Viewing entries tagged
Decorah

      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        
         
            Photography By Brittany  www.brittanytodd.com  
         
        

       
    
     
  


     The MomPost   Aug. 5, 15   "Too Bad You Had To Switch To Formula"   You know you've heard it. That's why you clicked on it, right. You've heard the judgments, perhaps even said the words yourself . . . even if only in your mind. "Breast is best." And sometimes that is true. But here's the surprise,  YOU  get to decide. For  YOU .      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


     This week is  World Breastfeeding Week , and absolutely, I support it through and through, inside and out, in word and in deed. I'm personally breasts deep in little peoples hands, mouths, education and giggles. That's right, I said "mouths." You do the math. And yes, I'm also often rubbing in vernix up to my elbows as I'm asked to assist both my client and her new baby with their anatomy and their connection, even while the cord is still pulsing away. A healthy breastfeeding relationship is often a client's chosen  NorthStar  and my job is to make sure that NorthStar is attained. Sometimes the little person comes out sucking away and latches on with the vigor, purpose and enthusiasm that I have for a trip to Maui, an iced coffee and a scone at 4pm. And the world seems right and  all is beautiful .      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


     But sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it causes us to feel depressed. Sometimes it is a great strain on our other relationships. Sometimes we simply don't want to do it! We get to say to ourselves, our child, our partner, the world…" I'M NOT DOING THAT WITH MY BODY RIGHT NOW. " Period. And that is all you need to know. And that's enough. And the world needs to shut it.   I also answer texts and calls night and day for mothers who want to know why it feels like there are softballs growing in their arm pits, why there are red streaks on their breasts, why their baby has white spots in their mouth and why their breasts feel like there are shards of glass inside. They want to know why this hurts when everyone tells them that if they are doing it right it shouldn't hurt, and apparently they are doing it right. They want to know how they can possibly go on starving their baby since they were told that they clearly aren't producing anything if they can't pump anything out. Their support groups tell them to try harder, try better, try more. I sit silently with mothers who are sexual abuse survivors as they choke through trying to willingly place their breast in someone's mouth. With women who want to breastfeed just once before they hand their little one over to the woman who will now be the infant's mother. With women who put cabbage leaves on their breasts and bind themselves in gauze so that they can return to work as quickly and 'professionally' as possible to maintain their family's insurance and continue to pay their rent. I take walks with mothers, beautiful walks filled with tears and a desperate plea for self-forgiveness for a past 'failed' relationship with breastfeeding. The kind of choking tears that even years later still can add depression to our day. The anguish in the voices that scream, "Why is my body such a failure??!!!" To anyone that brings judgement to these women for nourishing their children in the way they see best, I suggest you do that far from my earshot. I might go cray-cray on you. Or at least bring me a coffee and a scone, and I  might  try to tone it down bit.       

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        
         
            Yep. That's me. It's Christmas. I have a sweet new baby in my arms. Don't I look cheery?  
         
        

       
    
     
  


     7 years later I still see shock and aversion in people's eyes when I tell them that I fed my oldest child donated breast milk from 5 different women in our community for the first year of his life. ( For those of you that just had an adverse reaction, it's okay, I forgive you. And to those of you that fed my child, thank you. Forever and ever thank you. )  We all make our decisions with the information we have at the time. And that's it. We are not failures when something we set out to do doesn't come true. We are not in charge of the world or how everything goes round. We are not lesser mothers because we choose something our own mother or our friends or our sisters or society or doctors or nurses or lactation consultants or midwives or doulas or moms groups or our partners or even our grown up children find to be a lesser choice. The pressure that mothers feel is IMMENSE from every angle and we are doing the best job that we personally can at any given time.   So take a breath,  forgive yourself  if need be, unfollow judgmental people on social media, and refuse to have a conversation or interaction with someone who does not fill your bucket. You don't have room for their toxic mess, you're too busy doing everything you can to be the amazing parent that you are.  I'm proud of you . I'm tears-in-my-eyes-voice-shaking proud of you. And my guess is that somewhere deep down below the self-judgement that you are proud of you too. You alone know the sacrifices you make to continue to grow this child you so dearly love. And if you want a safe, un-bias, confidential pair of ears to lay your deepest and darkest upon, I'm a phone call away.       

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        
         
            Photography by Brittany. www.brittanytodd.com   
         
        

       
    
     
  


     So, next time unsolicited advice comes your way, have your most rockin' "F-Off" sentence ready, and  USE IT!   Close your eyes, let your sentence come to you. The first thing that comes to mind is perfect. Got it?   Let's try it OUT LOUD together. Here and now. Yes, I'm serious. Whereever you are at, you're going to say your sentence OUT LOUD, and it is going to feel freaking amazing!  On 3.  1.  2.  3.  "GO NURSE YOURSELF, MY BABY AND I ARE FABULOUS!"  One more time. A little LOUDER now!   "GO NURSE YOURSELF, MY BABY AND I ARE FABULOUS!"   Well, how'd ya do? Felt great, right?! And now you have the power to say your sentence whenever you want. You shout that sh*t out loud whenever, wherever and feel your confidence grow. Watching women and families find their authentic voices is the best part of my job. When clients ask me if I want to hold their new baby I'm happy to say, "No. I absolutely don't. I'm here because I want YOU to hold your baby." And when you have a sentence like that ready to go, I assure you, you will.   Tits up!     your decorah doula      

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


         The MomPost    No Use Crying Over Spilled Coffee  Lindsey Harman, MFA, CD(DONA), PPD, PES, CBE  www.arrivalarts.com            

3 Comments

"You've heard the judgments, perhaps even said the words yourself . . . even if only in your mind. "Breast is best." And sometimes that is true. But here's the surprise, YOU get to decide. For YOU."

3 Comments

      Okay Ladies and Gents. Follow these steps and no one gets hurt.   UNO . Put your kids down for their naps, even if it ain't nap time, cuz lawd knows Momma needs them to take a long one today!   DOS . Grab your  Impact Iced Coffee . Yep, the Sugar n' Spice on tap is like legal-crack-to-go-in-a-cup-full-of-hope. Add a tisket of raw honey and a tasket of whatever kind of milk makes you feel like the best parent ever and suddenly that coffee is sexy too.    TRES . You know that quiet spot in your house that you've been dreaming of dusting off and sitting in on your own? Yes. That one. Don't dust it. Just go sit there. Now.   QUATRO . Get out your secret F* Me voice and Use. It. 'Cuz once this paragraph is over.  It. Is. On.  It's about to get crazy up in here. Fair warning.  This ain't your average doula blog . And with that, I give you. . .   ( sexy voice starts now )   The Night I (BEEPED) My Husband!   It's 1 a.m. Each child is safely asleep. And by * safely ,* I mean they've each swallowed the berry, naturally flavored (of course)  CalMag , and I shouldn't hear from them until at least 4 a.m. There's curdled spit-up and spaghetti finger prints on my t-shirt but I'm too wiped to find pajamas in the pile of wrinkled, clean clothes on the floor. And I've got shit to do in my glorious  20 seconds of quiet .  Someone please adopt the dog that is scratching on the baby gate. I'll pay you .   I think I spoke to my husband yesterday. Or was it the day before? Nope. It was most certainly yesterday. Romantic as Hell. He passed me the pasta and I passed him a  to-do list .  Moi:  "I have to get  groceries  tomorrow. What kind of ice cream do you want ? "   Him:  "Vanilla . "   When he walked into the bedroom tonight I could tell something  Crazy.Town.  was about to  go down . Sleep.  Long, deep , uninterrupted sleep is at the top of my wish list. It has been at the top of said list since 2008. But as he entered, clearly a big somethin' somethin' had just moved to the top of his wish list. We're outta the Lush massage bar, plus we just did this jazz a couple weeks back, so this was too soon. Too Soon.  But then he said it .    The words I've been waiting to hear since the moment we turned our lives into Parents-R-Us .   He crawled onto the bed .     ( Y ou might want to sit down for this and if you haven't gotten out your sexy voice by now,  Do. It.  See steps tres and quatro. )    He licked my cheek .   Put his hand up my stained shirt. Pressed his body against mine. And whispered in my ear .     "I read an article today."   He took off his shirt .   "On Huffpost . "    Wait . Sweet Jesus. Where did his Target boxer-briefs go?  "About raising the kids in an optimal,  intentional  way, and I think we should try…"  He was straddling me now like Tarzan straddles Jane in the jungle .    "A new.  T  echnique  . "  And I couldn't stop staring at him. Alright.  I'm in .   "What exactly did the article say that  grabbed  you ? ," I said.   "The part about how  hard  you mothers work to  satisfy  everyone's needs.," said he. The part where everything you are and everything you do comes together in one  highly, sensitive,   little spot.  And how it gets  harder and harder  for mothers to find time or  resources for self-care . So, I thought I would  show  you how to  take care of yourself  when I am away."  And then the vibrating started. Somewhere deep from in my pants. I couldn't take it. I couldn't stop it, no matter how hard I tried. The vibration was getting louder, and faster ...   The dog barked .   The baby cried .    The vibrating turned into ringing .    (  If your sexy voice is still on board, go ahead and tuck that away for now. )    I sheepishly opened one eye as my 41-week client on the the other end of the line excitedly reported that her water had released a moment earlier. I smiled as  I listened to her  describe the events of the evening and how she planned to meet me in an hour at the hospital. By now my second eye had joined the party and the husband that played the sexy role of the teasing researcher had long since vanished to tend to the crying.  As I grabbed my  cold brew  from the fridge and entered the cool night air to welcome the newest member of our community, I blew a kiss to the deep, safe eyes in the window that were sending me love and assurance from the baby's room. This guy parents with a  grace, peace, and contentedness  that I gave up imitating long ago. If I say chocolate, he says vanilla. And therefor we get both, every time.    A new baby. A new mother. A new father. A new family  for everyone to navigate through life with. A reminder to press the reset button in my own life. An opportunity to practice gratitude for just how fragile, and chaotic, and hectic, and intense, and sacred, and true, and short life is.  Caffeine  does in fact put a pretty little bow on the intensity of the package for me, and I promise to be faithful to the espresso gods. But. No matter how many times my kiddos spill my  coffee  while coming in for an extra strong, extra excited tackle-hug, and even if this steadfast guy of mine decides to skip the ice cream and article reading all together,  I'm still all in. Every. Time.                    

2 Comments

Okay Ladies and Gents. Follow these steps and no one gets hurt.

UNO. Put your kids down for their naps, even if it ain't nap time, cuz lawd knows Momma needs them to take a long one today!

DOS. Grab your Impact Iced Coffee. Yep, the Sugar n' Spice on tap is like legal-crack-to-go-in-a-cup-full-of-hope. Add a tisket of raw honey and a tasket of whatever kind of milk makes you feel like the best parent ever and suddenly that coffee is sexy too. 

TRES. You know that quiet spot in your house that you've been dreaming of dusting off and sitting in on your own? Yes. That one. Don't dust it. Just go sit there. Now.

QUATRO. Get out your secret F* Me voice and Use. It. 'Cuz once this paragraph is over. It. Is. On. It's about to get crazy up in here. Fair warning. This ain't your average doula blog. And with that, I give you. . . 

(sexy voice starts now)

The Night I (BEEPED) My Husband!

It's 1 a.m. Each child is safely asleep. And by *safely,* I mean they've each swallowed the berry, naturally flavored (of course) CalMag, and I shouldn't hear from them until at least 4 a.m. There's curdled spit-up and spaghetti finger prints on my t-shirt but I'm too wiped to find pajamas in the pile of wrinkled, clean clothes on the floor. And I've got shit to do in my glorious 20 seconds of quiet.

Someone please adopt the dog that is scratching on the baby gate. I'll pay you.

I think I spoke to my husband yesterday. Or was it the day before? Nope. It was most certainly yesterday. Romantic as Hell. He passed me the pasta and I passed him a to-do list.

Moi:  "I have to get groceries tomorrow. What kind of ice cream do you want?

Him:  "Vanilla.

When he walked into the bedroom tonight I could tell something Crazy.Town. was about to go down. Sleep. Long, deep, uninterrupted sleep is at the top of my wish list. It has been at the top of said list since 2008. But as he entered, clearly a big somethin' somethin' had just moved to the top of his wish list. We're outta the Lush massage bar, plus we just did this jazz a couple weeks back, so this was too soon. Too Soon.

But then he said it. 

The words I've been waiting to hear since the moment we turned our lives into Parents-R-Us.

He crawled onto the bed. 

(You might want to sit down for this and if you haven't gotten out your sexy voice by now, Do. It. See steps tres and quatro.)

He licked my cheek.

Put his hand up my stained shirt. Pressed his body against mine. And whispered in my ear. 

"I read an article today."

He took off his shirt.

"On Huffpost.

Wait. Sweet Jesus. Where did his Target boxer-briefs go?

"About raising the kids in an optimal, intentional way, and I think we should try…"

He was straddling me now like Tarzan straddles Jane in the jungle

"A new. Technique."

And I couldn't stop staring at him. Alright. I'm in

"What exactly did the article say that grabbed you?," I said. 

"The part about how hard you mothers work to satisfy everyone's needs.," said he. The part where everything you are and everything you do comes together in one highly, sensitive, little spot. And how it gets harder and harder for mothers to find time or resources for self-care. So, I thought I would show you how to take care of yourself when I am away."

And then the vibrating started. Somewhere deep from in my pants. I couldn't take it. I couldn't stop it, no matter how hard I tried. The vibration was getting louder, and faster...

The dog barked.

The baby cried

The vibrating turned into ringing.

(If your sexy voice is still on board, go ahead and tuck that away for now.)

I sheepishly opened one eye as my 41-week client on the the other end of the line excitedly reported that her water had released a moment earlier. I smiled as I listened to her describe the events of the evening and how she planned to meet me in an hour at the hospital. By now my second eye had joined the party and the husband that played the sexy role of the teasing researcher had long since vanished to tend to the crying.

As I grabbed my cold brew from the fridge and entered the cool night air to welcome the newest member of our community, I blew a kiss to the deep, safe eyes in the window that were sending me love and assurance from the baby's room. This guy parents with a grace, peace, and contentedness that I gave up imitating long ago. If I say chocolate, he says vanilla. And therefor we get both, every time. 

A new baby. A new mother. A new father. A new family for everyone to navigate through life with. A reminder to press the reset button in my own life. An opportunity to practice gratitude for just how fragile, and chaotic, and hectic, and intense, and sacred, and true, and short life is. Caffeine does in fact put a pretty little bow on the intensity of the package for me, and I promise to be faithful to the espresso gods. But. No matter how many times my kiddos spill my coffee while coming in for an extra strong, extra excited tackle-hug, and even if this steadfast guy of mine decides to skip the ice cream and article reading all together, I'm still all in. Every. Time.

 

 

 

 

 


 

2 Comments