Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Most often I pause before writing, for the safety of thinking something through.
I just need to say: I LOVE John Steinbeck.
I was 12 or so when I first read The Pearl. It imprinted me for life. I didn't consciously tuck its sentiments in my heart, I guess they knew they belonged there and simply found their safe place.
Last October I visited The Steinbeck Museum in Salinas. I saw Rocinante with my own eyes. I touched and breathed in all things Steinbeck. I remembered.
Yesterday in Spokane, we made an impulsive trip to Auntie's Bookstore. This thought came to me. It's time to read Travels With Charley. The clerk helped me locate the store's only copy. In the wee hours I woke up and started reading. I just finished Part One. So yeah, I love John Steinbeck. I want to cry because I recognize all of the things he is feeling at this stage of life as he writes the closest thing to his autobiography.
On life and living with caution he says,
"I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept round the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage."

Last night I saw Trish. I saw my godson, Baridi "Bun" Jackson. Had I followed caution and appropriate doula behavior 13 years ago, I would never have met my soul sister, never have held him first, never have witnessed the miracles that love is catalyst for.

I'm not sure, but I've got to believe that living, loving and playing hard, being true to the passion inside, going for quality over quantity of days might just lengthen one's stay on this planet after all.

"If the journey should prove to be too much, then it is time to go anyway. I see too many delay their exits with sickly, slow reluctance to leave the stage. It's bad theater as well as bad living."

I have my Rocinante. She's little and red.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Vida Loca

In a couple of hours I'll be on my way. I'm flying to WA, a quick trip.
Three "bellies bella" to midwife and one very important birthday boy to celebrate.
I can hardly wait to sleep in Lukey's bed with some big ol' stuffed hippo. It may ease the pain of missing Eli's bottom bunk with the Spiderman blanket in AZ.
I can hardly wait to line 'em up for pictures:
Gabriel, Faith, Asher, Lucas, Elias, Gavin
I can hardly wait for lunch drive thru at Chico's.
I can hardly wait for the view of the Columbia from my airplane window.
I can hardly wait for a Brent Sharp bear hug.
I can hardly wait to see the little Airth girls.
I can hardly wait to breathe in the night sky of Tri-Cities, maybe from Badger Mountain.
I can hardly wait to see Baridi Damu Wanya Jackson, nearly grown now.
I can hardly wait to pop in at The Blue Heron Clinic.
I can hardly wait to show Lindsay the baby treasures I've been collecting for Harper Charlie A. Hammy Blue John Ash Stone Crosby Leo Pavi Bro Tres (anything but Elliot) Stoyan.
I can hardly wait to meet my baby boy at the CR temple.
karma, Circle Game, fruits of labors long ago. . .
Here I go.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Rainbow Followed Me Home

In the past 6 weeks, I've been home a total of 13 days. I'm grateful for a home that receives me, grounds me, fills me and lets me go again.


I love you. I miss you.

You and your people were so good to me.

Physically, we can only be where we are, but in our hearts we can go many places.

On the night before Diane's baby was born, just before the full moon rose up, a rainbow appeared over the stucco rooftops. There was even a faint double rainbow. As we sat taking in the beauty and peace of it, an AZ micro storm sent a powerful flash of lightning right through the middle. Amazing!

On my way home yesterday, just before sunset as I was leaving Cedar City, another rainbow appeared. I was on a back road, the only car, and the vertical rainbow piece stood straight ahead of me. My first impulse was to step on the gas and drive Li'l Red right into it. Instead, I stopped, paused, and breathed it in.

And today, my first day home, the best rainbow show ever! Spread across my backyard was a full, perfect, brilliant prism of loving light - double even! I caught myself saying "What does it mean?" Move over Double rainbow guy of youtube fame!

What does it mean? A heavenly sign that God knows my heart? I think so. He is a keeper of promises. So am I.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gracias luna bella

Thank you Heavenly Father, the birth gods and the beautiful full moon.
She is born.
Named after her grandmothers.
Irene Annabella Acuna
7 lbs. 9 oz.
20 inches
August 25, 2010
6:57 am

Welcome Princess Reni Belle

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Arizona, so far. . .

We drove thru the night last week to Phoenix. It was a beautiful drive, meteor showers, a sunrise and extreme temperatures. At one point on the pass in Utah it was 32 degrees. Enter Phoenix at noon, 113! This is Li'l Red's first road trip and she is loving it.
We are here to attend my beautiful cousin Diane's birth. With all of the anticipation and excitement of the upcoming birth, I feel the need to pause and give thanks for all of the unexpected goodness that has filled me so far. So how 'bout an AZ Grateful list?

1. Cousins. Simply that. Cousins. Mine are smart and funny and can throw a great family party.
It's comforting to feel completely at home here, observing the generations, sharing meals, prayers and family love.

2. Women. Universally wonderful. Ramona, Wendy and Sarah, midwives here, Miss Briana, Mom and Auntie, and all of you that are far away but sending your support, Lin, Nat, Steen, Jade, Amelia, Amy, Gina and my midwife "moms". Our women ancestors have been very close, too, especially Grandma T. I feel you all, Diane feels you. Our circle is strong.

3. Mesa Temple. Sweet peace. Perfect preparation for the work ahead and as always a reminder of what matters most.

4. Latin flavor! The food, the music, the colors, the connection. . .Mmmmm

5. Uncle Jack. He has been making me laugh since he married my auntie 45 years ago. He is funny, smart, talented, spiritual and generous. He sees the good part. Aaaaand, he has great stuff, guitars, car pics and an art room. He designed and made a mermaid flipper for Li'l Red's bootie. When I pulled the decal backing off and saw the finished product, I jumped and squealed like an 8 year old. He smiled.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's hot in AZ

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a little bitter, mostly sweet

Something happened. A transition. It's not like I stepped over a line, it just happened.
Today was my last postpartum appointment with Holly. Someone asked where I was going. I answered, "To see my friend Holly." Before this transition, I would have answered, "I have an appointment with one of my moms." And so it goes. Comes a time when the women in my care become more than clients. Our lives intertwine, we share light, we become sisters, we are friends. I recall advice received at my very first intro to birth work, doula training 14 years ago. It was this: Set boundaries. This is a job. Remain objective. Cut your clients off at the last visit. Move on. Avoid burnout. Are you kidding me?? This is not a job. There is no place for boundaries. I will extend my relationships with the incredible women in my life circle to forever and beyond. I'll run hard and love deep. When I burn out, someone is always right there to light me back up. Last night it was Jeniann. Mmm. . .thank you birth gods for her and Baby Joseph. My time with Holly and babes felt like a celebration more than a goodbye. As I walked to my car, yes, I teared up a little; a mix of gratitude, admiration and sadness. Another childbearing year closing but a true birth warrior has risen up. Thank you for taking such good care of me Miss Holly. I have fresh from the oven bread and a jar of special for me body scrub flavored patchouli lemon and a forever friend. I am one lucky midwife!

Happy Birthday Chris

Thanks for the light you bring to Sunday house.
Have a great year.
Keep shining!

Strength, Security, Light

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fruits of Our Labors

Homebirth Family Picnic 2010

There are no words, no words that even come close to expressing the depth of emotion that Briana and I feel as we witness mothers being born as mothers, fathers being born as fathers and families being born as families. We are blessed to serve as midwives for the very special families that are led to us.
We indulge ourselves by hosting a homebirth family picnic each summer. It is for our pleasure! When our moms, dads, big sisters and brothers, and newly born babies gather together, our cups overflow with love, joy, peace and gratitude.
Thanks you so much for coming.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Island friends