The Breastfeeding Brain

IMG_9880I have many blog posts building up, but the bulk of my energy is devoted to lactation and newborn-cradling right now and I need to accept that as my current focus! (Or, I should learn how to write very short posts with one hand or even one finger–circumstances not very conducive to sparkling insights or sustained creative flow!). The picture above is of my favorite new nursing mama sculpture. Her deep redness reminds me of seeing thermographic images of lactating women at a La Leche League International conference in 2007. The chests of the women in the slides were brilliant swirls of red, orange, and yellow energy. The thermographic images of non-lactating women were a blue-green color. The speaker was Peter Hartmann, a researcher from Australia, on the topic of “The Anatomy of the Lactating Breast.” It was a keynote luncheon speech, so we all chowed down on our salads and looked at thermographic images of lactating breasts at the same time. It was awesome and I still wonder what the Chicago Hilton staff made of our luncheon “entertainment”! This evening I dug out my notes for the exact numbers and 30% of the mother’s resting energy in the body is diverted towards lactation, while 23% of her resting energy goes to the brain. This demonstrates biologically the intense amount of importance nature places on lactation. It also demonstrates why a nursing mother may feel “fuzzy” or like she can’t think (or write blog posts!) like she used to, because literally, the energy formerly being used by her non-lactating brain is now centralized in her brilliantly colorful chest (baby’s habitat)! Hartmann said that lactating breasts are “on fire” and non-lactating breasts are “cool,” indeed the chest of the lactating mother is of a higher temperature. And, the mother’s chest can adjust by several degrees in response to her baby’s body temperature.

IMG_9973

Re-reading these notes led me to then re-read notes from Nils Bergman, MD’s lunchtime presentation about “Mother-Baby Togetherness: The Biological Needs of the Baby for the Mother” as well. I’ve referenced this presentation before in my article The Birth-Breastfeeding Continuum. This extremely high-energy, enthusiastic, and fast-paced presentation by Bergman remains, to date, one of the most powerful and impactful conference sessions I’ve ever attended about any topic, ever. He was passionate about the concept of the mother as baby’s habitat. Literally, the mother’s chest is the “maternal nest” after birth, providing the baby’s home for at least the next six months after birth. He shared that there are four patterns of mammalian infant care patterns: cache, follow, nest, and carry. Homo Sapiens are a “carry” species. Human milk is very low in protein “which suggests that human newborns should be continuous feeders.” I have long joked that babies nurse at the precise rate of speed of their digestion. Biologically, this turns out to be true!

Bergman cited research from Gallagher that, “through hidden maternal regulators…a mother precisely controls every element of her infant’s physiology from its heart rate to its release of hormones and from its appetite to the intensity of its activity.” Breastfeeding provides ALL of the sensory stimulation a baby needs and is “an invisible hothouse in which the infant’s development can unfold,” with breastfeeding quite literally providing brain wiring for the baby. The brain is a social organ and breastfeeding is about creating love as much as it is about food. And, the mother herself is the baby’s natural environment with everything the baby learns filtered through the mother’s body. Bergman was emphatic that separation from mother feels life-threatening to the baby, because it is in the “wrong place” when it is not with mother. “The universal response to separation (wrong habitat) is protest.” And, a period of intense activity trying to find the habitat and restore the rightful state of being. The Motherbaby is a single psychobiological organism. Bergman also said that the mother doesn’t need to specifically DO anything—”just by being she meets all baby’s biological needs.” And, mother herself has a biological need to hold and care for her baby.

So…this is me right now with Tanner, exactly. His habitat. His place. Where everything is just as it should be.

Completed Pottery Clay Belly Bowl!

IMG_9788

In mid-October I posted about the belly bowl project my mom was working on for me. As I noted, it had multiple possible points of failure—beginning with whether we could get it out of the belly cast mold (we could!), then with whether it would dry without cracking (it dried!), and then whether it would fire the first time without exploding. It survived the first firing and I shared this picture on Facebook:

So, after this, my mom glazed it and fired it again (there is a lot of work involved with pottery that goes way beyond the initial clay work!) and yesterday she brought it over.

IMG_9780 IMG_9779

I love it! I think it is amazing and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. We quickly took some pictures with Tanner in it, since the time is rapidly expiring in which he would fit for a photo opportunity. (Speaking of Tanner, he is already 9lbs and 21 inches now. Since this is slightly smaller than my largest baby was, he still, technically, could fit and be a newborn!)

 

Handmade Mama Holiday Giveaway!

I have loved Home Baby Crafts for some time and have two of her beautiful tree pendants. So, I was delighted when Cassie messaged me about participating in a fun “handmade mama” holiday giveaway with several other nifty Etsy shops!

The giveaway features items from:

Brigid’s Grove (that’s us!)

Home Baby Crafts (amazing gemstone and wire tree jewelry as well as birth jewelry)

Monkey Mama Necklaces (nursing necklaces with neat resin beads)

EcoAlternatives (cloth pads and other reusable items)

Tanks Treasures (knit infinity scarves)

Make sure to check it out and enter to win! (Giveaway ends November 14th)

New Etsy Pictures 471

 

Talk Books: The Secrets of Midwives

“By the time the baby boy spilled into my arms, I knew. Women were warriors. And I wanted to be part of it.” –Neva Bradley

(character in The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth)

While feeling somewhat pre-laborish in the last days of pregnancy, I stayed up way too late devouring a review copy of the new novel The Secrets of Midwives Secrets of Midwives, theby Sally Hepworth. I  got it in the mail in the afternoon and by 1:30 a.m. that night, I’d finished the whole thing! In the past, I’ve been heard to remark that I can think of few things better than a novel about a midwife. Well…how about a novel about three midwives? That’s right, The Secrets of Midwives interlaces the three stories and pivotal life journeys of three midwives, who happen to be grandmother, mother, and pregnant daughter. Each midwife has a different personality and style of practice. In an intriguing style that kept me turning pages, the chapters are split between the viewpoints of each, allowing for multiple perspectives on the same relationship and personal issues.

Floss, the grandmother/mother, is retired from midwifery, but her chapters alternate between her early experiences as a midwife in the UK and her current life as a natural childbirth instructor. Neva, the daughter/granddaughter, is a hospital birth-center based CNM who is hiding her unexpected pregnancy with her own first child. Grace, the mother/daughter, is a CNM who attends homebirths.

The Secrets of Midwives contains elements of a romance story and elements of a mystery story. It blends the three women’s midwifery journeys in a creative, engaging way, including exploring the complex quality of mother-daughter relationships and communication vs. secret-keeping therein. It is serious enough to keep the pages turning, but not so “heavy” as to be depressing. There is a subplot in which the homebirth midwife is investigated by the state nursing board for possible malpractice and it felt relevant and contemporary to the fears and risks faced by midwives around the country. And, while reading as a pregnant woman myself, I appreciated that in this novel, with one pivotal exception, there are no scary births with bad outcomes—I find that high drama births resulting in maternal or infant death are a common feature of midwifery novels that often makes them somewhat iffy reads for pregnant women!

“That superhuman feeling people describe? It has nothing to do with the way the baby comes out. It’s about what happens to the mother. You become superhuman. You’ll grow extra hands and legs to look after your baby. You’ll definitely grow an extra heart for all the love you’ll feel.” –Neva Bradley

(in The Secrets of Midwives)

October 2014 012

 THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES by Sally Hepworth

Find the author on Facebook here and her website here.

Published by St. Martin’s Press

On sale February 10, 2015

ISBN-13: 978-1-250-05189-9 | $25.99

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.

 

 

Baby in My Heart (trigger: miscarriage)

“There is no footprint so small that it does not leave an imprint on the world.”

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death-birth of my third baby, the tiny four-inch boy we named Noah. I will never forget touching his face and seeing his mouth drop open and looking at the translucent skin of his chest and seeing the small organs beneath, marveling at the complexity and intricacy of development that had taken place. I don’t post today because I need condolences or sympathy, this loss is not raw for me, but is instead finely woven into the fabric of my life. I post today simply in acknowledgement and memory. I also post in gratitude because as I look at the long, curly hair and bright blue eyes of Alaina and I snuggle the sweet, warm, perfection of newborn Tanner, I feel like it was Noah who brought them both to me, who opened our family up to welcome them, as well as who cracked me open to understandings, experiences, purposes, and paths I wouldn’t have had without birthing him. I also feel acutely aware that not all women have the “happy ending” to their pregnancy loss journeys that I’ve been lucky enough to have and I post too in awareness, honor, and respect for them.

IMG_9605.JPGOn the morning of November 5th this year, I woke up early and as I laid there nursing Tanner, I kept thinking of the miscarriage drawing I did following my second miscarriage (February of 2010). I thought about the friends I have whose losses are still raw and agonizing as well as the women I know who are longing to conceive. I thought about my image of the bridge and how we have to cross it alone, but that there are sisters waiting on the other side and sometimes new babies too. I also thought about how I felt so separated from other pregnant women and how very difficult that was for me. Here is the drawing, with my original explanation copied from my miscarriage blog:

IMG_9606.JPG

[I was taking the Birth Art class at the same time as my second miscarriage]…I felt immediately drawn to creating art about the m/c experience. Birth Art is about “process,” not product, so it is not supposed to be beautiful or even interpretable. The above is what I drew. The dice refer to our feeling of “tossing the dice” one more time—the numbers 3 and 4 show on the dice—and having those tosses end in blood. The question mark is self-explanatory with the squiggles representing all my reading and efforts to understand. The night I realized that I definitely going to have another m/c, I lay in bed and kept picturing a bridge that I was going to have to cross alone—-leaving behind the safe and familiar. A song kept running through my head, “keep walking in the light….keep following the path…” So, the little figure walking across the bridge is that. Tears are running down below her. The little bubble with other stick figures in it is the women who have gone before me—who are close, but I still have to cross alone. The happy pregnant woman behind me represents the “other side”—the one I can’t go back to. The naivety. The certainty that a positive pregnancy test will result in a baby nine months later. She is all the other women who haven’t “been there” and I am forever separated from her by a wall the thick line above her head. Or, she is the former me—falling down, down, down and away. The the right is my uterus, weeping both tears and blood. The ovaries and inside the uterus glow with energy. There are some purple dots inside to represent each of my babies—the largest one is actually a little “baby in my heart” image, like my pendant…

via Miscarriage Art | Footprints on My Heart.

I actually wrote this current post with one finger on my ipad on Nov. 5th and scheduled it for today, but then this morning I woke up and saw an image on Facebook from the new book The Heart of the Labyrinth. It spoke to me of my miscarriage journeys as well as subsequent pregnancy and life-path journeys.

20141107-094214-34934964.jpgThe image also caught my eye because I was honored to write an endorsement for the book itself, which is a lovely, lyrical story about a woman’s spiritual journey (plus, it is a call to action for us all). I read it on our trip to Chicago in September and today is its official launch at a conference in Dubai. (Nice work, Womancraft Publishing!)

After I shared the image on my Facebook page, I saw my doula shared a link on my wall. I went to look at it and…same image! I have actually received postpartum care from Summer after three births–Noah’s was the first, then Alaina, and now Tanner too. Anyway, she wrote this:

Molly, I woke up thinking of you and Noah this morning. When I saw Lucy’s post, I wanted to make sure you saw because it eloquently conveys some of my thoughts. I feel so very humbled and privileged to have seen some of your warrior moments….the triumphant, joyful warrior and the heartbroken but surviving warrior. Always, I hope you are able to remember that the strength is in ALL those moments, often when you feel the weakest.
Sweet Noah will always be remembered. For a tiny person who lived a too-brief life, he had (and continues to have) such a huge impact on so many lives. He lives on in the legacy of love, truth, sharing, and vulnerability that you built after his birth/death…

As is my tradition on my kids’ birthdays, here is the link to Noah’s birth story: Noah’s Birth Story Warning: Miscarriage/Baby Loss | Talk Birth. A couple of years ago, I converted my miscarriage blog into a book, which is available on Kindle here: Footprints on My Heart: A Memoir of Miscarriage & Pregnancy After Loss eBook.

189787_367110260050351_624535046_n

 

 

Welcoming Tanner Matthias!

“There really was a baby!” –Me, in birth video

IMG_8557As was my pregnancy custom, on October 3oth I woke up around 3:00 a.m. with definite contractions. They were spaced about 30 minutes apart, however, and I kept myself awake unnecessarily waiting for them to get bigger or closer together. I finally got up at 4:30 or 5:00 and Mark got up too. As I as I got up, contractions picked up to about three minutes apart. I couldn’t believe I’d “wasted time” by lying down, non-sleeping AND non-laboring! I felt very adrenaline filled and excited. The sense of urgency and “coming soon” was very familiar to Zander’s exceedingly fast labor, whereas my sense of need to call Mom during a contraction and then changing my mind afterward was similar to Lann’s. And, leaning on the kitchen half-wall as an ideal labor position was similar to Alaina’s. There was no slow lead-in here, these were sharp, strong, intense contractions that I already couldn’t talk through. Though they felt big and serious, they were also short in duration. I lit my birth altar candle and since I wanted to have clean, freshly washed hair, I decided to take a shower.

043 044After showering and even blowdrying my hair for cuteness in future pictures, the intensity of the contractions increased again. Mark got to work on filling the pool and heating more water as soon as I got out of the shower and he kept messing with the pool even though I was starting to feel like I needed him (also needed pool, so he wasn’t doing the wrong thing!). I felt sure that this was picking up FAST. We texted Mom and she contacted Robin and Summer (midwife and doula). I felt a weird sensation of time pressure then, looking out window, waiting and not wanting to be observed, waited for, or watched. The pool continued to take a lot of time and attention and was annoying. Plus, the hose popped out when Mark was in the laundry room and flooded the floor. I was saying things like, “this had better be the best thing ever, because right now I hate it!” I couldn’t decide if I should keep standing up or try something else like sit on the birth ball or try the water. It seemed early for water (except during contractions!), so I sat on the ball at which point contractions became HUGE, but, also only 8-10 minutes apart. I was confused and kept trying to figure out what made more sense—smaller, more frequent contractions while standing up, or bigger but far apart on the ball. I was laughing about my indecisiveness and kept saying, “so, tell me what to doooooooo!” (which is actually my most despised thing in labor). I opted to stay on the ball because I felt open there and when standing I felt like I was closing my legs together and tensing up. On the ball, I started humming the Sacred Pregnancy Standing at the Edge song I listened to so often during my pregnancy: standing at the edge…clinging to my innocence…one more tiny step…time is here and now…diving into the unknown. I believe in me, I believe in meee-eeee. I believe in me, I do, I do…

Later, in the pool, I turned on the rest of my Sacred Pregnancy playlist from the CD, which I both liked and didn’t like because I could no longer anchor myself then with the “I believe in me, I do” hum.  I talked and joked and laughed about stuff a lot. And, I would sing little things like: let’s find something else to say and not owie-zooooowie… I do not know how else to say that these were intense, big, powerful contractions. To my memory, they feel like they were the biggest, most painful contractions I’ve ever had—but slooooooowly far apart. The sensation of downward pressure was powerful already during each, but the distance between them very confusing. After back and forthing verbally for some time, I decided to get in the pool: this had BETTER be WORTH IT.

I loved the pool, but I also, intensely, felt like I was on “display” or being watched. I also felt a little isolated or separated and observed, even by my own mom (who, mindfully, went to sit on the couch to give me space). I kept feeling worried and pressured about my midwife and doula getting there any minute, even though we talked in advance about how I mainly needed them for immediate postpartum care and only wanted them to come in at the very end. I had never talked to my mom about specifically when to tell them to actually come though, so I kept thinking they were sitting in the driveway waiting for me (they weren’t, because they were being respectful of what they knew I wanted and needed). As with my other babies, I knew in my heart I wanted to birth alone, but then with immediate postpartum/follow-up care. This is hard to balance and gauge. And, I acknowledge that it isn’t really fair to the midwife either! My birth brain really needs to be alone and unwatched and I knew in the pool that I wanted to push my baby out before anyone else was there.

I took my favorite birth goddess sculpture into the pool with me where she kept me company and floated with me and reassured me until I was pushing and set her outside the tub (ever practical, I didn’t want her to get lost in what I knew would end up as bloody water!).

047

If you look close, you can spy the little goddess in my hand.

048

Here, I was laughing about feeling like a little toad in a pool.

My mom kept me supplied with food and drinks and occasional encouragement and Mark stayed close, touching me and being present. There was lots of waiting in the pool (I feel like) for those slow but BIG contractions. I got out to pee and finally saw some BLOOD. I always wait and wait for this sign because for me it is the herald of nearly full dilation. I have no blood or any leaking or discharge until I’m only a short distance from pushing out a baby! I shook and shook in the bathroom at this point too, which I think was related to the temperature change from getting out of the warm pool and not transition per se, but it could have been both.

Back to the pool and out one more time to pee (more blood! Yay! Blood is so fun! Really. It is super encouraging for me to see during labor at this point.) I started to weirdly fret about my bladder at this point getting in the way of baby’s head (potentially): this can happen, you know, I told my mom and Mark (even though I was totally peeing and had no signs of bladder being in the way). I could tell baby was moving down and getting close to pushing, but I felt impeded with the amniotic sac intact. I moved to hands and knees in the tub and talked to myself: it’s okay. You’re okay. We’re okay. I can do it. We can do it. You can come out baby. We want you. We want you. (I cried I tiny bit saying this.)

IMG_8532

I like how you can see my friendly little birth altar glowing in the background.

IMG_8533

I turned back over then and kept on smiling…

IMG_8535

One hour before birth.

IMG_8543Some time after this, I started feeling inside after each contraction and could feel a hard lump getting closer and closer every time I had a (now close together) contraction. I didn’t feel sure it was a head though, but that maybe I was somehow feeling my own pubic bone or some other mysterious part of my anatomy never before felt. It felt squishy kind of, though hard underneath. (Duh, because it was an amniotic sac around a baby head, Molly!), so then I imagined I wasn’t fully dilated and was somehow prolapsing my cervix instead of feeling a baby’s head. I think these types of thoughts are one of the hazards of being a birth professional. They are also proof, to me, that no matter what odd or frightening things you think, babies’ heads still move down and come out anyway! At this point, the baby began to have hiccups. He was so low that it basically felt like my anus was hiccupping. I had Mark feel them very low on my belly—just above my pubic bone—and then I laughed and saidthis counts as a fetal heart tones check!

Finally, my water broke at last and I knew he was almost out. Pushing was intense and big and felt huge and hard and long. I became convinced baby weighed ten pounds and was probably not going to come out. I felt like it was taking a long time and a lot of work, but according to Mom and Mark it was about four pushes and date stamps on pictures reveal about 5-6 minutes total of this hard work. I also kept thinking someone else was going to come in. I felt the familiar burning on my front right side and knew I would tear again (labial/clitoral). It felt scary and I looked at my mom and said I was scared (she said, “I know”). I almost pushed through the burn, but then I stopped myself and waited for the next push and then his head was out, along with a bloom of blood in the water which does indicate tearing, but I didn’t get checked for tears (by my specific decision and request) so I don’t know for sure. A minimal follow-up push and his body came out into my hands. He bobbed to the top of the pool and I lifted him out of the water. He cried a little and was already reasonably pink. He was looking around and was a little bit gurgly. I talked to him and kissed his head and told him I loved him: oh my little one, oh my little one. Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! There really was a baby! Oh, he’s CUTE! I noticed his cord was around his neck and arm and somewhat awkwardly moved it off. It was 10:20, a little over five hours after I got up.

We called my dad to bring the kids back over to see the baby and cut the cord and they arrived a few minutes before Summer and Robin got there.

053 054After Robin and Summer arrived, they helped me out the pool which I was eager to get out of, but had a lot of trouble actually doing, and onto my futon nest on the floor between the pool and bathroom. This is the part I didn’t like. So familiar and so not fun. The weak and wounded transition. But, Summer (doula) reminded me that the warrior moments are in feeling the vulnerability too. Sometimes the warrior is found in showing the vulnerability and needing the help.

After some lying on the futon and waiting for the placenta, I went to the bathroom (still holding baby attached with cord) and the placenta finally came out there (after it was washed, I swallowed a small piece of it). Zander and Alaina cut the cord as they had been waiting to do and then left for playgroup with my friend who was waiting patiently outside to take them. When the placenta was examined, they saw he had a velamentous cord, which is fairly rare and can actually be dangerous and possibly explains my widely spaced contractions (giving baby time he needed).

256

The baby’s temperature was low and it took us some time and effort to get him warmed up and that was probably because I was in the water a little long after birth and that is my only regret about this birth. When his temperature was normal, we weighed him and he only came up as 6lbs4oz. He then weighed 7lbs4oz at two days, which means he was really bigger than that at birth. He weighs eight pounds now at a week. So, he weighed something at birth, but the exact amount is unknown! He was 20 inches and had a 14 inch head.

As I laid on my futon and latched baby on for the first time, I realized that in all my planning and fretting and preparing and deadlining, I’d forgotten how very, very much love was possible.

 

Sacred Postpartum: Happy Tea + 40 Week Update

October 2014 021
After having already made Happy Mama tea with my friends at our family’s work party early in October, this past weekend we engaged in more tea-making adventures at the work party at my parents’ house. I had no idea how empowering it would feel to make my own tea blends. The Happy Mama tea based on our class recipe is exactly what I need. I adore it! I don’t have all of the ingredients in the original recipe, so the modified recipe blend I use is as follows:

2 cups each of alfalfa, motherwort, red raspberry leaf, nettle and one cup of cinnamon.*

After we made it the first time, two of my friends wrote to me independently saying, “this tea feels like something I need!” And, that is exactly, how I felt about it myself. It lifts my mood and feels like it replenishes something in me that I have been needing. The herbs used are intended for hormonal balancing, anxiety and stress reduction, calming, and immune system support. Until this class, I’ve never made my own tea blends or used loose tea. That has changed!

Here are some pix from our adventures:

And, we had a mini tea ceremony…

October 2014 018May You Never Thirst!

October 2014 020

(*Due to the uterine stimulant properties of some of the ingredients in this tea, it should not be enjoyed by pregnant women until they are close to full term.)

After the work party, we went to a Halloween party. Unfortunately, I didn’t re-discover this CBE teaching shirt until the following day or I would have worn it!

October 2014 026

Yesterday marked the first “due date” I’ve ever reached without already having my baby in arms!

40 weeks mama for first time ever!

I’ve been saying for a long time that I wouldn’t have been surprised to have him early AND I wouldn’t be surprised to have him late. However, I would also say, I wouldn’t be surprised to have him very close to or on his due date, since that is my pattern with my other kids (39w5d, on due date, and 39w5d). Note how very neatly I covered all of my possible bases, so that no matter what, my “intuition” on the subject will be impeccable! ;) However, I don’t think that in my heart I ever pictured really going past the day. I don’t feel disappointed/distressed over it, more like BONUS! However, I also hope he doesn’t get the “bonus” message TOO long and wait until November. Then, I might be singing a different tune. I also want to make sure he knows that it is okay to be born and that, despite what I may have said several times, we ARE ready for him to join us. I really expected him on October 25th as very likely and I did have lots of pre-labor that day. I really only picture a nighttime birth too, so whenever I wake up still pregnant, I feel pretty confident that I have an entire bonus day ahead of me. At 39w6d I made good use of my “bonus day” by creating six new sculpture prototypes. I listed to Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly on audio book while I worked. I am over the moon about how very much fun it is to be able to “read” and do something else at the same time. It is like a miracle. I wish I would have gotten a library card for this purpose a very long time ago! My sculpture prototypes (not in order of picture) are for a new nursing mama, miscarriage mama, cesarean birth mama, VBAC mama, birthing goddess, and possibilities goddess:

October 2014 089

This will give Mark plenty to do while I sit in the recliner and nurse the new baby!

For my bonus day at 40 weeks, I got my online class all launched and all introduction messages responded to (yes, the new school session started on my due date). I also, thankfully, remembered that my January syllabus is due November 2 and was my own best friend and got it finished and submitted yesterday afternoon rather than scrambling to prepare it with a newborn in arms.

I find that when you are a 40 weeks pregnant birth blogger, you may find yourself paying special attention to lots of the details of the day just in case these details turn out to be the beginning of a birth story. Last night, I felt very much pre-laborish again—lot of low back ache and millions of contractions (regularly every six minutes apart for a couple of hours) that kept going mildly for most of the night. I didn’t sleep well at all and stayed up until 1:30 reading a review copy of The Secrets of Midwives (review actually posted briefly today, but reverted to draft after I found out I need to wait for a new cover image to use for the review).

Today, in addition to lots of little catch-up tasks with emails, etc. I also used my bonus day to add some additional new products to our etsy shop:

New Etsy Pictures 250

New mother-daughter pendant sets!

I also responded to an interview request for an upcoming holiday promotion for etsy that I’m really excited about. And, I turned down an interview request from the PR department at the main campus of the school for which I teach, since they wanted to meet me for lunch on October 30th and I’m virtually certain I will be holding a newborn by that date (right?!).October 2014 055

I’ve been interested to note that I’ve dreamed with increasing realism about the baby for the last three nights in a row. Last night, I was getting him latched on for the first time. The night before, my mom and Mark had brought him to campus for me to nurse on my breaks from class. The night before that was a water birth dream (two actually, both about twins). To me this indicates that whatever lingering “not readiness” I might be experiencing in my waking life, my subconscious is getting it. At some level, my brain is getting down with the idea of really, truly having another baby and it is incorporating him into my dreamscape/life accordingly. One of the ways I’ve known in the past that I was actually going to recover from my past birth-related injuries is that I have a dream about it and realize that I am getting better and healing okay. To me, these recent dreams about birthing, and nursing, and holding Tanner, indicate that the door that I’ve felt like was “closed” and that I’ve never quite managed to fully open back up during this pregnancy, has, in fact, opened again (at least at the dreamtime level!). It has taken its sweet time to open, but I’ve been patient…