Why We Chose a Midwife Over the Hospital

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash.

With just eight weeks left to go, I find myself thinking a lot about the last stage of pregnancy–birth. It’s the last hurdle to jump before we get to meet our new little one, and while I’m over-the-moon-excited, I’m also beginning to get really nervous all over again. Fortunately, we have the most compassionate and loving prenatal care that we could possibly wish for in our midwives, and with their support I’m eagerly anticipating our upcoming home birth. Continue reading

Why I Started Crying in the Fitting Room

It’s very, very early in the morning. My husband and I are sitting in our living room, quietly scrolling through our phones. Despite our best efforts to stay positive, cheerful and productive, we have had extraordinarily trying days. We are emotionally and physically wiped.

Part of the stress, I realize, comes from having to pretend that everything is A-okay all freaking day. It’s absolutely not. We’re dealing with work and school and family and finances and self-doubt and clutter and all kinds of other stuff too. I realized today what I needed to do was just sit with the negative feelings, because I was wasting a lot of emotional energy trying to avoid what most people I knew would inevitably say. Continue reading

Breastfeeding Almost Made Me Quit My Job

Allaya pumps on her break at work.
I love my job. I’ve been teaching adult education classes for the last three years, and I feel that helping people establish their new careers while simultaneously teaching them about finance is rewarding and important work. However, since I came back from maternity leave, I’ve thought about quitting before every. single. class. Continue reading

National Breastfeeding Month Profiles: Kimmy

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Photo courtesy of Kimmy and her family.

Taking on parenthood with passion and a wry sense of humor, Kimmy is the mother to an adorable fifteen-month-old boy.  She shares avidly with her online community her views about politics, breastfeeding and day-to-day life.  Kimmy has been known to spend the occasional Sunday morning dancing with her son and eating pancakes. Continue reading

The Black Abyss: Being Not-Black-Enough In Angry America

Not black enough, but definitely not white, either.
I am African-American, Dominican, and Cherokee.  I grew up in a home where there was a lot of love, and my family brought in enough money to pay the bills, but we were paycheck-to-paycheck anyway.  When I went to public school, my class was predominantly black.  To them, the Dominican boy was Dominican.  The Polish boy was Polish.  Both of them were lighter than me, but to my class, I was white.

At eleven years old, I received a scholarship for minority students and was accepted into a prestigious private school.  I was surrounded by white people and I was definitely not one of them.  I thought the two Chinese, one Puerto Rican and two other black students that were accepted at the same time as I was would have my back, but they drifted into their cliques and I was alone.  And light-skinned. Continue reading

The Six Month Postpartum Checkup

 

“Yup, everything looks good from what I can see.  You’re good to go.”

  Congratulations.  You have kept your bouncing bundle of joy alive for half a year.  Twenty-six weeks ago, you pushed this miracle into the world in all their tiny wriggling glory.  Twenty weeks ago, you checked in with the person that took care of you and your growing family for months, maybe seeing you every day as you got closer and closer to delivery.  But at that six week check-in, they glanced at your stitches, told you how beautiful your new baby is, and sent you on your way, figuring that you were okay.

But you’re not okay.  Continue reading

Birthing Naturally

 

Photo courtesy of BellaBaby Photography.

I’m going to take the opportunity here to be unapologetically honest—I am a big advocate for natural birth.  For clarity’s sake, natural birth to me means labor without intervention or pain-killing medication.  I do not believe that “some people just can’t deliver without the drugs.”  A hundred and fifty years ago, you would have had no choice. Continue reading

Breastfeeding is a Bitch

Photo courtesy of Mommyish.com.
Photo courtesy of Mommyish.com.

It wasn’t long into my second trimester that people started asking me, “Are you planning to breastfeed?” I gave them the learned and practiced answer of “Yes, you know, if I can.” I’ll confess now that I had no idea what I was talking about. I knew that there would be obstacles to breastfeeding, but had no idea what they actually were or whether or not they would be within my control.

I was fortunate to not have any medical or physical limitations around nursing my daughter, and it was still one of the hardest things that I’d ever had to do. Even without complications, breastfeeding was a bitch.

I’ll never forget the first night home from the hospital. Continue reading