What a busy summer it’s been, and how it’s flown by!
Sitting here rocking slowly back and forth on my nursery glider, I am struck by how quickly life moves, and how grateful I am for all that has transpired to bring me to where I am today, on my rocker, in my baby’s nursery, on this lovely cloudy September afternoon. The weather is beginning to cool in preparation for another Fall and Winter, and we’ve enjoyed a few beautiful days this week of weather in the 60s and 70s.
My daughter, Aurora Eleanor, who was born in August at 42 weeks and 2 days after 33 hours of hard labor, is sleeping in her crib wrapped in the sweet blanket her Gramma made her, with the beautiful mobile her Auntie made her twirling from the breeze of the AC vent. She is over a month old now, and it blows me away how quickly this last month has passed.
I have known much pain in my life; from spiritual struggle and emotional trauma to physical injury, I’m not a stranger to reconciling myself to pain. I’ve learned not to despise it, as pain always brings something beautiful. I like the phrase Jon Foreman coined: “Your scars are where the light shines through.” In one way or another each pain I’ve encountered has had a purpose; and all of those purposes have brought me here, to Memphis, married to David, living in this house, working these jobs, and now, mothering this child. Pain is worth it. Pain teaches love, humility, patience, compassion, and perseverance. Pain brings maturity. Pain brings a deeper and better appreciation for the good and the beautiful and the pure and the painless. My painful scars are where the light shines through. This particular light, my Aurora Eleanor (which means Light Shining) shines through the hard 10 month pregnancy, followed by 33 hours of intense 2 min apart contractions in labor, some minor complications, and an epidural that didn’t work, all amounting to the most pain physically that I’ve ever been in in my life. I’ve got stretch marks all over, difficult memories of how awry my labor and delivery went from how we’d planned, fear of losing this precious child of mine, fear of all the future unknowns and my ultimate inability to control and protect her, and yet the pain and the scars are so incredibly worth it. I hope she learns the same thing through her life.
Since Rory was born it’s been a hard but beautiful month. Sleepless nights, many tears (from me) as I’ve paced unable to quiet my screaming child as she dealt with painful gas while her little body was adjusting to this new world and new way of things, and moments so precious I can’t do them justice with words.
David is still struggling with his health, and looking for a new job. We are thinking both of those processes will take quite some time. He’s still on a journey with the wholistic alternative doctor we found this spring. We’ve conquered the SIBO, the yeast overgrowth, the food allergies, and now we’re battling the bacterial infections in his blood. It’s going to take several months just to treat those. Meanwhile as much as he would like to find a new job, he’s torn because his health is so poor still that he worries it would be altogether too much to train for a new position while suffering so much weakness and fatigue, and his new employer might be a little less understanding than his current employer who happens to be his father.
We’ve switched diets. The Paleo diet was tearing David apart. We are more convinced than ever that meat and meat products are just downright bad for human beings. I might post someday detailing WHY we believe this, but for now I’ll just leave you with a few resources in case you’d like to find out our views, and read what backs our beliefs:
Fasting and Eating for Health a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Eat for Health a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead a documentary by Joe Cross
What the Health a documentary by Kip Anderson
(and countless other articles and video interviews with other experts in nutrition and medicine.)
After 10 weeks on the Paleo diet, David was weaker than ever, not even able to get through a full day at work. He had no color whatsoever, and was like a ghost walking. We finally made the decision to quit the Paleo diet that the Dr. had had David on, (which we were always a little bit suspicious of simply because we already had those views on so much meat intake, but we were willing to give it a try.) and we switched over to a “nutritarian” diet, the plant based – whole foods lifestyle that Dr. Fuhrman has spent so many years researching and developing. Instantly most of David’s strength returned, and though he is still very ill, he’s improved vastly simply because of his diet.
So now, we are on a whole new adventure. We’ve gone completely vegan. We’ve been completely vegan now since the week before Aurora’s birth, and we’re so satisfied, and so loving it. We don’t have any desire for meat or animal products, and the idea of it quite frankly grosses us out most of the time. I’ve tasted meat twice since my transition to vegan, and haven’t really enjoyed it at all. We’ve found ourselves become so much healthier as well, and I believe it’s part of why I’ve had such a quick and wonderful recovery from childbirth. My body has been able to focus it’s efforts on healing from that, instead of spending all it’s energy trying to process and digest the inflammatory junk that’s found in animal products.
So we’re getting back in the swing of things. I began teaching again this week, and Aurora is sorting herself out and getting used to life on the outside. We’re chugging along and though we have rough days and nights at times, we are truly happy and truly grateful. We’ve been given so much and life is so beautiful. I can’t possibly be bitter about the pain that has brought such grace to my life.
Hoping to post a couple different posts with some recipe experiences, and also some organizational tactics that have helped me get back into the swing of normal life (only with a baby now). But for now I’ll wrap up because my daughter woke up from her nap and is crying for me.
Till next time!