Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Blessingway, Paving The Way For Our Daughters

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Blessingway Necklace, Picture by Patience Salgado

“A crown has been made for you. Beads prepared, words shared. It is your time, sweet Mama. To meet your baby. ”    

 

I left a friend’s Blessingway the other night thinking about the traditions and customs we teach our daughters. And thankful that my own daughter, Ruby, in her teeny eight months of life, has attended three blessingways, not including her own. I feel grateful and honored to be able to share these times with her. These rites of passages. Celebrating with other women about pregnancy and birthing and mamahood and womanhood. Sharing sweet, tender, private moments with each woman in attendance. All of us vulnerable in sharing parts of our stories, but knowing we are in safe company. And my baby girl shares that energy.

I will create for her a feeling of safety around birth. A sisterhood. A knowing that she can do it. That she will do it. That she is doing it. She will know her own birth story, it will be told to her over and over again. I can say without doubt that my baby girl will know many birth stories. Stories of strength and bravery and courage. She will know that this work is hard, but it is so, so worth it.

Here, with her, begins a legacy. A legacy of truth around birth. A certainty and confidence about her ability as a woman. Her ability to birth a baby. This circle, this empowerment has begun. This I know.

Meeting Ina May Gaskin, The Backstage Pass

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Meeting Ina May Gaskin, the sign and run!

“It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” ~ Wendell Berry

So last weekend, I met Ina May Gaskin. I’ve met celebrities in my past. Musicians, athletes, television personalities, authors, you get the picture. I even partied with Vince Neil and Don Dokken in the same weekend. Anyone who knew me in the 80’s knows that is a BIG deal! I’m generally uninterested and not really so impressed.

 As I stood there in line, clenching my newly purchased copy of Birth Matters, tightly to my chest, in the company of other giddy Ina May groupies, my heart raced. I never thought I would meet her. This is Ina Fucking May people. My time grew closer and closer. And my palms sweatier and sweatier. What would I say!? Would I thank her for all of her work in the advancement of midwifery or for helping so many mamas and babies? Would I share a quick glimpse into how touching that very first Ina May book changed my life, as it has the lives of so many other women?

Nope. Nope, I sure wouldn’t. Loose lips, loose bottom surely had no place in this encounter. Shoulders high, jaw tensed and bottom clenched, I said, “hi” and shoved my book at her, looked at my friends waiting with 3 cameras and multiple iPhones snapping away desperate to get a perfect shot, snatched my book back and I vanished. I am not even sure I said thank you for the autograph!

Not my shining moment in birthwork that’s for sure.

With my dream of someday visiting the Farm, and my delusions of grandeur that my family will want to vacation there over Disney, I am certain our paths will cross again. Here’s to hoping I can speak more than one word, maybe even eye contact and maybe, just maybe some expression of my genuine heartfelt gratitude for her work and dedication.  

 

Chiropractic Care and Babies, Healing and Wellness

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My Ruby, being adjusted yesterday for a cold and fever.

“Choosing to live your life by your own choice is the greatest freedom you will ever have.” ~ Dr. Shad Helmstetter

I wish I had time to share the many stories we, as a family, have of chiropractic care. When my boy was just 18 months old, a cold settled in his hip and he stopped walking. In fact, he stopped walking, running, jumping and anything else that required him to be on two feet. In one morning, he went from running around the house to crawling slowly and tepidly. We were so scared. He did not have a pediatrician in town, so I called a pediatrician from our hometown that I was comfortable with. I knew she would not be an alarmist and would give me an honest opinion. After a brief phone conversation she told me if he couldn’t walk by morning, we should take him somewhere to have blood work done. Oh how stressful that evening was. Wishing he would walk. Thinking the worst.

After much discussion, my husband and I decided we would try chiropractic care before doing blood work. So, the next morning, still not walking, we took him to the chiropractor. This chiropractic care felt similar to midwifery care in the way that we discussed our lifestyle, philosophies and outlooks before beginning care. Again, relating everything to birth, but really, not getting the prescription pad shoved our way, rather a conversation and discussion about options and choices.

After a couple of adjustments (same day), my boy walked out of that office. And throughout the day and into the evening his step got a little bit quicker. By the next morning, I was chasing him around the house again. Needless to say, we were sold.

Since then, we have become evangelical about chiropractic care, using it as a tool in our family for everything from turning a breech baby to sniffles and sneezes. When one of our babies is having a tough time, our first thought in the way of care outside of the home, is chiropractic care.

I wanted to compile a small list of just some of the things common to babies, off the top of my head, that can be solved by chiropractic care.

  • acid reflux
  • sleeplessness
  • epileptic seizures
  • cold
  • fever
  • teething
  • ear infection
  • headache
  • stomach ache
  • respiratory distress
  • birth trauma
  • tantrum
  • colic

*For more information on chiropractic care for babies and children, visit www.icpa4kids.org. There are some really great testimonials on this site.

*For more information about our local chiropractor, visit www.chapmanschiropractic.com and search Chad Cato.

The Placenta and the Playdate, Strategy of Birthwork and Mamahood

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Placenta playdate, complete with plastic bowl hats!

In birthwork and in mamahood, there is a strategy to your every move. Going to the grocery store is no longer an errand, it’s a mission. A mission that is careful and strategic, and even more so with the addition of each child.  Once that second child is in play, those convenient little parking spots for “customers with children” are a slap in the face. Let’s face it, you’re parking half way out in the parking lot so you can park beside the cart return. The strategy is stick one kid in the cart, one in the sling and get this mission started. Then you find whatever snack or balloon giveaway said grocery store is offering; you are not the only one who doesn’t want to listen to your kids scream through an entire grocery visit. Then you skim. You never browse. The day of the browse is over. You skim the outer layers of the grocery store, scoring the essentials. Then. The trickiest part of the grocery store mission. Picking a checkout lane. Steering clear of old people and other mamas. Oh, and coupons. Never. Never, get in line behind someone with a Trapper Keeper full of coupons. Your mission is complete when you have successfully navigated your cart back to the cart return and buckled in your babes. Shew! And that’s just to pick up milk! You can only imagine the strategy involved in picking up a placenta two hours away!

Thank goodness for good friends, doulas who are passionate about this work and will go out of their way to help, midwives who know the benefits of encapsulating a mama’s placenta and a home base to make it all come together.

I will travel to pick up a placenta. So this last pick up was two hours away. And so begins the strategy. Figuring out how to travel two hours, one way with two kids under 3. And then drive straight back. You must implement the play date. Break up the drive time with some play time.

So that’s just what we did. After a missing placenta, a goose-chase of a cooler search and some crafty texting, we broke up drive time with a sweet doula friend and her daughter. We talked of friends, placentas and births. Just what doula friends talk about. All over chicken nuggets, of course.

My blessing for this sweet mama, whose placenta is now in the form of perfect little capsules, waiting to be delivered to her as her sweet gift to herself. My blessing is for postpartum goodness, lovestruck days with that precious baby, a healthy and abundant milk supply and most of all, overwhelming support.

*To learn more about my Placenta Encapsulation training, go to www.fullcircleplacenta.homestead.com.