When three people you helped have babies randomly meet at a table at a le leche league conference and send you a picture of themselves together
We are just about at the first birthday of Adeline, a baby born last year during a busy May for our practice. This birth was powerful and joyful, and was attended by a good friend of Sarah’s who is also a photographer and posted the following montage of her labor and birth. Watch the video of Adeline’s birth here.
Sarah and I emailed recently and she said ” I’m grateful to you both for helping me have a fantastic first time mother natural birthing experience. You gave me the greatest gift any woman can give another woman, confidence in myself and my body to achieve what it was made to achieve. The entire experience was blissful, every appointment so perfect in your friendly and mother inspiring cottage! ” She also enclosed some one year pictures of Adeline who is thriving in Oklahoma where they are now living. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!
(All pictures posted with express permission. Photos from Sarah Huff)
From our good friend and fabulous facilitator Lanell:
” Throwing out a lifeline for new mamas and babies before school’s out for summer!
Raini Gomez, Le Cordon Bleu chef and doula, will prepare a delicious, nourishing breakfast for us each week! It’s gonna be YUMMY! “
WHEN: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Thursdays, May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 8 (last meeting is on a WEDNESDAY)
WHERE: 1401 Ridgehaven Drive, 78723 cell 512-663-9320
WHAT: bring yourself and your baby
COST: $275 (includes breakfast each week)
I am passionate about connecting mothers and supporting your unfolding journey from my nearly 20 years of experience working with mothers, birth, and breastfeeding. You don’t have to figure all this out by yourself. There is support and love and RELIEF just waiting for you!
We were never meant to go it alone in the care of our young children. The company of mothers helps us make sense of the day to day tasks, the miracle unfolding in our laps, and the heart-exploding love we feel for our babies. And being in community releases tons of oxytocin, helping us feel connected, warm and fuzzy.
Read recent participant testimonials, here:
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Email Lanell directly to register: lanellcoultas (at) gmail.com
When Jonah, my 17 year old, was a toddler we went to Boggy Creek Farm every Wednesday morning. We watched the chickens, played in the sand, and bought lots of veggies for our week’s meals. I have such fond memories of these mornings at Boggy Creek, Carol Ann and Larry, the farmers, are so friendly and helpful; I learned much of my early homesteading from them. Carol Ann wrote an amusing book about chicken antics at the farm and she was always sharing recipes, like this one that I made at group prenatal last week. It is a great introduction to cooking and eating greens of all kinds: kale, collards, chard, mustard, brussels….I hope you try it out, you can tell this piece of paper has been around for awhile.
This next recipe came to me from a client who brought these yummy cookies to us (well…to Jenni really but Laurel and I couldn’t help but eat several) after Haven was born. They are so delicious, gluten-free, and nutrient dense. There is 24 hour advance preparation needed for soaking the oats-this caught us by surprise when we made them the first time. Thank you Anita for sharing this recipe for Oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies from Recipes To Nourish.
- 2 cups gluten free rolled oats (I buy this)
- 2 ½ cups warm filtered water, just enough to slightly cover the oats
- 2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar, whey, or kefir
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 2 organic carrots, peeled
- 2 kale leaves, remove stem, tear into chunks
- 1 teaspoon dried nettle
- ½ cup cold pasture butter (I use this or this)
- ½ cup honey (I use local raw clover creamed)
- 1 teaspoon gluten free organic vanilla extract (I buy this)
- 2 cups soaked oats, from day before
- 4 tablespoons chia gel, from day before
- 1 ½ cups sprouted brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup gluten free chocolate chips
Full recipe with preparation instructions can be found HERE
Blog by Jenni
Christy thought it would be interesting to reflect on what I felt was surprising having been a midwife and then becoming pregnant. Overall, I think the experience has been more about being a pregnant person, with my midwifery background not really coming up very often. Being a pregnant midwife has had its advantages and disadvantages. Like many people assume (as I did at the beginning of my pregnancy), I have enough experience of pregnancy and its variations to normalize my own experience, and sometimes this knowledge prevents freak-outs over symptoms that come at a different moment than expected or just catch me off guard. Well, sort-of. Pregnancy brain affects midwives too, and I have found myself several times telling Christy about a symptom that I’m puzzled or worried by only to have her say ‘yup, round ligament pain’ (or something similar) to my obvious chagrin. On the other hand, an episode of low blood pressure on a hot day that made me nearly faint may have been less worrying to me than it might have been for someone else. I know that it is possible and I just lay down, drank lots of water, and waited until it passed.
Overall, I think my midwifery background has made me more tolerant of aches and pains (intermittent leg cramps and heartburn). I have been able to find alternative remedies that are cheap and that I can put in place without too much fuss (homemade slippery elm lozenges by Aviva Romm!) because I am familiar with what the common concerns in pregnancy are. I think all of this would have been very different, however, if anything clinically significant had been happening in the pregnancy. I’m very clear that the absolutely straightforward conception and pregnancy with this baby has so far totally reassured both Christy and I. It has felt so normal to have reached 37 weeks with no interventions and no extreme physical symptoms. That’s not to say that emotions haven’t been very volatile in our house with two teenagers, and our stress levels have been significant at different points over the last several months. Still, the huge privilege of a job that I do remotely (from home), and the relative stability of our lives here, have allowed me flexibility and the ability to find a bit of money for body work, alternative therapies, and acupuncture. I know the benefits of these are so amazing in pregnancy to temper the hormonal changes that happen and to help the body stay aligned and open for birth. I feel great, and I am so grateful for it.
It is a crazy part of being human that, in the midst of feeling so good, I can still have the same fears as anyone else. When we tried to listen to, and could not hear the heartbeat with a doppler at 10.5 weeks, I was really worried that my pregnancy had ended even though I was still feeling very nauseated and tired. I reviewed the stats (geek that I am) and found that there was less than a 30% chance of hearing the heartbeat at that stage, and was reassured enough to wait until 12 weeks when we heard the heartbeat easily. Lucid horrible dreams for about three months also made all my fears be present in a much stronger way than I had ever imagined they would. I’m glad that has dissipated somewhat, even if lucid dreaming hasn’t. Reading Everyday Parenting by John Kabbat-Zinn, a book about mindfulness practice and parenting, has also really helped calm my brain, consciously and unconsciously. Also forcing myself (with a little prodding from Christy) to be outside and be active. Walking at least 3-4x a week, and now starting swimming in the warm weather has helped change my perspective at key moments, in a positive way. Even though I dreaded the summer and the impending heat, I was so grateful to be living this year in a climate where spring came at the beginning of March, where it is green and I have had a garden to be in and work in, well before I would have been able to in Toronto, my hometown.
Being a midwife of course does not make me immune to any of the societal experience of being pregnant. A friend and I were comparing notes about how relentless the comments are about appearance, whether it is to make predictions about the sex, or to talk about relative size, “you are so small!”. Or even to go so far as assuming something about my life because now I’m visibly pregnant; “is your husband being supportive?”. Our community here, half midwives themselves, is more insulating from these comments, (“you look amazing!” is way more common) but being out and about in the grocery store or the post office brings comments at least weekly for me. Even feeling as confident as I do in my pregnant body (I have loved being pregnant), I get so irritated with how public my body has become. I haven’t even had to deal with the worst negative comments that our clients and my friends report. I still feel exposed and a little defensive when responding, as if a friendly/positive response is required of me, along with accepting whatever people feel like they need to say. It has been especially annoying when I’ve spent time that morning trying to find not-ultra-feminine clothing that I feel comfortable in to go out in public wearing. I am so grateful for all the clothing I’ve been given, and I still feel like my choices are overwhelmingly feminizing, when that is just not how I always want to present myself, just because I’m pregnant. Ever expanding breasts don’t make this any easier, that’s for sure. Don’t get me started on maternity bras. I continue to wish for more clothing options for all pregnant folks that are comfortable in pregnancy but don’t overly emphasize the belly and breasts.
As a midwife, and now as a pregnant person, I feel like I get to expand my empathic sense of the huge variety of physical and emotional experiences of pregnancy, and I know that this enhances the language I have for supporting my pregnant clients. Mostly, though, I’m just excited about having and loving this baby. We are excited to welcome whomever this new person is into our lives.
My new friend, Ali Weatherford, just sent me three new recipes to share! Ali teaches Birthing From Within classes and these are a few of the recipes she shares with her clients. Enjoy!
Healthy Key Lime Pie
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, unsoaked
3/4 cup walnuts, unsoaked
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
3/4 cup chopped avocados (about 1 1/4 avocados)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup unpasteurized honey
Blueberries and freshly sliced kiwi fruit (optional garnish)
Combine coconut, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and sea salt in food processor and process until coarsely ground.
Add medjool dates and process until mixture looks like coarse crumbs and begins to stick together. Be sure not to process beyond this point.
Transfer coarse crumbs/crust into a 9″ pie plate. Use your fingers to gently distribute the crumbs in a uniform layer along the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Aim to build up the sides with about 3/4 of an inch of crumbs.
After the crumbs are evenly distributed, press the crust firmly against the bottom of the plate using your fingers. Be sure to press firmly near the junction between the bottom of the pan and the sides of the pan. Press firmly into the crust along the sides of the pan. Place completed crust in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Combine avocados, lime juice, and honey in a food processor and process until smooth. You may need to stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula or spoon.
Bringing it Together
Use a spatula or spoon to spread filling over the bottom of the crust.
Peel kiwi, cut lengthwise, and slice into half-moons. Arrange kiwi slices around the outer edge of the pie – it looks especially nice when the slices are propped up at an angle.
Place blueberries (or any other berries like raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries) in front of kiwi slices.
Chill entire key lime pie for at least 2 hours before serving. This pie is best served chilled or slightly colder than room temperature.
The ACNM released the following statement about National Midwifery Week–
Jill Breen, CPM
Midwives Alliance President and
The Midwives Alliance Board of Directors
Birth anthropologist Barbara Katz Rothman is seeking to interview women who have had babies within the past year. Please take her survey HERE.