An Autocidal Life, Part 8: In Which Babe Plus Babe Equals Trouble

A new mom, forced down on her knees!? A new baby, shoved under a bed!? A new grandma, accused of almost killing her new grandson!?
Oh, wait: That last one is in the NEXT post 🙂(If you missed the beginning of our exciting and sometimes-gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is.)
A Helpful Baby Doctor
Where Babe does not let nature take its course.
By 1987, Babe and Joe had been trying to get pregnant for two years. Babe had no problem getting pregnant. Staying pregnant was another thing.Her body had no rhythm: Flows from 5 to 9 days long, 26 to 42 days between them, periods two days after ovulating…Scared Hands-Up Twin Egg in Frying PanPoor Little Eggy. (This One Would Have Been Twins 😐 😐 ). No Time To Grab On!
Babe’s OB prescribed an ovulation regulator. But the day Babe was supposed to swallow the first pill, she knew she was pregnant again. She phoned her OB.“Bob, I’m two days pregnant. If I take this pill, it will abort the fetus, right? Isn’t there anything we can do to keep this one?”.“Babe, how can you possibly know you’re pregnant by two days?” A Little Pregnant Test StickWe Women Have Our Ways… 
Though not entirely convinced, Bob said there was something experimental they could try: A progesterone suppository.That two-day-old egg is 27 years old now.Study Questions:Wouldn’t that old an egg be rotten by now?
How DID Babe know? Does the toilet paper turn blue or pink THAT soon!? 😉
 Rotten Egg by Nagel PorcelainDoes This Egg Look Rotten To You? Off the Lupus Drugs and On to Adventure!Where Babe lets nature take its course.

Babe’s rheumatologist was not happy with her.

He had strongly advised her never to have children (the lupus bible points to a disastrous life for lupus moms), and here she was, pregnant.

Now, he was telling her that she should continue her lupus drugs through her pregnancy.

“No way!” said Babe. “You don’t know what those drugs will do to my baby!”
My Mom Fights Like a Girl
Dr. R.’s mood changed from unhappy to really irked. Her previously-sympathetic diagnostic savior turned stiff with resentment at a patient refusing to follow his advice.

To be fair, Dr. R. truly cared about all of his patients. He was probably very concerned for Babe. But some of his sudden transformation still seemed like it stemmed from ego.

It’s Learning to Crawl Time—for Mom!

Where Babe gains an excellent perspective for baby-proofing.

Even off the drugs, Babe’s lupus almost entirely disappeared while she was pregnant. (Some lupus moms have the opposite occur.) However, because she kept having vaginal bleeding, both Dr. R. and Bob, Babe’s OB, sent her out on disability early to be cautious. A small price to pay for her first wonderful son, Justin.


Justin At 3 Months At Zoo With 'MomJustin, 3 Mos., Happy At Zoo With Mom


Part of the story of Justin’s birth is told elsewhere. But that other post doesn’t say how Babe kept calling “Give me back my baby” (he didn’t breathe for a very long time–the doctor was trying to fix that);

or how they put Justin on his tummy on Babe’s tummy at last and she was finally happy when she put her hands on his little back;

or how he pushed himself straight up on his arms and looked right at her, with his eyes wide open, and then all around the delivery room;

or how, a week after having Justin, Babe couldn’t walk.

Oh, she could walk. Just not for the first hour or two after she woke. The arthritis pain was so severe and the morning stiffness so bad that she was forced to crawl to her baby like a baby herself.


Crawling Like a BabyHow Babes With Lupus Crawl


Fresh Prince Carlton Crawl Races Across Floor Animated GifDon’t Feel TOO Bad For Me–Some of Us Get Pretty Good At It!


Even after she could walk upright, walking was slow and painful for the first half of the day. Everything was painful.

Study Questions:

Who thinks Babe should NOT have gotten pregnant?

Child Abuse

Where Babe jams her new baby in a dresser drawer.

Babe moved Justin from his crib to one of the drawers under the captain’s bed (open, of course). When he woke, all she had to do was reach down and grab him.

Pawing Through File Drawer Animated GifI Know I Put That Baby Here Somewhere…

She was scared that her stiff fingers might make her drop him, but she learned to lift with her wrists. When this became too iffy, Babe kept Justin in the bed beside her.

Changing his diapers was really challenging. Babe could soon no longer unpeel tapes. For the worst times, Babe fastened and unfastened Justin’s Huggies tapes with her teeth.

It didn’t help that little Justin had 24-hour colic. (Some of us are just Luck Magnets.)


Colicky Baby ScreamingI’m Sure Justin Wasn’t Feeling Very Lucky, Either


If he wasn’t feeding or moving, he was crying.

In the early mornings, Babe would stay abed and let him nurse to bursting until she could move.

Later she would try to rock him to calm his fussiness. The pain in her hip while rocking was brutal. Justin was happier (and he was worth it), but Babe was miserable.

Each afternoon, when Babe was finally able to really move, she would walk or jog him in a front carrier up and down the driveway. (Her neighbors thought she was insane.)


Sleeping Baby in Front CarrierSleeping. HAH!!


Study Questions:

Where was Joe through all of this?

How the heck did Babe clean up Justin’s backside during the times her fingers were really stiff? (Don’t ask!)


The next post will reveal the cause of Justin’s fussiness. He did not sleep through the night until over a year old.

Joe did not do one night feeding. None. There was a night I begged him to get up and just carry the baby to me because I was in so much pain. He refused. He said he was too tired and he had to get up for work the next day, whereas I did not. When I returned to work, I still did all the night feedings.

Part 9, In Which Babe Borrows Blood Baddies


Leave a comment


  1. Babe moved Justin from his crib to one of the drawers under captain’s bed

    I like that idea. Remember cradles? Why don’t people use them anymore. You could place them beside the bed and when the little squeaker begins to squawk, you just give them a nudge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried a cradle-bassinet. Both my boys strongly disliked the side-to-side motion–which makes sense, if you think about it. Helpless, destabilizing. Cradles should rock the other way, head-to-toe.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Were I to be granted a do-over, I’d drug the poor little baby–maybe Benadryl. He’d sure have been happier, and so would have I been.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have avidly read the whole of this Autocidal life series…..Cor blimy you’ve ‘ad it ‘ard ain’t ya! I don’t want that to sound flippant. I haven’t commented before as I haven’t known what to say! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am grateful that you’ve read it, and to have read it “avidly” pleases my greedy self no end. Thank you! I also love the sympathy–wallowing in it. I have had a sucky totality of cr#p when it’s all added up–the childhood, the marriage, the lupus, the other stuff. It is far, far less than many people on the planet, with whom I would not trade places: Children with horrible cancers or disfigurements, parents of those children, people who are starving–things that are far worse than my mess of ills. But my mess has still sucked, and continues to do so. I am glad for nature, for creativity and art and music, for my friends, off and online, for humor, and–very, very, rarely, never often enough:

      for the sweetness of revenge justice.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Babe. Ouch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Paul, this is all long in the past. No big, now. THEN, it was big. I kept mickeying with this post, torn between wanting to describe the lupus, and wanting to address my ex and his abusive behavior. One thing I left out, which I regret leaving out, was that he never hugged or kissed me when I delivered, and walked right out of the delivery room and went immediately back to the office. I and Justin were wheeled to a private room where I was left alone with a screaming baby for eight hours–no diapers, no nurses responding to the call button–thank you, Cedars. When a nurse finally showed up, she was horrified this had occurred. Of course. “You’ve been left ALONE in here! For EIGHT HOURS!!??”

      Just more of my luck magnetism at work. I’ll tell you, it was a terrific initial bonding experience for me and Justin.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You write this as with all your other “character building episodes”, like it was yet just another test to pass. but with full frontal emotional impact on the reader. I am mesmerized. Maybe because I can relate. Maybe because my first born is also named Justin. I’m rubbing my eyes, something in them. Can’t type anymore… I would give you a hug but, I just read the other page, so I’ll have to leave you with <3.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hullo. (feeling a little shy) Thank you for your always-bountiful praise, Stephanie.

      Now I must confess: Joe and Justin are not their real names. I don’t give a . about “Joe”, but when I first wrote some of my stories, wanted to protect my children’s anonymity. I chose alliterative names for all of us (in the first version, I was not Babe!) and two names for my boys that I really liked. Justin is a great name.

      Although the anonymity has been compromised (I put details somewhere recently but am too tired to recall right now), I continue the pseudonyms out of… respect for the feelings of children who care nothing about mine?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suspected it was a pseudonym, but it still resonated with me for obvious reasons. It was just strange to see it right there in print. But it is a common name so I should not be surprised. I didn’t realize at the time how common and trendy that it turned out to be.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Does this mean you’re all better?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read this before but got dragged away before I could comment. Did you see me pop up in your stats? Also, I opened the birth story page but didn’t get to read it. So now you get a double dipping of stats so I can read (again and for the first time) and comment (but just here, maybe there, I’ll think about it).

    I don’t know how you didn’t turn into a blubbering mess. Parenting a newborn is hard enough without having to do it with no support. (I think it’s worse when someone else is there but refuses to help than if you were actually on your own.) You are one strong ox (called Babe but probably not blue – hahaha).

    We travelled around the USA when I was a wee thing and I often slept in drawers (apparently). I think it was a smart idea on your behalf. They should market those beds as ideal for new parents.


  6. Oh my, Babe, it is remiss of me not to have visited earlier. One glance and I can see I have missed far too much to catch-up now. It’ll require more than a quick peep and I must tackle a scene I’ve just written in my head while doing my walking (still over 2000 steps to do today!)

    I’ll be back. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christine, please, please feel no obligation to “catch up”. None of us should. I’ll be through with this grimmer stuff in another coupla’ weeks, and it may be more fun to return then, if you’re so inclined.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree about the obligation part – nearly none – but I do enjoy going back to where I left off last time. Takes me along time to find it sometimes. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Takes me along time to find it sometimes.” LOL, I’ll be back tomorrow – perhaps – and see if I DID come back last time … 2 years ago … yikes!


  1. An Autocidal Life, Part 7: In Which Babe Is Saved By A 15-Minute Miracle | The Last Half

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