Holy flaming bologna pickles,
I’ve been pretty proud of myself before this, thinking I’d outsmarted pregnancy symptoms. Ha ha hello third trimester boat symptoms. SOME ONE PUT FIRE IN MY ESOPHAGUS. I have heard of heartburn before, never really experienced it myself but good lord, I have swallowed the flames of eight thousand twenty three suns burning with the flames of just listening to Beyonce’s « Girls Run the World »and smoking five packets of Cuban cigars while chugging Martiniquan Rum. What the hell is in my body? Apparently I do not digest carbs anymore; protein, fruits, and vegetables are ok; even things that are not supposed tp be ok like oranges and tomatoes but give me some cereal, rice, or pasta- anything that turns into sugars in my stomach and I am Hiroshima in summer. All we have left on the boat basically is carbs and beans.
Today marks day 17. We have 60 Nautic miles to go. Yes almighty flapjacks, you heard that right, after 2100 Nautic miles from Mindelo and an even more impressive 5600 Nautic miles from Lyon we are almost there… so close I can smell and touch those fresh salad leaves, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and mango fruits I know are waiting for me, smiling, grinning with dew and will hop into my pregnant mouth as soon as we touch port. I can hear them now,
« Yaz pregnant queen, we’ve been waiting for you, yez queen. » And I will be their fresh queen yaaz Momma until I die with green skin and cucumbers for fingernails.
We’ve done a pretty good job calculating food and water. Basically, we just needed to bring more fresh things but HOW DO YOU KEEP CABBAGE AND CARROTS LIVING FOR MORE THAN 17 days? You don’t or you bring canned/ fermented stuff. BUT WE’VE RUN OUT.. We still have 20 liters of fresh water left and our fresh water tank which is comparatively small to most boats, just 200 liters is still flowing, a feat we are all proud of, but someone please make these burning flames stop.
Thank you to our friend/ doctor Melanie who gave us a prescription for thousands of pills that fit into a giant tub in our bathroom. No idea what most of these pills are for and usually Pierre and I just go the homeopathic route but her prescription of bicarbonate sodium packets that taste like windex solution calm the smoldering inner inferno for a few seconds.
And my feet. I used to have cute little feet, and something called ankles. Have you ever heard of ankles, you know, « the hip bone connects to the leg bone, the leg bone connects to the ankle bone… den bones dem bones…. Well my ankles are gone and my feet in the heat look like bratwursts. Yesterday Pierre and I were watching them and one which had been more in the sun was clearly more swollen than the other one and we named one sauccison and the other saucisson sec. My feet are still the same size, my Mother told me my feet would grow a shoe size or two and nope, I still have elf feet just Keebler Elf feet now who were stung by swarms of bees. Cool, genial, thank you pregnancy.
And my body. I feel like the Michelin man eaten by java the hut. Pierre says I am beautiful, round, sexy, he loves this… but inside I assure you that Java the hut digesting the Michelin man is slowly taking possession of my belly, boobs, and now ankles. The process has started. The next time you see a java the hut playing the harp with curly hair and huge ankles; you’ll know what happened to me.
Oh yes, last pregnancy symptom I am having peas and carrots fun dealing with on a boat. Contractions…. Y’all know Charlie horses, when you do not drink enough those lovely crushing tightening of your calf legs. Not so pleasant right men?
WOMEN ARE GODDESSES. I do not know if everyone else pre-delivery contractions feel like this but for me on the boat when it is rough my uterus and pelvic region go into spontaneous we will be hard as boulders and your rock and roll Baby will especially enjoy kicking you hard in these moments because he likes his walls soft and free. Already I love the personality of our son, if you mess with his environment, he kicks back. He is a vivacious little life dancer.
While I am starting to feel done with the third trimester, I know it’s all worth it to meet this Soul. Come when you are ready little Star Follower, we love you…
Since your conception you have visited 9 countries, I will list them in their perspective orders;
Austria, Lietchtenstein, Switzerland, France, the United States, England, Spain, Morocco, (the Canary Islands which is a part of Spain), and Capo Verde.
In utero you have regularly heard at least 7 languages
English, French, Spanish, Arabic, German, Portuguese, and Creole.
You are our world Baby.
We have chosen for you, with we hope your help, a name that does not originate from either of our cultures, a world name.
The midwife Alain we will work with in Martinique says that babies choose when they are born, where they are born, their birthdates, their birth stories, their parents, and their birth circumstances… how honored we are you choose this situation to come to earth. We are currently in the middle of the ocean traveling together as Star Followers, pushed by the Breath of the Wind, rocking in endless blue to arrive at your birth place. I am as pregnant as can be; I am the whale; the holy beluga in the boat, and you are the most precious cargo on board. Your Papa and I have very few belongings, an ocean-full of dreams for our lives, for your life, for a new world we want to create together. There is so much talk of the end of the world, the collapse of nature, the despair of failed economic systems, chaos they say… my Son we still believe in Beauty, in goodness, in Mother Earth, in healing, in community, in art, in expression, in heart, in intuition; this is why we’ve left the « civilized » world, to nourish these treasures.
Our World Baby, thank you for choosing us and this most unique birth circumstance.
Disclaimer, every woman is magic, unique, and just in her own bodies and bodily experiences. « En mer ou à la terre la femme sait faire » an inspirational thought shared with us by our French doula Sandra Cornaz we worked with in France and who has become a Soul Friend and Sister for us both. I do not claim to know what is best for any woman nor can I recommend to a pregnant woman to do what we have done. I am sharing only my experience and want to share a story of my positive and real experience of being pregnant on our boat. There are so many fear stories around pregnancies and complications when birth is as natural to life breathing or her Sister process of death, a birth into another dimension. I want to tell all women, especially the pregnant ones to Trust Your Body, Trust Your Baby, Trust Your Intuition, and Trust Your Inner Force. Only you know what is right for you and your child, no one else.
SO yes, I am very pregnant on our boat. I was terrified at first that I would be dehydrated, have an early birth due to the stress of the boat on my body and our Baby, and concerned that I would be a prime candidate for toxoplasmosis because I am not vaccinated against this disease. My experience. Yes some moments have been hard. The beginning of our trip was horrendous and I vomited for several days and did not gain weight for one month and a half. I was very vigilant to keep drinking though and our Baby took from my body what He needed.
I was sure after our arrival in the Canaries that something would be wrong with our Baby or me and immediately at the emergency room in grand Canaria my heart was put to rest. Our Baby is a superstar. He was the size totally normal for his fetal age, his heart rate perfect, his organs perfect, they put me to a machine for 40 minutes to make sure I was not having early contractions and he was so active the midwife man kept coming back to put the monitors on our Baby. He does not like to be confined our Wonder Boy. The midwife man ended up being totally connected spiritually, was the head of the home birth society in the Canary Islands, goes every year to the Burning Man in California, and has met Alex Grey several times. I saw three midwives in our hospital visit, all men ironically and with these names; Gabriel (like the angel), Nicolas (good ol’ Saint Nick), and Jésus. Our little Dude already seems to attract men with a healthy sense of their divine feminine and masculine and who are deeply compassionate. We left the emergency room feeling totally reassured and even more motivated for our project and lifestyle.
I also was no longer sick on our boat and while I still had contractions on the boat regularly especially during rocky nights, I also had them on land. My appetite also reemerged from her slumber and I was able to eat on board.
Our arrival in Mindelo turned to be a very defining moment for Pierre and I as young parents. After Mindelo I feel completely ready to become a mother and feel like a powerful team with Pierre.
We went this time to a private clinic and had an ultrasound to check on how our little Wonder Boy was doing and see if the distance between my cervix and vaginal opening was still at a safe level to travel. At the clinic we were greeted by a woman who spoke perfect French and led us to the ultra sound explaining in detail what we needed to the doctors. We saw again the precious moving body of our Wonder Child. As usual, all was well, he was the perfect size, his head in the right position, and he even gave us a show. He started to move his mouth as if he was talking to us. The doctor was so touched she called in her assistants and we sat there for several moments watching our Baby mouth secret words to us in his own language.
We left again reassured and feeling more at peace with our journey. Inside, I knew from the moment my feet touched land at Mindelo that all three of us and our boat would make the voyage to Martinique. After this visit, all the pieces of our electrically fucked boat started to come together thanks to finally competent professionals and to good hearted folks we met at the port. I find the boating community to be a family of souls who often are woven from the same fabric. We’ve started to meet more and more families who raise their children on the their boats, travel from country to country where the wind leads them. The first time I saw a boat with little tiny onesies drying from the boat lines my heart swelled up with tears. Yes there are other babies on boats living with their papas and mommas, dreaming a new world into reality together as a family.
I digress, back to being pregnant and traveling on a boat. For anyone wondering if it’s possible or dangerous; for me, as a woman in her third trimester it has been both totally possible and not dangerous. I have had very special circumstances and privileges that also make this possible. My Husband is an angel on earth. He has been my rock during this time, has listened to my fears, been present when I have been physically weak, is utterly involved in our Baby’s development and I have not lived this pregnancy alone. This is the biggest in factor in what made this pregnancy and traveling on a boat possible. I honestly do not know how some women live pregnancies alone. Pregnancy is so transformative and a time when I believe women should be supported and loved more than ever before in her life. I have been extremely privileged in this regard. I also have a low risk pregnancy, I am in good health, in good physical condition and besides low blood pressure have not had any pregnancy health problems.
Each woman has her own birth needs and birth story; and each Baby too. This is our family’s little story. We have not yet « dar la Luz », given light as the Spanish language so eloquently sings. We will soon be on land in Martinique and we will continue this story on land. Our little message and my personal message as a pregnant woman is this; if you have a dream, follow your heart, listen to your body, trust your intuition, and do not be afraid to create your own unique story. We humans, we pregnant women are not fragile, sensitive yes, but strong. Trust your path whatever that path may be.
We are over halfway there, today is day number 10, only 840 nautic miles to go. Its funny how seasons in life work. This is indeed the season- the Sea Son for us before we meet our son out of the womb. As I reflect on the journey I can’t believe I am saying this but there is nothing I would change… this journey which I would say began when I first met Pierre, was initiated before time, and the journeying itself maybe started when we moved onto the « Now » in July has been an inception, an eclectic baptism of sorts.
When we started the physical trip to Martinique in December I was so angry that we were departing so late, so concerned with fear over the birth of our son, wanting to build the perfect nest in Martinique for our Baby. I have finally realized that the nest is not a perfect home, a neatly organized nursery, the perfectly laid out birth plan, the perfect birthing room and circumstances; but the nest is Pierre and I; it is our love, our marriage, our little family. Even greater than that the perfect nest is this great consciousness that hold us all so tenderly by tiny grand wings we cannot see.
I am in love with my Husband more than I ever thought humanly possible, I am in love with my Son, with life, with the ocean, with Mother Earth, with the Mystery.
This whole trip has been one big letting go, releasing myself into the moment whether it be uncomfortable or pure gold; to Be.
It’s been hard, terrifying, painful, emotional, intense, and solidifying. We love our families but for both of us, we’ve had to set boundaries with our families to create our own. I am so grateful for the time my Father spent with us on this journey, such special moments, but it was time for him to leave us and return to his life in the States and it was time for Pierre and I to finish the journey as our little new family. This last « souffle d’aire » to arrive in Martinique needs to be for us, for our dreams; for our vision as parents, for our new life. I have never heard anyone talk about this process as a psychological step but for us it seems like going through a whole phase of cleaning and separating out again to become new parents. The cutting of old umbilical chords to be able to celebrate with our Son his unique chord. We arrive in Martinique hand in hand in hand, Pierre, our Baby Boy, and Momma Me.
And so, back to this Sea Son, Pierre and I seem quieter, we have an adorable German crew member with us, he is bursting with life and energy and ideas and loves talking. He is an amazing cook and its been the first time in the journey that I have not battled gravity, waves, Braxton Hicks contractions, and falling pots to make all the meals. He and I share in this task, and what a relief it’s been. But still I see both Pierre and I sneaking off into parts of the boat to listen to the waves, to sit with each other in silence and hold hands, to quietly feel our Son move, to talk about the future with stars in our eyes, it’s the Sea Son before birth. A hilarious type of nesting but one that suits us. Our Son is so brave to choose us as parents. In this material world of order, control, and consumption most pre-birth preparations are largely focused on material preparations and I am so grateful we have this gift of true internal nesting, a spiritual voyage to be ready to meet this Wonder. Our Baby rocks back and forth in me, in a liquid Sea, his Papa and Momma are living a largely similar experience, we are rocking back and forth in Momma Earth’s great uterus; together the three of us living this experience of wonder.
We love you so fiercely and deeply already our little Wonder Boy…
Donde Esta my body? I look in the mirror, I see my face, my arms, my legs, my hands, my feet… hmm still there, still the same. In my center… hmmm holy fucking jingle bells.
I am the moon and for the first time in my life I have big ol’ full moon boobies. I have an affinity for round things like never before.
I once read by controversial architecture Paolo Soleri, the father of Arcology that our experience of the world is directly influenced by the form we are in; thus a big chiseled jawed German male with edgy muscles and Bigfoot imprints will experience the world as big, rough, woody, and hard. He will even like those experiences says Soleri.
Some of the fiercest and feistiest folks I know come in super tiny packages so I am not totally convinced of his philosophy however I do find that in pregnancy I crave softness, cuddly objects, round bodies of water, oranges, bouncy balls, the moon, eggs, and Queen’s song « Round Bottomed Girls. »
This boat does not give heed to too many of my round pregnant ways. I need more roundness in my life.
I guess I can find new forms of roundness in this rustic boat life. The waves are round and definitely not jagged (except when they wrestle the boat back and forth like we are lottery balls). The hull of the boat is pregnant with us and all our stuff just like my juicy belly. We are traveling around the world; floating like feathers on round Mother Earth’s curvy blue surface. The jelly fish that light up the sea for a nano second are grand circular nebulas oozing with their electric round. The shimmering stars are round to my eyes; rounding out my dreams and restless cold nights. We are now one day away from Sao Vicente in Cap Verte, the land of the round goddess Cesària Evoré, I feel her plump bosom hug awaiting me as we sail into her land.
Momma Cesària, I am 32 weeks pregnant, my hips ache from an untouchable inner land, my belly spheres out hoping to touch the moon, my uterus contracts rather regularly with a pang for softness and a spacious round place in which to twirl my Son. Everything hurts Momma Cesària…
Can you feed me some roundness please? Can we orbit together around the soft earth while you sing me Besamé Mucho, I cry sloppy elliptical tears, and you nourish me with oval mangos and over-ripe tomatoes?
Momma Cersària, por favor
Quiero sentirte muy cerca
Mirarme en tus ojos
Verte junto a mí
Por favor Momma Cesària