Yogic Meditations

Our yoga teacher Nikki at Surf With Amigas is my favorite yoga teacher ever. She’s not all “woo woo” up-in-the-clouds, overly-spaced-out like so many yoga teachers can be, and yet she’s super spiritual and very tuned into the energy that surrounds us and emanates from us. She primarily teaches yin classes, which is exactly what I want post-surf, with quite a bit of guided meditation relevant to something that happened that day, the phase of the moon, or the changing season.

I’m busy during retreats and don’t always get a chance to participate in her class, but when I do make time to attend I’m always grateful. The other day we had a super shoulder-opener class that ended with an extra long savasana and a guided meditation. It was the most emotional I’ve felt in a yoga class since the first class I ever took with Nikki where I actually shed a few tears.

She asked us to imagine ourselves lying on the beach in the sand with the waves lapping up towards our feet. She vividly described the waves coming up one at a time, each one reaching further along our bodies until we were surrounded by warm water from toe to head. To be honest, I was so lost in the trance that I can’t accurately repeat what she was saying. I can say that I don’t particularly love the feeling of rolling in the sand or lying there as waves wash up over me. I imagined sand flooding into my bikini bottoms and wanted to get up out of the water. So I got up, walked a few feet further up the beach, and flopped down on a sarong in the shade of a big almond tree just above the high tide line. I looked down at the gentle shorebreak and saw my husband Kim and our baby holding hands, standing ankle deep in the water. As Nikki described the waves coming and going, I imagined them soaking Kim and the baby’s feet, then ankles, then knees, etc. I had dedicated the practice to nourishing the new life growing inside me. Nourishing the baby with the early experience of the sea. The delicious feeling of warm salty water washing over toes and then knees. I felt so happy and content to lay there and watch them enjoying the ocean together.

I could only see the baby from behind, a toddler with curly blonde hair, and I kept trying to tell if it was a girl or a boy. With each successive wave, the gender seemed to change. First I thought he was a boy, then she was a girl, and back and forth until I gave up trying to guess and just relaxed in the realization that the joy I felt was equal in either case.

I’m so looking forward to introducing our little one to the ocean.

father-and-child-surfing-2

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Little Kicker

bumping 4 mos

 

A few days ago I began my 18th week of pregnancy. It was early morning, about 5am. The howler monkeys were loudly celebrating the sunrise in the distance and although we still had another half hour before the coffee smells drifted through the open window, I was awake. For the first time I was sure that I felt the little creature inside me kicking. I gently picked up my husband’s sleepy hand and rested it on my belly so he could feel it too. It was the most awesome moment of our pregnancy so far. As if the baby was joining in with the monkeys in letting us know it was time to get up and greet the day.

 

Surfing at 17 weeks Pregnant

At 17 weeks pregnant, my belly has started to grow. I definitely feel it when I paddle. I’ve been trying to put more weight on my knees/thighs to take the pressure off my belly, which works pretty well other than that it is now a bit harder to paddle into waves. I’m riding a wider/thicker board and a little slower to my feet, but once I’m up and riding I’m feeling great!

Demand for Water Births on the Rise, Even In Hospitals

The definition of “natural birth” in a hospital setting is essentially just “giving birth without pain medication”. In most cases, the woman labors on her back, attached to a monitor with an IV in her arm “just in case”, and a doctor or nurse telling her when and how to push. That doesn’t seem very natural to me.

Fortunately, it seems that the demand for water births is growing and despite many hurdles such as doctor inexperience, insurance concerns etc., sometime soon giving birth – or at least laboring – in a calming, pain-relieving tub of water may not seem unusual at all.

The article below talks about some things keeping water births from becoming the norm despite plenty of evidence that laboring in water makes the birth experience so much more pleasant.

http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/03/childbirth-in-a-tub

What’s Wrong With Ultrasounds

I’m a nerd. I love learning, particularly by reading, and when I take up a new pursuit I put everything into it. I feel like i’ve signed up for a 6-months-long, independent study program with a grueling final exam at the end. Luckily, I have a few trust-worthy lab partners and a lot of enthusiasm to learn. I’m also a cynic. I like to look for holes in arguments and consider the sources. So i’ve been doing a lot of critical thinking.

I recently finished reading a book called The Business of Baby by Jennifer Margulis. The subtitle is “What doctors don’t tell you, what corporations try to sell you, and how to put your pregnancy, childbirth, and baby before their bottom line”.  It was an interesting and informative read, despite the fact that it seemed a bit over the top. The case studies used to prove her points were incredibly extreme and clearly not the norm. The message I took from the book is basically that hospitals are dangerous, doctors DO NOT have your best interest at heart, and even those that are trying to do the right thing and truly care for their patients are handicapped by things like insurance concerns and hospital regulations, or are brainwashed by corporations.
Continue reading What’s Wrong With Ultrasounds

5 Hospital Procedures that Ruin Your Birth

My midwife posted a link to an article listing five hospital procedures that ruin your birth. Based on the feedback i’ve been receiving after telling friends and acquaintances of my decision to have a home birth, i’ve realized that there’s a lot of ignorance out there as to what is actually necessary, what’s helpful, and what’s simply hurtful when it comes to having babies.
Continue reading 5 Hospital Procedures that Ruin Your Birth

Surfing at 14 weeks Pregnant

Now that I’m into the second trimester my energy is back to near-normal levels. I don’t feel sick in the mornings, although I am overly tired in the afternoons. But I am able to surf again without feeling exhausted just from walking down the beach. I’m trying to take it a bit easy and not wrench my core on cutbacks, takeoff on gnarly waves, or attempt turns I’m unlikely to make. Taking it easy is easier when the waves are smaller. A few days ago, we had a nice clean swell and though I was working – coaching ladies on a Surf With Amigas retreat – I was able to sneak in a few waves of my own. We’ll see how long I can keep up this level of surfing….

barefoot, salty, and with child