Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In Touch

In 2004: Grandma K, Chup, Me (with bangs...never again) and Grandpa K

I am not a first-time-pregnant woman who keeps a full time job, or continues lunch dates or even attempts church. I am sick and that is about it.

I've heard (rather constantly) from mothers-to-be who prefer to continue on with their lives while feeling like vomit could, at any point, escape their stomach and splatter out to the biosphere simply because it kept their minds busy. I tried that approach for the sake of the ever-true scientific process. As it holds, this hypothesis doesn't compute for me. Me? I stay close to home, mostly because I don't have a full time job, pressing lunch dates or, as of recently, a calling in the ward. I do have a bag of cinnamon bears, and as I discovered last week, a cure of my own.

Last week I ventured on a plane
to Arizona to visit my sister Stephanie and her troupe of Four Delights. You'd think after all the advice I've been given ONE person could've told me NOT to fly when pregnant and sick. That was bad news right out of the headlines.

I did bring with me a pair of wrist bands with little beads in them. The bead presses on the reflexology point that connects to nausea. My lovely Lani brought them down from Idaho before my trip, and as she placed them on me I instantly felt better. When I told her so, she replied "Oh that's just because I am touching you. Touch always makes you feel better." And then her friend Rebecca put her cold fingers on the back of my neck. "This will feel good too." she said.

And it did.

When I was safe at the Rancho Nielson-Amigo in Arizona, I was put to work on the orange couch while Claire and Jane took turns brushing my hair and using a small paint brush and an imagination to "do my make-up." I felt like I did in third grade when the girls in the class would braid each other's hair during Mrs. Frazier's story time. Having your hair touched just after late recess made for the most wonderful sensation. I've tried to teach Chup how to duplicate it, but I'm afraid the male species will never twist a french braid so tenderly.

Steph did her part in feeding me every fifteen minutes. When she was in the kitchen whipping up a seven-fruit smoothie (or something wonderful such as) I'd curl up with baby Giggs and kiss his loaded cheeks until I felt better.

For his part, one night two-year-old Oliver snuggled with me in my guest bed and sang me songs. When he had exhausted his last "Woody" tune (You got a friend in me. You got a friend in me.) He demanded "Do the tickles" which meant that I was supposed to lightly tickle his legs and arms until he was out. I woke up the next morning with Oliver's hand on my face, covering my right eye.

That morning, to my surprise, I experienced no morning sickness.

The same morning I got a call from Chup telling me that Grandma K had passed away. I have written about Grandma K before, mostly about her potato salad which was the real reason I married Chup. Look, I didn't even like potato salad before, that should tell you something.

Shortly after I arrived back in Utah, Chup and I headed up to Idaho to be with the family. I worried that the car ride would be disastrous, but Chup held my hand the whole way while I ate about fourteen bagels in between the miles.

Dear bagels,
I love you.
Love, me.

In the days that followed we saw lots of family and friends. One thing I've grown to like about Twin Falls is the ample amount of hugging that goes down. It is almost an insult to shake hands. I gave Grandpa K and big embrace, and like always, he chuckled and boomed, "Oh hi sweetie. Thanks for coming." Then I gave him another hug, because it was the least I could do for a man who had just lost his wife of seventy-one years.

In the afternoon we followed the funeral procession to the cemetery. Though the sun was shining it was a little cold and I thought a walk with four-year-old Phun might help warm me up. Happy to get some exercise, he held my hand for a bit as we jumped over tombstones. When Kentucky caught up with us, we discovered that we both had a light crush on our father-in-law's cousin. If that sounds a little strange, then I will add that he just happens to be a KUTV anchorman, and how can you help it? This caused a slight bit of tension between us especially when he made a very funny joke about funeral potatoes and clearly looked at me to see if I was laughing (which I was!) But life is short, and we are already married to the two greatest men alive (Chup first, then MD, in that order) and so we put it behind us.

Then I started to gag.
And Kentucky ran to the car for crackers.
But crackers (though they did help) will never do for me what touch will. This simple cure--planted in my mind by Lani at the beginning of the week--helped me survive the week that followed. I also plan to use more of it in this last week of my first trimester. In fact, as soon as I am done writing this post, Chup is going to rub my feet. (He just doesn't know it yet.)


And that is my secret.