Third trimester shenanigans: Jinx

So, forget what I said about sleeping because the last few nights have been hit or miss 😀

Here are the revelations not sleeping has brought me.

  1. When Lil Boo doesn’t sleep, I can’t sleep. There could be a myriad of reasons why the boy ain’t falling to sleep. It could be because he’s been a bit sick lately. It could also be due to the fact that our house has been filled with stress from my husband’s work and guilt from me not being the active, play-all-day-Mother I’d like to be. He could also be outgrowing his 8pm bed time, or just sensing the impending doom of not being the only kid in the house anymore. Either way, I watch him actively refuse to nap or wait for me to come and re-tuck him in at night before he finally settles down. Shit makes me sad and anxious 🙁
  2. When my emotions are backed up, I can’t sleep. Somehow I forgot that my father’s death-anniversary is less than a month away. As I carry another son, I can’t help but feel some kind of way knowing that my father won’t get to meet this one. It breaks my heart. Lil Boo met his grandfather. Lil Boo#2 won’t. *sigh* Not to mention, I have never felt more surrounded by death. People have been posting about late term abortions, infant loss, babies being choked out in Wal-Mart. Facebook is a minefield of shit I don’t want to see.
  3. My pregnancy hormones have kicked in and I am feeling all sorts of evil. When I do actually sleep, I still feel tired, overwhelmed and like I don’t want to be bothered with shit. I love the little life inside of me, but the transition from one kid to two is a bit unnerving. There are so many what-ifs floating around my head. I completely respect and honor 1 and done 🙂

When I wake up feeling all of this, I just feel it. 3am is really the only time I have to process, so I enjoy the space to actually feel without interrupting myself. When I am done listening, I find my mind wanders from my body. I drift into sleep peacefully.

We’ll see what pops up next.

With all the crazy about these days, be sure to take precious care!

J

Third Trimester Shenanigans: Sleep… What sleep?!

Even though I am in the third trimester, sleep hasn’t been too hard to come by. (Jinx!) When I do wake up, I am usually able to get back to sleep without too much trouble. However, when I do have problems getting back to sleep, I’ve found a few sure fire strategies to help me back to dream land.

Here’s what works for me:

  1. Before bed time I enjoy a nice blend of herbs that promote sleep. Passion flower, Lemon Balm, Rose, Sweet Violet and Milky Oats ease my spirit so I can sleep. Hops has also helped me sleep too 🙂
  2. When tea is not enough, I take a dropper full of lemon balm tincture. In fact, I keep Lemon Balm tincture beside my bed. Just her presence eases my spirit.
  3. If I really can’t get back to sleep, I eat. Sometimes, I wake up because I am hungry. Usually enjoying a snack high in protein and fat helps send me back to sleep. (Think peanut butter or Babybel cheese!)
  4. Regular exercise helps me sleep too. My current yoga practice isn’t a very vigorous one, but I’ve noticed when I make an effort to take a walk I sleep much better. Somehow chasing a toddler around all day isn’t exhausting enough :p
  5. If none of this works, I enjoy being with me. Sometimes, I’m not awake for any other reason than I need to just be with myself. When I am not with my son, I am with my husband. When I am not with my husband, I am with the little one inside of me or on my way to sleep. Upon occasion, the still of the night is the only time I have to actually hear myself. I find when I actually make time to hear myself, I sleep well and have much more space for everyone else.
  6. Keeping a regular meditation practice has been helpful for my sleep as well. I find the more I create space to breath and clear my mind, the easier it is to let go and sleep. For me meditation is different than hearing myself. Hearing myself is a conversation with me. Meditation is me trying to hear God. It’s a different experience.

These five strategies have helped me sleep somewhat well through out pregnancy and some of motherhood. When none of the above works, I chalk it up to being pregnant and then masturbate. That is not a typo. Wanking really helps me sleep when all else fails. I love myself to sleep upon occasion. Pregnancy is a strange time. Even with the best preparations, things often do what they want.

Until next time…Take precious Care!

J

An Old Friend: Mugwort

I love Plant Friends. They make me laugh because they have a habit of showing up right when I need them. Being an  herbalist in this way is quite amazing.

I first met mugwort as moxa. I remember my acupuncturist burning moxa during a session to assist conception. It worked. I soon became pregnant. Months later, moxa made an appearance during labor, as a relief measure. The intention was that moxa would move energy so that baby could be born. After Lil Boo was born, I heard nothing from Mugwort. She disappeared as quickly as she popped up.

A year or so later, I moved to the Silver Spring Metro area. I spent my first summer playing with Lil Boo by (and occasionally in) Sligo Creek. At first I didn’t believe my eyes. Then I took a closer look. Yep, Mugwort was everywhere. I chuckled. I looked at her, she looked at me and then suggested I take a few leaves home to place by my bed. I followed her advice.

In addition to supporting conception, dreamwork, intuition and restorative sleep, I learned that mugwort was very protective. She keeps trouble from finding you. She’s not who to call when you are in trouble. She’s the one  to call when you want to avoid trouble. Mugwort is so much more than a door to unseen realms.

A couple of weeks ago mugwort said that I needed to purchase it. I wasn’t sure why, but I did. She arrived accompanied by skullcap. At first I put a little bit of mugwort in a cup with some lavender to put by my bed. The odor cleared my third eye and relaxed me. It felt so goooooooodddd. Then mugwort suggested I combine her with skullcap as a tea. So I did and had the best sleep I have had in a long long time. It was a restorative deep sleep that did not leave me drowsy in the morning. It was a beautiful thing. My dreams were helpful and soothing. 🙂

Since I am in conception mode I look forward to playing with mugwort more. I know she has a great deal to teach me and I am thankful to learn.

Until next time, take Precious Care

J

Yoga and Herbs to the rescue: Terror and Panic

So as I continue to ease off the crazy amount of tinctures I was taking a couple of things began to emerge namely terror, anxiety and panic.

Anxiety and I are old buddies. He’s always humming in the background; ensuring that my i’s are dotted, t’s are crossed and that all the doors are locked. Although, he’s a bit much sometimes, I always found him to be comforting and manageable when I allow him to do his thing.

However, terror and panic are new to me. At least, I thought so. After being a bit more honest with myself, I realized that the only time I wasn’t actively cycling through terror and panic was when I lived in France. So, I’ve been actively freaking the fuck out on the regular now for years.

Now my version of terror and panic aren’t about pulling my hair out and throwing things. I am sure it looks different for everyone, but my version resembles righteous anger coupled with self – destruction. I build something for myself then start to lash out at those surrounding me as if I am responding to what initiated (and still fuels)  my panic and terror many moons ago. Finding myself  quite embarrassed, I then self-destruct, taking everything down around me. Next I hide out and not speak to anyone for about 3 – 6 months. Rinse and repeat through out my 20’s and most  of my 30’s. I can’t continue to do this with a kid.

Rather than get into the origin of my anxiety, terror and panic, I will tell you what I have been doing about it; especially since I can actually feel  and see it in action these days.

  1. I changed my yoga practice. Since my terror and panic are on an upswing (yay!) I’ve realized that I need a more vigorous practice. Now vigorous is in the eye of the beholder, but I’ve kicked things up a notch. I have also been working with extending my exhalation when I practice pranayama–which has been awesome for those nights when I am up at 3am and  pissed about it.
  2. I’ve been focusing on being more present in my body. It’s kind of bizarre for me to only recently notice that I have been low key freaking the fuck out for years now. If I can’t connect with myself or my feelings it means I am not fully in my body. So I start the morning off with a practice to help bring me into my body.
  3. I’ve been working with my personal boundaries. Meaning, since I am re-learning to be in my body, I am coming to understand how my body acts as a boundary between me and everything else. In short I am beginning to experience where I end and where you begin.
  4. I’ve also been asking plant spirits for help. Although I am still enjoying some herbal teas and tinctures, I’ve been calling up the divine essences of certain plants for help. For example, did you know that Yarrow is excellent at helping you create and maintain boundaries and that stinging nettles will actually defend you? I ask for their help (and a few others) every morning.

I’ve also been playing with Karla McLaren’s The Language of Emotions and Healing Trauma by Peter Levine, Phd.

As things evolve with my yoga and herbal practice I’ll keep you posted.

In the meanwhile, take precious care.