Normalize Breastfeeding / World Breastfeeding Week 2018

My body feeds / contracts / reacts and breathes // I multiply / I replete / I complete cycles on repeat // I’m from the heavens / I’m from the earth / I’m from the places that you’ve never heard. – excerpt from Celestial Bodies

| n o r m a l i z e  B R E A S T F E E D I N G |

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Photo cred: Mama Niela. Click on the photo for more of her phenom work!

Is it cray to anyone else that we need to normalize something that’s…normal?! So normal in fact that it happens as naturally as breathing. The female body lactates, it’s what it does after giving birth. Yes, I’m aware that some women have issues with breastfeeding, I was one of those women, but my body did produce milk all on its own within days of birthing this big ole baby. For me, it was never a question of if I was going to breastfeed, if I could, I was going to, it’s what I was looking forward to the most, since that’s something I missed out on doing with my first. I did however romanticize the easiness of it. It was hard and really freakin painful. I had no idea how to do it or how much support I would need or that I would need to be taught how to do it. I envisioned birds would chirp around us as deer gathered at my feet and light beams shot out of us the moment his lips attached to my breast in an effortless latch. HAHA! Not quite. Thank Goddess for my midwife, postpartum doulas & lactation consultants (I was seen by 3!) because no one in my family had much advice on the matter as I contacted female family members crying and looking for encouragement only to find out that I was one of 3 out of 23 women in my immediate family to breastfeed. Yup. That’s it. It hasn’t been common, it’s def not normalized and breasts are still overtly sexualized and gross- ew boobs! I am part of a lineage of women who chose to formula feed vs breastfeed. I was a formula-fed baby, so I’m not completely dissing it. I seem to have turned out fine and I have one hell of an immune system. Finding out I was in the minority in my family tho led me to ask why on a larger scale and I began learning that women were sold “convenience” by a big ass *$70 billion industry and lied to about our milk. Women were made to feel that breastfeeding was inconvenient, dirty and that our milk, the one that is chemically altered on the daily to meet our babies needs, is inferior to formula and EVEN COW’S MILK for Goddess sakes! Why would I feed my baby another mammal’s milk if I have the ability to feed them my own…I rant. Scene.

I didn’t realize what a supportive breastfeeding bubble I live in, in Southern California until I traveled to the east coast this spring. I did not expect to feel so out of place, judged and even shunned while nursing my baby.
Here’s a few of the things I heard from my family:
Ugh! He spit up on me! It’s her milk, so gross. (Male to a group of male family members).
Oh god, you’re breastfeeding right now?! (Male. We were in the dark and Baby was in a carrier, but the mere thought of me breastfeeding was enough for him to have to leave the premises).
Could you cover up while we’re here? I don’t think 91yo Grandpa G can handle seeing you breastfeed. (Male).
I thought only my mom did that. (11 year old Female, because she has not seen ANYONE else nurse!)
You can give him some whole milk now. (Female, also a head nurse at her hospital. My son was 7 months old).
What’s your nursing plan? How long do you plan on breastfeeding him? (Male & Female from the east coast to the west coast x100, everyone feels the need to know how long I plan to whip out the titty to feed my baby as if it somehow affects their life).

All of the above and so much more because my son does not like to be covered up while nursing, I mean, would you want to eat blindfolded under an unventilated piece of fabric? This, is why we have to normalize. Our bodies, the female body, the ones that choose to birth, were also created to sustain our babies lives. In fact the World Health Organization recommends “breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” In Amuuurica, we are dealing with dum dee dum dums in our government that didn’t even want to sign a breastfeeding resolution that basically states “countries should limit the misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes, as a mother’s breast milk has been shown to be the healthiest for children in decades of research.” And yet there’s more, “The resolution was expected to pass easily, but U.S. delegates aimed to remove language that encouraged countries to ‘protect, promote and support breast-feeding’ in an alleged alignment with baby formula manufacturers.” The American hypocrisy-democracy live in the sticky icky green-lined pockets of loyal lobbyists, who they brought WITH them to the damn Assembly in Geneva! Oh and PS., the US threatened other countries into not signing it until they were ultimately foiled by none other than MotherEffing Russia. How fitting?

If I still lived where I was raised, I’m not sure that I would have made it through those first 7+ weeks to my now “lookin hella easy” breastfeeding status. I can do this shit walkin, talkin and chewin gum now, so yeah, I’m a BF-G. To all of the badass breastfeeding Mamas out there, keep posting your beautiful boobies, your stories and the FACTS to support the Mothers that choose to and can breastfeed feel less nervous and more supported! No one should ever be shamed or sexualized (unless you’re into that) when it comes to feeding and connecting with our babies! I will continue breastfeeding (read: breastfeed forever) to normalize it in my own family!

I’ll leave you with this.

“A 2016 study published by The Lancet says breastfeeding could save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year. In addition, universal breastfeeding could save $300 billion in reduced health care costs and improved economic prospects for children.”

*The Times reported that the baby food market is a $70 billion industry.

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– xOx

 

Pregnancy and Weed

Candles glow // I close eyes for the wishes I blow // Seeds I sow // For the chance to know // Your healing soul // Grow Flower grow.

This week I had the honor of guest writing for the blog, Jane Dope, “a blog by and for women who love Cannabis.” on the super taboo topic of smoking weed while pregnant. In the article, I share my personal thoughts and experiences. Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m a planner and a researcher living a hippie lifestyle. I don’t just put anything into or on my body without proper investigation, so to smoke during my pregnancy was a conscious choice.” 

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my story on a female-driven platform for other conscious tokers. I hope that it can bring some understanding to those that may judge us and also share a light with those who feel alone or even ashamed by their marijuana use.

Peep the full story here.

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A gloriously full 10 months pregs!

– xOx

No Shit?! Plunging in on Elimination Communication!

Swirl around and around // Going down down down // Swallowing yesterday // We stand // Free from waste // Creating space // Today’s clean slate. 

And we begin, Day 1. 

I have a hippie friend named Aurora who I love dearly, we share the same passions for being ridiculously Earth-conscious, being comically frugal and being referred to as “crunchy af”! 🙂 She’s my play-wife. Our kids are 16 months apart and Aurora has been hella influential in the way I have incorporated crunchiness since even before baby’s birth (she’s the one that started me on the home birth kick and encouraged my vegan pregnancy!). When Aurora told me that she was doing Elimination Communication (EC) aka infant potty-training aka baby peeing and pooping in the toilet before they can even walk and talk, I KNEW I’d be following her down this yellow brick road.

Last week, Aurora gifted me her 2 year old daughter’s former potty, a two-toned hot pink Minnie Mouse potty complete with a lid (he needs to learn y’all!) and a hand-le that shouts “Hip Hip Hooray!” when you “flush”! This potty is a epitome of our relationship! For one, t’s a hand-me-down so no waste and no having to purchase any new plastic items. Two, it was FREE and three, we’re freakin potty-training our infants, well, Aurora’s on her way out! Before I left with my Disney donation, Aurora advised me to start watching for Ro’s cues before and after he peed and to start sitting him on the toilet after every feeding. Check!

This week, I decided to go next level and went down the internet rabbit hole of EC and discovered a woman named Andrea Olson, author of Go Diaper Free, she seems to have this stuff down to a simplified science. I mean, I’m definitely aware that I’ll be teaching a new human to use a toilet, so it will be hit or miss some days, but this lady has 4 kids and they’ve all been out of diapers before the age of 2, so basically I’m going to follow all of her advice! When I read the statistic that most kids in the world are out of diapers around the age of 1 and in America the average baby is in diapers until the age of 3, I was sold on the idea, I mean duh! For the Earth, for our budget and because I believe that this is possible and I’d rather do it now than later when work picks back up or I have another bebe on the way! One of my favorite lines from her website re: our kids and their poo, [do we] “teach them to ignore their instincts, train our kids to poo and pee on themselves and pretend it isn’t there, give them the huge responsibility to train themselves out of something we’ve trained them into? Do we dishonor the Earth by stuffing Her with poo-filled Pampers?” Right?! Because no matter how they label disposable diapers “Pure Pampers”, they don’t break down and they’re mountains of them in our landfills, full of biodegradable waste. Ugh! Makes me so mad! (Side note: use cloth diapers people!) Andrea also shares that in the 1950s, it was common for babies to be potty-trained by 9 months, moms weren’t gonna hand wash those cloth diapers forever! Hell no! I know I’m not about to. Go to Andrea’s site, she has some outstanding free resources, plus monthly q&as and a fantastic blog! If you’re interested in finding out more, seek her out, she’s also on IG. I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface and I feel confident that if I follow her advice, we will be successful!

TODAY, I decided to start putting babes on the toilet for all “pottytunities” as Andrea suggests AND MY BABY PEED IN THE TOILET y’all!! He is not sitting on his Disney throne yet, he’s still wobbly in his sitting and it’s not comfortable for him, so I’ve just been straddling the adult toilet backwards and sitting him in my lap with his thighs in my hands, penis pointing down while I let him stomp on the toilet lid and rip up toilet paper, it’s his new thing and it totally keeps him occupied while we sit there from 10-20 minutes. His incredible first pee happened on our 3rd time on the toilet after we came in from walking the dog, I took him out of his carrier, (a “pottytunity”!) and we sat down, he peed within 2 minutes! I may have gotten a little on my pants, but WHO CARES?! MY BABY PEED IN THE TOILET! I won’t get too crazy excited, I know there’s more consistent work to do and I am all for it! Ro is 7 months and my goal is to have him out of diaper dependence by 15 months! Can it be done?! Stay tuned!

– xOx

The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Let me lick you up and down til you say stop. – Silk

Check out 5 different ways to use coconut oil here.

I love me some coconut oil. You can use it for practically anything I swear! My top daily uses are:

  1. Oil pulling!This 3,000ish year old practice comes from Ayurvedic medicine. You swish coconut oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes to release the demons! and to pull toxins out. Spit it out when done, do NOT swallow (that’s what she said!). “Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath.”
  2. Moisturizer!– Raw shea butter is hella hard, so I add coconut oil to it and blend it up together to make a creamy and luscious body butter. I use it on my hands, my feet and for my abdominal womb massage nightly.
  3. Hair growth!– My main squeeze is trying to grow his hair out and Southern California is hella dry, so I mix Tea Tree Oil in a glass container with coconut oil to massage into his scalp, this stimulates hair growth and combats the dry flakies! It’s a 2fer! 2 treatments in 1 mixture!
  4. Cooking!– I love the taste of coconut, it makes me feel like I’m in the tropics somewhere. Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures like other oils so it’s good for high temp cooking, especially rice dishes (mmmmm!). Now I know some people don’t prefer the taste of coconuts (like how?) but Trader Joe’s got ya covered, they make a triple filtered coconut oil that takes most if not all of the wonderful coconut flavor out. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, you can also get it here!
  5. LUBE!– yes honey! Lubrication for sexy time! Coconut oil is naturally antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal, isn’t that amazing?! It got me smellin like a damn summer paradise between the legs and between the sheets! I used to work in sex retail and I’ve used a plethora of lubes from silicone, to water and all those in between and coconut oil is by far my fave! It works for partner use and solo play either with or without your adult toys. Side note: Make sure all your toys are high grade silicone, glass, metal or crystals! 🙂 Those are the only materials I recommend to go into your body, this goes for men, women and non binary!
  6. Baby’s Bum and other skin irritations!– This wasn’t in the original video, but coconut oil is a daggone miracle worker! Anytime my son has a small skin irritation, whether that be in his diaper area or under his armpit or some other roll that’s not being clean properly b/c babies stay sweatin, I clean it and then put a little coconut oil on it and BAM! it’s gone by the next day if not in a matter of hours!

I’ve listed my top 6 daily uses here, but there’s so many more!! Here’s an article from another awesome mama with 101+ uses and benefits for home AND beauty! That’s so many!!

So what are you waiting for? Go get some right now!

– xOx

Why I Chose to Home Birth

You are // made from everything // That I am // We are // made from everything // That the stars are // I can feel // Your heart // beat // Within mine // The rhythm // Of a blood that runs deep // thru valleys and peaks… excerpt from 19th Birthday.

See why I chose to birth at home here.

I never thought that I would want a home birth. In fact, I swore I would never not have an epidural when giving birth. Why would I choose to feel pain? That’s crazy talk. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would have anymore kids. However, I did know if I were to have another baby, it would be under much different circumstances than my first. I was 14 years old when I got pregnant and a lot of, like all of, my decisions were made for me. I couldn’t drink (legally), I couldn’t drive (legally), I couldn’t buy cigarettes (you see the pattern here) and I was told exactly what would happen to my body and to my baby without asking me what I wanted or how I felt. I was induced early, I was given an epidural and I placed my baby girl in an open adoption all by the time I was 15 years old. It was rough, for a very long time. As difficult of a time that it was for me, I do want to add that I’m very grateful for the family that adopted my daughter and the closeness we’ve been able to have over the years. They are my extended family, but it still wasn’t my choice. I had no voice during my pregnancy (which I hid for the first 6 months), the delivery or postpartum. Shoot, I didn’t even really know what postpartum was until my recent birth. I am sure that I suffered from PPD, but I shoved it all down, deep deep down into the crevices and numbed it up with substance abuse.

Fast forward to adulthood and living in Southern California amongst the hippies with homebirthers all around and I’m starting to like the sound of this home birthing business, that’s actually not a business at all, (please watch The Business of Being Born, it’s pretty much what sold me on the whole idea at the end). Having a home birth would mean that I had total say over my birthing experience, the environment, who would be present at my birth, I would be in my home from start to finish, with my delicious home-cooked food, my music and the energy that we’d been creating in the space. I envisioned that after my hypnobirthing experience where I breathed my baby down and out through affirmations that my midwife would shower me and put me into bed with a warm meal and a baby suckling effortlessly at my breast. Very romantic, n’est-ce pas? Is that what happened? …kind of…no not really, but that’s for another post. Although it may not have been as romantic, we did have a successful home water birth and I delivered my big ole, 9lbs 2oz, healthy, veggie-made baby boy at 11:11pm on September 18, 2017 and for that I am forever grateful.

– xOx

Baby’s First Cold Remedies

Mornings filled with ritual // chants to protect // Let no harm come to him // my fully realized classic hymn. Excerpt from King of Kings.

Dealing with my baby’s cold here.

My baby got his first cold!!! Wannnh! I know it’s inevitable and his immune system does need to build up its strength, but I was hoping we had another few months before he got sick. Like I really thought maybe around 9-12 months, y’know, because of the super duper forcefield and otherworldly power of my breastmilk! But alas…he got that runny nose y’all and word on the street is, babies can get sick 6-8 times before they turn 1! WTF?!? Seriously. I know I’m living in LaLa Land, both literally and figuratively, but I hope babes doesn’t get sick again for the rest of this year! Praying his immune system has gotten really strong this go round!

Anyhoo. He got sick, I freaked (aka scoured the internet to make sure it wasn’t the plague) and these are the things I found to help and they seem to be working!

  1. Sauna it out! Go into el baño, run the hot water, put some drops of peppermint oil and *eucalyptus oil* in the bath and let the room steam with aromatherapy! We sat in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes tops. NOT in the shower, just in the bathroom on the toilet, breathing. (This one was hard for me because I HATE wasting water, but it does feel like it helps a lot.)
  2. Suck boogies! The classic blue bulb syringe BS that we all know and loathe. Every mother receives one through the hospital, their registry or from some well-meaning person and it’s quite frankly a piece of doo doo! It really can’t do anything, look at the teeny tiny hole and long slender nozzle, that hole isn’t pulling in diddly squat and that violent nozzle is going to stab the baby in the brain. PLUS you can’t see inside of it to see if it’s getting anything (it’s not) or clean it, that’s just gross. So… I tried sucking babe’s boogers out with my mouth, yes, I did that, I know, I know, but it is a thing and I was desperate! However it didn’t work well. Then after some more internet digging, I found this amazing mama’s post and immediately ordered the Frida Baby! It basically marries me sucking boogers out of his nose with the blue bulb blob and it’s SO much better! You put one end in the baby’s nose and it creates a suction around their nostril and then the other end in your mouth to suck. Don’t worry, there’s a long ass tube and a filter, so no boogies get in your mouth! Seriously though, it gets so much mucus out! There was a point where I felt like I was sucking his brains out because the mucus wouldn’t stop coming! How would he have lived with all that snot in there? I felt like a hero, I don’t think he saw me the same though. FYI *Do not do a saline flush more than 2-3x a day for over 4 days, you run the risk of drying baby’s nose out too much.*
  3. Oil Diffuser/Cool Mist Humidifier! I live in California where it’s hella dry! We’ve been running a Young Living Essential Oils diffuser which also works as a cool mist humidifier in the room for pretty much 24 hours a day. I added peppermint oil to it for a menthol-y scent to help open up babes nasal passages.
  4. Baby’s Positioning! For the first 2 days and 2 nights I slept in a recliner with my big ole baby on my chest. It felt like we were back on his newborn schedule, sleeping off and on every 1-2 hours. I believe it helped the phlegm not pool in his throat and I loved sleeping with him like we did when he was first born! *Memories* He’s back in our bed now and I’ve been keeping him on his stomach or laying him on an incline, his whole upper back inclined, not just his neck, you never want anything to compress the neck area. I also worked from and hung out in the room on these days to watch him breathe, because…mommy paranoia! If your little one sleeps in a crib. Roll up some towels and put under the side of the mattress where their head is so there’s a slight incline, again for that mucus drainage. YUCK!
  5. Onion! A super holistic mommy friend of mine told me about this, “quarter an onion and put it in every room of the house. It will purify the air of anything airborne.” I trust this woman and what she tells me, so I did it. It definitely added a scent that I believed was taking out all the “bad” with it. I also found this article by a Mama in Indonesia who uses the onion method and adds *eucalyptus oil. She has some other fab tips as well.
  6. Bath! We took a nice warm bath and afterwards, he got a lovely massage with coconut oil. I concentrated on his crown chakra and the bottoms of his feet in hopes that it will ignite healing from both ends!
  7. TLC! I’ve just stayed with him all day and all night. I’m there for whatever he needs, whenever he needs it. We haven’t left the bedroom in 3 days. I let him nurse on me as often as he wants and we’re both naked, so he can have the boob whenevs. We sleep, we read books and I hold him, a lot. My lower back is def in need of a good stretch and workout this week, but right now, being here is worth every minute! Now I know how my Mama felt when she would bring pillows in the bathroom and sleep on the floor with me when I was sick. Mommies ARE heroes! 🙂

I hope some of these work for you as they’ve been working for us. He still has a lingering cough that we’ve been told by a doctor can last another 1-2 weeks as the postnasal drip clears. BOO! So we’re still using the humidifier, steams and baby positioning. LET THIS COLD END!!!

Blue bulb of death.                            Suck them baby boogies out right!

– xOx

Meditation: It’s all inside aka dreams of murder…

Dream in color / He whispered in my ear / His future baby Mother / He was a puppeteer.

Murder? Murder who?! Ok, Kat Williams and jokes aside, for the past 3 nights, I’ve been dreaming that I’m being murdered, gruesomely murdered and it’s really effing with me. The fact that I’m also trying to conceive got me like “what the f does this mean?!” What are murder dreams really about? Well of course I googled the shit out of it and here’s a quick bullet-point:

  • Often considered a positive symbol (sweet!)
  • Experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you (holla!)
  • The killing off of an addiction or bad habit (totally cool with that)
  • Repressed aggression or rage at yourself or at someone (yikes)
  • Harboring some strong guilt (ahhh the past)
  • So in a nutshell: “To dream that you die in your dream symbolizes inner changes, transformation, self-discovery and positive development that is happening within you or your life. You are undergoing a transitional phase and are becoming more enlightened or spiritual. Although such a dream may bring about feelings of fear and anxiety, it is no cause for alarm as it is often considered a positive symbol.  Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind.” Thank you holy internet where I can find all the goodies, at least while we still have net neutrality…omgawd, please let us keep net neutrality.

These interpretations totally ease my mind in waking hours but Imma need it to sink into my unconscious while I’m dying in dreamland, good gracious!

Time to dig deep on down in mediation to find out what these murderous signs are pointing to. What in my life or in my behavior patterns need to change OR is changing? I mean obviously I’m prepping to become a mother which is a mega-huge transition and I’ve been making lots of adjustments these past several months (see pre-conception post). So we dive.

Meditation crystals in use today:

  • Rhodonite– is an extraordinary stone of the Heart Chakra. Rhodonite is ideal for grounding energies during meditation and dreamwork, enhancing the depth, clarity and meaning of one’s inner experiences so the messages behind the dreams and visions can be better understood.
  • Rose Quartz–  is a stone of the heart, a Crystal of Unconditional Love. Meditating with Rose Quartz assists one in reaching a resonance with the frequency of compassion, releasing emotional patterns that hold one back.
  • Lepidolite– is a guardian crystal protecting you, your family and your dreams! The color, violet (purple), is the color ray of intuition, dreams. It aids in interpreting our dreams, inspiring us to great deeds and accomplishments.
  • Tiger’s Eye– is a most ancient talisman, an “all-seeing all-knowing eye.” Meditating with it initiates a wonderful, high-vibrational state that is well-grounded, peaceful, and highly conducive for encounters with others through remote viewing, out-of-body travel or mind travel.
  • Labradorite – it is, in every sense, a Stone of Magic, a crystal of shamans, diviners, healers, and all who travel and embrace the universe seeking knowledge and guidance. For self-discovery, it is excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities. Meditating with Labradorite allows one to recognize humanity as “being of light,” transcending limitations.
  • Jade (this one’s going deep inside! *wink wink*)- is said to bless whatever it touches. It is the ultimate “Dream Stone,” to access the spiritual world, gain insight into ritualistic knowledge, encourage creativity, and dream-solve.

*The Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Labradorite and Jade are all also yoni eggs yay!*

Crystal descriptions from the amazing resource that is Crystal Vault!

All the answers I need to know right now are inside. I got a direct connect with The Divine. We all do. If we just take the time to slow down, stfu and sit dafuq down for a minute or 20, we can tune in. Remember: when you think you don’t even have 5 minutes to meditate, that’s when you need an hour! So, go do that ish bish, be quiet and listen and get yo answers fool! Escucha a la diosa!

– xOx