This blog went live on May 25, 2009 with this post.
It was intensely personal. And sweet. But I clearly hadn't found my "voice" yet. Maybe a bit. It feels like a school writing project of some kind, and it was PACKED with exposition about myself and my life. It's also in this peculiar font - I don't even know what that is, except that I was so afraid that I would somehow accidentally publish the post before I was ready (ha!) that for the first few months of my blog, I composed my posts in Microsoft Word and then copy and pasted them into Typepad.
But I must say, I think it was a nice start. Something to build upon. And it's one of my favorite stories.
So please enjoy...
thing I’ve always known for certain, is that I was going to be a mother. I
didn’t have a “need” to be a mother, or a “desire” to be a mother. I had what I
felt was an actual knowledge that this would be part of my life. So when I woke
up one day and realized that I was 40 years old and had still produced no
offspring, I decided that I couldn’t just wait around “knowing” it would
happen, but that I had to actually get off my ass and make it happen. So my
husband, Jimmy, and I started actively trying. And trying. And trying. Which is
difficult when you have a husband who only wants to “try” when it’s wild and
spontaneous (something which thrilled me in our earlier days together). I was
forced to hide the basal thermometer and feign “spontaneous” enthusiasm for
“trying”. My husband never caught on as to why I was oh so very frisky at the
exact same time every month. He did, however, enjoy it tremendously.
But alas…no pregnancy. At 41, I faced the fact that I should probably get some professional help, and went to a fertility doctor. And being the aging Catholic that I am, I started lighting a candle to St. Jude every Sunday. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes (and fittingly, actors, which my husband, Jimmy, and I both are), and I thought he would certainly be my go-to guy.
We got pregnant! And lost it. Hmmm. Okay, let’s try again. Only this time, I realized it was time to marshal the forces. Our health insurance would only pay for one more go with the fertility treatments. This was my Waterloo. My Alamo (we Texans LOVE Alamo analogies!). I needed to bring out the big guns. So…I sent out a plea to all my spiritual-minded friends, and they came through for me in a big way. Catholic friends had novenas going across the country, Christian friends added me to their prayer chains, Buddhist friends had their meditation groups chanting for me, a friend on a trip to Europe lit a candle in every cathedral in France, Japanese friends performed Jorai healing over my womb to get it prepared to welcome the child. And then I decided to play my trump card. I went back to St. Jude, and this time, I promised him that if he’d help us have a baby…I’d name the kid after him. Big, right?
And it worked. It worked! We were blessed with a healthy, thriving pregnancy. My fertility doctor loved me because I was a 41 year old woman who got pregnant TWICE, thus skewing his success rate nicely. And my Italian-American in-laws were overjoyed to learn that it was a masculine child.
Now…how to tell Jimmy that I’d already named the kid by making a vow to a saint. Oh no. Jimmy does not like being told what to do. Oh no. He does not like having decisions made for him. Oh no. And even though Jimmy's spiritual beliefs have now taken a sharp turn Eastern, he is still enough of an old Italian Catholic to know that you don’t screw around with a vow to a saint. Oh no, no, no. A vow to a saint is very serious stuff.
We bounced around a few names. Jimmy wanted Vito (I know. But Jimmy’s an Italian actor and has a Godfather thing, and anyway, Vito means “life”, so…). I suggested Levon, for Levon Helm of The Band, a mutual favorite of ours. All the while, I was getting up the guts to make my confession about the wacky vow-to-a-saint thing.
So one night, when I was about 6 months into my pregnancy, we decided to meet for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. When Jimmy got there, he was very wound up and excited (people who know him know that he is usually this way, but this time he was particularly so), and as soon as he sat down he announced “I know what we have to name our son!” Oh NO!! It was now or never. I had to make my confession. “I was driving in the car” Jimmy continued, “And ‘Hey Jude’ came on the radio. How many millions of times have I heard this song? But today, I felt like I was hearing it for the first time. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that that’s what we have to name the baby. Jude.”
Now, according to Jimmy, I got a look of joy and relief like nothing he’d ever witnessed before, and my eyes welled up with tears. “Yes!” I blubbered, “That’s his name!!” St. Jude had fixed it. And on May 6, 2003, my one perfect, silly little boy, Jude Antonio, was born, and since then I’ve been Jude’s Mama.
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
That's right, I'm taking a break. A summer break. In a week, Jude and I are heading to New York for a THREE week visit with the in-laws, so prepare yourselves for some Mommy stories. But I don't want to have to worry about the spinning while I'm gone.
So have a fun vacation. And the Spin Cycle will return in about a month. If you want me to add you to the Spin Cycle reminder email, let me know!
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