I was probably 6 months pregnant. It was a winter afternoon and Ratt was in the den having a toke. He had just come in from the woods. Probably duck hunting. That was one of his good ole’ boy passions. He once told me, “There ain’t nothing like a cold winter morning. You can see your breath. And you call ‘em in. When those mallards start comin’ in…why they fill up the sky. They circle above the water. I call, again, and they start landin’ on that swamp. It’s like the best high in the world. If they made duck hunting in liquid form, I swear I’d shoot it straight into my veins.” I’m sure my reply went something like “That’s wonderful, dear, to feel such passion about shooting ducks!” He would quip back, “Woman! I am putting meat on the table!” I would say, “Get a grip, those duck breasts are probably costing us about $200 a pound. Let’s see? The gun? The duck blind lease? The boat? The decoys? YOUR HANDMADE, CUSTOM DUCK CALL? And that Patagonia underwear? And let’s not forget the Whiskey…..I know …I know…..Ya have to stay warm.”
At which point he would start ignoring me.
But I digress.
Out of nowhere, Ratt said “Ezekiel Jeremiah Jones.” Only he had just taken a toke and the words came out eeeeeeezzzzkkkkkiiiiieeeeellllllll. (long pause here) jerrrrreeemmmmmmmmmiaaaaahhhhh. JONES!
“What the Hell?” I replied.
He blew out the smoke. Took a breath. Never stirring from his current position, he said “That’s it. When we have our son… (back in the old days, you didn’t know if it was a boy or girl, ‘till that precious gift graced you, with its presence)… we are going to name him Ezekiel Jeremiah Jones.”
Lordy, Lordy! “Have you lost your ever-lovin’ mind?” …as I started to laugh! I thought that was the funniest thing I had ever heard. I couldn’t quit laughing. Now think about this….very pregnant woman, laughing hysterically. You moms know what happened next. So I’m laughing, running down the hall, thinkin’ out loud to myself, “Can you imagine the burden that child would carry with him?”
::Giggle:: ::Giggle:: ::Pee pee!::
“With a name like that. Lord have mercy!” I take care of business and ask Ratt what the hell he was thinking.
His replies were always simply stated…”With a last name like Jones, the boy's gotta have something with balls, Slick.”
“Slick” was his term of endearment for me.
“Thank God! I was soooo afraid our boy might not have any balls. Where in the hell does it say that a name has to have balls?”
The conversation (rather one-sided at this point) began to dwindle off. Besides, I was having a girl. I just knew it and her name was already picked out. Period. End of this silly conversation.
The last 3 months of my rather uncomfortable pregnancy progressed. And nar a word about a boy’s name, crossed our lips….our my thoughts.
I went into labor the beginning of spring. Wonderful shades of green filled the woods. Dogwoods just trying to bloom, and I was bringing a precious little girl into this glorious place.
After 36 hours in labor, they asked Ratt and me to consider a C-section.
“HELL YA! CUT HER. GET THAT BABY OUTTA THERE. CUT HER RIGHT NOW!”
Obviously Ratt’s words….not mine.
Now… I had been terribly patient with this whole ordeal. I had taken NO drugs, This little girl was my first. I would do whatever it took. And I had not peeped one cuss word. NOT ONE! A feat, in and of itself. But I was worn smack dab out. And apparently, so was Ratt.
It was time for my precious baby girl to come out and see her momma.
I continued to have strong contractions, as they prepped me for surgery. A big ole gal, with boobs as big as my pregnant bosoms (I’m talking "EE" kinda big) came in and explained how they would administer the “spinal” …as they called it. A huge shot in your lower spine. She was so sweet and reassured me that I would be awake as my baby arrived. She explained, “And as soon as the baby is born, we will administer valium through your IV to help you relax. “
Cool! Long time ... no druggie poos. I was looking forward to it.
Then the Evil Bitch from Hell walked in. The Anesthetist. The evil one with the needle longer than my favorite butcher knife. She had “that look” on her face. Like the Wicked Witch of the West when she told Dorothy… “I’ll get you, my Pretty, and your little dog, Toto, too.”
Booby nurse stood in front of me, to hold my hand and whisper words of comfort.
Evil Bitch from Hell, as she was poking around on my back, said in a rather firm voice, “Take a breath, hold it, relax, and be perfectly still.”
I took a deep breath, slumped over, and buried my head into those marvelous titty pillows as booby nurse whispered a lot of “it will be oks.”
Then a contraction straightened me to complete attention and the Evil Bitch from Hell slapped me on the back and yelled at the top of her lungs “I SAID RELAX!”
“RELAX! YOU WANT ME TO FUCKING RELAX! YOU JUST SLAPPED MY FUCKING BACK!!! I’VE BEEN IN FUCKIN’ LABOR FOR 36 HOURS, BITCH, AND YOU CAN KISS MY BIG FAT PREGNANT ASS.” That was just the beginning of my tirade. Reports said that I called her every name in the book. And they were not pretty names. I do believe the “C” word was in there. Not to dismiss old Southern favorites like “goddamnmotherfuckinbitchwhorefromhell”. And yes, that’s all one word. I always thought Mr. Carlin would have liked that Southern expletive .
And let me add, right here in this little story, that I have a very LOUD mouth. I could call kids from 3 miles down the road and they could never say they didn’t hear me. When someone wanted to get folks' attention, at a gathering, they’d just say, “Hey Flamingo girl, can ya get everyone to be quiet?” A couple of words outta my big mouth, and a hush would fall over the crowd. Not a very lady-like quality but what can I say? We do with what gifts we are given. And God gave me a big mouth.
Once I got started and the tone went up to peek capacity, my words were echoing not only in the operating room but resonating down the hallways. Ratt heard bits and pieces in the waiting room. His only comment? “Well, they done fucked with the wrong bitch now. Slick is eatin’ their lunch. “
Seems it took them a few minutes to calm me down. But out of my belly came an incredible, healthy baby. As soon as they cut the cord, they released the valium into my bloodstream.
Hmmmm? Think they were trying to calm my ass down?
Then a nurse smiled and said “You have a beautiful baby boy. “
Valium LaLa Land had already taken me into its marvelous clutches.
They asked me if I had a name. I giggled and said it was suppose to be a girl. As they were wrapping him, I asked if he had balls. They giggled and reassured me, he did. Again they asked about a name, as they placed him in my arms. At the top of my ample lungs, looking at my precious baby boy for the first time, I said “Ezekiel Jeremiah Jones!” And I said it just like Ratt did. "eeeeeeezzzzkkkkkiiiiieeeeellllllll. (long pause here) jerrrrreeemmmmmmmmmiaaaaahhhhh. JONES!"
The entire operating room (and waiting room) broke into hysterical laughter.
That’s all I remember as I surrendered to Wonderful Valium Lala Land.
Back in the good ole days, before insurance companies ruled our lives, new mothers with c-sections, had to stay in the hospital for 7 to 10 days or until you had a “bowel” movement. Nothing like nurses asking you about your pooping needs every few hours. Let’s just say prune juice is not something I go out of my way to acquire, these days.
Every day, several of the staff would just show up to “meet” me. They’d wink and say things like “heard you gave the Evil Bitch from Hell (Of course they did not call her that) a piece of your mind. Good for you.” …Or…. “I just wanted to meet the lady everyone is talking about. You go girl!”
Seems the Evil Bitch from Hell was disliked by the majority of the staff and I had become a folk hero.
Something for the resume? Hmmmm? Let’s see?
Oh never mind, I was concentrating on baby boy.
And every day the nurses would bring me my little angel boy and say, “here’s Zeke.”
“NO! No! That is NOT his name. I was high. It was a joke. Please? That is NOT his name!!!”
Ratt just snickered a lot when I’d try to discuss what his name should be. We could not agree from one day to the next.
And the nurses continued to call him “Zeke.”
The 10th day came, I pooped, and Dr. Pepper has been my drink of choice ever since. Time to take angel boy home and they insisted I give them a name to finalize the birth certificate.
I had to have someone bring me a Bible because I had no idea how to spell Ezekiel, let alone, Jeremiah.
Zeke will be the first to tell ya, he loves his name. Not too many Zekes, around. And he always heard “Go Zeke! You can do it”…loud and clear.
He knew when Mom was in the bleachers.