Monday, July 29, 2013

Birth in the Park

At a very large, very crowded urban park recently, pickin' up on the neighboring mommy blanket, I chatted friendly with a couple of other crunchy mamas.  A bit later I was slightly agape watching her 2 year old strip down nude and birth her baby doll.

Yes, read it again.  Mama encouraged her daughter through the doll-birthing process, "that's right, push the baby out" and "you're such a good mommy."

It took me almost a week to process the feelings that came up with this experience.

The first thing that happened, Monk-A-Doodle, my token lovin'-naked-life-child, came to ask "it's okay to be naked outside?" 
Carefully I said, "yes, it is okay to be naked outside. Though, sweetheart," surveying the expanse, "I'm not comfortable as this park is so big, and so busy right now, so just keep your swimsuit on, okay?"  This child is so very tactile in her soothing and cuddling, I also couldn't be sure what she'd do.  

To be socially responsible I've learned to take others' comfort level into account.  (Incidentally if we had and expanse of private land, there'd definitely be some instance of naked baby butts outside.  Butt then there's this option.)  I guess I've become somewhat a prude in my maturing mommy-hood years, or maybe it's because I've little girls and I'm too aware of over-sexualization of young girls in our society.

As for the mock birth the little girl played out, it's probably a realistic throwback to tribal days when all the women and girls were involved on some level to aid a woman giving birth.  It actually caused me to think I might've taken a different tack with F, but the way things occur in this era---I answer the questions that come up in an honest succinct manner, careful not to over-answer (this book is great).  Introducing life experience subject matter like birth and nursing makes sense, even if they mayn't have a conscious memory of the pretending, it would hopefully match their intuitive nature later on, making the whole experience less frightening.  

Maybe that momma was a doula or a midwife and it's part of their daily life experience, it brought up interesting thought process for me.  In a follow-up conversation a dear friend helped with a final aspect I had been struggling with but hadn't been able to put to words.  It was the public nature of the display.  Birth, like death I think, is an intensely private experience.  We invite only trusted people and family into that experience, and typically carefully choose our location for focus and comfort. The very public nature of that particular park, well, it was a shock to my system.

I'm beginning to love all manner of challenging experiences.  Life is good, all the time!

my babies nursing their baby dolls

First Born & Parental Regret

Last night I read some pieces from a baby specific journal I've been keeping for the past 8 years.  Eight because it includes notes from ladies and mommas from my baby showers.  From the Firstborn through to last night I've been keeping as good a record as possible for Babies' Firsts and familial Banner Days.

This morning I came across a short video of Miss Monkey on her 3rd birthday....and it hurt.  Touched a sore spot I didn't know I had.  First time parent trying so hard to get it right.  Though it was apparent through my journal notes I had an awareness of the miraculous, I had yet to soak in it, to apply the mystic concepts of parenthood, i.e. limitless compassion, respecting the miracle, and unconditional loving with abandon.

So, to my firstborn daughter:  
I love you, so very much, I wanted so badly to make a good "first impression" with you, on your little life.  My regret looking back, I could've done better, faster.  We do the best we can with what we have, and I had already come much farther from my origin.  Though it hasn't been perfect by my definition, I can have faith that it's perfect in God's way.  One day you will surely understand, and from here, though there will still be some mistakes, I will do better by you, love.

And to my Self:  
It's okay, dear Ada, it's okay.  It's All, All Right in the end.   Just Keep Loving Forward.

Miss Monkey, 4 years ago

just a few days ago

Monday, July 15, 2013

Diaper Notes

Newborns are different to diaper than chubby 3-4 month olds, my newborn weighed ~7# but gained so quickly that I switched up to next size from newborn prefolds by the end of first month.  Higher frequency of changes mean necessary 24 minimum on hand, and ideally fit is key though leaks are rare 'cause there's just not that much production yet.  (see also my blogged diaper discoveries Pt 1 & Pt 2)

Happily, in my eclectic Bin O'Diapers, are 2 bumGenius stuffable All-In-Ones, and 1 bumGenuis pocket, all three I am loving for night-time. The fit is good, stretchy tabs at snaps, good elastic, these will fit for months and months.

A friend gifted me 2 Imse Vimse wraps that of course work well with the dipes of same brand, a terry organic cotton contour (ergonomic) fit, have been great for this newborn and will work great up until he outgrows them (just as his sister did).

Grandma gifted 2 RumpARooz Lil' Joeys, not sure a more perfect diaper for newborns exists.  These are the only fitted diapers I've ever owned, everything else is effectively One-Size and it's been an adventure finding what "one-size" truly means per brand.  Anyway, RumpARooz patented inner gusset is super functional, there's a snap down for umbilical, these work just like a 'sposie.  My Boy started wetting through these at about 1 month though.  Poly-fleece, while popular for it's "stay-dry" aspect simply isn't as absorbent as natural fiber.

Yet another friend gifted several WeeHugger wraps with a mountain of g-Diaper's disposable and reusable inserts.  I'd read about Wee Hugger but not tried them, and I'm pleased with the fit and versatility. The disposable g-Inserts I'm familiar with, though we'd never tried the reusables.  These are fleece backed with (best guess) hemp/cotton blend, after Baby Boy started soaking through one fleece insert I simply added another, and the doubled inserts have been working well in the pocket dipes. These wraps have also been accommodating for pre-folds as well.

And a New Find at the gently used section of GGB---Gen-Y wraps.  A short snap-over design, hip fabric with a nice thick PUL layer, and deep outer gussets.  Both the WeeHugger and Gen-Y become damp or even soaked depending on time worn, so they're not exactly "wipe clean", but generally I can use one wrap all day much like the RumpARooz wrap I purchased for Baby as well.

Incidentally when perusing gently used diaper merchandise here are tips:
  • look closely for stains, if it's breastmilk sunlight will take care of it easily, though if otherwise beware
  • listen to elastic, if it's creaky when stretched, it's old, in a heated dryer too often and won't last too much longer
  • look at seams with PUL lining, if its cracking or pealing it's been in the hot dryer too often, expect wicking
  • carefully consider the new price vs. used price, in my opinion a used diaper item should be half or less than half of the full price new---unless it is really in stellar un-used condition, i.e. washed once never used
Some great huge gratitudes for community we've gained, the main reason I can expound yet again on subject of diapering.  LOVE!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sweet grunts and squeaks, a fluffle-snort like a foal, chuffs and complaints, man-burps and butt noises, latch-snmacking while nursing, shrill squ-whistles on the inhale when suffering injustices of baby hood...this boy is noisey.  His voice is beginning to change into a baby cry from the newborn's signature lament, and it sounds a lot like E's tone and timber.  His choking and coughing at my let-down reflex, and his simple existent noisey-ness reminiscent of F.  But he is his own.  I know there are similarities, there should be, they are siblings.  But he is his a new unique instance.  

As a sleepy, sleepy baby, he takes a good long time grunting, stretching, and fluffling before he's fully awake.  Something I've had to ask the girls to "please, oh, please, do NOT disturb your brother until he's really awake!"  He's getting used to the crib by degrees, and I do enjoy a few hours sleeping 'alone'.  Co-sleeping has great advantages regards to bonding and easy access breastfeeding, I attribute his stellar weight gain partly to the co-sleeping.  What Mama would refuse opportunity to gaze at sleeping newborn? cuddled up and cozy? None, I say.  Since I heard a comic quip that babies don't sleep, I'm gaining new meaning for "sleep like a baby." It's that best sleep, the warm, safe, and loved sleep. Sleep that we all cherish and should be more sacred I think.  

A couple of weeks ago in his eyes there was fleeting vague recognition of his existence here, a brief connection when I looked into these deep blues.  Now, such a short time later, he's truly connecting with us.  Giving sweet new smiles by turn, and coo-ing in that magical new baby tone.

He's a standard issue miracle.  I'm so blessed to have three of these, and so, so grateful.

one was already awake

Saturday, July 6, 2013

3 AM

Three o'clock in the morning, or thereabouts.  Just finished a double-nursing/double-diaper-change session, and I'm left wide awake and thinking.

It's these times in the dark quiet listening to breathing noises that I've blog ideas rattling around my mind.  I might pray some, meditate, last night, though, I had to get up and put ideas down on paper so as not to forget them by morning.

There are three now, three people we created out of irreducibly complex cells...well we, and The Divine.  Interesting that we can scientifically describe all the processes, and yet we cannot really define HOW it works.

Some questions and comments lately as I'm wearing baby around herding t'other two:

How old is your baby?  1.5 months 
Wow, you're brave!
Really? I guess I don't consider myself especially courageous doing simply what needs to be done. Besides, if we tried to stay in until there was some comfort level, we might end up at such odds it'd be tragically comical.  And it's rather a lack of options.  Though mostly I simply chuckle and answer, "May be."

Is he a good baby? (mostly from the elder crew)
Well, now, ALL babies are good.  If you mean is he a good sleeper, then yes, mostly.  In regards to elders, I've also had most interesting conversations about circumcision especially with older ladies.

Is it different having a boy?
Not, really.  Its different equipment to work around, I've been pee'd on a bit here and there. I used to say it often, but now I've proof: babies are pretty androgynous.  It's how we treat them that matters regarding sex/gender.

How is it with Three?  Is it hard?

Not as challenging as going from 1 to 2.  We've switched to zone coverage instead of man-to-man (though I kinda feel like I've been doing zone coverage since E was born). Generally speaking the two are entertaining each other while I'm with the baby.  Or they're fighting and I've had them confined to quarters, hands-to-themselves-stay-on-your-bed, then I do my level best to ignore whatever I over hear. ("Sounds like you're having a problem, let me know if you need some options to work it out!"  Ultimately life is only as hard as we make it.  And my children are not inconvenient or a problem, they are my life's main work.  They are blessings.

Love only grows, especially when it's allowed to.  For myself it's actually easier now to notice and comment on positives with the girls---my conscious being present has enhanced.  It may be that my time at a premium has forced me into a more practical place with prioritizing on all levels.  I'm extremely grateful not to live in a constant state of dramatic enactment of "OMG there are THREE."  Just keep moving forward, willingly and joyfully doing the next right thing...and some days a whole lot of prayer and mindfulness practice!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Thunderous Three

She's here, and she's not to be ignored.
Little Miss Contradiction lives here.
Crying 'cause she asked for toast, yet didn't want it toasted.  Wailing after watching beautiful fireworks in entirety, that she didn't like "the sound" and insisting "firewo'cks were oveah der, deez aren't firewo'cks."  Lamentable and tragic that she's hungry but doesn't want to eat it 'cause "mama you CUT IT up wrong!"
Love the baby, hate that he's in mama's lap.
Can't reach tomatoes by herself, and doesn't want help getting them.
Leaving anywhere that was remotely entertaining promotes a barrage of wails & whines....
Ah, yes, I remember this phase of dis-equilibrium.
She's also becoming quite adept at pushing big sister's limits creating conflict and then acting the wounded party.