I must say, I just recently just discovered what in the world Ina May Gaskin's famous saying, "Your body is not a lemon", really means. Sitting around talking with all my birthy friends at a dinner table right next to Ina May herself, no doubt, I got the answer.
Turns out I was WAY OFF!
A lemon is a car, often new, that is found to be defective only after it has been bought. Any vehicle with numerous, severe issues can be termed a "lemon", and, by extension, any product with flaws too great or severe to serve its purpose can be described as a "lemon".
Now I get it! This analogy makes perfect sense to me!
I know many women refer to this saying for birth. But, it also makes me think of the rest of what she says. "The Creator is not a careless mechanic." I totally agree! Just think of how intricately we are designed.
I believe we were created by God. And, the woman was created from man and given a womb...thus being called womb-man...woman. He gave us all the tools we would need to bare, carry, feed and nurture our children. It was a very well thought out creation.
First off, we women have a cycle. Typically it is 28 days or so. And, during the middle of that cycle we have been given ways to detect our fertility by observing our cervical fluids and noting the changes to our body. It has the very signs to tell us when we can get pregnant...or not...depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
He gave us the organs to grow a baby. We were born with all the eggs we will ever have. Each month during our cycle one (or more) is released and travels down the fallopian tube to become pregnant or not. If not, our uterus sheds the lining it has prepared for a pregnancy. If the egg gets fertilized, it plants itself into the uterus and grows for 9 months.. Our body is amazing. It grows this baby! This video is a wonderful representation how a baby grows during it time inside its mother.
And, believe it or not, our body has the remarkable capability of completing the pregnancy (on its own) and telling you to go into labor. Your body was designed to trigger labor on its own when the baby is fully ready. Our bodies were created with amazing pain receptors that give us the ability to help our bodies birth a baby. When unaltered by drugs, the brain and uterus work in perfect unison to complete the amazing task of sending messages to your body on how to give birth.
If unmedicated, a mother will feel the most amazing cocktail of love hormones created by her own body that she has ever felt in her entire life. These hormones help create the initial bond and love between a mother and her child. This is not to say that a mother who was medicated during birth does not immediately love her child, please don't get me wrong. But, she is missing out of the most amazing drug-free high she could ever experience in her life after a birth with no drugs.
He gave us breasts to feed our babies and sustain their lives. Need I say more?
We truly are an amazing design! So, your body is not a lemon. Yes, I understand that some of us have trouble conceiving, carrying a child, or breastfeeding and I am truly saddened by this struggle. But, it wasn't first created as a faulty design and in today's world, I believe we should still be seen as beautiful creations!
I must say, I had no expectations of what breastfeeding was going to be like. I only knew that I was going to do it. My mother nursed all five of her own children and I didn't really know any other way.
One evening when I was pregnant, my husband and I were discussing how long to breastfeed. He came to the conclusion that once the baby was old enough to ask for it, that should be the cut off point. He thinks a bit differently now, as that would have been last summer!
As I push my cart down the grocery aisle and tote my nearly 22 month old to the park and other public places, it is apparent that we are quite through yet. I gently pull his hand out from my shirt and tell him we will have "mi-mi" when we get home. Sometimes we sit off in a quiet corner together nursing in public, as I don't mind taking the time if we have it. I guess that is a perk of being the firstborn and only child thus far. I've nursed him in some pretty creative spaces.
Yes, we have gotten some wayward glares and noses pointed up at us occasionally. I am not quite sure what the lady was thinking as she passed us in the back aisle at the fabric store, as I sat nursing on a step ladder. But, it doesn't matter. I am not nursing a toddler to prove any points. I am not nursing in public so that you have to watch me and be subjected to all my my attachment parenting ways. I am tending to my child for HIS benefit, not for my own.
Nursing a toddler has its challenges for sure. For me, it's been his acrobatic moves and constant squirminess to get comfy and settled into the perfect position. Wowzers, those teeth can be rough!
(oh, hold on, I need to go nurse.)
Ok, where was I? Oh, yes, the challenges. Did I mention It was anytime and anywhere? But, you know what they say...no child ever leaves home in diapers. I think that applies to nursing too.
But, there are some awesome benefits to nursing a toddler too! Relish the time while you can mommies. It will be long over way too soon.
The very best part of all (and the thing that keeps me going) is the times when he just finishes nursing, looks right at me and exclaims "mmmmm, gooood mimi!" It doesn't get much better than that.
I am not sure how long I will nurse. I have no plans. We are working that out one day at a time.
Happy Breastfeeding Mommies!
My parents always instilled in us kids the importance of taking responsibility for ourselves. My first job was working for my dad when I was 12. He owned an office supply store and my family went down once a week after hours to clean. I worked in the office during the summers until I was 14 and could drive, then I got a weekend job at a clothing store that was owned by a family friend in the next town over. I still can't believe my parent let me start driving 11 miles to work on a two lane highway at 14 years old! Granted, it was a rural Kansas, but still kind of freaky thinking back on it. I worked all through high school and college. I didn't really have much of a choice if I wanted to go to college out of state. I was envious of my fellow college friends who didn't have school work and a job to contend with every day. It seemed like such an easy life for them.
My husband, on the other hand, grew up a little differently. He was one of "them". He never had a job in high school. He played sports. It wasn't until he was nearly 20 that he had his first job. But, then he went on to college on a full basketball scholarship when he was 23. Between playing ball and school work he had to time or energy for a job.
We got married a semester before he graduated college. It never once crossed my mind that he would have trouble finding a job when he graduated. I had watched him play basketball for the past five years. He was so driven and dedicated to the sport. When his team got a long-shot bid to the NAIA National Basketball tournament in 2006, I asked him if he thought they had a chance of winning or even making it to the 2nd round. His solemn and absolute response was "we are going to win the entire thing." I loved that guy. To me, he was hard-working, motivated, and focused. And, wouldn't you know it, they did win the entire National tournament that year.
I had no reason to believe that he wouldn't be that intense in his career. But, things didn't quite go that way. His kinesiology degree proved to be less than sufficient when applying for jobs to support a family. I began to realize that playing the game of basketball and building a career are two different animals. He had the drive to pursue his passions, but not his responsibilities. Had he been done a huge disservice growing up by not being required to take responsibility and have a job? I have pondered this question a lot over the past six years.
Not long ago, we went through a life coaching program called Living in Your Zone. My husband found exactly what he wants to do with his life and can't wait to start. I am eager to share all of it with you, but taht is for another post.
As we are having our own children, I desire for them to grow up with a sense of responsibility in life and take pride in their work. I know you can't save your children from every heartache, but my hope and prayer is to guide them by the mistakes we have made and teach them from what we have learned.
So we're starting with chores!
At 21 months old, I love that my son has a great passion for basketball like his daddy. I will always encourage my children to follow their dreams and passions in life. But, I will also expect responsibility and discipline as well. My son is learning responsibility by helping unload the dishwasher, loading the dryer and pushing start, and taking out the recycling. Balance seems to be the key. It's a small start to what I hope to be a big learning experience for his future.
I've been MIA for a few months, sorry. Perhaps you will understand once you read this post. I am so excited to share some great news! My mother had five natural births. I was her firstborn. I think the minute I found out that I was born frank breech with the use of forceps and no pain medication, I knew she had done something very special for me and for herself. From that moment on, I knew if she could have natural births, then by golly, so could I! As I grew older, I also realized that not only was my body made to birth babies, but that drugs in America are grossly overused, especially in the matter of childbirth.read more →
Whew! After a month long hiatus, I am finally back. The last time I wrote was the day we left for a Colorado vacation. Needless to say, I needed a vacation from my vacation when I came back. However, I dove right back into working and haven't had...read more →
As I stood there watching my husband chasing my adventurous son around in the field, I over heard a some snickers and teasing coming from some people sitting nearby. "Look at that bow legged kid. Those are horse riding legs." They didn't know I...read more →