Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Babies & Nature Exploration

Our vibrant and gorgeous son, Cedar, was born on September 21st, 2009, in our bedroom with only his parents present. My labor and birth totally rawked my world, and catapulted me right into my first Mama Superhero experience. Click here to read my birth story.

Cedar is already two months... Wow. Time is nonexistent when I immerse myself in the flow of my newborn. He is an amazing little boy. Strong and coordinated (he already seems to be very close to crawling!), very expressive, totally gorgeous, and highly proficient at his current favorite activities – nursing, sleeping and peeing/pooping :)

One of the most satisfying things about being with Cedar all day is knowing that every single moment, every single experience I facilitate for him is affecting him in profound ways. I do my best to look at the world from his perspective as often as possible, which really assists me in facilitating the healthiest experiences for his development. I especially pay attention to this during his “quiet alert” times... according to “Kids Learn From the Inside Out: How to Enhance the Human Matrix” (totally awesome book, I recommend every parent and parent-to-be read it!), “quiet alert” is one of the six modes of activity/rest that infants move between, and the mode where they absorb and learn the most from their environment.

One thing I have highly enjoyed is facilitating his early familiarity with nature. I feel very strongly about the importance of establishing very early on his comfort and enjoyment in nature – the REAL world – as I believe this will be one of the most empowering attributes he can have throughout his life. I am very aware of what is happening in our world right now, and see clearly that the shaky foundations of the unsustainable, unconsciously man-made world are crumbling. The signs are everywhere, for those who are ready and willing to see. And in these changing times, those of us with the skills to thrive in natural environments are really much better off than everyone else... I believe some of the most important skills of the future include our ability to thrive on wild foods (and recognize/identify them when we see them), our comfort with the natural seasonal temperature changes (our culture has been very much weakened by the constant indoor “climate controlled” environments that disconnect us from the reality of our local environment), and skills like growing our own food in a way that nourishes us deeply, and being able to build structures to live in out of earth materials. Infinite sustainability is the way of the future... simply because if things remained unsustainable, there would be no future on our planet. Soon we will have no choice. We can change with the times kicking and screaming, clinging to the false world that we've been domesticated into being dependent on.... or we can transition with ease, comfort, and joyfulness that we're finally returning to the way of living that creates and maintains true health and happiness. And with the “economy” crisis (which is just another sign of the crumbling unsustainable fake world), having the skills and understanding to be able to thrive with much less reliance on the current monetary system may be one of the most freeing, empowering things possible.

Even this early in Cedar's life, I know how much every experience is affecting him and wiring his brain, especially the repetitive, daily experiences we facilitate for him during his most alert moments. We placed him naked in the grass (a soft, cozy part) for the first time on the third day of his life. We take him for walks outside every day... we happen to be living on 5 acres of land at the moment, which is a perfect playground for his growth. We watch the sunrise and the sunset together. Lately he's started learning how to control his hands and grab or bat different objects... and I've held him next to our juniper trees, and he either contemplates them for a long time, or sometimes bats the branches! We keep the windows open in our home, and the sounds of nature are constantly in the background of our lives... the morning crow songs, our neighbor's donkeys, dogs, cows, etc! He's naked most of the time right now (we're doing elimination communication instead of using diapers, and right now if we put any clothes on him, he would really just pee or poop in them... :)), so he sunbathes regularly and feels the wind against his skin.

All this is so much fun for me, and it's greatly benefiting me as well! I find that I've been outside a LOT more than when I was by myself, because I have a much bigger reason than just me to be outside! I'm also adapting to nature in ways far beyond ever before... I can now comfortably walk barefoot in our wild, un-mowed grass, allowing the tall grass to tickle my legs and various sharp things to poke at my feet for great reflexology/foot stimulation! Wild foods have become a much larger part of my diet, because I know that everything I eat is being transformed into my breastmilk, and the subtle vibrations (and nutrients) of each food I eat is being transferred to Cedar every day, setting him up to be well adapted to these foods when he starts eating solid food. I'm also eating more wild foods with the aspiration of becoming even stronger and more energetic, to be more fully available for my very important, full-on mothering responsibility! I feel a much deeper sense of purpose than ever before in my life, because this matters to me more than anything else I've done before. Because of this, I'm taking better care of myself. I'm breathing deeper, stretching regularly, eating better, going to bed early, waking up at dawn, and being more conscious than ever of my thoughts and feelings and what I'm creating with them.

One of the most wonderful things to me so far about parenting is that babies really do change every day, subtly but noticeably. This makes every day a brand new adventure! I delight in all the small things I notice changing in Cedar. The new sounds and “words” he uses, his increasing clarity in communicating his requirements (including telling me when he needs to pee!), noticing him noticing new things, new physical capabilities and movement patterns, and much much more. Babies change so quickly. I choose to savor every moment.

I post lots of pictures and updates on Facebook. If you're interested in more regular updates on our family, friend me!

More to come soon, as autumn here in Texas extends nearly to December (it's still warm during the day here! Woohoo!) and we begin to move into the cozy colder months... I plan on writing more about various other things we're doing, including elimination communication/natural infant hygiene/un-diapering (lots of people seem interested in this!)... and I'm sure I'll share various insights on breastfeeding, bed sharing, carrying Cedar nearly everywhere with us, the importance of floor time for practice belly crawling (essential for EVERY other development that comes afterward, including all physical coordination and mental abilities!), responding promptly to his signals (and figuring out what they mean!), the effects the foods I eat have on him (and me :)), and much more.

In the meantime, enjoy reading my massively transformative, unassisted home birth story (link above)... I loved writing it! Oh yeah, and here are some photos of Cedar to convince you to friend me on Facebook so you can see lots more :)