deadlines, extensions, and goals

April. How did I make it here?

In the midst of our passover celebration, I turned to each guest at the table and asked every member of the group to share a sign of growth or source of pride from the last year. And I realized that I’ve learned a lot about reasoning.

We spend a lot of time rationalizing actions but rarely have the luxury of choice before action becomes effect.

I set a goal for myself last year to do a better job of documenting. And this year, I’m moving toward a space of making choices.

no news and yet, so much is new!

Waiting through the last few weeks of a pregnancy can be difficult. Having never had the opportunity to wait before (my first came on the day I hit 37 weeks), I’m learning to embrace this challenge for the first time.

I get a lot of people asking “haven’t you had that kid yet?” or “should you be out and about in your condition?” So far my favorite is, “pretty soon, that thing is going to come out your navel.”

Along with learning new and exciting ways to say “I’m doing well. Thanks for checking in,” I’m also experiencing the physical sides of the final weeks of pregnancy. This means recognizing the body inside my own as a potentially separate being.

My body is not growing any more. The baby is continuing to put on the pounds at a very fast rate. As the child runs out of space, I am becoming more aware of its placement and movements. I can tell how it reacts to dancing, swaying, laughter, eating, etc. Not just because “it moves” but also because I know that its head is moving independently from its shoulders. Likewise, when a kick happens, I can see the kick. Sometimes, the baby will adjust itself and rest a heel just below my rib cage. In this case, I can make out the foot, and tickle it. To which my baby will respond.

sueños y realidad

Can a person be held responsible for crimes that they committed in dreams?

If a person dreams of harm that is committed by another and, upon waking, can not forget the harm or set aside the feelings brought by the act, must they put aside those feelings? Do they have a responsibility to examine those emotions? And if they do, must they address the person who appeared in their dreams? 

And then do both parties need to subscribe to the same belief system governing dreams in order to communicate successfully about the criminal behavior?

 

All it’s cracked up to be

I’ve wondered about chiropractic work for a long time. I understand the basics of feeling good through good bone and muscle alignment (who hasn’t enjoyed the feeling of a misaligned joint popping from time to time). However, I also tend to think that humans are well-built. That our bodies will drive us toward the elements that will make us heal, no matter what the ailment. So chiropractic work, regular adjustments to my structure, seemed superfluous. 

And then my baby wouldn’t stop presenting breech. My midwives and doula all recommended chiropractic work. And they mentioned that it would probably help out with some of the hip and shoulder pains I had been experiencing. I was skeptical, to say the least. And so I held off until my baby had presented breech in three separate appointments before making the call. I found Dr. Karen through Birthways, where she is a member on the board.  

We set a time and a place and soon, I was nervously entering a space with a massage chair and pillows, a grinning baby rolling on the floor and a woman with a grin and a gorgeous gown welcoming me to come and feel better. I filled out a new patient intake form that asked about my basic medical history but also contained an optional section that dealt with spiritual matters and questions of the heart. Not sure what to make of the whole deal, I decided to be honest, open myself to the experience and humbly ask for guidance the entire way. 

I learned that Chiropractic work does not have to be loud. The only time I heard my joints pop was when my head and neck were adjusted. And relief was immediate. Whereas after acupuncture, I felt blissed out and disconnected from the world around me, with chiropractic work, I felt a greater sense of freedom to explore and connect with my surroundings. I found myself walking straighter, standing taller and was surprised to find that I could go from standing to sitting to kneeling with little to no discomfort. I didn’t realize how abnormal my activities had become until I normalized my pace. Needless to say, I’m hooked.

I’ve got a family. Now what?

A lot of time is given to the question of family or career. Being a terrible planner, I figured that nature would take its course and tell me which would come first. This meant that I spent a lot of time avoiding the question entirely. The fact that I now have a family says that, while publicly practicing avoidance, I was privately leaning toward one answer.

I wanted a family but wasn’t ready to admit it to the world. And now I have one–an expanding one.

And as a result, all the questions about approaching a career are tinted with shades of family life. I am having a hard time envisioning myself returning to the workforce pretending that motherhood isn’t a larger part of what I wish to focus my attention on.

There are roughly 14 hours every day for connecting with a person who is less than 3 years old–less if they’re under a year. That is 70 hours a week. A return to the workforce is committing to spending 40 hours (plus commute time) doing something other than being with that child mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m not sure that I will be able to make the commitment when the time comes.

How long does one focus on family before returning to career?

renewing Club Parent membership

I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been busy getting huge.

Most people assume that I’m due any day now. The others assume I’m having twins. I’m trying not to say too much in hopes that it might conserve some energy for more essential actions like breathing.

Part of becoming huge is coming to terms with the fact that pregnancy is progressive. I will have a baby.

I’ve been trying to remind myself about what those first few months were like. I remember fatigue. Intense fatigue.

How does one prepare for fatigue? Caffeine is questionable. Amphetamines are out of the question. And sleep, unfortunately, can not be stored and saved for a later date.

I remember my new mama group saving me. Not because the other mamas showed up at my house and made me a meal or two, cleaned my house and held my baby while I took a shower (although all those things would have helped) but because the other moms were in different stages of coming to terms with the huge transition of motherhood.

Some people’s kids were alert, others were not. Some could sit up, others could roll. Some grabbed toys and others babbled. My own limp, very new baby could do none of these things.

Some moms were chatty and reflective. Others were quiet and contemplative. They all responded to their children in very different ways, both physically and verbally. I was just beginning to learn how to address this very new being and understand its cues. Something about seeing moms in action made me realize that motherhood was doable, period.

I haven’t found a group of women expecting at the same time as me. The mother groups in the area seem to charge entrance fees and require that you are a first-timer. However, I have found that there are some pretty cool groups that focus on specific parts of mothering that are open to mamas at all stages of motherhood.

I’ve signed on to a babywearing group. So far it seems that there are a lot of people who can spend a lot of money on contraptions that all promise to do essentially the same thing. But (in spite of financial woes) I am a sling slut at heart, and have managed to amass about 10 such contraptions, so it works perfectly for me. I am starting to seek out ways to update my collection and my knowledge.

Soon, I’ll get beyond the peripherals and move to a space of meditative contemplation of the baby to come. For now, peripherals feel safer.

 

gathering

Yesterday was Easter Sunday.

We went to an easter egg hunt that included activities for the 5 and under crowd, a word scramble, a special egg hunt for high school kids and a massive carrot and egg hunt for school aged children. There was food for everyone and a four-block scavenger/treasure hunt when we ran out of eggs. My daughter dutifully filled her basket with eggs, ate a small chocolate egg and then spent the next hour or so either spinning on a T-bar that hung from a tree or waiting for another chance to spin on the t-bar hanging from the tree.

What is it with kids and spinning?

At one point, the kids who joined in the fun started to take really long turns on the bar. She had to wait longer and longer for her turn. But she did it beautifully. When she finally got her turn, she forgot all the vital safety steps involved in grabbing a bar and spinning. She threw her body into the spin without grabbing the bar. She landed on her back and then in my lap. But after a few cuddles she was back in line, waiting to spin again.

After a really good nap (for both of us), my aunt came to visit. We sat in the back yard and drank cool drinks and sang songs and danced and chatted. And then we went to dinner (sans daughter!) and a tribute to Malvina Reynolds.

I learned that my aunt had been a camp counselor with Malvina’s daughter when they were both in high school. During that time, Malvina was transitioning from writing poetry into making songs and would test her tunes and lyrics on the campers. When we walked into the coffeehouse, the concert had already started. I looked around to get my bearings and immediately recognized a woman inside the front door.

I grew up with the woman’s daughter. The woman is a filmmaker (her daughter told me that she was a caterer about 20 years ago and I never questioned it or asked again!) who had made a documentary about Malvina Reynolds. Her latest work had to do with VBACs and was put aside while she raised her kids. She saw my bulging belly and told me she may be interested in filming my birth. We spoke briefly of the weird legal/medical restrictions that surround birth in this country and made a plan to meet for a longer talk at a later date.

My husband, aunt, and I sat in the coffeehouse, sang along with songs that we recognized and learned some new ones. We had a moment to reflect, through the story-telling that inevitably accompanies and folk concert and through the powerful lyrics of the songs themselves, on the world around us and the roles we play in creating and supporting society.

After the concert we drove home speaking about popular music and the changes that my aunt had witnessed over the years. She talked about the Beatles as a band that helped the transition shift from songs of protest to songs about nothing. Where the energy had been so focused on coming together and social awareness, the attention moved to frivolous star-tracking. She was unaware of many popular artists focusing on change through lyric and song.

My husband countered that he knew of a number of albums dedicated specifically to certain political topics. The music world is still rife with protest. The music companies just don’t want you to know it. 

I agree that there are protest songs being written and performed. However, I find a lot of them inaccessible. The songs are not written in a way that would encourage an audience to go home and memorize the lyrics. They are not written in hopes of unifying the voices of a gathering of like-minded people. The music showcases the talents of the singers/songwriters. The performer does their bit but doesn’t take the time and effort to teach the audience to sing along. There is no assumption that the audience can or should keep up.

And people don’t tend to gather in the same way any more. It takes a lot to get people to make a public showing of sentiment. So you have songs that are powerful but don’t give direction or a sense of belonging to the audience AND you have a group of people that probably have not come together to take part in an event as much as hear an individual sing. And you lose the power of the song’s voice. It becomes saleable.

And so both my aunt and my husband are right. People write the songs but they’re not connecting.

And how sweet is it that my aunt looked up an old campfire friend and invited some family in on the gig. We got there any I got to reconnect with an old campfire friend(‘s mom) and her work. I went home happily thinking of celebrating my next birthday with a campfire.