My Mother’s Day

Amy, Ava and Julian - Mother’s Day 2007

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Jody made us breakfast, which I ate while I opened cards from him, the kids and my parents. After the kids had baths, we picked up a yummy spinach salad, some pizza and banana bread pudding from Whole Foods and went to our favorite picnic spot on the Boulder Creek for lunch. The skies looked like they might open up and sprinkle a spring rain on us, but they never did and eventually the clouds cleared a bit. We had a nice relaxing time eating, walking around, playing and breathing in the fresh air.

Ava 5/13/07 Flower child 5/13/07 Julian 5/13/07 Blowin’ raspberries 5/13/07

(Don’t ya just love Ava’s dress? I got it at that big consignment sale for $5!)

After our picnic lunch, we headed over to Pearl Street Mall (an outdoor pedestrian mall) to take our annual Mother’s Day picture in front of the tulips. I’ve had a picture taken there with Ava for the past two years, so, of course, we had to do it again this year and keep up the tradition. :)

Mother’s Day 2005 Mommy and Ava – 2005
Mother’s Day 2006 Mommy (pregnant with Julian) and Ava – 2006
Mother’s Day 2007 Mommy, Ava and Julian – 2007

After playing on the mall for a bit – there are some rock gardens that Ava has a blast playing in – we headed home. I made a quick and easy dinner of tacos with Smart Ground and, with the kids in bed, I’m thinking of turning in early and catching some extra Zzzzzzs.

Hope all of you mamas out there enjoyed a nice day!

And Happy Mother’s Day to you, Mom. Thank you for giving me life and helping me become the person I am today. :)

 

 

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day (tomorrow) to all the mamas out there. I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating you! You deserve it!

Since it is the eve of Mother’s Day, I want to share two pictures that are very special to me as a mother. The first is of Ava nursing when she was 2 days old, and the second is of Julian nursing for the very first time. (A big thanks to my midwife for snapping that picture. I wish I had one of Ava nursing for the first time, but I don’t think that I do.)

Ava - 2 days old Julian’s first nursing

When I look at the picture of Ava and I, I feel warmth, love and peace. When I look at the picture of Julian and I, I feel love and pure joy.

Nursing my children has been one of the most amazing experiences for me. When I am holding them close as they are nuzzled up to my breast, I feel like they are perfectly safe and secure. All is right in the world and nothing can touch them as long as they are in my embrace. I love that feeling.

It will be all too soon that they start venturing out to do things on their own.

Ava is starting a preschool/enrichment-type program in a few short weeks, and while I know she is ready and I am too, part of me wishes I could always keep her safe in my arms. Yet I know I must set her free to grow wings of her own.

And Julian bonked his head for the first time this week when he toppled over from a sitting position and into the exersaucer. I wish I could protect him from all of the bumps and bruises he will get in his life’s journey, but I know those bumps and bruises will help define who he grows up to be.

Becoming a mother has been such an amazing, life-altering experience. It has it’s ups and downs and is loaded with challenges, but it’s such a privilege to watch these little people grow, learn and love. Every day is special. Every day is something new.

I love this quote by Elizabeth Stone…

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.”

I feel truly blessed to be a mother.

Home Birth: The Spirit, The Science and The Mother

This movie looks hella cool. I’m sure it’d be a great investment for midwives or childbirth educators. I wish I could justify spending $39.99 to watch it online myself. ;)

Home Birth: The Spirit, The Science and The Mother

© 2006 Sage Femme. Running time: 46 min. includes interviews with Dr. Marsden Wagner, Dr. Jeanine Tgettis and Dr. Fred R. Duhart as well as joyful footage from two Home Births.

Dr. Tgettis rocks her three day old baby (Bella was born footling breech at home) as she explains her desire in having a home birth was to keep everything simple and normal. Dr. Marsden Wagner (scientist, neonatalogist, officer in the World Health Organization) talks about his passion of many years for honoring mothers and keeping birth safe. Dr. Wagner is joined by the Wright Family of Rockport, MA as they celebrate the arrival of baby Griffin. Dr. Fred R. Duhart (family physician in St. Louis, MO) has attended hundreds of home births. He is joined by the Jurczyk family at the birth of baby Benjamin.

Home Birth Series

Sage Femme is committed to finding, producing and distributing the broadest selection of natural birth videos available. Why? Because many of us have nearly forgotten or have never seen what a natural birth looks like. In 2005, the cesarean section rate in the US was the highest in recorded history – 29.1%. This along with the damaging and pervasive use of drugs and the negative images the media presents has evolved a state of cultural amnesia about the normal process of childbirth. Sage Femme’s Natural Birth Series was created to show us what safe birth really looks like. The aim is to restore our faith in birth, rekindle our love of nature’s design, and show the benefits of babies arriving in peace.

That’s my girl

While we were shopping at the sale last night (more on our finds later), Ava found a toy workbench with lots of tools on it. Jody saw her lifting up her shirt and putting something on her chest. He wondered what she was doing, but didn’t think much of it. Later, she came over to me and said, “here’s some milk for Julian” handing me an invisible cup. Still later, she handed an invisible cup to our friend Dax to give to his baby Trajan.

I hadn’t seen her putting the tools to her chest and Jody didn’t hear her say it was milk for Julian (but did see her give the “milk” to Dax – which he “drank” himself, hehe), so it wasn’t until later that we were both talking about it that we put the pieces together and figured out she was “pumping milk” for the babies. :) Leave it to my girl to turn a workbench and tools into a breast pump. Love her!

By the way, the pumping for the milk bank is going better for me. I’ve taken your advice (thank you!) and pumped while nursing. It goes much faster that way. Oh, and I’ve been able to express more milk the past couple days, so it seems my supply is meeting the demand of pumping each day. I feel so fortunate that I can do this. :)

Firsthand review of “The Business of Being Born”

Below is a review of the movie “The Business of Being Born” by Rachel, from Queens, New York City, NY, a woman I met on Mothering.com. She saw the movie during the premier at the Tribeca Film Festival and gave me permission to print her review here.:

I was able to see this movie last night (May 3, 2007) at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was fantastic. You can read the synopsis on the website, but basically the film features women who choose home birth with a midwife, contrasting this with what happens in a hospital birth, the stats of US births v. other developed countries, some history about birth in the US like “twilight sleep” and Cytotec and cesarean rates, lots of interviews with mainstream OB/GYNs, labor and delivery staff, midwives, birth activists and educators, and women about birth. Michel Odent is featured, and a few short snips of an interview with Ina May Gaskin. We follow NYC home birth midwife Cara Muhlhahn as she tends to her patients in prenatal care and at the birth itself. One humorous segment has Cara talking about her own home birth spliced in with footage of her home birth. She admits she wasn’t an ideal patient and could write the book on “home birth midwife begs for c-section!” Less than 90 minutes long, the film was tightly edited and kept me enthralled the whole time.

The facts and expert opinions are mixed in with the experiences and birth footage of women featured in the film. I think 4 or 5 home births or birth center births were shown, all so beautiful and natural and moving in their simplicity. I cried through each one, and the audience literally gasped with joy as each baby was safely and gently delivered and given right to mom. It was a stark contrast to the footage of hospital births.

As one moviegoer said in the Q&A after, “thank you for making a film that celebrates life.”

Parts that stood out for me:
-The filmmaker interviews 3 OB/GYN med student residents and asks them how often they get to see a natural birth. They stare at her blankly before admitting “not very often.”
– All of the births: home, birth center, and hospital.
– A range of opinions from the OBs, those who don’t know anything about home birth and think it is crazy, to those who fully support it
– How women were treated in the hospital vs. at home

The message is very straightforward. It wasn’t preachy and condescending. They use a lot of humor, intelligence, facts, and humanness to illustrate their message that “hey! Women deserve options in birth and to learn what those options are.” Most of the audience seemed already open to or educated on the topic. Even the family physician and OB who spoke up at the Q&A were not newbies to the concept of home birth. The former said that he found the film very balanced and was now interested in learning how to offer home birth as an option to his patients, and the latter is an OB who had her babies at home and said this movie captured the message that she was always trying to give her colleagues. I’d be interested to hear what a skeptic would think of the movie.

Ricki Lake was the executive producer and is featured in the film, too, talking about her own journey to home birth and showing the experience itself. My opinion of her as a Jerry Springer-ish talk show host has definitely changed! She comes across as smart and strong and I’m so happy that she is using her wealth and celebrity to get this important message out. She mentioned that one journalist had written an article slamming her as an opportunist for making this tasteless film, and he wrote a long retraction after seeing it and finding it very worthwhile. I’d love to read both if anyone finds them.

On a more personal note, I was deeply moved by this film. Having been grouchy and depressed for days, my mood turned to elation watching this film and I still am high from it. I wish every woman thinking about having a baby could see it. But I know it would not impact many of them, since so many of us in the US are conditioned to see birth as a nightmare to just get over and do whatever the OB says and nothing really matters but getting a healthy baby in your arms at the end of the day. To me, my birth experience DOES matter. I want it to be the transformative, powerful, life-altering experience I know it can be. Seeing this made me so excited and proud that we are planning a home birth, and grateful that I live in a state and have an insurance company that makes it possible. And that my husband supports my choice despite his misgivings. I hope it gets distributed before our baby comes so he can see it.

Another funny story—the NY Daily News said this movie “wasn’t for the squeamish.” And when I picked up my tickets at will call, the woman who gave them to me said, “are you sure you want to see this? It is very graphic.” I said, “I can’t wait to see it! I’ve heard such great things about it!” She said, “well, won’t it scare you, you know, with all you’re about to go through?” [indicating my pregnant belly] I was a little tongue tied for a moment, and said, “It won’t scare me, it will prepare me.” And she seemed happy with that. I just think it would be so weird to be thinking, “Ok, my body is about to go through this tremendous experience, so I’ll just be sure to remain as ignorant about it as possible.” But I guess that is true for a lot of people. I didn’t get the “squeamish” or “graphic” comments at all. Considering what you see in movies and TV these days, these births were so simple and beautiful. Maybe I’ve just seen enough birth footage already that this wasn’t shocking to me. We are so cut off in our culture from birth and death. How it all starts and ends. Interesting.

Everyone should see this movie! Enjoy! You can sign up for the email list on the website, and I assume they will send an update when they get a distributor.

Thank you, Rachel, for letting me share this with my readers. :)