Tag Archives: future

Breast Crawl

I’ll preface this post by saying that I am not a mother. I have not had my own birth nor have I attended one personally…yet.  I realize some of you might be rolling your eyes but this is super exciting to me so, roll them quietly. Please and thank you!

(Though if childbirth and what not aren’t your bag – I won’t be offended if you don’t read this post. It’s super okay to check out now. I won’t look! It’s cool. I’m just excited.)

Today was my first day of my Birth Doula Workshop that I registered for and told you guys about here! This course counts for two of the course requirements for certification by DONA International and is a three day, all-freaking-day intensive. Today was the Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas part of the workshop, tomorrow and Monday will be the Birth Doula Workshop. Truthfully, I was not thrilled to go this morning. As you all know, I’ve been having a super rough go of it lately. I was exhausted, hadn’t finished a super dry birth partner book and just…ugh. I wasn’t into it.  I ran out of the house this morning, forgetting my lovely water bottle, armed with pillows and food and and and. Frazzled much? Well…

It was fabulous.

I have never really had much of a close group of friends, let alone women. I’ve had a few here and there but never have had a true community. Twitter is the closest I have come in the last year. Sad as it may be, I just tend to struggle with maintaining friendships, expectations and the like. Well, it was SO immensely powerful to be in a room with women, all being honest and open, supportive and non-judgemental. We talked about birth and placentas and blood and hormones and it was awesome. The Doula conducting the workshop talked about the oxytocin that we’d be creating during the workshop and to be careful if you didn’t want a baby in the next week, and I laughed. By the time I walked out, I really understood what she was talking about.

It was the best day that I have had in a very, VERY long time. I did this for no one but myself. I was not taking care of someone else (yet), I was not cooking for others or planning a day for others. I was there, sitting, absorbing, learning, sharing…for ME. Just Sarah.  Lots of thinking about what I do for ME vs. Others today. Lots of it.

Anyway, I learned a ton. I knew a lot more than I think most non-pregnant women might already, but I learned so many cool things. Really guys, our bodies are AMAZING things. I mean it’s already pretty cool that we carry babies for months, birth them, bond with them and so forth right? Well it just keeps getting cooler once they are born. By far the coolest thing I learned about today?

The Breast Crawl.

The gist of this is that if you put a newborn baby on the center of a Mom’s chest or belly, they will crawl up to their breasts and find the nipple and start to suckle on their own, provided you just make sure they don’t fall! I just find it pretty amazing. The pushing that they do with their feet as they ‘crawl’ up, puts pressure on the mother’s uterus, encouraging it to contract and firm up too. Did you know that this instinct is also tied to the baby’s sense of smell? It’s one of the reasons you may want to wait to have your baby bathed after birth.  It’s just all so amazing to me. Our bodies, we are just crazy complex and so cool to me.  Maybe I’ll say amazing, one more time*. 

If you’re into it, go check the video out.  It’s kind of amazing.

*See? I told you I could make it happen.

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Friday Feelings

I have had company for four nights and three full days. My company has been lovely, low key, low maintenance and really a good time but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely LOVING the quiet of my apartment right now. I have been 100% alone for about four hours now, I have not uttered a single word but to the cat.  Blissful I tell you.

I know three days doesn’t seem like much (and I feel horribly guilty that I have so little staying power), but then again, the kids playing outside of the school next door might not be much to you either. A normal day for me involves a little bit of time, retreated into the bedroom with a game or a book. It sometimes has a long subway ride where I sit quietly by myself, or next to my husband, not talking. Reading. Just zoning out to myself.  For introverts and highly sensitive people a like, that quiet recharge time is SO important. It’s taken me a long time to learn this about myself, but I really do need a LITTLE alone time in my life. It helps me. It resets me. It allows me to take a breath and get back up and moving. Without it, I feel frazzled and exhausted. Yesterday morning, I was on the verge of tears because I just felt like I could NOT get up and sight see one more minute. I got up, we got food and it got better but it was touch and go for a little bit.  Add to all of that, that I live in less than 500 square feet and my friend slept on my couch in my livingroom. Add to that, that I am the only person who cooks. Who gets up and says, “Okay let’s go out!”. Who gets anything moving or makes plans.

Friends, I am toast. I really am and I am looking forward to emptying my DVR and barely leaving my apartment this weekend.

*

A very close friend of mine has been ill, on and off for years.  He was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a year or two ago and while avoiding gluten made him feel better, there were still things that did not clear up. I just found out today that they are waiting on blood test confirmation, but that he most likely has Lupus.  I feel so bad that I have not been around like I should have been for him.

He can’t talk about this with his wife as she is expecting any day now and has a whole host of her own issues due to her maternal size and so forth. I worry about how prepared they are. I worry about her health (or lack there of) and their baby being healthy. I worry that she now has to deliver in a completely different town because her BMI and size has made it so that no doctors want to deliver locally. That they need to go where there is a better NICU.

All of this I’ve been worried about too. Just, lots of worry for my friend, his wife and their baby waiting to be born.

*

My doula training starts two weeks from TODAY. I suddenly got a huge jolt of energy just thinking about it. Thinking about the fact that while a good chunk of my life is in chaos and is not perfect, I am taking ONE step just for me. Not for anyone else but for me. One step that will be the first of many to get where I want. At least one of the places I want to be.

I’m excited. I am hopeful. I just really want to be the support that women deserve. I want to share the love and care that I have in my heart.

*

I am going to get back into writing poetry. I wrote when I was younger quite a bit. I droned on and on about lost love when I was a teenager. I loved writing.  I rediscovered it a couple years ago and have since fallen out of practice.  I’m not one of those people that words just come to. It takes work. It takes writing down things every day even if they are just a phrase or two. Even if they never make it into a ‘proper’ poem.

I really loved being able to express myself in that manner and I would like to get back into it.  I think it’s a good part of my self discovery and this journey that I am on. This path.  I have a page where I share my poetry here. As I read over the past, I realize that they are some pretty violent and sometimes graphic images. Maybe even a bit emo, so, be kind please. They are snippets from moments in my life. Some of them.  Others are simple wordplay without a deeper meaning.

I hope you like what I have written of my past and what I will write of my future.

*

I think of a lot of people, often. People I’ve never met. People I have grown to love and cherish over time. People I’ve learned about by scouring their blogs, reveling in their honesty and the vulnerability in their words or perhaps their humor or way of being. I think so, so often.

I don’t think I speak up enough so I am going to try to do that. I’m going to send the emails waxing poetically about how amazing this person is when I think it.  I’m not going to worry about how odd it might sound, I’m just going to do it because I know what a difference a kind word can make.

So if you think no one is listening or watching. If you think no one is reading. Just trust me. I lurk a lot. I think a lot and I love a lot.  I’ll try to tell you more often that I saw something your child would love or that I am amazed that you are still standing. I’ll do my best to tell you that I thought of you this morning, and was proud you got out of bed or that I am proud of you for going to the Doctor.  I will work hard to tell you how SORRY I am that you’re going through so much, that you are so strong for taking care of everyone, that I see where you’re hurting even though you keep going and that I love you. I promise you that I will let you know the little things that I seem to censor day in and day out.

If you’re reading this – you’re lovely. I will try to tell you more often. I don’t want to miss my chance to let you know you’re loved and that you matter.

*

Big Goals

This past week, I went to hear Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete speak about his brand new book of the same name. I had already pre-ordered his book through Amazon and wasn’t sure if I’d attend the signing but on the day of, I signed up for the waitlist. I figured if I got a ticket, great. If I didn’t – I was still getting a signed bookplate thanks to pre-ordering! Well I did get an invitation to go and while I was all fluttery about it I am SO GLAD that I went.

Matt spoke about setting BIG goals. This was in reference to running and sports, but as he was talking, I was thinking.  What was it that I really wanted to do with myself? Was there something athletically I wanted? What about the rest of life? He suggested that we probably already knew what this goal was and that it most likely felt or seemed impossible. He gave a few examples and spoke about creating goals that may seem impossible now but that are EXCITING to you or you won’t stay on track. He also suggested that you tell everyone you know. That blogging, calling it out on Facebook, telling family and friends, tweeting about it – are all ways to help you stay accountable. To help push you toward that exciting goal.

I’ve been tossing around a few ‘goals’ here and there lately. I’ve been meaning to really focus myself, nail some things down. I even got a new notebook and pen to write about my goals! To put them out there and think about them. Manifest your destiny, Sarah! I haven’t exactly done it yet. Womp, womp.

As Matt went on, I couldn’t help be inspired by his story. A normal, average, everyday guy that decided to run a marathon. After years of struggle (and many marathons later), he finally qualified for the Boston Marathon and now he has completed his first 100 Mile Ultramarathon. You heard that correctly. ONE HUNDRED MILES people! I can only imagine how impossible that must have seemed way back when, but now? It’s a reality of his.

Two things came out of this talk for me. Two goals. Two seemingly BIG goals to me. One I’ve tossed about on here, on twitter and with family friends but have yet to solidly commit to it. The other, I’ve spoken to absolutely NO ONE about. Hell, I’m still even hesitant to admit to myself that I want this. I also thought about you guys here, how supportive you all are and how maybe, you would be a motivation for me to keep on track.

Are you ready?

1. I want to be a midwife. 
2. I want to complete a triathlon.  

Sure the first seems so simple. Like of course Sarah – go do it. The fact is, it hasn’t been that easy for me. Back in July, I loosely made a plan in my head of how I would become a midwife.  I would use my time in New York constructively. I would become a Doula while here, using the vast resources of such a big city to help me gain experience and certification, making me a desirable candidate for UBC Midwifery School when we returned to Vancouver. I even downloaded several books from the Dona International certification reading list to my brand new kindle. Seems easy right? Well – since then I’ve had the dates of the course I wanted to take in my head. November 9th, 10th & 11th. Over and over, the dates rumbled in my head. I figured, if we had a little left over from our move and could spare it, maybe I’d take the course and get started. Then, some family gave me money to help us get settled here in NYC and I quietly earmarked it for this course. If I signed up before October 9th, I’d even get a discount.

Well, it’s October 5th. After hemming and hawing. After being scared and thinking of all the failures I could. After worrying about our financial state and my lack of employment. I took the leap. I registered.  I am registered for a Birth Doula Workshop in early November that counts as 2 out of 3 course requirements for certification as a Birth Doula.  I did it.

Goal #1 – started.

As far as Goal #2, it’s a bit more complicated. The day after Matt’s talk, I was reading Caitlin’s post about her triathlon. I read through the links she provided on training, what, where, how etc. I thought about it quietly to myself before even admitting it to Andrew. Then? I went to TriFind.com and started a search. Just a hypothetical ‘what if’ kind of search, I told myself.

I mean, I’m struggling to get back into fitness as it is, how could I do this? I don’t even LOVE running. Sure, I used to be a competitive swimmer, but I haven’t in YEARS. I don’t even have a bike!

All sorts of things ran through my head as to why I couldn’t possibly do it but as a sprint triathlon showed up in my search, for June 15th, the one thought that kept ringing true was – I really want to do this. So while I haven’t registered for this one yet, I’m going to work on it. It’s far enough in the future that I can prepare myself. This fall and winter, I’m going to work on my running. I’m going to talk to my Stepdad who is a cyclist and see if he can help me with that part. I’m going to find a pool and squeeze into my racing suit again. I’m going to spend the winter working on things and see where I’m at. I’ll be sure to tell you guys when I make this one a reality. I can do this, I know I can. It might be in a beat up bike and some spandex shorts instead of a svelte racing bike and trisuit, but I’m going to do this.

So thanks, Matt, for the inspiration and motivation.

I’m excited guys. I’ve got November 9-11 and June 15th on the brain.

*And as a side note, I would highly recommend Matt’s book, “No Meat Athlete” if you’re interested in fitness on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Or even just on becoming a better runner.

On Having Kids

I’m 32. Not exactly old, but not exactly a spring chicken when it comes to thinking about procreation and it’s something that is certainly on my brain. Every. Freaking. Day.

Over the years I’ve waffled back and forth as to whether I even WANT my own children. In college I didn’t want them. No way. No how. I didn’t want to be just like my own Mom (at the time) and I would ruin their lives. /drama.  After I met my first love, nature kicked in and I wanted BABIES. NOW.  Since then, the desire has come and gone and suddenly, come back again. With a vengeance.

What’s really happening I think, is I’m trying to convince myself that I will be okay if I don’t end up having children. Which I will be. I swear. For various reasons, I’m just not at a point right now where it is feasible. I know people say “You’re never really ready” but I’m honest when I say…I know, this is not the time even if I were confident in having babies.

I never dreamed of having babies as a child myself. I never really gave a thought to it to be honest. Much like I never dreamed of what my wedding would look like or life for that matter. There’s a part of me that feels selfish for thinking that…I don’t even know what I am doing with my life yet career wise and how could I give that possibility up to have a child at this point. I don’t think I could. Yes, I know. Children don’t end your life, but they DO change it. I can’t just jump to a fitness class, or full time school with ease…with a baby. Sure you can do it, but it isn’t quite as easy.

The problem is: I LOVE children. I really do. I am completely obsessed with everybody else’s’ kids. I know more about breastfeeding and childbirth than normal non-pregnant women do. I love everything surrounding it and can’t help to research, read up, study and learn constantly. I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding, natural childbirth and midwifery, yet I rarely speak up because I fear the dreaded, “You’ve never had children” comment. I know that I would make a wonderful Mother should it happen. Should I make that choice. I know I’d be super hard on myself, yet I really do think I could do a damn good job at raising independent, intelligent, compassionate and loving kids. I’d try to the best of my abilities anyway!

Yet still, I just DON’T KNOW if it will ever happen.

It’s true. I’ve never had children and sometimes it feels like I’m on the outside of some exclusive club, looking longingly toward the secret handshake protected inner sanctum and I just want in! I want to ask about birth stories, trials and tribulations, happiness and struggle. I want to know it all, I just…don’t know if I’ll ever have my own. And I’m not really sure I’m okay with it. Yet.

I really cannot properly express how intense my desire to be a part of this whole community is without being more of a complete creeper than I already am. I swear, I’m not leering at your children. I am merely looking at them (and you) in awe and thinking how freaking amazing they are and wonderful. I’m looking at you and thinking what a great job you’re doing and how amazing it is that you’re juggling a shopping cart, your infant who is screaming for food, your purse, another toddler all while trying to get groceries. I want to stop you, applaud you and hold your kid so you can find your keys.

I suspect that in the future, with or without my own children, I’ll become a doula or midwife. I will study my heart out and know all that I possibly can. I’ll continue to learn.  By god, I’ll help women bring their own babies into this world even if I don’t bring any into it on my own.

That, I just might be able to reconcile. For now. I think.