Month: May 2021

Belonging: A Personal Reflection on the Physical and Emotional Barriers of Breastfeeding, by Rochelle Christensen

The first night was the easiest. At our request, our new family was discharged from the hospital early; we were supposed to have a home birth after all. Of course, we were exhausted from the 30-hour marathon we just endured, but we were still riding that natural “high” of endorphins. With some early success at latching, it was clear that our baby was receiving small amounts of colostrum, and we were assured that my milk supply would improve within a few days. In retrospect, they did send us home with a few bottles of formula; it’s almost as though they expected me to fail from the beginning.              It wasn’t until three days postpartum, when the opioids had worn off and a myriad of hormones started to plummet and surge throughout my body, that I found myself feeling inexplicably detached from my new role. One assumes, at least I did, that becoming a mother was going to be difficult; I’d heard how challenging the fourth trimester can be due to lack of sleep alone. What came as …

Small Pedestals by Carina Costom

A collection of interesting and beautiful images from the clear ice of Lake Baikal captured in a photo-essay by Alan Taylor (and many other photographers) for The Atlantic entitled “Bailkal Zen” inspired this heartfelt tribute to my Father. “Lake Baikal, in the Russian region of Siberia, is a massive body of water—the world’s deepest and most voluminous freshwater lake. Its location and the surrounding geography can lead to fascinating phenomena in the winter, as ferocious winds and cycles of melting and refreezing build and sculpt works of structural beauty—stones supported on wind-worn pedestals, undulating surface ice, encrusted beaches, crazy icicles, frozen methane bubbles, and more”. – Alan Taylor — — — Siberian-born, lost son of Lake Baikal, your worldly names were Michael, Mike and sometimes-Misha. I like to think that when you crossed the Atlantic Ocean with your family as a child in the 1930’s, something silent, eternal, crystal-like came along with you, for keeps. This thing covered you like delicate frost on a windowpane – enhancing without protecting you. I was a young 23 …