Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all
And sweetest is the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm...
~Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It was Thursday, May 13th.
A day I will never forget.

I delivered a baby.
With my own two hands.

Here is the story:
About 10:30 am I am standing in my kitchen starting to clean up for the day of therapists to arrive at the house.
Kyle and I are talking and all of a sudden we hear some screaming outside the house.
After about 15 seconds of this, we run outside and standing in our driveway is our neighbor with the most fearful look I have ever seen on a face.

neighbor: "I'm in labor and I'm going to have the baby NOW"
me: "NO you are not"...I grab my phone while escorting her back to her home and call 911.
kyle: "Should I drive her to the hospital?"
neighbor: "My water just broke, it's coming, please help me"
me: "Calm down, did you call 911? Just calm down we will help you"
neighbor: "Please help, the baby is coming..."
me: "Go lay down on your back, go lie down and I will be right there"

I think at this point I have run back and forth between our houses at least 3 times in sheer panic.
I got off the phone with 911, grabbed a bunch of towels and back to the neighbor whom had listened to me and laid down on her back in the entrance of the home.
I put a towel under her butt and prayed for the ambulance to somehow magically appear right then.

neighbor: "I want to push, the baby is coming I can feel it...I need to push"
me: "Please just hold tight, the paramedics are on their way"
neighbor: "It's coming...the baby's head is coming"
kyle: "Kary what do you want me to do?"
me: "Watch her kids, make sure they are o.k."

YES, she had two other kids who were in the car in the driveway screaming and crying...ages 3 and 1.5...
She was attempting to pack her car up to go to the hospital.
So, Kyle stood by the car trying to calm the kiddos and I braced myself for the next 3 minutes.

neighbor: "Please help, the baby is coming NOW"

SO, at this point there was not turning back...no time to think things out...action needed to happen...
I quickly removed her shoes and pants, and sure enough there was the baby's head sticking out...full head of hair and all.

NOW, I don't know how many of you have watched live births.
I saw one video while I was in birthing classes and that was more than enough for me.
Here I was now right in the "mix" of it all.
SO many beautiful colors of liquids and odors are everywhere...it truly is something I cannot accurately describe without making you throw up.

Anyways, as I see this baby's head sticking out I am wondering why in the hell the ambulance has not come yet.
So I am trying to calm her down, rubbing her leg telling her how great she is doing...
Then, the moment of truth came.

She looked at me with pure fear in her face and said "Why isn't the baby crying, I can't hear it"
I don't know if it was motherly instincts or pure gut reaction, but I immediately told her to "PUSH, Just push"...

2 pushes later a baby literally flew into my arms and into this world.
I stopped for a second to take it all in...just stood there with this little life in my hands...
I somehow knew to swipe its mouth of fluids and gave it a gentle pat on the back...and there was the cry...the first cry.
I turned the baby onto it's back, wiped it's tiny little head as well as I could, wrapped it in a towel and handed it over to momma.

me: "Congratulations it's a boy"...

About 1 minute later the firetruck pulled up and the paramedics.
I turned around and looked at Kyle standing in the driveway with my hands out dripping in "goo" and we just looked at each other in pure shock.
We had no words for what we just went through...

They took her away with a healthy baby boy in her arms, and that was that.

A day we will never forget.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the power of creation...

It is 11pm, Kannon and Kalena have been asleep for 3 hours.
Some nights I will check on them before I go to sleep...just because I want to look at them in slumber.
They are so peaceful.
So silent.
So beautiful.

I can't help but stare at them...these beautifully perfect little people that I created.
I created.
I cared for...and they flourished.
It still amazes me at times how much life will fight for life.

Unless you have children, this might be hard to digest or fully comprehend.
Maybe not.
Maybe we can all look at someone or something and feel a sense of internal pride.
A sense of "holy shit I did that"...

It could be art.
It could be a huge mess.
It could be a child...
It could be MANY things.

In MY case, it is Kannon and Kalena.

My angels.
My flesh.
Sometimes, my mirror images.

If I did in fact bring Kannon into this world with Autism attached, then by god this is my choice.
This is my classroom of life...my homeroom.

I created a beautiful, chaotic, frustrating, amazing, colorful creation of life.

I chose this.

I am an artist.

Kannon is here for a beautiful reason.

It is his time to be seen, heard, felt and thought about.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pink Hello Kitty socks

One of the things I do love about Kannon is his flair for personal expression.
Whether Autism induced or not, he loves expressing himself.

He went through a phase of about 6 months where he would only wear princess dresses.
My son, who at the age of 3 already resembled a line backer for the Packers, loved princesses.
He had about 6 dresses that he would alternate between.
ALL of them pink, lace everywhere with tulle.
We would go out into public with them on.
Grocery shopping, Target, the mall,the park....EVERYWHERE.

Today when I picked the kids up from their dads house Kannon was wearing pink Hello Kitty socks, brown penny loafers(that he picked out earlier today), green camouflage shorts, and a shirt that was made to look like a tuxedo but is just a t shirt.
He also had his pink princess backpack stuffed full of animals, papers and barbies.

My boy....in all his beautiful misunderstood glory.
He is not confined to the social boundaries that most of us are.
He does not understand them.
He doesn't care.

He only knows what makes him happy.
He knows what lights up his soul.
He has enough courage and blissful ignorance to do what his soul feels.
He doesn't second guess anything...he dives in head first.
He chooses to make himself happy above everything else.

This is one thing I LOVE about Autism.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

My best friend reminded me the other day of something I wanted to share.

I need to allow myself to feel the bad things that come along with Autism and Kannon.
I need to let myself really feel everything.

I tend to always try to make the best of everything.
To make excuses for things/people in my life that are misunderstood.
I want people to feel peace with everything.
To accept things.

The truth is though that not everyone will accept everything.
I cannot change peoples perspectives of their own truths and beliefs.
That is not my purpose or desire.

I DO want people to better understand Autism.
I want them to feel for this disorder...to feel all the emotions involved even if they are not involved.
I want people to laugh, cry and take a step back and think.
To do this I must admit everything about Autism.
No sugar coating.

This is hard for me because I have so much pain in my soul for Kannon who is misunderstood EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Every moment of his precious life he is misunderstood.
Even by those who are trying to help him recover from all of this...I still see it in their faces.
Therefore, I try to make light of things....I try to make things more beautiful than they may be.
It is all perspective.

Autism sucks.
It really does.
It is the most complex situation one can be presented with, given or forced upon that will tear out every preconceived notion or belief you may have had about behaviors, emotions or the human soul.
It gives you so much, yet takes away twice as much.
It touches your soul in the smallest pockets that have never been opened or used.
Then, it uses them and leaves them damaged, never again to be be salvaged.

Then, at times it brings you to your knees.
It literally gets to the deepest part of your being and makes a wall that forces every single tear/cry out of you until you no longer can cry...until you are out of liquid tears.
Yet, inside you are still crying.

The hardest thing about Autism is that there is no black and white.
No clear cut boundaries or answers to ANYTHING.
This is why I can only hope people will find compassion and patience for this disorder that is and will take over a huge part of our society.
It needs love.
It needs patience.
It needs people to fight for it and with it.

I still honestly feel Kannon is my gift.
I will never regret this journey nor understand why I choose this for my life.
I hope I come out of it all smiling, yet crying.
Strong, yet weak from the battle....soft, yet hard from experience.