It’s Starting.

Well at the end of this Sunday, I feel pretty good. I feel like this week was much more productive then they have been in a long time. Although my goal of getting up early everyday didn’t always happen, I managed to find a few minutes each day to accomplish a small project that I wanted to do. I’ve discovered this is very important to my emotional and mental health. I am a lists person, and when I can’t seem to get anything done on my lists, then I start to stress out. And a stressed out mom makes for a very grumpy house. And this house has been quite grumpy as of late. So I’ve started to change that, and it’s going to get better.

Each day as I give myself a few minutes to do a task or project, I feel more productive, and these tasks are not just household things, they are projects that I have been thinking of for a long time. Things like sorting family photos, working on my Doula Certification, reading a book, sewing projects, exercising and the such. They are things that engage my creativity and for me heal my soul per-say. They make me feel rejuvenated and give me energy to be the Mom and Wife I want to be. It makes me feel like I can accomplish what I set my mind to, and not just do the things necessary to get my family through the day. In a sense they remind me that I am a person with hobbies, passions and goals.

Recently I felt a little like I had lost myself, that I only had one role and was beginning to feel trapped in that role. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is the greatest thing I’ve ever done, but with it’s challenges and not outlet for myself, I was beginning to feel sad. Then I remembered I do have things I love to do, but somehow I need to find the time to do thoses things again. If I just have a few minutes each day, I could maybe get some satisfaction knowing that I have something that is for me. And so I did just that, a few minutes each day.

What developed in the course of the week is I found myself spending more and more time working on my Certification. Research, websites, pictures, reading, all to do with my DONA Doula Certification. This passion is growing in me, and it’s starting to surface more and more. I think it about it more often, catch my self getting caught up in a blog about someones birth story, joining groups, following blogs and magazines and making contacts with people.

I knew 8 years ago after the birth of my daughter, that a spark had been lit, but I didn’t know that I would feel this passionate about birth choices, birth coaching, women’s rights and being an advocate for empowering birth experiences. I want to learn more, read more, grow my library of resources, and ultimately figure out how to someday reach my goal of becoming a Midwife. It’s a dream that is growing and one that both me and my husband are excited about.

So maybe with a little time each day, I can build a foundation for my dream, re-awaken some hobbies, get back in shape, and feel more satisfaction. I think everyone in my house will benefit from that.

Oh and if you know anyone in my area who is interested in a Doula, please let me know!

2013 – Hello, Good-bye.

Today is January 1, 2013, and I’ll admit I am quite happy to say Hello to the New Year and Good-bye to the Old one. Although 2012 brought many wonderful things into my life, it’s been filled with small challenges that I am glad to be rid of. But I’m choosing not to dwell on those things and to instead remember the positive memories of 2012 and what is yet to come.

Amongst the best parts of 2012 were the birth of my baby boy in May, and the beginning of my Doula journey, Renovations on our house and the feeling that I am right where I’m suppose to be. Another way to say it is I finally feel like I’m coming into my own.  My cooking/baking has much improved, and my daughters are benefiting from my time at home with them, as is my husband. I guess it hasn’t been that bad of a year after-all eh?

As I was gathered with friends and family this New Years Eve and New Years Day, I felt truly happy and truly blessed. I have a wonderful family, both natural and “adopted”, and wonderful friends both close and far-away. And I am very thankful to be surrounded by love. To see the smile on my friends face, to hear a child giggle, to share stories from the past,  snooping through old photos, seeing life take shape in a growing belly and to watch my 8month old try to walk. These are joys you can not buy.  These are beautiful blessings.

I hope that 2013 is filled with those blessings and many many more, for me, my family, my friends and for you. Happy New Year!

Imprinting

“All the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts, like clipping the strings to a bunch of balloons. Everything that made me who I was…….. disconnected from me in that second – snip, snip, snip – and floated up into space.

I was not left drifting. A new string held me where I was.

Not one string, but a million. Not strings, but steel cables. A million steel cables all tying me to one thing – to the very center of the universe.

I could see that now – how the universe swirled around this one point. I’d never seen the symmetry of the universe before, but now it was plain.

The gravity of the earth no longer tied me to the place where I stood.

It was the baby girl……………….”

Stephanie Meyer – Breaking Dawn

Eight years ago today, my life changed forever. An event occurred that would affect every thought, every decision, and every choice I made. It changed how I saw myself, my husband, my parents and even my friends. It changed the way I LOVED.  As I look back over the last eight years I realize that that there is nothing on this world like the love of a mother. Eight years ago today I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of my first born baby girl and the role of Mom was bestowed on me.  Never again would my world be the same, for I was a Mother now.

There are many sayings and quotes out there that show a Mom’s love. A favorite of mine is “No one else will know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.” Beautiful. But as I lie awake in bed this morning remembering the day of Deanna’s birth like it was yesterday, I thought, hey there is someone I know who has described what happens to a Mom when she looks into the eyes of her newborn baby, and for all you Twilight fans, you know what I mean when I say Imprinting!

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but as I read the passage from Stephanie Meyer’s book this morning, I did not think of the first time I saw my future husband or even the first time he told me he loved me, granted those are significant events, but I thought of each of my children when I held them for the first time. They changed my universe. They changed what mattered in life, they helped me see the big picture better. As a Parent one thing seems to matter above all else, seeing your children truly happy. To have them safe and healthy and for them to know they are loved. The similarities to what Stephanine Meyer called Imprinting in her series seems familiar now. I understand where the idea came from, for she is a mom too. She understands the special love a parent has when they see their child for the first time. This is something only a parent can understand. A beautiful, Innocent, Powerful, Life changing love.

I think I appreciate my own parents more now that I am a Mom. Now I know where the care and concern comes from, and how they love each of us. I understand their hopes and dreams for us and why they are so happy when we are happy.  I see how they made sacrifices for us, and worked hard for us, and taught us important lessons that would benefit our adult lives. Now I want to do the same for my children, to share with them and teach them the things in life that will bring them happiness. Not money or wealth, but things like honesty, respect and loyalty. That’s the kind of Mom I want to be.  When I was a teenager, I never dreamed that the role of a Mom would mean these things. It’s so  much more then just having a baby of your own to look after hey? The role of Mom means you think about yourself less and catch yourself thinking about your children and their future more than anything else.  Each decision you make now not only effects you, but it effects them as well. It truly is a huge responsibility.

I definitely “Imprinted” on each of my children when I saw them the first time, when the title of Mom was given to me, but I think it takes time to actually become a Mom. It is something that you constantly work at. Eight years ago I was given that title, but it’s only in the last few years that I finally feel like I’ve started to become the Mom I want to be. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved my children and understood what truly mattered, but it has only been recently that I really took that role and quote “Jumped in with both feet”. Now I look at my own sacrifices differently. I see things in a different light and I really appreciate my time with my children more then I every have. I truly want to share in their joy and fun, and teach them those life lessons. It may have taken me almost 5 years to start figuring all this out, but I am glad I’m not 5 years too late.

Today I remember Deanna’s birth with pride and joy. She is a beautiful, smart and wonderful child. I am so glad she was the child that made me a Mom. I am glad that I am becoming the Mom I want to be while she is still young. I am so happy and proud of my little girl, the girl who changed my life, the very center of the universe. Happy 8th Birthday to my first born. I love you, Dad loves you and we pray for your happiness today and always.  May you always remember we are here for you, our hearts belong to you, for you have made an “imprint” on them that will last an eternity. Smile, Laugh, Love. Have a wonderful day Bunny. You are our sweetheart.

Love Mom. Love Dad.

 

Miracle of Life

This past weekend I stepped into a role that I never dreamed I would do, and I have never felt more honored in my life. This weekend for the first time, as a Doula, I shared in the incredible miracle of life and witnessed two beautiful babies come into this world. There is nothing more amazing than seeing the strength and courage of a women as she goes through the sacrifices and challenges of birth to bring her baby to this world.  I’ve seen some really wonderful things in my life, but there truly is nothing more beautiful then watching a laboring women sleep and rest in-between her contractions. There is peace on her face that I have never seen before. I felt so extremely honored to share in such a personal and sacred moment.

If there was any doubt in my mind before about being a Doula, it has been completely blasted away. My goal as a Doula is to help empower women in their birth experience. To help them trust themselves and find their confidence. I believe I did some of that this weekend, but more than that, each time I felt like I was protector of the memory of childbirth. I was the keeper of the journey for each mother and father as they became parents, and I could help them remember and understand their own birth experience later.

I worked hard to be who and what each of those families needed, to see the need and then fill it no matter how big or small it was. I was able to provide some comfort as they went through their labors, and yes I cried with joy when I saw those babies for the first time.  My heart was overjoyed as I witness a family being born for the first time and I was humbled when I was able to hold each of those precious babies. I am so thankful to those families who let me be a part of the birth of their children and  I am looking forward to seeing them again as a family.

When I got home last night, I thanked my husband for his constant support, I cuddled my own little baby whom I just birthed myself a short time ago, and I kissed each of my girls goodnight. It truly is a miracle that we can give life to another, that we can create such a beautiful thing and find the courage to raise a child.  I think about my own birth experience and I know that no matter what, my kids were worth everything and much much more.  My heart grew bigger with love for each of my children, and now I get to witness the same thing in others.  I feel very encouraged after this weekend that this is where I am meant to be, that if its meant to be it will work out and that God still has big plans for me. This could be the beginning of a truly beautiful thing.

mommy blahs

We all have days where we wake up and think, I don’t want to get up today, I just want to stay in bed all day and feel sorry for my self. It’s cold outside and the weather is Icky and I want to stay under the blankets. Yesterday was that day for me.

I was tired, cold, I had a sore hip and a mild headache. I just didn’t feel like me. I was short on patience, generally grumpy, and easily annoyed. Now for some women we just call that PMS and move on, but this was different, It’s more like mommy blahs, a condition that occurs after many many days of only doing mommy stuff. Oh I don’t know, I’m just being silly, but I know it wasn’t the same as my pre-baby PMS days. I started to contemplate just what was bringing me down. I think there are many factors adding to my blahs from yesterday; Lack of sleep with a nursing baby, kids vying for my attention, a big stack of laundry, finding clothes that fit my post-baby body, missing my husband, and the weather too.  But all those little things start adding up until one day, it just becomes too much all together and I get grouchy.  My poor kids and hubby……

Also contributing to my mood; The Year of the Dragon, or so I’ve been saying. I don’t know how much of that stuff is true, but it seems this year has been one of those years.  It  feels like there have been lots of things happening to people I know that just don’t seem fair, or are unfortunate. I know I can’t control those situations, but my heart goes out to them and I can’t help but feel a little sadness for them. It’s part of what makes us human, to feel sympathy for others who are struggling or sad, or like me, just having one of those days.  But sometimes those  feelings just hang on a little longer or bother you a bit more then normal and it takes more effort to let go.

Now I probably didn’t help my own mood by watching a documentary the night before, which is sooooo fabulous by the way, called The Business of Being Born.  As I watched it, I was so shocked and yet encouraged. I felt that my goal of being a Doula will help women, that it will empower women to overcome some of the fears and issues of medicalized births. I wont get into the details of the film, because it actually make me very passionate and physically upset, but it does make me feel that my role as a Doula is part of something special. That Doulas are part of a important movement for our women. I was actually upset that I could not do more to help these women and I’m sure that added to my mood yesterday. I know it’s not realistic for me to think I can help everyone, but maybe I can change the world, one birth at a time!  I also watched Pregnant in America,  well done, but The Business of being born I enjoyed more.

Which brings me to the main reason I believe I was grouchy, I’m not a really patience person to start with, and being a Doula means I have to wait for the call. I hate waiting. lol. However, I know that when the call does come, it will be very rewarding experience indeed.

I did end up having an okay day yesterday, I had a visit on the phone with a friend, talked to my mom, watched Deanna read to Caitlin, crossed some things off my to- do list and found some jeans that fit me thanks to a friend of mine. So today I am going to follow the  advice of that friend.  I’m going to put on my jeans, do my hair and makeup, put supper in the crock-pot and shake off the mommy blahs. Maybe I’ll book a hair appointment and make myself feel like a women again and not just a mom today, maybe today I’ll get lucky and my client will call. Now that would be a wonderful pick me up, don’t you think?