Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dr. Lin on Pregnancy, Delivery, and Love

Our family has an acupuncturist—Dr. Lin.  She’s from China where she was the head of OB/GYN for a substantial geographical area.  Once she delivered 17 babies in a single day.  She and her husband are Christians, and when the opportunity arose, they came to the US and sought asylum. 
While Sam and my son-in-law, Aaron are VERY fond of Dr. Lin, Maddie and I love her.  Dr. Lin doesn’t merely stick needles into body parts.  She massages the hands, feet, sometimes the back.  She always has a period of pressing her hands at our temples.  Our bodies soak up peace and tranquility.  We leave feeling refreshed.

When Maddie became pregnant (for which she credits Dr. Lin) (and Aaron), we asked if she could impart some wisdom for Maddie in preparation of labor and delivery, and for me in support of her—though we’ll have two excellent midwives (and Aaron!) in attendance at the homebirth.

Yesterday, Dr. Lin imparted her wisdom.

First some practical advice:

1.    She liked that Aaron and Maddie were moving in with Sam and me, and that they'll be with us when the baby is born.  She said: this is good.  So so good. This time so special.  It goes fast—but you will always remember it.

2.    She said:  slow everything down now.  Take time eating meals.  Eat for a few minutes, then take some water.  Have a few nuts.  Chew, Chew, Chew.  Have clear soups with every meal. 

3.    She said:  Organize something in the house every day.  A closet.  A room.  Don’t keep too many things.  Live simple.  Maddie, you help your mother—every day.  Mother, you let her.  You watch out for her, too.  Help her get rest.

4.    She said:  Maddie, you sleep as much as possible.  Go to bed at eleven, wake up when is natural.  Take time eating breakfast.  Chew, Chew, Chew.  Rest.  Organize closet.

5.    She said:  take walk every day.  Not too fast.  You take time walking.  Get sunshine.  If weather too cold, go to mall, but not when too many people come.  Now don’t go see movie.  Many sick people.  You stay home.  Rest.  Have snack.  Chew, Chew, Chew.

6.    She said:  you enjoy time with family.  Make things ready for baby.  This time beautiful.  Thirty-two weeks, you look perfect.  Beautiful.  When contractions begin, you think:  my baby comes soon—don’t be worried.  There is pain, but remember, this pain is beautiful.

7.    She said:  Lisa, you take care of Maddie’s hands, feet, and head.  I show you lower back, too.  You help her relax.  You do this every day.  Begin with heating your hands.  Never touch with cold hands.  You take stone from hot water (she began demonstrating with a stone from a bowl of hot water).  If too hot, put in cold water for little time.  You do this for you husband, too.  Sam—there is powerful man…

She gushed over my powerful husband for five full minutes—he has that effect on the over-65 crowd.

She also handed me the stone which she’d held with no problem.  Yikes, it was hot!!  She showed me how and where to massage Maddie’s (and Sam’s) hands and feet.  She showed me what to do to help Maddie with lower back pain—especially during labor.  She explained to Maddie about breathing and relaxing and what to do with her body, what to be thinking about. She showed me which parts of my hands to use to help her, and how to support myself so I wouldn’t start aching.

Lastly, she showed me how to hold Maddie’s neck, then temples to keep her relaxed. 

8.    She said (as she demonstrated):  warm hands with stone—lots of heat.  Put fingers here, press here, hold here.  Move hands here—don’t let fingers touch face.  You stay like this now—most important part.  Put arm like this, then you don’t get tired.  You close eyes—she is relaxed now, maybe sleeping.  Now you meditate for her, pray for her. You do this with Qi Gong (it sounded like she said chignon).  With purpose for her, intent for her.  It is pouring all love into her.

It is pouring all love into her.

It is pouring all love into her.

It is pouring all love into her.

I wrote a fictional story once, the most autobiographical one I’ve ever written, and though my grandmother was German and not half-Cherokee, it was her touch I was remembering with these words:

My grandmother on my mother's side was half-Cherokee, and the people I knew, before our move to California, said she was a medicine woman. They said the world broke her heart, and everything good that remained was channeled through her able hands.  Her healing hands.   

Hands that had never struck my cheek.

I watched Dr. Lin pour love into Maddie.  The kind my grandmother had poured into me.  How often had she held my hand, made her touch accessible?  She might not have been able to put a name to it, yet the outcome was the same—healing, soothing, the rendering of peace.  The love she spoke into me lasting a lifetime, a shadow of the Love that would last for eternity.

Touching. Holding. Loving. With intent.

That’s what Maddie and I had felt during our regular acupuncture appointments with Dr. Lin.  In fact, we talked about it once, wondering if she prayed for us when she held our head in her hands.  The intent was so strong, we could sense it, feel it.

What we came away with yesterday:  being a medicine woman or a healer or someone who acts as a balm in what can be a rough world, at its foundation is the pouring out of love with intent.

Before we left Dr. Lin’s office, she disappeared to her closet where unusual items dwell.  She came back with a basket containing three large stones.  She said:  you take these.  My friend from India brought back for me.  Wash them.  Use them.

I’m not sure if Dr. Lin had ever heard of a “group hug” or not, but that’s what we engaged her in.

With intent.  Lots and lots of intent.

All in Goodwill,


  1. This is beautiful and I just want to come and experience it with you all. What a blessed time you're having and will have. So wonderful to have this.

    1. You are someone who understands birth and life and even death. I've thought about you as I've contemplated how far removed most of us are from birth. I was as removed as the next person--this feels like an incredible gift--God willing.

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  3. What Diane said. Absolutely beautiful...

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  5. Thank you Lisa for sharing this insight,this insightful time, soaking in the wisdom in which I know you will also, continue to pour out to your own grandchildren. God Bless, and I say that with intent!

  6. I felt the healing touch through these words! Loving with intent. Thank you!