August 11, 2008

Hella Good

Recently, the newly famous blogger Black Hockey Jesus asked his readers if they had a best or worst memory that they associated with a particular song. When I read his question, I knew exactly the two songs that had a special meaning for me. I'll only go into one of those on this post today, because both songs represent my children. To group them into the same post just wouldn't do either of them justice.

The first song that has special meaning to me is No Doubt’s Hella Good, which in Utah I think you are required to pronounce as Hecka Good. I remember the first time I heard it. I was at work and a co-worker who sat directly behind me heard it come on the radio and cranked it up loud for us all to hear. We got up on our feet and danced. I loved it instantly. From then on, I would scour the radio dial on my commute in the hopes that I would hear it.

A month went by and I began hearing that song more and more. I was in the car more often then. It was during the spring and summer of 2003. Jeremy and I were driving two hours a day, ten days a month, to visit with an infertility expert. We had been trying to conceive for a few years and nothing was happening. During this time, we were in the middle of our many, many Artificial Insemination treatments. Some days Jeremy and I would get up before 4:00 am to get to the doctor before work to track my body’s schedule. Other days, we would leave work-mid day to perform the AI. Thankfully, both my doctor and employer were wonderfully flexible with our schedules.

It was those days when we scheduled the AI that I stressed the most, and understandably so. We only had a window of about 45 minutes to make what was regularly a 60 minute drive. So there we were, the three of us; me, Jeremy and his cup full of ’specimen’, weaving in and out of traffic listening to the radio and Gwen Stefani belt out that funky, groovy pop song. On the way to the doctor’s office, I usually had high spirits. To hear that song, gave me hope and promise. I would loudly sing along and soon, I knew every word. But those high times would only last a few weeks. Month after month, when my period arrived, my hopes were dashed and I was often inconsolable.

It was around mid September when I decided my body and my mind could take no more of those adrenaline filled dashes to the doctor. I had lost hope and a piece of my heart as well. I shut down and kind of unplugged myself from everything. I refused to listen to that song if it ever crossed my ears. If it came on the radio, I would immediately turn the dial. One time while while at the grocery store, it came on. I set my cart aside and walked out. It represented my body's failure to hold on to a pregnancy. It only reminded me of the stress I associated with all those doctor visits.

During the winter of 2004, Jeremy and I both agreed that it was more important to us to be parents than to be pregnant. We applied for adoption. Strangely enough, nine months later, Henry, our son, arrived via his beautiful birthmother, Bailey. Odd how things work out, isn't it?

Around Henry’s six month mark I began listening to a lot of music. His birthmom was a hip-hop dancer and it was evident that at six months he had inherited her rhythm and love of music. On one of my days home with Henry, I was holding him in the kitchen and dancing and singing to him along with the radio. Hella Good blared out of the speakers. On instinct I went to the radio dial to change the station, but before I made it there, I heard Henry squeal in delight and he began bouncing around in my arms. I watched him, amazed by how much he doesn’t look like me at all. He’s the spitting image of his birthmother. He has her big, blue eyes, her wide smile, her ski-jump nose. He has her hands and he even fiddles with them like I remembering her doing on those days we were with her before he was born. When Henry laughs, he often times makes the same breathy sound Bailey would make when she laughed.

So there I stood, looking at my son, his smile was bigger than I'd ever remembered and his little arms were flailing in the air to the music. It was in that moment that I fell in love with Hella Good all over again. From then on, that song would represent a wonderful time in my life that I had to experience. Now when I hear it, it takes me back to those early morning trips to the doctor and how they gave me and Jeremy time together as a couple. We'd talk about important things like our future plans and goals down to the little things like what movie we were hoping to see that weekend. I think we a little grew closer then. But mostly, when I hear Hella Good, I think of Henry and his birthmom, Bailey. I think about how lucky we are that she picked us out of all the other couples waiting to adopt. I think about the first time I saw him through the nursery window and how even though I didn't recognize him, my heart recognized him. And I think about all the times Henry has shaken his little groove thing to that song and shouted the lyrics as his ears hears them, "I'm gonna get that wood and I keep on dancin!"


Captain Dumbass said...

I'm impressed that his shirt is still white in that last pic.Isn't it great when you have to undo the seat belt after one of those. Mmmm.

Supreme Leader and I went through kinda the same thing with monkey number 1. Three and a half years of trying. It's hard for other people to understand just how brutal that can be month after month. It almost cost us our marriage. And there wasn't even anything wrong, physically, it just wouldn't happen. We were looking into adopting ourselves when she finally got pregnant. Then when we finally decided on #2... one try. Seriously. First time. Life's crazy.

Glad things worked out for you.

JuleeSLC said...

Wow - thanks for sharing your memories. Funny how "things" work out, huh? Love you.