Postpartum Grief, Depression, and Anxiety

I spend a lot of time with postpartum people. Figuring out how to hold their hearts and help them thrive after the birth. Talking through the transition from person to parent, or established parent to parent of yet another. All of it is new, and all of it fraught with uncertainty. People rarely talk about the grief of being a new parent, and really of parenting, period. When you choose to parent, we have to acknowledge that not all people choose and some are forced to. And even still, in all situations, there is a grief. We decide or have … Continue reading Postpartum Grief, Depression, and Anxiety

Mothering Day

What is Mother’s Day anyway? Brunch, bubbles, and blooms? I have always had a hard time with this day, even after I became a mother. It never quite met the expectation I had of digging into what it means to mother or be mothered. And I guess I have a problem with life events that are supposed to be important and beautiful, but feel more like small talk. I have my mother in my life and she is a great mother. But it wasn’t always that way for me. We are pretty different people. We see risk differently, we approach … Continue reading Mothering Day

El Dia Internacional de la Matrona

Today is May 5th. Some folks think of it as a good day for margaritas and tacos. It’s also International Day of the Midwife. This is a day, acknowledged all around the world, where we honor the people who quietly walk through fire as a way of life and a profession. Midwives are the attendants for most births around the world. In some places they are traditionally trained by their elders. In many or most places (and in ALL the places that have better maternity and neonatal outcomes than the USA…) Midwives are very highly trained in sitting on their … Continue reading El Dia Internacional de la Matrona

Community Midwives Tending to Low-Risk Families and Adapting to Changes in Hospital Resources

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is so much that feels uncertain for families, especially families that are expecting a child in the coming weeks and month(s) and planning to birth in hospitals. Some of the questions that families are coming to me and my colleagues with are: Is it safe for me to birth in the hospital if there are potentially infected or exposed people in the same environment? Does this put me and my baby at risk? Will there be enough beds, space, and medical personnel to attend my birth? What if my OB, CNM, or … Continue reading Community Midwives Tending to Low-Risk Families and Adapting to Changes in Hospital Resources

Being Born Isn’t the Only Thing That Hurts…

In the last two years I have changed my work-life balance. One may look at my 4 or 5 spinning plates and not find a shred of balance…It’s a practice; not a destination. At least that’s what I tell myself. One of the ways that I have radically shifted my life is not being on call anymore. I started being on call nearly 20 years ago, working with adolescents who were becoming young parents or were already parenting. And then I shifted into being on call as a midwife attending births 13 years ago. Pagers and phones have accessorized my … Continue reading Being Born Isn’t the Only Thing That Hurts…

Being born hurts…

I mean they don’t call it labor for nothing…  It’s been a awhile.  I have been taking my own advice that Winter is For Sleeping (you can check out the Muse-letter archives to read that one from last year).  I have been sleeping, thinking, reading, writing, and hibernating within myself quite a bit in the last 2 months.   And then all of a sudden it was Rohan’s 9th birthday and I realized it was time to step back out.  Time to stop growing on the inside and get born already.  If you remember those last weeks of pregnancy, you know what I’m talking about…Let’s get … Continue reading Being born hurts…

Who do you look up to?

As a I move further into my adult life, and am making “bigger” moves, it occurs to me that I have never had a clear picture of who I look up to. I have never even articulated or seen the one person that I most revere or emulate. Of course I have seen bits and pieces, namely in my parents. They are incredibly smart, industrious, practical, successful, and, most importantly, generous and kind people. The reality of being an immigrant family in the 70s is that we were distanced from our extended family. I never grew up with my grandparents; … Continue reading Who do you look up to?

Can you love your little self?

I have an eight year-old so I think a lot about what they are doing right now at this time in their lives. Sure, they are growing and farting a lot. But mostly, I am curious about their inner lives and how that plays out into adolescence and adulthood. Is he going to be OK? Will he always know his worth and how loved he is? Will he hold himself as dearly to himself as I see, appreciate, and love him? Will he know that he deserves to? If you are reading this and wondering about self-love, self-worth, and self-care, … Continue reading Can you love your little self?