I am sitting here, aching. My hips hurt, my back hurts, I am tired. I have heartburn like you would not believe, and my breasts have quadrupled in size,and have started leaking! I pee nearly every 20 minutes and it is difficult to get out of bed without assistance, or some loud groans. Seriously.
Welcome to the last weeks of pregnancy!!! Pain aside, I am grateful to have made it this far.
I am still on bed rest, which is enough to make anyone crazy. Sometimes I cheat, but I am quickly reprimanded by roommates, my Portuguese sweetheart, and even my son (If they only understood bed rest sucks!). Thank goodness this house has a swimming pool. It is when I am in the pool that the aching pain melts away.. Ahhhhhh… the Little Miracles.
I never thought I would have a “high risk” pregnancy. I didnt want a “hospital birth.”I had never even heard of IUGR.
The baby is considered off the charts SGA (small for gestational age) due to growth restriction.
Sometimes I wonder if part of her size is purely genetics, but, there are times when I feel like a total failure, and I get down on myself and ask “how does a health conscious yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner, end up with a crappy placenta?” Was it the wine I drank before I knew I was pregnant? Was it stress? The heat? Lack of protein? Too many Downward facing Dogs? What did I do? Maybe I did nothing. And this is just life, and one of the many tests we are faced with.
Recently, we had quite a scare with the baby. We were told the amniotic fluid was very low, and she had not grown in two weeks. There was a question of whether to admit me to the hospital and deliver that day. Ultimately, after hours of waiting, and Drs. debating, we were sent home. Continued bed rest, more fluids, more food, and added Dr appointments.
Talk about Anxiety! That night, I woke up in total panic, and cried for 2 hours straight. I was verging on becoming a total lunatic.
Thank goodness the very next day my friend and wise Buddhist Teacher, Nyari Tritul Rinpoche, formally recognized as the third reincarnation of a late master, Tritul Rinpoche of Gelug tradition, came to Florida (he lives in Spain and India), and he performed a healing ceremony called “Vajravidarana Ceremony.”
“Vajravidaran is the Buddhist deity of purification, which removes contamination, negative attitude and misconduct made to the body , mind and speech. In addition to possible impurities at all levels, also removes its origin (Karma ) , external sources and obstacles caused by natural imbalances or negative influences zodiac. Also removes the causes of diseases and negativities of unknown origin. After purification, it creates a protective shield with the Vajra (the object that carries in his right hand diamond represents spiritual strength), which protects for the future.”
Mantra, bells, drums, water, and a special dough were used in the ceremony. It was beautiful. I felt a renewed belief in the power of the spiritual world. After the ceremony, he did a blessing for the baby. He told me to call on White Tara. He gave me a picture of White Tara, which is over my bed. A reminder of the healing energy we can call upon when in need. That evening, I felt light, I felt happy. I floated in the pool, and smiled. I slept well that night.
The very next day, was our baby blessing and shower. Friends planned the whole thing, decorated the house, brought over food, flowers, and lots of hugs and laughter. We had a Wiccan healing and blessing. The priestess (my dear friend) cast the circle, called upon the elements and called in Archangel Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Jesus, Brigid,Tara, and many other divine beings. I cried during most of the ceremony. It was so powerful. A circle of love surrounding my baby., I honestly couldn’t even talk. My head was spinning, and my hands were red-hot.I hope everyone who was there, in person or spirit, truly knows how grateful I am.
We just went back to the Dr. yesterday. After some tests, my Dr. smiled at me, and said “baby is doing remarkably better, your fluids have gone up, and her organs, and heart rate are looking much better.” I told her about the blessings, she smiled (thinking I was a crazy hippie), and said “whatever works, I am so relieved to see this improvement.”
It is very likely she will still need to be delivered soon. But she is doing better. And for this, I am doing better.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for the blessings. I will keep you posted.
Today, my flight to the Azores, came and went. I laid in bed, I cried a little, and I touched my big pregnant belly.
I tried to remind myself “Everything happens for a reason”. But, here I am in Florida. On bed rest, and hoping the best for this little baby and our family. What a crazy year.
Up until 10 days ago, I was moving to the Azores, Portugal, to give birth there. My partner has spent the entire summer building us a little house in a tiny village in Santa Maria. My island paradise.
The Road Trip
With only a few weeks left in the United States, my son and I packed up our tiny car, and headed up to Ann Arbor Michigan, to visit my mom. She had offered to keep my dog for a few months, to help during my last few weeks of pregnancy, and settling in the Azores. The drive to Michigan was long. We stopped and stayed with friends along the way. Ann Arbor is a really cool city, and the Great Smokey Mountains, breathtaking. There were some magical moments on our trip. We made it to Michigan and back in 10 days. We were on a mission. Azores!
When we made it back to South Florida, I knew our time was limited. There was so much to do to get ready to leave the country!!! I taught yoga in the morning, and then went straight to the midwife to get my medical records. My midwife joked with me about how she wanted to move to the Azores too..She laughed as she measured my fundal height. She stopped laughing and made a serious face. She paused and then she measured again. She said,”Well, maybe the baby is just curled up or lying transverse, but your uterus is measuring about 5-6 centimeters smaller than it should. I want to send you for a growth scan”. I was scared. She told me not to worry, this was just as a precaution.
To Bed Rest
The next day, I went for my growth scan, and I found out some frightening news. The baby has severe asymmetrical IUGR. Her head is normal size, but her abdomen is extremely small. They think this is due to placenta insufficiency. I was told it was very severe, and because of this, I was put on bed rest, and assigned to a “high risk” Dr. The Dr apologized and said I would be unable to fly. He said I would need to be monitored very closely.. I could not contain my tears.
I went back to my friend’s house, and laid in bed. I was completely exhausted and scared. Scared for my baby, and scared for my future. I cried for hours.
Close friends who heard the news came by with flowers, care packages, songs, nail polish, and food. I have been getting massages, and some real pampering.. My sister drove all the way here to pick up my son for a few weeks to help. And amazingly, my good friend offered her home for as long as we need.. And she wrote a beautiful song for the baby. My sweetheart, even from 3,000 miles away, has been beyond supportive. Love is what helps us heal. I am truly grateful.
The news has settled in, and the flight has come and gone. And here i am in Florida, laying on my left side, and praying for my little baby.
I surrender and flow. ~Yogini Tiff
Several years ago, I dated a beekeeper. Our first date ended with me ripping off my dress and running frantically to my car..
This is a story worth reading, it was probably one of the strangest and most memorable nights I have ever known. It was the beginning of my Bee love story…
I am lucky to be a part of a radical, loving, and very supportive community. Artists, musicians, farmers, beekeepers, etc. all make up this amazing group of people who have truly become family. It was through my friends, and our community, that i met a handsome, traveling beekeeper. We started of course, as just friends, and while there was mutual attraction, it never went farther than a smile, a laugh, a conversation, and sometimes a song.
About a year after we initally met, the beekeeper strolled back in to town.. I knew this time there would be romance. We went to our friends going away party (Ironically, it was themed the King and Queen party). I wore an old beautiful dress, and a cardboard crown the kids and I made together, and he was wearing a blue sheet as a royal cape. We spent nearly the entire evening next to each other, smiling, laughing, and feeling a nervous sense of excitement. It was a full moon.
We talked in detail about his bees, and work. I asked him the very common question”Do you ever get stung?”He cleared his throat and replied extra-confidently, ”When you know how to move with the bees, they rarely sting. I hardly ever wear any protective gear because I don’t need it anymore.”
Totally fascinated, I replied “That is amazing! Will you teach me about bees?”
Little did I know, my first lesson would begin that evening. It was getting late, I needed to go home, but the beekeeper said “I need to move a bee hive to our friends house, it will take 10 minutes, will you wait for me?” Flattered, I smiled and said “Of course!”
Knowing nothing about bees, I asked “You move the hives at night?”Again with confidence he replied “Yes, the bees stay in the hive at night,so it is a perfect time to move them.”
I thought all of this was very magical. Full moon, romance, honey.
It was about ten minutes later, that I saw my beekeeper,and he was covered in welts from bee stings. The bees were awake, and they were angry. We spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom pulling out stingers. He smiled said he was fine, that it was no big deal. His shirt was off, My heart was pounding.After we pulled out about 50 stingers, we walked outside. We looked lovingly into each other eyes. I could tell he was about to kiss me, and I was in total bliss.. our faces moved closer together, I began to close my eyes.. and then I heard buzzing. A lot of buzzing. The bees were awake, angry, and they were in my hair. I panicked. The beekeeper and another friend helped get the bees away from me, they both got stung, but luckily I didn’t. (Not that time).
Once the bees were out of my hair, we walked down the path, adrenaline pumping, and once again we smiled.. I hugged him and said “Thank you for saving me.” We continued to hug, as we looked into each others eyes. Suddenly,and louder than ever, the buzzing came back! The bees flew up my dress and started stinging me on my butt. I ripped off my dress, tried to brush off the attacking bees, and I ran to my car in my bra and panties.
Both shocked and relieved (probably a little off balance from the bee stings, and the romance), I laughed and smiled as I drove home. Bee stings hurt, it is true. But that night was sweet and certainly memorable.
One might think that would be enough to scare me away from bees, but no. That was the beginning of my bee love story. Over the next several months, the beekeeper taught me about bees. And although the sweetness of the romance with the beekeeper was short lived, that relationship taught me so much. And the sweetness of my love for bees continues..
And now, years later, I have worked with and learned so much about bees. We cannot survive without them. I love bees. I respect bees. Sometimes the sweetest things have a little bit of venom.
I harvested honey this week with a good friend of mine. I told her the story of the beekeeper. We laughed uncontrollably, as we licked massive amounts of Mango honey.
Have a sweet day. Bee Happy.
I woke up this morning, already stricken with worries. Thoughts, one after the other, many toxic and full of worry, began to drag me down. 7 am and I already felt a little defeated. But the spirit deep inside me spoke and said ” You know what to do, unroll your yoga mat. “
Literally probably within three breaths, the worries were gone. All the toxic energy melting away, and healing energy floating in.. Tightness dissolving, relaxation and then bliss. Healing on every level.Connected, body, mind, and spirit..
It is when I practice yoga, I feel I am truly cleansing, I tap into my spirit, and allow spirit to guide me. I am able to operate from a place of trust. It is when I am connected that I am able to see all the magic unfolding in life. All the magic. The interconnections. There is balance.
Life presents us all with challenges, no doubt. BUT, if we can see the lesson, and trust the process, we grow, become kinder, more compassionate, more loving.
A quote from my dear friend Elsa, Wise words about life. ”It is ok if it challenges you, my darling.”
And it is ok.
Anyways, this is just a short, ‘from the spirit’ post, with a little message: Find whatever it is that helps you move into your bliss, dancing, surfing, yoga, running, gardening, whatever it is. Go there often, because this is where the magic begins..
Raw Key Lime Pie tastes better than any cooked Key Lime pie I have ever eaten. And it makes you feel so good.
Ingredients for filling
4 large limes
4 medium avocados
1/4 cup raw cashews (for a fluffier texture, first soak the cashews for 30 minutes)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4-1 cup honey (or agave) or add to taste.. (I like it really sweet)
1/2 cup dried coconut flakes
Juice the limes and then combine all filling ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth. Place in a bowl and chill.
Ingredients for crust
1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Cashews
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup Flax seeds
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor, and grind until a moist nut butter dough forms.. if the nuts were dry you may need to add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Add to pie dish Press to flatten to shape of pie dish.
Add filling, and chill for two hours.
Sprinkle with coconut flakes and garnish with blackberries..experiment!
Treat your body with kindness. Eat nutrient dense foods.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. -Hippocrates
Mmmmmm…I am gonna eat another piece (for the baby). Ha!
With all the challenges I have faced in my life, I have found that the single most important thing I do is maintain a consistent yoga practice. My yoga practice always changes, sometimes a strong physical practice, sometimes gentle and restorative. But in every yoga practice, there is one pose I always do. Corpse pose. I believe this pose is the most healing and restorative yoga pose in existence. This is where we experience and bring forth who we truly are. Savasana.
To truly move deep into corpse pose and feel the power, you have to be very relaxed, very comfortable. Lay on your back, arms resting at your sides, palms facing up, feet open a little more than shoulder width apart. Close the eyes and bring the awareness to the rhythm of the breath. The mind relaxes. Slowly, a feeling of peace softly blankets the entire body.
A guided relaxation can help one move very deep, and covering the eyes can allow one to go even deeper still. You can cover the eyes with a small towel, a shirt, a blanket, or better yet, an eye pillow.
In Love with the Eye Pillow
I love using an eye pillow while in savasana. Eye pillows help block out light and help relax the muscles of the eyes. I have made several eye pillows in the past. All that is needed is some soft material (silk), dried lavender (other relaxing herbs are also good), flax seeds or dry rice, and a little bit of sewing. I am terrible at sewing so I find it takes a long time to make an eye pillow. Luckily there are options for those of us challenged by the art of sewing.
I recently was given an eye pillow made by Barefoot Yoga company. I love it. It is beautiful. The lavender helps me relax deeper, and the weight over my eyes is so comforting. The silk is calming and cooling. It comes with an eye pillow case.. which helps protect the pillow and can be washed. (very important).
If you need a good gift idea for a yogi or yogini you love, consider making or purchasing an eye pillow. They are inexpensive.And very beneficial. Here is the link to Barefoot Yoga Company. http://www.barefootyoga.com/ And just like me, they are from the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
To surrendering and going deeper. Be well.
Special note: I am currently in my second trimester of pregnancy. Laying on back for longer than a few moments, is not recommended at this point in pregnancy. laying on left side, with a pillow in between legs is the final relaxation pose for prenatal yoga. Covering eyes with a small towel works best for prenatal relaxation.