Currently

…reading a lot on my Kindle. Thank God for a perceptive hubby who knew how much I totally wanted it, despite my comic shamming that I didn’t. Currently: The Tiger’s Wife, The Fellowship of the Ring (a yearly revisit), and Ina May’s Guide to breastfeeding (see below).

…waking up every night around 2am and 6am (which is not technically night, I know…but still. Pity me!!) #3 is a very regular eater, and still hasn’t slept through the night. This is probably good, since I’d probably freak out in fear of SIDS if he did. Still, I missy ma sleepy.

…lactating. And pumping at work. Don’t get me started. I would like to feel as triumphant and powerful as Fouquet’s Maria Lactans:

 But generally feel more like this:

…busier than [insert insect here]. Easter week is traditionally a busy time in the Anglican church, and ours is no exception. Tomorrow is a Seder, and there have been services all week. Add to it my fulltime load at the university, and three kids, and a house…yadda yadda yadda….

…planting in the neighborhood organic garden. SO much fun with the kids. We planted crops we’re most likely to use: tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, bell peppers, cilantro. We’ve had so much rain lately that I’m really looking forward to some progress.

…missing my blogging time. And blogging reading time. And my fellow bloggers!

…needing a spa day. Who’s with me??

Posted in children, family, motherhood | 3 Comments

Born

The pains I had waited for began to come around 3am. I breathed prayers into the darkness, asking for strength and endurance and a peaceful labor. The pains were short, averaging around 30 seconds, but coming regularly, and as the hours passed, they steadied and became a baseline to my morning. By focusing and breathing, and not fighting and tensing up, I was able to make breakfast, ready my daughter’s lunch, and check for school closings.

The thermometer said -7.

By 7am, the tattoo of pains began to intensify. It was harder to focus, and I needed quiet and room. With five people in the house besides me, it was hard to find, but I took a long, warm shower and came back to center. Reality shut down around me and I was aware of very little happening- the increasing light, the excited voices, the hush of snow muffling the sounds of the street.

The nurses at the birth center called to say my room was ready. Since it was my third, I was overdue, and I had already been 4cm dilated two days earlier at my non-stress test, they had hurried the cleaning crew. No rush, just get here as soon as humanly possible…my doula braved the icy, snowy roads to leave for the center, as well.

By the time we arrived at the center, I was having to stop walking and talking during contractions. It took me quite a while to get up to the second floor, flanked by my doula and my husband. The elevator was particularly interminable, but I was still “on top of” the contractions, breathing, stopping, focusing, and letting myself be comforted by the silent presences around me.

Checking in to the birth center was like checking in to a hotel…gorgeous room, comfy bed, and low lights. I got out my fuzzy slippers and changed into my black lounge clothes for labor. The nurses began to flit in and out of the large door, setting things up, preparing quietly but hurriedly.

I had to walk. Up and down the hallway, flanked by my companions, I moved through the waves that overtook me in increasing swells.

I had to sit. We returned to the room and I sat, lotus position, on the bed. I was humming…moving from side to side, rocking the baby down and out, singing with the pain. Faster, harder, and stronger the pains came, but I forced myself to be inside of my body, to rationally see that the contractions were moving me closer to the end- and end that I could bring about with strength and courage.

The bath was ready. We got in, R behind me, with his arms around me, allowing me to float. My doula stood outside and leaned in to support me through the contractions, rubbing my neck, whispering to relax, to breathe, to move him down. My humming got stronger. I felt a sudden, overpowering “NOW” shouted to me from deep inside somewhere. Moving quickly to my knees, I pushed, and something popped- my water had finally broken.

I pushed. A breathless, burning pain was followed by immense relief.

I pushed. There was frantic movement and raised voices, but all I heard was the call of my body and the overwhelming instincts to let be what was happening.

“WAIT,” my doula said conclusively in my ear. I stopped, breathed, until I saw her nod.

I pushed, and my baby entered the world. Pulling him through my legs, I floated back against my husband and we all sucked down gasping breaths.

It was 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital, and 30 minutes later I was eating the best salad and pizza I had ever eaten.

Welcome to the world, #3.

Posted in children, motherhood, pregnancy | 9 Comments

Prayer for a woman with child

Sent to me by a dear friend, from here.

O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, the Source of life and immortality, I thank Thee, for in my marriage Thou has blest me to be a recipient of Thy blessing and gift; for Thou, O Master, didst say: Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.

I thank Thee and pray: Bless this fruit of my body that was given to me by Thee; favor it and animate it by Thy Holy Spirit, and let it grow a healthy and pure body, with well-formed limbs.

Sanctify its body, mind, heart, and vitals, and grant this infant that is to be born an intelligent soul; establish him in the fear of Thee.

A faithful angel, a guardian of soul and body, do thou vouchsafe him. Protect, keep, strengthen, and shelter the child in my womb until the hour of his birth. But conceal him not in his mother’s womb; Thou gavest him life and health.

O Lord Jesus Christ, into Thine almighty and paternal hands do I entrust my child. Place him upon the right hand of Thy grace, and through Thy Holy Spirit sanctify him and renew him unto life everlasting, that he may be a communicant of Thy Heavenly Kingdom. Amen.

O All-Merciful Christ our God, look down and protect me, Thy handmaiden, from fear and from evil spirits that seek to destroy the work of Thy hands. And when my hour and time is come, deliver me by Thy grace.

Look with compassionate eye and deliver me, Thy handmaiden, from pain. Lighten mine infirmity in the time of my travail and grant me fortitude and strength for birth giving, and hasten it by Thine almighty help.

For this is Thy glorious work, the power of Thine omnipotence, the work of Thy grace and tender-heartedness. Amen.

Posted in motherhood, pregnancy | 1 Comment

A measured silence

How long has it been since I last parsed my thoughts onto this (now echoing) media? Long.

It’s not that life has been hectic, though it has.

It’s not that I’ve not had things to blog about, because I have.

It may have something to do with a lack of motivation, and the fact that today is my due date for baby #3. Some writers can journal their whole pregnancies through…something I did with St. A (#1) and Isaiah the Prophet (#2). However, this pregnancy has been different in many ways, not just in the measured silence I have kept.

I have been reading your blogs, commenting sporadically. It has not seemed as long of a break when I read your blogs, and see what you’ve been up to.

And so I am still measuring, and listening to the echoes, and may come back, or not. Maternity leave might make me slightly insane, and blogging could be a good way out of that.

If you’re still around, thanks. And thanks to those of you who have checked in. I am honored to be the hermit of our little blogging community.

Posted in pregnancy | 7 Comments

Lovely…

Loved this today.

What would YOU have on your sign?

Posted in children, family, motherhood | 8 Comments