Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Feel the Might of Creation"

This poem is spillover from the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "learning how to be loved" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is all about childbirth, in rather graphic detail. If that's a touchy topic for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. Also, hankie warning for anyone prone to crying over happy scenes.

"Feel the Might of Creation"

They were napping on the couch
when Heron felt the first contraction
ripple through Mallory's body,
the sudden unmistakable surge
of the baby signaling, Now.

They had so much skin contact
that his awareness echoed back
through Mallory, who sat up and
said, "Woah. What was that?"

"That was the little salamander
saying it's time to come out,"
Heron explained to her.

"Aaaaand now I'm having
a panic attack," Mallory said.

"No you're not," Heron said.
"You're excited and nervous,
but you're not shaking, sweating,
or trying to kick my ribs in," Heron said.
"You're doing fine, and we've practiced
for this, so you'll keep doing fine."

It was a delicate balance, trying
to keep Mallory comfortable without
either abandoning her or smothering her
in response to her various requests,
not just because of the rape itself but
because of the whole crummy life
which had preceded that.

Heron spent a lot of time
gently describing what was
happening to her, the way that
he remembered his parents
explaining things to him as he
grew up, so he would know
what was okay or worrisome.

"I don't think I'm ready for this,"
Mallory said, clinging to him.

"That's okay," Heron said.
"I don't think anyone is ever ready
for parenting, but most folks seem
to get through it just fine. We've done
what we could to prepare for this, and
now it's time to do the work."

"So now what?" Mallory said.
She pressed against him as if she
could absorb confidence by osmosis,
which was entirely fine with him.

"Now I call home and start
the phone tree," Heron said,
pulling out his smartphone.

"Ack," Mallory said, and
her whole body stiffened.

"Should I not?" Heron said.
"We have plenty of leeway.
It won't even be time to go to
the Sanger Center for hours."

Mallory took a deep, shuddering breath
and said, "Call them. We might
wind up needing backup."

That was true, if something
went super weird during delivery,
although so far signs were fine.

Heron felt a little flutter of concern
over the present but indeterminate ability
that the baby had, but no more than that.
The chance of manifestation in childbirth
was vanishingly small. Only a handful
of cases had ever been reported.

He pushed that aside and touched
the speed dial combination that
would reach his father's phone,
then strolled into the foyer.

He wondered whether Da would
be as excited to be a grandfather
as he was to be a father.

It had taken a lot of careful,
exhaustive, and exhausting
negotiation to establish that, but
in the end Mallory had decided that
babies deserved grandparents and
since her parents weren't up to serving,
she would just borrow his instead.

Not all of the details had been
worked out yet, but then they didn't
need to be. The foundation was
in place and that's all they needed
for starters. They could finish
the rest of the legalities later.

"Today's the day," Heron said
as soon as his father answered.
"The baby's ready to meet us."

Da whooped loud enough
that Heron held the phone away
from his ear. "Congratulations!"
he added. "I'll alert the phone tree.
Keep us posted on major updates.
Now go take care of Mallory."

"Yes, Da," said Heron.

After that, he called
the Sanger Center so they
could alert the relevant staff
and set up the birthing room.

Then he went back to Mallory.
"How are you doing?" he asked.

"Fffff ... could be worse, I guess,"
she said. "I've been restless and
crampy for days, so I'm glad
this will finally be over."

"Soon," Heron said. "Let me
check how you're doing?"

"Please," Mallory said,
tugging her shirt up.

Heron sat back down
on the couch, and Mallory
leaned against him so that he
could wrap his arms around her.

As soon as they made skin contact,
the connection leaped back to life.

He'd been leaving his rings off
when they touched, these last weeks,
so that he could sense what went on
with the baby, and by now the three of them
were so attuned that it was more work
to shut down than to open up.

Heron could feel Mallory's anxiety
and the baby's excitement, their bodies
pushing at each other. The little eddy
of energy inside Mallory's own was
already trying to break free, like
a chick pipping at the shell.

"Patience, little one," Heron said,
smoothing his hands over the bump
where the baby kicked and rippled under
the skin. "You'll be out soon enough,
but this takes care to do it well."

Soothed by the familiar touch,
the tiny body stilled. Mallory
melted against him too.

"That's better," Heron said.
"We've got a long day ahead
of us, best conserve our strength."

"I'm really glad you're here,"
Mallory said quietly.

"That's good," Heron said.
"I'm glad to be here too."

Fortunately the house was
empty aside from them, as
everyone else was at class.
They didn't need an audience.

They sat together on the couch
until Mallory got restless again,
and then Heron encouraged her
to get up and walk around.

"Listen to your instincts,"
he said. "Remember, gravity
is your friend right now. As long
as you feel comfortable moving,
that will help speed the process."

Mallory was all in favor of that,
so she waddled around the house
muttering curses as the contractions
got stronger, and letting Heron do
all the work of timing them.

Things were moving along briskly,
especially for a first delivery, but Turi
had warned him that could happen.

"Superpowers have their own intelligence,"
his mentor had explained. "Just using
your energy to read someone's body
can help it 'understand' things better --
in this case, help the mother relax and
the baby find her way out faster."

Heron checked the Baby Day bag
to make sure it was ready, so they
wouldn't be caught unprepared
when it was time to leave.

Mallory was being Mallory too,
which meant alternately clinging
to him and snapping at him.

"It's okay," Heron told her.
"I'm not going to abandon you
just because you're cranky today.
It's traditional for a mother to threaten
to tear her partner's balls off. However,
a positive approach might feel better,
and the little salamander is listening."

She grumbled at him, but at least
she cut down on the swearing.

Heron knew that the latent stage
was uncomfortable, but no more
than Mallory could handle herself.

She would need him more in
the active phase, which meant
resisting the temptation to meddle
early. He only had so much energy
to share, so he had to use it wisely.

Every time Mallory turned clingy, Heron
checked the progress of delivery, and
was pleased to note that her body
seemed to be opening up just fine.

They had both been a little worried
about how well that would work, because
Mallory wasn't great at relaxing. She
responded better to him now, though,
so that was a hopeful sign.

After a few hours of pacing
and occasional catnaps, Heron
decided it was time to move
to the Sanger Center.

He called Junket, who'd been
on standby for this occasion, and
the teleporter promptly popped in.

"I still think it's weird to call
a teleporter for a local trip,"
Mallory muttered as they
herded her between them.

"Like I said, I don't want
you out in traffic when it's
avoidable," Heron said.

"Trust me, I do this routinely,"
Junket said. "I'm smooth enough
to serve as a human ambulance,
which is how I met Dr. Finn. I carry
people with high-risk pregnancies
because it's safer than driving or flying."

"Fine, whatever," Mallory said.

"Traveling," said Junket, and
just like that they were there,
without any sense of movement.

Junket popped out, and Heron
stood back to give the staff time
to settle Mallory in the bed.

As soon as she was ready,
he climbed in behind her.

Mallory leaned back against him
just the way they had practiced,
letting him support her with his body
and the lightest touch of his talent.

"You've got this. I've got you,"
Heron said. "Just do the work,
and everything will turn out fine."

"Easy for you to say," Mallory panted.
"I'm the one doing all the pushing."

"You don't need much help yet,"
Heron said. "When you do, then
I'll be right here to take care of you."

He had spent months studying with
Turi for this occasion. By now he
knew how to make muscles tighten
or relax on command, just in case
Mallory's body missed a cue.

He could provide pain control,
too, if she needed it, although
Mallory was scarily indifferent to
her own discomfort sometimes and
she seemed to have a good grasp of
self-soothing skills like deep breathing.

Heron was still terrified whenever
he recalled that Mallory carried
pepper spray and had used it.

It took a few more hours before
they really got down to business,
during which time Heron cuddled
Mallory when she wanted it and
let her pace some more when
she needed to move around.

She tried every position that
they had practiced previously --
spooning, kneeling, squatting,
crouching on hands and knees --
and remained indifferent to offers
of a birthing ball or water bath.

Her favorite was seated spooning,
because it maximized the support
that Heron could give her.

Once they figured that out,
Mallory shucked the rest of
her clothes and Heron -- after
warning the staff not to touch him --
peeled off both of his shirts.

The extra skin contact really helped.

The midwife Edith mostly stayed
out of the way, and there was
only once when a nurse wouldn't
back off and Mallory snarled at her.

Heron gently settled Mallory onto
a pile of pillows and then dragged
the offending nurse out of the room.

"What you just did was dangerous,"
he said. "I'm not going to explain why.
I'm just going to state that if you do it
again, I will kick you out of the room before
somebody gets hurt. It would probably be
you, but I'm not taking any chances here."

The nurse sniffed at him and said,
"Don't bother. I'm leaving."

That was fine with Heron.

Her replacement was a man
with skin the color of browned butter
and not very much grasp of English,
but his energy was so warm and soft
that neither Heron nor Mallory cared.

Heron didn't think that Asiya was actually
a soup, but he was so appealing that Mallory
invited him to run the next health check.

The most anyone else had gotten
was her grudging tolerance.

Asiya even got her to smile
by telling some story about
the goddess Mulaprakriti
giving birth to all life.

Why Mallory latched onto
that of the various distractions
offered, Heron didn't know, but
he was glad she found something
that would hold her attention and
someone on the care team that
she didn't want to hex.

Heron was fluffing pillows
when Mallory yelped, "Ow!"
and he could feel the change in
her body like a car shifting gears.

"Showtime," he murmured,
reaching around Mallory
to cradle her belly.

He wrapped his power
around her, letting it soothe
the sharp edge of pain.

Mallory was a diligent worker,
and at least her lungs weren't
acting up under the extra stress,
for which Heron was duly grateful.

Then the baby started freaking out.

It was so exactly like Edison on
a waterslide that Heron wanted
to laugh -- the begging and pleading
go up and then the hysterics as soon
as he started to feel the drop.

"Shh-shh-shh," Heron said,
curling his gift around the infant
to still her panicky struggles.
"I know it's a bumpy ride, but
soon you'll get to meet us in
person, won't that be nice?"

The baby clung to his energy
in a way that made him think of
kitten claws, tiny but needle-sharp.

She was also trying to climb up
in order to get closer to him, because
Heron was currently behind and above
Mallory serving as her backrest.

Gently Heron untangled the baby,
urging her downward and outward.

Mallory groaned under his hands,
her muscles bulging with the effort.

"You're doing great," Heron said,
and she really was. All the practice
was paying off, her body following
its own rhythm and more-or-less
listening to him when he told it that
sending pain alarms was unnecessary.

He was really getting tired, but he
wasn't about to let it show, not when
she was doing so much more work.

Mallory huffed and panted,
the great bulge of her belly
deflating as the baby moved
inexorably downward.

Heron could feel
the might of creation
move through her, and
through him, and even
the baby's energy squirmed
in earnest now, wanting to get out.

Mallory's triumphant roar was followed
moments later by a tiny, coughing cry.

Heron felt the sudden irrevocable snap
as their meshed energies separated,
one becoming forever two.

"It's a girl!" Edith crowed.

"Well, probably," Heron muttered.
"Didn't I tell you not to say that?
She has a vulva, anyway, but
we already knew that."

"I'm sorry, you did tell me,
it just slipped out -- I'm so used
to saying that," Edith apologized.
"It's a healthy baby, congratulations.
As soon as Asiya cleans her up, you
can hold her while I take care of Mallory."

The baby squiggled in his grip --
she was an energetic little thing -- but
Asiya's soft hands held her securely.

Mallory had gone limp in Heron's lap.

His superpower ached from overuse,
but he dragged it back into action.

She was fine. She was just stoned
on endorphins and oxytocin.
Nothing to worry about.

"Take baby," Asiya said,
along with something in Hindi
that Heron didn't understand
but sounded like a blessing.

The bundle of baby was
tiny and warm, flooding Heron
with memories of his parents
handing his siblings to him.

"Céad míle fáilte," he whispered.
"Tá áthas orm buaileadh leat."

She looked like her mother,
with the same pointed chin under
a heart-shaped face, even though
hers was rounder with baby fat.

The hair was the same, too,
wisps of brown with a hint of red,
a little wavier than Mallory's.

Heron was grinning so hard
that he felt like his face would
crack in half, but this feeling
was too big to keep inside.

There was so much to do,
so much to plan, but he
couldn't focus on any of it.

All Heron could do was hold
the tiniest, most important person
in the world. She was his world.

His brain turned over so rapidly
that no thoughts came out, only
a sort of whirr like a hamster
running full tilt on a wheel.

Finally he remembered that
he was hogging the baby and
should probably pass her
to her mother now.

"Look what you made,"
he said as he placed the baby
in Mallory's arms. "She's beautiful."

"Yeah, she really is," Mallory said.
"So what are you going to name her?"

The hamster in Heron's brain
fell off his wheel in shock.

"Me?" Heron squeaked.
"You want me to name her?"

"Well duh," Mallory said, giving him
her patented don't-be-stupid look.
"What do I know about babies?"

"O ... kay," Heron said slowly.
"A little warning would have
been nice, but I'll work it out.
Give me a minute to check
some references, please?"

"Sure," Mallory said,
snuggling the baby closer.

Heron slipped out and
called his father back.

"Da, help," he said.
"Mallory wants me
to name the baby and
I don't know where to start!"

"All right, take a deep breath,"
his father said. "That's a big thing
to ask, but we both know that Mallory
isn't very experienced with asking yet,
so we'll deal with it. First, cut down
the workload by tossing out anything
you're sure you don't want to use."

"Nothing from her family," Heron said.
"I think our scientist theme might be
a little fast for Mallory. Nothing that's
too trendy or dippy." He paused,
digging deeper. "Nothing that's
too gendered; either a name that
could be unisex, or something with
masculine and feminine versions."

"Those are good starting points,"
Da said. "Now think of a few things
you or Mallory would find meaningful.
You don't have time to pore over
everything like Joshua Tull did."

"Home, family," Heron said at once.
"History. Something with ... depth.
Maybe a name from Ireland or from
Britannia? We share some heritage."

"That sounds promising," Da said.
"Take a few minutes to think about it,
and browse some resources. Call
me back if you get stuck again."

"Okay," Heron said. "Thanks, Da."

He hung up, then went back
into Mallory's room. She
was humming to the baby,
off-key and sweet.

The infant rooted greedily
at Mallory's breast, but
when she found the nipple,
then Mallory screeched.

"I don't think they latched right,"
Heron said, leaning over them.

"No," Asiya agreed. He showed
Mallory how to use a finger to break
the seal, then reposition the baby.

The little girl squalled in protest.

"Be gentle with Mum's nipple,
little one, that needs to last
a long time," Heron said.

Mallory giggled. "I'm never
going to get over how you talk
to babies like they can understand."

"Of course they understand,"
Heron said, baffled. "They just
don't get all the detail for a while.
If you dumb down everything,
how are they supposed to learn?"

"Try again," Asiya said, and
this time Mallory only winced
a little as the baby began slurping.

"You're good at this," Heron observed.

"Sisters," Asiya said with a wink.
"I have ..." He counted on his fingers.
"Five nephews. Four nieces."

Heron could hardly imagine it.
He was overflowing with
just one baby to handle.

"She is amazing," he said
as he watched her nursing.

That got Mallory's attention.
"Got a name yet?" she said,
looking up at Heron.

"No, but I'm working on it,"
he said. He sat down with
his smartphone in hand and
surfed some baby-name lists,
but nothing felt quite right.

He looked up historic figures
and favorite role models, but
all those names felt taken.

He wondered how this baby
would fit into the family tree --
and then he just knew.

It wasn't something he felt
comfortable doing without asking,
though, so he sent a quick note
to Da and Uncle Tolliver.

Within two minutes, he had
answers from both of them:
first "Tha," from his uncle and
then "Perfect," from his father.

"I've got a name," Heron announced.
"Dairinne. It means 'fair-born' or
'daughter of Fionn' in Irish."

"That is so awesome,"
Mallory said, grinning at him.
"See, I knew you'd be good at this."

"It was also my grandmother's name,"
he said. "My father's mother."

"Oh," Mallory said softly. "That's ...
really sweet of you to share. I wish
I had real grandparents, and not just,
you know ... they weren't very happy
about my parents having me."

"I wish you'd had better grandparents,
but Dairinne has wonderful ones,"
Heron said. "Mum and Da are
over the moon about this."

"Yeah," Mallory said. "It's
weird, but it's nice too."

Then she winced and said, "Oof."

"Afterbirth is intact," Edith announced.
"I'll just clean up here and then
leave you folks in peace."

Heron put a hand on Mallory
to offer her what relief he had left.

She brushed him off. "Enough.
If you faceplant into the floor, then
Uncle Tolli and Uncle Simon
will scold both of us."

This was true.

Heron's stomach chose
that moment to voice a complaint.

"There's tea if you want it, and snacks
that are easy to digest," Edith said.

"Yes, please," they chorused.

Asiya trotted off, and soon returned
with a cart full of offerings for them.

The snack tray contained a cup
of postpartum tea for general support,
a dish of fennel marshmallows for milk flow,
a sliced banana, a jar of honey, a bowl of
applesauce, a plate of rice balls with chicken,
and some clinical-grade dark chocolate.

Heron probably needed about
three times as many calories
as that entire tray contained.

He watched Mallory pour in
so much honey that her teacup
almost overflowed. That was good.
Any kind of medication could be
iffy for soups, but she seemed
to respond well to herbs.

When Mallory growled
at Heron to hurry up and eat,
he took one of the rice balls.

Asiya clucked at him and offered
a handful of brightly colored plastic.
"My brother, always hungry," he said.

Heron looked down and recognized
the distinctive lotus of the Ayurvedible logo.

Asiya had brought one of each flavor bar:
Vata (mango-wheat), Pitta (apricot-amaranth),
and Kapha (cranberry-oat). Each one had
a thousand calories, which should just about
fill the hole gnawing away at Heron's stomach.

By the time he finished the bars,
Mallory had devoured most of the food
on her tray. She shoved the chocolate at him.
"I'm stuffed," she said. "You eat it."

Heron ate it. He no longer
felt like he was starving.

Dairinne had finished eating,
too, and was tucked into
a co-sleeper by the bed.

Edith declared that Mallory
was fine and should get
some sleep if possible.

Heron crawled back into
the bed with her. It wasn't
nearly long enough for him,
but he so did not care.

They napped for a while,
although neither Mallory nor
Dairinne was comfortable enough
to manage a deep, long sleep.

In the evening, Edith returned
to check on Mallory and Dairinne.

"Everything looks completely normal,"
the midwife said. "Do you want to go
home now, or wait until tomorrow?"

"Hell no, I'm not staying
one minute longer than
I have to," Mallory said.

She bailed out of bed
and then said, "Ow."

Mallory had two stitches
in a very delicate place.

Heron would wait until
they got home before
asking if she wanted him
to pick them out and
heal the tiny tear.

Despite the discomfort,
Mallory insisted on leaving,
so Heron scraped up his wits
and dealt with the paperwork.

Once again, Asiya proved
indispensable in keeping Mallory
occupied. He even gave her
a wall scroll of Mulaprakriti
giving birth to fish, birds, and
flowers to take home.

Junket was very professional
about not fussing over the baby,
even though he kept sneaking
peeks into the pea-green sling.

"What's it like?" Paige asked eagerly
as she opened the door for them.

"Like shitting a soccer ball,"
Mallory growled, limping past.
The younger girl blanched.

"How are you feeling?"
Clement asked -- it was
clearly him from the context
and the soft slope of shoulders.

"My head hurts, my boobs hurt,
my crotch hurts, everything hurts,"
Mallory grumbled. "I just want
to lie down and sleep for a week."

"Then go do that," Heron said.

"What?" Mallory said, turning
around to glare at him.

Heron loved Mallory,
he really did, but she was
still learning how to be loved.

"You have been babysitting for
nine months straight," Heron said.
"Let someone else take a turn. We've
all been wanting to meet the baby.
Give her to me, and go to bed."

"You have the best ideas,"
Mallory said. She fumbled
with the soft sling that held
the baby until Heron took it
and draped it over himself.

Dairinne slept through it all.

Heron let Clement and Paige
help Mallory up the stairs to
the master bedroom that now
belonged to her and the baby.

Meanwhile Heron parked himself
on the couch and unwrapped Dairinne.

"Hi there, baby girl," he said, and
she flopped her head toward him,
clearly recognizing his voice.

Heron offered her a fingertip,
and Dairinne squeezed it with
a surprisingly strong grasp.

He could feel the might of creation
in her grip, and sense the same tiny fist
closing securely around his heart ...

exactly where it belonged.

* * *


Dairinne Brasher -- She has fair skin, baby-blue eyes, and wavy chestnut hair. She was born on Monday, September 29, 2014. She is the daughter of Mallory Brasher and one of several assailants, coparented by Heron Finn.
Origin: Her power has been active but indeterminate since before birth.
Uniform: Baby clothes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Attachment
Poor (-2) Everything Is New and Strange
Powers: (indeterminate)
She definitely has superpowers; the energy is active, so she reads as a soup. But it hasn't decided what it is yet. So far it just means that, like many soups, she is sensitive to other people's energy. She can definitely recognize both of her parents by their energy and is firmly attached to them.
Motivation: Get to know her parents in person.

Edith Dietrich -- She has pinkish-fair skin, brown eyes, and short wavy hair that was brown but is starting to go gray. She wears glasses. Edith is a midwife who works at the Sanger Center in Urbanburg. Her confidence appeals to most people, but she can be overly blunt.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Midwife, Good (+2) Confidence, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Lesbian
Poor (-2) Blunt

Asiya Dhar -- He has sorrel skin, black eyes, and short black hair. He wears glasses. Asiya moved from India to America to attend nursing school. Currently he works at the Sanger Center in Urbanburg. Although his English isn't very good yet, he is quite popular due to his high emotional intelligence and attractive energy.
Qualities: Good (+2) Big Happy Family, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Gentle, Good (+2) Warm Fuzzy Aura, Good (+2) Women's Health Nurse
Poor (-2) Still Learning English

* * *

"When I say painless, please understand, I don’t mean you will not feel anything. What you will feel is a lot of pressure; you will feel the might of creation move through you. Pain, however, is associated with something gone wrong. Childbirth is a lot of hard work, and the sensations that accompany it are very strong, but there is nothing wrong with labor."
Giuditta Tornetta

The average time in labor is around 8 hours for first births, longer now than it used to be.

Childbirth is typically a natural and safe process. Superpowers can complicate or facilitate it -- sometimes both. Fortunately in this case, everything goes fine.

It's a good idea to organize help for a new baby before the arrival. There are many ways that family and friends can help with a newborn. Consider using a care calender online or on paper.

A phone tree is an effective way to pass messages. While people often use mass-email programs for this purpose now, it is not polite for important messages such as the birth of baby.

Know what to include when packing a baby bag or diaper bag.

Positive affirmations can be helpful for expecting parents.

Various natural methods of pain control can make childbirth easier. Mindful breathing maximizes oxygen and aids relaxation. Storytelling provides inspiration and distraction. Ideally, supporters should offer multiple options and encourage the pregnant person to choose the best fit.

Many different props can assist delivery, and it is advisable to explore different positions to see which feels best in the moment. As Mallory's favorite birthing prop is Heron, she primarily opts for seated spooning, which gives them maximum skin contact.

Mula Prakriti is a Hindu goddess of creation. See her on a lotus giving birth to fish and birds.

Birth hormones include endorphins and oxytocin. Unless there is an emergency, it is best to let them do their thing unmolested, because meddling with them can impair bonding or cause other problems.

Céad míle fáilte
(a hundred thousand welcomes)
-- Irish Phrases

Tá áthas orm buaileadh leat
Pleased to meet you
-- Irish Phrases

Breastfeeding is best for mother and baby whenever feasible. (It isn't always, so it's good to have other options.) While inspired by instinct, this is a learned skill. Before birth, you can practice with nipple clamps. You will quickly discover which parts are sensitive and which can take more pressure. The last thing you want is your baby biting into the delicate tip or base of the nipple. Try to stuff as much of your areola into her mouth as will fit. It can take more pressure and is designed to open the milk ducts when properly stimulated. After birth, a lactation consultant can teach you things like how to hold your baby, how to latch on, and how to break the seal when you need to remove the baby from your breast.

Traditionally, these skills were taught by a mother's relatives. In local-America, that rarely happens anymore; lessons are completely unavailable in many areas and priced out of the market in others. In Terramagne-America, women customarily discuss their feeding plans prior to birth, and most caregivers know at least the basics of breastfeeding support. The Sanger Center provides professional consultants on site, but many breastfeeding consultants are volunteers who provide free support to new parents. This not only improves the odds of breastfeeding success, it also encourages new social ties which reduces the chance of isolation and depression after birth.

Dáirín (Daughter of Fionn, fair-born) Dairinne

Postpartum herbs are often used to make tea. Fennel and marshmallow combine well in this recipe.

Ayurveda is a Hindu system that includes dietary advice. Ayurvedible is an Indian-American food company in Terramagne whose products follow the guidelines of Ayurveda. They make items to suit the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) and the six rasas or tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent). Among their most popular items are the Dosha Meal Bars available in Vata (mango-wheat), Pitta (apricot-amaranth), and Kapha (cranberry-oat). Each bar is made from organic, nutrient-dense materials and has 1000 calories. A dividing line down the middle makes it easy to break the bar in half if you only want 500.

Easily digestible foods include chicken and rice.

A co-sleeper is designed to let baby and parents share a bed. Mallory has this style of co-sleeper.

The grandparents Finn bought the Stella Athena convertible crib and dresser with changing table top for Dairinne. Other items in the set can be added over time as needed.

See Mallory's baby sling. There are tips for carrying a baby in a sling.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing

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