Monday, October 31, 2011

Giving Way To Birth, . . .Before Silas Was Born

Before Silas was born, . . . .

It's hard for me to think of where to begin with this story. To just go into the details of his birth or just describing the events the day Silas was born feels like to little. There is so much more behind the story and leading up to the birthing process. From the moment I found out I was pregnant again, I began preparing for birth. A lot of this pregnancy was about facing my own mortality, looking at death and really letting go and accepting what life has to offer.

After my mom died a year and a half ago, life turned a different color for me. Everything became sharper and more vivid, I realized what was important in my life and I learned to let go of a lot of things that didn't matter. I grew up in a way that I needed. I felt pain I had never felt before. It was the hardest experience I ever went through, and I still grieve for her. At the same time, my mom's passing opened up an opportunity for me to learn about myself and grow in a way that I couldn't have done without experiencing her loss. I am grateful for that.

When I found out I was pregnant again in Febuary, the close experience I had with losing a loved one sent me into my own tunnel of fears and insecurities. Two years earlier, when my daughter was born, I had an innate trust in my body, I "knew" I could birth her. I wasn't afraid. This time was a completely different experience. Looking at death so closely, seeing my mom's body after her death really hit home to me how we are literally here one moment and gone the next. I was afraid of dying.

In the last months of pregnancy, as I got closer and closer to the birth of Silas, the fear of dying during or immediately after labor became stronger and stronger. I actually remember at one point saying to myself, "If I make it through this birth, all bets are off, life will continually surprise me with it's own path and I have no control over it." In some way, I needed to experience this birth to firmly remind me that I am powerless over life and death. That I don't get to make that decision. That life will take me where I am meant to go.

The days before Silas arrived, there was a letting go. I remember feeling more at peace. Whatever was to be would be, and by then I was feeling so uncomfortable in my body, that I was ready to face the challenges of labor. I had an amazing team in place, each of whom I loved and trusted. There was a part of me that was worried that any fear that I had left over would hinder my birthing process and make it more difficult. When in fact, I learned, that it was only during the process of birthing, that I was actually able to really let go into my fear, feel it fully and release it.

My daughter's birth was about being present and not having expectations. My son's birth was more about accepting "what is", making room for "it" in the present and not judging myself for whatever I was feeling. I am incredibly grateful to have had such wonderful birth experiences, each with their own challenges and most of all moments of pure bliss. Birth can be that as well as hard work and painful. Giving birth was transformational to me. I am incredibly blessed to have been able to experience it fully not only once, but twice in my life.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

39 weeks and the tub is ready to go!

Yes! I hope to give birth in that! So exciting! For those of you that may have read Serafin's birth story, you all know she was birthed at home, sans water (an experience I've always hoped to have). We had planned for a water birth, but didn't manage to quite make it in there on time. As a matter a fact we didn't even get around to rolling it into the room to start filling it up!

We'll see what happens this time around! So far so good! I'm feeling ready as well as the gamut of other emotions that come and go, excitement, anxiousness, curiosity, all of it, . . .

Please wish us your love and light!


Love to you all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fun at the Little Farm

For those of you that don't know, Tilden Park has a lot of great attractions, the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, the steam trains, amazing trails and even a little farm. Here kids can learn about the different types of farm animals and even get a chance to feed them. Serafin loves going to it. She particularly has an affinity towards the pigs, how could you not, they're so cute, "snort snort".

Unfortunately for the munchkin, the last time we went it was a bit late in the day and the "piggies had gone to bed" already. We still had fun walking around and feeding the goats and cows. If you catch them during the week on a good day, apparently you can even get fresh eggs. They have so many chickens that they are always on the lookout for a willing taker (Me! Me! Me! Nothing like fresh eggs.). Below is a video of Serafin feeding the cows, . . . MOOOOOOOOO!

What to do with left-over phyllo dough???

Make some Spanakopita!

Remember the Baklava I made just a few weeks ago?? Well, I bought extra phyllo dough just incase I might need it and it has been sitting in my freezer since. Because I know I'm not going to be cooking for a little while after this baby is born (any day now!) I decided to make some Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) to have for now and to freeze for later. It has been a regular Greek fest in this house in the past couple of months. I don't know what it is, but this pregnancy has me salivating over all the Greek goodies of my past.

I followed this recipe. The only tweaks I would make is to add some extra feta cheese, and use fresh spinach (no questions, the taste is so much better). And, . . . of course, I used whole wheat phyllo dough which I prefer. I like my Spanakopita to have a nice think layer of spinach, so I found that this recipe only made one large 9x12 dish and a smaller 8x8 portion--not two 9x12 dishes.

The Greek in me gave this recipe a thumbs up, with the extra cheese it would have been even more finger licking good! Enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rainy day crafting, . . . Halloween decorations!

I had fun making these little Halloween candle decorations with the munchkin this afternoon! It was a rainy day so it was perfect for staying in and pulling out crafts. Serafin mostly had fun sticking tissue paper to the jars and getting messy. It was fun to see her reaction once I lit them up, her entire face smiled.

This was my first time working with Mod Podge, loved it, a glue, sealer and gloss all in one, definitely a new staple in our house! I have to give credit to the website where I found the idea, they have lots of other fun ideas I might try too! This one was fun, quick and easy!