Saturday, November 28, 2009

"I'll love you more than anybody can"

The birth gods smiled upon me this week. Briana and I have 6 babies due before Christmas. My "big kids", Jeff and Lindsay couldn't come home for Thanksgiving so I decided to go to Washington. That's a huge break in tradition and it meant leaving the "babies", Nat, Steen and Jade behind. After some "checking in" with my moms and Bri, I decided it would be OK to leave town for 48 hours. It was worth every second! And, all's well with the mamas-in-waiting here!

With so little time to spend with these 6 grandbabies, every minute was precious. No lunch dates or shopping trips this trip. Just a lot of holding, snuggling and catching up.

I love you, Asher. 4 year olds rock! Thanks for playing the animal game with me.

I love you, Elias River. You are a beautiful baby. Thanks for letting me feed you cookies!

I love you, Lucas Jude! You jumped into my arms! Thanks for letting me sleep in your bed.

I love you, Gabriel. 10 years old! Thanks for letting me hold your cool lizard!

I love you, Gavin West. Has it almost been a year since the whirlwind flight to your house whe you were born? Thank you for remembering me.

I love you, Faith Astoria. Almost 8. Wow! Thanks for sponsoring the turkey coloring contest AND awarding my turkey 1st place!

You are beautiful babies! It fills my heart to watch you grow and shine. Yes, I'll love you more than anybody can.
Well, the phone just rang. It was Briana. We are on our way to help someone else's grandbaby be born. What a joyful life!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

making pure

sage bundled by midwife briana

patchouli candle from monterey

my hand

the boots that carry me

my spaces here

the places i'll go

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, Love Day

I go to work on Thursdays. It's my favorite day of the week. Well, tied for first with Tuesday anyway. My midwife appointments are scheduled on this day. From the minute I wake, I am aware, anticipating, on and open to whatever lies ahead. I know that when I return to my bed on Thursday night my cup will have been filled, consumed and filled again many times as my day unfolds, unwinds. There is an added element of rockin'-groovin', lovin'-my-life going on this day. In about an hour Alisha Stamper will be here to shoot A Day in the Life of a Midwife. She will shadow me, no, she will BE with me as we sup together on the rich feast of prenatals, postpartums, bellies and babies.

In addition to the other prep thoughts that start my Thursdays, I had this one: What should I wear?? A truly prepared type would have had that all worked out. Not me. I did a mental run through of my clothes, the clean ones. Jeans, not today. Cords, not quite right. Brown linen with thin blue pin stripes, might not be classic enough for viewing in 20 years. Dress black, no way. Blush pink sweeties, find of the week from J.Crew, too wide leg for my favorite boots. OK, I'm going with the "my boyfriend's chinos" even though they are slightly chewed up, distressed. I like the color name; sycamore, and how they make me feel all happy, dance-y. Now for the shirt. My favorite white linen has a broken button, not missing, broken, same problem as missing. Next favorite, Sundance green plaid might be too busy even with a large format film camera, black and white. I chose a plain black tee. Not a J.Jill cotton/poly blend but an old all organic cotton from a treasured shopping day at Passports in downtown SeaTown. Perfect. Now for the socks, striped smartwools. No question. Ahh, my boots. From Santa Fe, Groundhog is the brand. I fill a bit sinful loving my boots so much. Michael Franti and Xavier are barefooters you know, no shoes. Nobody right, nobody wrong, I LOVE my shoes, these boots especially. Back to the subject, what about earrings? Um, that's a hard one. I'll decide when I brush my teeth.

Music for my day, a playlist called "self" that I made yesterday. I was all about myself yesterday. Not in a bad way, just grounding, giving thanks, purifying (more about that later) and making a plan on how this "self" could best fulfill the measure of her creation. Thanks Lindsay girl for the focus on Women Who Create. The playlist has Indigo girls, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Michael (I'm softening) and Xavier, lots of him. Find this one, Guku, and play it loud. Add some Yogi tea in a peace mug and the chi for this day is flowing. Fill me my mamas, I love you so much.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dreamy Gavin

Some things you just know. My first visit with Ali in February was one of those "knowing things". I knew she was a good mama. I knew their home was a peaceful haven. And Sebastian, I've known lots of dads like him; excellent providers, protectors of their family's space and happiest in the periphery during birth talk. I knew my heart was already filling with love for the Z family. I knew I had to be her midwife. It was hard not to cry as we heard the bitty babe's heart beat right there in her living room during that very first visit. Grandma was there too adding to the celebration of that moment of knowing. And so our story began. . .

My connection with Ali came easily, naturally. She shared so many things with me during our months of prenatal visits. I was open to learning about her faith and she was willing to teach me. Every visit I was treated to something delicious. Fresh berries from the market or over the top pie baked by Sebby; always something good. Soon to be big brother, Blake, became my good buddy. Without saying a word he went straight for the tools, every time. He measured mama and listened to his own heart beating as well as tiny brother's.

As Ali's belly grew, so did my love for our experiences. I looked forward to the solitude of my summer drives over Parley's Summit and what would greet me when I arrived in their Park City home.Ali's first pregnancy had gone well beyond the estimated due date. Her first labor was long too, very long. With that in mind, we didn't expect this baby to come on August 7. Nor did we expect a short labor. Still, the ultrasound suggested the baby boy was truly on target for an early August birthday and changes in Ali's body got our attention in late July. Maybe this would be a much different story. We got ready. The birth kit and pool were in place. Midwife Briana made some visits to their home and we waited. And waited. And waited some more. One afternoon, Ali and Sebastian came to my house for a prenatal. She was 42 weeks and 5 days. I had to acknowledge that even though I trusted this baby to know his birthday, in 2 more days I would be required to make some hard decisions about transferring her care. We talked a lot about many things. We talked about surrendering, about filling hearts with love so that the necessary oxytocin could start the dance. I know I expressed my admiration for them and my belief that this baby would be safely born soon.
Just as I was waking up the next morning, I got 3 phone calls, bing, bing, bing!
First it was Sebby. "I think Ali's in labor."
Next Ali. "This feels different. I think it could be it."
And then Grandma. "Ali's in labor, You better get up here!"
Ok, OK! As I was grabbing my keys and heading out the door, my phone rang again. Alright already. I'm coming!
This time it was Sebby, again and very calmly:
"Don't hurry. He's already here."
Just like that.
I was stunned. Jumped in my car and took off. All of a sudden my mind filled with a zillion questions and all of the immediate postpartum concerns. I called them back and instructed them to leave the cord alone and be prepared for Birth Stage 3, the placenta. I called Briana to give her a report and asked her to please follow me up the canyon.
When I arrived, I found Ali on her bed curled up around this beautiful baby boy.

There were some Stage 3 challenges still ahead and I was grateful that Briana walked through the door soon after me. I nodded to her and softly said,
"Set up the O2 and prepare the IV."
Ali sat right up and said,
"I do not need those things."
She was right. The placenta delivered, the bleeding stopped and all was well.
The short story, the very short story as it was told to me is this.
Soon after calling me, Ali felt that her baby was coming, quickly. There was no time to set up the birth pool and she so wanted a water birth. So they got in the hot tub on their back deck. The deck opens right on to the golf course. It was there under a blue morning sky with golfers passing by that Sebastian caught his baby boy. They calmly climbed out, walked to the bed and that's the story.
Did I say Sebastian likes to remain in the periphery of birth stuff? I was misled.
This was not how I pictured myself welcoming this baby boy. It was even better. He will always love the retelling of a beautiful, sunny morning when a special mama and a special daddy went outside to bring their baby home.

It's still hard not to cry when I remember this family, this summer of 2009 when I left a piece of my heart in Park City, Utah. I miss you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Warming up . . .

I have something big goin' on in this head right now. Gestating.
2009 has filled me with experiences, joy, sorrow, wisdom and most of all, vision.

To borrow from the Indigo Girls:
"Now I wait like a widow for someone to come back from sea,
I've always known, I was waiting for me"

From Jamie Glenn:
"Walk tall, you're a daughter, a child of God,
Be strong and remember who you are"

And from scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 90:24

"Search diligently, pray always and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good"

Streams of light are filling my vessel. I feel physically strong and healthy, mentally aware and ready, and spiritually attuned. There is good energy surrounding me, beautiful people and opportunities everywhere I turn.

I love when everything opens up and clarity washes over me. I have a lot to do. Lead my family, guide my birth clients, mentor MCU students, strengthen the Association of Utah Midwives, and a big planet to travel upon.

This month of gratitude is overflowing with blessings. Today's top 5 ~

1. Knowledge of a God in heaven that is aware of me, hears my prayers and holds me gently when I am feeling fragile.

2. Midwives and mamas. Both are wise and powerful. I get to midwife both; as president of Utah's state association and as a birth guide.

3. Jade. Today I am most grateful for Jade. She is brave. She is pretty. She is intuitive. She is mine.

4. My daddy. He speaks to me through sunsets. This first man I ever loved, ahh, I miss him terribly. He taught me to slow down, savor, love deeply, be good to myself, believe in dreams and to never, ever buy cheap shoes!

5. Gina's man, Myles. How can you not love a man that calls you on the phone and says "Is that you KitCat?", folds your laundry and and laughs hard at the ridiculous things that come out of your mouth?

Good things are happening. I'm looking forward. Mmmmmmmm. . .

KitCat, Friday the 13th, 2009, on my way to rock the midwives

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Sailin' on here. . .

I'm getting ready to post birth stories and rebirth my blog. Hopefully tonight if my blog advisor is available. I shut it down to catch my breath and refocus for a minute. My apologies to those of you that couldn't access birthrightly and were confused. I've had a few distressed phone calls. So sorry.
Anyway, for your pleasure while we wait. . .let me introduce you to the new man in my life, Xavier Rudd. Move over Michael. It feels like you are selling out and that scares me. That TapTapTap game and going on tour as John Mayer's opener, not feeling so good right now.

Still, I wish there were something you would do or say,
To try and make me change my mind and stay

(Still got Mary Travers on my mind)

Make some tea, light a yummy candle and maximize the screen. Cozy on up and indulge yourself with the whole 6 minutes and 14 seconds of this asset to the planet.
Everything's gonna be alright. . .
Everything's gonna be alright.
No woman no cry.
All my love,