A beautiful woman gives birth at home, in sunshine, surrounded by the love of her partner and young son, with a flower in her hair. Her baby arrives to laughter, a daughter, is delivered straight to the breast. A midwife is there, mostly standing by. All is straight forward and regular.
In Spain, this is how they sell mattresses.
I hope this is as clear to you as it is to me. May all of our beds be so inviting, sunny and calm.
I’ll just come right out and admit that I am one who talks in her sleep. I have been told many times by family and friends that after my teeth begin to chatter, signaling that I have fallen asleep, I move on to downright verbal chatter. Of course, the worry is that I might say something foolish or embarrassing. Thankfully, this potentially unfortunate incident has never come to pass (that I know of). Also, I’ve heard that people don’t tell secrets in their sleep. Well, good.
Because I have the tendency to sleep talk, I have always been especially thankful that I haven’t crossed over into somnambulation. Although I have seen a man sit bolt upright in the middle of the night and unconsciously inquire into the darkness, “WHO?!”, I have never been a first-hand witness to a full-blown sleepwalking circumstance. Don’t you have a cousin or a friend who has a cousin with a story about another cousin getting up to pee in the fridge or wander the block in pajamas?
Here is some footage for which I feel a great deal of comic sympathy. I’m sorry, little Doggie, that you are not actually chasing bunnies on the plain.
Because I am a neophyte midwife and a lover of the wee ones, I think a lot about poop. With babies it’s What color? How often? What consistency? Which cloth diaper? With Mamas I wonder Are you regular? Are you eating enough fiber? Drinking plenty of fluids? Any straining? Etc. And though I give over much of my mental landscape to musings on the GI function, I recognize that sometimes (not very often) poop just isn’t appropriate conversation material. It is one thing to acknowledge one’s own shitty attitude resulting from not having done one’s business that day (or the day before) for instance, and a whole other ballgame to to talk only of poo for 37 days.
I would love for you to enjoy this awesome short film by our friend Dylan Haggerty. It is a wonderful commentary on the human basics and the human capacity for elaborate thought, even when exploring the sandy surface of a martian planet.
Day 37 was made in 2002 by Dylan Haggerty, Kent Osborne (as “Mallory”), my brother Jackson Nash (as “Baker”), my other brother Willie Nash, Ollie Hecks, Dhani Harrison, and Pete Arias. It was filmed at the Nipomo dunes, just south of Pismo Beach.
Thank you SuperForest for reminding me of this wonderful project.
For those not yet versed in the physiologic and cosmic possibilities of childbirth, I’d like to introduce you to birth in the caul. I’ve recently come across a video of a Mama having a water birth—which is a method of birth during which the awesome parturient Mama is partially submerged in lovely warm water and the new little soul being born slides from her first watery home into another wet environment. The baby, still getting oxygen from the Mama via the placenta and umbilical cord, does not take it’s first breath until out of the tub when she is stimulated by the air. This video is extraordinary because it shows both a water birth and a birth in the caul!
The amazing image that you see here, which looks like a pearly gem emerging, is actually the baby’s amniotic sac bulging out. The bag of waters or caul is the valise that the little bean lives in during the average 40 weeks of gestation. Most often the membranes rupture during the labor process (think: “My water just broke!”) or is artificially ruptured by a Midwife or Obstetrician prior to birth. There is no harm in leaving the amniotic sac whole, however, and many peoples all over the world believe that when left intact the caul and the baby which bears it have magical qualities.
Legend holds that caulbearers carry good luck and protection from death by drowning, making them considerably valuable folks among seafarers. The Scots, too, believe the child will be fey, or psychic. And from the ancient Egyptians we learn that the newborn baby is destined for the cult of Isis, a mystically inclined fate.
Notice first of all how relaxed this amazing Lady is while pushing her baby out. You can see that the sac bulges and contracts with pushing efforts and relaxation respectively and that the head is born with the caul intact. The Midwife then breaks the membranes and catches the little one.
Just think how cushioned both Baby and Mama are during this process of birth in the caul.
Psychic abilities?! No perineal tears?! No cephalohematomas?! Three cheers for CAULBEARERS!! (As well as the amazing Women who push them out and the Midwives and OB docs who have the patience and respect to leave the process be).
Yes. Hello. The Ladies of Gravel & Gold are finally home from our glamorous European Vacation. An apology is due to all the fine folks who may have stopped by the shop when we were away. Though we had lofty plans to post a great sign in the window and a put a blog post online letting everyone know we would be gone, we just never did. So, we’re sorry. And if you had wondered, now you know where we were.
More importantly, we are home and damn happy about it.
I’m sure we are all in agreement when I say that San Francisco is the shit. The Ladies visited three cities, London, Berlin and Paris. Although the three of us have an uncanny capacity to have fun no matter where or when or with whom we are, there is just no place as awesome as SF.
We loved the unhinged goofiness of the Londoners and the real good-looking yet regular quality of the Berliners. By the time we got to Paris, our color and sass simply outpaced those elegant yet conservative Parisians. We did our best to represent SF. We wore lots of color and way too many style elements. Those things against a backdrop of grey traditionalism coupled with a fierce and sudden homesickness led to an exponential increase in our love of San Francisco.
Here is a short photo essay to demonstrate my super-assured snobbery about the superiority of San Francisco in the global urban community…
SF awesome rainbow situation…
Parisian man hardcore jocking SF rainbow situation…
SF hipster Anchor Love (Berlin)…
SF hipster Anchor Denial (Paris)…
In short. The Ladies of Gravel & Gold are very very very thankful to be home in our most favorite