Some days the grief is overwhelming.
I am not sure how it has crept up on me like a monster in the night, sometimes sucking the air right from my lungs. My heart palpitates, like a hummingbird’s wings soaring fiercely through the air. My eyes sob silently like a gentle rain. My soul is angry like a roaring thunderstorm; the pain is intense. Sometimes, the wounds in my soul feel as though they are bleeding, draining me of all the energy I have. I feel weak, I feel alone, I feel lost, I feel alive, because I allow myself to feel.
In the beginning, I knew this pregnancy was going to be different.
Everything felt different. Things felt wrong and my body felt unprepared to nurture another being. I was told to go home and prepare to lose my baby…so, I did. I went through all the motions, and passed the physical being of my child. It was not the first baby I have lost, so I was prepared to move on just as I have done all the others times. Knowing that every pregnant woman I saw would tear at my soul, opening every single scar left on my heart, allowing it to trickle the pain back into my everyday life. I didn’t know my baby would be two. I didn’t know there would be a small warrior clinging to his life, while his sibling vanished from existence in this life and into the after-life.
6 months has passed, and for so many weeks of my pregnancy, I just relished in knowing we were still going to have a miracle, a survivor, a womb warrior, an angel to hold at my breast, to wear close to my heart. I was content that God knew what was best. I didn’t know that my stages of grief would be out-of-order, that I soon would be consumed by sadness and desperation. As I moved into my second trimester and now almost to my third, it never ceases to amaze me when I see my whole belly jiggle from hiccups and baby somersaults. I am over joyed with excitement and love, quickly followed by a gut-wrenching sadness. My thoughts of happiness are quickly swept away in a place where I begin wondering if Isa will always feel like he is missing a part of who he is. What it would feel like to carry both of my children, what it would be like to be a mother to twins. Although, I have accepted this phase of my grief the pain is still ever-present.
In all four of my pregnancies, lower back pain, by the 6th month, is my ultimate complaint. I am sure it is due to a compilation of things, like horrible posture, carrying around a toddler, and an over-all weakness since I have not always focused on being fit during all of my pregnancies.
However, this time around, with three very active children, I do not have the option of getting off of my feet to slow down very often.
I have felt very overwhelmed and anxious about having another baby. I also feel a dark side of sadness, an inner battle in my soul, leaving my thoughts floating in the wind and my conscience thriving on anguish. There a days when I accept Isa as what he was intended to be, a singleton. There are also days that I feel compelled to question why he can not have his twin, why, yet again, a baby was torn from my womb before we had the chance to gaze into each others eyes and feel the warmth of my love and affection beyond a spiritual level.
When I hit the second trimester, I began to feel a bit more energetic but also anxious, maybe due to a bit of depression or just overall grief, so I decided to take up in-home yoga. Yoga is great for everyone; meditation and reflection is incredibly important for your overall mental and physical well-being. Yoga also helps greatly with posture. Posture is a very key point in reducing maternal health risk during delivery. Great posture allows the baby to align in the birth canal and can help promote a healthy delivery. In practicing prenatal yoga, you will find that it will build your overall confidence in yourself, it helps connect you on a spiritual level to your baby, and that it teaches you to rest on command (which is always needed with a newborn). It also helps build lower and upper body strength.
When it comes right down to it, all you have is your self. Your Self is a sun with a thousand rays… – Picasso
Such an attractive title, as I *gag* repeatedly. Major kudos to my moms out there who cut it right up and eat it nice and fresh.
I think placenta BBQ and smoothies are pretty rock solid too!
As for me, I am going with encapsulation. Human placentophagy is actually more common than you know, and has many great health benefits. But, if you are anything like me, you are probably thinking “what the hell? These woman have lost their marbles.”
Well, I don’t think that anymore, but had you asked or suggested for me to ingest my placenta three years ago, I would have told you that was the craziest thing I have ever heard, and I would NEVER do it. However, I have spent a great deal of my time researching the benefits, and for myself they outweigh the gross factor. In order to complete my research, I also had to find out what exactly we ingest when we take vitamins and synthetic hormones. It’s all pretty gross too, in my opinion.
As someone who has struggled with postpartum depression in the past, I would prefer to avoid it if at all possible. Placenta encapsulation also helps to increase your milk supply, iron levels, and energy. It is also known for boosting your immune system. The one person who I was a little reluctant to share this decision with was Omar, but to my surprise and excitement, he is totally down for it, and supportive of all things natural for Isa and myself. So here’s to my placenta ingesting mama’s!!!
Monsanto: the devil in our fruits, vegetables and all other things that should be natural.
I have to be honest, I am pretty much digging Occupy Monsanto. I was really devastated when the Monsanto Protection Act was put in place for the U.S. considering GMO foods have been turned down by Haitian farmers and Europe. The sad part of this Act is our local farmers struggle to survive, and have very strict rules and regulations on profiting from their goods. Unfortunately we have come so far from our food source that we often do not even know what we are actually eating.
Thanks, Monsanto, for the mystery-meat in my burger.
Things like this, 5 years ago, did not seem to really cross my mind; now it weighs like a burden on my soul every time my kids ask for fast food, or I grab ‘fresh’ fruit from the grocery store.
I feel like our only hope for a healthy future is to rise and rage against Monsanto.
In the past, I ate the bullshit that was fed to me: “organics are more expensive and not affordable“.
Today, I know different.
I bought over ten pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables today and spent under $40. Local farmers offer great support to your family with packages like ‘farm shares’ where, like us, you can purchase and own a part of a living cow and you have access to your portion of raw cow’s milk.
In our society, most health care professionals would cringe if you mention raw cow’s milk, and tell you how dangerous consuming something of the sort is, however, when I mentioned it to our allergist, and also stated it was the only milk besides Almond milk that Aisha can tolerate and does not affect her eczema, he was very comfortable with the solution; store-bought milk causes her to have severe rashes and projectile vomiting. I also learned along our food journey that our fresh store-bought eggs are often weeks old and not refrigerated when they hit our local super markets. We have to make it a priority to support our local farmers and farmer’s markets. It is truly in the best interest of yourself and your family. For a great local resource where you can become part of a farm share program, you can connect with Liz Montgomery of the Lucky Lizard Ranch. There, you will not only have a better option to your food source, but also all cosmetics.
While I think the maternity box (stocked with everything a new mom would need and an ability to use the box as a small, safe, bed for the baby) is a super cool idea, I was really intrigued by the comments as usual.
Some stated that it was a great idea and others referred to it as socialism. One commenter from the U.S. said it was a great idea, but Americans would probably just take advantage and have a baby just for the box. That made me laugh out loud. I think the government focus on the needs of a new mother and family is great, however, any time a community receives benefits from the government, someone is paying for it.
The box is said to decrease infant mortality, which of course is a wonderful thing. It has also been stated that it relieves the stress of preparing for a new baby. This box was initially offered to low-income families and then later to all families. As a teen mom and at one time considered a low-income family, something like this would have made a great deal of difference in our family. In my experience the government in the U.S. helped my son and I out greatly by assisting in daycare, food, and health care.
Do you feel something like the Kela Maternity Package would be beneficial to families here in the U.S.?
FLASHBACK FRIDAY IS BACK! I have been spending the last two weeks flipping through old photos of Hamza and realizing that six years has passed us in a blink of an eye. On May 21, he turned 6. Elated with pride and joy, we celebrated with a Mexican dinner and Pappasitos, followed by a birthday party that Saturday.
In my flashbacks, I realized on that very warm, rainy day in 2007, I became a breastfeeding advocate and I did not even know it. My son has sent me on a lifelong journey to normalize breastfeeding and to fight for the rights of all nursing mothers and children. My dear child by no means has been an easy one to raise, not that any of them really are, but he has brought so much joy to our lives. He has taught me to be confident in my body, and that for two years we could sustain life on breast milk. He has taught me to not be shy or embarrassed to nourish my children no matter where we are. He has taught me to trust my instincts, and to have the courage to stand up for what I believe in. He has taught me to step out of the box of societal norms and to accept that sometimes God gives us someone a little different than we have planned for, but that gift has been the light of my life for six years, and I hope that one day he looks at us and we make him just as proud as he has made us.
A recent report revealed that actor Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer in August 2010. At one point he was concerned it was from years of smoking and drinking and then later confirmed he contracted The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV from oral sex, and that was the cause of the tumor on his tongue that led to throat cancer.
Basic statistics show that at least 75% of all women come into contact with HPV throughout their lifetime. This leads us to the choice of vaccinations, which is considered to be about 80% effective and is now being offered for girls in your pediatricians and OBGYN’s offices. The CDC recommends the vaccine for preteen boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12, and also 13-26 years. The two vaccinations are known as Gardasil and Cervarix.
Like all vaccines, we know that there are risks with the vaccination itself, as well the risks you may run by not receiving vaccinations. How does one outweigh the other, especially in something as serious as cancer? Some pediatricians are even recommending this as a routine vaccination in girls and boys as young as nine years old.
It is our job as citizens and parents to do our own research when it comes to vaccinations, but do the risks of not receiving the vaccination outweigh the risks of the vaccination?
According to the truthaboutgardasil.org it has not only caused adverse side effects, but claimed lives of many young girls.
As a member of several great AP online communities, I have the pleasure of interacting with some really amazing women. They never cease to inspire me. As mothers we all run in to less than desirable circumstances with our children. Their lives, safety, and security lie in our hands at all times. Wether it is an unsuspected event, or a natural disaster we have to always be on our toes, ready to swoop in and push our babies under our wings at any given moment. This Mom here, posted this photo, and she kindly allowed me to share it. She was preparing for the Oklahoma tornadoes. What better way is there to keep your babies close and safe, than baby wearing? Kudos to you Mama, excellent work! Glad you guys are okay as well.
Huffington Post had an article last week where reportedly a preschool sent home a letter asking parents to step in and help remove the appearance of superheroes in the classroom. These are the characters that we grew up with, these are the American classics, and now our kids are banned from them in preschool?
(Click here to read the article.)
The report was said to get a mixed response from parents ranging from supportive to thinking it was the dumbest idea ever.
Since the imaginative play has led to classroom injuries, the school’s letter suggested banning superheroes and limiting and monitoring the amount of T.V.
There are some things I agree with and some I do not. I have 2 little boys and one on the way. They like super heroes, some more than others. While my oldest watched Power Rangers and Backyardigans (preferably), my next son LOVES superheroes. For years, we went through every character, every book, every show, even leading us to a lot of time spent in Hancock Fabric and Hobby Lobby to create our own super identities. This later led to super hero dinners where we all dressed up for dinner.
Nevertheless, I do not want to dismiss the fact that my son, who has what some refer to as an “over-active imagination” (*coughs bullshit* There is no such thing as an over active imagination.) was that kid on the playground; the kid who replicated every move from every hero, play-by-play. The kid who would prefer to play alone in order to act out the battle scene between Batman and Joker, rather than play tag with the other group of boys on the playground. He was 3 then, now 6, and we no longer have the same problems of him being too rough on the playground and getting in trouble for acting out his battle scenes that played out so vividly in his mind.
“Take away super heroes!” was everyone’s suggestion. It would diminish the need to “fight”; it would curb all desire to play, as well. I could not do it. He loved superheroes way too much. What I did realize was Batman and Spiderman cartoons of today are not what they were 15-20 years ago. The shows do portray a lot more aggression and violence. Some of them even cuss. T.V. was not the issue though, to take away the shows were fine, but to take away superheroes all together would have crushed him. Some said it was not normal, and that annoyed me greatly; what do they know? He is a little boy who has found his passion, just like my other son who loves to catch amphibians for hours, and fish for anything in the water. This was just his ‘thing.’
Thanks to a very patient and wonderful Montessori teacher, we were able to help and encourage him to live out his imagination in a more constructive manor. This kept his drive for imagination, but at the same time we were able to instill what was positive and what was negative. At three years old, he not only knew every single superhero known to man, he would tell you they were all fictional and the difference between reality and fiction.
We decided to weed out T.V. all together for quite sometime, and feed his mind with lots and lots of superhero books, coloring books and allowing him to use and over abundance of tape and foil to make his own creations. By the time he started to outgrow the need to “fight” or use his imagination to act out his movie scenes, him and his brother had created their own identities known we ‘Super Cheetoh’ and ‘Bad Cat.’
In my opinion, I do feel like superheroes can lead to very rough and dangerous play, but I also believe that with encouragement and the help of moms, dads and teachers, it can transpire into something positive.
Throughout this pregnancy, my food cravings have not been so bad, until now. It was like a light switch, I have the most extreme cravings ever. For what you ask? Cheeseburgers. I LURVE CHEESEBURGERS. I really do, even when I am not pregnant. The problem with cheeseburgers is, I do not like to eat them from restaurants because the meat is weird, and most times too fatty and thick. I call it “poppy meat” *winces face and gags* The other problem is trying to grill outside with three little ones isn’t always easy, so I decided to make stove stop burgers. Even Omar can enjoy these after his weight loss surgery. You can prepare them in advance, so all you have to do is popped them right out of the freezer into a little Coconut Oil and and cut up some fresh veggies to go along, when I am having a French Fry Craving, I make those too to go along with our burgers. To learn more about this recipe, and how to prepare it in advance you can check out the recipe at Kayla’s Kafe.