this is my postpartum

here we are, week 6 of postpartum life. weeeee!

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so, i decided not to give a run down of each individual picture anymore because i’m lazy and super busy. plus, you all create your own narratives anyway, right? it’s kinda like looking through old photo albums {ps. isn’t it sad that old photo albums is actually an oxymoron now?} and you flip over the pictures but are always disappointed by the vanilla descriptions on the back. they story in your head is always better…

this week wrapped up my official initial postpartum period and i think our lives and the pictures of it reflect that. we’re in full swing and that’s a good thing. from grandma visits, to darla’s first week of school, to hanging with teeny, tiny, best buddies, to website updates, to music festivals downtown…wruckers are simply in full swing. so i think this blog series is officially over with this post.

what can i say about these past 6 weeks? they’ve flown by but seem to have taken their time all in the same moment. life seems incredibly different and oh so rich and full. i feel really excited about the future with this family. i also feel a little scared of this winter…dang farmer’s almanac.

but let’s stay in the pleasant tense.

what i want to say is that i have felt extremely and wonderfully supported for these past 6 weeks. transitioning to a family of four  couldn’t have gone any better and i attribute that to the community that propped us up. i felt i had a well of energy to dip into because love and support came to us in so many directions.

this is what i want for families. it’s what i hope to create with my postpartum work and it’s what i hope to contribute to with friends and family and my communities in the future. it makes such a difference to have the support.

and i mentioned before that my lesson this time around was to let the help in. i welcomed it with open arms this time around, understanding that letting someone help me didn’t mean i couldn’t do this parenting thing on my own; it just meant that i didn’t have to.

so i just want to put a big thank you out there to everyone and to the universe and to most of all my parental units! they are the mvp all-stars of my postpartum and third trimester and life. my family is just so incredibly lucky.

that’s it.

i don’t know what i will have to write about now.

probably just butter. and babies. and big hair. and boots. and birth. always birth.

on choosing and planning a homebirth

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i’ve started this post over several times. i keep changing my mind about what i want to say about this life experience.

and i look up at these pictures above and i’m reminded why a home birth was the right choice for us, for this birth:

family.

family-centered care.

what i want to say is that after this experience i feel how much home birth needs to be a viable option for families.

and i don’t want to argue about safety or statistics.  really, i think that’s all bullshit. BIG BULLSHIT. the way i see it, someone figured out long ago that if they kept us fighting about which way of birthing is “safest” then no real work would have to be done to make ALL types of birth safer for mothers and babies.

because as it stands, ALL types of birth in this country, and this world, could be made safer.

there is no right way to do this across the board. these decisions to birth are highly personal. it’s one of the reasons i do the work i do; to help parents achieve the births they desire for their experience and their family.

and now my simple wish is that the only standard across the board was the level of love and care i’ve received during this birth was available and experienced by all. and i don’t believe it has to be achieved only through home birth. i think it can be done through all types of birth. and i see glimmers of hope out there that maybe we’ll get there someday. but, yes, i believe home birth is part of that puzzle for piecing back together our maternal care system as a country.

because y’all, the gift my family has been given from this life experience is astounding. i’m forever changed from this. and i hope it will carry forth with me for all my years, taking the shape of more generous love and kindness for growing families.

please, universe, let me remember this for all of my days.

i look up at these pictures darla helped me draw a day before daphne entered our world and i’m thankful for the opportunity to include my daughter in the birth of her sister in the capacity that we were able to because of midwifery care and home birth. darla sometimes seems like more than a daughter to me. she’s my friend and a partner in some senses and she certainly was for this birth. although there were times that having her with me at appointments was a headache and i swear to the cosmos that she adds about 10 points to my blood pressure reading, i can’t imagine having done this without the high level of involvement on her part.

darla dictated to me how the birth would go down for these drawings: the baby would be born in the birth pool so baby and i would be in there and she and mike would be looking on from either side. she gave mike his correct facial hair and asked if i would help her draw “wild curly hair” on her because she “will probably have to be woken up because the baby will come during the night.”

she was wrong about the birth pool but she was oh-so-right about the wild curly hair. she wasn’t present during the actual birthing. she slept through it somehow but was woken up once daphne finally let out her first real lusty cries about 3 hours later. she ran into the room sleepy-eyed in a whirl of wild and curly golden hair, shyly beaming around the room at the arrival of her sibling.

it was the sweetest moment of my life thus far.

and i realized later that it was that moment that i was looking for from this birth experience. the moment when my oldest baby met my youngest baby in a hazy, golden glow. that moment that was of her choosing, in her own space, in her own skin {literally. she must have unclothed at some point in the night so she and her sister were in naught but their birthday suits upon their first meeting} free from hospital distractions and unfamiliar faces. it was THAT moment i was searching for and didn’t know it until it happened. that moment has planted itself within me and taken deep root. and it wouldn’t have been possible in any other setting than in our own home. and for that i am so grateful. i can’t find any other word for it other than gratitude.

and my husbeau. oh my sweet, beardy husbeau.

i told him i thought i might go into labor later and then he put on bob segar. and then i had my doubts about whether he’d be able to adequately support me through this because…bob segar.

but once my labor really kicked in he knew exactly what to do. he revealed to me later that he didn’t feel like he knew what to do but to me it appeared that he did. he was there with me when i needed him and gave me space when i didn’t. he was my grounding. during the moments that i thought labor was going to carry me away i would look over at him and it would bring me all back to center.

he was able to take care of me in a way that i don’t think would be possible for him in an unfamiliar setting. and he’s taken such good care of us these past few days in our own space. did you know he could make banana pancakes with peanut butter chips? he can. he’s been holding out on me all this time.

but that’s getting into the postpartum period which i wrote a little bit about already and plan on posting more about later…

so, yeah, home birth. this birth was all that i could have hoped for and more. it was the most amazing and wonderful thing that i hope NEVER happens to me again.

well, maybe not never ever again… ;-)

p.s. thanks for reading! please remember that i’m not trying to promote any one method of birthing. i’m only trying to relay my gratitude for this life experience. above all else, i believe in families choosing the way to birth their babies that seems right individually.  for us, for this birth, a birth at home was the absolute right choice.

now go forth and be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.

daphne’s home birth: a photo tour

ok, so it’s a dimly lit photo tour. we’ll call it ambiance.  or love aura. whatevs…

i’d like to highlight some of the things i loved about birthing our baby girl at home, in our own bed, with these few snaps from my phone. lucky you, nothing graphic will be shown as i was too busy with the actual birthing. i was able to capture one last maternity shot when labor was just getting started.

there was so much i was thankful for about being in our own space for laboring and birthing. i want to write a little bit more about the experience and process but i think that is for another time.

so we’ll flash forward to the immediate postpartum which, for us, seems to be bursting with benefits:

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^ the first being that we were given time and respect. our space and experience were honored. i have several photos of daphne just looking around the world for the longest time. it was all so peaceful and serene. at least for us. daphne has a bit of a what-the-heck-just-happened-to-me look going on.

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^ all daphne’s measurements and exams were done in our bed, by our side.

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^mike got to be the one to give daphne her first “bath” which was just a washcloth rubdown

and we all got to hang out in various stages of undress holding miss Daphne:

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^and darla held daphne for the first time. darla’s thoughts on the experience: “she doesn’t smell very good.”

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 ^home birth meant my parents could come and be with us and the lack of visiting hours has lead to lots of bonding time for everyone, which works well for our family.

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and mostly we just sit around and stare at daphne josephine, completely comfortable and settled in to her home surroundings from minute one.

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 our home birth = a home filled with love. a birth filled with love.

I’m a magician

Because I turned this

last maternity photo

into this….

dap jo

 

Daphne Josephine is now a member of the Wrucker crew, living on the outside of my body and looking pretty cute while doing so.

we’re healthy, happy and well-cared for. i’m now enjoying all the baby snuggles and fun time after pains, along with those lovely, humbling things like starting a new breastfeeding relationship and relearning how to pass a newborn back and forth. sheesh.

life is a trip, man.

{ps. glad i had the where-with-all to snap one last maternity shot at the beginning of my labor, before things really took off}

our week

a
small
collection
of moments
from our week

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^^^ crafting on the porch ^^^

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^^^ pollacking on the porch ^^^

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^^^ unschooling the franklin park conservatory ^^^

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^^^ “mom, i want our house to look just like this jungle!” ^^^

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^^^ nature walk treasure ^^^

 

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^^^ and i continued to grow a human ^^^

if this were a face-to-face convo this would be the point where i would deflect and say “let’s talk about how you’re doing” because i’m just kinda all over the place. the week was beautiful and i’m glad i snapped these photos of our outings and life because i can’t pull my head out of my pregnant ass sometimes. it’s so hard to focus on anything else other than getting this baby here.

i know my whole family is feeling stretched right now.  i look around and i just see all these humans that are stretched so thin. but maybe i’m projecting and seeing that everywhere because it’s how i’m feeling. i tried to really take it easy this week. and it was nice to stay at home a lot. darla did her own things, mostly on the front porch. i spent a lot of time there too soaking in the air and sunshine. soaking in the feelings of just being. but i cannot escape this encumbered feeling. it makes everything feel so heavy.

maybe i’m on the brink here because i feel like all i want to do for this weekend is walk and walk and walk until i can’t anymore. it’s that very animalistic feeling taking over because i feel like this body has to do something. i feel like the tigress pacing back and forth before i slink off to find a place of solitude. please send me good vibes for finding some time to work these things out of my body and mind over these next few days.

*wishing you all the best for the things you wish to work out over the weekend, whatever they may be*

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our week

i don’t know where these days are going.

it’s friday and i got up early to write out a little about our week and i really can’t remember much that has happened save for a few big events. we spend much of our time here at home these days and i fear i’ve not really been able to stay present while here. my mind seems hyper-focused on chores and organization and cooking and errands.

and it all seems so ordinary.

and i feel like that has taken up a lot of my brain space this week: reconciling with the fact that i’m going to lead an ordinary life.

i, like most of my generation, was ingrained with the idea that i was a special little flower and that i was going to go out and do great things in the world. i have genuinely, 100% honestly always believed that I was going to lead some out-of-the-ordinary life. mainstream life was not good enough for me.

but here’s what i see when i step back from myself:  31 years old, lives in ohio, full-time mom, drives a pt cruiser, listens to neil sedaka live in concert on the 60s station….

it’s so ordinary. it’s so vanilla and blah. it doesn’t feel like this was the life i was supposed to lead. it’s not how my life played out in my head. and it certainly doesn’t seem to measure up to the adventurous lives of my peer group before i got myself saddled with motherhood. 

and feeling that way feels terrible.

then i sit down here to this space and i start to take a look back at the weeks and i’m once again glad that i’m recording life here because when i scroll back through the days and weeks and months i see a whole mess of ordinary, every day beauty.  it’s not over-the-top exciting and most of it is mundane but there is so much beauty shining through this ordinary life.

and i feel a bit foolish that it took me SO LONG in my life to see that. i feel like even from my earliest days i’ve wanted to live a life different and more exotic than the one i have. i’ve wanted to be a completely different person. i’ve even survived much of these last few years by telling myself that this is just a little pit stop in my life and that i’ll be zooming off to great adventures before long.

but that is not guaranteed to me. nothing is. and what a waste of an ordinary life it would be if i never ended up in this spot able to see how beautiful even the dullest of moments here on earth are.

so, this week i sat around on my porch a lot, watching my child cut grass with a pair of scissors {seriously}. i cooked some meals for my family. i took my girl to the pool. i ran errands. and i spent a whole lot of time gazing at a growing belly.

it was thoroughly ordinary. and it was beautiful.

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* sending you all the best for a super, super moon weekend *

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bump day

that bump. how that bump made us jump.

here’s some advice. do not write a post jokingly calling your unborn child a jerk-baby because your unborn jerk-baby will get on the internet and read it and then give you the in utero what for.

we had a last-minute ultra sound last night after this little person gave us all a scare of a 40-week breech flip.

the good news: baby is not, in fact, breech but in lovely position.

more good news: we got to see him/her as a family which was nice since mike and darla weren’t present for my last ultrasound.

the ambiguous news: u/s info shows i may have a little more time growing this person than previously thought. maybe not. it’s all devil-science-magic anyway! but i’m wrapping my head around the fact that we may be hanging tight for a while. maybe not. ooh the excitement…the thrill of the wait…the anticipation…the stretching skin!!!!

the bad news: i’ve now called my jerk-baby a jerk-baby 3 {er…4} more times so i’m sure to experience some additional wild times from this kiddo here at the end in retribution.  it’s ok, i deserve it.

baby bump

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