Home Birth

This Thing Called Maternal

“No, you may not slide down the stairs with the scissors in your hand, honey” slipped easily and calmly from my lips.  This was spoken to the same child who put his now 4-year-old hands on my shriveled stretch-marked postpartum belly and laughingly jiggled while singing, “shake the belly, shake the belly.”  What a fun new game for us…

Supported by my dear husband, my mother, my grandma, my oldest child & my midwife-sister, on October 26th I was delivered safely through childbirth for the fourth time.  I am always overwhelmed with gratitude as I lay in my bed staring at this complete human who just came out of me.  Somehow, I grew this thing, waited 40 weeks for the magic to happen, labored through the longest three inches of life and popped out a human.  The world is a wondrous place.

In the past twelve years, I’ve been a part of the miraculous emergence of over 400 little ones. Women are amazing creatures.  The journey of bringing a child into this world is one of surrender and intuition. From the first waves of nausea to the last surge of contractions, we are learning to embrace the uncontrollable storms of motherhood.  The 9 months of pregnancy are simply a concentrated form of our redefined existence.  This thing changes us. These little people have heard our heartbeat from the inside and then we continue to give that heart to them as they tromp around with it on the outside.

I sit and think on the wonder of it all.  I offer thanks for the joy of life.  I hope that the delight I have now, during nap time, I will have the strength to preserve from 6-8pm (mothers of toddlers, past or present, will know what I mean).  Today I will embrace the now of rosy cheeks and tantrums and made-up games and sleeplessness and little giggles and mopping twice a day and Dr. Seuss.  Today I will bask in this blessed life I dwell in.

Reposted from Dec 26, 2015

Reposted from Dec 26, 2015

Postpartum Realities

I don't prefer to be vulnerable.  I don't like to appear "weak".  Sit down with me and I will rationally discuss my feelings and my faults - but those deep raw emotions that make me human will mostly be hidden from view.  Usually, I think before I feel.  But, life has a way of outing us; sometimes gently like a flower unfolding to the sun, and sometimes forcefully like an ocean wave pulling the sands out to sea.  As I get older, I am learning that my strength is not in looking poised and put-together, but in letting others see the struggle.  Opening up, becoming raw, being vulnerable - this is the place where the self can become free because it has let others be a part of the journey.  The other macho stuff - it's just crap.

This is my fourth postpartum journey.  I am deeply grateful that I've had good pregnancies, wonderful deliveries, and contented newborns.  But in this moment, all those hormones that grew a human inside of me have done back-flips and there's no ignoring the rainbow of emotions that are coursing through my being, changing at will, and leaking out my eyeballs without reason (or permission!).  In pursuit of inner honesty, peace, and growth, I am going to let you in on this journey and perhaps you who have, are, or will walk this path will find encouragement.

Loneliness.  There is a deep and piercing lonelines that fills the first few weeks after I give birth.  It seeps into the quiet moments, the night wakings, the busyness of mealtime prep, even my beloved showers.  It's not that type of loneliness that brings tears (though those abound), but it has this aching longing for something or someone.  It is frightened of change and even more terrified of static.  It is somewhat directionless and more often than not, lacks an object.  Words elude it, like it doesn't want to be described.  And for me, things that I can't find words for feel like a trapped flock of birds inside and cause a restlessness reminiscent of that pesky restless leg syndrome I get during pregnancy. I feel empty in my depths.

Today I have paused and found a mindful place to simply feel this loneliness.  Not to fight it, just to let it saturate.  Slowly, I have searched it out.  I have followed it to the corners of myself and discovered something.  In the past, I have been afraid of this loneliness and my fear of it has paralyzed me.  I've stuffed it and let time pass, and eventually, it would fade as life resumed itself. But this time, I am feeling it and embracing what comes.  What I have unearthed is priceless to me.  This loneliness is normal and natural and very very good because:

For nine months, I have nourished and nurtured and protected and guarded another human being - the body, soul, and mind of a PERSON.  I have undergone the discomforts of pregnancy because the preciousness of this life was greater and more important than my temporal comfort.  I have LOVED what I hadn't seen and received the love and trust of this small person inside.  The loneliness comes because this human that grew inside of me is a separate SELF from me.  The exchange of energy and love was perfect and whole because this separate self was breathed from the Divine and given a LIFE of her own.  And now, so suddenly, she is outside of me and it makes my insides ache with the most beautiful loneliness I could ever imagine.

I have come to a place where I can HONOR this loneliness in its painful depths because it reveals something that is MARVELOUS about my inner self.  

So now, as I find some words and as tears flow, I find my mother was right when she told me not to fight the hormones, "feel and let them run their course".  Wise words from a woman who walked this mothering path with joy six times over.  My journey is not over and as I heed my mother's advice and feel all the feels, perhaps I will discover more truth to share with you.  For now, I give thanks for the depths.

Home Birth

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

Due Date Celebrations

We live in a culture that is dictated by calendars, appointments, and busy lives.  While efficiency and timeliness are good things, they have little place in the realm of the childbearing years.  There is nothing I can think of that is less "efficient" than motherhood! (If you doubt me, try borrowing a couple toddlers and running errands with them).  We tend to think of our "Due Date" as an indelible mark on the calendar, something we fear going past and rarely enjoy getting to.  The challenge I give to my clients is to CELEBRATE their due date.  Be with those you love, go on a date, make love, get your bare feet in the earth, look at the stars, eat your favorite dessert and GIVE THANKS that you have been given the opportunity to grow a fully developed human inside of your body.  TRUST those wonderful invisible things that align in order to bring your body into labor.  BE PATIENT, knowing that this world is designed perfectly to bring your little one earth-side in the right moment.  And if you go past that date, BREATHE in gratitude and breathe out fears and anxieties.  As you relax into your own body, you will trust it more and embrace the PEACE that you want to bring your new little one into.


Our family due date celebration