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The Spark

I have what I deem to be good news. It seems that after 3 months of being in a serious teaching rut and questioning many things about my ability to be a good teacher and my profession as a whole… I have finally started to come out the other side feeling ready to get back to it. 🙂 Sometime this past week while trying to compile my thoughts on a blog I am working on about Lactivism (sure to ruffle some feathers :P) and thinking about how I would like to approach teaching about breastfeeding in the future, I felt that spark inside of me. The spark has most definitely been missing. It felt really nice to know that it was still there and that I just really needed a break and time to sort some things out for myself.  I was deeply worried for a minute there that I had lost it for good. Now that it is back, I feel excited. Making plans for the future and all. With school still coming up, I am hesitate to make any big commitments back to teaching but I feel comfortable with the idea of trying the weekend workshop again, maybe every other month. So any time now you can expect to see something new on schedule from me.... read more

"It is best to learn as we go, not go as we have learned."

I have been contemplating this blog for a while now but haven’t been sure exactly what to say or how to say it. I guess I still am not sure…. I had mentioned in a prior post about feeling very disconnected from the “birthy” world and I know that there are many reasons contributing to that but the one that I wanted to blog about is one that feels almost wrong to talk about. Like I am breaking an unspoken rule. Hence, why it has taken me so long to do this. I feel like if there is any hope of moving forward and retaining some of my past birthy self, then I need to start working through and processing my feelings. I have lived and breathed birth for the past four years. It has been a passion. It has been an obsession. Educating myself, feeling empowered by that and then working with families to inspire empowerment. There used to be nothing more exciting for me than watching a couple have an AHA moment. What has changed that? I am not really sure what set off this round of negativity I am on at the moment, as it is recent. If I look to the past though, the very first time I had small doubts about my work was during my pregnancy with Addison. I was reading around on an unassisted childbirth site and happened across the opinion of someone who doesn’t think doulas are a good thing. At the time the idea kinda shocked me. I mean, how could doulas not be a good thing? She went on about how doulas, while their intentions are good, serve the purpose of being a tool of the system. That ultimately what a doula accomplishes is to make women feel good about their births. Isn’t that the point? Her point was that women that would have been traumatized by their births will leave the hospital having positive memories even when traumatic things were done to them. That in the end doulas are helping keep women in line for the doctors and further making sure that they don’t question the paradigm of medical thinking. I don’t completely agree with this assement. I am not in any way saying that I think women should not have doulas, so that when they get worked over by the hospital, the nurses, the doctors or midwives that they damn well know they got screwed.  Or even... read more

My Doula Hat

My thoughts are all kinds of scattered tonight. Probably because I have a million different things I want to say but I know that if I try to say it all in one blog post it would most definitely bore everyone to tears that might try to read it. I know my attention span is not that long, so in an effort to be realistic and considerate of the 5 people that read my blog (:P) I will try to limit myself tonight. I think at the top of my priority list, I want to mention that I got to attend a birth this week! My second doula birth since I officially quit doulaing after I got pregnant with Addison. The last one taking place about 5 months ago for a previous doula client and now friend, that birthed her 3rd baby at home. This time I was able to attend the birth of one of my students. A couple that I just loved, who had already hired an awesome doula before taking my class. I agreed to attend the birth to help Talitha, their doula, since she was recovering from a surgery. I ended up being able to attend part of the birth with Talitha and the other part with Que, her back up. I mention this because I wanted to say here that getting the opportunity to work with these women, was very much a privilege for me.  I have always considered myself to be a sub par doula and this birth only reenforced that to me. LOL There is something to be said about knowing exactly what to say and how to say it. I think that being a great doula isn’t something that can be learned or taught. It isn’t just about what you know. It is something that is just naturally within you. Liz and Derek (the parents) did amazing. I was so proud of how strong and flexible they were. I am just feeling very thankful that I was able to be a part of their journey. Hopefully at some point in there I was useful. 😛 In other news, we watched the documentary Forks Over Knives last week. It re-inspired Michael to want to take better care of ourselves nutritionally than we have been. This makes me happy because I do better when I have a good support system. We did good for over a year the last time we tried and... read more

"This trick is like no other…"

Last night I taught the first class of a Preparing For Your Birth class through Baby Steps and it was such a good time. I have been working really hard over the past month on implementing new ideas and making teaching aids that were inspired by the amazing weekend I spent at Passion for Birth. The workshop opened my mind to teaching in a different way and after actually using some of the things I learned tonight for the first time, I feel like it was a much more conscious way of teaching. The class flowed better. Breaks came at just the right time. I did a better job of chunking the information and changing pace up enough to try and avoid the set in of boredom. I am incredibly pleased with the way it all went. One of the things I tried this class was making the environment more visually stimulating. Having things out for them to see or look at that might make them feel excited about attending a class. The signs on the wall are our “Questions of the Day”. They are questions that provoke students to think. Not questions I want them to answer to me but for themselves. The table includes our snacks for the class. All healthy. This was to emphasis my speak on eating well during pregnancy and to take good care of yourself. In class we say to make sure you get in your healthy calories before you “splurge”. So as a surprise about 30 minutes before class was up I surprised everyone with brownies, since we had already gotten in our “healthy” calories. 😉 I think it worked out well as a good “artichoke”. That is what they call something that you just throw in that surprises and excites people. Thanks to my Boobie for baking them! There is also a very funny book called Safe Baby Tips for Pregnancy, that is quite hilarious. I encouraged everyone to check it out during our breaks and it was really nice to hear them reading them and laughing over it. I also laid out helpful brochures for people to take and a positive birth quote sign. In the main area where were sitting. I arranged some of my main teaching aids on the table (baby, pelvis, uterus and placenta). Laid out the handouts packets for the class and the dilation name tags and pens so everyone could make their own name tag. Those name tags... read more

Letting Go

I woke up this morning is a particularly foul mood and then proceeded to go abut my day acting generally ugly to everyone without completely knowing why. Everything was irritating me, I did far too much yelling while trying to express myself, not sure why I was SO upset. After getting Addison down for her afternoon nap, I hoped the reprieve from having to deal with 2 children would make me feel better and then in the midst of my afternoon work, I realized why I was upset. Today was the day that polls closed for the election for the new Georgia Birth Network Board of Directors. The day that I officially had to announce the new Board members and started thinking of the process of getting everything moved over. It isn’t as if I didn’t know all this was coming and it is utterly silly that I should be upset because I wanted this. A lot. None the less, I felt sad. Then once I acknowledged what was bothering me, I started crying and then I couldn’t stop. LOL I went and crawled in Michael’s lap and made him hug me so I could cry like a baby over my completely irrational feelings. The I dried it up and drank a beer (don’t judge me :P) and I have felt much better since, even though I am crying a little bit even now that I am typing this. I guess it is harder to give it up than I realized it would be. Something I put so much of myself into. 🙁 I know it will be in good hands so I am not particularly worried. I will just miss some things about it. In official capacity, I am no longer the President of Georgia Birth Network. I am sure I will feel better about it tomorrow. I just need to sleep it off. 😛 Hopefully I have managed to make up my crazy behavior to my kids since I settled myself down. We moved on from numbers today to work on alphabet review and made an Alphabet Train. Then proceeded to watch our new Alphabet Songs DVD that I got at the homeschool expo. Lots of singing, dancing and snacking took place. This afternoon has been pretty chill. I think that is my game plan for the rest of the weekend... read more

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