Tag Archives: beautiful

Sprouting.

2 nights ago we had a slight freeze. I had already started planting, so we covered all the gardens, even where they were mostly dirt. I didn’t want to take any chances. Luckily we were on top of that enough that only one plant was affected- 1 of 2 basil plants was frost bit enough it may not survive.

Otherwise everything survived and when we uncovered I was pleasantly surprised by more sprouts showing.

The pesky squirrels have eaten some of my bulbs, so I bought a just few more to start inside so I can fill in gaps as needed.

So far this is how things are coming along:

Existing plants coming back:


I’m so excited for all these beautiful plants I get to enjoy from previous owners and my therapist, but that’s not all!

The plants I started from seed and bulbs are sprouting! The darned squirrels got a few, but there’s still a lot coming up. Flowers and vegetables are all sprouting. I’m super excited. It may not look like much, just a lot of dirt, but if you look close you can see all the different sprouts. The baby plants, there’s lettuces, cabbage, onions, strawberry, and herbs (minus one frost-bit basil). I’m so excited to see things take off. I will have lots of pretty flowers and plants and almost as many edibles.

May you have exciting enjoyable sights. May your gardens and life sprout with all the good things. May beautiful things bless your experience. May you get to reap some benefits of those that came before you. May you have beautiful things that you didn’t have to work so hard for. May you get to enjoy nature and your life. May your days be blessed and fill of all kinds of beauty.

Siva Hir Su

Society wins again.

I’m having a bit of a mental breakdown. Not the end of the world, I’m doing everything in my power to fix it.

I suspect it’s hormones butting up against my feeble attempt to release beliefs which are definitely holding me back.

I know I am strong, I know I’m independent, capable, intelligent. I know I’m good at what I do and my business ever grows. I know I’m better every day at patience, kindness, and mastering money. I know I am able to do anything I put my mind to and willing to keep learning new things. I know I’m compassionate and caring towards everyone.

I know I’ve been working on myself for a long time and doing better in many ways because of it.

I care about myself enough to fix what’s broken, especially to make strides towards healing my body, my mind, and nourishing every part of myself. Honoring who I am. I’m not perfect, I’m human, but considering I was raised to not do any such thing, I’ve made huge strides.

Today’s efforts included finishing a book, healthy choices in diet and supplements (still doing pescatarian AIP), and going to the gym because they all help me be a better me.

Yet my workout was interrupted by tears and embarrassment. Running to the bathroom I hid in a stall crying. Another woman asked me if I needed anything, if I was hurt.

I just answered no, I’m okay. Because physically I’m fine, my current hurts are not visible. The workout was going great until the tears hit.

So why did they?

I’ve been fighting frustrations and anxiety since I woke this morning. I was doing my best to tell myself all the things I do know and run through all the good things. I was trying to Abraham myself up the emotional scale.

Then it hit me. The alignment issues I’ve had with people I love. For at least 2 or 3 of the people I gave my heart to, I don’t believe they find me beautiful.

Because I don’t feel beautiful.

I want so much to feel beautiful. But I have no idea how. The few times I have were looking at Nathan’s photographs of me. But there’s a voice that says it’s just what he sees as beautiful; others don’t find the same things beautiful.

Society has taught me that. In my 37 years, there’s been very few people my size on any screen or in any publication. Of those, none have my dark eye circles, none have stretch marks, floppy skin, or acne/psoriasis. At least not that the photographer, videographer, or producer would ever let you see.

We are so ingrained with the unrealistic idea of what’s supposed to be beautiful, that there’s no way any real woman will ever be able to even come close.

Yet when there’s only one way to be beautiful, and everyone is selling things to help you attempt to match that, how do you believe anything different?

How does one convince oneself that they are beautiful when slicing and dicing oneself is the best attempt to get there?

When every effort made only helps to feel better, and none show, how does one believe they are beautiful?

My belly sags- that is when it’s not bloated, my thighs touch, I have zits in places only Nathan sees. I chaffe when it’s hot, I get the equivalent to diaper rash when I eat gluten, and I don’t wear diapers. Despite having two children vaginally, I only have very slight issues when I sneeze or cough too much or too hard.

Yet yesterday I walked 12,000 steps without flinching.

But that’s strength and endurance, not beauty.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the eye- it’s visible. But we all see things differently. We all have our own perspective, our own life experiences which have shaped our preferences and taught us what is beautiful out not.

Unfortunately, I live in a society which has done such a great job at brainwashing everyone that I know none find me attractive. I’m too far outside what is trained to be beautiful. Even with all of my diligent efforts. Individuals make exceptions based on their direct family, but I’ve met so many women fighting this same mental battle, that I know there’s no hope. It’s why I hate the cosmetic medical procedure industry, they only contribute to millions of women hating their appearance, and unfortunately even their efforts rarely meet expectations.

But is there hope?

I have unleashed yet another piece to fix, another onion peel to cry over and shed. Every last one eventually had a solution. This will eventually too. That is for me.

What about the other millions and billions of women struggling with the same thought?

It has started, there are a few more big women in media these days.

But they are still covered in make-up, still photoshopped, still pryed into shaping garments, still airbrushed and tanned, still filtered in the camera, and finally still covered with clothes when those options fail.

Our kids need to see that all of every person is beautiful, even the flaws. When that day comes there will be hope for all of us.

For me I just hope to convince myself sooner than later that the ones I love really do see me as beautiful. I dare to hope to one day believe I am attractive to someone beautiful enough to be an Abercrombie and Fitch model. That feels better than coming to terms with Nathan loves me despite being completely ugly. I have no idea where to start, but like all things I’ll figure it out as I go, hopefully as quickly as learning manual tasks come for me.

May you all feel beautiful inside and out. May you see the fallacy of societal standards. May you have strength when you see things that try and convince you otherwise. May you show your knowledge to others. May you accept all of everyone, including their flaws. May you be blessed and loved in all ways.

Siva Hir Su

Why I prefer “chick flicks”.

So I was contemplating my preferences after my recent acknowledgements, and in the process came to an understanding as to why I prefer “chick flicks”.

I was literally attempting to put words to my quandary of why do men do the machismo thing more than in the past, or so it seems to me.

I had thought about how at one point men in media were shown as dashing, handsome, wholesome, and multi-talented. I thought of moments like are found in a myriad of movies, but especially I thought of scenes from Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies, I thought of Casa Blanca. Actors from that era were expected to be good looking, but also excellent dancers and singers, they had to be strong, and often were required to speak multiple languages.

I’m fully aware that even though that was the standard in media, our society still had the full array of everything you still find today. Yet, there was an understanding in society that those were qualities that earned respect and showed your integrity. Those were the virtues that even regular working class people strived for, that even the average Joe reached for.

I then thought about movies today. There’s a whole lot more blood and gore. There are strong men, but every time you see a strong man- a superhero, someone dies, and often many people loose their lives in such movies. Going back a bit there are those Rambo type war stories, there are zombie apocalypse movies, and straight up superheroes like spider man. In all of these movies their strength is for one goal, take down the bad guys at all costs. I would agree that usually what’s chosen to define the bad guys is clear and agreed upon by societal standards, yet each and every movie includes the loss of innocent lives.

I realised that even though I acknowledged that those are all present in our world today, I prefer not to watch it for entertainment.

I prefer to see strength demonstrated in other ways, and I suspect I’m not alone. It’s why feats of herculean strength are now demonstrated in games: Olympics, Ninja Warrior, Highland Games, and the like. The games eliminate the blood and gore while still demonstrating strength and agility. I appreciate that, it’s a much more civilized and palatable way to experience that virtue.

That then brought me around to Hallmark movies and why I love them so much. They are wholesome, the people are genuine, there is kindness and love. Yet you still are treated with complex stories that could happen to regular everyday people. It takes the complexity of this world, but focuses on happier more joyous aspects and outcomes.

Though I mostly prefer heartwarming stories like those, I will watch other movies. I still prefer movies where the people demonstrate intelligence and strength without so much blood and gore. I also greatly like fantastical movies like Harry Potter and the less gory science-fiction like Star Trek/Star Wars.

I suppose that is why I like Will Smith so much. Beyond also being polyamorous, he’s good looking, charming, charismatic, and many of his movies he’s able to accomplish great things with a minimum of blood and gore. I really truly appreciate that.

I told Nathan it’s one of the things I appreciate most about him. Even though he doesn’t look like a hallmark actor or Will Smith, he embodies many of the qualities that they do, and he’s cute to me, and that’s what counts.

So then I sat to define what I appreciate most about others, and admitted that looks are a relatively small factor. As far as looks go, I appreciate this:

Really what I’m trying to show is that I find appreciation in a wide variety of people and body types. I have discovered that only the severely unhealthy people are unattractive to me. Those people that have given up on their health, or just didn’t care to begin with. I’ve known several of those people and just can’t even contemplate a relationship with any of them. I’m sorry, but Yuck!

What is it I do appreciate about people that makes me desire them then?

Hmmm…..

  • Kindness
  • Concern
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Intelligence (As Queen Latifa would say I get lady wood there.)
  • A belief in something greater than us.
  • The ability to learn and discuss complex topics (quantum physics is one I find particularly fascinating, even if I have trouble keeping up with it).
  • The desire to keep learning.
  • Strength of physical, mental, and emotional aspects.
  • A desire to do better, striving for more, self improvement goals.
  • Loving
  • Supportive
  • Striving for equality and social justice is pretty high on my list.
  • A desire to help make the world a better place.

Yet there’s more….

  • I like a good challenge, someone that makes me think or improve myself even more.
  • I like encouragement when I’m admittedly not at my best, you don’t always have to challenge me.
  • I like knowing I’m appreciated.
  • I like knowing they notice small things about me.
  • I like when they take criticisms or input as a challenge for improving themselves as well, and likewise do my best not to stir that pot too often.
  • I like people that work well together, especially since ultimately I hope to build Atira through my chosen family. It would be in our best interests to be able to work and play together and not get sick of each other.
  • So an ability to compromise, problem solve, and find a balance in challenging situations is very exciting to me.
  • I find good communication skills quite sexy too. If you can tell me work flow concerns in one breath and follow that with coherent sentimental thoughts in your next breath, I might faint on you.
  • I love when people can make and keep priorities. For instance I know I need a certain diet, certain amounts of sleep and exercise, and certain balance between work and recreation. Most of the time I’m able to maintain that, occasionally I fail. I prefer those around me accomplish the same.

Though I feel like there are many more qualities I could define, those are usually ones that I look for evidence of first. At that point then I’m usually familiar with a person enough that it becomes about analyzing their interactions or their behaviors, and their words. I start looking for alignment between the two. That represents integrity and honesty to me. If I get to know someone and one of those starts to show gaps, it almost always becomes the undoing of the relationship. I’ve been hurt enough times that I simply loathe intentional mistruths and/or manipulations. For a long term relationship, I simply must have honesty and integrity.

And that brings me full circle back to Hallmark movies. They are chalk full of honesty and integrity and showing how if you’re not honest what damage it can do. So I’ll end with a thank you to Hallmark. Thank you for wholesome movies that show the importance of honesty, integrity, and kindness.

May you all have your defining moments of greater clarity. May you all find an abundance of honest people in your lives, and may you experience many examples of integrity. Above all may you find the love you seek.

Siva Hir Su

Sigh…

This is a quick update to show you the amazing breath taking beauty I’ve seen the last couple of days. Though I have hundreds of thoughts on my experiences, I wish to spend as little time on the net as possible, especially since tomorrow is my last full day of vacation.

Then 3 days of travel to arrive back in KC. As much as this feels like home, and as much as I’d like to make it so, alas for now I must sick to plans. Nathan and I discovered property values and costs of living are only slightly higher than landlocked flat KC and Johnson County. So perhaps long term I might find a way…. Only God knows.

For now pictures of more hikes, Bar Harbor & Sand Bridge and the Margaret Todd sail trip, with a singular video (inspired by some of the HAL induced notifications I received before the trip), for my person who’s out there somewhere.

Adventure?

We woke this morning to still not having power. I cancelled my massage appointments, none of which were surprised, and 1 of which had no services themselves.

84,000+ KCP&L customers are without power, and that’s the largest, but not the only provider in the metro.

Our house was gradually losing temp, and even wearing snuggly PJs and a sweatshirt and gloves I was cold. So we’re opting to venture out and find warmth somewhere hoping our power will resume by bedtime.

Here’s some of the damage around our house, in our yard, and me all bundled up. The lack of power and damaged trees is unfortunate, but I’m still enjoying the beautiful snow cover.

Our neighbor’s tree (above) made our road entertainment last night.

The branch in the view above fell right after I had walked through that stretch of our yard. Said a big thank you for that moment of perfect timing.

Last night held beautiful moments too…

May you all find some beautiful and warm moments this winter’s day.

ZM3 H1R

That was one of the very few plates on my way into work this morning as we drove through beautiful heavy wet snow. The building put up vital staff for the night, but me living close and being less vital, and also having mad bus driving skills from days in Iowa, I chose to go home for the night.

We woke this morning to inches of snow, very moist heavy destructive snow. No power because of fallen lines and tree limbs, but it was oh so beautiful. Snow still falling lightly at that point, made me want to cuddle in a blanket by the window.

I’m glad I went home though because it was beautiful going in this morning.

And yes God I see you here.

(Disclaimer: I was in the passenger seat for picture taking, we still only have one car, so Nathan is still playing chauffer to keep the car for his needs.)

Moving… breaking… playing

So we’re plugging along at moving. Thinning the herd again. Every time we move our load gets lighter and lighter. I’m happy for it, as at one point we had way more than 2 people should. Now we have what a normal family of 5 would, and we’re one step closer to living lighter.

In the process this time, I was working on lowering the massage table that had been be Ian’s “loft”, so that it could maximize space in the move and…. I sat it down on my foot. Initially I said ouch and kept moving. About an hour later my foot was still throbbing enough that I told Nathan I needed to look at it. As soon as my shoe came off, the pressure backed off, but I knew I would not be getting it back on. My foot had swelled immensely.

This is what it looked like initially.

It was hard to tell other than the intense swelling, but I went around showing everyone that it was what a freshly broken bone looks like. I explained I had broken a bone in my foot, probably hairline fracture as it was tolerable to walk on. Also, compared to the last time I broke a toe, this was actually less painful.

Now after I’ve had a few days of healing, having kept it wrapped in an ace bandage, the swelling is much less, but the bruise is much more noticeable. It has also reinforced my prior estimation of which bone I’d broken, based on the epicenter of pain. I had estimated it was my 2nd metatarsal, and the bruise has mostly settled into my 2nd and 3rd toes, which fits with that theory.

This is what it looks like now.

Really each morning I find that it feels better and better. However even with the ace bandage, each evening brings burning sensations in my toes from limping all day at work. This evening may be the worst so far as I spent nearly 12 hours in constant motion, mostly up on my feet. It was a rough day.

That being said I’m very grateful that I’m still able to work and help with the moving process. A little discomfort for a few weeks is far better than needing surgery or something worse.

__________________

Another thing I’m grateful for is my now fully mobile 5.5 month old baby. She’s so smart and so strong that she’s crawling, pulling herself up to standing and holding onto furniture to walk. She’s even getting the balance thing down enough to stand one-handed, and occasionally she lets go for a few seconds. She has enough confidence that if she makes it about 5 seconds hands free, she tries to take a step, though at this point every time that happens she falls. Yesterday she had a great time demonstrating that for me several times over, smiling and giggling the whole way.

This morning she played with shoes and one of Ian’s trucks, and Nathan had the sense to capture some video I can share. The other moments have been so enthralling that we’ve lapsed on videos a bit. Next time she gets moving I’ll do my best to capture a clip to share.

May you enjoy the zest for life and learning all babies bring to this world, and find your moments of less discomfort and hidden blessings. Aho.

Beautiful things…

Like the song by Annie Lennox “A Thousand Beautiful Things”:

” Every day I write the list

Of reasons why I still believe they do exist

(A Thousand Beautiful Things)

And even though it’s hard to see

The glass is full and not half empty

(A Thousand Beautiful Things)

So light me up like the sun…”

I write my list today to remind myself of things I love. Things I miss when they’re gone. Things I want to see more of. Things I relish and enjoy every last bit of. Things that brighten my day and my life. AND I apologize to everyone for having gone negative for a while again. Suffice it to say no-one enjoys being negative and in the hole, and let my negative posts be validation of my efforts to heal myself, as when you’re down you always want to get up again. This is my effort to do so. This is my effort to start to turn things around regardless of my physical experience. I’m doing as Abraham says “Shift away from the what-is-ness and toward the what can be.” Shifting yet again and taking to heart “you’re always in the right place at the right time, but sometimes you’re looking at it in the wrong way”.

First on my list of loves is every single thing in that song.

Then:

I love hugs and cuddles from those I love, and giving them as well.

I love my children and my kitties, especially because they unconditionally love me.

I love playing with my kids.

I love art: drawing, coloring, painting, all kinds of making art, and most kinds for looking at.

I love music: listening or playing, and most genres, especially all 64GB I have.

I love massages, mostly receiving because it’s so darn helpful and feels good, but giving helps people so I like that too.

I love getting things that help me feel better: exercise, sun, healthy foods, sleep, and fun activities.

I love comfy quiet spaces.

I love starting my day with a hot shower, they are so refreshing and relaxing and help me start my day in the best frame of mind.

I love waking up refreshed and on time to start my day easily and smoothly.

I love things to do, being balanced with time to just be.

I like nice cars in tip top shape, well oiled machines so to speak, including good tires & brakes, and would love a new electric vehicle.

I love it when people communicate effectively, and when they talk to each other consistently.

I love when people talk to me about their interests and desires, and things they like and enjoy.

(conditional ones… oopsie)

I love feeling really supported and cared for. (that’s more unconditional, maybe Abraham can help me find some more words here…)

I love feeling love for others and receiving love.

I love feeling appreciated.

I love feeling happy and having fun.

I love feeling content.

I love feeling comfortable in my body (though it could be way more often).

I love peace and peacefulness.

I love being inspired and feeling accomplishment when my inspired actions pan out positively (I’d love to do that much more often also).

I love the feeling of wholeness and completeness.

I love feeling abundance and prosperity.

I love knowing that the universe supports me and is working on a solution to pay for all of my needs (including the birth costs).

I love knowing that the universe can flow money to me many, many more ways than I can even begin to think of, and love knowing all I need is alignment to allow it.

I love feeling relaxed and centered.

I love the feeling of balance in all respects.

I love the feeling of freedom.

I enjoy feeling welcomed.

I enjoy the feeling of belonging.

I love that my children are loving and doing their best to find their way in this world. I look forward to mastering my guidance system to show them how to do the same. Because I also know actions do teach better than words.

I love the feeling of friendship.

I love the feelings of having good conversations and really connecting with someone.

I love the feeling of stability and homecoming that a close knit family home brings.

I love feeling calm and centered and knowing that things are progressing smoothly and easily in perfect timing (that could totally happen a lot more).

I love knowing that others around me function well in chaos, because it makes up for what I’m unable to handle.

I love knowing that I can distract myself from that same chaos by retreating into my mind or simply watching funny videos, or even walk through it and recenter alone.

I love knowing that others around me are also doing their best. That they have the best intentions when they offer things to me or make suggestions, and that they really are doing their best to support me.

I love knowing that “IT” never gets done, so if someone promises me something and forgets or is unable to fulfill their promise, another way will show itself.

I love knowing that God ‘has my back’ and will make up for those dropped moments/promises. I just have to allow it.

I love the feeling of well-being, of naturalness and of normalcy. I love knowing that those feelings are a good symptoms of my body and brain functioning in tip top shape, perfect alignment. I look forward to feeling like that everyday.

I love feeling prepared for whatever is in progress.

I love being excited for good things coming.

I love being on time, even early, for everything, and I love the feeling of knowing I always have plenty of time (no rush).

I enjoy feeling that I’m in the right place at the right time.

I love feeling safe and knowing that my family is safe. I love knowing that my family strives to be in alignment so they can do lots of fun things safely.

I love being able to say yes, go for it, it’s OK.

I love feeling passion, and being passionate, about people, places, and activities.

I love knowing that I’m a vibrational being.

I love the feeling of alignment with that inner being.

I love knowing that my inner me/vibrational-being loves everything. (I’m always in the right place, but sometimes looking at it from the wrong physical viewpoint.)

I love knowing the universe will give me wonderful things when I find alignment with that inner me.

I especially love that I’m starting to get better at catching myself. I’m starting to recognize those misalignments faster and thus start correcting faster. I realize that I am still letting some of those moments snowball too much and build much negative momentum, but acknowledging that, every single time it happens, helps me inch towards catching it sooner with less momentum to correct for. I look forward to when I catch all of my negative misalignments in their infancy before they have any significant momentum at all. I love knowing I will eventually get there, and it just takes practice (maybe a lot, but that’s OK too).

And with that I leave you all with blessings of fast alignment recovery in any contrast situation.

Ouch!

Watch “Abraham Hicks 💓 Let FUN guide you [NEW]” on YouTube

https://youtu.be/1sYIZMsL01M.

I’m so very guilty of this. Guess I understand at least part of why the last 3 years has gone the way it has. I really need figure out how to stay-permanently- on the positive vortex side.

It’s funny: scaring off people I really like on one hand; & introducing other friends to polyamory & law of attraction on the other hand (I’ve discovered different friends have gravitated to one or the other in the last couple of years, & I was the one that introduced the concepts). I literally told Nathan when he informed me of that: “Why the hell do I keep helping others find things I have yet to fully figure out for myself?!”

———

As for me:

I just keep getting better and better at solving a never ending slew of problems. Nursing is slowly resolving: they went ahead and clipped Katherine’s tongue-tie even though the front was mild, with a disclaimer that since it wasn’t bad it might not solve things, & the rear may be more significant, but also more costly to clip. It’s solved maybe 70% of the pain. The other 30% is very, very slowly backing off as my nipples heal. I really wish I could speed that process up more, but I’ve been told its going quickly compared to others with that much damage- probably because all the goop I’m using repeatedly. I’m also in the midst of figuring out adrenal & thyroid balance post birth to put an end to the emotional nose dives and roller coaster ride I’ve been on for the last 3 weeks. Nursing problems or not, I knew the extreme falls were needing an extra look, & my last 2 tweaks seem to have made significant headway.

Now I just need to get into the doc to renew my desicated thyroid prescription.

I do wish though that Dr. Illardi would revisit his Depression Cure book with postpartum needs and situations in mind, that puzzle could use his perspective. I’ve had a heck of a time trying to apply his findings to “eat when they eat, sleep when they sleep” new baby logic, while still attempting to retain the allergy needs dictated by 3rd trimester, trying to stimulate lactation, having difficulty with severe breast pain, and not being able to leave my room half as much as I’d prefer. It’s a puzzle that has already threatened to get the better of me, but as usual I’m fighting with all I’ve got.

——–

In other news:

The basement is also coming along well. Our “living room”/ multipurpose room is nearly complete, and we’re finally working on unpacking things beyond clothing.

The storage area behind the brown chair will eventually get covered with a curtain. That is once I’m certain the crack in the ceiling no longer leaks when it rains.

My child already made friends with the Lego’s in the new open floor space, but there is still room for 2 pieces of exercise equipment, a large dog kennel (blue sheeted cube) , & stacked tables for organizing short term storage & usables.

The other table currently a mess, is intended for being art space, and most (but not all) of what is on it is art supplies. To that end I fully intend to sort & organize to actually be able to use it for its intended purpose.

Nathan’s goal has been to tackle organizing our portion of kitchen stuff in the garage & to make the garage usable space again. He’s about three quarters of the way through that process, but it looks a ton better and you can actually walk around in the garage now (as opposed to squeezing through & still being afraid of tripping, like it was a couple of weeks ago).

It’s starting to feel like home, and to that end we’re getting closer to having everything moved. Nathan’s down to missed odds and ends, & the large outdoor items. Life is finally starting to seem normal again, and things are beginning to look pretty again. That I have to thank the gods for. I asked Kali almost 3 years ago to help me make things pretty again (when I hit the remodeling-brick-walls with the trailer), and it’s finally beginning to take shape, just not the way I thought it would. SO not the way I envisioned.

Anyway, Hannah is giving the home a glorious garden. She helped me rescue plants I’d started the previous 2 years. & those combined with her plants from before, her amazing touch, a bunch of seeds, and a few new plants, things are looking great.

The view of the Iris’ from our room is wonderful too.

Finally, I’ve made cards for a couple of people that were very generous with me this year, birthday & baby wise. I was going to make a 3rd, but that person is nearly blind, so I’m not sure yet how to honor her generosity. Beyond that, it’s taken me over a month, but I’m almost done with an adult coloring page I’m in love with- an elephant.

I can’t take full credit for the cards, the cats were inspired by a single kitty I saw somewhere, & the cover words were also found. I just put my personal touch on it, crafting it with watercolors on heavy art paper, feeling like that meant more than a store bought card. I hope they feel the same way when they get them.

——–

So up, and down, and all around.

My husband and Hannah both keep telling me that I’m amazing & should be congratulating myself. I still have difficulty seeing it, knowing the thousands of things I would still like to accomplish. I do have my moments where I’m like “Yeah I’m a bad-ass giving birth and all the challenges and I’m still trucking with a healthy beautiful baby to-boot”. I just wish I could figure out how to maintain those moments consistently without seeming like or sounding like a narcissistic bastard… Yes that is a fear of mine. Yet another challenge. …

My last request for the day: one less challenge to overcome, let something be easy for once. Let a something, for everyone, be easy for once.

*Siva Hir Su.*

Postpartum contrast playground.

So the bliss of birth adrenaline & endorphins only lasted me about 2 days this time, and the crash afterward was pretty harsh. My hormones fell off almost the exact same time I started having excruciating pain from nursing. However, my woes with my body are not all that’s happened in the last 2 weeks.

Long story short, I got the short straw genetically speaking when it came to having babies and in nursing too.

In the not so short story, Ian was tongue tied, so we thought pain was related to that and I dealt as best as I could, knowing his mild tongue-tie would grow out; that is until thyroid shutdown happened and I quit producing milk at all.

This time I went in doing my best to tackle both preemptively. However, the diet dictated that some of the milk production tools were off limits third trimester. Then baby was born and she had no tongue-tie at all. She latched just fine straight away, or it appeared so from outside. I started taking milk boosters right away, but immediately discovered nutritional intake & hydration seemed to play a more important role. I also wondered if one or more of the milk boosters was giving little Katherine gas and making her very uncomfortable. Then the pain started.

Initially I thought it was all for having gotten plugged up on a poor hydration day right after birth. So we started doing things I did with Ian: hot compresses, painful massages to force milk flow, hot showers, and very intense pumping. At one point I cranked the strength of the pump up to maximum and in drawing out a plugged spot, I bled. Not good, and so not fun, it scabbed and pain got very severe. Right side was so sore that I favored left and within hours the left hurt even more.

Imagine if you will an ice pick being jabbed into the center of your breast while an infant sucks on it, that’s pretty much what it felt like. I cried through multiple feedings. Because I was struggling with nursing, the midwife’s assistant came and did a weight check, & discovered baby was gaining just fine, great in fact.

They then offered suggestions: nipple shield to help heal, use more nipple butter and more frequently, lecithin supplement to help encourage free flow of milk, and pump milk to dropper feed if necessary (to avoid bottle attachment).

I did all, but wasn’t noticing improvement. 2 days later I took to actually bandaging my nipples with a mixture of nipple butter, lavender essential oil, triple antibiotic, and colloidal silver gel. I made sure to do that in between every nursing, and would pump after nursing to try to keep ducts clear. Eventually the scabbing fell off to reveal large deep cracks & holes in my nipples. 2 more days of the bandaging and the pain finally started to back off.

I’m now in the still painful, but not to the point of tears range. Improvement.

In all of that mess I was drowning in Advil hoping to help the pain, but I ended up reacting to the Red40 coating so much that I spent 2 days with flu-like symptoms including full body aches and severe chills, without a fever.

After consulting with midwife again, she said some moms just get the chills from postpartum shifts in hormones and fluids, but she did say the body aches was an addition that might just be me. I pulled up enough out of the pit of sucky to put two and two together and switched pain relievers to acetaminophen (red free), and amazingly within 12 hours the depression, body aches, and chills ceased. I wasn’t up to rose colored glasses yet, but I wasn’t wanting to give up either, a big improvement.

At this point, with breast healing started, and pain mostly under control, I’m maybe 80% to figuring out what all happened.

So far I’ve figured out:

The baby having gas so bad does seem to correlate to either my milk tea blend of one of the supplements, so I have some more adjustments to figure out which.

I am having to stay strict on my diet, but it seems I can and should be consuming more sugar/carbs to keep my milk supply tasty for baby’s desires. So far that’s mostly manifested in nuts, chocolate, and fruit. Side note: I’ve lost about 45 pounds this pregnancy, & I’m back to where I was when I gave birth to Ian, 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest. Healthy baby too.

And the cracking & holes in my nipples that induced such horrific pain seems to be less about baby’s latch, and more about me having “flat nipples”. I put it in quotations because they’re not literally flat, the description that got us to that decision essentially said flat nipples are nipples that don’t stretch easily or as far as is normally expected, and thus damage is caused to the nipple during nursing. So wonderful, right?! To that end my efforts will eventually work, but I’ll have to be diligent with goo & shields until I’m fully healed.

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In other news….

We’ve been wearing baby a lot, especially with the gas troubles & nursing troubles, wearing her has soothed her nerves. We wore both Ian and Anya when they were littles, and have found 3 slings from previous, a Moby and 2 4-strap slings. I wanted to find the ring slings that I’d made and saved, but we have yet to find those, so we’ve used scarves and sarongs as substitutes. It works. Really, the difference is: moby style slings are best for long snuggle front wearing, 4-strap slings are better for kids that can hold their head up to be hauled backpack style, and ring slings or scarves/sarongs are good for impromptu short front or side wearing. The bonus of a ring sling over scarves is they’re easily adjustable and have a tail that doubles as a nursing hood, some even have pockets in the tail for small items like phone, keys, Binki, etc. They’re really convenient, and I love them. Today I chose one of my purple scarves though and it worked pretty well.

She’s so beautiful that complete strangers have stopped & commented the couple of times we’ve been out with her. I also can’t get over her black hair & eyes, neither Nathan or I have black. His is very dark brown, but still very much brown. How she got black only god or science can explain.

I’ve also enjoyed snuggling baby & kitties, all our cats are doing well with baby.

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We also did get another step of basement work done. The wall at the end of the furnace went up & was trimmed out, & since big things were done we cleaned up the space to be our multipurpose room. It’s coming along nicely.

We even started to pull out electronics & organize our belongings. I don’t know if the TV will stay where it is (on top of the Ikea cubby shelves seperating Ian’s room), but it works for now.

I’m glad there’s progress happening, especially in the realm of pain relief. Even if it’s been a hard could of weeks, it’s still been worth it.