If you follow along on Instagram, you know that our sweet little Aletheia Faye joined our family last Monday, July 22. We had a wonderful home birth with Blue Ridge Birth. I shared little bits of her birth on my Instagram Stories, but plan on writing up a big old detailed blog post with all the details. That will come as soon as I get the birth photos! And I still need to write about the third trimester (you can read all about my first trimester and second trimester).
Aletheia joined us 5 days “late.” In the weeks prior, I found myself torn between two different states of mind. From June 26 on, I was considered full term, which meant we were safe to deliver at home. From that point on, on any given day, I either wanted 1) to stay home and do nothing and just clean up after the kids all day long to keep the house home birth ready (and maybe try a few natural induction methods) because SHE COULD ARRIVE ANY DAY/MINUTE/SECOND or 2) to do all the things, to go out and be adventurous, and savor my time with just three children, because soon it would be 4 kids and mom’s gonna have to take it easy for several weeks and mom’s gonna be preoccupied with a newborn.
I’d alternate between the two, feeling guilty that I wasn’t focusing on whichever I didn’t choose for that particular day. (Funny story: the day she arrived I had decided to bake with the kids and made plans for the evening and the house certainly wasn’t “home birth ready”…maybe that’s the secret for going into labor?)
One morning we decided to go blueberry picking. A friend had recently posted about Burkhart’s Blueberries out in Martinsburg, WV, where the blueberries were plentiful and only $1.60/lb. Yes, $1.60. And, they were not treated with pesticides or chemicals. So, we loaded the children into the van and drove an hour out to Martinsburg where we were greeted by the farmer in bis barn full of tractors, some nearly 100 years old. He commented on the size of my belly, asked if I thought I would give birth in his blueberry orchard, gave us our instructions – pick blueberries – and sent us off.
The blueberry bushes stood like small trees, providing welcome shade on that 90° day. The berries were so abundant that even Jojo was able to pick (and eat) them. The girls happily picked and were able to fill their baskets almost entirely themselves. What a wonderful thing to be able to take your children to a farm, introduce them to the farmer, and then have them fill their baskets.
The children loved picking; Zoe kept remarking how these blueberries were bigger than any other blueberries she’d ever seen. I think it’s so important to equip our children with the knowledge to make wise decisions about food, and to ask questions. Where does it comes from? How much does it costs? How is it grown? And about eating seasonally! They’ll carry these experiences and this knowledge into adulthood and hopefully be more grateful. Teaching them where food comes from, how much work goes into a crop, what it takes to fill just one basket with blueberries, and introducing them to the farmer, will all hopefully give them an appreciation and an awareness that will inform their decision-making. And, we’re creating such precious memories together as a family.
I’m so very thankful we decided to venture outdoors and pick blueberries that day. If we’d stayed home and waited for Aletheia to join us, it would have been a disappointing wait as she wasn’t planning on arriving for 19 more days. And we wouldn’t have had 20 lbs of blueberries (for which we paid $30) to bring home and enjoy for days, together as a family.
Is it still blueberry season where you live? Our season has been over for about two weeks, but I have fond memories picking blueberries in Bar Harbor in late August. I love how the seasons move like a slow wave across the country. I’ll be sharing a blueberry recipe in the next few days, and I hope someone still has access to fresh, local blueberries to put it to use this season!
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