Portrait Series, 2016 | February

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A portrait of my family once a month in 2016

Willy: Celebrated turning another year older this month. We drove to LA to see Kris Kristofferson & Merle Haggard only to walk up to the concert hall and learn that the show had been rescheduled. Ho hum.

Hooper: Has started leaving his dumps in the toilet so that others, namely Willy and I can find them. When we asked about this new habit he said, “I wanted you to smell it”.

Van: Has a new found interest in Wonder Woman, namely because he “likes her boobies”. Also asked what would happen if his “peep” (boy parts) grew as big as a tree.

Me: I’ve been a snoring machine, according to Willy. I’ve also woken myself up due to the amount of drool coming out of my mouth. 39 weeks pregnant, you sure are becoming on a women. Okay, the drool may not be related. But whatever.

Jimmie: First thing he does when getting into the car is to scour the boys’ car seats for leftover or discarded food. He also celebrated his second birthday this month. Hooper asked if we were going to be having his dog friends over to celebrate and was a bit disappointed when all we gave him was a new bone.

You can view this ongoing series by clicking here

The Asterisk Attached…

San Clemente Family Photographer-1490I’ve come to realize that in sharing my birthing fears I may have given you, the reader, the sense that I am not comfortable with the plan I have been – more-or-less – going with. And sure, while I may appreciate the care I have received in the past from the lovely midwives I was seen by, I would ultimately agree that in the hands of an OB is probably the best fit given previous circumstances (it’s taken me time to get here, but I am here — in a place of agreeance and acceptance). So the answer, to those who have asked, why I stick with this plan and why I presumably put up with something I’m not entirely comfortable with is because I think it’s best for our current situation. And by “our”, I am including Willy’s wishes and fears as well, because they count too.

As a nurse, I have a better understanding of doctors than most. I get “it”. And though I share much about my OB that I’m not stoked about, I also believe he is the best – for this pregnancy – in terms of delivering this baby safely. He’s not warm and fuzzy, nor does he take the time to review anything from my chart prior to him stepping foot in the room and running through the series of informal questions he without-a-doubt asks every pregnant woman that comes through his door. That said, I also know that it doesn’t matter. Whether he knows my birthing history or not is not going to have an impact, ultimately, when the proverbial push comes to shove and he’s catching my baby. It makes no difference if he knows my pervious babies were large because he’s going to deliver this one the safest way possible regardless.

The thing with birth is that nothing can be predicted; so I get that the birthing experiences I’ve had in the past, no matter how traumatic for Willy and I, have no bearing on this birth. He doesn’t ask about them or remember a damn thing I’ve said about them because he’s privy to the aforementioned truth, too (the truth being that it doesn’t matter, in terms of relating to the significance of this upcoming birth).

That all said, sure, he could have better bedside manner. He could take the 5 seconds it takes to look up what my due date is so he doesn’t have to ask me. He could validate my worries and concerns instead of harshly telling me to “not worry and be positive” as if I’m doing something wrong by expressing and attempting to work through my fears. And if he did all of the above, he’d add a couple extra minutes onto what’s been an average long 6 minute appointment and with those added two minutes, he could simultaneously nurture my trust in him exponentially.

It sucks to leave an appointment and not feel like you were treated as an individual; to feel like your worries are not valid and that your past experiences have little impact on your current situation. But I do feel confident that this baby is in good hands and if it weren’t for the latter, I would find someone I felt more comfortable with. In the end, I know it’s not about a doctor’s conversation skills but in their skill as an OB… and I believe in him in that respect. Thus, why I stay.

Does bedside manner matter to you if you know that the end goal for both parties is the same? Would you change practitioners and perhaps risk having a different outcome all for leaving your appointment actually liking the person you’re seeing?

A desert escape, part II + Waiting on a baby

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Being overdue with both boys was one of the most torturous times for me, emotionally. In hindsight I’m sure a lot of it had to do with hormones, but there was also a mix of lack of control and fielding the questions from loved ones who seemed to think I had this control that I’m well aware of lacking. I felt this weird pressure to have some sort of hidden communication with my baby inside me; as if it would be giving me hints as to when it was going to come. And really, I did’t feel anything until I felt the buildup of what soon became everything.

This time around I’m in this weird balance of fretting being overdue again and yet, really savoring the last bit of all the magic that is pregnancy and, well, not really wanting (or being ready) for it to end. In no way am I trying to romanticize pregnancy… this shit is definitely hard. I mean it’s completely unfair how uncomfortable sleep has become; at a time when I really feel I should be storing up whatever extra couple of minutes I can I just can’t seem to escape a backache or a cramp in my leg that sends me literally shooting out of bed or a foot in my rib that makes it feel as if my uterine lining is literally tearing away at the seam. Hooper got up last night and showed up discretely next to my side of the bed requesting to be tucked back in. It was 3 am and I had already been up twice to pee and once to request that Willy give Van cough medicine because his incessant coughing was keeping me – and surely him – up.

I digress.

I remember a loved one telling me when I was pregnant with Hooper to stay busy. It sounded like sound advice; I mean waiting for water to boil while watching it takes forever. But I also remember it being it out of realm of abilities… I couldn’t wait for the transition from couple to family to begin and I literally passed each day with it consuming my thoughts and doing everything in my power – eating pineapple, walking the dog, bouncing on the ball, etc – to make it happen.

Just as I don’t feel the urge to know this baby’s gender this time around, I also don’t feel the urge to rush this baby’s arrival. I’m treading carefully when saying such because I still remember how torturous it can be; “it” being the wait and, really, the wonder if your body is going to do what it’s expected to do in the absence of dare-I-say having to be induced, again. And while I’m still in a good place, today, in terms of trusting my body and believing it will indeed start the ball rolling on it’s own, I know that as the days go on, that hope – that trust – tends to be brought more into question and self-doubt starts to whisper some pretty nasty things in your ear.

So I’m going back to that advice I received long ago: stay busy. And it’s much easier this time around, with two to tend to and a house that because of those two is constantly giving me something to do; something to wash, something to sort, something to organize or reorganize for that matter. For example, we had the nursery all set up… everything in place. Then we decided to photograph some rugs to add to our etsy shop and just like that, the crib is not where it needs to be, there are numerous rugs strewn about the room, and a bed covered in tapestries. And so, organize the nursery is back on the to-do list after having been scratched off weeks ago. And so it goes.

We’ve also opted to join Willy on some business trips out to the desert. I knew they were coming and I figured when the time actually came, I’d see how I felt. And having been feeling good – or good enough – I trekked my 38 week ass out to the desert, spending some one-on-one time with my boys while Willy attended his meetings. And watching those little loves of mine run and explore and even comfort one another when the other got hurt reminded me that staying busy, that getting out, and living – as opposed to waiting – is what feels right at this stage in the game. The asterisk being that all of this is subject to change. I know the raging lunatic is within me. I’m just hoping the baby comes before she has the time to show herself.

Supporting your partner during pregnancy & birth

AshleyWilly-197mattandtish AshleyWilly-198mattandtishThere’s been lots of time and space for introspection during this pregnancy and the implications of having a third have been weighing on me, and Willy, far more than say having a first or a second ever did.

I’ve admittedly been quite selfish with my feelings and desires during pregnancy and it hasn’t been until this third babe that I have realized such.

As much as motherhood has made me pro-female in so many ways, lately I’ve come to the realization that much of what we experience as birthing mothers firsthand is just as difficult for our partners to handle secondhand. I was always under the impression that us women, because we are the ones growing and carrying and birthing the baby, are the only ones allowed to be scared. I’ve realized that even if they aren’t the ones going through pregnancy or birth, they are still experiencing it in their own way and filtering emotions and anxieties and fears all the same.

This may all sound like nothing new to you, but this all was a recent revelation of mine; the idea that I’m not the only one that needs to be supported and cared for and heard during this pregnancy. This idea that the unknown, namely the birth of our third baby, is a shared fear; that the unknown can bring with it anxieties felt by both of us and that one persons fears are no more valid than the others.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think mothers (or simply women) are some of the strongest creatures around… but this pregnancy has taught me that my feelings toward this pregnancy are no more important than Willy’s simply because I’m the one carrying and birthing the baby. To watch the person you love most in this world birth a new being that is a part of you is no easy feat either; and frankly, sometimes I think it’s even harder to be a player on the sidelines. Sure, I fear all that is out of my control, but even more is out of Willy’s control.

What has your experience been like in supporting your partner through pregnancy and birth? Did you find that they too had fears and desires in terms of how they wanted things to play out and were those fears and desires in line with yours? Also, I’m 38 weeks… hard to believe this baby is coming so soon…

Images by Tish Carlson.

On gender…

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San Clemente Family Photography-5683When I was pregnant with both Hooper and Van, it would have been torture to wait the entire 10 months to know their genders. I had intentions of trying to wait with Van but Willy really wanted to know and not knowing weighed on me so heavily that it felt more like I was depriving myself of something I needed as opposed to waiting for something I wanted.

This pregnancy I feel entirely different. I actually have “the envelope” with the gender written somewhere inside it and I’ve had zero motivation to even touch it. Can’t decide if it’s because I truly don’t care (which I don’t) or because I’ll take whatever extra motivation to push that I can… because the good Lord knows I need help getting dem’ big babies out.

I recently wrote a post about the realities of announcing a third pregnancy and the thing is, when you’re the pregnant mama of two boys, nearly everyone assumes that you’re pregnancy is a direct result of trying for a girl. If I had a penny for every time I said, “actually, I truly don’t care what the gender is”, I’d be able to buy fancier maternity clothes (like the stuff from Hatch that I’ve been drooling over but could never pull the trigger on buying). I digress.

It seems to be our society’s perfect picture of a family: two parents, a boy, a girl, and – of course – a dog (because ain’t that the American way?).

People tell me I need a girl. And yet, I don’t feel the same way. It’s like gender has become similar to the coveted birth plan as it’s no longer about a healthy baby but instead about the desired sex coming out exactly as the pre-written birth plan dictates, with dim lights and Coldplay playing in the background.

Someone asked me the other day, “but how are you preparing for the baby if you don’t know it’s gender”… which truthfully made me laugh. I don’t believe she was a mother and perhaps after two kids of her own she’ll realize that there isn’t nearly as much in the preparation sense that ought to be done for a third than there is with a first… and truthfully, there ain’t nearly as much for a even a first and if it weren’t such a money making market, you would see less of all the graphics depicting all the perfect baby gear and gadgets. I let go of the diaper bag after Hooper, if that gives you any indication. I digress, once again.

Let me be clear and honest. I really and truly don’t care about this baby’s gender. So-much-so that that little envelope remains sealed and tucked away. It has no bearing on my curiosity because that little piece of paper says nothing about the health or the circumstances of which it will come into this world and that, really and truly, is all I care about.

With that all said, I’m expecting another boy. I’ve always felt, even before becoming a mother, that I would inevitably be a mother to all boys. And if I do have a girl, can’t say I’d raise her any differently. So society, take your “perfect picture” and shove it.

I would end this post with asking if you too felt the general let down of announcing another pregnancy with the same sex as you already have, but I know the answer to this question already… And having grown up with a sister, I’d argue further that having the same gender sibling is a pretty special relationship. And I’d be willing to go even further and ask, what’s gender anyway? Hashtag: Bruce becomes Caitlyn. Hashtag: More power to him, errr, her.

Soon to be three…

Souther California Photographer-270 Souther California Photographer-275When I was pregnant with Van I felt a certain amount of trepidation, like adding another child was going to somehow compromise the love I had already established for Hooper. I guess the love for a first born is like that, would you agree?

Even after Van was born, I took just a bit longer to adjust. Sure, the love was instant and innate, but there was this feeling of hurry-up-and-become-fun that I think points to the notion that our love for our children only grows and so the love on the day they’re born kinda piddles in comparison to what it becomes when they actually have, well, personalities.

This pregnancy is so different in that respect; I’m so excited to add another to the mix, to give Hooper and Van another sibling. Perhaps it has everything to do with their own excitement; they’re old enough to understand the concept of having a sibling and they’re so eager to meet this little one. Hooper was still so young when Van was born, it was hardly worth explaining or preparing him for it.

And I have no feelings of hurry-up-and-become-fun, perhaps because I know that those days will inevitably come and that this will most likely be the last googly-eyed little munchkin I may have the privilege of bringing into the world. I’m so eager to soak in all the newborn-ness, even the hard parts…

The vision of the three of them together has my eyes all filled with hearts… like one of those silly cartoons where love is flowing out every orifice. Sure, I know there will be hard days and trying times ahead, but whatever trepidations I felt during my second pregnancy have been replaced with pure joy and excitement during this one.

Soon to be mother to three, a house of five…  and I can’t wait… though I will admit, it makes me a bit sad to think of this pregnancy ending. Pregnancy, in general, treats me well and those little kicks are something I treasure so greatly. Who’s with me?

An Interview, with Hooper

I have to be honest when I say I don’t expect anyone to watch this the whole way through who does not know and love Hooper personally. But, alas, it’s these little interviews that bring Willy and I so much joy to look back on.

The highlights: If Hooper could go anywhere in the world, he’d chose Italy… even though I’ve been trying to sell him on Egypt. Also, the only take-away from our trip to Cuba is that he reluctantly gave a very select few of his toy cars away to the kids there and despite having seemingly enjoyed the act of giving in the moment, clearly has some regrets; regrets he’s holding hostility against me for. He values chocolate over money, wants two babies to magically come out of my belly instead of one and can’t wait to “love on” the new baby, and has wheels spinning in his little five-year-old head that wonder how – in fact – “papas give mamas babies”.

Love this kid.

Birthing Fears, part III

San Clemente Family Photography-6470I’ve come to a lot of self-realizations during this pregnancy. One being that you can’t really prepare physically for a natural birth. I’m sure others would disagree and, for others, this may be true. I’ve heard all about the hypnobirthing fad (even my OB suggested it), but I just don’t think I could get out of my head enough for that to work for me. Having had two natural births before, one of which was Pitocin-induced (and therefore accompanied by Pitocin side effects), I know the pain well enough to conclude that there’s not much I can do besides surrender and allow my body to do its thing.

Which brings me to another self-realization: While I’ve accepted that I cannot physically prepare, I have been doing as much mental preparation as I can. Y’all have been witnesses to that. I’ve been using my blog as a platform to walk through my fears as they present themselves and it has, in fact, proved therapeutic in the working-through-shit sense.

Next on my self-realization checklist: Accept whatever path this baby may need to come into this world. While I’ve accepted that my body will need to do its thing, my major fear is that my body won’t do its thing well enough on its own. I’m going to have to accept that a c-section may be the safest delivery method for me. I may go through hours of unmedicated labor only to end up on an operating table. This means a vaginal recovery (because, hello, pain from pushing), as well as recovery from abdominal surgery. And, for me, a c-section would mean being put to sleep completely. Because the majority of my spine is fused, I can’t have spinal anesthesia (where you are awake but the lower portion of your body is entirely numb). This is the hardest for me to accept. I want to be present when my child enters the world. It hurts my heart to imagine not hearing that first cry.

I know that, ultimately, I should focus on the baby’s health instead of obsessing over the birth. If the baby is healthy, I shouldn’t really care too much how it gets here, right? So why do I care? Is it a societal pressure? Are we all too attached to this “ideal birth experience”? Why do I have all of these biases toward a c-section? When I talk to people about how big my baby is getting, they say “Oh, you can just have a c-section,” with a flip of the wrist, like it’s no big deal. For me, it is a big deal. I know there are women who choose to have a c-section. Maybe they want the control that comes with a set date in their day planner. Or maybe they want to avoid the pain of labor. Or maybe they’re worried about ruining their lady parts. I don’t fit into these categories. If I have a c-section, it will come with a feeling of defeat.

That feeling of defeat will only exist because of the ideals I have in my head. If I am able to let go of those ideals and embrace whatever happens, the disappointment and distress won’t be as jarring and monumental. It’s like the Buddhists teach about not getting attached to certain outcomes. I thought I was a go-with-the-flow type, but maybe I’m not in this case. So this is my challenge: accepting that I may need a c-section, welcoming the unwelcome circumstances, and relinquishing control.

You can read my other two posts on birthing fears by clicking here and here.

Image of Hooper unrelated to the subject matter, but one of my favorite I’ve captured of him to date.

A Wedding, Wesley & Meghan

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Wedding photography is always a gamble in some respect… While the people always make up the biggest percentage of the finished product, there are surely other things that play significant roles; like lighting, for example, and the hopeful individuals that chose a backyard ceremony in the middle of a hot summer day with no shade… I don’t care who the photographer is, if you’re working with crap ingredients, you can only do so much.

I photographed Meghan and Wesley’s wedding in Guerneville, California, and it was as if the stars aligned. It started with them; her, a bit anxious, by her own accounts, but with the perfect balance of humility and good cheer to make even the ugliest of hearts bat their eyes in her direction and him, easy-going, unfiltered, warm, and inviting. Their family and friends were larger representations of themselves, all two hundred plus of them, and by the end of the evening, I just wanted to do whatever was in my power to be a part of their glittertown, p-town, wolf pack.

The day started with heavy cloud coverage and the whisper of rain, which worked out perfectly as we headed into the Redwoods for a few portraits. No patches of harsh light, just pure, even, flattering light that would surely make 1pm in Southern California a bit jealous. The sun began to peak through just as the ceremony started, with the ceremony being nestled in a perfectly shaded alcove adjacent to the Russian River and wrapped in trees and ivy. The whole day was one for the books, especially when the car we drove to the Redwoods in broke down and we had to ride back through town in the back of a pickup truck.

In any event, the entire day was built around trust and love and friendship. Everything from the bouquet and flower crown which were made the morning of the wedding by a friend to her hair and make-up also done by friends to the set-up and clean-up of the actual venue by both friends and family to the officiant who was the bride’s best friend to the band who was also a friend just made sense and highlighted the fact that everything was created and put together with love.

The wedding was a weekend event, with games and gatherings the day prior to the wedding and camping throughout the weekend; which really added to the already established sense of community and love. It was one of those weddings where everything felt real and authentic and important and you couldn’t help but get swept away in it all.

Toward the end of the night I was actually capturing video on my phone and bragging to Willy about how good of a time I was having. It hardly felt like work.

Many thanks to Meghan & Wesley for having me.

Interested in hiring me for a wedding or event? I won’t be taking on too many this year with the new baby on the way, but surly shoot me an email, guarantee me a good time, and you just may have yourself a photographer.

 

Visual Supplement: Parker Fitzgerald

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“We do not want merely to see beauty, we want something else which can hardly be put into words —
to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to become part of it.”

Photographer Parker Fitzgerald & Florist Riley Messina  |  Overgrowth

A beautiful new addition to my bookshelf collection. 

On preparing the boys for a baby…

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Souther California Photographer-332When Van was born I remember Willy and I thinking that whatever repercussions in terms of how Hooper would handle his presence would be immediate. We definitely celebrated prematurely when there was no acting out, only to get to somewhere around the 4 month mark, when we found ourselves wondering who this child constantly on time out in the corner was. Because hindsight is the best teacher of all, we eventually realized that adding a newborn to the mix was surely the culprit and this time around we’re somewhat better prepared as to what we can expect (and when we can expect it).

I’ve mentioned this several times here in the past, but when we brought Jimmie home, he was a very difficult dog. Willy and I had no idea what we were getting into and I think we both had a lot of sorrow still in our hearts after tragically losing Sarah. Navigating Jimmie’s intense separation anxiety was something brand new and not something we were warned about prior to adopting him from someone off craigslist. The boys, though young, clearly picked up on our tension and general disgust and were not so nice with Jimmie. They spoke often about getting rid of him and getting a new dog and they’d hit and yell at him in a childlike fashion that – in hindsight – mirrored our own behavior and feelings of defeat toward Jimmie (minus the hitting, of course).

With that said, the first step in preparing the boys for a new brother or sister has been for Willy and I to touch base and remember what that time was like; to acknowledge that our own behavior was very much noticed and mimicked. A reminder that we are, even though we don’t always feel like it, the first line when it comes to examples of how to behave and respond appropriately.

The newborn phase has never been kind to our relationship as husband and wife. And don’t get me wrong, we have a great relationship; good enough that we’re open to admitting our faults and weaknesses and discussing things that break us down because we’re both under the belief that every relationship has cracks and times of fragility. And so, we both know that we’re prone to bickerments when tired and rundown, when we’re both at the end of our ropes. And surely newborns are pros at tiring us out, running us down, and dangling us from the end of our ropes… leaving us in that desperate survival mode where you’re not doing anything with any sort of conscious intent, but simply reacting with whatever energy reserves you have left.

And when you don’t have an older child, the repercussions for this period are yours and yours alone, as a couple. But when you have older children, or any other child (because dammit even dem’ young ones be pickin’ up on shit) the repercussions are felt by them, too. And mimicked, just like the boys with Jimmie.

So step one, for Willy and I, has been having conversations with one another reminding ourselves of this little truth; reminding ourselves that we are the glue and that to hold our little unit together will take some degree of teamwork and that how we respond to the not-so-easy parts of dealing with a newborn will be noticed and mimicked. The dominos will only fall if we make the first push and if we falter and do make that first nudge, we’ll be picking up more pieces than just the one that we ourselves knock down. So that’s number one, and I feel, the most important step in preparation for us: constant realization of this truth and awareness of our own behavior.

Other notable things we’re doing to help prepare the boys:

-We talk often about how much work caring for a newborn can be. We’ve suggested ways that they can be helpful and it’s elicited a favorable response in that they are now coming up with their own ideas of how they want or feel like they can help. Sure, not all their ideas are good ideas but the fact the wheels are spinning and that their intentions are in the right place is all we really hope for.

-We warn them about how it will affect them and the way they play and how a thousand tiny pieces of legos spread all over the floor will not be allowed in due time. The more we can warn them of how their lives will be affected, the less of a shock it will be when new rules pertaining to the safety of having a newborn with two rambunctious boys will be.

-We include them in whatever preparation we can (which truthfully hasn’t been much because hello lack of preparation when having a third baby). Van helped me tie dye a crib sheet, for example, and we talked about how the baby is going to love going to sleep on a sheet we made him/her. Hooper helped me empty the bottles from the dishwasher and make room on a shelf in the kitchen cabinet for all the bottle supplies (side note: looking at all the bottles and the bottle warmer and the little valve parts and the bottle brushes and the different staged nipples totally stressed me out — can we just skip to the sippy cup stage?).

By no means do we know it all or have all the answers. These are just things we’ve started thus far and feel right, instinctively. If anyone has any suggestions of things that have worked, by all means, sharing is caring.

Images are oldies but goodies from our time spent in Montana over the summer.

Birthing Fears, part II

AshleyWilly-71mattandtishThe reality is that our bodies don’t always do what we expect, hope, or pray that they do. The reality is that you can read as many positive passages by Ina May Gaskin and still run into trouble during the birthing process. I’ve come to realize that it’s not fear that has gotten the better of me, but the reality that my body has limitations.

I believed so deeply in my body’s ability to birth my babies. So much so that even after a “failed” home birth the first time around, I opted to try again. Because I believed.

I still believe in a woman’s ability to birth a baby, but I also know that no matter how hard I defend my body’s ability, it too has limitations.

The other day I was pulling meds in the med room at work when the pharmacist came in with his rolling table of meds to stock. On the top of the cart were several bags stacked on-top one another of pitocin. I looked at him, laughed, and said “get that stuff away from me”.

You see, with my birth with Hooper, my body didn’t know what to do. Labor never started on it’s own and though I speak so evilly of that dreaded drug, something had to be done to get the ball rolling. As my OB said, pitocin is synonymous with induction; there are no other ways to technically induce labor. Sure there are natural labor induction techniques, but if your baby is in distress, your OB isn’t going to tell you to exercise, or have sex, or eat pineapple, or stimulate your nipples, or call an acupuncturist… he’s going to hook you up to an IV with pitocin running into your veins. Because, despite the inherit side effects, it works.

I worried deeply that my body would fail me again; my new fear when pregnant with Van being that my body would once again not go into labor on it’s own. A fear rooted in what was previously my reality and thus, a fear supported by reality. My reality.

And to my surprise, it did go into labor on it’s own. It knew just what to do and it did it so beautifully. The labor portion of my birth with Van is the highlight of all my birth experiences thus far; the part of the story I hold on to tightest.

I’m hoping that the last piece of the puzzle – the piece I have yet to make fit – will be complete with this third baby. I’m referring to my body’s ability to push a baby out, on it’s own. And if not on it’s own, at least safely, without complication. Because it’s not the assistance I fear, but the complications that come along with things like vacuum deliveries and, well, large babies in general. I hope the fact that I’m grateful for the assistance I’ve had and the luck I’ve had in delivering two healthy babies inspite of needing assistance is clear.

You see, it’s not all about trusting your body and believing in your body. If I didn’t have either, I would have never tried to birth my babies at home. I had all kinds of trust and will-power and it was my experience, my reality, that proved my trust and belief in myself to – on it’s own – not be enough. For me, it’s not about positive thinking and visualition. Sure that can be part of it, but I had it before and it still didn’t go as planned, or envisioned for that matter, so the resulting feelings of defeat and fear have been proven valid.

So I suppose the better question is this: How do you deal with fears that are valid and rooted in your own experiences of the past? How do you trust when trust alone hasn’t proven to be enough?

You can read my first “birthing fears” post by clicking here.

Image by Tish Carlson.

Childhood Unplugged

San Clemente Family Photographer-7136

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An evening spent digging, chasing, climbing, and – in true kid fashion – ripping flowers out of the ground, roots n’ all.
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