Monday, November 5, 2007

Creative Carnival Extract

...this is an extract from the opening pages of my NaNo novel. The main character, Senator Abby Malone is being interviewed by a well known TV journo. In this extract the interviewer is asking her about her relationships etc....

“I’m not the same person that I was five years ago when I first ran for the Parliament and I’m not the same person that I was two years ago when I was elected to the Senate. But at my core, yes I still carry the same values. I still firmly believe in truth, love, family, community and freedom. How these are expressed in my every day life are perhaps different now, but we’re always growing, learning, evolving and you hope that with every revolution through the spiral that you becoming wiser and stronger.”

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

“Robert Frost ..” she mused and smiled in recognition of the much loved poem.
“It could pretty much sum up your life to date.”
“I remember the first time I had that poem quoted to me. It was a guy I met online, who was a detective, or so he said, who went off to study law with the US Navy and that was last I ever heard of him. I thought it was all very JAG at the time. But the poem resonated with me. So to answer your question, it could sum up my life to date. I was never content to follow the crowd.”

“Choosing a homebirth definitely fits with the theme of choosing the one less travelled. How has it made all the difference in your life.”
“If I hadn’t chosen to birth at home I wouldn’t be a Senator. In fact, if we’re going to have a sliding door moment, there’s a good chance had I chosen to birth in a hospital I would have returned to study and I might be a psychologist now. I probably would never have experienced a vaginal birth. Who knows.”

“What made you choose to birth at home?”
“I birthed my son at home in 2001 in Brisbane, so it seemed logical to choose to birth my second baby at home.”
“Why the choice the first time.”
“At the time my husband and I chose it because we felt strongly that hospitals weren’t the place for babies to be born – they had and still have strong associations with death and sickness for both of us. We missed the ballot at the Birth Centre, we had no private health insurance so it seemed to us that there really was only one option that suited us, and that was to birth at home.

“As we educated ourselves, we discovered that birthing in a hospital, for a healthy woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy, is dangerous. Medical staff and hospital protocols do not know how to care holistically for a birthing woman. My midwife not only cared for me, in her role as a professional in normal birth, she loved me as a woman in life transition. It’s the Rolls Royce of maternity care, to have an independent midwife, but without the price tag.”
“This time though, there would have been quite a deal of media and public scrutiny of the decision. What if something had have gone wrong?”

“Birth is unpredictable, and the stress that I carried through this pregnancy didn’t make it as easy or as healthy as it could have and should been. It was much harder than my first pregnancy, even taking out that fact that I was older this time around. However, I have an intrinsic trust in birth and so did Jamie and my wonderful midwife. We knew that as people in the public eye we had a really important role in changing the way in which Australian’s view birth. Something like myth busters without the bad goatees and berets.”

The interviewer chuckled and rubbed his chin, waiting for the laughter to subside again.

“Your relationships are rather unconventional. How does a politician and a political satirist team up? Do you make ground rules not to discuss politics at dinner but religion is OK?”

There was more laughter from the audience.

For a moment she turned her head and through the glare of lights sought out the familiar faces sitting in the, wishing that Jamie was up here with her, under scrutiny, holding her hand and offer his support. She wasn’t so sure if she was ready to be grilled about the intricacies of their relationship, of all the relationships in her life.

“On a serious note, your relationship threatened to compromise both of your careers. You can go to Hansard and read about the reactions of your political colleagues in the House. Much was written about it in the media. How do you get through it?”

“How did we get through it? Jamie and I just did. We made a decision that we wanted to be open and honest … we were fed up running around under the cover of night meeting in secret and all the time worried that we would be exposed. We wanted to come out about our relationship on our own terms.”
“You were still married at the time.”
“I am still married,” she corrected matter-of-factly.

“It’s one thing for sexual innuendo to come out about politicians after the fact, in some cases many years after the fact, but its another to do it while still in office. We’ve seen the sex scandals of the British Parliament. How did your husband feel about it?”
“How would you feel Andrew if Jennifer came home one day and said that she wanted to talk to you about your relationship because you had met someone else, but she didn’t want to necessarily end your marriage.”

He shook his head, and thought for a moment ….
“I guess its one of those things that I sincerely hope never happens in our relationship. What did your husband say.”
“He didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t asking for a separation or a divorce … I was asking for some odd kind of time share arrangement. I wanted something that pushed all our boundaries about what we felt comfortable with, how we defined a relationship, of what love is and isn’t … how much we loved each other, and what we would do to ensure each of us were happy. It meant renegotiating all the things we thought we knew, what we trusted and it was hard.


Anonymous said...

I think the home bith touch is wonderful. I personally chose hospital births with all three of my kids. With my first simply because I did not know how I would respond to child birth given some of the things I've been through in my life. I kind of wanted someone on hand to care for the baby if I lost my frigging mind. Fortunately I had none of that and I had a very run of the mill vaginal delivery. Woo-hoo! My second I got pregnant with too soon though and had almost 6 weeks of severe pre-term labor with. As soon as they deemed it safe for the baby they induced labor because they were afraid I would be too exhausted to deliver naturally. Things went fine, another vaginal birth. With my son I also had pre-term labor but nowhere near the severity of my second kiddo. They again induced out of fear I would be too exhausted for a natural delivery. Kiddo three arrived safe and sound and had a vaginal birth.

And that's all she wrote... I'm done!

Were I to have another child though I think I would have liked to try a home delivery once. I just would want every assurance that it could be done safely, and I don't know if we have enough individuals who are well trained as mid-wives here in the states. In more liberal places like California perhaps, but many women still stick to the hospitals at least in this area. I was thrilled though that the hospital I had my last two children at are offering birthing methods such as water birth now.

catherine said...

ok I'm hooked...well I was before anyways, but is there a higher level of hooked? I couldn't help backtracking to earlier blogs and looking to see who was the husband, but I'm still looking forward to see how it all unfolds...