Ep.22 Chapter 1 Lies of the Magpie
The Story of My Healing Journey through Postpartum Depression and Autoimmune Disease
In 2019 I was stuck in my writing. I’d spent hours revising, but the manuscript wasn’t getting better. Ready to throw in the towel, an unexpected solution manifested. When my new podcasting microphone arrived, I read from Lies of the Magpie to test the recording equipment, and voila! Something about reading the story out loud helped me to hear what wasn’t working and how to fix it. The chapters you hear on this podcast are drafts of the manuscript and are not as they appear in the final book.
The road I’m traveling stretches endlessly ahead across the Sonoran desert winding through a vast panorama of monotony. Each new mile looks exactly like the last. Faster, I urge the engine forward pressing my foot deeper into the gas pedal of my husband’s car. I’m supposed to be traveling to the Arizona Music Teachers Annual Convention in Tucson, but I haven’t seen another vehicle in at least thirty minutes. This can’t be I-10, there should be more traffic on a major interstate.
The red speedometer needle trembles over ninety miles per hour. Still, the barren scenery passes too slowly. I might as well be a pioneer driving an old wagon pulled by a pair of sauntering mules. The summer heat turns the car into a furnace. I reach over to crank up the air conditioner, but it is already blasting at full power in a futile effort to keep me, and my enlarged belly, from over-heating. So why is it getting hotter in this car?
A tightening pinch begins in my back and wraps around to my front. The contraction pulls and twists causing me to grab my stomach. I grit my teeth and grip the steering wheel to keep from swerving. Breathe, I remind myself, noticing that I’ve only covered seven miles since the last contraction. I squeeze my eyes shut tight against the pain, then re-open a narrow slit of vision—just enough to make sure my car tires stay on the road. I wince and wait. Two full minutes pass on the digital clock before the pressure releases. Tears burn in the corners of my eyes.
Please, baby, hold on a little longer.