Gift

October 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Saturday was my birthday, and I was given a wonderful gift at the end of the day. I received an email from one of my readers, sharing how my essay “Unity with Providers of Care” (in the Unity chapter of our book) had a positive impact on her. She also shared a beautiful spiritual experience she had after reading my essay. With her permission, I share it today. -Lani/Busca

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and have been making my way through The Gift of Giving Life, and I wanted to tell you how much your book has helped me.

Long story short, I was very unhappy with the hospital care I received with my 3rd child. While I like the Ob/Gyn I normally see, they have about twenty doctors that rotate at the hospital. With my 3rd child, I played Russian roulette with this system and ended up with two very horrid doctors who threatened and yelled at me for giving birth the way I wanted to. So I have been hoping to find—and not have to pay for—a better option for my 4th child.

Yesterday I had a very important meeting with the head OB for the insurance provider we have to discuss whether or not I could get a referral to a birthing center.  I’d been waiting for a month for this appointment and was very keyed up about the whole thing, so I went to bed the night before knowing that I probably wouldn’t be sleeping well…

Read the rest of the post HERE.

Relief

October 10, 2012 at 2:23 am

It has now been over a week since I have felt anxious or depressed. I think I finally feel confident that the worst is over. Crossing my fingers anyway.

It’s hard to know what made the difference, but I think all of the following are contributing factors…

1) My husband asked many of my family and friends to fast and pray for me the first Sunday in October. I’m deeply honored and grateful that so many participated and feel certain that their united faith pushed me into one of the best weeks I’ve had since June. Thank you so much.

2) I started meditating a week ago (too bad I keep missing days) thanks to my friend Felice’s prodding and meditation webinar.

3) I started re-taking a multi-vitamin that has helped me in the past (New Chapter Perfect Prenatal). I had run out of them a few months ago and had been trying several other brands in the meantime without finding one that “worked” (Rainbow Light, Mercola, etc.) Once I started taking this one again a little over a week ago, I felt almost normal within a few days. May I never run out again!

Beautiful crucible

May 10, 2012 at 5:49 am

I felt like I wanted to die.

In my head, at this moment, two weeks ago, a part of me was wishing for death.

Someone very dear to me has lived with deep anxiety for much of the past decade. He has also spent much of the past several years abusing drugs and living in a variety of rehab programs. But as I felt my whole body/mind/spirit breaking into unfamiliar pieces under anxiety’s crushing blow, I suddenly got it… why he has turned to drugs, why he has contemplated (and perhaps attempted) suicide, why some days are a massive feat of endurance for him. I understood, to some small degree, just how horrifyingly debilitating anxiety can be. Anxiety is real and raw and ravaging. And I will never again jokingly use the phrase “nervous breakdown” because now I’ve experienced a taste of what it actually feels like. And it’s no joke.

But. But here is what I also know now.

There is no darkness too deep, no fear too profound, no soul too shattered for love to reach.

Enduring a mile (or a centimeter)

March 26, 2012 at 6:00 am

My husband ran the Boston Marathon back in April of 2008, and I was so inspired by it that I (very briefly… ha!) decided I want to run it as well. So a week or two later, my husband and I decided to see how fast I could run a mile. We ran a warm-up mile at a medium-effort pace, and then I threw myself like crazy into the second mile. It was misery. It was horrid. It was an intense mental tug-of-war between “I can do this! Keep going!” and “What was I thinking?! I have to stop!” But somehow I kept going.

After finishing that run, I thought a lot about the experience. I speculated that it was probably like a mini-marathon—a condensed version of the marathon experience. And I also recognized that the same things that helped me to navigate the journey of childbirth also helped me to get through that mile (and would probably help me get through a marathon as well, if I ever actually get around to running one). Here’s a play-by-play:

Inward Rivers

February 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm

“Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak.” -James 1:19

The following is something I actually started writing seven years ago. While it’s not at all birth-related, it’s a subject near and dear to my heart, and it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I do have several birthy-type blogposts (good stuff!) lined-up to write, but writing time is rare for me these days. Alas. Anyway, I thought I’d share this condensed and tweaked version of that long-ago-started essay in case there were some folks like me out there who needed it.

“How come you’re so quiet?”

“Don’t be shy!”

“You should talk more!”

These words were spoken to me quite often when I was growing up. And I can’t tell you how irritating it was. I hated those words. I still hate them. I think it’s probably safe to say that there’s nothing more annoying to an introvert than to have an extrovert loudly make a point of how “quiet” she is.

Many view shyness as a negative trait, something to be “fixed.” So, when a child appears hesitant to interact with others, parents often feel that they must give an explanation or even an apology. This preeminence of the extroverts has been a part of western culture for quite some time. Quieter people stand out largely because they are like square pegs in a society that clearly favors round ones. Why is that so? What’s so bad about being reserved? I believe we ought to ask ourselves in this loud and often insensitive western culture—is it really in our best interest to try to turn all the quiet folks into talkers?

I've got one of each (so far)

Hear me roar

February 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

After a few weeks of caring for her first-born baby, my friend Fig declared:

“Motherhood is blood, sweat, and tears. Rinse and repeat.”

We’ve had a “blood, sweat, and tears” kind of month here at our house, so Fig’s words have been on my mind. I wouldn’t want any other job in the world, and I love my children deeply, but some days I have to apologize once or twice to my kids about my less-than-ideal mood/behavior and tell them, “Sometimes it’s hard being a mom.” Sometimes it’s really, really hard.

But I can do hard things. We can do hard things.

Red and Powerful

December 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I’m blogging over at The Gift of Giving Life this week. Here’s a teaser from today’s post…

My oldest daughter is eight years old. For the past several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the rite of passage she will soon be passing through as she leaves her girlhood body behind and transforms into a woman.

For me, that transformation was frightening. The only place where anyone talked to me about puberty was at school. The only peer I knew of who had experienced “it” herself was an awkward girl people made fun of. I wasn’t eager to follow her footsteps.

When I started to bleed the summer before I turned thirteen, my whole heart and soul cried, “No!” I was horrified. I felt like my body was dragging me forward into a future I wasn’t ready to embrace. But there was no turning back. I was now one of them whether I wanted to be or not. And my attitude toward my monthly cycle for the next decade+ was a reflection of that shame.

I kept my new status a secret from everyone but my best friend for several days.  Finally, after much fearful stalling, I broke down in tears and told my stepmother I was bleeding. She held me while I cried and told me about when her period had started. She had been in the shower when blood started coming out of her. She screamed because she thought she was dying.

Horror. Shame. Crying. Screaming. “No!”

I refuse to let this menstrual legacy continue. I want my daughters’ experience of crossing that threshold from girl to woman to be everything it wasn’t for me but should have been. Triumphant. Celebratory. Joyful. Peaceful.

Blood is loaded with meaning in the scriptures. It is life. It is death. The middle of each cycle demonstrates the body’s deep investment in the continuation of life. Sometimes that investment continues for nine months. Sometimes that potential for life passes away, and the body cradles that fallen egg in a brief embrace before letting it go to make way for new life again…

Read the rest of the post HERE.

Thank you, Sarah

November 25, 2011 at 12:54 am

A picture of Sarah Josepha Hale is hanging in my living room. This is because Sarah is one of my heroines. Here’s why…

First of all, she wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and that is certainly something. But that’s not really why she’s so cool, it’s just an interesting little tidbit.

Sarah Josepha Hale was born in 1788 in New Hampshire, the daughter of a Revolutionary War veteran. As an adult, she became a writer and editor, and she used those talents to bring about wonderful things. I think that is the main reason I admire her, because I am a writer/editor who wants to do that too.

Sarah was the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book (a women’s magazine) for forty years. It was the most popular and highest circulating magazine for women during its time. Through the magazine, she promoted women’s education and advocated for women in their roles as wives and mothers. She did not retire from her work as an editor until she was 90 years old. And she wrote and wrote! By the time she died, Sarah had published nearly fifty volumes of her written work.

2014-04-09 11.29.22 am

Defining female empowerment

October 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

This blogpost was originally written August 15, 2009 (also re-posted March 6, 2010). I received excellent comments both times. Please do click over and check out those discussions. Hoping for some more today…

The whole battle between the two camps is due to the faiure [sic] of women in the country to fight for real empowerment. They take up an ‘easy’ cause, child birth and child raising, to fight for with the enemy that does not exist, other women. Rather than fight men for equal pay (the ERA is STILL not ratified in this country!), equal opportunity, fight sexism, fight discrimination, they pick easy ‘battles’ with no true winners. My partner calls the breast-home birth-epidural-vaccination battles ‘Hen Chatter’. No real substance or results. These arguments do nothing to better the lives and livelihoods of women or our daughters. Filled with hystrionics [sic] and personal anecdotes they are just busy work, like darning once was, for women. Keeps the little women busy and from tackling the real fights. Keep it up ladies and we will remain in the 1960’s for another half century. Empowering women is not about how you have a baby!

-Ali (excerpt from her comment in response to “Pushing Back: Has the natural childbirth movement gone too far?” by Lisa Selin Davis)

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Pinterest