Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘childbirth’

A Little Child Shall Lead Them (Isaiah 11:6)

Recently our community was dealt a one 2 punch.

A double loss that took the balance and breath from many of us,

gmom included.

The sorrow was irrefutable. The pain undeniable.

With the Holiday upon us we mourned silently.

Celebrating was out of the question.

A heaviness hung over us,

the Spring storms reflected our troubled spirits.

But there are those you encounter in life who unwittingly walk you through difficult times.

Their goodness, integrity and even purity make it easier for us to…well… get on with it.

This is that story.

In a basement room a  young woman’s smile

And her earnest husband’s sweetness,

lifted my heart.

They don’t even know me. Not really.

But I went with them,

As they birthed their child.

As much as this woman held on to me,

I held on to her.

And in that moment of birth I cannot say much but this.

The world revolved softly again,

colors came back into focus,

and I felt the earth solid and true

as it had always been.

It seemed fitting to leave the new family,

with the father watching over the nursing mother.

The sun was setting.

The sky grew dim, then dark.

Day folded silent into night as I walked home.

This is gmom,

Peace out.

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Ths Science of Grandparents Revisited

Teensy Tinesy Dancer made it.

Born yesterday after 24 hours of labor.

Perfect and humble.

Shady eyes searching the sudden lightness

finding the familiar voice of her mother

she settles.

New life,

Love and promise,

heartbreak and worry beyond belief.

But today she is just

Teensy Tinesy Dancer,

here at last.

Natural Childbirth: Hypnobirthing (Mom 2.0)

At the tail end of middle age,

here I am.

My eldest child, just now expecting her first child.

I am a grandmom twice.

This child having her own will complete a circle that I have waited for quite sometime.

My girl China, who made me into a mother.

Seeing her now take the place as mother to her own,

now that’s something special.

I will attend her at birth as I have with the other daugher and daughter-in-law,

and have done with hundreds of other babies over the past 18 years or so as a doula.

I have attended hypnobirths, Bradley births, c-sections, stillbirths and of course medicated births.

In hospital, at home and at birthing centers.

I have given birth 6 times myself plus one stillbaby born too soon.

All unmedicated births.

The last 3 using hypnotherapy.

I won’t claim to be an authority but I have a bit of experience under my belt,

so to speak.

China, invited me to her hypnobirth class.

I agreed.

A few couples sat in a semi darkened room with a candle lit.

The instructor sat cross-legged on a footstool with a pashmina across her shoulders like a prayer shawl,

and her hair hanging loose to her mid back,

a good look when you are 30.

Not so much at 55.

She proceeded to speak on birth without pain of any kind.

The contractions as “surges” and pushing as “so yesterday”.

Now as I mentioned I am all for Hypnobirthing.

I think it’s extremely helpful in attaining a natural childbirth if that’s the woman’s wish.

I held my tongue as she led the women through the “full dilation” (or pushing stage of labor) breathing.

“Ladies”, she quietly sang, “You gently breathe in, and breathe out,there is no drama of pushing ,or people coaching you to push your baby out, your baby comes out all on its own with no more effort than your gentle breath.”

Okay, I was done holding my tongue.

I can tolerate varying opinions and means to an end in getting babies born, but telling a group of first time expectant mothers that they won’t have to push their babies out, and that the experience will be pain-free is just plain horsepee.

It will be a sad day for these women when their babies descend low into their pelvis towards birth.

The time when the tendons stretch, and tissues, (it doesn’t matter if you massage in a gallon of evening primrose oil) stretch and often tear with the scope of the coming skull.

I’m not talking perineum here I mean the vaginal canal.

Never mind the “Ring of fire” (straight from a hypnobirth training manual to describe when the head emerges from mom’s body).

“Ring of Fire”

Hello!!!

It’s not called that for nothing!

Hypnobirthing can absolutely get a woman through labor and delivery with much “less pain” then just muscling through the contractions.

But pain-free it ain’t.

“Madam”, I said,”I have attended hundreds of births of all kinds and the disservice you are doing to this group of women appalls me.
Never in all my experience has even the most calm,the most ‘in control’ woman who has used hypnobirth didn’t say post-birth that it was the hardest thing she had ever done.”

I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

I was embarrassing her in front of her teacher and classmates.

“With all due respect”,I finished.

We left the class into the cold of the Silver Spring night.

I apologized to China who walked arm-in-arm with her husband.

“I couldn’t abide seeing you lied to,” I said,” Having a baby is going to be the greatest day of your life, a day you never forget, I won’t have someone build you up ridiculous expectations that may leave you feeling afterward like your body failed you.
That if you do end up choosing to take an epidural you will have failed at childbirth.
You are going to have 18 years to raise this child.
This is only one day in your life. Whether she comes natural, by epidural or section she is going to be the same baby. ”

“The truth is giving birth hurts.”

There I said it.

Holocaust Survivor’s Pickled Danish Herring

Jerusalem Israel

This is what your unprepared brine soaked mackerel will look like.

Clean and discard guts of fish,remove fins and tail and head

With a sharp knife make a deep cut along the spine of your fish

This is how the deep cut along the spine should look

Starting at the head end,peel the skin back to remove it.

Peel off the skin

Pinch the meat away from the spine and ribs

Pick out any bones that remain behind and rinse the filets.

Slice herring filet into 1 inch pieces.

Long ago,
and far away,
when hubby and I were first married
we lived in Telzstone,
In an apt above a Danish couple.
The Shalimsicks.
Holocausts survivors both,
like my husband’s parents.
Nice people,
if somewhat reserved.
The wife never, ever
left her apt. without a hat and pumps on.

One evening hubby and I had our first argument,
overheard by the Shalimsicks,
next morning she coincidentally
bumps into me
on the steps and says,
“My husband and I say 2 Psalms together everyday.”

And besides that bit of life wisdom and generally being
a good neighbor,
she shared with me this recipe for,

Pickled Danish Herring
———————————-
Ingredients:

6 herring (Mackerel soaking in brine that you buy at a Jewish deli)

1 scant cup oil

1 scant cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 cup tomato sauce

1 medium onion cut into rings

1 medium apple cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon mustard powder

Cut up your herring as the photos describe.
First cleaning it then removing the skin.
Make a deep cut along the spine.
Pinch your fingers down to the bones and separate the flesh from the skeleton sliding the filet off the ribs as shown.

You will be left with 2 filets.
Pick out any stray bones that remain with your fingers or a tweezers.
Cut filets into 1 inch pieces.
Rinse in cold water.

Now these herring are already salted so at this point you may want to soak your fish for 6 hours in water to remove the saltiness.
However, if your palate is accustomed to herring you can skip this step.
The American palate generally finds herring to be an “acquired ” taste and very strong all around. But those used to it find the soaked version bland and uninteresting.

Put all ingredients into a clean container and place it into the fridge.

Leave it for at least 48 hours.

Enjoy it with buttered rye toast points.

A little goes a long way!

Take care,
gmom

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