seeking the wild of the everyday

Sunday, February 26, 2012

the roundness of life...

let's get one thing straight:

(caps lock, please) I AM SO EXCITED.   ! ! !

 (AKA: cuz i'm all there, baby....and other pregnancy musings...this will be a long ramblerific post, and i don't care...this has been half written for months and i am determined to get it off the docket.)
ICAN hooked me up with a free photo shoot, the photographer was looking to expand her maternity portfolio.

(or: the journey to try to comprehend everything in about nine months...)

home birth. i am planning one.

i'll try to keep this simple: to me, a home birth just makes sense...this has nothing to do with my supposed distaste for the mainstream, nor is it a conspiratorial rampage toward the birthing preferences of other women. every woman has the right to choose an epidural, or a cesarean, or a water birth, etc.. we all do what we feel is right, and i appreciate the many choices. (and for that i apologize now for the biased approach this will soon take toward birthing attitudes/ locations...let's just say i've found myself within the intriguing world of "normal birth.." i'm not going to go into the politics, statistics, or try to convert anyone. i'm trying to steer clear of the "debater" blog; this is just my story. )

an amateur face painter was also looking to expand into the growing world of baby belly painting. made my bathtub blue.
with that said, the past few months have been an incredible learning journey for me, along with the pregnancy.

most of my readers (me, tyler, and a choice few others) know that teddy was delivered via c-section. at the time i was disappointed, but looking back i know that i was wildly self-uneducated about birth.

this was probably the only book i picked up with the subject during that time, most likely due to my ambivalence/ denial. i believe that my culture has been trained to fear and mistrust birth. it's rarely "felt" beyond the discomforts of heartburn and the vanity pains of preventing stretch-marks.

 here's your typical go-to: a cutesy, surface spit shine on the pregnancy experience. (but if you are curious about heart burn, hemorrhoids, etc, it can be useful.)

this is a small sample of the different books i've picked up/borrowed this time around , motivated initially with merely avoiding a repeat c-section for when i would deliver in the nearest hospital.

a few months into this pregnancy i found myself dragging my feet about the most typical aspects of the "pregnancy experience." finding an ob, going to check-ups, and getting blood work all stopped containing relevance. the prescribed monthly check-ups and dna screening was beyond tedium for me; i felt like my pregnancy was being forced through a narrow, "everyone has to conform to this protocol" tube.  i felt like an outlaw when i quit that business altogether...

my ob told me that a vbac (vaginal birth after c-section) was unlikely for me, and to not get my hopes up.

pregnancy and child birth for a healthy woman is about as complicated as digestion, in it's own miraculous way.
i think that was the first time that i realized something was wrong, about everything, but i didn't know how to explain how i felt because i didn't know there was an alternative (even with my own mother birthing 7 of my siblings at home..) it made me really mad. and sad. i went home and tore up the typewriter with some p.o'ed lady poetry, writing about my pelvis that she deemed irregular.

jokingly i told tyler that i was just going to have the baby at home. at the time i was mostly teasing, because i knew how he'd react, and also because i knew so very little about home birth.

i hated going to the doctor's office. it seemed to turn a miracle into a medical routine. i wanted to reclaim my pregnancy.

finally this whole birth thing was making sense to me:    
"one cannot help an involuntary process. the point is to not disturb it." -dr. micheal odent
one is part of the natural continuum of life, and the other is a sad deviation from it.

the way i feel about home birth to a medical birth is like seeing an old forest over a sprawling gray strip mall.

which brings me to one of many valid conclusions: NATURE CANNOT BE IMPROVED UPON.
throughout my life this has been my subconscious motto. and of course it would follow me into my pregnancy and birth preferences.

i thought i was huge then... elle oh elle.


to sum it all up:

1. all women have the right to sacred, fantastic, profound and loving birth experiences. childbirth must never be viewed by birth attendants as routine, cumbersome or insignificant.

2.childbirth must happen in physical and emotional privacy. women's vaginas in birth are as sacrosanct as they are at any other time; routinely penetrating them with fingers, forceps, scissors or hooks is a severe violation against the most fundamental rights women have to privacy and protection of the self (amen)...women's bodies are never to be regarded as learning aids. no institution has the right to impose spectators on any woman's birth.

3. it must be recognized as a criminal act to mutilate women's bodies in childbirth.

4. all women must have easy, free access to information that illuminates the natural childbirth process for them, and helps them prepare for their births, and assists them in preparation for care of their newborns. this information must be given in a way that does not view birth as a dangerous, biological anomaly, but as a natural, joyous rite/right of passage.
(numbered points courtesy of leilah mccracken, birthlove)

deborah the midwife let us borrow a fetoscope. this is what a midwife appointment is like. simple, easy, with plenty of time to ask questions and learn. at the moment she's loaned me bunches of material on breastfeeding.

this pregnancy has been somewhat of an anthropological study of the american birth culture. deep, i know.whatever.

i find a great feminist debate over this large aspect of reproduction. generally it starts and ends with birth control, let's see it expanded into birth. u.s. women, in a cultural context, are for the most part offered one choice for birth: the hospital. those who seek elsewhere are seen as fringe dwellers by the public majority, not to mention the opposition with insurance and midwives. it is a struggle to pull from the great gravity of the hospital to more natural choices. i decided to go with a midwife at 35 weeks pregnant. for those of you who aren't too familiar with pregnancy that's pretty late in the game.

birth is as old as the earth
it was a good thing. the week after that my ob dropped me like a hot potato. i was non-compliant, meaning i hadn't gone for a long while. i wasn't too hurt, but it confirmed my beliefs that the hospital wasn't there for me, i was there for them. and then the insurance sent us the invoice: $743 for that appointment where i was dropped. but weighed before hand. yes, it seems a little screwy. 

it is my hope that this attitude slowly transforms as more women learn about their choices and rights as a human and as a consumer. birth is a celebration, to be revered, not just a medical conveyor belt.

and that i'll have a safe, happy home birth, of course.
i trust my body. the baby and i swim in the water to stay strong despite the new girth, joining the Aqua Zumba Ladies Who Pact Never to Stop at a Krispy Kream Drive-thru After Class, as well as the rheumatoid folk at aqua nice n' easy. :) i am so grateful that my husband and i are both on the same page, looking forward for this experience, which could be any day now. .... trust me, you'd be excited too.

it looks a little something like this. :)
i am so excited!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

celebrating womanhood

some enjoying the bounty of the potluck
 and the ability to create life!

last friday family and friends gathered to eat and connect and ultimately acknowledge my wonderful new hugeness.
there was a new baby in attendance, as well as two other growing glowing ladies! the mood was happy and loving and i am so excited to have shared the evening in such a pleasant, conscious manner. 
ahem, my two true bff's. mackenzie and diana. thank you for being there for me!

the women each took a turn introducing themselves and their woman heritage via tea light. :)

good laughs were shared, women beading the necklace and explaining their thoughts behind the beads they chose.

don't i look so happy?

natalie is an artist

humans of all ages welcome, of course.

i hope patsy doesn't mind me posting this; ladies getting artistic with henna that teddy and i prepared the day before

julia, diana, natalie, grizzly. so glad you were there!

i asked my guests to bring a bead that symbolized their feelings about motherhood/womanhood. i love this necklace. i don't think i could ever find a more beautiful or unique piece of jewelry, as it was composed by many different lovely people.  it's interesting to me that the majority of the beads are blue. it's open to interpretation. :) one even came in the mail from my dear sister in law angie!
having a handful of my sisters there made it all the more wonderful!
i grow strong from these ladies. every human that walks this planet came from a woman, and i like that. motherhood means life. xoxoxo

so glad to be alive!

our very first game of parchisi, in the farm house.
 the birthday trip babymoon adventure:
we stayed at jughandle creek farm, a wonderfully wild and cozy sort of old place, complete with farmhouse, cottages, a light house, learning gardens to eat from, funky beach towns and trails all around.
at first i uploaded 31 pictures, and then reconsidered. it was so beautiful and lush there, with coastal flowers in full temperate bloom.

thank you momma, for watching teddy. :)
stoking the fire of our little cottage stove

view from our cottage

yummy mustard greens from the garden

hanging 'round after breakfast

jug handle beach


our little house in a green jungle.

mendocino: where we can't hide our touristy selves and buy expensive pastries.

this trail calls to us

the best kind of rest in a sunny spot

low tide at sunset! time for tide pooling!

anemones, sea stars, little groupers, was a choice tide pooling spot

scrambling as we find more pools

GLASS BEACH!!! who knew anyone could get so excited over a former dump?

 treasure hunting unlimited.
oh l'amour, the memories.

Monday, February 6, 2012

t - y - l - e - r

28 years ago you hopped onto this wonderful circus. it's your birthday, and the only thing i can think is: it's been a whole 'nother year!? and then that sort of thing just boggles my mind. four seasons, a whole earth turn...
i'm telling you a secret: tyler, this time next year we'll be married and i'll be 8 months pregnant! you don't believe me?? it's okay, i don't believe it either!"
i'll always associate your birthday with those wonderful and uncharacteristic sunny days that get a few flowers to show their petals and the tree branches are covered with the small leaf buds just waiting to turn the landscape green again. this is a picture of us, just one year ago. we drank a green drink to celebrate your birth and give health to your 27 year old body, out of respect. ;) you drank carrot juice this morning in the same fashion, celebrating life.

here you are this very morning, a good sport as i camera ambush you.
there is an amazing sunrise heralding your birth, and i am so happy i was able to wake up next to you.
you and your little niece. let me just say that as a woman, pregnant with your baby, this picture just makes me feel pretty cozy.
merry says she has a sailor suit for lincoln. ;) i think you were just born sweet.
this was once what kept us so busy, the logistics of a wedding. now it's just memories. goodness, we'll have a lot of memories.

maybe one of my favorite pictures of you. we're perfect for each other: you were just as ridiculously bored as i was when it came time to register for stuff.  don't worry, there are other examples of why we're perfect for each other. this isn't the only one. i promise.

i should be writing you a poem, or something, that's how much i love you. how cool is it that we're "us?"

all mellowness, and harmonious. considerate of his fellow men.

progress is his middle name.

all i want to do is post cheesy youtube videos, so barry manilow can tell you how far we've come, or karen carpenter can wish you merry christmas for me, darling. or at least tell you how much respect i have for aquarians, or your love for people who walk down the street with their senegal parrots on their shoulders.

blue dog jam, i love you, birthday boy. life is ours and this might be the weakest use of words around to describe how i feel, but, gee willikers, it's pretty cool you're alive. :)
and now, if you don't mind, it's time we party.  

"now let's cut the stupid cake because i know the fat guy's gonna have a heart attack if we don't eat again soon..."  (shrug.) -robbie hart.