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Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Yes, that is the title of a Bones episode. But it fits!

As in, the garden has ended:

The Empty-For-Now Garden

Last weekend my parents came to help us out before the baby. Mom and I spent some time pulling up all of the spent vines and all of the buggified vines. It was sad, in a way, but also left me with a great feeling of accomplishment. I had finished a garden season, from preparing to planting to harvesting to giving the vines back to the earth in the form of the compost bin.

But even as that part of the garden ended, yesterday Jonathan planted corn and pumpkins for the fall. In six weeks, after Claire, the kitchen garden will start again with spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, leeks, lettuce, carrots…It’s not that far away.

However, the more present beginning on my mind is having a baby.

I like the idea of having a Lughnasadh baby. Claire and I have been on a journey together since Samhain, followed through a dark winter into Imbolc, and with Beltane and the Summer Solstice I really began to accept motherhood and the changes that would follow. It just seems so perfect that I’d have her around harvest and that we’d become more acquainted as the sun waned again towards Mabon and Samhain.

Anyway. There’s not much to say besides that. I’m definitely in a period of waiting. I’ve been full term for two weeks now and have another three to go before any sort of drastic measure might be taken. I’ve had “signs” but “signs” don’t mean much, so I’m just here waiting.

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Happy Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha, everyone!

I intended to wake up this morning to watch the sun rise. Instead, I woke instead at 7:38, precisely 10 minutes after the official solstice time in my time zone.

Alas. Such is the value of sleep to a 8-month pregnant woman.

So today I have been taking photos during my errands of things that seem ‘solstice-y’ to me and making notes in “that journal”–the one that’s not my main one, but I don’t know what to call it yet.

Hope you enjoy.

Solstice Breakfast: biscuits and honey, watermelon and blueberries, eaten while observing the early-morning garden

Some lily in our yard. I love the vibrant orange color.

Solstice tomato: our tomato plants are doing well and beginning to blush in earnest.

Cucumber blossom. I mainly took this picture for the lovely spiral...creeper thing.

Sunflowers at the Natural Gardener

Another sunflower at the Natural Gardener

I added lemon verbena into my iced tea this afternoon. It smells like the sun.

Getting ready for our own harvest ;): cloth diapers and accoutrements.

Musings:

It’s been interesting to pregnant along with the Wheel of the Year. I’ve seen a lot of images of heavily pregnant women for Litha and it’s…well, it’s encouraging. Being heavily pregnant has been difficult. It’s easier to focus on the pain-in-the-ass parts of pregnancy (which are many and hard to ignore) instead of enjoying the body’s capabilities.

As I look out at my garden I’m reminded that this is a time when ‘Nature’ is doing an extraordinary amount of work as well. The resources even a small garden like mine takes (and the garden only provides 50%, maybe, of our spring-summer produce) are astounding. The soil, the fertilizer, the water, the time, the materials—and we’re not even doing it well. We’re bumping along in our first season.

Today has reminded me to be grateful for the work the (literal) earth does for me, for my family. It reminds me to be grateful for my body, which through its stretch marks and contractions, pains and indignities, is preparing for an amazing event.

Driving around to all of my various errands I also thought about what summer meant to me as a kid. How days spread out, endless in possibility, hot and boring, and to quote an Iron & Wine song summer held “our endless numbered days”. School would start back…eventually…but there was a liminal quality to summer, a caught-in-between-ness. My summers were filled with sno-cones in unnatural colors (split pina colada and margarita, flat top, double cream), the beach, books (books, books, books), trips to the library, sleeping in and the Beach Boys.

Now that the demarcation of school has passed, summer, especially July and August and September, is more of an annoyance. The time of year when the you can never get cool, when energy bills rise to extreme levels, ice tea is consumed by the gallon, your car is a hellacious oven of doom.

But today…the beginning of summer…also marks, ironically, the beginning of its end. The days grow shorter now as we edge towards Lughnasadh, and then Mabon and then Samhain. In Central Texas Lughnasadh is the last of our harvest, when we set our gardens and fields to rest throughout the relentless eat of August and the beginning of September. On the holiday of Mabon we’ll start again, planting cool-season crops to bring us through the winter months.

So really…it’s not that far away. Time won’t stop. The garden will die–in only a few weeks. The baby will come—only a few weeks after that. Then it will be time to start anew.

Enjoy your longest day everyone! Thanks for sticking with this wandering post 🙂

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I’ve known about Imbolc for some time–known that it was a festival/sabbat on the Wheel of the Year and, of course, knew about Groundhog’s Day.  For some reason this year I researched it more, starting a few weeks ago. I think that I made a prenatal appointment on that February 2nd, which triggered a memory recalling that date was also Imbolc, so I looked it up.

Imbolc is a celebration of quiet a conglomerate of different things. The Gaelic speaking Celts celebrated the goddess Brigid and called the festival Oimelc, gaelic for ‘in the ewe’s milk’ or ‘in the belly’, since this time corresponding with lambing and the coming of an ewe’s milk. Brigid, one of the primary goddesses in Celtic myth/legend/pantheon, is the goddess associated with midwifery, poetry, smithing and fire.

In Christian times, the feast became St. Brigid’s Day, as well as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin and Candlemas.  It’s also a time for weather divination, thus Groundhog’s Day (in other countries they have used such animals as snakes and cats).

Also, primarily, Imbolc/Oimelc/etc. is a celebration of the coming of Spring and the end of Winter. Winter snows turn into mid-winter rains, snowdrops and daffodils begin to emerge, lambing commences and the days grow longer. After the darkness of winter the sun begins to emerge.

I noticed early on that my pregnancy and the Wheel of the Year corresponded and thought that it would be neat to make reflections at each Feast Day/Sabbat—just as a method of keeping track. I had no idea that—even at the beginning, at Yule—that it would offer me some kind of hope that I needed. When Yule came I had yet to be in the real throes of first trimester depression. It was the holidays, and though I felt something amiss, I thought it might just be writer’s blues or holiday stress.

After the holidays, though, I actually became depressed. Listless. Unmotivated. Melancholy. Tired. I know that a lot of this can be and is caused by hormones, but even so—as one prone to depression, I don’t take these feelings lightly. As a soon-to-be mother, even less so. Still, at times, it felt perpetual and endless. I didn’t want this baby. I felt put upon, and more so, completely out of my depth. How was I supposed to raise a baby? How…how could I? It seemed an impossible, daunting, awful task. One that, before I became pregnant, I looked to with joy. After…

For the sake of symbolism, November through January was a time of my winter. The days shortened and darkness fell. Even during Yule, which celebrates the birth of the Sun, I didn’t feel it.

However. Weeks passed. I journaled. I wrote. I have an amazing husband. I began a search for a therapist to begin anew work that never should have stopped. We bought a house. I cleaned my house, thoroughly. And, eventually, I began to feel better. I suppose the hormones began to ease, but something else happened. I accepted, at first mentally, but then spiritually that I am going to be a mother. I will give birth. I will have a child. And I am capable of it.

So when February 2nd came I knew that I would be giving thanks. I planned a small ritual, a token of gratitude and honor to the Someone I believe is Up There.

I haven’t done much in the way of prayer or ritual in a very long time. Advent and Christmas felt blank to me and neither did Yule inspire.

But Tuesday felt…amazing. I sat in front of the candles and just prayed to God(dess)/Brigid/Creator/Whomever/Someone for a while and told them all the things I was grateful for. I thanked them for the rains that have graced the Hill Country this winter, for the sweet anticipation of the upcoming wildflowers (can’t wait!), for my baby, for my husband, for hope, and yes…even for winter and depression. Sorrow is the salt to our joy.

I cried while I prayed. I ate bread with almond butter and honey, and drank milk, in honor of Brigid. She seemed very close to me—someone I wanted to honor for childbirthing and storybirthing.  After about 45 minutes or so, I felt released from the ritual. Like I had housekeeping and hearthkeeping to accomplish—which is pretty appropriate given that in Scotland this day is a day of honoring the home.

I haven’t made any conclusions about this yet. But I know that it was important and I’m sure I’ll be mulling it over until my next post.

Until then, happy beginning-of-Spring.

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Back

I haven’t posted in almost three months.  Which is okay.  Honestly, there hasn’t been much to say in the last three months.  However…now there are things to post.

1. I did decide to join the church group. It’s okay, so far.  It’s not an official affiliate of the church, which helps, since it’s not structured as an actual church group.

2. I’m pregnant.

3. We’re buying a house

4. Things are stirring again

This is how life happens, how change happens. Things go dormant for a period and now they’re starting to stir again.  I relate it to the ‘Wheel of the Year’ concept. A lot stirred in me in the harvest period, and then, afterwards, things went dormant. Now, in the spirit of the new year, things are beginning to bud. Under the surface. Ever so minutely.

There is no doubt that it is winter, even in Central Texas. The skies are steely gray, cold rain drops cling to bare limbs. Freeze warnings extend through the week.

There is no doubt that it is winter in my person, in my soul. There is a darkness in me that is cold, freezing, absolute. I have complicated feelings about being pregnant, many of them to do with my own fears, with some sort of blight that I carry with me.  But there is light. You must have winter to have spring, and all that jazz.

So I’ll be changing up the banner, posting more often. I’m excited. Nervous. Apprehensive. But most of all, I’m glad that it is winter. I am glad that Yule has passed, and Christmas, and now we can begin our period of expectant waiting. It is necessary this year for me to truly be in winter, to experience it.

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