con⋅tem⋅pla⋅tive /kənˈtɛmplətɪv, ˈkɒntəmˌpleɪ-, -tɛm-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kuhn-tem-pluh-tiv, kon-tuhm-pley-, -tem-]
–adjective 1. given to or characterized by contemplation: a contemplative mind.
–noun 2. a person devoted to contemplation, as a monk.
I am never so contemplative as when I am pregnant. Contemplative was a word that was used to describe me, by one of my favorite English teachers in college... and he never knew me pregnant!
I feel so deeply connected to the earth, the universe, and some infinite knowledge that I could never start to fully understand. It truly is a miracle, so many things have to go just right to get the end result that we all hope for. Just being intimately involved in a tiny part of this amazing cycle of life can be mind-boggling to me.
It is very personal to me, this whole incubation period. It is constantly on my mind, no matter what else I am doing. Unfortunately, along with this glorious connection to something much bigger than myself, I also feel a little less connected with the people I love. This feeling is noticed the most with the people I love the very most. I feel a little distant. It's not that I feel any less love for any of them.... I am just so very in tune with my body and the work that it is doing. This little human needs a lot to grow. And for better or worse, the entirety of that work here on this human realm is for me to do. It is an awesome responsibility... overwhelmingly so at times.
My very favorite pregnancy, by far, has been my first. I think about that often right now, because to be honest I just don't enjoy being pregnant as much right now. It has bothered me often during these last three because it makes me feel bad. It feels like I should enjoy this amazing thing that is happening through me. In the last few days, I think that I have finally figured out why. I enjoyed the first pregnancy so much more because I had nothing else in my life. I devoted every second to my baby and watching this miracle of life unfold, and not only was no one else hurt... there was no one else around to care. Now of course, I have many more people already deeply embedded in my everyday life. People who not only notice that I am more withdrawn, but that have come to depend on my "normal" personality traits. In my everyday life I have a lot to take care, as far the care and comforts of others. I am a natural mother, and usually thrive on being able to meet all the needs of my family. But right now, the internal "mothering" that I am doing feels much more at the forefront of my mind. When I am able to focus on myself I feel much more peaceful right now. It makes me feel selfish, but I honestly feel like it is a biological need to go into yourself to achieve this enormous goal of giving birth to a healthy child. I really struggled sharing it with Al the first time because he wanted to be such a big part of it... being his first time experiencing it. It is easier now because he does care and helps and does everything he can, but at this point realizes the best thing he can do is to help make me happy. The best thing that he can do is to support me, which I must say he really is making a strong effort to do. This time has been the best so far, actually. That is a pretty great bonus!! So I guess the question is: how do I deal with this new information.
I mean obviously, I want to be able to enjoy this period of time as much as I can. So right now that is my task... to figure out a way to get more personal time for myself, which will hopefully in turn make me a happier wife and Mama during the rest of this incredibly self-focused time. The biggest thing I keep telling my husband, who is probably struggling the most with my feelings of distance, is that this will be the last time we all have to deal with the crazy ups, downs, and in betweens of this fantastic journey. I am pretty sure that this will be our last... I thought that last time too... but changed my mind only a few months after Roscoe was born. This time I feel like this really could be our last... which of course means this is the last pregnancy for me. It makes me feel sad, and at the same time excited for this final chapter of this particular stage in my life as well as in our lives together as a family.
I have my follow up sonogram to check on how the placenta is doing on the 14th. I am feeling positive about things at this point. I have been giving myself about 30 minutes of focused meditation, prayer, and visualization every night since the first news. I am hopeful that this time we will find that either things are the same (and therefore not progressing in a negative way) or that it has healed. I will of course find out in a little over a week. I will let everyone know what the results are after I find out! : )
As for the second part of my title...
I love kimchi! My parents were stationed in Korea for about 2 years before my older sister was born (my mom spent most of her pregnancy overseas), and brought back the love of the culture, especially the food! My parents (more so my mom) were very open minded about food and trying to expose us kids to all different sorts of cuisines as we were growing up. We ate tofu, seaweed, Thai, Mexican, Korean, as well as what I always called my mom's Farm food, the likes of cow tongue soup and tripe (neither of which I liked then or now by the way! ... but mom always said we had to take a few bites before we were allowed to say we didn't like something!) right along with classics like meatloaf, pot roast, and homemade macaroni and cheese. My dad was in the army so we had friends from all different cultures. I think that one of the best gifts I was given as a child was exposure to so many different ways of living... and that all people had special ways of doing things, but we were all basically trying to achieve the same goals, as kid it seemed like that meant a happy and healthy family. I grew up very naive to the fact that many people are not as open minded as the people I grew up around. I am very grateful for that fact, I think it had a huge impact on the person that I have become today.
But back to the kimchi... I will sometimes goes years without it, but in the last few years I have wanted it more and more. It is very good for you. It is a fermented food, and it is considered a living food. It is chock full of vitamins and minerals and it is very low calorie, too! It does have a good amount of sodium content, but you can control how much if you make it yourself. It is pretty expensive to buy it often...and once you get hooked a small jar won't last long, sooo... Over the summer I embarked on a kimchi making adventure. I didn't have the time to blog about it then, but I knew that I might want to at some point so I took a bunch of pictures of everything... just in case! : )
So without further ado....
How to make your own Kimchi:
ok- I didn't intend for this to be a tease.. but I was just previewing my post and thought that this was already pretty lengthy. I just decided that I will make a new post just for the kimchi recipe and photos. The hubby is out with his Mama and I have some glorious alone time (and a crazy, manic, pregnant, no such thing as sleeping brain right now...) so I will work on it tonight and if it's not up tonight it will be tomorrow. promise!!
Today I am thankful that I may have figured out a way to enjoy this pregnancy a little more for the miracle that it is.
I am grateful that although he doesn't understand completely my husband is being incredibly supportive of me, even though I am different than what he is used to.
I am so grateful, as always, for my little dumplings... I know that they will think that all the change is worth it when they have an adorable drooly, poopy, sometimes crying but at some point smiling baby gazing back at them!