"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gratitude for Strange Things

Tonight I decided to make a list of the things I'm MOST grateful for today.

Because I'm tired.  Exhausted, in fact.  And really close to feeling sorry for myself.

Super funny, but the #1 thing I am grateful for as I drift off to sleep is that no one, especially John Paul or my pregnant self, got bitten by a black widow before leaving New Mexico.
Yes, I took this picture at risk of life and limb and I like it.  A lot.

Silly?  Maybe, but my good friend did confirm that lots of people in Los Alamos were finding black widows in strange places- i.e. their houses!  (They are usually much more reclusive.)  And killing them yourself is, uh, nerve-racking to say the least.  I was terrified JP would get bitten and not be able to explain it to me well enough.  Plus, the anti-venom is usually contra-indicated in pregnancy and the bite itself can cause pre-term labor because of yadda yadda, blah-blah-blah.  Er, that was what the scientific information sounded like to me...

Anyway, I didn't realize how worried I'd been over it till we were gone.

#2:  Baby is still flipping around but is 90% of the time more or less head down.  Drawback to being 6' tall is that baby never runs out of room and likes to worry and tease you by doing somersaults every day.

#3:  34.5 weeks pregnant and 6' tall!  He-he.  I'm only barely starting to feel uncomfortable.  Baby isn't even up under my ribs yet.  I can still breathe just fine.

#4:  Coconut-with-agave ice cream from the store.  Made my kids really happy today and I didn't have to clean the ice cream maker.

#5:  Leaving southern Arizona in 3 days.  I mean, I love a 111 degree day as much as anybody, don't get me wrong.  But 2 weeks of such delightful warmth... is enough for this pregnant lady.  So long, Sonoran desert!  (Hello, midwestern humidity....)

"Drag your thoughts away from your worries... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it."
-Mark Twain

Friday, June 15, 2012

32.5 and counting

 This in not my current belly!  It's Rosie in there, at about 38.5 weeks.  (I'm nowhere near this big yet, at the moment.)

"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice." 
~Indian Saying

I start to focus inwardly at about this time during pregnancy.  Externals fade into the background and what's going on inside seems a lot more real than what's going on outside of me.  (You know, homes being bought and sold, landlords trying to screw us, 3,000 square feet of packing, trading in mountain canyons for tidy square lawns....)
 I thought we were nuts just a few months ago, planning a pregnancy that would mean giving birth just weeks after a major move.  Some moments I still do.  But I also realize, as always, life's insane timing is a blessing in disguise. 

"There is no other organ quite like the uterus.  If men had such an organ they would brag about it.  So should we." 
~Ina May Gaskin

My stress tolerance is quite low.  Usually I would be a mess, a total mess, with all the logistical and financial stress we're going through right now.  But instead, I have this perfect, peaceful retreat right under my heart, where I can escape every day.  It seems easier with every pregnancy to feel the baby's... soul? spirit? personality? in utero.  And the last couple of months of pregnancy I feel like I really live in 2 worlds.  The regular day to day world, and the secret, dark world inside, where only myself and my baby exist.
(Doesn't she look big and healthy?  9 lb 6 oz!)

"Babies are bits of star-dust blown from the hand of God.  Lucky the woman who knows the pangs of birth for she has held a star." 
~Larry Barretto

My last birth was nearly perfect.  And, honestly, it was painless.  However, I attribute that equally to mental prepredness, perfect baby positioning, and really, really, REALLY high pain tolerance.  (I can't handle a lot of stress, but I can handle pain.  That's the lasting benefit of surviving a major car crash and extensive bone surgery, I guess.)
"There's time enough, but none to spare." 
~Charles W. Chesnutt

Attended homebirth is illegal in Nebraska.  This means we have to choose between an unattended birth in a hostile environment (i.e. in case of transfer/ emergency/ complication), with a lot of difficulty surrounding aquisition of a birth certificate, blood typing for Rh factor, and so on, and giving birth in a clinical setting.
(My what big hands you have!)

"Women's bodies have near-perfect knowledge of childbirth; it's when their brains get involved that things can go wrong." 
~Peggy Vincent

 I realize that to families who have never experienced homebirth, it can be quite mystifying why it is SO important to some of us.  But all I can say is, once you have experienced a homebirth...
 things will never be the same.

"Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it.  If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information. "
~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Birthing at home is safe.  Statistically, babies fare the same and mothers fare better, both physically and psychologically, compared to hospital births.  (WHO statistics.)
 Luckily, we found the almost brand-new birth center in Omaha to be fantastic.  The midwife is about as excellent as one could hope, and she herself wishes she could attend homebirths, as is passionately pursuing legislature that will allow her to in the future. 

"Birth is not only about making babies.  Birth is about making mothers... strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength." 
~Barbara Katz Rothman

(In fact, her assistant midwife was a homebirth midwife for 20 years before she was threatened out of business.)  In other words, they get it.
 So now it's only a question of whether we can actually make it the 30 minutes there before baby just *pop* arrives. 

"$13 to $20 billion a year could be saved in health care costs by demedicalizing childbirth, developing midwifery, and encouraging breastfeeding." 
~Frank A. Oski

(My recurrent dream is waking up in the middle of the night, realizing I'm in labor, and before I can even get out of bed, FER (fetal ejection reflex) takes over and baby just slides out.  And no kidding, John Paul was almost like that!)
(First nap, 12 hours old.  Isaiah stayed up till 2 am to watch Rosie's birth.)

"I brought children into this dark world because it needed the light that only a child can bring."
  ~Liz Armbruster

Anyway, between packing and laying around with my babies, all 4 of them, blogging isn't really at the top of my to-do list these days!   
(A little bit of heaven.)

"Children make you want to start life over." 
~Muhammad Ali

I've got ice cream, vaccines, birth preparation, unplugged travel, and a number of other ideas on my blogging docket, and we'll see how many of them materialize here over the next few weeks and we head from the mountains of northern New Mexico, to the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona, through our home on the Kansas range, and on to our new home in Nebraska.

Our Lady of the Way, pray for us.

"There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval." 
~George Santayana, "War Shrines," Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies, 1922

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cranberry-Lime Refresher

Mmm... summer!  I can't drink thick, creamy green shakes in the summer.  I want something icy and light, but still full of yumminess and greenery.

Enter the Cranberry-Lime Refresher, a better-tasting green shake for hot summer days.  Won't sit like a rock in your tummy!  (If you can't find cranberries, remember this for next year.  Every year when grocery stores are closing out holiday cranberries, I buy bags and bags and toss them right in the freezer- they keep quite well.  And tart cranberries are a great summery taste.)

 If the green color is unappealing to you or your kiddos, try increasing the cranberry ratio, or use hibiscus or rosehip tea as the liquid.

1c cranberries (all ingredients are per person)
juice of 1 lime (peel and chop the lime if you have a Vitamix or Blentec high speed blender for the extra VitaminC)
1-3c spinach (use 1/2 this if you are using frozen spinach) or any other mild greens
water to thin
ice as desired
stevia or agave to sweeten

Blend.  Drink.  Feel the energy!

My kids and husband love this.  It's a great substitute for a green salad on lazy summer days when you might otherwise not get enough veggies in. 
Really easy, really yummy, really really good for you!

"Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall.  Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day.  Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down.  And this is all life really means."  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Omaha... somewhere in middle America

Quick update:

Bread with Honey will be quiet(er) than usual in the next days, as we are off to house hunt in Omaha.  I'm super-nervous.  

My baby is head down again, but emphatically posterior.  Yay.  Well, yay with a really achy back.

And, may I say, I just prepped 10 junk-free meals for a really long plane ride.  Just say "no" to the golden arches!  And I'm ashamed to say, I used baggies.  No bentos.  But seriously, who wants to haul empty bentos through the Denver airport?

"Fear not that life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."  ~John Henry Cardinal Newman

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Black Widow Effect

When you've never seen a black widow, sometimes you see a spider and think, "Is that a black widow?"

In which case, I guarantee you, it is not a black widow!

Because once you've seen this:
You never have that thought again.  You just look and know, that is a black widow, or, nope, not even close.

Well, this pregnancy, I keep checking my baby, thinking, "Is she breech?"

And I know if I have to ask is  she breech, that she's not breech.  Till today, when I woke up on my left side, looked down at my belly and went, "Expletive, expletive, THAT is a breech baby."

Sigh.  I knew things were going too well.  I'm also sure the extremely stressful weekend I just had contributed.  First, we sold our house.  Of course, we sold it for a lot, a LOT, A LOT  less than we wanted.  And then we found out we won't get a trip to Omaha (Oh, I can finally tell you now that we are moving to Omaha, because Ed finally signed his contract) to house hunt, (which is fine, I guess, since we wouldn't be able to spend as much on a house as we were expecting, having sold our Kansas house for peanuts,)  then I spent a couple hours looking at rentals on the internet and finding pretty much nada.  Then we hosted a childbirth class, after which I let 2 doulas palpate my belly.  One went really deep causing baby and me to JUMP, and causing a uterine spasm (which I hid because I didn't want her to feel bad).  Then we went swimming and I strained a muscle in my hip.  And the next day, yesterday, I spent 8 hours packing and dragging heavy boxes. 

And I flipped out at my husband over a doughnut fiasco.

So somewhere in there, amidst the stress  and strain, this baby got uncomfortable and turned around.  (Today, baby is hiccuping and moving in a weird way she's never done before.)

Today I have spent the morning doing excercises and greedily (re)reading the Spinning Babies website.  And crying.

And now I think I will resume both activities.

"Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside." 
~Rita Rudner