Throes and Thunder…

It’s dark outside, but it’s daytime.  Muggy, moist, deeply uncomfortable.  This is the sort of weather that makes you feel slick beneath your clothes.  The sort that makes it absolutely pointless to do anything with your hair more strenuous than braiding it, because it’s frizzy.  Oh so frizzy.

Adeline was born.  The ultrasound measured her weight to be a full pound over what it actually was, but she’s healthy.  And, shockingly, getting extremely fat.  The placenta was small and pretty well calcified, as predicted.  Other than that, there’s no indication of other anomalies.  Placenta pathology rarely yields definitive results, according to the OB.

Birth was…hard.  I still feel the acute tension in my shoulders thinking back on it.  I wasn’t expecting an ideal birth, given that it was likely I’d be induced (and I was), but I have never experienced such physical exhaustion in my life.  My body literally gave out.  I was spent.  I have the details stored neatly in my mind, but I’m still not prepared to put the experience into words.  I feel mournful of the experience I could have–should have–had, but elated that it’s just over, that she’s here in my arms, safe and nourished..  It’s a complicated emotion.

The thunder is still booming outside, hours later.  I look outside, and I see my thoughts.  I see the despair lurking behind sheets of rain.  The discomfort and dismay of the swaying trees in the distance.  I’m trying to keep from drowning.


Fel died.  My stepdad.  February 14, cloaked in my mother’s tears while she held his swollen hands, he took his last artificial breath, then passed.  Gone forever.  Gone in a sudden, terrifying heart attack.

My daughter was born.  Hardest labor, fastest delivery.

I am struggling so very much.  Trying to be there for my mom, navigating this new role.  It’s always new, bringing a baby home.  You just never know what to expect.

She is healthy and growing.

She is thriving.

I am not.


It’s been a while…

Anyone else think of that Staind song when they read the title?  I suppose I can relate, though I’d need to add the lyric, “It’s been a while/Since I’ve slept a full night.”

Anyway.  To update on the IUGR diagnosis:  the baby is doing well enough.  She’s not growing in her abdominal area as expected, but it’s been a consistent enough growth pattern that I’ve been able to return to my regular OBGYN for once or twice monthly growth scans and NSTs/doppler readings in addition to regular visits.  That was a relief, though I’m not sure what may happen at birth right now.  She’s very tiny, and the likelihood of her having a stay in the NICU is still pretty high.  It all depends on her ability to maintain body temperature and her lung maturity, I suppose.  This is strange for me, considering I’m pretty anxious and controlling in general, but I realize there is nothing more I can do to facilitate a better outcome, so I’m allowing the Universe to guide me on whatever path I’m destined to take.

My body feels as if it is failing to endure this pregnancy as well as the others (though, looking through my archives I’ve been pretty whiny).  My uterus is a tired old gal, so it’s certainly no surprise I’m having stronger and more frequent contractions, as well as a more difficult time enduring things like backache and joint pain.  Hence the not sleeping reference above.

Optimism isn’t my strong suit.  I’ll be the first to admit how worried I am about everything.  In some irrational part of my brain I am also concerned all this is some retaliatory measure from those powers-that-be (whatever they are) for freaking out so thoroughly when I discovered I was pregnant this go-round.  We’re talking sobbing in the bathtub for an hour or two, here.  Utter despair.  Needless to say I was just not prepared to add another munchkin to our brood.  But at some point we breeders just need to relax and accept that we love our kids, and adding one more might be a touch more expensive but we aren’t going into this thing unprepared.  We’ve experienced most of what infancy, toddlerhood, and now childhood has to offer (in my case, up until age five).

Speaking of my five year old little girl…  I was shocked to discover recently the eruption of adult teeth–under and behind her baby teeth, which are not really that loose, unfortunately, so it’s off to the dentist we go on the ‘morrow.  They may elect to pull them.  We shall see.  For now she looks like a shark, and I think it’s a terribly cute way to refer to her orthodontic state.

Aiden and I have come to an understanding of late.  With an increase in communicative ability, so comes his ability to process emotions more effectively.  It’s taken us a while, but I think we’re on pretty good ground.  He is still the softest little poot.  Seriously.  He is a major cuddler and I LOVE it.

Jude, oh Jude.  That boy is something.  Curly blond hair for DAYS (and you recall that I am not accustomed to hair on babies, as both Olivia and Aiden were rather bald for the longest time) and a smile that reaches deep into the soul of those who witness.  Shew, that boy can throw a tantrum, though.  Luckily it’s quelled pretty easily.  And, of course, he’s adorable, so I find it simple to forgive.

And thus endeth the update for recent months.  Sort of boring, but I prefer it that way.

Depression Wins Again…

Yesterday I had the growth scan, and the results weren’t promising.  It looks like the baby/I might have something called intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).  Luckily it’s asymmetrical, which from what I read is the more preferred type (?!).  She’s measuring right on track for everything but her abdomen–and that, unfortunately, is serious cause for concern.  That measurement alone diminishes her growth percentile to 7%.  The doctor tried to be reassuring, but she saw in my face that I knew exactly what it meant.  I’d done enough research to prepare myself for possible diagnoses.  And now, I’m officially in the high-risk OBGYN.  I have genetic counseling on Tuesday with an out-of-town practice, and I will have frequent monitoring at the very least, if not more invasive testing depending on the results of the placenta scan.  They suspect the placenta isn’t performing adequately.  She’s growing enough in the “right” areas, such as her brain and femurs, but she’s still under duress and malnourished.

I cried in the bathroom at the OB.  Dried my eyes and barely made it through the referral and into my car.  Sobbed again.  I am so sad.  So very distraught.  I know in my bones that I am coming home without my baby, at least for a little while.  I fear for her health most of all.  More selfishly I am upset that I’ll likely have a cesarean section and wont birth this baby naturally like my others.  I read something last night that really affected me:  “Babies with IUGR typically do very well in the NICU as they’re already accustomed to being under duress in the womb.”  That was from a forum where a NICU nurse chimed in.  It was supposed to be comforting.  It’s not.  Now I’m wondering if she’s so active because she’s suffering, because she’s hungry.

I’ve had difficult pregnancies, sure.  Olivia’s was typical and uncomfortable.  I had some sickness, backache, swelling.  I was young and my body rebounded quickly, however.  Aiden’s was traumatic during the birth.  I had prodromal labor for about three weeks before he was born, and then there was the hospital debacle (which I still resent fully).  I had hyperemesis gravidarum with Jude.  Several hospitalizations from dehydration and surgery after surgery for thrombosed hemorrhoids.  But they were all healthy.  Small, under 6.5 lbs, but so healthy.  I don’t know what to do or think.  I’m terrified.  I can’t imagine not holding my baby after I birth her.  Watching her through a plastic incubator being fed through tubes.  Not breastfeeding.

I am so scared.  I want to crawl into the cave of my bedding and do nothing but cradle my belly, talk to her, tell her it’s all going to be okay.  Beg her to grow.

But she might not have a choice.


I suppose I should begin by coming clean.  I’m pregnant.  Andy and I are still in the midst of our divorce proceedings, so I’ve been staying inactive on the blog (I’ve never been a very good liar, and deception past silence isn’t my strongest suit).  But as I have so much to say, and evidenced by my nighttime horrors, I really need to get it out.  I have been having nightmares.  Soul-shattering, wake-up-shivering, teeth-clenching night terrors.  It’s pretty damned awful, actually, and something I haven’t had to endure past childhood (I think?  Most of the time I had wonderful flying dreams, despite the circumstance of my childhood being very ehhh).  I’ll armchair diagnose myself so you wont have to:  I have unresolved feelings of angst, despair, and desperation that are presenting themselves subconsciously in my dreams.  Knowing the why sure isn’t helping me get past it.

I wont go into the specifics of who or why (I mean, sure, we all know how babies are made…you go into your respective fertility specialist’s office, take a valium or other strong sedative, get your eggs retrieved and send them off to the lab to develop an embryo with donor sperm…wait…no.  This time I just had sex).  However, I will unequivocally state that this had absolutely nothing to do with Andy whatsoever.  She (can you believe I’m having another little girl?!) is destined to be sister from another mister, and judge me all you like (the same way I’ve underhandedly and unfairly judged young-ish mothers for having children with different fathers all my cognizant existence–I admit it, I am an asshole) but I couldn’t be happier.  Now.  Finding out that I was unexpectedly pregnant while just beginning the divorce filings, well, that is another story.  Suffice it to say, I wasn’t happy the moment that formerly coveted second line showed up.

You see, there’s this weird law in my state that says you cannot divorce while you are pregnant.  I’ve encountered this little tidbit formerly while pregnant with Jude.  Even in the case of domestic abuse, one cannot divorce until the baby is born.  Seems a little, eh, unconstitutional, right?  I mean, Washington’s got the right idea–let’s follow suit here!  That fact alone was enough to send me into a spiral of uncertainty and dread.  I would really like to be done with that part of my life.  I want this divorce to be over, O-V-E-R.  I want a judge to sign and seal the records I painstakingly got Andy to agree to, with a lot of hesitation and back-and-forth, and I want to move on with my existence.  At last, finally, forever and ever; you get the picture.  It’s been a long road reaching near the two year mark.  I am so. done.

The pending divorce alone is enough to make me go a little crazy in the dream sense.  Add to that worrying about the baby and I’ve got myself a nice little spaz-cocktail.  Disturbance soup.  Mental mush.  Man I’m hungry right now.  Anyway, the baby wasn’t showing adequate growth at the anatomy scan and now I am waiting the requisite month to have another ultrasound to either ease all my fears (thank you, sweet doctor, for giving me these four precious weeks of Google.  It. Is. Not. Helpful!) or determine that I need genetic counseling for some rare anomaly the baby has.

I just want to clarify that though things are not perfect by any means, my life is very good right now.  Very rich with support and kindness and love, and I am extremely grateful for that.  This pregnancy has been a shock to all, but is being accepted gracefully.  I am very lucky.

(ETA: If anyone should show a blatant lack of respect, even mildly, instead of support, I don’t have them in my life.  Simple as that.  I had a little emoticon reaction from one of my [very few] followers on Instagram that really, truly, and sincerely hurt my feelings very deeply.  Let us not assume I am so strong I can withstand that amount of judgment and criticism, because I simply am not.)

Birthdays Ahoy…

Though it rained (and has been cloudy and drizzling perpetually since) and our plans to play at a local park were dashed rather dramatically, Olivia’s fifth birthday and subsequent party was…sufficient.  It wasn’t grandiose or particularly eventful.  Birthday pancakes (gluten-free and with sprinkles added) were consumed for breakfast per request.  She had a pleasant party turnout consisting entirely of family (we have yet to venture into making long-term friends as she’s not in public school).  My second eldest sister was wretchedly late, as usual.  That was probably the most difficult to endure, knowing that Olivia hadn’t seen my sister in months but also needed to visit with her father.  Andy had to work on both her birthday and the party the day after, so he wasn’t exactly pleased to have to wait an additional hour and a half to see her.  Either way, the quality over quantity mentality for gift-giving I’ve adapted in recent years has made for some really well-received and, might I add, beautiful additions to her toy/clothing collection.

DSC_0201Forgive the over-editing.  She awoke before 6 a.m. in excitement and the lighting was terrible.

She specifically requested a new dollhouse to replace her cheap (and thoroughly broken) one, the KidKraft Chelsea Doll Cottage [side note:  do not waste your money on this.  The varnish comes off easily, it’s basically composite cardboard, and it didn’t last me three years with moderate use].  I lucked out on an Amazon deal for this real-wood, handmade, and beautiful dollhouse.  It came together splendidly and it is extremely sturdy.  I foresee many years of fun with this behemoth of a play structure.  (Here is the link if you’re interested–not affiliate.)  The photos on the listing don’t do it justice whatsoever.  I nearly passed it by until I read the numerous positive reviews and saw a few customer images which displayed its actual size.  Definitely worth the dough.  She got a couple other things at home (a royal family set for the dollhouse, spill proof paint cups [link here], and a new book) but the gifts which brought forth the most elation were the play dresses my eldest sister gave Olivia.  Another Amazon purchase, these dresses are exceptionally high quality.  She lives in them, day in and out.

DSC_0221I was hoping to provide her a more extravagant party for her fifth, a la Pinterest mothers of the past, but she was thrilled with pretty much anything, so I count that as a success.

Current favorites:

Food–I would say a meal with strawberries, salad (with ranch dressing), and barbecue “bone chicken” (chicken legs) are her go-to faves.  Still on the green smoothie bandwagon.

Activity–Painting, coloring, drawing.  She’s exceptionally artistically inclined.  Building with blocks.  Singing.  Lyrically, it’s pretty amusing.

Outfit–the Anna dress at the moment (but of course) and the Elsa dress is a very close second.  Her pink rain boots with jean leggings and a muted shirt.

Book–Still My No, No, No Day! by Rebecca Patterson.  How To Train Your Dragon series is also top-shelf.  Invested heavily in Olivia the Pig.

What She Wants To Be When She Grows Up–A mommy, with “lots of kids” (oh, lawd) and, of course, a Princess.  If all else fails she’ll settle for what I interpret as a marine biologist (“swimming and looking at fishes and sea creatures”).

Reading Yet?–Nope, though definitely on the right track.  Recognizes alphabet, can phonetically sound out letters (confusion with hard c and soft), knows numbers and can do basic arithmetic if I assist with finger counting.  Can count into the several hundreds.

Random–Olivia enjoys exercise in any form.  Yoga, cardiovascular activities, body weight exercise…  She’s very strong.  Not a fan of cleaning or organizing, though she prefers to have an open and visually clear space.  That means mommy cleans up after brothers a fair bit as she’ll refuse to take responsibility for anything but her own toys.  Her favorite cat is still Souxie, that poor patient thing.  I will not allow her to watch My Little Pony or anything of the sort, though she did get a brief viewing on her birthday (one of the major requests).  “Octonauts” and a new Netflix series with pelicans remain her causal go-to television shows (we definitely don’t turn on the TV or tablet most days).  “Peppa Pig” at Daddy’s house.

Overall, she’s an incredibly smart, mature, and well-rounded little girl.  I’m lucky to have her.  Quite lucky.  She keeps me grounded, always.

Happy birthday, not-so-little Spud.

DSC_0205 (2)I love you.




Lately I’ve been deliberately avoiding people who show even an inkling of negativity about children.  I no longer gregariously engage the grocery store cashier who will say, “Wow, you have your hands full, don’t you?”  (You’d be shocked to know I hear that exact phrase from numerous individuals at least, oh, nine times per grocery trip.)  They mean to come across with good nature, but the underlying message is in there.  Lurking.  They mean that I have a lot of kids.  That maybe I’ve been a little irresponsible in the birth control department.  It once made me feel really terribly about myself, the idea that I must seem exorbitantly ill-fitted for parenting.  The thing is, though, usually I’m dressed like any other woman in the store.  Now I don’t give a damn what they think, because it’s never about me.  It’s about them.  I don’t have stains or wrinkles on my (rather nice capsule wardrobe) clothing (but that’s fodder for another post).  I’ve got at least a little makeup on.  The kids behave pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.  And I do.  There aren’t tantrums over candy they know they’re not allowed to eat.  Never tears over toys.  They are somehow well-adjusted, smart, amazing little munchkins.  I’m proud of my kids.  So when someone utters their unnecessary opinion on my family size in a negative manner, I tend to get a little ruffled.  I’m tired of being ruffled, though, and since those comments are a constant, I have learned to avoid them entirely.  I survive trips out with a tight smile and downcast eyes.  I exude an antisocial nature.  So far it’s worked out pretty well for social interaction I don’t want to have.

The internet…not so much.  I appreciate the openness of some people who will state their struggles, warts and all.  It makes them real, unscripted.  Nothing wrong with that.  But I’ve had to just stay away from certain blogs that wont stop complaining about how hard it is to raise [insert number] of kids.  No, it’s not peaches all the time.  I’m pretty sure more than two children opens up your life to more chaos than you’d ever imagined you could endure.  More than three?  Dear god.  Five?  Well, depending on how far apart the kids are, having five is like having four, and so on.  In my experience, independence starts at around three and flourishes before five.  That’s my reasoning.  If your kids are insane in the membrane [insane in the brain] regardless of how old they are, or if any have special needs, you get a pass.  The point is I’m trying desperately not to ONLY focus on how hard it is to raise my brood.  How little sleep I get.  How few moments of free time.  How much laundry I have to wash, dry, and fold, and those damned cloth diapers.  *shudder*  I don’t want to think about any of that, because as cliche and corny as it sounds, it truly does rob you of your ability to appreciate what you have.  The respective (and plentiful) positive traits of each of your children go unnoticed when all you’re allowing yourself to hear is the collective scream/squeal/shriek of all those kids in the house.

Right now I’m enjoying the sound of my almost-three year old beat on a metal pot with a straw.  The laughter of the almost-five year old as she chases the cat around the room.  The pattering of the infant around the play room.  I’m also feeling the breeze (oh, heavenly Fall…) of the open window.  Tasting the semi-warm and too sweet coffee.  Life isn’t perfect.  It never will be.  But my kids aren’t what’s wrong with my life.

New Beginnings…

My divorce isn’t final, but it’s [im]pending.  There’s some sort of relief knowing things wont change for a while.  It’s all been hashed out.  Parenting plan forged, with a little resistance of course.  I still struggle with this life.  It’s hard.  I’ve read divorce books and blogs and articles.  Nothing can prepare you for all the chaos.  Andy has finally accepted that we’re over.  That part was the hardest, I think.  Every other week he’d get this notion in his head that it would all blow over, much like the vicious arguments we used to have, where I’d forget the hurtful words for a few days, until the next time.  But I never really forgave.  Not until recently.  I’m still a little bitter.  He has his free nights, while I do not.  Sleep is a precious commodity.  I don’t get much sleep.  I think the most difficult transition is accepting that he does things differently as a parent than I do.  Of course, there has been somewhat of a tug-of-war in certain areas.  I’ve had to express frustration more than a few times at his poor housekeeping.  He has the two older children enough (about 1/4 of the week) to make significant changes to their constitution.  Diet, sleep schedule, that sort of thing.  There’s no medication in sight.  I can’t say for sure that’s a good thing for him, but he seems to be managing.  Speaking of medication…I am free of the painful grip.  I am still finding balance.  Parenting three small children alone (most of the time) is not a walk in the park…unless, of course, we’re walking in the park.  I think I’ve just learned to let go for the most part.  There will always be things that are important to me in any facet of my existence.  That’s just me.  Every day I realize how much I accept who I am as being a (mostly) permanent fixture.  My moods, nuances, desires.  Seems to be a trend among the nearly 30 year old crowd.

It’s been over a year since Andy and I left a house we (sometimes) cohabited together.  Shortly before Jude’s birth and a couple months after, he was sleeping in the room with the kids while I nursed quietly on the couch.  I can’t say I’ve never been happier, but I am happier.

I have someone in my life.  I have love.  My only friend, really.  I push them away far too often for both our tastes.  I try to keep a distance so I can establish what I need for myself, what my children need from me.  That, and I can be pretty moody.

Olivia turns five this month.  Aiden three the next.  Jude is a little over one.  I want this year to be better.  We all need a little reprieve, I think.


I don’t even know where I last left off, but here I am.  I know, the world has been waiting with breath that is bated for me to return to writing…but no.  Unlikely.  I’ve been still but not without chaos.  My brain has been a veritable war zone, and only recently have I kind of-sort of-somewhat broken the bind of constant stress.  I’ve been repeating a few mantras which have aided in that endeavor–something along the lines of, “The children nap because they are tired and need to sleep, not because I need a break.”  “Feeding my children healthy food is necessary.”  “My responsibilities are not burdens.”  Does that give you any idea of how bad my mental state had gotten over the last few months?  I’ve even considered going back on the antidepressants, but I refuse.  Who knows what permanent damage that may have caused.  I certainly don’t want to exacerbate this creeping ill-will (toward myself).  No one knows that, by the way.  I’ve not told anyone, until now, that returning to what basically amounted to an ossified state appealed to me more than feeling all the things, all the time.  I even cried recently.  I suppose using the term “cry” is a misnomer, since it was more like Earth-shattering sobs, muscle spasm and dislocated ribs and all.  That’s noteworthy because it’s been almost a year since I’ve shown any physical signs of emotional well-being (or a lack thereof).  That day was stressful, the day I cried.  I suppose that goes without saying.  After months and months of pushing away someone I love very much, that person finally snapped and uttered some pretty nasty things to me.  Not nasty like, “You’re fat, I hate you,” but nasty-such-as, “You have been making some very poor decisions and treating me with complete contempt for no reason and it all borders on blatant abuse.  I don’t know if I want to be around you,” sort of thing.  It hurt.  A lot.  It hurt my ego, it shook the very foundation of the person I thought I was, and in general sent me on a wild goose hunt for whatever the hell is wrong with me that caused me to behave like an asshole all these months.  Update:  I still don’t really know where exactly I went wrong, but through massive amounts of behavior modification (which really amounts to taking an extra few seconds to think about what I want to convey and, well really, behaving in the opposite manner of which I am accustomed) I’m making progress.

And speaking of stress, let’s talk about my diet, shall we?  Sweet mother of God I have never eaten worse in my life.  Even while growing up and my mother wasn’t aware of GMOs or pesticide residue in conventional produce or hormones in meat and milk, I think I was more nourished.  I’m quite sure it’s contributed–heavily–to whatever fugue state this is.  Holy refined sugar, Batman.  Only just yesterday did I finally break the cycle.  It’s strange and fascinating to me how habits develop–good or bad–and how returning to an earlier state (say, one where you existed for most of your adult life) seems so foreign after you’ve engaged in a few (okay, most all) poor choices for two months.  I’m lost in the kitchen again.  Of course, I still have an innate ability to cook and throw together ingredients and seasonings to make something delicious, I proved that last night (GF vegetarian mushroom stroganoff, anyone?).  However, of late I’ve felt hungry and reached for the most convenient, unhealthy food I can muster.  Mainly sugar-filled.  Ice cream–and not even the good kind.  Store-brand.  Ugh.  Lots of Japanese takeout.  I’ve hardly cooked from home, and when I have it’s been minimal effort.  Basically opening a can or two.  I’ve let my milk kefir go mostly dormant (still feeding it daily, of course) so no gut-boosting green smoothies.  Oh, the humanity, it might say.

Oh, also?  Weight gain.  I’m trying not to stress too much about this because I know it will take time to reverse the damage I’ve done to my body.  I have accumulated fat, though.  It’s embarrassing.  Today I took the kids to the park (because of the impending rain we were blissfully alone in a huge baseball field with a semi-locked gate) and after we were done frolicking for almost two hours I took the kids to a play area for some lunch (I ate salad and about three bites of soup, they ate grilled chicken and fruit–and some of my salad, of course) and as I was sitting in my workout clothes while they romped about I could see my gut hanging over my pants.  Not appealing in the least bit.  I wasn’t affected by my lack of makeup or by my stringy, sweaty hair.  It was the sudden realization that I have gained a hell of a lot of weight in a short amount of time that gave me major pause.  It’s scary how easily things could spiral out of control if I let them.

But I wont.  Or at least this time I was able to stop myself before things got too out of control.  The thing is, I know from where all this stress stems.  It’s Andy.  Always Andy.  I can’t (or shouldn’t) speak much about the impending divorce or go into specifics involving our interactions, I’m not an idiot.  I know he could easily use it against me in court, if he were so inclined (and I believe he would be).  But just so anyone who happens to read this knows not to worry about anything significant in my existence causing such horrid, unbelievable angst…I said it.  He’s an [insert word here].  It’s honestly like an emotionally draining roller coaster being within five yards of him.  Trying to always do what’s best for the kids, even in the face of animosity–always animosity–I guess it just wore me down.  The stoicism couldn’t last forever, could it?  Not when you’re being called names for absolutely no reason.  I didn’t even break down in front of him.  Nothing in my behavior is worth noting on his end except exemplary patience and [feigned] respect.  It’s worn me on the inside.  A piece of fruit you bite into and only after you’ve tasted the bitterness do you realize it’s got this horrific inner-rot.  But I’m trying.  I’m clawing my way out of the abyss, minute by minute.  I love my children.  They are my light at the end of this wretched tunnel, and I’ll escape.  Maybe not unscathed, but still not so bad.  Everything will be fine.  Someday soon.

The Bandwagon…

I’ve been spending over $3.50 a bottle for store-bought kombucha since I took the plunge and decided to implement fermented foods into my diet.  Honestly I was a little disgusted by the idea, but after it was put in my head that gut health might affect how one feels mentally (thanks, Diana!) I gave it a try.  Of course I loved it instantly.  I didn’t, however, enjoy the price tag.  Feeding a family of four is, believe it or not, extremely expensive.  I couldn’t justify continuing to spend that much money on a single drink (even just once a week), regardless of how much better I felt after.  What does one do when they desire something that is too exorbitant store-bought?  Search Amazon for a SCOBY, of course.  By now most people know what a SCOBY is–Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast–but many don’t realize how easy and, more importantly, cheap it is to make at home.  All you need is a box of black tea (no flavors), some sugar, a live SCOBY (maybe a splash of white vinegar at first if you don’t have enough starter liquid), and time.  A SCOBY on Amazon is approximately $8.  Not only can you continue to brew kombucha with the original mother, but each subsequent batch will yield a baby SCOBY.  You can keep these babies in a “SCOBY hotel” for use when your own has become compromised by contaminants (mold, for instance) or you can give it away.  Even better, you could probably seek out your local farmer’s market and ask a few vendors if they’d be interested in buying the extras!  Just make sure that your utensils, jars, and work areas are scrupulously clean.  Hot water and soap (not antibacterial and no bleach allowed) are all you really need to clean the jars between uses.  It is that easy.  A gallon of kombucha, which equals approximately 4-6 finished bottles depending on the size of them, cost exactly $9.56 per batch to begin–that number includes the starter SCOBY.  It’s only $1.56 if you are gifted a SCOBY, and any batch after with your babies.  In addition, you can secondary ferment your kombucha with any flavor you like.  My first gallon is ginger lemon, and it is so good!


I’m not going into the particulars of brewing it at the moment.  If you order a SCOBY online, chances are they’ll provide specific instructions with the product.

All I can say now is that I’m a believer!  Don’t be afraid of fermented foods and beverages.  I feel so much better now that kombucha (and milk kefir!) is a regular part of my diet.  I have more energy, my complexion is absolutely glowing, and my food is digesting wonderfully.

Potato quality photo, but look at that beautiful baby SCOBY!

Potato quality photo, but look at that beautiful baby SCOBY!



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