Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Legacy of Motherhood, Remembering My Mama

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Me and my mom, celebrating her last Mother's Day on this earth. Sunday, May 14, 2006.

On this day, 5 years ago, my mother left this walk. She had battled many, many years. We had all battled many, many years.

I always have this continuous squabble in my head about what to share about my mom. I want to share everything. To get it all off my chest. To say, “Look at me! Look at what I have had to go through. Look at what I am missing and acknowledge how hard this is!”.  And then at the same time, I want to hold all of those memories and feelings so close to my heart. To not share even a peep. It is too intimate. I am always reminded of birth. As birth workers, that’s what we do, right? We relate everything to birth and vaginas. After the birth of each child, I want to scream from the rooftops, share all of my precious birth photos and share my birth story every day. But at the same time, I want to hold it all in, keep each minute and each intimate detail guarded deep inside my heart. And in the end, it is just always my nature to share.

I was giving my daughter a bath the other day. By herself. She never gets to take a bath by herself because she has an older brother. And he always wants to help. From inside the tub. So while he was away, I gave her her very own bath. Oh she loves the water. She sat there in the tub just letting me rinse her hair with a washcloth, trusting me to be so gentle. Washing her dark, dark hair that does not match my own. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my mother. Giving her baths when she could no longer bathe herself. Rinsing her hair, that same dark hair, with a washcloth while she trusted me the same way. Closing her eyes gently, enjoying the warm water. Enjoying our time and having special attention paid to her. Just relishing in every ounce of one on one time. Mother and daughter.

Today as I remember her, I remember her ability to love with every piece of her heart. She loved me when it was really, really hard to love me. When there was no one else on this entire earth who could. She never gave up on me. She wanted much better things for me, than I wanted for myself. Now, having babies, I know. She trusted that her love, above all, would show me my path. And it has.

I am remembering her today for her laugh. A contagious laugh. Sparingly used, but oh when it was, that laugh was good. For her precious, soft way. For the way she was so fair and giving.

Today, I am thanking her for unknowingly teaching me to let my children become the people they are, by spoiling them with my unconditional, unquestioning love and my constant touch. This is the greatest gift. To know that I have the same heart and the same mama bear way. They will not know, until they one day sit down to write their own thanks. Today, I am thanking her for her legacy of love. May it continue to flourish and live on, in the hearts of my babies and their babies.

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Triangle Walk for Moms & Midwives, Blooming Throughout the Year

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This gorgeous tree patiently awaits as our walk approaches, reminding me of my own growth and change.

This post is about more than the Walk for Moms & Midwives. It’s about growth and humility and change.

One year ago we moved from a community that we loved dearly for my husband’s job. I quickly researched all things birth in my new area and found the Walk for Moms & Midwives, happening the weekend after our move. Although it was taking place an hour from our new town, I knew we had to be there. I knew I would meet friends and feel that birth energy I desperately crave.

And then I didn’t. I didn’t feel that love, that energy. I walked away with no friends, no feeling of hippie dippie love and welcoming goodness. My first taste that I was indeed in a new place. Things were different. This birth community was different. And I wasn’t swallowed up by it, like in my own community.

As the year went on, I had ups and downs. A feeling of excitement about bringing change and birth awareness to this small town I was now a part of. Fear of not being understood in a town that has no obvious birth community. In a town, and bigger, in a state, where CPM’s (Certified Professional Midwife) are not licensed and homebirth is not talked about openly. I went home. A lot.  When I went into labor with our second baby, we drove 2 hours to have our baby at a dear friend’s home because I could not let go. My arms could reach just far enough to still be a part of my old community.

The seasons were changing. It was becoming spring. I was realizing I had new friends. I had seen homebirth in my town. I I had met women who loved midwifery, understood good maternal and prenatal care, were aware of a world outside of this teeny piece of land.  Women who may not have been exactly like-minded, but women who were open-minded and really wanted information. Women who whispered to me in confidence that they slept with their babies and nursed their toddlers.

So as I looked around at this year’s Walk for Moms & Midwives, seeing friends and midwives and knowing stories of them all. Seeing a community that does love birth. A community that, while still not quite my own, was flourishing with families all sharing a passion for the same human and civil right. The same desire and fight that burns in my own heart.

This year, we walked and laughed with new friends. We were a part of this group. Without knowing it, we had become some piece of this puzzle.

While I still miss my heart, my being, my home, my tribe, this has become my home-away-from-home. I have created a safe birth circle, in spite of my dire resistance. In spite of my longing to be with my best friends. In spite of my desire to surround myself with my people. In spite of, well, myself.

* www.ncfom.org for more information on midwifery in North Carolina.