Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
recently you might have read about jenny's crazy accidental home birth...that went smooth as butter and there was joy and glee and maybe a little afterbirth accident or placenta gloppage here and there but overall it sounded pretty fucking amazing and beautiful and the stuff that makes you sing the lord's name and hug everyone around you..oh..and it happened on christmas eve and she is named evelyn. perfect, i know. now, before you think i am all jaded and bitter (which i am but more on that later) i also know that she ruined a perfectly good chiang mai dragon covered ottoman and that she was like 2 weeks overdue or some such horribleness. that is no fun i am sure. all big and uncomfortable for like ever. but let's define big...i wonder just how big jenny was? she is pretty much a slip of a girl anyway, so i wonder if she even got all that big. me? i weighed 200 pounds at delivery. normally i am about 135. my kid also dropped at 8 lbs. 15 oz. so yes, most of that weight was just me. fat, old me. and it took me nearly 4 years to get it all off. not 9 months as they say. you know, 9 months on, 9 months off...HA that's fucking bullshit is what that is. maybe if you are 25 or under, but i was 35 years old when i had fiona. and that shit doesn't come off so easy when you reach 30 and up. and don't believe all that angelina jolie bullcrap about "i breast feed so the weight just slides off".
bitch, i breast fed for THREE YEARS! all that does is make you eat more bc your fucking hungry as balls all the time. no angie, what you are is anorexic. don't bullshit me q-tip!!
ok ok ok...before i get carried away let me get to my point....today is the birthday of my dearest littlest five year old, fiona honey anderson. and i was asked by a fellow blogger to tell my tale. my tale of pregnancy and delivery and all that it was for me. she shall remain nameless at this time for fear my story will make you hate her for having me tell it. i think i understand...i mean..she is young..married, ready for children in the near future and wants to know from someone who never sugar coats anything on what being pregnant and giving birth is really like...you know...for the majority. b/c no matter how amazing and beautiful jenny's story is...it. is. NOT. the norm. nope. and everybody is different. if u are skinny now you will most likely be a skinny pregnant lady. i was never skinny. i was (am) curvy. i have boobs and a tummy. pretty small butt, good legs. kind of sausage-y arms...and a few chins if the angle is right. and that was before i was pregs. now it's still that way...just gravity has moved in and said...w'sup. so whatever your body looks like now...just amplify it in your mind and that's what pregnancy will do to it. pregnancy changes your body. i mean really changes it. you become more aware. more in tune to things. like taste and smell. in fact for most, things that used to smell awesome will now smell like the inside of a rotten vagina. powerful and strong like. make you leave the room, turn u into a raving bitch. as in, "mike...you cannot cook that tonight or for the next 6 months bc if you do i am liable to fucking chop your torso in half with a hatchet and then throw up all over your two halves". i remember not being able to walk through the produce section at whole foods without wanting to puke for 3 or 4 months. which is how long a normal bout of "morning sickness" lasts. but my friend anna had that shit for her. entire. pregnancy. srsly. she burst blood vessel's in her neck and shit from excessive vomiting. for 8 months. that is just evil..and would make you question the existence of god. mine lasted for 4 months. in fact it's not uncommon for you to lose weight in the first 3 months of pregnancy. i was so sick all i could do was lay on the couch and watch alias on dvd, all 3 seasons. and then it happened...i got hungry. it was joyous. i wanted...no...needed mashed potatoes! i made them from scratch. along with a gravy from scratch. it was so fucking good i am certain that i heard angels. and the rest is history. i became an eating machine. for the first time in a very long time i did not care at all about what i was putting in my mouth. i ate everything. i went from an all organic diet to, someone please go thru the fucking mcdonalds drive through and get me 1 of everything. NOW!!!!!!!!!!! and while your at it why don't u hit up chick fil a?
5 months later i weighed 200 lbs. so...be careful.
9 months and counting...
before i go any further its only fair to point out that i am a type 1 diabetic. have been since i was 29 years old. so i was what you call a "high risk pregnancy" that and that i was 35 at the time of her birth. so double risk. all this means is that your chances increase of having some kind of birth defect and/or a big baby. (diabetics have big babies all the time- but so do normal people so whatever) i was very closely monitored all thru my pregnancy. as in ultra sounds and stress tests every week. each and every time my results came back with applause and back pats, "wow, this is one healthy baby and you are doing great!! i can't tell u how many times we see such tragedy with a diabetic mother...". the doctors love to shove fear and authoritativeness in your face.
anyway...my pregnancy was rock solid. no complications and her size was right on track.
we ran into a little difference of opinion around 8 months in. the doctor said he would induce me at 39 weeks and i said the fuck you will. this baby will come when she is damn good and ready. i mean why induce if there are no complications...if the baby is doing great...if she's not too big..etc.. he said then i won't deliver the baby. and i was all...is this guy for real? can he do that?!? we agreed that i would go my full 40 weeks and then induce no matter what. she wasn't coming any time soon when 40 weeks rolled around, no dilation no nuthin! so on wednesday december 29th at 10 pm the hospital called and said, "we have a room ready for you". i remember we were at home watching anchorman. weird. but it's something i will never forget. just like my mom tells me that when she went into labor with me she was watching tiny tim sing tiptoe thru the tulips on johnny carson.
when we arrived they took us to our room and said they'd be back with the cervidil. for those that don't know, that's a drug that they insert into your vagina that hastens labor...at the very least it ripens your cervix. ripens your cervix. like a brown banana? anyway.. this is given in the evening so that in the morning you will be ready for bigger and better things..
next up....pitocin. this basically taps your baby on the face and says..."c'mon it's showtime!"
they just keep increasing the dose if they have to. and they had to. sometime in the afternoon on thursday (i lost all track of time b/c i made mike cover the clock on the wall with a shirt. i didn't want to know at this point what time it was, how long i had been in pain, how much longer i was going to be in pain etc..)i asked for an epidural.
ok, so no secret that having a baby is painful. i knew it would be. even though for 6months i was practicing the hypno birth cd's. lots of meditation and visualization. at the end of the day a whole lot of bullshit too. when that pain comes on no amount of breathing and visualizing is going to make it less painful. but here's the thing that i think will put it in perspective for you..
for me it wasn't so much about the pain...which when it comes on is like nothing you could have imagined and nothing anyone could ever say to you to try and explain it will help you to understand...but about how long will i have to endure it?? let me back up a bit...i wanted to have a natural childbirth. no pain management other than those stupid hypnosis cd's.
but as i said when that pain hit it was scary to say the least. while writhing in agony i was trying to decide how long will this go on before the actual baby pops out?? if it's an hour...i can do it. if it's 3, maybe. if it's 5 or more there is no way!! i am astonished that anyone anywhere EVER gives birth without an epidural. that said..and here's where it gets tricky...when you are induced with drugs that force contractions on you, you are not giving birth naturally. therefore the pain is worse. end of story. when u fuck with mother nature she fucks with you right back. so know that when you go to have that baby...do whatever u can to have that baby on your own (as a diabetic it just wasn't possible to go as long as jenny did) with no intervention. unless there are complications, of course. but if u are healthy, the baby is healthy...just wait. it will come.
did i mention that i still had not slept at all? yeah, so sometime around noon maybe? on thursday i was in tremendous pain and asked for the epidural. i was hoping that it would relax me enough and take away the pain enough so that i could go to sleep. so the anesthesiologist came in with a needle the size of my arm and told me to be still as he inserted it into my spine. internal guffaw was he kidding? be still? how still? every 3 minutes or so the pain would be so intense that i couldn't be still. it became a game for us all. he would sit there looking like he was dealing with a 7 year old at the dentist's office as my contractions came and went and i just prayed that i could be still for the 2 minutes he needed to put that motherfucker in my spine. tears..always tears streaming down my face. in all honesty i do not remember the pain of the needle b/c the pain in my uterus was way worse. but..as soon as that thing did it's thing...no more pain. but let me tell you...the feeling..or should i say lack of feeling in your legs is the weirdest physical experience i have ever had. you just can't feel your legs. your brain says i want to move my legs and you can move your legs you just can't feel them. which essentially makes them impossible to move. farting? pooping? can't feel it happening...more on that later..
there is a phenomenon that happens with the epidural for some people and that is extreme shaking. like if you had been out on a north pole expedition and you got locked out of your tent naked all night long and were partially frozen shaking. that happened to me. it was awful. teeth shattering crazy fucking shaking= no sleep. but at least the contractions were gone.
let's recap...wed. evening around 6:00 was the last time i ate anything or drank anything. thursday morning started having mild contractions...manageable even. where for a split second i was all...this is nothing..like period cramps! then sometime in the afternoon the wrecker ball contractions started happening and i was all...are u fucking kidding me with this bullshit? please give me the GD epidural. no sleep, no food, no water. i felt like i might die. dramatic but very very true. this is when all time started to standstill and i drifted into crazy jacobs ladder type hallucinations.
sometime thursday evening? the middle of the night? no idea here...i was told i was finally dilated enough to start pushing. this was good news. wasn't it? wait..why is there a fish standing in the corner smoking a cigar and giving me the finger? oh...no one sees that but me.
so i started to push. and push. and push. for so many hours. and here is the bit about the pooping. ok, so when you first get to the hospital you might be a little shy about being naked with your hairy (lets face it the last few months of pregnancy there is no grooming going on down there) birth cannon hanging out for all who enter the room to see. but by day 3 trust me when i say you could care less. after about 10 different nurses came in and had there hands all up inside me and i pooped so many times during the pushing- awesome really bc you smell something and are all..who farted? and then you realize it's you! you can't feel anything waist down. but everyone is all cool about it. they just quietly clean it up and throw it away. gross i know but it is what it is. although i honestly don't see how my husband could ever get those passionate feelings for me ever again after watching poop come out of my butt. or a vagina that looked probably like someone had chopped it up with ginsu knives. but he did, does...bless him.
ok, so after all those hours of pushing the fruits of my labor (pun intended) weren't panning out. so finally in walks the doctor for the first time ever! and says..either you go in for a c-section now or i pull with forceps. apparently there was a lot of stress on the baby b/c i was under so much stress. i think there were whispers of "we might lose the mother if we keep this up". i said, forceps first then c-section. well, i am sure it sounded like this: "hfuoyuopqiuehtqeu beoufhoq;ei qihr qhfnouhoe".
in all honestly i was so relieved when doctor said forceps. it was like a little metal leprechaun was going to move into my vagina and pull the baby out for me. no more work for me!!! hooray, a thousand times HOORAY!!! after about 10 minutes there were some concerned glances and silence. not only were her shoulders coming out straight on but the cord appeared to wrapped around her neck. i think they were more concerned about her shoulders. why? hmmm...that's weird and then i heard the 'pop'. an undeniable pop. thank christ i couldn't feel anything. that pop was my vagina and about 4 inches of flesh connecting it to my butthole. you see, when you give birth you are more than likely to tear a little bit and a great nurse/doula/midwife will massage that area and make it all pliable and shit. as a diabetic no doula/midwife was given to me even though i asked, so i did not have a pliable vagina..but in my vagina's defense my baby's shoulders would have torn the most relaxed vagina on the planet. see babies turn on their way out. so their shoulders are more curved. mine came out like a linebacker making an offensive play.
so she came out all beautiful and quiet. this was a concern but the doctor reassured me she was fine. but i wasn't so sure. the cord was wrapped around her but they fixed that right away. all i know is before i even wanted to see my child i wanted a glass of water. i was begging in the quietest voice imaginable for water. once i felt quenched it was back to the child. once i heard her cry i was relieved. happy. alive again. but i was stuck..on that table for 2 more hours!!! i had 4th degree tears. i think there are 4 degrees total. which essentially means the tears went so far up that stiches (2 hours worth) were required. ladies...please....massage your vagina...get a midwife!
this is the part no one tells you about! what happens to you after you get home. first of all i had to pee thru a catheter while at the hospital for the remainder of my stay. i was constipated from all the junk (drugs) in my system, no food, no water etc..plus the stitches were in my butthole, making pooping ridiculous if not impossible. imagine having the feeling that you are about to diarrhea all over the place but someone has sewn your butthole shut. that's all i'll say on that subject b/c it's too gross even for me!
in fact i'll just give you a checklist of what you can expect:
crazy raging hormones like someone has killed your best friend (now this is also known as post partum, mine was very mild and short lived, others are not so lucky)- CHECK!
complete frustration as to how in the fuck breastfeeding will ever work-CHECK! (hang in there, get help, call a lactation consultant..whatever it takes!)
yellow, sallow skin and melasma all over your face- CHECK!
hemorrhoids for days-CHECK!
still no sleep-CHECK!
your nether regions so sore it will feel like you have been gang banged every hour on the hour for a week straight. (not that i have any idea what that feels like but it has to be similar-tell me gayhooker would i be close?)-CHECK!
they say you forget the pain of childbirth over time. clearly i haven't. in fact it remains the primary reason fiona is an only child. if i weren't a diabetic and 40 years old i would for sure have another. but the hospital intervened too much resulting in a very dissatisfied experience.
this is not true for everyone. i know, i get it. this is my experience. but all too often i think women rely on epidurals, inductions, c-sections as time savers, etc...i think this is why jenny's experience was so wonderful. it just happened. the way nature intended. thus less pain, more joy.
if i were to do it all over again (minus the age and diabetes) i would labor at home with a midwife or a doula and we would decide when i needed to go to the hospital (home births are messy and if it's your first time- too scary). i would have a lactation consultant in the delivery room with me ready to go as soon as that baby popped out (barring any complications of course) and then i would ask for a sleeping pill and i would sleep for 8+ hours (waking only to feed) while grandma's took care of the little one. yep. that's the best way i feel. then go home and commence motherhood forever.
there is more that happened in terms of hospital rules vs. me that i would be glad to go into with anyone who was curious via email. and if jenny is reading this please know that i think your home birth was amazing and i am super jealous of that. i couldn't even hold fiona for the first day of her life b/c i was too weak and sick. i will never have that back either. granted, she ...SHE was healthy, strong and happy. it was me that was a fucking mess.
and today she is 5. happy birthday my little angel. i love you more than anything in this entire world. you taught me unconditional love. what it means to love fully no matter what. and i would do it all again.
art by frida kahlo
but i would not pay 40 dollars when i have one of these from cb2 already and it holds a candle that i never light..so off to the plant nursery i go. btw this candle holder/TERRARIUM costs 3.95.
in my search for images of hermes blankets this morning i didn't come across very many...most likely due to the fact that they are well over a thousand dollars a pop so only the ridiculously rich or stupid have them. you have probably seen most of these. in case you were wondering my blanket was orange and white. but this one is the one i would buy if i were ridiculously rich and/or stupid:
see....kelly wearstler's son has one:
she probably has one too:
images via your mother
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
while flipping thru said issue i saw this dining room and was smitten. i think it is fresh and exciting and it pleases my eyeballs. the big ass light fixture, the cool shelves in the back (love those), the sconces painted black (doing this to mine tomorrow), the settee and industrial looking chairs...it's just fun and cool and i haven't seen it a thousand times.......yet.
and then there's this- black walls. glimmering gleaming glowing black walls:
a major "trend" right now and i am so not over it. how could you be? it's so gorgeous! it's warm and sexy, bold and neutral, and it just plain makes me want to butter my corn. so perfect with the light floors and the woven blinds.
what are the trends you would like to see go and stay forever? even though it is understood that we as a group hate the word "trend"...
this is lamp porn:
open shelves and art in the kitchen is good:
upon further inspection we see that this is an eat in kitchen with sitting room tendencies (i just made that up):
i daresay i will never tire of this nina campbell wallpaper :
all images via living etc
Sunday, December 27, 2009
do however make them. u will be so glad u did. and they are vegan and healthful and shit so u will feel inherently better about eating them.
i made them for christmas and i have had 2 every day since christmas. there is one left and i am hoping supermike eats it before i get to it. (that is a lie)
anyway..where was i? oh yes. FUCKING MAKE THESE!!
here is the recipe provided by cher aka alicia silverstone (with my modifications which i feel make them better):
1⁄2 cup Earth Balance butter (u could use reg butter but let me tell u..earth balance is delicious)
3⁄4 cup crunchy peanut butter ( i used creamy-unsweetened, unsalted)
(preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
3⁄4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
1⁄4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener ( i used maple sugar and i grinded it up with the graham crackers in the food processor b/c maple sugar granules are BIG- also maple sugar is crazy expensive but worth it)
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips (fuck this bullshit too, grain sweetened choc chips are no where near as good as the reg and carob chips taste like dirty balls. but i make sure i use mostly dark chips with NO dairy or filler. whole foods 365 brand dark choc chips are what i used)
1⁄4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk ( i use so delicious brand unsweetened coconut milk in the dairy case at whole foods. it is perfect. but if u are into the dairy thing milk would work too)
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts (no thanks)
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. (If You Care makes unbleached liners made from recycled paper.)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat.
Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan.
Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
Top with chopped nuts.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.
ok..i have made these a few times and after the first time i learned the hard way that after u pour the peanut butter/graham cracker/earth balance mixture into the muffin tin FIRST refrigerate it so that it gets firm and chilled for about 30 minutes...THEN pour the chocolate mixture over it.
then chill according to the recipe.
for more vegan recipes via the kind diet cookbook go to the kind life website.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Michael Berg replies:
Almost all spiritual leaders of history are different than what most of us have come to think of them, be it Abraham, Jesus, Mohammad, or Buddha. In the case of Jesus, for instance, it’s known that many cultures have their own version of how he looked. In Africa, for example, he is often portrayed as having African features, whereas in North America he typically has North American features, and so forth. In most cultures his physical visage is made to look like the people of that country.
In truth, his teachings, as with his appearance, are often misunderstood.
To understand Jesus, it is important to understand the environment from which Jesus came. As Alfred Edersheim writes in The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, “The Galileans are said to have inclined towards mystical (Kabbalistic) pursuits. Among such people, and in that country, Jesus spent by far the longest part of his life upon earth.”
Jesus descended from a long line of spiritual teachers. Therefore, the focus of his teachings was not so much on the physical practices of religion but more on the inner spiritual aspects. That is why he rejected rote observance of religion. He felt that in his time many who were practicing religion were coming from a place of just that – practice, not a process of inner change. This wrought all kinds of corruption and negative interpretations of religion, spirituality, and the understanding of God’s purpose for putting man on earth.
When you look at it from this view, one of Jesus’ important messages was don’t get stuck in the ritual. If you are authentic in your spiritual work, then you are constantly growing and improving on the inside. Never practice religion simply as an external action. The purpose of it all is to bring internal change to become a better person.
In line with this, therefore, was his great focus on the teaching of love and compassion. It is impossible for a person to call himself spiritual and yet have anger and animosity towards another human being.
The core of spirituality is non-judgmental love.
Unfortunately, some take religious teachings, and even Jesus’ teachings, and use it as a platform for separation, looking down on people, or instilling fear and self-loathing. Clearly, one of his overriding messages was the Old Testament concept of “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”. There is nothing a person seeking spirituality can be doing in their lives that leads to anything different than or opposite from this message. Jesus wanted us to understand that religious practice is here to bring us back to this goal.
If this is truly understood, then love and compassion must lead to tolerance. Through his experience as one who went against the status quo, he was both marginalized and persecuted. As a result, he clearly gained a great appreciation for the importance of holding a space for others who have opposing views. He spent his “Light” railing against intolerance and lack of human dignity for those who are different and to those with whom we very much disagree. What he taught us is that underlying all our spiritual pursuits must be an understanding of human dignity and tolerance for all people. As Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”During this holiday season, we all have so much we can learn from the life and teachings of Jesus. To be religious or spiritual means a constant process of growing and changing, consistently becoming a better and better person, knowing that none of our beliefs can – nor should they – bring us anything but a growing sense of love, compassion, and tolerance for those whom we love, and, more importantly, for those with whom we disagree.
May all these teachings enable us to experience the great Light and power of this holiday season.
i think jesus is awesome. it is generally the people who follow jesus who i find to be not awesome. either way. happy birthday jesus. merry christmas and happy holidays readers. i love each and every one of you and i have had a great time getting to know you and myself through this blog.