clara’s story.

The Conception and Pregnancy

Taken on my due date, December 6th, 12 days before she came earthside. Unfortunately this is the last belly picture. Everything happened so quickly that photos were forgotten.

Taken on my due date, December 6th, 12 days before she came earthside. Unfortunately this is the last belly picture. Everything happened so quickly that photos were forgotten.

I set the intention for this pregnancy in January surrounded by a group of women that exuded the feminine divine. I was pregnant mid March. The nausea started and didn’t stop for the entire 1st trimester, all day all night. It was havoc on my household. Everyone suffered. After that I got a month long sinus infection that was taken to pneumonia status. It seemed my health would never return. But it did eventually and I had a decent 6th and 7th month. The 8th month however was brutal. I got sick again, was not gaining weight and there was talk of c-sections for the babies safety. I put out gobs of prayer requests, set up an altar at home for the baby and did everything within my power to take care of myself. I prayed that I would go past my due date when it seemed that all odds were against it. The doctor that my midwife sent me to said I would never make it to my due date and if she were me she would just have a c-section. My midwife, upon hearing of my determination to have my baby at home no matter what, gave me a wincing face and would not share my faith in positive thinking.

Even through this crazy chaos, I was so grateful for this life inside me.

Blessedly I have an amazing husband and a group of phenomenal friends and family that all shared my faith.

I was set to defy my doctor and midwife of their reasoning and put myself into the hands of Spirit. I had daily conversations with the baby asking him/her to hang out until we were both ready for the healthiest birth. My due date came and went and I slowly started to feel better and more positive. I felt ready. I was 12 days late.

The Birth Day

The previous day (Wednesday) I’d been having lower back pain for a large portion of the day. I told Niko that I felt positive we would go into labor the next day, Thursday. Thursday dawned well after having mild contractions all night around 45 minutes apart. I felt good. I felt great actually. Daisy wanted to stay home but I told her no. I’d call her if things got serious.

My midwife called me early morning to see how I was doing and I told her about the contractions, that they were still far apart but I felt positive. She then proceeded to tell me if I didn’t have the baby by my 2 week late date (Saturday) she was required by law to send me to the hospital for care, and that we had to schedule a diagnostic ultrasound immediately because again it was required by law and if they deemed the baby less than 100% passing on their “test” they would send me in for induction immediately even if we hadn’t hit that 14 days. I told her my baby was fine. I was fine. I wasn’t comfortable going for the ultrasound but she said there was no choice. She then proceeded to tell me that her most recent client went 2 weeks over, failed the diagnostic, was induced at the hospital and after a horrendous labor had to have a c-section.

Yes. That is how she claimed my lovely morning and relaxed peace of mind. And I let her.

When I hung up the phone with her I was in tears. A complete basket case. My husband was amazing, as usual. He did what he could to calm me down. Told me we’d fire the midwife if necessary and that everything would be ok. We talked about the repercussions of everything and decided to just be in the moment as much as possible. At that point my contractions had stopped. Completely. Thank you, dear Midwife. I’d just read not hours before about trying to stay as relaxed as possible when contractions began to help along labor. I’d been spun in the complete opposite direction.

I sent out prayer/magic requests for the second time and asked Niko if we could go for a walk. So we put Leelu in her stroller and walked for more than an hour. It felt good and began to relax me again. The contractions returned 45 minutes apart. When we returned from our walk my friend Laura came over with some essential oils, a talisman, and love. She saged me and we meditated on some childbirth verses for awhile. Then she told me that she felt I should eat something comforting. That my body wanted to be fed something decadent. So she went and got me a slice of heavenly chocolate cheesecake from our neighborhood health food store. She had no idea that I’d been on a crazy strict diet for the last month plus of no chocolate or sugar, among other things and that cheesecake was probably JUST what my body was asking for. After she left it was around 2:30. I allowed time for some intimacy with my beloved, for the sake of ripening my cervix. (tmi? I’m all for full disclosure.) I was determined. Contractions were still 45 minutes apart.

He left for the store around 3:15 and called my sister to tell her where we were with everything because she was to be present for the birth. He told her it would probably still be hours (because that’s what I told him). My guestimate was 8ish. I hadn’t called my midwife back at that point because I was still 45 minutes apart and was feeling good again. I didn’t want to jinx it. Leelu was napping and Daisy got home a little after 3:30. I was in bed and we talked about our day. She started timing my contractions around 3:45 or so. At that point they started speeding up. Dramatically. I still felt it would be awhile though. I did the dishes, talked about showering and vacuuming, but when Niko got home I told him there would be no time to set up the birthing pool and he needed to call the midwife because my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart. THAT fast. It was somewhere around 4:20… My sister arrived and I was in the bathroom. I had her lay down a shower curtain on the living room rug and top it with a soft blanket. I was down to less than 2 minutes apart.

A very dark photo, taken from my phone. There are no others to show the magic we experienced. But that's ok. They are ingrained in our hearts.

A very dark photo, taken from my phone. There are no others to show the magic we experienced. But that’s ok. They are ingrained in our hearts.

Daisy took Leelu to our neighbors house (I’d given Leelu the option of staying) and when Daisy came back I was on all fours having decently wicked contractions. I felt I needed to push and did. I told Niko to take my pants off (yes, I still had them on. I could only think so far ahead 🙂 ) and look to see what was going on. My sister looked and saw the baby’s head crowning. With the next contraction I pushed her head out and Carrie reached in to help me deliver the rest of her. All in one single one minute long contraction. She was so ready. She was born into my sister and husband’s arms around 4:40 (no one thought to look at a watch) with my little sister and oldest daughter present. She was perfect and it was out of control magical. The midwife showed up about 15 minutes later and delivered the placenta and took care of the rest of the story 🙂 She and the doula stayed for the next couple hours and I was glad when she was gone. The pregnancy had been difficult. The worry and stress probably more than I’ve ever experienced, But the birth was perfect and our little Clara Magdalene is here, 7 lbs, 7 ozs. She latched onto my breast beautifully and slept most of her first night in the world, giving her mommy more sleep than I’ve gotten in a long time.

This girl is a remarkable piece of a Divine Plan. Thank you to everyone that played a part in the magic.

My 3 girls <3

My 3 girls ❤

The day after...

The day after…

2 blessed weeks old

2 blessed weeks old

the soul fire.

(This post has been adapted from a FB feed that I am apart of~ but I feel it’s essential to the work that I’m doing here, and I wanted to share it with you.)

I woke up this morning around 12:45, my head full of wows, sighs, and aHa’s after meeting with my A.C. (accountability buddy) yesterday evening for this business/soul purpose course I’m taking (MEAN Business: Turning Passion into Profit~ check it out, it’s AMAZING). After another half hour of no sleeping I decided to get up and write this down. I have been asking for time. Well, it’s after midnight and everyone’s sleeping but me. Hello opportunity. Take it.

So here’s the thing: From the beginning I wasn’t even sure I should be a part of this course. All these beautiful people knew exactly what they wanted (so I thought) and I just have a jumbled idea of what makes my heart sing. But after emailing with Jacqui (the genius behind MEAN Biz), she gave me courage to give it a shot, and she would do her best to serve as my guide.

I must admit that the first couple calls still had me flailing. The niche call left me spinning. The story call had me gasping for air. All of these little pieces from each call kept filling my head. “What am I a master of?” “Dabbling is deadly.” “First thought, best thought.” “Take big leaps.” “Kill the darlings.” “Get on your knees everyday.” “Start with the end in mind.”

When it came down to it though, even just filling out the pre-questionaire allowed me to gain a little more insight. It forced me to look at myself, my wants, my needs. And after these weeks of just trying to write things down and hash it out with my 2 A.B.s, I’m actually starting to feel like I am traveling in a certain direction. My first real aHa moment was last night when I was sitting with my beautiful sister, (and fellow course taker) Lauren. Sewing is a hobby. Wham! Yes it brings me a little bit of money and helps me release some creative energy but it’s not my WORK. This realization for me was huge and had me reeling. I love this craft. I love seeing and hearing people’s excitement when they love said craft. But Lauren helped me see that it was not this that I was focusing on. It was my teaching, my workshops, my Priestess work. (Full disclosure: Lauren has experienced these things directly as we are neighbors, friends and have had a teacher/student relationship in the past). I also expressed to her my discouragement that I felt out of the present moment with the course because everything is so active and I felt like I was on hold. (New baby due in December leads me to question immediate future in business.) But she helped me see how I could put these last couple months of “cooking” time to work for me. Seriously. I am in awe of what I feel right now. Also considerably freaked out to have my Gemini brain feel such focus. Total awesomesauce.

So I’m laying in bed not sleeping~ thinking about how these revelations completely change the way I will function on a daily basic. My “ideal day”. How I spend Leelu’s naptime. Even the books I check out from the library!

And I don’t have to stop sewing. It’s an important hobby and outlet, and will help generate income and interest in my farm and service in some instances. But it’s not my focus and not where I’ll put my energy anymore. I KNOW something definitive now. The what what. Fuck. I’m blown away.

There was something else that helped this come clear as well. Someone posted a comment in another feed about your purpose being light… feeling light around your service. And I realized that while I have a total blast working festivals and selling my wares~ when I come home from a workshop that I’ve lead, I feel ecstatic. I am HIGH from the magic and energy and utter JOY that I just experienced with those women. And then to realize that this is part of my STORY, that it always has been, that it’s part of my transformation, my first thought, best thought DECADES ago… Holy Wow.

And so now to hone that feeling, that vision. Make it my true north. Start with the end in mind.

My soul is on fire.

 

Love deeper.

On the new moon I wrote a letter to my husband. We hadn’t exactly been seeing eye to eye for awhile. It’s been a difficult time in my house as of late. Raw emotions running wild. So in honor of the moon and my family’s well being and happiness, I made intentions to clear my head, breathe more, and make more of an effort to recognize the rift and try my best to mend it. There is not much more important in this life than those you choose to make your family. This is it. Make it count.

I can happily say that it has been going well. The full moon just past and both he and I have been working with each other to make things better.

Here’s to love and compassion.

solstice.

The rhythms of my life seem to ebb and flow. Maybe this is as it should be. The Earth moves through her cycles, so I move through mine. I wax and I wane. I rise and I set. It is the Solstice. That time when the sun shines the longest and then gradually begins to fade. Though we are at the height of summer and I rejoice in that, this time of year still brings me sadness. Is it the letting go? I don’t necessarily have difficulty with letting go. Perhaps it’s the turning back in as we enter the waning half of the year. A cause for self reflection. I have been feeling that a bit.

I am just shy of 4 months pregnant. A conception that we asked for, though it has been a very difficult one. I have been so sick with this pregnancy that it has left me rather desolate. Winter passed to Spring and opened to Summer all while I lay miserable in bed. Everyone suffered. And now, as I finally begin to come back to myself, life and living take hold of me forcefully, leaving not much time for breath or quiet moments, or things I know are necessary before we welcome another baby into this home.

Leelu is not yet weaned. I am trying but she is attached. And if it were not for this pregnancy I wouldn’t concern myself with it, but I and this new babe need the nutrients. Leelu nurses for comfort and I love her for that. I pray to the Goddess that I do right by her when this baby comes.

With the sickness of the pregnancy I put everything on hold. My classes were over. I took hiatus from all writing work, no sewing, no study, no farming (Niko took that over). I am still barely cooking. And now that I am coming back to myself I find I am reassessing. What is important? What is necessary? I am easily overwhelmed and cannot handle multiple tasks or projects. We are trying to prepare the house to put on the market and are still in negotiations with the owner of the land that we love. That is a very high priority right now. Yet at the same time I am feeling called to teach again, to heighten the Goddess and her work in my life and share that with others. I miss yoga. I miss my practice, which has been nonexistent these last few months. With Leelu I was teaching until I was 7 months along. This time around my body is in a whole new spectrum of (not-so) wellness.

I feel a crossroads of knowing exactly where I am going in my life but not fully what I am (or will be) doing when I get there; of needing to know my purpose again. My “I am”. I am so many things.

I turned 35 on Tuesday. (As my sister says, “half way to 70” 🙂 ) I feel no qualms about age. I am happy with aging and accept it with all the grace I can muster. But there is still a lingering discontent. Yet, just the thought of trying to figure out why makes me all shades of nervous. One thing. Just pick one thing and focus. Is this an impossible task for a Gemini? Maybe the last few months of being mostly bedridden was a blessing in disguise. A time where I had no choice but to let everything go and “do” nothing.

So my Solstice lesson and practice: Rejoice and be present in what is. Change is the natural way of things. Let it go and flow. Everything comes full circle~ the seasons of the Earth and the seasons of your Soul.

Blessed be to your and yours on this Holy Day.

a sigh of relief.

A letter for my Circle Sisters:

Dear Sisters,

It is just past midnight as I write this, mere hours since I left you. I thought that I would come home after this night, and breathe a sigh of relief at having my life back. My mind, my heart, all of space and time which has been yours, albeit willingly. It is finished. I did it. We did it. So much of me went into this project, and I know you felt it. My family has missed me. I must learn how not to pour myself in so deeply but it would not have been what it was, or what it will continue to be, had I not. I must learn balance if I am to continue on this Path. But, yes, the sigh of relief. I suppose it is still there but for a different reason. I could cry at the joy that we all experienced in each others presence. I could cry for the bonds we made and the hearts we opened. I could cry for the magic. And that is the sigh. That is where it comes from. That with courage of the unknown I set out to explore the boundaries of myself while holding your hands and taking you with me. That we held space together in sheer faith alone, not knowing what would become of it, or us. That we discovered deep within our souls what many of us had been missing: Sisterhood. I am honored. You have blessed me every step of the way. My sigh of relief is that there exists such magic. I knew it in my heart. Thank you for reminding me.

With love and the deepest gratitude, ~B

dream good. stay glad. and wake up and fight.

Those are the words of Woody Guthrie from a list of new years intentions for 1942. Here’s the whole page.

woodyguthrie He has a lot of good zingers on there, but the 3 above are my favorite.  Although my New Year happened on Samhain, I cannot help but be involved in the year passing. 2014. Wow. It seems so futuristic and space age to me. 2013 was good for us. It brought a lot of clarity, acceptance, and needed change. It showed us what we didn’t want, and that hard work is the only way to get what we’re asking for. We’re not afraid. Bring it on. 2013 taught me to be more authentic and gave me the courage to do so. I’m going to continue that momentum for this year ahead. But the only real intention that I set for myself was this:

Take time to Love and Be Loved everyday.

I was sitting outside milking the goats tonight and that is what I kept thinking about. Sometimes I am so bothered by the needs of others. Just let me be. This is not a positive way to move through my days. I am not being bothered. I am being loved. The tugs on my shirt. The mommy, mommy, pleeeaase. My husband groping me affectionately, or my 16 year old needing a ride to a friends house. These are things that are family. I love my family. I am grateful for my family. 6 months ago, I almost lost my family. And I don’t want another day to go by without showing them the love that they deserve. That goes for myself too. I need to open myself to being loved.

So much is moving for us. Our visions are manifesting more now than they ever have before. We have been working for it. We have been asking. Our dreams are coming true. Sure we still have a ways to go. But we can see it in the distance. And it is breathtaking.

Presently, I am leading a workshop for women. We are coming up on the 3rd week out of 7. They are more magical than I dreamed. These women are amazing and each class is better than the last. We are inspiring the love out of each other and it is exciting to see so much hope in the Feminine. I was scared. But I did it anyway. And I am so glad I did.

I rededicated both my journal and my altar for the new year. I also made a Vision board and it is hanging on our office wall so that my husband and I see it everyday. I have great hope for the year ahead.

Namaste’ and Blessed be. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your community.

creating an altar

creating an altar

sacred_collage

 

standing in the deep.

At Samhain I worked a spell asking in one work a wish that I wanted to claim. My word that I cast forth unto the flame was Witch. I’ve been working on standing in the essence of who I am. It is not an easy thing to do, for any of us, but it is necessary. When I wrote the word witch on that paper, I was ready to mean it. I wanted it with my whole being. The Wild Woman. The Healer. The Priestess. The Mother. The Steward. The Sister. The Human. The Goddess… and so much more does it mean to me… And from that moment, it has been a steady path of discovery. Both loving and challenging. In the 6 years of my marriage my husband’s family have not known that part of me. They do now. They are Christians by the Book. They are dealing with it difficultly, but they are dealing with it I hope. The revelation has served to open up a dialogue between my husband and his mother. And he, as always has been beautiful and brilliant in dealing with this new challenge. He sees it as ever a learning opportunity and comes from a place of compassion when talking with his parents. I am blessed to have him at my side. I’ve also been actively taking steps toward my visions of the future. Niko and I both have. I made a huge vision board on Samhain as well, and then the following day announced a workshop that I would be holding from Solstice to Imbolc, bringing yoga and ritual into 7 mini retreats. It is an area I’ve wanted to explore for a very long time, but always let things stand in my way. Ever since the accident (bad car wreck back in late June, with my girls) I just decided that I can no longer live half a life. And so I move forward even if I cannot see what will come. So, in 3 weeks I will begin this journey with 15 other women. It’s been a lot of work so far and will continue to be. And I must be honest in saying that I am nervous. Very. But it is an active step in my Priestess journey and a smaller piece of the bigger picture that Niko and I see in our future. You just have to begin. The darkness is deep right now. I can feel it holding me and nurturing me as we move towards the Solstice. Things are happening. Life is happening. And I am striving to move into it with courage and grace.

Embrace the darkness, my friends. And prepare to welcome back the light.