Why I named my daughter Bowie
Despite having tried for 6 months to get pregnant (which is shorter than many but longer that I was prepared to hold out my hope for), I found myself pregnant and miserable during the holiday season of 2011.
I wanted the baby, but I never wanted to be pregnant. I didn't know it would feel this way until I saw the pee stick reveal a positive line - well, technically two positive lines. Two = pregnant. One = not.
I knew I was pregnant before science confirmed it. Not surprising, really. Knowing is kind of my thing.
On the morning I found out, Joel and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. He was working at home that day. I had woken up at 5am, took a pregnancy test, saw a quick negative, and went back to my barren bed bleary eyed and pissed. But when I woke up for real at 8:30am, I knew I was pregnant. To help keep me sane, I tore into the bathroom garbage for evidence, and indeed I saw a negative turned positive.
Heart beating fast, I unwrapped my last clean $20 pee stick. This time I read the directions and 3 minutes later, the test confirmed what my body already knew - hell, I hadn't even missed a period yet. I was 3 weeks pregnant, hyper vigilance and all.
Relieved, yes. Excited, no. Happy, kind of. Feeling dread, completely. I walked out to Joel as he sat at our tall kitchen table. I wore a black and white striped shirt and black jeans. My hair was recovering from a bad cut. I was barefoot and cliche.
I bashfully told him that it we had completed our mission. He smiled, but I saw in his smile exactly what I was feeling - WTF have we done?
Flash forward three weeks and you'll see a bitchy and crazy tired Candace attending a holiday party with Joel at the Showbox in Downtown Seattle. It's an 80s themed party (the best) and here I am, unable to make any kind of outfit work (WTF! This never happens to me!) and unable to drink (WTF! How am I supposed to face a room full of strangers?!!) and advised not to dance (WTF! I PERISH).
I did okay for the first two hours. I faked my gin and tonic with lime and seltzer. I tried really hard to smile and converse. But when the DJ began to play the 'Sixteen Candles' soundtrack, I nearly began sobbing - everything inside of me aching to dance.
So I told myself I would dance very lightly. Whatever that means. If you know me or have seen the spectacle that is Candace dancing, you'll know I don't do it...well, lightly. Think Pat Benetar (esp at 3 min 15 seconds in) meets the gal from Flashdance (I wish) channeling every choreographic move from Footloose and aerobics competitions.
So I did it. I tried to hold back, I really did. And I thought I was okay until about 25 minutes in and I felt the familiar wet heat. It was either a lot of dance sweat, per my usual. Or it was blood.
I walked ran to the ladies. Oh god, don't let it be blood. Don't let it be blood. Just as many women have prayed for no blood and for blood for billions of bloody fucking years.
It was blood. I grabbed a bunch of toilet paper to sop it up. It wasn't a ton, but still - it was blood. I left the bathroom, told Joel we needed to leave immediately and politely excused ourselves from the dance floor and friends.
On the car ride home, the cold and dark felt so good. I was so hot. We discussed going to the hospital. We wondered if something was wrong with us because we didn't feel anything. We were both eerily calm, very flat affect. I didn't care. I couldn't care. I didn't even have time to get attached to the little thing inside of me, the dread hadn't passed yet (btw, the dread didn't pass until Bowie was 4 months old, just for the record. And it's started again as we think about her enrolling her in kindergarten next year).
At home, my toilet sits just under a window that somehow always boasts a kick ass view of the moon. On this particular December night, it was crazy clear and big - our moon. Managing blood and the worst fear I've known before or since - the wanting of something that doesn't want to stay - I texted my sister, the only person aside from Joel who knew I was pregnant.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: I was dancing at Joel's holiday party. I tried to dance like a normal person. It didn't work. I am bleeding now.
Her: How much...and other medical questions.
Me: Not too much, but still.
Her: If the baby wants to be, it will be. There's a star man, sister, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet you but he thinks he'd blow your mind.
Me: Let the children boogie.
Her: Look out the window, you can see his light.
Me: If we can sparkle, he may land tonight.
This wasn't uncommon, we often have nothing but lyrics to say to each other. It's our thing.
That moment, when she said the thing about looking out the window, I looked hard and fast at the moon, directing all my wishes and power so hard at the moon. I wanted the baby. I knew it in that moment. If she made it, I'd name her 'Bowie.' In part for Teresa, in part for the moon path she'd travel, in part for David Bowie for giving us words to make the moment bearable.
She made it.
And damn, that girl boogies.
Tonight, I've spent the evening listening to David Bowie on spotify, drinking wine, watching videos of his concerts, following links like a crazy person. I've wanted desperately to join with the souls in Bowie's hometown as they sing out live in homage. I wanted to dance all night. I have wept. It has felt so good. That I could feel this way about someone I never met, simply because of his art - his words, and every thing he stood for - that is a kind of god feeling to me, if ever there was one.
David Robert Jones, you hot tramp. I love you soo. I'll try not to blow it.
"I don't know where I am going from here, but I promise it won't be boring."
Look out your window, I can see his light.