Tag Archives: training

Oh crap.

It is 10:55pm and I am JUST now realizing I haven’t posted y’all! You see, I was so awesome that yesterday’s poat was scheduled ahead so I got lazy and out of the daily habit. Tsk tsk. It is only the twelfth, I’d better get my shit together eh?

I have a pretty good post coming up at some point, but the feelings, thoughts and emotions are still settling inside me. I will say that spending days in a small room with 12 other women, all talking about how strong, capable and amazing birthing women are – is life changing.

Truly.

I’m not sure, like I said, where I am headed just yet. I know that the experience has changed something inside me for the better. It has shown me a path. A better way. It has revealed strength inside me and purpose that I couldn’t find before.

That said, I can’t say I am perfect and that the path is perfectly clear. There is work ahead. There is brush to be cleared and trails to be tamped down.

If you have ever thought you wanted to get involved in birth support, or just supporting amazing women,  I highly recommend at least checking out Birth Doula Training.

It really is life changing. 

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Learning to Listen

Today was pretty great too. Of course, I am all weepy as I say this for some unbeknownst reason, feeling like I could use a good, heaving cry. The day was goos though.

Beyond learning comfort measures and all about epidurals ans C-sections, the thing I took away most was something she called “reflective listening”.

We talked so much about how to give information, not advice. How to listen and help with out letting your own bias color your words. How important word choice is, particularly when a woman is in labor.  Ie: Instead of “How painful was that contraction?” Say, “How STRONG was that contraction?” Word choicr matters. Even subconsciously.

Anyway. Reflective listening. It is a way of helping guide someone to their own decision without influencing them with your own bias.

If a mother says,

“I guess my doctor wants to induce me next week.”

You take a breath and do not respond with advice. You do not respond by saying what you would do, or what she should do. You say,

“How does that make you feel? What do YOU think about that?”

If they ask for information,  you give them the risks and benefits. Information. Not advice.

If they say something like,

“My Mom wants to be there, I suppose that’s okay,”

you respond with,

It sounds like you are unsure about your Mom being in the room. Is that right?”

It may seem obvious, but I couldn’t help feeling like, we should talk like this more often. We should strive to clarify and truly understand what someone is saying, rather than jump to answer. Pause. Think.

I am not making this make sense very well, but it is something I am thinking about. How do I learn to listen better in my daily life? What is in the way?

Do you think you are a good listener? Is it hard to just listen?

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.

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.

*