Tag Archives: #Tulani

Y – A YEAR for Tulani – 1996

This is my tenth A to Z Challenge. My first was in 2013, but I missed 2021. This April I am going through the alphabet using snippets about my family through the generations.

My daughter Tulani homeschooled for her middle and high school years. At that time the Baldwin Schools allowed homeschoolers to participate in sports and some other school activities. This is an article she wrote for our family newsletter Ruff Draft about her senior year.

Tulani’s Year

by Tulani Williams
From The Ruff Draft – Spring/Summer 1996 page 10

Tulani in Houston, TX

This is my senior year in high school, and I can say that this year I did it all. I played varsity basketball, volunteered at the veterinarian’s clinic, was a cheerleader for boys basketball, took a trip to Houston, am running track for the fourth straight year and I even attended the Prom!

In the fall, I was on the varsity basketball team. I played shooting guard. Although I am not much for shooting or dribbling. This was my first time ever playing organized basketball and at first it was a little confusing. All the new plays and all the baskeball jargon, but I caught on. We had a rough season. Lots of girls quit and by the last game there were only six of us. The referees were a constant problem. Wherever we went, they seemed to be against us, even on our home court. We lost a lot of games that we should have won, but at the end of the season we picked up our game and played like we knew we could. We blew out a team that had beat us by more than twenty points the last time around. We even made it to the second round of the playoffs. This is something that a girls team from Baldwin, hasn’t done in awhile. But then the referees got to us and we lost the second round. I enjoyed myself this season and I’m glad that I had a chance to play.

Since I enjoy being around and working with animals, I am considering a career in veterinarian medicine. I had the opportunity to observe at the clinic where I take my dogs. The staff at the clinic was more than happy to have me hanging around. My first day I witnessed a spaying. The operation was preformed on a dog. She was a small white toy poodle. She was frail enough when she was fully alert and trying to bounce off the table. After she had been sedated and laid out on the table, she looked near, if not completely, dead. The doctor started the surgery, telling me that if at any point I felt uncomfortable I should leave. I assured him that I was fine. Well, it turned out that the combination of smells, the little dog laid out spread eagle on the operating table and the whole idea of cutting into a living animal and taking out her insides, was a little too much for me. I felt faint and quickly moved away from the operating room.

After that first incident I got used to the whole process. The smells no longer made me nauseous and I even had the opportunity to help with some of the operations. I didn’t get to do any of the cutting or anything as major as that, but I did get to hand the doctor the suture material and other tools. Having this experience was very good for me. If I do decide to major in Veterinarian Medicine, I will already have an idea of what I will be working towards doing.

During the winter I was on the boys basketball cheer leading team. I was, as several of my friends told me, the worse cheerleader Baldwin had seen in awhile. I’m sure that had something to do with the fact that I didn’t really care about what I was doing. I never really took the time and effort to perfect all the cheers. And it was impossible for me to look at cheering as a sport, like some of my teammates did. Because to me it just wasn’t.

The first two weeks in April, I had a chance to go down to Houston, Texas. I visited my grandfather Jaramogi, and my sister Ayanna. I stayed with Ayanna. While I was there I went to class with her. She is attending Texas Southern University. Her health professor was a real idiot. He told the class that it was just as good to drink six cups of pop a day as it was to drink eight cups of water. Or, he said, if you had a gallstone, perhaps it was better to just drink beer! Her English professor was sort of a ditz, she treated the class as though they didn’t know anything at all, but it wasn’t really their fault…after all, most of them were black. Her math professor was good. She explained things well and I understood what she was saying.

While I was there, I also went to a movie with my grandfather. I don’t remember what it was we were supposed to go see, but we saw Fargo. It was sort of a sick, psychopath, murder, comedy thing. We all agreed it was the worst movie we had seen in awhile.

All in all, I had a great visit. It was hot, but they all told me to come back in June, and the tree’s were all out. Houston seemed like a nice enough place, aside from the horrible smog on overcast days. It was very nice to see my grandfather and sister.

Tulani’s prom photo

Then, I went to the prom. Up until the day of the prom I really had no plans to go. Then at four thirty (prom started at eight) a female friend called me and asked if I would go with her because she really wanted to go and her date had backed out at the last minute. She really wanted to go, but didn’t want to go by herself. I told her that if she could find me a dress I liked then I would probably go. She called me back and had two dresses she’d found. She assured me that if I didn’t like them, she would find more. One was an awful bright red thing. It was short with two odd ruffles and a tight bodice with spaghetti straps. The other was a nice dress, it was the one I wore. It came down to about the top of my knees. It was black and white with a white ruffle. Prom itself was quite boring. Mostly people just came and took pictures of each other and sat around trying to look glamorous. My friend and I both decided as we drove home that we had just wasted quite a bit of time and we agreed one thing for sure, we wouldn’t be going back next year!

Tulani running track

Now I am running. This year the girls team is very small. There are six of us total, but only one of us is really there to run. That would be me! The rest of them are there because they have a boyfriend on the team or there is a guy they like on the team and they want to keep an eye on him. So on the rare occasion that they do come to practice, they usually sit around on the field and discuss their problems. Needless to say I am concentrating on my personal events this year – the 100 and 200 meter dashes. I am supposed to be on the 400 relay, but I refuse to run with girls who refuse to practice. We have already had two meets and I am undefeated in my personal events. The girls relay came in second at one meet and first at another. I ran anchor (last) in both meets. Our next meet is a big one and hopefully the weather will cooperate and it won’t be canceled. This year I am hopefully going to be competing in the state meet. There is a good chance that I will be all conference and first in our regional meet. I am spending a lot of time working on my starts and trying to cut down on my time in the 100. My personal best is 12.3 seconds. If it would get down just a little warmer and the wind would die down, I should be able to run at least a 12.0 flat.

Next fall I will be going to Central Michigan University.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Y

Tulani’s Birth Story 1978

My sister sent me this postcard while I was waiting for my 4th daughter to be born. The midwife had given a date a month before my actual due date so there was an extra lot of waiting through the Mississippi summer of 1978 until she was finally born September 26.hair_1978hair_verso9-12-78

They had their hair bobbed awhile ago, but promised they wouldn’t cut it again until after the baby comes!  You see them now, don’t you??  Hang in there!! Love – Pearlita

The story of Tulani’s birth – written shortly after she was born in Jackson, MS September 26, 3:36AM Tuesday (If you don’t want to read the details of a birth, stop right here.)

The midwives I used when my 3rd daughter was born had moved out of town.  The two I found were not like the others. Neither had children of their own. They were scary about everything. They said the head was small and they hoped it wasn’t encephalic. To me! They wouldn’t believe that when I said conception probably occurred and placed the due date a month early, then said they didn’t want to do the delivery because I was overdue. They didn’t hook me up with a support doctor, so Jim called the doctor  I had used as back up last time and she agreed to do it, although she fussed about the midwives not having a back-up doctor.

Woke up with contractions. Sat up to see if more were coming. They were. Woke up Jim, who timed a few – coming every 5 minutes. I was real glad. Labor was starting the day before the two week deadline ran out. Had dreaded dealing with that after fearing every abnormality possibly connected with pregnancy during this 9 1/2 months. Now, Jim called someone else to see if the kids could spend the day there since the other people worked. Then it was almost 10 o’clock so he suggested we call the doctor since the contractions were so quick. I was doing deep regular breathing which I did until transition, but blowing out rather harder than breathing in. I asked if he was sure we wanted to go in so soon since we probably had a 9 hour wait ahead of us. But finally I agreed. He called the doctor who was off that night and another lady doctor fills in for her. She said we better come on since fourth babies may come pretty quick.

I threw up once or twice as we were getting ready to leave. All loaded up and left. Dropped the kids down the road. Carrie Ann came out and said she hoped it came quickly so I wouldn’t still be waiting around in the morning. I said I hoped so too. But was mentally resigned to 9 hours of labor and didn’t expert to deliver until around 9AM.

Got back on highway. Had regular contractions all the way there. Pretty strong. Not looking forward to 9 more hours of labor but glad to be in labor. Threw up or gagged once or twice. Finally got to the hospital around 2AM or a bit before. Jim took me in and upstairs – a guard pushing the wheelchair. I was still breathing the same way, sometimes rubbing my stomach, had no back labor, during final 6 weeks of pregnancy had been told the baby was in posterior position and would cause a long labor by midwife.

On the delivery floor was wheeled into a labor room by one of the nurses on duty. There were 2, a white RN and a black LPN. I asked if the birthing suite was available and it was so we went there – a combination labor and living room where delivery can take place without being moved. I took off my clothes and peed and got into bed while Jim went to check me in. The white RN (while I was peeing) asked if I was having natural birth. I said yes and she (not trying to be unkind) made some comment like “ooohhhhh honey, that’s good, if you could stand it”. I told her I’d done it 3 times and I was sure I could. Glad it wasn’t my first. Continued this while continuing to have regular and strong contractions.

Got into bed and was shaved just a partial and checked. No enema and 5>6 cm’s dilated. I couldn’t’ believe I was that far along. Jim returned. The doctor came in. A little white lady, a bit older than I (I was 32), not 40 yet. She asked if we’d had any special plans we’d discussed with Dr. Barnes. We said just no drugs and keep the baby with us. She said you had to have a special nurse present to keep the baby.

She went back out. The RN kept making dumb comments, trying to be friendly. She said she’d be ready for delivery about 3AM. Ha! I thought. Told me to tell them if I felt like pushing. I felt like pushing a bit, but kept quiet, remembering last time and how I’d pushed mildly for hours before the real push. Then she must have checked me or the doctor did and said I could push when I felt like it. Contractions were almost continuous. So on one or two more pushes I had to push and did. The waters broke and I told them. The RN started saying “sit up, you can’t push laying down!’ I was in the middle of a push, and I was saying “just wait a minute, just wait”. So after that push everyone was rushing around getting ready for the birth. It was about 3AM. They had me sit on some little plastic seat to make it easier to catch the baby.

So, I started pushing, which was a relief. The rests between contractions were longer. I said now they’d probably stop. The doctor said rests were usually longer during 2nd stage. They started seeing head. I pushed harder and finally, actually 15 or 20 minutes I felt that big head coming through and down and made noise as I pushed. There was no pain through the cervix this time, like when Ayanna had her arm up, but the head against the perineum felt like I was going to pop. I was not relaxed. I saw that hair down there on the head, but the main feeling was yikes, I’m going to pop. The doctor said let the contractions deliver and don’t push, so after a years wait (not really) a contraction came, I panted and the head came out. I pushed and it all popped out. For some reason I didn’t look in the mirror while this was going on. But I immediately looked after she came out. And she was squirming around while the doctor suctioned her nose. Didn’t look like much mucus. Was no blueness to her. She gave a short cry. They cut her cord and I picked her up and she was a regular, whole baby, without even a club foot (smile).

Then Jim went to the nursery while they weighted her and examined her. He brought her back because her temperature was stable at 99 already. She nursed a bit then they took my blood pressure and said it was low so took the baby. Jim held her awhile. Then they pushed my uterus (ouch!) and some clots came out. Not firm enough so pushing and shot of pitocin, drip of something else. They didn’t hear about nursing firming up the uterus. Any way I went to sleep and didn’t bleed to death.

Kristin with baby Tulani
Holding  baby Tulani several months later.

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