Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Operation Orcas:Complete/The Final Leg

Hi my friends!  It has been a while!  We finally made it here to Orcas and what an adventure it was!  In two days, it will be two weeks since I landed on the Island, my-my, how time flies.  We are trying to get adjusted, unpack, be with our children, and simply enjoy the indian summer that we have come into.  

Let me start off by saying that this place is beautiful.  I keep having to pinch myself in disbelief that this is now my new home.  I am surrounded by trees, water, buzzing bees, fresh air, . . . sigh, . . . the country.  It has not come without it's annoyances though.  I've already pulled out several huge splinters from my daughters hands and feet, found incredibly big spiders crawling around me (not my favorite) and am constantly needed to sweep because man, the country is dusty!  So far though, well worth the trade of city-life worries.  

When I sit for a moment and listen, I can't hear buzzing cars and sirens around me, just nature.  Peace.  I feel like my body is coming down off of a huge buzz from the last two crazy months and also the life that I left behind.  I am curious to see how this new adventure will unfold.  

I'm sure you've noticed by now, my blogging has lagged a bit.  I've been itching to write but my computer has broken down.  Poop.  Major unhappy face.  I've been taking pictures of this entire experience, everything from the last hours in our old home to the movers bringing things into our new home, once I do get a new computer, I will do a bit of a video diary for all to see.  For now though, in some ways, with the weather so nice and there is so much to do, it's actually good for me to be away from the keyboard.  Winter is right around the corner, the indoor months.  I think then, when I am cooped up inside all nice and cozy, perhaps with a little cabin fever and feeling the need to reach out, I will get a new computer and catch up.  

So that's the update, . . .before I'm off today, I will let you know how the move went.  First off, let me tell you, the movers were a day late!  A DAY LATE!  The plan was:  We had one day to move out, one day to clean up and get the house ready for renters!  So the day the movers were pulling stuff out of our house, the cleaners were trying to work around them.  Not good.  Gary had already left for Orcas and I was basically having a panic attack trying to deal with it all myself.  Yes, a panic attack.  Thank goodness for the help of friends and family and we worked it out in the end.

I did the final walk through at 8 in the evening (the day after everything was supposed to be out), I drove away from our old home with 1/4 of our "stuff" sitting in our open garage waiting to be loaded while the truck drove off to offload onto the big rig (which couldn't be parked on our street).  One of the movers was left behind to look after our things, to be honest, I think that they left him behind because he was exhausted, he did look half dead and very much needing a rest.  I'm sure he went to sleep in his car.  It didn't matter though, as I drove away, something lifted inside me.  "It's just stuff." I said to myself.  I honestly didn't really care at that point.  I just wanted it to be over.  It felt like freedom, some sort of a letting go.  The movers didn't finish till 4 am apparently.  How the heck do they do that?  Anyway, if it had all been organized a bit better then it would have been a lot smoother, don't get me started on the details, I will turn red!

In the end, it all turned out just fine.  We all made it here in one piece right?  The movers arrived on the Island behind schedule, obviously, but the extra day was nice to give me a little break from the chaos.  I caught a 6:30 flight the next morning, all went well with that and both kids seemed to have fun on the plane.  Serafin had to pee 3 times though and squeezing into those tiny bathrooms with a baby on my back and a toddler at my front was not easy.  Also, at the airport, I was thoroughly searched and even taken into the "private room" for a pat down (Really?  A mom traveling on her own with two kids?).  They had swiped my hands to test for "something" and the alarm bells went ringing.  They said garden manure or household chemicals could do it, and I'm assuming that because I had my hands knee deep in the far corners of our household I must have touched something nasty that didn't come off.  Yuck.  It was annoying and the last thing I needed after so much stress.  I was envisioning being detained or taken to jail for whatever reason and my kids being held somewhere.  I was not really sane at that point, to be honest.  I was so exhausted I just wanted to get to the end of it all.  

Once I got here a relief came over me.  Many times since we landed here I've wondered how the heck we did that, . . . moved 2 kids, 2 dog, 3 cats, 2 birds, a lizard, ourselves and all our stuff.  I don't know how it happened, but we made it!  AND, . . . to top it off, literally the moment I pulled the car into the driveway and pulled to a stop, a dragonfly flew up to my bumper to say hello.  What a wonderful greeting and a wonderful omen!  Thank you world!  That's all for now folks.  Big love to you and I will hopefully keep you posted here and there till the new computer arrives!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I ate my placenta with some fava beans and a nice chianti!

Yes, I did eat my placenta, but not with fava beans or chianti, I'm no Hannibal Lecter.  Recently I had dinner over at a friends house and we got into a conversation about the benefits of eating your placenta after birth.  It inspired me to write.  I know some of you know me personally and roll your eyes at my "primitive ways", but there is something to this amazing ancient medicine and you wouldn't know till you try it.  

Our placentas are full of nutrients and energy.  Eating your placenta is supposed to help with post partum stress and also help regulate hormones.  It gives you the energy you need to bounce back from the intense experience of birth.  Some animals do it in the wild so that they have the strength to get up and move on.  

Our placentas nourish our babies, why not nourish ourselves with it.  Gross?  Ok.  It's not on my list of favorite dinnertime meals, but it's not meant for that.  Placenta encapsulation has been a part of post partum care for hundreds of years in traditional chinese medicine.  Many other cultures also encourage placenta consumption as well (Vietnamese, Hungarians, Italians to name a few).  It is said to help slow or even stop haemorrhaging after birth, help to increase a mother's milk supply, restore iron levels and regulate hormones.  Why wouldn't you want that?  

After Serafin was born I had my placenta dried and made into medicine capsules.  I never took these regularly, and wasn't consistent about it.  I had major baby blues and a rough time transitioning into parenthood at the time.  After Silas was born, I decided to give it a go again and wow were the affects noticeable and amazing.  This time, I made sure to take my medicine as directed.  

Right after birth, my midwife, Jamie, prepared my placenta in three different ways, raw, dried and tincture form.  A couple of days after the birth, my brave hubby attempted to make a smoothie for me to drink.  I'll admit, it was not the most tasty smoothie I've had, after my first sip I wondered if I was going to be able to do it.  Eager to feel the energy boost, I plugged my nose and chugged it.  The affects of it were immediate, my energy lifted through the roof, I felt stronger and more nourished.  I continued to take my "placenta medicine" in the form of capsules for three weeks.  I had no post partum blues, healing from the birth was 10 times faster than with my first child, and I felt no major hormonal ups and downs.  While a lot of this had to do with Silas' gentle birth and the support I had around me, I also think eating my placenta helped regulate me. 

Recently, while talking about our move with one of our midwives I was reminded that I also had my placenta in the form of tincture.  "Yes!" I thought.  It was perfect.  With the move to Orcas, I am in a time of transition and in the process of creating a new life.  I am "birthing" a new experience for myself and family.  I started to take the tincture and noticed that my emotional state started to feel a little more balanced.  Thank you body, once again, for creating this wonderful medicine.  

Just for kicks, I googled placenta smoothies and found this sight.  Too bad I didn't do that before I gave birth to Silas, who knows, maybe I could have enjoyed drinking it a little more if I had prepared a bit better, the veggie placenta smoothie doesn't sound all that bad.  ;)  Ladies, don't be afraid, eating your placenta ain't all that bad, in fact, it's quite the opposite!