I was exhausted by the end of the day. But hopeful. Bouncing around in the pool with Little Green. Singing and happy.
This HAD to have done something to "open up the pelvis like a blossoming flower" etc etc etc
Around 6pm the contractions started.
Fifteen then 10 minutes apart.
I was too distracted to even watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix, huddled in my bed while dada managed kids.
Five minutes apart.
Around 10pm they were three minutes apart.
This lasted until midnight. Dada came to bed. I said, Just maybe this is it.
He fell asleep.
I kept timing.
Then I fell asleep.
I woke up around 3am. More contractions. Then again at 5am (when Little Green came to our bed only to puke everywhere). More contractions.
Then it was 7am.
My muscles were all sore. I had a dehydration headache from all the exertion the day before.
All day long that next day, limping in pain, my butt even sore from all the lunges and squats, I found myself condemning my body.
Damn old lazy uterus.
My body must have forgotten how to go into labor.
Oh God, what are we going to do?
I felt betrayed.
I have known this feeling before, not only in pregnancy but in struggling with several autoimmune disorders and health issues.
I am 21 years old. I should not be drinking Ensure, in need of a bowel resection!
I am 33 years old. I should not need a pill because my freaking thyroid shut down.
I am 35 years old. I should not have the kind of skin cancer only seen in the elderly.
And now today. Hips giving way under the strain of 30 pounds of baby and fluids. A pelvis that is apparently just crooked and thereby holds my uterus up in a crooked way. Joints that are too loose to support so much weight without buckling. An irritable uterus that contracts because of a litany of normal bodily functions like hunger, dehydration, stress, needing to pee, etc etc etc.
I have turned to anger, so many times, because of this betrayal. Anger and self-pity.
With Little Man's pregnancy I was almost mockingly sent home from the hospital several times. No one believing the intensity of the contractions I was feeling. I paced the floors of our house, wringing my hands, crying, after being told I probably would need help to go into "real" labor. Not knowing what to think, what was "real" labor anyway?
Little Miss laboring wasn't as dramatic, in my memory, but with Little Green I was, as Anne Shirley put it, in the depths of despair, for the last several weeks. Her brother and sister were "a week early," she was "three days late" (oh how I disdain women being given a "day" to give birth! Like we are freaking turkeys in the oven waiting for the little button to pop up declaring gestation over!)
What was wrong with me? I thought. I lounged around the house, moping, crying, loathing the very body that was giving me these amazing kids, loathing everything about it, fat arms, bloated face, stupid freaking uterus that kept me up all night with no baby to show for it.
So much anger.
All dissolved away, of course, when that little blue-tinted face squawked up at me for the first time.
You were worth it. All of it. I thought as I held her.
But not the hating part. Oh, and I did. And I understand, so much, the bitter cancer patient, the frustrated and desolate person with chronic illness. No baby to show for your effort, as my experiences in pregnancy. Only a body, that is not doing what it is supposed to do. Give life. Give joy. Carry us through the world, strong and trustworthy.
But here is the thing. You are worth it. Even me now, with this baby, the waiting, and all the pain. I am worth it because my body is worth the love and concern and care. Because I am. Not just for the sake of the baby who will, I suppose, EVENTUALLY, come out.
But for me.
And you are too. You are worth it all.
It is easier sometimes, as I have written here before, to think of your own self as a little sister who needs special attention. So here is what I say to myself now. As I type, holding back tears.
Oh. Poor sweet Sara. I know it hurts. Sit down. Stop lunging and walking and squatting and crying out. Be at peace. Love the body that has given you so much joy. Not just the babies it has produced, but the adventures it has taken you on. The shorelines you have walked together, in mist and sun. The countries you have visited, so far from home. The wind you have felt riding horses as a teen across golden Californian fields. The hand that first squeezed the hand that you fell in love with. The mornings lying in bed, listening to birds, sun streaming in the window across your face. Perfection.
All of this. So precious. Because of this body.
And I have to say, thank you. You have not betrayed me. You have given, so much.
And I hope any of you struggling in this can find this place, though its a struggle to stay there I know (talk to me tonight at 11pm when the contractions start up again) I hope you can find the gratitude that we all seek together, despite the pain, and the self care, even when you only want to feel loathing the body you have been given to inhabit.
I'm thinking of you now, especially the few of you who I know read this space who are struggling with health issues that quite frankly just suck.
We are in this together. And we are worth it.
First off, lets start off this post with maternity photos I had done by a sweet friend here on campus. The amazing thing about this community is the lovely talented people everywhere and she is totally one of them. Dude. Aren't these beautiful??
Now that we got show and tell out of the way, I have to ask, how are you guys at the end of pregnancy?
|why would you have a giraffe teether if you can have a goat???|
|clearly my child|
must have this book...
|love the soft grey|
|are these bibs too hipster??|
|have you seen these|
lit inspired baby books??
|disana woolies! the best!|
|also, clearly my baby needs this quilt|
|aden and anais|
have a new baby
clothing line! i want it
I am feeling cranky and feisty and like a waddling penguin HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS FOR THREE MORE WEEKS???
But, she rightly points out, you have all that FRUIT and you have the nice WARM AIR.
Fruit and warm air.
We went on a little island excursion this weekend and it occurred to me I have done precious little island-y blogging lately. So, here are some island-y thoughts and pictures and such.
The friends we visited, on the other side of the island, have a little farm set up. Orchards of avocado and citrus and chickens running around through the trees, all with the ocean in the background.
It was gorgeous. And it made me realize while we like our little neighborhood and the convenience to town we really REALLY need our own little spread to make Hawaii feel like "home."
I need my chickens back.
How to make this happen, in the most expensive place to live in the country, well, eh, that is the rub. But it needs to happen to be here long term.
In any case. Our friends sent us home with boxes and boxes of fruit. Sticky ripe guava, that filled the whole car with its scent, green and ripe bananas - along with a recipe for banana egg pancakes - hard to find yellow dragon fruit, a few tangerines and oranges, and a bag of lemons including one huge variety of lemon that fills up your hand and squeezes out nearly a cup of juice for lemonade the next day.
I now have an entire counter filled with fruit.
So of course I had to do some fruit related experiments.
Guava goes a long way. Use sparingly in smoothies
Frozen banana mixed with coconut milk and cocoa makes an excellent substitute for late night ice cream. Especially if you mix in a handful of chocolate chips.
Dragon fruit, when refrigerated, is an amazing snack, peeled and fresh.
Guava rinds sitting in kombucha overnight. Mmmmm...
Moroccan preserved lemons. Cut lemons into quarters, the long way, but leave them still connected at the bottom. Stuff with sea salt, sprinkle salt in between the lemons, let sit in a loosely covered jar for a month. They turn into yummy preserved lemons that can be used to flavor chicken and rice and hummus and all sorts of things. Can't wait to try.
I may even try banana pancakes. Our friends said to use green bananas (we have the Williams variety from them) or plantains along with a few eggs and cinnamon. Fry up like pancakes in coconut oil. BONUS (for us). It's gluten free! Or. Maybe I will convince dada to do this.
And then there is the daydreaming about a farm. Thank you God for daydreaming. Its gonna get me through the next few weeks...All I need is a little patch of land by the sea. Some lemon trees. Chickens. And a field of red berried coffee trees. And this baby to be born.
That. I need that.
|those little white patches in the waves are from whales!|
|i love these little yellow guys...|
|guava, such a pretty pink color!|
|unpeeled dragon fruit|
|the peel comes right off and the fruit is like a mild sweeter kiwi|
|the fruit counter. um. look at that giant lemon!!!|
|giant lemon next to a regular lemon|
|a box of bananas. i found a giant cane spider drowned in my bathtub of water|
i forgot to let out after these bananas were in the house overnight. they
are now living on the front porch, which the geckos appreciate.
|must. eat. more. fruit.|
|the giant lemon|
|our bare plumeria out front|
|baby lemon trees growing in a pot in our front yard...|
getting ready for my orchard by the sea...one day...
|the ocean was so gorgeous last night (behind the trees) one of these days i'll get a good shot of it...|