• ruthannelphillips

Pregnancy, Parrots and going for the gold

I have never been a very happy or beautiful pregnant woman. All three of my pregnancies caused extreme weight gain, swelling, bloating, gas, moodiness and stretch marks. I stare at the pictures of pregnant movie stars in disbelief. Beyoncé as the Madonna, Minnie Driver in a bikini, Heidi Klum on the runway, and Demi Moore nude. All of them are happily pregnant with their cute little basketball bellies peeking out from under their teeny tops and low rise bottoms.


If I had allowed my belly to peak out from the muumuus I wore, you would have seen bright purple stretch marks, a flattened belly button, and a dark brown line pointing to where my personal parts were in case I had forgotten since the last time I had gone pee - which was usually about five minutes ago.


During my pregnancies, the babies were not carried high or low. I carried them everywhere. I carried each child in my butt, thighs, belly, hips and boobs. I am the woman where people don't ask if you are pregnant. They simply assume you are fat.


I had a doctor tell me it was humanly impossible to gain twenty pounds a month while pregnant. I proved him wrong.


My last pregnancy was very difficult. One of my kidneys backed up and I had a stint surgically put in. I had gained eighty five pounds. I was a big angry ball of hormones and pain. It was during this time that we had a Fourth of July party at our home. This was not a wise decision. When you are not drinking, drunk people are annoying. When you are not drinking and pregnant, annoying does not even begin to describe how one feels about drunk people.


When the party was finally over, I had to drive the drunk people home. It was when I returned and was literally drooling in anticipation of falling into my bed that my husband greeted me on the front porch with the bad news that my parrot had flown away. After the delivery of that news, he belched and passed out.


"Green Bird" is a yellow-naped Amazon who I had for fifteen years. He was given to me by a friend who had AIDS and was no longer able to care for him. To say that I was pissed off and heartbroken at the news that he had flown away while in the care of my drunken husband is a complete understatement. I was devastated. I knew the bird probably did not go far, but that if he was not found right away, he would soon be a meal for the owls that hunted on our property.


We lived on two acres of wooded property and the likelihood of finding the bird at night was close to nil. The likelihood of finding him at all was close to nil. I scanned the trees by our house and called to him, but I had no luck. I figured the best bet for finding him was to be outside at dawn and hopefully he would begin talking and make his location known. I waited three hours in our pickup truck, scanning the darkened landscaped, until the sun began to rise.


I found him.


Green Bird was in the tallest pine tree on our property. About fifty feet up. I had no way to reach him. I called to him and the little shit climbed higher. He was free and had no interest in coming home.


I was frantic. I didn't know what to do. Then I spied the numerous lengths of PVC next to our garage. It was the remains of a sprinkler system that had never been installed. I piled the PVC into the pickup and drove to the base of the tree.


I feel the need to remind you that I was 9 months pregnant and the baby was scheduled to be induced on July 23.


In the back of the truck I coupled the lengths of PVC together until it was forty feet in length. Unfortunately, it was not long enough to reach the parrot and the weight of the pipe caused the makeshift pole to arch like a wobbly rainbow, almost hitting the ground. Not to be deterred, I climbed onto the roof of the cab with my giant lasso and began to swing it in a circular motion. The faster I swung it, the higher it rose.


I know I was a remarkable sight.


My 215 pound self - barefoot and muu-muued - tip toed on the roof of our truck while swinging a forty foot length of undulating PVC in the off chance it would hit the parrot hiding in the uppermost branches of the tallest pine tree on our property.


They really should make this an Olympic sport. Because if it was, on July 5th, 2001 I would have earned a Gold Medal in the Parrot Whack.


I hit that bird straight on with the end of the PVC and he went into a flapping free fall and crashed on the other side of our neighbor's barbed wire fence.


Oh, yeah. Barbed wire.


It was pretty much a blur after that.


In my mind, I was a ninja. I dropped my parrot whacker and sprang from the roof of the cab, jumped the barbed wire fence, and grabbed the angry, biting bird.


In reality, I acknowledge I was more like Paul Blart, Mall Cop. I was an adrenaline infused, hormone affected, bird whacking, pregnant, Kung Fu Panda. I didn't feel the weeds stabbing at my feet, the barbed wire cutting through my skin, or that damned parrot trying to bite my fingers off. I was pissed off and that damned bird was going back in his cage and I was going to bed.


Later, when my husband had sobered up - he saw Green Bird in his cage and asked how I had found him. My first thought was to throw the crystal vase from the coffee table at his head, but I didn't want to break the vase. Instead, with as much ice in my voice as I could muster, I replied, "Nothing extraordinary,"


Post Script: Green Bird is alive and well, living a life of luxury in the Ozarks. He is 32 years old and is mean and ornery as ever.

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