Living and Grief

I was able to sit with my friend and colleague, Abby Desjardien, to chat about grief and living, and how they are both big and sometime equal parts of this human existence. And maybe that grief is necessary, instructive, and not as dark or scary as we think. Check out her newly launched podcast and our episode here: The Art of Living and Grieving with Dr. Sunita Iyer Enjoy! #griefworkislifework #griefworkismywork #heartoutsideforever Continue reading Living and Grief

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

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?

The Birth of Grief

A new mom and her baby had come in for their first well-child visit and her son was just 3 days old.  Mom was tired and overwhelmed as many new parents are.  She was sitting by the window, changing her son’s diaper and just watching him, and she sighed a long, heavy sigh.  And just gazed at her son quietly as he wiggled around.  There was no slow smile or beaming pride.  Just deep sadness.   What clinical guidelines, healthcare, and social convention tell us is that she was exhibiting signs of postpartum depression.  While that may also have been true, … Continue reading The Birth of Grief

Month of Remembrance

For as long as I can remember, March has always been a really uncomfortable month. Whether here in the PNW or back in the Northeast, March is incredibly strange. It’s wet, cold, windy, sunny, glorious, and in swift rotation. But March and early April has been strange for over 20 years for other reasons too. My grandfather died in March. My nephew died in March. And so did a baby I cared for. And my aunt. Then in April, my grandmother. And Michelle. Strangely, in these same 4 or 5 weeks, over the course two decades, many people I cared … Continue reading Month of Remembrance

Oldie but Goodie

Yesterday was my son’s 8th birthday. All of his birthdays kick up some emotional dust for me. I rejoice in what an amazing human he continues to be. I grieve that he is one year closer toward individuation and needing to know himself away from us. I remember his eventful arrival and how it birthed a mother, father, grandparents, aunt, and a brand-new nurse (she was in the room and possibly crying more than anyone). And I remember what I wrote half his lifetime ago, after his 4th birthday, that still rings true for me today. So I will share … Continue reading Oldie but Goodie

One Long Night

As the days get shorter and the darkness much thicker, it sometimes feels like we are wading through one long night. The other day my son asked me what my favorite shade of blue was. Sidebar- I love his questions. He didn’t ask me what my favorite color was, but rather my favorite shade of blue. I just love those little moments where you can see and feel their swift minds whirring. So back to my favorite shade of blue. It’s twilight. You know that deep, resonant, silky, purply, dark blue when the sky moves from sunset to night. The … Continue reading One Long Night