The First 40 Days After Birth

When I was pregnant, I felt like I was going through a tunnel. I knew there was some new world on the other side, and I could see a little bit of the light, but it was incomprehensible at that time. I was excited, scared, apprehensive, giddy and sad all at once.

Sad because my old life was quickly disappearing. Excited and giddy at the new possibilities. Scared and apprehensive that I would be a huge failure.

I didn’t get clear I wanted to even be a mother until I was 33 and got pregnant exactly a year later. I had it that being a mother was not enough. I valued my work more than family for the decade leading up to my pregnancy and didn’t want to be like my own mother who gave everything up to have me.

As women have gone into the workforce over the past century, our culture as a whole has devalued motherhood and the feminine in general. Many of my friends are afraid of giving up their lifestyle and their career to have children. More and more women are waiting until they are in their late thirties and forties if at all.

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So You Want to See the Baby? 7 guidelines for supporting a new mama’s birth

I remember being so excited every time my friend had a baby. I couldn’t wait to go over for that first meeting, but also had so much apprehension come up of not wanting to be a burden. I would get a little hurt if my friend didn’t invite me over right away.

Now that I’ve had my own baby, I am embarrassed about my behavior toward my mama friends. I was completely oblivious to what they were going through. I developed so much compassion for my own friends who were also clueless when they came to see my baby and wish I had been able to give some guidelines for them to know how to best support me.

Here’s the thing: while you want to see the baby, the mama may really need you to show up for her, not the baby.

She just went through the most difficult moment of her life. If she was anything like me, she was wiped out, depleted, exhausted and maybe even nursing an injury.

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Birth Story

I thought I was ready.

For weeks, I visualized her coming through the birth canal. I saw myself powerfully “breathing her out.”

I had done the work:

10 days of silent meditation during my 35th week of pregnancy.

Chiropractic care every week for 4 months.

Swimming days before I went into labor.

I was healthy. Strong. And according to my midwife, had a really spacious birth canal for delivery.

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acknowledgement

There is nothing quite like doing the launch for http://sistershipcircle.com when you are pregnant. I have been tested in terms of creating balance and not stressing myself out, and I have become very mindfully aware of who I am BEING as the feminine space holder vs. DOING the work to “pull it off.” For the first time in my career, I am not worried, nervous or focused on the outcome because what matters most is how the women (including myself) FEEL when they are in the space. And I’m feeling pretty frickin fantastic.

As I sit here meditating on my intentions for the Sistership Circle Virtual Festival opening tomorrow, I am present to GRACE and the GIFT that circle has been in my life. That is why I am creating this; because Sistership Circle has held me through a very beautiful period of my life and it was the support of my sisters that inspired me to manifest some of my deepest desires including having a baby.

I am celebrating myself for following through to make this vision a reality.

I am celebrating this moment when I actually stop and pause to sit and reflect in gratitude. For years, I was always onto the next step and failed to acknowledge the people who worked by my side. And right now, there is nothing more important.

I am in awe of the gorgeous work that my man Brent Kozlowski has done in such a short period of time. The website is incredible. He is so talented. He has literally given up his time to support my dream. He is my hero.

I’m so grateful for the facilitators who see the vision and have called it their own. Thank you Elena Rivera MacGregor, Elena Stasik, Megan Kennedy, Yvette Vargas, Sheva Balkany-Freilich, Erika Watson, Snow Thorner, Misha Mckinney, Alison Love, Aumatma Shah, and Michelle Csonka for your courage, willingness and love.

I’m honored by the presence of so many people who said yes to the vision and are partnering with me to bring this work out into the world. Thank you for believing in me Jody England, Elizabeth Purvis, Elayne Kalila Doughty, Sora Surya No, Joanne Ameya Cohen, Lisa Fabrega, Leela Somaya, Rita Hovakimian, Karen Klassen, Kc Baker, Alaya Gold, Amber Hartnell, Jess Johnson, Michele Rooney, Nancy Parker, Jolie Dawn, Debbie Lichter, Katherine Marie Zagone, Erinn McMurtrie, Adelaide Marcus, Corinne Lebrun, Monique Darling, Christina Dunbar, Renee Jeffus, Ali Shanti, Christopher Kyle, Jon Block, Mike Hrostoski, Julie McAfee, Sierra Sullivan, Amy Jo Goddard, LiYana Silver, Lisa Schrader, Pamela Madsen, Caroline Graham Muir, Arjuna Ardagh, John Gray, Misty Silva Jenneiahn and all the beautiful people sharing the message with their communities.

There is this tinge of “who am I to be giving this thank you speech?” like I’m winning an Oscar or something. And then I quickly let that go and replace it with “who am I NOT to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment of so many individuals?” That is the essence and fabric of TRIBE. That is what SISTERSHIP is truly all about. And so there it is. My opening ceremonies. Let the fun begin!

You are not alone

Last night, I went to bed restless, upset and depleted. What started as an incredible day ended with me caught up in mind chatter. I woke up at 3:30am completely pissed off and angry. I tossed and turned. I felt utterly alone and unsupported.

How could I feel this way with so many incredible people that I interact with on a daily basis? Circles of women who I connect deeply with multiple times a week? Sleeping next to this incredible man who does, and would do, anything for me? Who I know loves me unconditionally?

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