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    Abundance and Gratitude





    Every day is a day to be thankful. Life’s abundance has no limit, and gratitude is what keeps that abundance flowing. In every circumstance, there is something for which to be thankful. Even when there seems to be nothing else, there is hope.

    ~Ralph Marston

     

    I cannot believe it is already November… that my favorite holiday is about one month away (Santa or no, there’s nothing quite like Christmas!)! Tomorrow, we’ll eat pumpkin pie, put up our Christmas decorations, and our business kicks into serious gear. (Wow, that was a completely unintentional pun! Seriously. Ha!). For today though, I’m thankful for the so very many recent blessings in my life:   

     

    Watching my children roll joyfully down a leaf-strewn hill.
     

     

    Basking in the gloriously temperate Fall weather we've been having which has allowed the flora to last much longer than usual!


    Running – and finishing – a 6.2 mile race (my first ever!).

     
     

    Standing in awe of the stunning beauty of nature.

     

    Celebrating another Halloween with my favorite jester husband (our 18th one together!).

     

    Baking delicious Fall food (mmmmm… apple crisp!).
     
     

     

    Watching this daisy outlast everything else in my garden!

     

     Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May the blessings in YOUR life be abundant!

    Posted: Nov 24 2011, 16:31 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Inspirational | Seasons

    Sunday Spark: You Have a Choice





    Every moment you have a choice. A choice to feel happy or feel down. A choice to observe or react. To regret or move on. Feel resentful or make a change.

    When you’re presented with a challenge, you have a choice of how to face that challenge (or even to walk away – that too is a choice).

    At the end of the day, when your reserves are spent, when your children are bouncing off the walls, when bedtime is not quite here, your house is a mess, your to-do list is undone, and you may be wishing you were anywhere else but where you are, you have a choice – to greet your children’s boundless energy with joy, and let it fill you – pushing out the frustration… or to let the frustration consume you, and spill over on to your children.

    How you react – or not react – is always up to you.

    To show love and tolerance and patience – to choose (and in choosing, teach) happiness and peace is never the wrong course of action.

    Posted: Nov 13 2011, 00:57 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Nature, Technology, and Being Human





    Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives.
    ~Thomas Berry (The Dream of the Earth)

     

    In late August, early September, we went to Maine for a week. I didn’t really blog much about it at the time; but, more on that later. While on that trip, at the base of Mount Washington, actually, I came across a book called, Last Child in the Woods.  Though I didn’t end up buying it, I did thumb through it a bit, and added it to my “to read” list. It caught my attention because it draws on a point I make to myself, and worry over, frequently as a parent; particularly as a parent raising children in a condo in the most densely populated state of the United States. That point is: Are our children, and are WE, as humans, getting so far removed from nature, and so dependent on technology, that we’re… damaging ourselves?


    (my kids, digging by the lake in Maine)

     

    I don’t mean just physical damage like carpel tunnel syndrome or losing muscle tone or gaining weight from so many hours in front of the computer (though those are important, too). I mean more that we’ve evolved WITH nature – for thousands, millions of years – and it’s only been in the last couple of centuries – particularly the last couple of decades where we’ve left our codependency with nature in favor of codependency with technology. Televisions, video games, computers, cars,  smartphones... Our food is techno-fied, our travel is techno-fied, even our books are techno-fied. I feel like in our day-to-day lives, we’re really losing touch with our earth; we’re emotionally disconnected from nature; that must have an effect on how we ARE.

     

    I’m not anti-technology. Far from it, being that I’m here writing this on my laptop, to be published on my blog, which I’ll read on my iPhone, which is up on the internet; which is also the home of our retail websites (which are our livelihood as a family). And, once finished writing this, I will very likely hop on my treadmill, to be followed by viewing a movie on Netflix. Heck, I’m far from being anti-technology; I love technology. 

     

    But I also love the earth. I vividly remember playing in the grass and the sand and the trees and the dirt as a kid. Hours spent in the garden, and just being outside in the summertime, the Spring, the Fall, and even the Winter. As a young kid, we were outside all. the. time. (Until, of course, my parents caved, and finally bought a Nintendo. I spent a lot more time indoors after, say, 1986 or so. Still, I rode my bike to school.)

     

    It’s different for my children. Of course, I want to believe they too love the earth.  In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, we go hiking as much as we can, and we tend towards nature-loving vacations, when we take them.  We container garden in the Summer, and visit the Farmer’s Market on the weekends. But, in spite of that, the reality for my children is that there has never been Life Without Cellphones. They know how to turn on their computer, open a browser and surf the internet. They know how many “friends” I have on Facebook. (And how many their dad and grandmother have, too). We’ve never had a newspaper delivered.  I’m not sure they’ve ever seen a payphone in person, nor had to wait for film to be developed. Email, online, download, Twitter, blog – all of these words are seamlessly part of their lexicon.

     

    I think it’s easy as adults who have grown up with a mix of nature & technology, to feel okay about our own children having simple access to technology. Afterall, we grew up on Sesame Street and Walkmen, and Ataris, and we’re okay, right? At times, I find it effortless – and fascinating – as adults, who are ourselves immersed in technology, to watch our children so easily adapt to computers, internet, iPhones.  But I am afraid in that ease, we forget that as kids ourselves, we really were outside. A LOT. And when we were outside, we were out there without cellphones. That outside time, that meshing with and growing up in nature, was important. Feeling grass on our feet, dirt under our nails, sun on our shoulders (without even sunscreen, OMG), tree bark against our legs as we climbed… that was necessary. All that time outside wasn’t useless, wasn’t just getting us out from under our mothers’ feet, it was teaching us about this earth from where we came, and where we’ll return.  The smells of the earth, the rain, the plants, helped to develop our senses.  The sun helped set our internal clock (not to mention made sure our vitamin D levels were on the right track – without supplements, OMG). Getting lost, then finding our way home, without GPS, helped us learn to rely on ourselves, to pay attention to our surroundings in order to orient ourselves. “Going out to play” helped us meet people, learn how to make friends, play games, share, make up rules, win, lose. I knew where food came from because we had a garden, and we got any produce we didn’t grow from the local farm; the grocery store was a much less-frequented destination. It’s just different for our kids.


    (my kids, exploring the trees in the woods in New Jersey)

     

    Anyhow, back to Maine, for a moment, and then, I’ll close up my thoughts. We drove up to Maine in the wake of Hurricane Irene. It was the clearest I’ve ever seen 95 – there was hardly a soul on the road – it was the fastest we’ve made it through New York City, ever. Upon arriving at our cabin, we realized that Irene had taken out the electricity on our road. We spent the next five days of our vacation without electricity or running water. Which also meant: No lights. And… no computers. Also, no alarm clocks (though I woke with the sunrise every morning). No microwaves. No movies. We bathed in the lake water and cooked over a fire. We read books and played board games in the evening by candlelight. We sang and roasted marshmallows around the campfire before bed. And during the day, we went swimming, canoeing, hiking, exploring, and just playing outside. All day. Until the sun went down. While I can’t say I wasn’t grateful when the electricity finally came back on the day before we were set to leave, it was mostly because I got to actually flush the toilet and wash my face with hot water, NOT because I could turn on my computer and update my blog (okay, though I did do that).  Adam and I, and the kids, say this was our best vacation yet. I can’t help but believe it’s because we all FELT SOMETHING we’d been missing – that full-on connection with nature, that we don’t really ever get anymore in our technology-dependent lives, at least not in such large doses as we experienced that week.

     

    Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods, says, “biologically we are still hunters and gatherers and we need, at some level we don't fully understand, direct involvement in nature. We need to see natural shapes in the horizon. And when we don't get that, we don't do so well.” 

     

    I want my children to have that direct involvement in nature. I want to get back to that myself. I think it’s imperative.

     

    In the neighborhood where we are, and in this climate of high-technology, it’s just. so. tempting. (and easy) to occupy ourselves virtually.  But the more I read about so-called nature deficit disorder (I just recently read a great article about it this past week in Newsweek), the more time I spend away from nature, the more I realize we NEED to get back to the natural world. We ALL need to take more hikes. We ALL need to plant more gardens. We ALL need to take the more challenging route, and close our laptops for a while, put our cellphones down, and get out in the woods. It isn’t just to avoid turning into Wall-E-type humans living just for the next techo-fied meal and virtual shopping experience, it’s to continue to BE human. We’re a part of nature, we always have been, and need to keep that bond alive, in order to survive, and thrive.

     

    Do you find yourself connected with nature? How do you – and your children – stay in touch with the natural world?

    Posted: Nov 07 2011, 00:17 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Spanking Your Children is Not Okay





    Society reaps what it sows in the way it nurtures children... ~Dr. Martin Teicher

    You may have heard of the Texas judge who’s been in the news recently, because his (now adult) daughter, posted a video she’d taken of him beating her (and her mother participating and egging him on) as a 16-year-old. If you haven’t seen the video, here is a link to an article that Annie (at PhdinParenting.com/Care2.com) wrote about it. **TRIGGER WARNING** For those of you who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, please be warned that the video is graphic, and very difficult to watch.  As of the latest news, this man is not being charged with any crime.

    To be frank, I don’t think spanking or physical discipline of any kind is a tool that any parent needs in their toolbox. There are far too many negatives, and no benefits to keeping such an antiquated method of discipline around, even as a “last resort”. There are far more creative and effective and less hurtful methods of guiding and teaching children available.  I’ve written about things you can do instead of spanking. but I’ve sat on my hands when it comes to really speaking out loudly against spanking because… I want to believe that at the heart of most parents who say things like (as overheard on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, and real life): “I spank because… it’s necessary” or “…children need discipline” or “…their father isn’t around, so I need to keep them under control” or “…sometimes you have to get their attention” or “…I’d never hit an older child, but younger kids don’t have the ability to understand anything other than a quick spank” or “…the bible/God says…” or “…(I have to let them know) I’m the boss” or “…culturally, it’s a requirement” or “…I only spank when I’m not angry” or “…I spank out of love” or “…I only do it in an emergency”... is a parent with love for their children, and a desire to parent well. I've avoided using inflammatory language: hitting, smacking, beating, abuse, in favor of the less hackles-raising “spanking” because I recognize that understanding differences is the key to changing minds, and if someone just closes their ears to you, they're not learning, and you're not teaching.

    But, when I see news like this, when I see a father on video, BEATING HIS CHILD, who is not getting punished for his actions; when I realize he’s only one of thousands (millions?) of parents who still hit their children and think it’s okay, I can’t stay silent. I can’t believe that this type of behavior still happens. I can’t believe there are parenting books still on the market advocating physical punishment as an acceptable form of discipline. I can’t believe there are still so many parents ready to defend the act of hitting a child. I can’t believe spanking is still legal. I can't believe this man isn't going to be brought to justice for what he did to his daughter.

    Plainly speaking: It is NOT OKAY to hit, spank, beat, whip, smack your child. Ever.


    Spanking is not alright. It’s not acceptable discipline. It’s not appropriate. It’s not necessary. It isn’t legal when it’s done to adults; it isn’t legal when it’s done to animals. It shouldn’t be legal to hit children – even in the name of discipline.

    I understand we all make mistakes, we all get pushed to our limits, we may not always live up to exactly the ideal image of mother/parent that we have in our minds-eye. But, to use spanking as a deliberate and regular form of discipline is reprehensible.  When you spank a child, as an adult, you are either a) out of control or b) misguided and undereducated about the negative repercussions that come from using violence as discipline. 

    There is AMPLE evidence that violence begets violence. Children who are spanked are more likely to express themselves through violence – that means hitting you, hitting their siblings, hitting their classmates; and are more likely to grow up to be abusers themselves.

    I KNOW you don’t want this for your children.  There are OTHER WAYS to guide your children, rather than resorting to violence. Really. REALLY.

    You know it doesn’t feel good when you hit your child (if it does, you’re likely not reading this, or, if you are, and it does feel good when you hit your child, please stop reading, and PLEASE GET HELP NOW – talk to someone, a counselor, a friend, a clergy person, someone; your child will thank you for the rest of their lives). Maybe it hurts you. Maybe it makes you feel sick.  Maybe you feel guilty or ashamed.  Maybe you want to change, but you don’t know how.  Maybe you feel like you won’t be an effective parent without spanking. I know it's difficult, particularly if your parents spanked you, and "you turned out okay".  

    The bottom line is that you don’t need to feel that way anymore because you DON’T NEED TO USE SPANKING AS DISCIPLINE anymore. You have a choice.  You can change.  Your children NEED you to change.  You have the power to show your children that no matter what they’ve done, you still love them. No matter how angry you are, you can control yourself.  You want your children to behave, but they can’t if they don’t feel good, if they don’t feel loved.  When you spank your child, they don’t understand the distinction you’ve created in your mind that spanking is necessary and loving discipline, they only feel pain, fear, shame, and anger.  They don’t deserve to feel that way, no matter what the misdeed.  All children deserve gentle guidance in a home filled with peacefulness and love. Show your children with your own words and actions how you’d like them to live, and they will follow you. If you show them how to hurt, they will hurt.

    Children who feel right, act right. Children who don’t, won’t. They can’t. If violence is what they’ve been shown and taught, then violence is how they will express themselves.  Hurt and anger and pain is what they will associate with you and they may spend their lives trying to get away from it – and you. Maybe this manifests itself in “good/obedient behavior” as children, but as teens and adults, it will likely evidence as acting out, experimentation with dangerous behavior, distance, and separation.  Don’t do that to your children.

    So, what can you do?


    1) If you can’t think of anything to do (other than spank), do nothing.  It’s okay to walk away until you’re calm. Really. The message you wanted to convey by spanking, that lesson you wanted to teach? It will still be teachable after the heat-of-the-moment has passed. I suggest that a child who feels calm will be more receptive to talking about a misdeed than one who is afraid of being hit, or who has just been hit. Think about this in terms of your own life.  Are you more likely to be receptive to…. a) your boss storming into your office yelling about a mistake you made, or,  b) your boss telling you about a mistake you made & asking if you’d come to his office later to talk about what you can do differently next time…? 

    We both know it’s B. Children are no different; humans are humans, and respectful, peaceful discourse is always the better route to go.  Give yourself a time out, cool off, regroup.

    2) Use your words. With emphasis, but without hurt.  We always ask our children to use their words instead of resorting to tantruming, screaming, yelling, kicking, biting, throwing. Yet, when you spank your child, you’re not using your words, your having a tantrum yourself – only you’re taking it out on your child. Instead of spanking, tell your child that you are angry, sad, disappointed, whatever. Say what you need to say clearly, loudly… but do it without hitting them (keeping in mind that hitting can be done with words, not just hands, so tread carefully here). Say to your child what YOU are feeling.  And, like #1, if you can’t think of anything to do (or, in this case, say, other than spanking – with words or with hands), then walk away until you’re calm.

    3) Take and give a time out.  Tell your child that you’re going to take a time out, and ask them to do the same. This doesn’t mean forcefully lock them in their room, or restrict them to a naughty spot or time out chair. A time out is just what it sounds like: a time to step away from overwhelming emotions, to take a moment OUTside of the anger that you’re feeling.  It isn’t punitive, it’s learning (and teaching!) how to separate yourself and your responses from your children’s actions. You don’t have to respond in a super-emotionally-charged way to your children’s misbehaviors – and it’s better for them if you don’t. If you take a time out to get composed and think about a measured response, you’re teaching a lesson much greater than the lesson you’d have taught by spanking.

    4) Forgive. 
    Forgive not only your child’s misbehavior – they’re just learning about this world, remember? But forgive YOURSELF for whatever you’ve done in the past. Try to forgive whatever may have been done to YOU in the past, and realize that you have the power to change, to break the cycle, starting now. I learn every day about forgiveness from my children – they are so open, so willing to accept that people make mistakes. Hug them, forgive them, forgive yourself and realize every moment is a new moment for starting anew and trying again. 

    Spanking is never necessary. You are the adult, you can make a choice – starting now, regardless of whatever has gone on in the past – to stop spanking, and start guiding your child with more gentleness and empathy. Your children, and your children's children are depending on you.

    If you want to learn more about the effects of spanking, and things you can do to discipline your children WITHOUT spanking, here are some great starting points:


    Ten Reasons Not To Hit Your Child: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/spanking/10-reasons-not-hit-your-child

    Plain Talk About Spanking: http://nospank.net/pt2011.htm

    Gentle Discipline That Works: http://www.beliefnet.com/Health/2007/03/Gentle-Discipline-That-Works.aspx

    Ten Reasons Not To Hit Your Kids: http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/tenreasons.html

    Posted: Nov 04 2011, 18:46 by kelly | Comments (13) RSS comment feed |
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    Cesarean Birth: Choose Your Words Carefully





    Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.

    ~William MacNeile Dixon

     

    I’ve had two cesarean sections. I’m part of the growing minority of women in the United States who had a surgical birth. At last count, the rate of c-sections to vaginal births was about 1 out of every three. In some states, like my own fair state of New Jersey, the c-section rate is just a hair shy of 40% (as of 2009; the last year for which I was able to find concrete records).

     

    I also happen to be part of the other minority group – “crunchy parents”. It presents a conundrum for me. How do I advocate for natural things – like birth – when I’m the recipient of two cesarean sections, without devaluing my own births, nor alienating my cesarean-receiving sisters, nor eschewing my crunchy ideals? It’s a thin line to walk. And it isn’t always straight as there are so many variables when it comes to birth.

     

     

    Here’s the truth. The increase in cesarean sections is alarming. Cesarean sections present dangers for mothers and babies that just aren’t there in natural births. Advocacy for natural birth needs to continue.  Work needs to carry on to help women feel empowered in their decision-making surrounding their own births, to increase the number of doulas and midwives available to assist women in birth, and to make home-birthing a safe and legal option for women.

     

    Within advocacy comes support; and the cause of my writing today. We need to be SUPPORTING women – not tearing them down. Too often, I fear that advocacy in natural birth trends towards guilt, shame, and anger.  I’ve read things written about mothers who’ve given birth via cesarean section that make me cringe; that make me SO ANGRY. Women who have had c-sections shouldn’t feel the need to addendum their birth story with excuses, or explanations for their birth. Never should a woman be made to feel shamed, or at fault for how her birth culminated. A birth is a birth is a birth. At the end, every mother who has given birth has the shared experience of growing a birthing her baby. There’s shouldn’t be a dividing line, based on HOW you’ve given birth.

     

    Natural birth is the most likely way to encourage a positive outcome for both mom and baby. There are ways to teach about natural birth and its benefits to both mother and baby, without alienating the very people natural birth will help. There are things you can do to educate and encourage and choices to be made which can increase likelihood of a natural birth outcome. But, it’s important to keep in mind, at it’s core, birth is unpredictable and specifically un-plan-able. The variables are myriad: The ways a woman reacts to pain, fear, anticipation; The support she has through pregnancy and in labor; Health conditions she may have – physical and mental and emotional; Past experiences she’s had – all play a role in how birth plays out.  

     

    It every case, birth is one of the most precious, amazing, challenging, awesome, and MEMORABLE times in a woman’s life. Natural birth advocacy should always be about helping and lifting up women, not humiliation. Empowering women, not disenfranchising.  Above all, supporting women, no matter what choices are made, what direction birth takes, what the outcome is.

     

    So to that end, here’s what I thought I’d do. I’ve prepared a list of things you SHOULDN’T say to (or about) a mother who’s given birth via cesarean section.  These are things which I’ve either heard personally, anecdotally, or seen written. But because I don’t want to dwell on the negative, I’ve also compiled a list of things you SHOULD say to a c-section mom (or one who’s about have one).

     

    Without further ado...

     

    Things you SHOULDN’T say to a mother who’s given birth via cesarean section:

     

    1) “Your C-section wasn’t technically a birth; it was a surgery.”

     

    Yes, cesarean is a major surgery. But a cesarean section is ALSO a method of giving birth. By virtue of the definition of birth:

     

    (From Merriam-Webster)

    birth. noun.

    1 a: the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent (check!)

     

    birth. verb.

    1 a: to bring forth (check!)

    2 b: to give birth to (check!) 

     

    birth. adjective.

    1 a: biological (check!)

     

    It ALSO is birth by virtue of the fact that mothers celebrate their children’s birth days, not their surgery days. A mother who has given birth via cesarean has as much right to birth as her vaginally-birthing sisters. Saying - or even suggesting - that a cesarean section isn't a birth not only makes you sound ridiculous, it's just plain hurtful, so please, PLEASE don’t do it.

     

     

    2) “Your baby was ripped/torn/cut/pulled/forced out of you - before she was ready.”

     

    We don’t always know what prompts labor, and we don’t always have control over the way our birth progresses.  Sometimes, babies come before they are ready. Sometimes, signals point to babies needing help moving earthside. Sometimes, that help is a surgical birth. Regardless, no one needs to be reminded in such a callous way that they were sliced into, nor should any woman have to face the implication or suggestion that was in some way her fault. The vast majority of pregnant mothers do everything they can to ensure a safe birth for their baby. Their decisions are typically based on the knowledge they have at the time.  There’s no room for inflammatory hyperbole.

     

    As an aside, if a mother wants to talk to YOU about her feelings that her baby may have arrived before he was ready, or that her birth felt less than consensual or not as calm as she would have wished; please listen. Honor her feelings. There are unfortunately cases of women who aren’t treated well in birth and whose wishes aren’t respected. But even in those cases, exaggerating the negative isn’t helpful.

     

    3) “Be happy; at least you have a healthy baby.”

     

    I understand when this is said, it’s intended to be comforting. But really, saying this is a denial of feelings. No mother who is mourning the loss of her birth-as-she-planned-it wants to be brushed off. And every mother is grateful their child is healthy. Having a cesarean is typically NOT a planned event, and even when it is, it’s not what most women choose (in spite of what the media likes to portray – women as “insisting” on elective cesareans for “convenience” reasons). Disappointment or concerns over birth are valid! Listen, reassure, comfort; don't brush aside feelings.

     

    4) “If you’d done (or didn’t do) x, y, or z, you could have birthed your baby vaginally.”

     

    Look, unless you are the attending midwife or doctor, you JUST CAN’T KNOW whether X, Y, or Z would have resulted in a different outcome. Even if you WERE the attending midwife or doctor, you can’t change NOW what has already happened, so keep it to yourself. 

     

    In birth advocacy there is certainly a time and a place for analyzing your birth story, for thinking over what you wish had gone another way, what you’d like to try differently, what you want to do the next time, or even what you wished you’d tried. There needs to be time for grieving and for accepting and healing. But that’s for YOUR OWN birth. It’s not your right to analyze anyone else’s birth for them. Ever.

     

     

    Things you SHOULD say to a mother who’s given birth via cesarean section:

     

    1) “Good job, mama.”

     

    Just that. No matter what transpired, no matter how the birth progressed, no matter how far "off birth plan" things went, a new baby was born to a pregnant mama, and that mama deserves a pat on the back. End of story. If that mama wants to talk about her birth, let her do so. Support her. Be there for her. Without judgment.

     

    2) “How can I help you?”

     

    Cesarean births present unique challenges to mothers and babies. It can be difficult to walk in the first few days post partum. Holding baby, changing your own position, breastfeeding, regular self-care, all can be more challenging after the stress of birth AND a major abdominal surgery. Many doctors advise weeks post-partum without resuming regular activities – like climbing stairs, lifting anything other than the baby, or driving.

     

    Personally, even though I felt my recoveries were quick and relatively easy, there were certain physical challenges that were just a drag. I couldn’t do laundry, I couldn’t comfortably make it upstairs to my bedroom, I couldn’t move baby to where I wanted her to be when I wanted her to be there. Having someone there (husband, doula, friend) to pick up around the house, entertain siblings, cook meals, change diapers/clothes, can make all the difference in the world!

     

    3) “If you need to talk, I’m here to listen.”

     

    Every mother likes to talk about her birth story; it’s a defining moment in life. Some stories are joyful and easy, some are difficult, trying, tearful. Each emotion is real, valid, and needs to be addressed, in order to heal and move on. I’d say this is particularly true for a mother who planned her birth to be natural, who felt like she’d dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, but whose birth didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped. When you’ve done “everything right” and things don’t go as planned, a shoulder to cry on, a non-judgmental ear to listen is so very important.

     

    - - - - -

     

    The truth is, current birth climate in the US is a challenge.  Birth in the media is still most often depicted as scary, icky, and unnatural. Misinformation and assumptions about the benefits/dangers of natural and/or homebirth birth versus hospital and/or surgical birth are rampant, and the number of cesarean sections is still growing. Advocating for natural birth is necessary; I want my own children to be able to make empowering choices about the direction of their/partner’s future births (if they so choose); I want them to have even better experiences with birth than I did. But to get there, we need positive change. Commentary on what a mom did “wrong” in birth isn’t useful, it isn’t helpful, it isn’t advocacy. It’s hurtful, it’s shameful. The last thing we need in this world is more judgment. You want to see change in the birthing world? It doesn’t come from negativity folks; it doesn’t come from divisiveness. It comes from unity, from sharing our stories, understanding others’ points of view, using your experiences to educate, accepting differences of opinion and experience, listening, empathizing, and learning from one another. Every birthing mother has the right to feel good about her birth; it’s an amazing moment in time; whether it occurred in the birthing tub in your own home, or under the bright lights of the OR.

     

    Words are powerful. Choose them carefully.

    Posted: Nov 01 2011, 15:40 by kelly | Comments (23) RSS comment feed |
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