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Newborn

The liminal fourth trimester

This time of the fourth trimester–the three months after baby has arrived but is still quite in need of a womb–is quite timeless. It strikes me that we adults wish and hope that a newborn will just fit into our routine and the lives we created, when really, they are huge forces of nature that require we meet them in their rhythm, the rhythm of the stars.

They are polyphasic sleepers; we are monophasic sleepers. We must become polyphasic, and unless we are accustomed to two hour cat naps throughout the day, we feel this.

I’m feeling it now. It brings on a sleep headache, makes me nauseas, my brain foggy, my senses dull. I am saved a bit when I hold that little nugget to my breast and feel the lull of oxytocin, or when I burp the little nugget on my chest, or when he sleeps on my tummy snoring softly under my chin.

But I’ve been drawn into a space of incubation with him, where nights and days are not the rhythm anymore, because he has no circadian rhythm. He has his own. The stars put out a beat that he can hear, and I am listening and trying to dance along, and he is the leader and it is I who must learn.

I struggle with the sleep deprivation, I won’t lie. But I understand it’s part of my contribution to the safety and security of this child, and so I enter the outer world womb with him.

I don’t believe us mothers should be doing this alone. When we enter the womb, we should have others caring for us. Others who mother us, who feed us, who take care of the caretaker. I didn’t have that the first time around, and it cost me. This time, my mother is helping me. I have her for a month, and I’m soaking up every bit of support she has to offer.

I went for a walk yesterday. Yesterday was a better day, because I had better sleep the night before. I went out for my 2.5 mile loop and was tuned into the magic of the place. Being that I’ll start training with my Shaman, Jeremy, in just a few days, I turned my attention to the runes, runic magic, and Freya.

I asked, “What is there for me to know today? What is the message for me today?” Then I walked, and waited for the first runes to appear in the surroundings.

The first I received was Isa. Isa is the rune of ice, of frozen time, of being stuck. It is often a bad omen, but I recognized it for what it was: the truth. I am stuck in a liminal space right now. There is no where else for me to go. I just need to be here, stuck in this space, while it is here. It is a season. It is fleeting.

Often, I stop at one rune, but the gods were generous today, and told me to keep me eyes out for more. So I gently scanned the trees as I walked.

The next rune that appeared was Kennaz, and his torch was facing the right. This rune indicates enlightenment, or where to focus in order to find your answers. It’s a fortunate sign when it shows itself this way; it indicates that there is something for you, that illumination is on its way, that it’s time to keep your eyes open, even when next to Isa.

Finally, I noticed the rune of Freya shining down at me, loud and clear, from the treetops. She was what Kennaz was pointing to. Freya’s rune is about abundance, and can indicate the goddess herself, which is what I took as the meaning.

In sum, the message I received was: Be in this frozen state. You are here, there is nothing to do. Allow for the liminal. Keep your heart and mind focused on Freya and your next steps, your answers, will come, and you will be supported.

So here I am, in the liminal. Last night was challenging. I maybe got five or six hours of sleep, spread out in 90-120 minute chunks. I pulled a muscle between my shoulder blades falling asleep while breastfeeding, my head hitting my chest as I started to doze off.

Today I am wearing jeans and makeup, because I have things that need to be done. Go to the grocery store, meet a house guest, get my hair cut. Hopefully, nap in between those things.

Oh I dream of that morphine sleep. But it is behind the time of the frozen ice, so I will stay in the now, in the newborn womb.

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