out.

They put the baby on my chest, slimy and wet. Rob caught a glimpse. A boy. And that boy immediately peed on his mommy.

I looked down at his face and could not believe how perfect, how beautiful, how golden, and how amazing he was. I don't think most babies are cute when they're born. And I was certain that if my own child was not cute, I would know. I would know and when people told me he was cute I would think "Liar." But he's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. All 8 lbs, 2 oz of him. All 20 and 3/4" of him. His hair and his long nails. His pooling dark eyes, and his short even breaths as he drifts to sleep.

Monday, September 6, 2010

When you were a kid, did you know a number of stupid boys in your neighborhood that would always try to get you to eat odd things? Like mud and glue and god-knows-what that they came from inside their houses with?

I did. I never had any desire to taste grass or to drink mountain dew milk with chocolate sauce and ketchup. I couldn't be persuaded to swallow a worm whole no matter whose allowance was on the line.

So I find it funny that as an adult, all it takes is these 2 tiny, sweet little midwives to tell me to drink a tincture of skullcap and I do it. What if they're not really midwives? Maybe they're secretly just the sisters of all those boys, all grown up and seeking revenge on those of us who said "no." Cuz if you've ever smelled skullcap, you'll understand that the mountain dew milk would've been cake comparatively.

Man, if I find out they're just fucking with me, I'm going to hope this kid is a boy, cuz girls are better at getting you to do gross stuff as it turns out.