Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Today we were off-roading to the beach in my hubby's truck. It was a nice time, feeling the bumps in the sand, breathing in the salty sea air and feeling the cool breeze through the windows. We were excitedly pointing out little sand crabs and watching them hide, by the hundreds, back into their little sand holes.
Then we started to notice a very sad sight as we looked to our far right, in the direction of the water. Our joy quickly turned to silence as we observed soooooo much human garbage tangled in the seaweed and sand. Nearly every few inches there was trash, as far as the eye could see...99% of what we saw was plastic. Cracked, broken, faded, large pieces of plastic. Most were completely recognizable: milk jugs, shoe soles, hard hats, soda bottles (seemed to be the most popular), butter containers, plastic fishing buckets. We could see very vintage looking 7up and Dr Pepper blttles almlpt chlpletehy hhta`p, mijps smhd dadihg hd th` prhnp* Qmh`$qk`qp``!uiec`w%repa'po$l`a&d`d%cfvtroyed they just stuck out of the sand like big brightly colored jagged teeth. What a sick, sad sight.
All of this, done by humans.
Just think, just a little over 100 yrs ago, people would go to that beach and only see beach.. I tried to imagine this, as I watched the seagulls playing in the wind, the crabs scurrying about, and the cranes stretching their graceful necks in our direction through the reeds, how beautiful and simple it must have been before people found ways to pollute the world with no regard for other forms of life or the planet.
Human beings are the only species on Earth that are literally destroying our own planet. While the gulls, the fish, the flies and the many other marvelous creatures on land and sea are working overtime trying to clean up our mess, we are finding that we're killing them in the process. We find fish bodies with plastic IN them, buried between their bones. Birds with stomachs full of plastic washing up on shore.
What is wrong with us as a species that we are so adamant to ignore the distress we are causing our own environment?? Why are those who care labeled as extremists and radicals??
Wouldn't it be common sense to look out for one another? To protect our one and only planet? The damage that has been done to our environment and our collective health since the dawning of the industrial revolution is undeniable.
We can choose to do something about it, or we can continue to be lied to by television, distracted with petty entertainment, while throwing our money away (literally) on plastic products which will continue to unendingly pile up in our oceans, roads, and landfills.
In the Boheme household we do the best we can to avoid plastic. Not only for environmental reasons, but mainly to avoid the toxic chemicals found in common household plastic. However, today's beach trip gave us much more incentive to continue to do the best we can to be a plastic-free household.
Picture Courtesy of Forbes, I did not take the above picture, I do not own it.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Well, I put up my handmade CycleBeads the other day, not long after my two pregnancy tests came up positive. My husband got his anniversary wish, after only one try! According to my LMP, our conception date was ON our anniversary! What a little miracle! Our "EDD" is in January.
I wake up every day with a different feeling about this pregnancy. Most days, I feel excitement and hopes for the future. Some days, I wake with a nervous, anxious feeling as my mind goes through every last thing I've done the past few weeks ("WHY did I let Nuni bounce on my belly?!... WHY did I jump on the bed?! ...WHY did I order that margarita at Chilis? I never drink!! ....WHY did I eat those gumballs with all those artificial colors!!.." etc). Some days I feel like trying not to get too attached to the baby just yet....afterall, it's still so early... But mainly, I've been excited and planning away!
I love all of my children, they are all amazing! My pregnancies were beautiful and special. But this pregnancy is special in it's own way. This is the very first pregnancy where I have NOTHING to feel 'ashamed' about...
With Pregnancy #1, I was a teenager, I was unmarried, still in highschool, unprepared, jobless, homeless, and no longer with the father. While my highschool friends were experiencing life to the fullest over the summer, I was taking belly pics, and applying for maternity homes for unwed mothers. It took me a few days, and assistance from my older sister to muster up the courage to break the news of my pregnancy to my mom. My dad did not find out until I was about 7 or 8 months along.
With Pregnancy #2, although I was in my very early 20's, it was still definitely an unfavorable time since I was right smack in the middle of college, working as a waitress, unmarried, the father was an absolute nightmare, and I was already supporting a toddler. It was so hard for me to tell my family that I was pregnant, that I waited about 2 months after I found out.
With Pregnancy #3, although we loved each other deeply and we married a few months into our pregnancy, I was still unmarried when we got pregnant. Blujay wanted to be a father and even admits that he planned our baby, but for me it was a harder situation. Having already two kids and being in a transitional state in my life, made it impossible to confront my family with the possibility of bringing another child into the world. My family found out about my pregnancy from a Doctor one night when I was rushed to the E.R., lethargic with an unexplained sickness. By then, I was already about 4 months. It was actually quite a relief to have my pregnancy confirmed and out in the open. After that, it was smooth sailing. However, financially, we were not at all prepared for another baby. We spent much of our marriage being VERY frugal, as it was our only choice since we were living in financial poverty.
I am very happy to say that this pregnancy, Lucky #4, is 100% guilt-free. We are married! This baby was planned and dreamed about! I am able to be a stay-at-home mom, and care for my little ones without financial stress. My husband has a wonderful job that pays very well, so for the first time Ever, this pregnancy will not be a burden on our finances! I sent my older sister a picture of the BFP the day we took the test, and I told my mom the next morning! They both seemed happy for us. Blujay told his mom the day we found out as well.
So far, we're planning a home birth! I look so forward to having a beautiful, relaxed birth in the comfort of my own home. I've lined up a few amazing midwives, and I can not wait to meet with them and pick the perfect match! I've also been searching for a doula and a birth photographer, and even (yes, I'm thinking waaayyy ahead here) lining up someone to perform a Blessingway! My husband assures me every day that this will be the birth I've always wanted.
Blujay has been so loving and wonderful! His reaction when he first saw the positive pregnancy test was a big smile and a hug! We were both in such disbelief that it only took us ONE try to get pregnant! Especially while I'm still nursing Nuni. (Supposedly, it's harder to get pregnant while still lactating and nursing regularly). It's all happened so quickly, and I couldn't be happier to have such an amazing husband by my side! Every morning, he gives my belly a kiss, while he's saying goodbye to us before work.
We've decided that we do NOT want to find out the sex of the baby this time around! (I've wanted the gender to be a mystery with #2 and #3, but someone told me without my permission both times!) This time, it WILL be a mystery until the day he or she is born! We've picked out a gender-neutral name, a name that we've had in mind for our next baby for about a year now!
For the purposes of my blog, we'll call this baby Juju Bean. =)
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
My last blog post focused on the negativity experienced during my hospital births. Venting those emotions out is something that is necessary for all moms who may feel frustrated or traumatized as a result of their birth experience. Despite all of the things that made me feel awful that occured during my births, there is no denying that birth in any way, shape, or form, is an absolutely beautiful and sacred process.
Today, I would like to focus more on the positive aspects of my births.
Baby #1: Tutu Head
I spontaneously went into labor on a day that her father was visiting. Her father, who I was no longer in a relationship with (but still very much friends) lived 4 hours away and would visit on weekends. We were thrilled that my labor began good and strong on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Autumn! It was a beautiful day to have a baby!
I was lucky to be surrounded by friends and family! Tutu's dad was a great sport, telling me I was doing wonderfully, and holding my hand through contractions.
I will never forget the first time I saw my little baby girl. She was sucking on her bottom lip and she looked right at my face. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
Her father began to cry. I had never seen him so happy or proud.
Within the first few minutes of holding her, my mother instructed me to nurse her. Feeling timid and awkward at first, I began to help my baby girl get a latch. She caught on immediately, and I knew that breastfeeding is exactly what babies were designed to do. I was only 17 at the time, and during my pregnancy I was very doubtful that I would even nurse. But those first few minutes after her birth changed my life forever.
I went on to nurse my baby girl for almost 15 months.
Baby #2: Bubu Man
I described in my previous post the nightmare of anxiety and fear that I endured during Bubu's birth. The greatest thing about my birth of Bubu was the incredibly beautiful baby that resulted. Imagine that entire storm of emotion simply melting away at the sight of that most perfect little boy.
I was able to breastfeed him immediately as well, and although he took a little while to get his latch, he nursed beautifully. I was so proud that this time, I really felt like I knew what I was doing. It didn't matter to me anymore that I was doing it alone.
I was alone in the recovery room after his birth, and I spent endless hours just gazing at his beautiful face. His father's threats and curses no longer mattered. They vanished away in my mind, and all that mattered to me were my children. Bubu man had perfectly formed eyebrows, short dark hair, a precious little upturned nose, and perfect full lips that pouted out when he would cry.
My best friend Bear visited during his birth, and even though he had to soon leave as I was going into transition and getting ready to push, just those few minutes that he stood there holding my hand meant the world to me! He visited me again soon after I gave birth, and he gave me a very meaningful gift.
The next day, Tutu Head was able to meet her new baby brother for the first time. She was in awe, and absolutely could not keep her hands off of him! All she wanted to do from then on was to kiss him and rub his angel soft hair. She proved herself to be the sweetest, most caring sister.
Baby #3: Nunu Baby
The night I went into labor, my husband and I took a nice, long walk on the beach. It had been a nice, relaxing day. My birth began so naturally and serenely. I am so thankful that I was able to birth at home for half of it. As my contractions were coming on strong every few minutes, I happily bounced away on my birthing ball, while browsing online and entertaining myself as Blujay slept beside me.
I went into hard labor and had to lay down and focus for a while. I tried to get some sleep, but the contractions were keeping me up. Blujay would wake to rub my back through the contractions.
I am so incredibly grateful to have had such a loving, supportive husband during that experience at the hospital. Things were going wrong left and right, but Blujay was always there beside me, making things better. It was his first time to be present during a birth, and he stuck it out like a pro! He was kissing me during contractions, he rubbed my back down with a big sea sponge in the shower while I was hitting transition. He held onto me while I leaned on him, and let me squeeze the crap out of his arms or hands if I needed to.
During Nuni's birth, I moaned without hesitation. I felt every single contraction, every bit of pressure, every urge to push. Visions of giant eyes with pupils dialating flashed before me, and I focused on them as my body opened up to allow the passage of my baby. Upon his crowning, I roared in the most animalistic and primitive way, a sound I did not even know I was capable of making. My soul felt connected to the thousands of generations of women before me who had given birth.
Blujay saw every moment of our son's labor and birth. I love to hear him describe that the very first thing he saw was our son's long dark hair poking out like a little mohawk, and his face came out looking like a little boss.
It was so wonderful to see how incredibly protective and loving Blujay was towards his son. He followed our Nuni to the hospital nursery and got to help with his first bath, all the while, sending me pictures on my phone and keeping me updated so that I wouldn't feel left out. He stood up for our beliefs and requests. Blujay was helpful in every imaginable way during my post-partum period.
I'll never forget the complete shock and surprise at what an incredibly gorgeous baby we had made! I knew I would think my baby was adorable, but I was not prepared for the massive amounts of cuteness I was about to experience! The minute I laid eyes on Nuni, he owned my heart. He had such long black hair and deep, dark eyes. His lips looked exactly like daddy's, and his nose looked like a mixture of us both. He had the Native American "serious look" that runs in my family, and from the day he was born, he was dubbed "the little boss". We gave him a name that means "The Sun", which fits him well, because he is the sunshine in all of our lives.
Nunu baby breastfed wonderfully, and wanted to be breastfed constantly, but I did not mind.
Nuni wore his first cloth diaper on his first day of life there in that hospital! I was so excited to be able to cloth diaper from birth! (I started cloth diapering Bubu Man at 4 months)
Tutu got to meet Nuni in the hospital. She felt like such a pro at being a sister! She scooped him up out of my arms, and rocked him and held him without a doubt in her mind. The first time Bubu met Nuni was a little later. Bubu instantly turned into a Big Brother, I could see it in his overjoyed eyes. He softly stroked Nuni's delicate skin, and kissed him ever so gently. Bubu gladly handed over the mantle of "baby of the family" to Nuni, and he became a wonderful big brother.
These are the memories that will last forever in my mind.
These are the irreplacable moments that make life worth living. Not all births go the way that we dream, or plan, or hope. Some births can be all-out traumatizing and require time to heal both physically, and emotionally. It is very important to express the way that we may have been mistreated during labor and birth. Without confronting these anxieties, one will only make the emotional wreckage even worse.
However, it is equally important to never forget the beautiful aspects of those very births. Every birth is a rite of passage. It is the sacred arrival of a soul being brought Earthside. Whether a baby was born naturally, via C-section, at home, at a hospital, in the backseat of a car...it is birth, and it is beautiful.