Discovering Me

Me on having babies, losing babies, trying to have babies and hoping to bring this one home.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


When I was a kid my grandpa (mother's stepdad) had a cockatiel. He was an obnoxious little bastard, but he could do some cool stuff. He called the cats (there's just something about a bird sitting in his cage saying "here kitty, kitty" that I think is freaking hilarious), he could do all the obligatory whistles and he could say his name...George.

I don't know how old George was at that time, I think he must have been about 5 or 10ish. My grandpa got him from someone else, so God only knows. At any rate, he ended up moving in with my Grandma (dad's mom) at some point and then later, she moved in with us.

From about 1986 until 1990 I would have to help Grandma take care of George, especially on the odd occasion when she went to my Aunt's house or when she was in the hospital. I didn't mind too much. He wasn't hard to care for. He loved to sit outside in his cage and tease our cats. He had a run in with a hawk one time who tried to swoop down and get him, but the cage got in the way.

One time when I was cleaning his cage, George escaped. I was sad because I knew my grandma would be devastated. She was, but occasionally we would still see (or hear) George for years after that. We'd be sitting outside and all of the sudden he would fly over and he'd do the patented cockatiel screech as he flew by (Lorem, I know you know the one).

My grandma was always really superstitious. She had a man she said would show up when something big was going to happen. She said he didn't talk but she would just see him. He'd pass in the hallway when she was doing laundry, or she'd wake up and he'd be standing by her bed. She called him the man in black. She saw him whenever someone died or when there would be something happen that she needed to be prepared for.

She passed that to my dad and aunt. They both get premonitions and occasionally my mom will see my grandpa (dad's dad) when something is coming. In fact, the week before Audrey died, mom woke up early to find grandpa at the side of her bed trying to say something. She said it was like he was telling her something but he was whispering in such a way that she couldn't hear. The next day their dog died rather suddenly, so she believed at the time that was the reason for grandpa's visit. We all now think that he was there about Audrey.

Occasionally, I have goofy stuff happen too. Dreams of grandpa where he's telling me to look out for things or something along those lines. Occasionally, I'll be sitting in a room and it would fill with the smell of his cologne and I know he was there.

Yesterday was CD 15 and I'm pretty sure I ovulated. I have been very positive about this cycle. As I left my office yesterday, I was walking to my car and what do I hear but a cockatiel. I look up and sure enough it was. A cockatiel flew right over my head, yelling just like George always did. Now, what the hell is a cocktiel doing out in the desert I ask you? I know birds escape, but I can't help but feel like it was grandma trying to tell me that this is all going to be okay.

And you know why I think it would be her coming to me? Because she knows. She lost 15 babies before she had my aunt. 14 miscarriages and one baby who died at about a week old. She had an incompetent cervix in the days when little could be done about it. But she never gave up. My dad was born in 1954 when preemies just died. He was born weighing less than 4 pounds a full 8-10 weeks early.

She knows as well as I do how all of this feels. And suddenly, I can't help but feel like she's here. She's pulling for me. And somehow, that is more comfort than I have felt through out this whole process.

I love you grandma. I wish now that I had not been so afraid to ask you about your experiences. I wish I knew what happened and how you kept on. I hope you find a way to tell me. But, now, thanks to George, I know you're there and I'm listening.


  • At 9:45 AM , Blogger Catherine said...


  • At 10:30 AM , Blogger R said...

    Way to make me cry.

  • At 10:33 AM , Blogger R said...

    Wanted to add that I had a cockatiel as a child...once I took his cage outside to clean it, while he was in it, and the bottom of the cage fell out. He flew up into a tree! My dad must have climbed 60 feet to get that damn bird. :)

    Then in high school I had a cockatiel named Bojan. I sold him to a friend. The same thing happened to the cage when he was taking him out to the car. The bird flew away, but this time, no one was able to get him back.

    Anyway, I know exactly what you are talking about with the birds. Very good sign indeed. I love how Catherine talks about the crows.

  • At 12:28 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 12:29 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

  • At 2:23 PM , Blogger kati said...

    ditto what Sarah said.
    And all the best for this cycle!

  • At 12:37 AM , Blogger the ockers said...

    what a beautiful post Michelle. It gave me goosebumps reading it. & goodluck with CD 16 :)

  • At 5:43 AM , Blogger KB said...

    I LOVE IT!! REALLY cool.

    (and I can't believe you lost George.... ;) )

  • At 6:08 AM , Blogger Jill said...

    What a wonderful gift you have! Grandmas have way about them where ever they are :)

  • At 6:51 AM , Blogger Laura said...

    Oh wow. Thanks for that :)

  • At 5:17 PM , Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

    Okay, I'm crying.

    My grandmother was like yours - although she did not have all those losses. But she did lose her first daughter, and somewhere in there she took on some sort of insight, some intuition that crossed into what we call ESP. When she died she visited me for a long time, and it frightened my mother because it wasn't happening to her. She was jealous.

    It's been nearly seven years and I'm feeling that intuition now - starting with my first pregnancy. I knew something was wrong, even though I'd never been pregnant. So having this feeling is not always good. But even when it's bad, I know that my grandmother is there. Like yours, she knows.

  • At 6:16 PM , Blogger kate said...

    (((((hugs)))) Your post lifted my heart!!

  • At 10:06 PM , Blogger Anam Cara said...

    What a beautiful story Michelle. (((hugs)))


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