Friday, November 13, 2009

Curve Balls

Two weeks ago I gave birth. Not to a novel, but to an 8lb bouncing baby boy. Incidentally, it was less than 24hrs after my scheduled time to blog on novel spaces. Of course anticipating the birth of my son, I was prepared. I tied up all my loose ends at work, cleaned my house and prepared the nursery. I even cooked sufficient food to provide for my older kids for my two days hospital stay. And knowing the baby could come at any time, I wrote and scheduled my blog over a week before it was due. I couldn’t help but pat myself on the back for optimizing my new found organizational skills.

Of course life always throws curve balls. What I couldn’t anticipate was being released from the hospital with a newborn into a house full of sick, contagious people. My six year old daughter and my nephew had the flu. My husband had a nasty cold, and my eighteen month old daughter had a runny nose. Now not only do I have to take care of sick folks, but I had to find a way to avoid spreading the viruses to my newborn son.

So how did I do this? Everyone was required to wear surgical mask (except of course my eighteen month old who protested anything going near her face). Constant hand washing became mandatory and hand sanitizers were kept in every room of the house. Immune building herbal brews (a.k.a. bush tea) and vitamin C rich juices were shoved down everyone's throats. Since I couldn’t quarantine everyone, I quarantined the baby, restricting his access to only two rooms of the house that the others were forbidden to enter. And I wiped everything with disinfecting wipes constantly. Most importantly, I perpetually prayed that neither me nor the baby would get sick. So far, God answered our prayers because my flu ridden family members have recuperated without spreading it further -- or so I thought.

So where did I find the time to write in all this? I didn’t. For those first ten days since leaving the hospital, I considered myself as being on maternity leave not only from my day job but from writing. I didn’t work on my WIP, check my email, read any blogs, or update my facebook profile. I didn't have the time.

A few other things had to give. Making myself presentable to the world was definitely not a priority (not that any one would visit when they hear the words H1N1). Keeping a pristine home took a back burner. As for cooking, prepackaged food and take out had to do for those first couple of days.

And just when I finally thought I was through the worst, life threw another curve ball: I got the H1N1 flu. And this happened when my husband had to return to work.

I guess no matter how prepared we are, no matter whether we have plan A to Z, we can’t be prepared for those curve balls life throws at us. We just have to wing it as we go.

Pray for me for a full recovery and that I don't spread the H1N1 to my vulnerable kids.


Maria Zannini said...

Holy cow! You are wonder woman in spite of H1N1.

First off, many congratulations. He's beautiful!!

I hope you get well soon and have lots of help in the meantime.

Get lots of rest, hon.

Take care!

Kaz Augustin said...

Congratulations, Jewel! He looks adorable. And, as Maria says, I hope you have some support through all those curveballs! Rest up and I'm sure you'll be back to full strength in no time.

Terence Taylor said...

Well, as far as creative efforts go, I don't think anyone can fault you or accuse you of slacking -- and think of the material! ;)


Unknown said...


He's adorable. Sometimes I forget there are other kinds of births beside books.


Liane Spicer said...

Aww, he is gorgeous! Congratulations!
You are amazing to have coped so well with all those curve balls.

Hope you get better fast!

[Ah, bush tea. My grandmother had one for every ailment.]

Jewel Amethyst said...

Thanks guys. I'm taking tamiflu, isolating myself and resting till I'm bored out of my skin. My poor husband has to take off from work and become the baby mama. Thank goodness he's over his illness. I think the hardest part is my 18month old who wants me to pick her up each time she sees me and I have to literally run from her, and hearing the baby cry and not being able to go near him.

Liane, I get a supply of bush for bush tea every time a relative comes to visit from the island. I have lemon grass, balsam (basilic), mint, sage, santa maria, soursop and cattle tongue (I don't know if the names are the same in Trinidad). Between them something has to work lol.

Phyllis Bourne said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a gorgeous baby!

My husband sprays frequently "handled" things like door knobs and light switches, etc. with Lysol when one of us is sick so it won't spread to the other.

Shauna Roberts said...

What a jam-packed November you've had! Congratulations on your new baby. He's beautiful, especially that full head of hair.

I hope you recover soon from H1N1 and your baby continues to be healthy.

Alexis J. said...

Absolutely adorable baby!! I'm praying for your full and speedy recovery! You are woman - you make me so proud :-)

KeVin K. said...

You took time off from writing just because you had a baby?
Where are your priorities?!

(Right about where they should be, looks like.)


Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, all those are familiar to me except cattle tongue and santa maria. My mother knows the latter, though.

I didn't know you could make bush tea from soursop; I asked my mother and she gave me the exasperated look. Apparently she knows about that one too. :D

Hope the teas worked and you're all feeling much better.

Lydia Smith said...

Oh he's adorable! It brings back memories of my childbirth. I envy you this time of life, but then every stage is wonderful. Enjoy motherhood. It is the best job.

Unknown said...

Hi, Jewel -- Sending you a belated and warm "congratulations!" What a cutie! I hope you're all feeling better by now. I can't believe you were only taking 10 days off. You are SO my idol. lol

Take care.