Pelican and penguin

Today I had a fabulous mom-baby Reiki session with the lovely Courtney Putnam over at Rising Bird Healing Arts. I love getting body and energy work done with her, especially during times when I am prone to anxiety, depression or body aches. During our session I had several insights:

1) I feel a tremendous love and peaceful connection to my baby Boof.

2) my chest felt to be a source of tremendous strength, and the image was of Haystack Rock, strong and peacefully weathering storms and sunny days. Not trying to be anything but what it is…existing in the moment. This strength resides in me, in my heart chakra, and connects me with my babe.

3) two bird images came to Courtney during our session, the penguin and the pelican. She read to me from the bird signs book, and the pelican symbolized spontaneity and the penguin, purpose.

These two images are meaningful to me, as I sift through the feelings associated with being 4 weeks into new mommyhood. The pelican, as I researched later, in mythology, is associated with motherhood sacrifice, with this belief that mother pelican would stab their chests to feed their young if needed. While this doesn’t necessarily translate to spontaneity, it is meaningful to me, as I spend hours on the couch, or in my bedroom, nursing my sweet little boy.

And penguin. Well, penguin cannot fly like other birds, which is how I am feeling….a bird with wings that cannot fly… I wonder if penguin look to other birds and wonder what its like to fly, as they poor along, looking for their purpose (to be the best penguin they can be, in the cliche sense).  But penguin have a lot to offer as far as parenting goes (watch March of the Penguin if you don’t believe me). What do penguin think about in the frigid cold as they sit for months on the egg, keeping it warm? Probably the same crazy things that I think about when I am holed up inside and baby Boof is clusterfeeding for hours at a time.

Sleeping arrangements

From the time we got pregnant I knew that we were going to co-sleep, and so I registered for an Arms Reach Co-Sleeper,  and explained to my friends and family the benefits of co-sleeping and that NO we were not registering to a crib, that baby Boof would sleep in our room indefinitely and then would transition to a toddler bed when he was ready.

I was prepared for co-sleeping. But what I wasn’t prepared for was bed sharing, where the baby sleeps IN bed with mom/dad rather than right next to the bed in the co-sleeper. But, when baby Boof was born, I could not put him down. For the first week he slept on my chest in a kangaroo way, all pouched down in my stretchy tank. And then he grew 2 inches and his legs flopped over my side, so he slept all snugged up to my bosom. And I loved it. But I recognize safety issues, and also wanted a little more sleeping room throughout the night. So, almost a month in, and baby Boof is now sleeping 3 inches from me in the co-sleeper, and honestly, he has made the switch without any fuss.  Mama, on the other hand, misses the sweet feeling of his breath on my neck and the little sigh he would give as he snuggled his head up under my chin. Or, like the other nightclub, when he was crying, and reached his little arm out of the swaddle, touched my neck and then fell asleep. It’s sweet moments like this that I will miss as he moves into the co-sleeper for good, and eventually his own bed.

The benefit, though, is getting to sleep on my stomach again, after a year!