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Motherhood, Metamorphosis, Goo & You
A caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly is not as simple as sprouting wings and flying away.   And a woman’s transformation into a mother is certainly not as simple as giving birth and returning to life as it was.   Once a woman has crossed into the realm of growing new life within her, she is changed. Her life is changed—inevitably and permanently—by the metamorphosis of motherhood.   Metamorphosis is defined by dictionary.com as “a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism…”   Google defines the word as “…the process[...]
What Makes A Mother?
What makes a mother? One who’s carried life within her womb and given birth? One who’s carried life within her womb and grieved its loss? One who’s seen her child grow to have children of her own? What makes a mother? One who holds a child in her arms? One who holds a child in her hopes and dreams? One who holds a child in her cherished memories? What makes a mother? One who’s paid the fees to save a child from overseas? One who’s gathered the child of another’s womb under her wing and withheld no good thing? One[...]
What to Say to a Woman who is Struggling with Birth Trauma
Knowing what TO say to a woman who is feeling traumatized by aspects of her birthing experience can be trickier than knowing what NOT to say. While we may have a deep and immediate desire to offer love and support, and to help ease her pain, the most imperative questions we ask must first be ones of self-inquiry… “In this very moment, right where I’m at, am I able to truly listen and be present for her in her pain? Am I in a place and space to deeply listen to whatever she needs to express, without judgement or comparison[...]
What NOT to Say to a Woman Who is Struggling with Birth Trauma
Witnessing the suffering of someone whom we care about can be heart-wrenching. We want to help ease their pain. We want to offer comfort, support and love. Often, when we don’t know what to DO to help, we turn to words. But words are a double-edged sword. As the Buddha said, “Words have the power to both destroy and heal.” Well-meaning words can have the opposite of the intended effect. The 5 statements below all have elements of truth in them and do have the potential to be encouraging and supportive. AND… they also have the potential to cause pain[...]
Birth Trauma & Donald Trump: Misogyny’s Silver Lining?
This is not a political post. It’s a personal one, and I’m jumping right to the point. Please… hear me out. An adjective that has been used to describe President-Elect Donald Trump is misogynistic. What does that actually mean?   Misogyny: the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification. (Wikipedia) (Italics mine).   By now, we are all likely aware of some instances in which Trump’s tendency toward misogyny have shone[...]
Birth Trauma & Sex: Why We Just Can’t Go There Right Now
Ever wondered if you’re the only one who feels hesitant to resume physical intimacy following childbirth? You’re not. Absolutely and emphatically NOT. Yes, there are numerous—and very valid—reasons why sex is not at the top of the priority list for many women in the weeks and months following childbirth: sleep-deprivation; feeling “touched-out”; feeling like we have nothing left to give; perineal tears, episiotomies or Cesarean-Birth scars that are still healing. Then there are the hormones: rock-bottom estrogen levels that cause vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls, leading to painful intercourse; high prolactin levels which lower the sex drive[...]
Birth Trauma: A Wounding of More Than Just My Lady Parts
From my journal, August 2012… Moments after arriving at the hospital, I was laying in the mechanical bed, all sorts of wires and tubes coming from me, when the resident OB burst into the room, all loud and cocky. He proceeded to—roughly and painfully—insert an internal monitor into my uterus to read the strength, length and frequency of contractions. I started to cry. As well as crying from the pain from his far-from-gentle “execution of duties”, I remember also grieving for the lost home waterbirth we’d joyfully anticipated, and thinking in that moment, “This isn’t how it was supposed to[...]
The 6 Words That Helped Prevent Trauma in My Subsequent Labour & Delivery
My first birthing experience was traumatic for me. While, to an outsider, it may have seemed like a straight-forward, “normal” labor and vaginal delivery, with no threat to my life or the life of my child, to me it was far from what I had hoped and planned for. We’d transferred to the hospital because the midwife didn’t think things were moving along fast enough. After I’d been poked, prodded and wired up, the cocky resident had roughly inserted an internal monitor. I’d cried. Yes, it had been painful. But it was the words running through my mind in that[...]
The Making of a Logo
How do you take the heart of a cause and cram it into a single image? How do you take the essence of a mission that keeps you up at night and plop it into a few pixels? “Branding” and the creation of a logo is something that any business must consider. But this is not a business to me. This is not the daily grind. I’m not making lattes here. I’m reaching out with a heart that has been broken by this very thing. I’m speaking up about it with a voice that can no longer stay silent. Because[...]
An Open Letter to the OB/Gyn at the Birth of My Son
Dear Dr. F., You have studied and trained for years to help bring babies into the world. I respect that. I thank you for that. Thank you for doing the best that you could, applying your knowledge and training, and for your part in my son’s safe arrival. Thank you for honoring our requests for immediate skin-to-skin and delayed cord-clamping. As I process all this—my first child-birthing experience—there are some things I need to express to you. I wish you had entered the room quietly and introduced yourself with a gentle voice. I wish you had come into my labor[...]