Sunday, July 17, 2011

how do i love luna? let me count the ways....

1. i love how whenever papa and i hug each other, you come running to us saying "luna, luna" because three-way hugs are so much better.

2. i love how you piled all of your stuffed animals on me this morning while i was still sleeping... and then you sat patiently until i opened my eyes to you and your gorgeous smile.

3. i love the way you insist sometimes on holding my hand... even if you're being pushed in the stroller, sitting in your car-seat, eating in your highchair, or being carried by papa.

4. i love the way you squeal when you see me after i've been gone a while.... fills me up.

5. i love your love of nature - and the way you collect stones and then go through your collection one by one, slowly and with great intent.

6. i love how sometimes, when we're walking with the beco, you just wrap your arms and legs around me and squeeze... and i feel your love.

7. i love the way you break out into a dance when you hear a good beat... from the cd player, a passing car on the street, your papa strumming the guitar, or the speakers at the grocery store.

8. i love how much you enjoy reading books. how you love the books aimed at children years older than you ... the ones with paragraphs and paragraphs of writing... how you sit patiently listening, eager- yet fully content.

9. i love the way you hold my cheeks in your little hands, and pull my nose to yours for a warm 'eskimo kiss'.

10. and, i love how your first words have turned into your first short sentences and how, when i ask you a question ending in "ok"?, you answer - so enthusiastically - "oh-tay"! be continued....

Friday, July 1, 2011


what a crazy world we live in...

as i age, and experience... and grow... i often find myself wondering more about the lack of responsibility, and the naive perspective, the majority of those around me seem to take.

we have fit right into our sweet capitol hill home - on our friendly little block - every day setting out on foot to the market, or the park, or the library - watching the other mamas and babes in their bumblerides and phil and teds take to the same tree lined streets.... wondering when we'll meet some like minded folks... when we'll make some lasting connections.

to sum it up: i'm happy here. but to be honest, this city seems shallow. i love that so much is going on. it's actually a really great city on so many levels...... which is why it's confusing to me that, while i've met so many people with broad backgrounds and experience, i have yet hold a meaningful conversation with any of them. well, almost. i have made one friend here - thank goodness for her! but, while i'm excited about living here in DC for many reasons, i'm so let down by the empty, thoughtless lives of those surrounding me.

i really wish we, as humans, could take a more active role in the lives we live. i find myself complaining daily about the ignorance so blatant around me. why can't people be more responsible about their diets, their healthcare, their birthing options, what they put in and on and around their children, how they clean their homes, how they grow their food... why can't we stop fighting eachother, stop blindly following those before us, ask more questions, give more answers...

maybe it's just my mood tonight.
my friend, erin, is in greece right now. a crew member of the freedom flotilla to gaza. standing up for what she feels is important. making an impact... in her life and in all those that touch hers. tonight i'm thinking about her, detained by the the greek military, unable to sail - to spread her strength and love.... but standing strong.
and, as i sit here on this tranquil summer night - amidst the fireflies and dim lights of the surrounding homes, baby monitor in hand - erin is my inspiration.

greek embassy washington dc: 202-939-1300 let them sail!

Friday, April 15, 2011

spring ... in all it's glory

i'm not sure why i never recognized it growing up on the east coast, but spring is really beautiful in this neck of the woods. i guess i did recognize it, but i don't know that i gave it enough credit. now, after spending many years living in other parts of the country, i have returned to live just hours from where i grew up. and after a cold and trying winter, wow(!) spring is good in DC.

it's amazing to see this city come alive. the warmth from the sun -the blossoms and green on the trees, the outdoor markets... the flowers. so lovely to take a stroll to the park - and soak it all in... and even more amazing to share the wonder with my sweet little babe... strike that.. little GIRL.

luna is definitely a dirt worshiper. she LOVES being outside (i think she loves it even more than books)... taking notice of all the beauty... fingers in the soil... nose in the flowers....
when we go to the market, she stops to smell every flower bundle on the way in... E V E R Y one. she scrutinizingly collects stones on our walks and park visits - we have a jar to save them in. she says hello and goodnight to the moon (depending on it's phase), listens to the birds, and with eyes closed breathes with the wind. nature child.

this week we visited my parents... the house i grew up in. as i walked around the land with luna collecting flowers, watching rabbits, and feeling the breeze, i realized how life has come full circle. febri, walking along side of me, asked if i used to imagine myself grown up with my own child where i had played as a little girl. i don't know that i ever did. but it caught me - the beauty of sharing with luna the very wonders i took in when i was a little one. playing in the same grass, by the same trees, captivated by the same beauty surrounding.

parenting has been a beautiful experience all around, but it took a string of recent events and the coming of spring to give such powerful perspective on the wisdom of this life we live. i've always been one to appreciate what i have, to respect the people and nature around me, and to meditate on the gifts life offers. but, being a mother has colored my days more brightly, enhancing and filling each moment with a love i could never imagine or prepare for.
there are many moments that i wish we were already living abroad. many times i've counted the months before we leave this city. but it's not because i'm uncomfortable where we are, it's because i'm anxious to get where we're going. mothering reminds me to appreciate the past, to look forward to the future, but most importantly, to enjoy and be still in the present. i'm not quite sure how we ended up where we are today, but i'm incredibly thankful for it.

in luna's cubby (as we call it). can you tell she's getting bigger?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

our love, our loss... the chaos continues

when luna was a newborn, she slept most soundly on my chest. she felt warmth and comfort there.. and i have to say the feeling was mutual. recently we've been working on night weaning. luna does well, but she still wakes, and it's in those moments that comfort again comes from lying on my chest. it wasn't until last night, with luna's heart to mine, that i felt all of the love and warmth and solace that closeness can bring. it poured over me, and together we comforted each other.

yesterday (3/11/11) we said a final goodbye to the spirit i had carried shortly in my womb.

6 days ago, on sunday, i noticed brown spotting while i was working. it wasn't too alarming as i had spotted in early pregnancy with luna as well.

on monday i still had brown spotting and contacted our midwife to set an appointment to listen for the heartbeat, as i was now 12 weeks pregnant.

by tuesday the spotting had turned to bright red, but was still minimal, and i had no other symptoms.

wednesday morning came and we headed to our midwife's house to check things out. after a brief time of searching for the heartbeat with the doppler, and finding none, our midwife suggested going in for a sonogram. we agreed, and headed to the hospital early that evening. after a long wait at the hospital, we were finally taken in and i saw my uterus for the first time. what an experience. unfortunately though, we saw an empty sac... there was no heartbeat... no fetus. the diagnosis - blighted ovum.

i had blamed stress for the disconnection i had this pregnancy. i couldn't focus on the growing babe inside me. i was happy about the pregnancy, but just couldn't connect with this little one the way i had so early on with luna. stress was significant in the first few weeks following the positive pregnancy test, and i thought that must be the reason. i had no time to connect. i felt a strong guilt about it. i also blamed stress for my lack of pregnancy symptoms. not having the time to rest must explain why i'm not so fatigued.

seeing an empty sac explained a lot. i understood why i couldn't connect to a babe... there wasn't one to connect to. the hospital midwife explained that, while my uterus was measuring 12 - 14 weeks, the gestational sac was only measuring 9 - 10 weeks.
she warned us that a natural miscarriage this far into pregnancy would be dangerous and difficult. she suggested a D&C, and implied that i would most likely end up in the hospital anyway due to hemorrhage or fear in going through the miscarriage at home. she offered reassurance in knowing that the hospital now had me on file so i would be quickly admitted when coming in bleeding in the middle of the miscarriage. she gave us no advice or things to look for as potential problems in the miscarriage (even when i specifically asked her), and continued to stress the DANGER.

we left the hospital feeling sad, empty, and scared. i tried calling our midwife for advice, but didn't hear back from her. we were lost in a sea of uncertainty and fear of the unknown... and weighted by our sorrow, we couldn't find a way out. thursday morning i woke feeling a bit more clear and contacted my midwife, wendy, from portland to ask for her advice. cramping had begun, and i felt them getting stronger as the day went on. the bleeding i was experiencing at this point was comparable to a light menstrual flow.. bright red blood. by thursday evening i received an email from wendy. thank goodness for her. her words brought me peace and i could feel her support - even though she was so many miles away. knowing now what to expect, i was able to embrace the miscarriage and move with it rather than against it in fear.

noticeable contractions began around 8pm thursday night. i recognized them differing from the cramping because they were coming in waves. they were mild and easy to sleep through.
at 1 am friday morning i woke with contractions that, while still mild, encouraged me to get on my feet and move around. i found it most comfortable to work through these by rotating my hips. at one point febri turned the light on and commented "you're dancing"... and, i suppose i was. everything happened quickly, contractions got very close together, and i sat on the toilet expecting to pass tissue, though not much came out. blood was still only a light flow. i began to feel clammy and dizzy and i called febri to come be with me. i put my head down low, i was sweating a lot...still clammy and dizzy, and febri rubbed my back as the contractions increased, then a few minutes later subsided. i laid down on the floor - febri brought me a banana and some water. after a couple minutes, i felt better and went back to the bedroom. within minutes i felt blood coming - i went back to the toilet and a gush of blood came from me - i felt clots fall as well. then i went back to bed (after drinking some water and eating a granola bar), it was now just after 2am, and caught an hour sleep or so.

i woke again to increasing contractions, though not as intense as before, and went back to the bathroom. i passed some blood again and started to feel cold and shiver. febri brought me a sweater, and i ate an egg. immediately, the shivering stopped. i was feeling better, but i knew it wasn't over yet. i was surprised at how easy things were going, but aware that there was more to come. febri had been collecting what my body was passing, and so far it was just some small clots and a bit of tissue. i was up and down for a bit - eating more food and staying hydrated, and continuing to go to the toilet expecting things to pass, but not seeing much. my bleeding was still light in between the bathroom trips. finally i went to the toilet and felt that there was something that needed to pass... a blood clot or something. i felt the need to push, and when i did i looked down expecting to see blood, but saw grey instead - and i knew it was the placenta. i pushed and pushed - which was an odd sensation. i wasn't feeling the uterus contracting.. and it didn't feel like i was pushing anything at all - but i knew it was there and it needed to come out. after a few pushes, the placenta and sac came out together. the sac was still intact, with fluid. i'd say the size of the placenta and sac was about equal to a grapefruit. the placenta looked healthy and it was amazing to see the gestational sac. there was little bleeding, and i felt good.

it was such a relief to see everything together and to know it was complete. i felt a calm wash over me, and ...though it's strange to say... a happiness. i felt peace.

yesterday afternoon we buried the placenta and sac in our yard. we said a prayer, and said goodbye.

and today, we move on.

life is so many things. so amazing, and sometimes so challenging. the experience of life and loss from my womb has been both amazing and challenging... and so much more. in the end, febri and i have come out stronger, more connected, and oh so grateful. and as a family, as we experience more loss, we recognize the never ending love... the balance, the beauty, the blessing... LOVE.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

life goes on

well... here we are, in a new house, a new year, a new job, a new school... new neighbors, friends, parks... a new way of life. we've been through a lot these past few months.
many changes - many ups - many downs.
lots of gain.. but unfortunately, lots of loss too. lots of loss.
and, through it all... life goes on.
somehow, febri and i have managed to move up and out together, stronger, closer - and more joyful.

we find ourselves on the other side - where just weeks ago, the other side seemed impossible.

here we are in a new home - a great little home - in our first choice neighborhood. we are so happy to be here. we've been slowly pulling things together - making purchases - outfitting this house with belongings to make it home. luna has her very own room - which is a first for her - all three of us appreciate it SO much! her blocks and books and snugglies all have a place... so nice! we have a sweet little back yard, which is just calling for love... and veggies come spring... and little hands digging in the dirt. we have a lovely covered front porch - that is still waiting for the right furniture to support many summer evenings watching the neighborhood go by. the park and the market are just blocks away. work is an easy 30min train ride. things are finally falling into place.

the beginnings of luna's room

i'm feeling set...well, almost. it's surprising to me - we moved to this city...leaving behind so much, and - in a lot of ways - i was unhappy about the move. yet, here i find myself more settled than i felt in portland. despite the lack of friends, we've found incredible welcome from our neighbors. friends will come, and i hardly worry about this considering we've been here for a mere 2 weeks. already i have a rhythm at the wellness center - and work is busier all the time. we love all that is at our fingertips in this city - the galleries, museums, parks... and it's all accessible and free! yesterday we spent the afternoon at the zoo ... today luna and i will go check out some art while papa works on school stuff. having these activities to do (again, for FREE!) with a child is so great! and luna can't get enough.

so, here we are. and it feels good to be here. a big part is that i feel grounded here... already ... for the first time in a LONG time. we signed a three year lease (extendable to 5), that is a big deal for us. it's long enough to put down some roots... and envision our future together.

we are home. for now.