Saturday, February 7, 2009


Twenty two years ago today I had my second child, my first son …my only son. He was a feisty little bugger who kicked and battled his way through 9 ½ months of life inside me. And then he took another 25 hours to get the heck outa me. He has not changed much but he is taller and has hair now. Without being too graphic or personal, I’d had a series of terrible disappointments around my pregnancies and several miscarriages. Colin was a miracle baby and my last pregnancy …thank the sweet lord! My body didn’t take well to ligaments stretching from breakfast to Timbuktoo or to spending many months with my head in the nearest trash can. It was finally rebelling and way too fat and cumbersome. I’d spent too many hours in every bathroom I could find and started writing a book called “Bathrooms I have known …How to take the PEE out of pregnancy”. But of course the minute I saw the little beastie I adored him!

Why am I telling you this? Because of course, this is a jewelry story and giving birth to my child was just an excuse for more jewelry!

For nine and a half miserable months I found jewelry at the bottom of boxes of Cheezits, rolled up in a taco filled with ground beef, avocado, salsa and sour cream, in the cookie dough ice cream, even in the heart of an artichoke for heaven’s sake! There were baubles, bangles, sparklies and little friends to help remind me that yes, Virginia, there is glamour after pregnancy. My ex is still my ex, but it wasn’t for his lack of jewelry smarts that he became my ex. I was indulged …it kept me nice and pacified at least some of the time.

And during the birth, jewelry and the face of my now partner, then three year old daughter Bryana, kept me from killing one of the doctors.

I wanted Colin’s birth to be au natural and then it started, the excruciating pain that even jewelry couldn’t mask. A few minutes later I wanted an epidural and never mind being an earth mother. They called for the anesthetist and it was at night. Of course all the real doctors were home in bed or watching late night TV so I got the attending resident gynie who I dubbed “The Weanie”. I’d been in labor for 23 hours and I was pissed, pooped and in pain. The guy came in with his sour little face, heavy horn rimmed specs pretending to be a doctor but I knew better. He was a 24 year old intern right out of the school of economics pretending to be a doctor with a practice …and I was his practice subject and my spine was his embroidery cloth. NO %$^&*% WAY was this guy sticking me in the spine. I was worried he’d use his bubble gum to hold the needle in my back.

He told me he didn’t want to give me an epi because I was having back labor and he didn’t feel comfortable administering the anesthesia. Imagine that! He didn’t feel comfortable!! And I was on a train to Miami to sit in the sun and drink Mai Tais. My contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart so I realized that gave me time to kill him in between.

My hands formed claws with long red talons at their tips and up I rose like a reincarnated whale, out of the bed dragging my IV and the fetal heart monitor with me, elbowing the nurse out of the way and chased the little putz down the hall. I got him! My hands around his neck, claws around his throat and at that moment comes a contraction. My uterus thought it was a hand and my fingers closed in around his intern-ish throat and I was screaming “You son of a …female dog… I want a real doctor to kill the pain!!!” and so on and so on, you get the picture. Dragging tubes and boobs it took four male orderlies to pull me off this guy and then my ex appeared, white as a sheet, blue eyes popping out of his head, with the prettiest little antique diamond brooch you have ever seen. Right there in the middle of mayhem and murder in the halls of the hospital I went all soft and gooey eyed. My eyes filled with tears and I kissed him and smiled. “Aw honey, that is the sweetest thing you have done for me in two days of labor.” He said it was my ‘transition’ gift and if I could just get through the next phase of this agony and was a good girl and settled down and stopped trying to kill the doctors, he had something even better planned for after the birth. And then I had another contraction. I left claw marks in The Weanie’s throat.

I’m flashing back in time to my first antique show at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles in 1975 or maybe 1976. I had been to the Rosebowl and up and down the California coast at flea markets galore and thought it was about time to step into the big time and do a “show” like a pro. I had my cases and my 1966 vintage light blue VW bug with the new engine in it and a coupla friends and off we went.

The show was an eye opener for sure. I had so much fun, didn’t sell much but who cares! I found my first official piece of Scottish Agate jewelry and I was off on a 30ish year collection binge.

Standing in the back alley behind the hotel like a thief with the other smokers, I was taking a drag on my cigarette when I looked down at the mouse scampering across the back door. It wasn’t really a mouse but do you really want to be completely disgusted if I tell you it was a humongous $&%^$%ing rat at an antique show? And right there to my horror and amazement was a shoe box upturned that he or maybe she ran out of and when I looked closer I saw ….drum roll …. JEWELRY! An entire shoe box of stuff that someone had thrown out. And in the pile was my first Scottish Agate pin. I had no idea what it was then nor did anyone else and it was not very popular in LA or collectible, or so I thought. I loved it even more for that and became obsessed with finding more. For years wherever I went I looked for and bought these fantastic works of art in the form of jewelry. Inlaid with blood stone and jasper and sporting the biggest yellow orange Cairngorm you ever saw, I was in heaven with my new find and years later it is still my favorite piece.

So back in the hospital where all the action was, my hands were being pried off the throat of The Weanie and I was taken back to bed, the evil ones turned up the pitocin drip and then the contractions started in earnest. I no longer had time to kill the doctors in between contractions. A short time later I was yelling that the kid was coming and the “real” doctor (who was a stand in for my nurse midwife who had the flu) was telling me I was imagining it and it was too soon. What the heck! (You KNOW that’s not what I really said, but we’re in public here and I have an image to protect.) It was 25 hours after I had my first rupturing pain and it was too soon?! Rising up out of the bed to attempt to commit murder again was not an option but what a great idea it was. Baby coming out doctor doing a little dance across the room. Baby coming out doctor still dancing and writing in my chart. Baby coming out and fell into the garbage can, mom swearing like a sailor. And then the pin appeared! OMG it was a gorgeous, gorgeous Scottish Agate attached to my little boy’s baby blankie. I looked at him, my brand new, wrinkly baby, thanked god that I would not go to jail for doctorcide and drooled on my beautiful new anchor brooch. Life was good.

Made from one exquisite piece of translucent banded agate, carefully and loving hand carved and wrapped in engraved sterling silver, this is one of my prize anchors. The anchor represents steadfastness, heart felt love and safety, home and security. What a wonderful symbolism for me as the mom of a new baby. I had it then and was able to give it back to my son, all of it, most of the time and there was never a lapse in love for even one second.

So in honor of that day and that beautiful piece of jewelry and of course in honor of my son whose birth was the reason for that seasoning, I dedicate today to him and my unending love for him.

It’s a great laugh for me remembering this moment in my history and my son is still a little bugger but at least he does have hair and he turned out just fine in my opinion!

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