Birthing in the 70’s Interview: Part 1

In this episode I interview my mother! She agreed to be my first guest and to talk about her experience of pregnancy and birthing in the 70’s. I highly, highly recommend talking to your mother or an elder you are close to about their birthing experience. We share so  much and some women have NEVER TOLD THESE STORIES. Give them a chance to. So much is different these days and yet so much is the same. It’s a fascinating look at the common bonds that having babies create across generations.

And Thank God for her and for the women who blazed a trail so we now have things like lactation consultants and pelvic floor PT’s and paternity leave and birthing options.

There’s a 4 minute intro where I am rambling on about my mom and what’s to come. Ramble, ramble, ramble. And to break things down, Part 1 includes these points:

Was family helpful in preparing for birth? (9:25)
Reality of labor pain hits: “I don’t want to do this anymore” (11:00)
My mom says the “f” word and my dad makes an interesting choice (12:10)
Here was my Ok, stop moment. The baby was not in the room when she woke up from her birthing sleep (13:00)
Nursing troubles (14:20)
Dr. Spock recommends (16:50)
Postpartum depression and who’s checking in with mom (18:00)
Mother-in-Law on night duty (21:00)

 

 

Part 2 will be posted soon!

Podcast Intro!

 

 

grow

 

 

Hello!!!!!! Look at those exclamation points! Can you tell I’m excited?? On this post you will find…… my podcast intro! It includes a tad about me and what the podcast is all about. I am recording, finding music and engineering myself so….heads up that it may not sound like This American Life.

Stay tuned for the first episode, an interview with a 79 year old woman who birthed in the early 70’s.

I’m excited! Are you excited?!

4 minute Meditation

 

meditation pic

 

Do you see that image right there of a person sitting with purple and pink and white light patterns all around? That’s you, whether you can feel it or not. Aren’t you beautiful? One way to start seeing yourself like that is to spend any amount of time meditating.

If you haven’t tried meditation and you think it might be boring, I recommend giving this one a try. It’s so short that it’ll be done before you even begin. If you’ve tried meditation and like it, this is a nice quickie way to reboot and get back to your day.

The intro is around 40 seconds so if you don’t want to hear it and you don’t like the “f” word, skip ahead or play the one underneath.

4 minute with intro:

 

 

4 minute without intro:

 

 

“Where my yoga at?” says 13 year old me.

All things are tied together. When you cut a tree, whose roots connect with everything, you must ask its forgiveness or a star will fall out of the sky.

 

West before East

13 years old, backyard cement slab, suburban spiritual desert
cigarette smoking, Virginia Slims stolen from my long blonde dance teacher
she kept them next to the record player and my hands
hit the ceiling of her basement studio
when I jumped, really just looking for freedom
and the other side of the world, home to wisdom keepers
finding paths through movement to higher planes
unknown, they rang the bell in me, a light in the smoke,
a silent unseen hope, hope, hope

At 13, I wanted to feel more freedom than I was feeling. I sensed there was some element of explanation to myself and life that I needed but couldn’t locate. Where was the missing essential component, an unnamed magic that would explain all the various and separate activities, messes, mysteries, disappointments, awarenesses and relationships of life?

I needed a unifying theory and cosmic explanation for why some people were liars, why getting A’s mattered, why I was the last person in my whole class (or maybe galaxy) to get my period, why intuition didn’t count as intelligence, why sometimes a shout was not loud enough, why my mom’s church thought people were born with dirty souls, and why sometimes you lose the things you love.

Naming these questions, this demand for explanation didn’t come until later, like today in my 40’s as I am blending a green smoothie, hoping it doesn’t taste like leaves.

Back then there was just a sense that…. people around me believed they weren’t connected and somehow that wasn’t right and I knew it wasn’t right.  So gimme a cigarette, says 13 year old me.

I didn’t know there were others also seeking breadcrumbs on a path inward and searching for wisdom in life’s everything.  The absence of that knowledge created a loss that defined a lot of my teens and 20’s. It created devastating anxiety and depression, and big issues with trust and relationships- and it scared me to my bones.

In my neighborhood and culture growing up, the idea that nothing and no one was really interconnected with anything else created systems that validated us by measuring us.

Like the Catholic church, where they were happy to tell you what was right and wrong or good and bad for you and how well you were doing with your salvation….(don’t get too stressed out, though, because if you don’t do well, the consequence is ETERNAL HELLFIRE, so relax.)  Or friends motivated by insecurity from always needing to be better, who acted calculating and contradictory. There was a continual need to strive for pretty, thin, cool, smart, accepted. And, of course, a grading system at school that measured how well we could adjust to outside standards of what intelligence and accomplishment looked like. I felt assessed by the systems around me. Systems I didn’t support but was already in.

Why am I thinking of this today? Because like so many of us, I’m healing myself of those wounds from my past by diving passionately into the present.

Our authentic selves require expression, attention, love and security. When we have unresolved pain, there are parts of us that bind up or scab over. So even though we’re not actively in pain anymore, we’re still living from a place that has restriction and scar tissue, which affects our ability to move smoothly and freely through the world. Both within ourselves mind-body-soul and within our lives intention-action-manifestation.

I’m fully on board living authentically and seeking spiritual truths and unity. It all feels like the freedom I’d longed for as a kid, when I couldn’t identify why things felt disconnected or what I was missing. I wasn’t exposed back then to ancient wisdom traditions and texts, mystical studies, meditation, movement and meditation practices that had been teaching things like enlightenment and unity for thousands of years. And so to discover that this path exists and has existed for so long feels like I’ve been sitting on a pot of gold I never knew was there. I just thought I was sitting on a really uncomfortable chair.

And isn’t that everything? To discover the riches that are already here? We live in an infinite universe. The answers, the healing, the relationships, the love we seek is already here. But if we don’t find it by seeking it and focusing it into life, we are like the story of the fish not knowing they’re in water.

If we keep seeking deeper and deeper affirmations and questions, only then can the universe answer us. The avenues of living intuitively, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, breathwork, energy psychology, self-reflection, self-awareness, compassion and gratitude are what heals the scar tissues and enables us to evolve and live our lives free of energetic, mental, physical, and ethereal restrictions.

Freedom from the past, from the way it’s held in our bodies and minds allows us to be fully in the present. And focusing on the freedom in the present releases the ways our bodies and minds have held onto things.

I wish I could share this news with myself back when I when I was 13. And I can. Through releasing the restrictions that were formed through those years of struggle, and offering gratitude for the wisdom and resiliency gained. By intending that future lessons be gentle and learned through love. By doing that, I scoop her right off that cement and into the arms of the unconditional love that awaits right here with me in the present.

Poems, podcasts, songs, oh my!

My previous five posts included the first 5 of 15 Mother’s Rights:

You have the right to 8 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
You have the right to eat a meal, sitting down, from start to finish.
You have the right to wear clothes that fit.
You have the right to revise your sex life as needed.
You have the right to shower every day.

Before we get to Rights 5-10, I wanted to say that I am very excited about a podcast I am working on, details to be announced very, very soon!

And future posts may include brief poems to get some juicy creative flow running through this site! Woohoo!

 

A Mother’s Rights #5: You have the right to shower every day.

you have the right to shower every day (1)

 

This one seems like it shouldn’t be hard to believe or accomplish and sometimes it might even seem like not that big of a deal. But I propose that taking a shower can sometimes be the only 10 minutes of truly alone time a you may get. It may not be enough, but it can be 10 minutes of heaven that you truly need to recharge.

It also is one of the only places where the sound you are surrounded by may actually be louder than the sounds of your baby or children. Which means your ears and brain get a small break from the hard work of filtering demands, requests, arguing, outbursts, sharing, questions, wailing, insistences that they are still hungry even though you JUST FED THEM DINNER.

I recommend carving this time for yourself, even if it means setting your little one in a pack and play with a soft toy, or setting your child in front of PBS Kids in a child-safe room with a bowl of Goldfish crackers. And…this is important-

put your child in a room other than the bathroom you are showering in

It doesn’t count if they are just on the other side of the shower curtain! For toddlers, you know they’re just going to peek their head in at you and ask: “What is that? Ewww” while they point to your pubic hair! And for older kids, there’s no reason they need to be in there.

Once your kids are settled, spend a second just appreciating your naked bod. You are amazing. Then pretend there is a personal assistant speaking in a sexy Australian accent with a tray holding your favorite cocktail and a CBD joint saying, “How do you stay so beautiful when you work so hard? Now I’ve already prepared your gourmet meals for the week. Why don’t you just take your time in the shower and I’ll be right outside the door waiting to give you your foot massage when you’re done. No rush.”

While you’re at it, splurge on some body nourishing and activating items. Sugar, coffee, and coconut oil are all super cheap, probably already in your cupboard and make really easy feel-amazing scrubs.

You deserve 10 minutes of pampering!!

A Mother’s Rights #4: You have the right to revise your sex life as needed.

We are four posts into the 15 Mother’s Rights.  Ready for #4?

 

mother4

 

When I interviewed my mom for my podcast. one of the things she said she wished had happened differently through her early parenting years was that there was more education about what happens to your pelvic floor and your sex life after giving birth.

These stories are different for every woman, but over the course of partnership, pregnancy, nursing, and parenting, our relationships to our bodies change.

Maybe we used to be kind of into our boobs, they used to feel sexy and now they feel like milk dispensers and you don’t want your partner anywhere near them.

Maybe our pelvic floor is like a loose stretched out rubber band and when we have sex, we’re so afraid pee will come out, we refuse to engage.

Maybe postpartum anxiety leaves us so stressed that the idea of getting intimate with someone is overwhelming and you’d rather read a book.

Maybe you have weight that just won’t come off and you don’t feel like yourself, so how could you possibly want to share your body with someone else?

We have so many insecurities and expectations for ourselves. Adding an expectation that there is a minimum amount of sex we are required to have in order to fulfill our duty is an outdated notion. You do not need to meet a quota. Your sex life is YOUR sex life. If your libido is down and things have changed for you, talk to your partner and make some adjustments. Or get thee to a therapist and talk some more.

For more info on my postpartum doula services or healing services, please check this out.