Summah time.

I know, I've been away again. I'm just deep in it. Well, I haven't been totally silent. I did manage to do a DITL the other day, and that was fun. So biggest highlights since the last update:

I witnessed the birth of a beautiful little boy. I know that one person was curious about the experience, so I thought I'd share a little. My friend had a very very long labor (a planned homebirth) with her first a few years ago that resulted in a c-section. She always reflected on the experience as being a good one- I think she had excellent care from her midwife and really felt in control throughout. But, when she got pregnant with this second baby I think she dealt with some very understandable but unanticipated anxiety about how it would all turn out. She really really wanted to have the homebirth she envisioned this time around, but had visions of disastrous outcomes and just… I think it was a little nerve-wracking at times. She was really great in recognizing her fears and desires through the whole pregnancy and really consciously decided to trust herself and her body. She asked me to be there during her labor, and I was completely honored and enthusiastically agreed. Pictured below is Vera holding little Jude.

I got the call early in the morning a couple of weeks ago. Her water broke around 1am, and then I got the call to come over around 6:30 or so. When I arrived I found my friend swaying in the birth pool and her partner as calm as ever right beside her. The picture of love, in my opinion. Their daughter was still sleeping, so I hung out for a while with them while she labored. Their daughter woke around 8am and so I spent the next couple of hours playing with her and helping her to process what was happening. At one point my friend was really making some powerful noises and Lilly (3.5 years old) was like "Uhm, why is my mama making those noises?" I told her not to be afraid- that it was hard work to get a baby out and that her mama was just "singing her birth song". Lilly called me on it, though, and said very seriously "No, she is NOT singing." There were so many hilarious things she said that morning, I wish I had written them down. Anyway, we occupied ourselves in the garden until we heard that mama was pushing. They called us in and she sat quietly on my lap as we watched her baby brother come earth-side. My friend exclaimed "My baaaaaby! I had a baaaaby! Baby! My baby!!" I'll never get over the immediate awe that you feel when a baby comes out. Like you didn't ever really realize the truth of it all, despite the swelling belly in front of you, until the life lands right in your lap. Her partner let out an involuntary sob and I just couldn't keep my eyes from welling up with tears. It was simple, powerful, beautiful, and just a privilege to be a witness to it. I saw an amazing family come together, a little girl become a big sister, and a mother push through that amazing spiritual passage that is the birth of her own children. I really hope that it was a healing experience for her. I do see them transitioning into life with multiple kids just as seamlessly as they do everything else. It's been fun, I feel like I've gained a nephew. Also, it's so great to squish a baby again. Makes my body ache a little, in that good primal way. 

Anyway, on that note I'm making my entrance back into doula work again. Starting late this summer I'm teaming up with a friend who has really started her own doula business and is doing very well. I don't plan to be as active as she is, since I'll be juggling the kids and farm and everything else, but I'm excited to get back into it.

My little brother came through town on an official tour with his new album. Check him out, he's great. He's been in Austin since Vera was just 2 months old, and yet the kids all squeal with delight when he comes to visit. It's one thing I worried about when he moved- that the kids just wouldn't know how to connect with him. But he's fun and plays music and we show them pictures. He's a hit! Uncle Ben!


Ben with my nephew Max.

It's been ridiculously hot and dry. It has me thinking all about apocalyptic scenarios (well, you know, more than usual…), and has me grateful for milder temperatures and rain. Wouldn't it be crazy if we just swapped summer with winter as the more temperate season? 

Blueberries are so wonderful. Everyone's poop is kind of purple these days. I know these things, cuz I'm the mom.

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