Saturday, March 9th, 2013
I miss writing daily, and I feel a more than a bit bad that I don’t keep at my writing like I want to. I also know that I have an awful lot on my plate right now, and I need to be more gentle with myself. I am a full-time Mom, and I am also working full-time. And there are really only tiny glimpses of a work/life balance for me after 9+ months into my parenting journey.
Because I am so easily sucked into the exhaustion void, I have very left in me at the end of the day to write. To even think, really. Let’s be honest… by 7:00 p.m. my mind is basically mush.
But I feel this urgency to stop everything and really pause and take in the moment. My kid is 9 months old. Well, 9 and a half months, really. And there are a million little new wonders and discoveries in her world every day, and it’s pretty much the most amazing thing I have every experienced in my 35 years watching her navigate LIFE as a curious, fearless, funny, and bold 9-month old girl.
Every day she is learning new things, taking in new experiences, comprehending more and more. This month alone she is crawling on her hands and knees more and more, especially for short distances. Long distances she resorts to the army crawl because she is faster that way still. She is clapping her hands together in delight. She is banging toys together. She wants to know and understand how everything moves, and once she figures it out, she wants to move it all by herself — like her glider, swing, dining room chairs, bathroom door, etc. She figured out how to whistle through her bottom teeth. She pulls up on anything and everything — the coffee table, couch, end table, her basket of books, her crib railing, her bouncy seat… you name it. And she’s figuring out how to grab onto two different surfaces to get the best purchase to pull herself up (hard wood floors present some slippery difficulties). One hand on her fabric storage bin of toys with the other hand on the side of the couch. She is suddenly very fond of electronics and wants my phone if I’m talking on it. She knows how to turn on the iPod and the PlayStation and the music on her bouncy seat. Electrical cords and outlets and really anything dangerous brings her so much joy. She keeps us on our toes.
She waves hello and goodbye. She cocks her head to the side when she’s thinking about something. She throws her head back with her mouth wide open when she is particularly pleased with something she’s just done. She makes all sorts of jabbering noises that sound like real conversations in her very own language. There’s lots of dadadadada along with baa, gaa, yaa, paa, blaa, yay. Just no mamamamama yet. Soon enough.
My gal is also teething hardcore right now. Just waiting for those top two front teeth to make their appearance. It’s been a long and steady teething progression over the past several months, but it really came to the forefront (heh heh) this week. It looks like those teeth are right there, about to erupt (hate that word). She has definitely been a trooper through all this, dealing with a bit of fever yesterday and a runny nose with congestion today. I could tell she was experiencing some discomfort tonight when I was nursing her before bed because she stopped nursing suddenly and grabbed my finger and jammed it her mouth. And smiled when she chomped down. Oh, she is a clever one. She then told me all about her teething woes and I opened my mouth and showed her my teeth and told her what was coming. And she really listened and took it all in and then jabbered back to me while taking her hand and feeling my teeth with all of her drooly wet fingers. And when she was thoroughly satisfied with the scope of her investigation, she took her hand away. And stopped and just stared at me for a good 10 seconds. Then she sighed, threw her head back, and let out a long baby dragon call.
And then she leaned forward and got very close to my face and exhaled her wonderful 9-month old baby breath all over me. And then let out the loudest belch I’ve ever heard from anyone that close to my face. It was ferocious.
That’s my girl.
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
I am not the same as I was, but that is of course to be expected. I am a thousand miles behind and light years ahead. I am still me, just really kind of different. All that yammering about how having a baby changes everything?
Yep. Alas, it’s pretty much true.
And yet in not nearly all the ways I thought it would be. I am 6 months into this journey, and I am still wrapping my head around the wonder and mystery of the fact that I have a kid. And an awesome one at that. I am a Mom. My babe is 6 months old already!
I have joined the ranks of the tired. But I am immensely grateful. And awestruck. And despite my exhaustion, I feel totally and utterly alive.
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
My midwives are coming over today, to our house, for our big pre-birth home/prenatal visit. This is the visit where they peruse the house and our supplies and make sure we are all ready to go for labor and delivery. I cannot believe that this day is actually here! The impending home birth of our babe is becoming so real. Wow!
Craig and I have been slightly scrambling over the last few weeks to gather all of the supplies and materials we will need to have on hand for our homebirth. These include an inflatable birthing tub, tarp for under said tub, new lead-free, eco-friendly hose to fill the tub, adapter for connecting the hose to the faucet, and air pump. There’s also PVC-free shower curtains for the bed and floors to protect them, food and drink that I will want in labor, a glass or metal bowl for the placenta, flashlight, hand mirror, garbage bags, heating pad, and various sterilization packs I have created of towels, washcloths, and baby clothes… and the list goes on.
Preparing for our homebirth has been such an extraordinary experience. The “work”—both physical and mental is gratifying because I am very much forced to visualize what type of birth I desire. I am claiming my territory and surrounding myself with the energy and supplies I need at home to settle in and focus on the work ahead. And at this stage in my pregnancy, it’s a bit exhausting physically running errands and gathering items on our lists—but so totally worth it.
I spend my days thinking through relaxation techniques, pain management, what rooms I may want to be in while laboring, what I will wear, who will be with me, etc. And I understand that any and all of this is subject to change once I am in the actual moment. I am okay with that. I have such an extraordinary amount of faith in the capacity of my body to show me the way—no matter what happens. My whole pregnancy has really opened my eyes to this unwavering faith and trust in my body, and it has been such a delightful discovery.
And I think all this reading and gathering and visualization is very powerful preparation. Craig and I have been reading voraciously at night—tackling the Bradley method, Hypnobirthing, Birthing from Within, pioneering midwife Ina May Gaskin’s collections of positive birthing stories in her Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery, and the list goes on. We’ve rented documentaries and watched online videos of homebirths, water births, and midwives explaining the mechanics of the stages of labor. We’ve been learning about labor positions, labor activities, visualization exercises, and more.
Dare I say I am actually pretty darn excited about the whole event. Don’t get me wrong… I hold no illusions that it won’t be hard work. I recognize that I may indeed doubt my abilities in the thick of it. I understand that circumstances may develop that are beyond my control. But I am confident in my body, Craig’s coaching, and my midwives to champion and support me at each stage.
Soon theory and practice will collide when I go into labor. And with labor will come a wonderful unfolding of self-discovery and growth. It will be here soon enough. I feel a primal sense of embodiment and wisdom burbling deep within my core.
When my body is ready, it will let me know. And until then, I plan to nest away and savor these last days of just me.
Saturday, March 31st, 2012
March is drawing to a close. Wow. I cannot believe how fast time is passing for me right now! I am 33 weeks pregnant. And I still feel really, really good. However, I am starting to slow down a bit. I can’t seem to get all the chores done that I used to without having to stop and rest. My back starts to get sore after a bit. And I have to pee lots and lots. But I suppose that is to be expected. I still love being pregnant. My belly is quite round at this point, and The Bump juts out this way and that making me look lop-sided. She’s still very active in there, but I dare say she’s starting to run out of room.
March has been such a wild month—it started out cold and icky. But then it suddenly got not just warm, but downright stupid hot. Before it was even officially Spring, we had a string of days in the low 80s. In New Hampshire! Just didn’t seem right. Craig and I loved that warm weather though. We even took off for the beach, and I had a blast walking along the sand and cooling my slightly swollen toes in the freezing Atlantic waters.
But that was all a few weeks ago. In that time everything started sprouting outside—there are already trees in bloom here. Croci and daffodils are up. Hyacinths are in full effect. It’s just so strange because it is so early. And yet now it’s back to more seasonably cool Spring weather. Very chilly nights, windy days, clear blue skys, nice sunsets. Today it reached a high of 50°F. That’s more like it. I figure there is plenty of time for it to warm up.
I am in no rush right now. I am doing my best to enjoy these last weeks of “me”. A whole lot is about to change. And I am okay with that. Just going with the flow, taking in the wonder.
Friday, January 13th, 2012
It has been a blustery, cold, icy, snowy, gray last few days. We finally got more than a dusting of snow here in southern New Hampshire. Granted, we only got a few inches of snow, but it is rare and strange for it be mid-January and for there to be so little accumulation on the ground. Our last snow of note was in October, when we had that crazy storm that dropped 10″ right before Halloween and caused massive power outages and tons of downed trees and limbs. Since then, the weather has been uncharacteristically mild.