back to minneapolis

“It’s ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.”

I was so happy to be moving back to Minneapolis. It felt like we were moving forward. The past year had been rough. A lot of moving around. A lot of sadness. A lot of loneliness. We got an apartment for the beginning of May. We went back up for an appointment and refresher birth class and started to get settled in.

But first a week at Nana and Papa’s getting spoiled.

Our new digs. It was not my dream home, but it was a home, and I was grateful for it. All of our family helped us move and then it was just the task of unpacking and taking nice walks around the small lake in our backyard.

33 weeks big!

Everything about this time was bittersweet. I found myself very anxious about the future. I was so worried about my sweet Indra. She is such a sensitive being. She had still been sleeping with us, and nursing and hadn’t spent a night away. The day of our birth class, Bethany watched her for 6 hours – that was the most I’d been away from her! Shortly after, I asked my mom to take her one day a week. Partly for me, but mostly so that Indra would be used to being away longer when I went into labour.

My sweet little strawberry eating girl

Celebrating Mother’s Day. It was a little anti-climactic but we did get out for a short walk.

We’ve discovered popsicles!

I loved going through pictures and seeing tons of these selfies from Ezra’s runs. He bought a new stroller so he could take Indra out. I’m pretty sure she loved the special wind-blown time! I’m pretty sure Ez was buying her treats too.

She looks like she’s not enjoying this, but I’m betting she asked to be carried. We took walks frequently to the nearby brewery, where Ez could drink beer and Indra could run around outside.

Things were changing fast. Indra no longer slept next to me in bed. Then even that changed and Ezra took her out of the room and I slept alone. This was a very hard time for me. I wanted a baby and I wanted Indra to have a sister. But it was a challenging time. It was difficult sleeping, and eating and managing my stress. Maybe it was too much moving around, or gaining more weight than I wanted, or just worrying so damn much about Indra. But these last couple months of pregnancy were not joyful ones.

This sweet sweet girl!

The day after we got back from our travels I had a midwife appt. Perhaps it was because I was dehydrated, or exhausted from jetlag or just stressed with all the moving. But I had a slightly higher blood pressure reading. The midwife decided to tell me everything that could go wrong if it went higher. This stressed me WAY out. From that time on, I had higher readings. Never at home, only in the office. Words like preeclampsia and induction started getting thrown around casually. Then we found out baby was breech. I couldn’t believe it! They said we’d have to do a hospital birth. I knew I was fine, but now the breech. I went into a tailspin. I had what I think was a panic attack. This was not how I had been envisioning these last months to go. I felt heartbroken and responsible. I started spending my weeks doing spinning babies exercises, inverting myself, doing moxibustion. I had acupuncture appointments and chiropractic appointments on top of two weekly midwife appointments. It was like a part-time job. I had never felt so defeated.

But still there was this silly one to help me keep perspective.

And Ezra was so amazing to me in this time. He took off work most days for me to go to appointments. We found out I wouldn’t be covered at the hospital with my same midwives, so we had to switch midwives. I was four weeks away from my due date and I was starting over. I cannot explain the level of despair I felt during this time. I was worried about my health and the baby’s health. I was worried someone was going to want to induce me. I just needed something to start going right.

My gardening helper. First plant the tomatoes, then water the banana tree, next put babies on the pansies.

And then things did start to shift. I switched care and had the good fortune of meeting Carrie, a really incredible midwife. She listened like no one else had been listening. She still made me do blood work, but let me stop the stress tests, and I could start coming in only once a week. She helped me make an appointment with a doctor who was really great at ECVs. All I wanted was a vaginal birth at this point. Not just for my sake, but for the baby’s. I had read way too much on why this was beneficial. I was frustrated when people told me to stop worrying about it. Carrie agreed I shouldn’t just throw up my hands without a good fight.

My doula Amy came with for the procedure. She has this presence that just encourages (maybe even demands) you open and release. I sobbed as she played calming music, and sprayed palo santo, rubbed my feet and put a flower in my hair. At the time it made me uncomfortable. I just wanted to disappear. But this was just the healing and support I needed. I was so used to feeling like everything was out of my control. The tears of self-judgement washed over me and I left with that exhausted cathartic feeling, that only a good cry can give. Oh, and I left with a baby head down!

We got together with my birth mom friends from Indra’s birth class. I felt so lucky to still have that support system. The kids were all so cute together.

Found more cute selfies on the camera!

What’s summer without playing outside in the water!

There were many walks to the park and along the path.

There were also many early mornings where Ezra let me sleep in and he took Indra to Starbucks for yogurt and granola. Notice the pjs and kitty shoes that were her latest obsession.

I was starting to look at each weekend as possibly the last as a family of three. I wanted to soak in that time as much as possible. I never did get preeclampsia and my blood pressure readings went down. They had me stop doing blood tests and confirmed, that yes – I was just getting nervous at my appointments. This left me feeling validated and stronger and more confident again. Just what I needed after one of the worst months of my life and heading in to labor.

Oh my heart.

After Indra was born the birth center made homemade bread with honey. I was sad that I wouldn’t get that this time and Amy suggested I make some. She’s so brilliant! And so here is Indra helping to make bread for after labor. Stirring and kneading… maybe with a little help from her feet. Ok, now I was ready.

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