At the end of my past life, I earned the right to be the first flat track derby announcer with the Texas Rollergirls.
What follows is a very old, very unauthorized, and very unedited version of the document I produced describing my experiences during the genesis of flat track derby. It would be some of the last moments of my past life.
LOUDMOUTH: Confessions of a Flat Track Derby Announcer
Bowie V. Ibarra
Copyright 2007 Bowie V. Ibarra
“Angel baby. My angel baby”
- Rosie and the Originals, “Angel Baby”
Chapter IX: The Birth of Gwendolyn Maya
“I think we should have a baby soon,” I said XXXXX as we sat in hungry anticipation in the Taco Bell drive thru.
We knew we wanted a child, xxxxxxxxxxxx. But I preferred practicing making babies until we moved out of the trashy Longhorn Station apartments just off of Riverside down Willow Creek Drive in Austin. I did not even want to consider the creation of another human being until we had a house. And that seemed a long way off to my immature mind.
But the infinite love that is the universe has a way of making people plans on this planet we call earth and Bob Noxious calls Krazlon-4. Two months after I made the comment before ordering two crispy tacos with a side of nacho cheese and a nacho supreme with no sour cream but with lettuce, xxxxx was two months late. A trip to the gynecologist confirmed our greatest dream and deepest fear.
xxxxxxxx, my wife, was pregnant.
For several days, I was deeply depressed. I drank a lot, maybe too much at times. I was not upset that xxxxx was pregnant. Rather, I was upset because we were not living the life we should have been living, or at least the life I wanted for my child. I wanted a house and not these horrible apartments.
So for the months leading to the birth, we prepared the apartment as much as we could, knowing our lease would be up. We needed a cheaper apartment, so we made arrangements to move in to XXXX's sister’s apartment. The move would take place soon after our baby would be born.
The day finally came when our baby girl would soon join us. Who would she look like? How big would she be? People always asked me if I wanted a boy or a girl. Naturally, a boy would be fantastic and a chance to pass on my family name. But my reality was I wanted a healthy child. It really did not matter whether it was a boy or a girl. I was going to love that child with all my heart and soul.
I was already taking care of the child while in the womb. I made sure XXXXX was as happy and relaxed as possible at every moment possible. The idea being that the baby can certainly not understand our words, but it must be able to feel the vibrational energy around it. I wanted to make sure that the energy that was resonating in and around the child was as positive as possible while the chemical reactions were forming our baby. Kooky, I know.
My true wish for XXXXX health was also to facilitate her mind and anticipated intelligence. Every night, even into the first months in, I would read to XXXX belly. From Seuss to Homer, from simple poems to scenes from Shakespeare, I would read. I also made sure to make several classical music tapes to play over a headset placed on XXXX belly. I had to let nature take its course, but found my own way to project my love to our future child.
Anyway, so the night came when XXX water broke. It was an absolutely horrifying night for me. I was so unprepared. XXXX remained pretty calm, despite being the short tempered and emotional Leo she was. I really thought I could actually go to sleep, thinking her contractions were not close enough together to warrant going to the hospital. That would have been the case had her water not broke.
So we had to go to the hospital.
As the evening turned to morning, things were to get much worse for me emotionally.
When we reached the twentieth hour, it was recommended we have a cesarean.
I was heartbroken.
Yet my dearest XXXXX, still in immense pain, was as noble, beautiful, and graceful as I’ve ever seen her before. As bizarre as this might sound, I thought she was an angel. As calm as I’d ever seen her, she took my hand into hers. Still tied to monitors, meds, and other equipment, XXXX looked into my eyes and gently whispered, “Everything’s going to be alright.”
I swear sometimes XXXX is some kind of spirit medium, channeling a kind of infinite love or some cosmic spirit bent on bringing peace of heart to our world. And as per the duality of that power, she can also be a destroyer as well. And isn’t that just the definition of womanhood. It’s no wonder that goddess worship, a common practice before the patriarchal dominance of Christianity took over the Western religious landscape, was so prominent and sacred.
Her magnanimous benevolence reminded me of an evening in the early days of our relationship, during one of our many special moments together.
XXXX and I liked to find quiet spots to spend time together, away from the hustle and bustle of the work-a-day world. Occasionally, we would drive into an open field of dirt and dust, the spot of some sort of future crop. Away from the hot lights of the city, the cool light of the stars and moon provided the only illumination for our intimate rendezvous. The Cavalier interior was small, but fiery passion always makes due, no matter how much headroom is available.
On this particular night, as the moment was advancing forward intimately, a good Hays County Deputy was patrolling these very backroads and spotlighted our vehicle in the field. Very obviously caught for trespassing, we prepared for the worst.
I was very angry and very embarrassed. My distrust and hatred toward law enforcement was at an all time high and I was stewing with rage.
As the vehicle pulled into the field, XXXXX took me by the hand, looked me in the eye and said, “I Love You”.
In that moment, I knew she was an angel sent to teach me how to lead a better life.
But I digress… Back to the birth of XXXXXXX…
The surgical procedure was to take place later that evening at ten o’clock, November 23rd, 2004. XXXXXX noted that it was the time Iron Chef was on Food Network, the show her mother and I watched every night. So XXXXX encouraged me to go get something to eat and drink while she rested, waiting for the procedure. I have to imagine she wanted me out of the room, as I was probably stressing her out.
Let me also state for the record that, in my opinion, women have the toughest job on the planet. They live in a predominantly patriarchal and male dominated society, pretty much around the entire world. They are subjected to chauvinism, criticism, and exploitation everywhere they go. And then they still have to give birth after having held the child for nine months in constant discomfort, culminating in one of the most physically intense, demanding, and unbelievably painful moments the human body could endure.
I walked across the street to Waterloo Icehouse and had a burger and a soda. I was so scared. I knew I had to be brave though.
Still upset and disappointed in how things worked out, I still had to gird my loins and prepare to be by my wife’s side during the surgery. Within a few hours, she was prepped, then I was prepped. It was soon time.
Like all moments of intensity in life, it was like a dream. Machines and equipment were scattered throughout and faceless and masked hospital staff positioned themselves around the room. Their uniform mint green colored robes and masks give a sense of a group of priests at an ancient Aztec blood ritual. Sheets were hung over my wife’s face, I guess to protect her from having to look at the procedure.
I stood by her side holding her hand while I watched the advanced surgical procedure.
I also remembered the surgeon being a bit too vociferous and brash during the procedure. This was not the M*A*S*H unit 4077. I wanted to yell at him and tell him to quit clowning around. Goddamn putz! Pay attention to what you’re doing!
So the procedure advanced forward. I watched as the surgeons made several precise cuts before pulling our baby from the belly of her mother. It was an amazing moment hearing her cry out for the first time, and an even greater feeling knowing I wanted to hold her and make her feel better.
I remember leaving XXXX side briefly to look at our little angel. She was to be fair skinned like her mother, and by all accounts, was going to be as beautiful as her mother.
We were moved to an intimate holding room where our newborn daughter, XXXXXXX Ibarra, rested peacefully with her newly blessed mother and father. XXXXX and I snuggled in the bed and despite XXXX severe discomfort, we both took a much needed rest with our new baby child.
More to Come...