Sep 24, 2012

Midwifery: Be A Hero

They finally got around to putting More Business Of Being Born on Netflix (watch the trailer here). Hurray! I've been working my way through the four episodes that talk in depth about The Farm and Ina May Gaskin, doulas, places to birth, cesareans and VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). My favorite one, of course, is the celebrity birth stories told by the women themselves. It's an impressive bunch and I think you should watch it.

In the re-telling of her birth story, Melissa Joan Hart said a phrase that I hear over and over again. Especially by women who are having hospital births and are considering getting an epidural. She explained that she wanted to have a natural birth, but "didn't want to be a hero." Really truly, this is such a common phrase that people tell pregnant mothers. They are told by their doctors, nurses, friends and family that there is no reason to suffer, no reason to be a hero. Go ahead, get an epidural. Why should you feel pain just because you're birthing a baby?

My response to this it. Be a hero. Be a hero for your baby, be a hero for your family, be a hero for women, be a hero for yourself. Feeling the pain of childbirth, moving through it and allowing your body to DO IT'S JOB by creating LIFE and birthing it from your body is HEROIC.

There are thousands of books, spanning thousands of years dedicated to the hero. Movies, stories, fairy tales, all with a hero. People strive in their day to day lives to be a hero by helping one another, saving lives, donating $$$, donating blood. Children run around yards wearing capes, playing heroes. It's practically human nature to aspire to be one. When given the actual opportunity to be heroic, why would anyone turn that opportunity down just because the chance presents itself in the form of birth?

What hero doesn't overcome pain, suffering and challenge?  Martin Luther King Jr. faced racism and bigotry, but persevered in his quest for equality. Hellen Keller was born deaf and blind, but overcame those obstacles to become an activist, lecturer and author. Sacajawea was married at 13 and then sold or won (as in being used as property) before finding her way to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Without her help, there was a very real possibility that they wouldn't have survived and found their way to the discovery of the Pacific Ocean. Oh, and she was pregnant, gave birth and cared for her small baby while doing this. Surely, birth is no more difficult and just as noble as the obstacles that these, and so many others, overcame with persistence, ability, support and a profound belief in life. Being a hero isn't easy, but who ever said it was or should be? Isn't it the struggle that makes us root for the hero in the end?

At the Farm to Fork dinner a few weeks ago a gentleman asked the table, if we could have any super power what it would be? Most people said flight (me included, thanks to this post) and a couple people said invisibility. Guess what. I know, and other women who have had un-medicated births know, that right after you birth a baby and in the following weeks you feel like you have mega-super- human strength. I know it's not just me because all the women in More Business Of Being Born said the same thing. There is nothing the universe could throw your way that you couldn't handle. I truly believe that this power is in everyone. Women are just lucky to have a clear way to access it. Over time this feeling gets subdued as you settle into a new routine and a new life, but it doesn't go away. It's simply laying low, under the surface. Waiting for the next time you need to call upon your super human strength. The next time you need to be a hero.

The future generation of heroes.

Porter trying to attain super human powers through the force known as sugar.

This child made a super hero out of me.
*If you want to know why I care so much about this, follow the link to this post.

Sep 22, 2012

Little Man

Tomorrow is our friend Lucy's birthday. We decided to start celebrating a day early by getting her a bouquet of flowers. Tender, seriously tender.


Smelling the flowers

Checking to make sure they're just right

The knock

Aww, she's a ballerina.

Mission accomplished

Sep 19, 2012

Capitola Bound

We just arrived home in Boise after almost a week visiting with my family in Capitola. It was confirmed, yet again, that grandparents and uncles are way more fun than actual parents.

At the Cabrillo Farmer's Market with Grandpa and the  awesome Radio Flyer tricycle, dubbed "Porter's Bike".

My dad's garden, fecund as ever.

Oh look, a weed!
Luke, Porter and I took a trip to UCSC and I had a moment when I called for Porter in the bookstore.
If you know how he got his name then you'll understand.

We scoped the new bookstore/student union. Decidedly not as cool since it's been updated but deemed necessary for the growth of the campus.

Followed up the UCSC visit with bread bowls and animal watching at the Santa Cruz Wharf. Here we have a multitude of sea lions being very lazy.
A pelican, a la Nemo.
I forced Luke to get a massage and soak in a tub with me at the Well Within. It was hard wearing a robe, but he pushed through like a good sport.

I've been looking for just the right rain boots for the upcoming seasons and finally decided on the Crocs. We took them for a test splash in front of our neighbors house. They kept the pajama bottoms dry. Success!

He made a bubble!

Gotta catch the zzz's when you can on these trips. The days go so fast and there's so much to do.

Took Porter to the beach for the first extended period of time. Poor kid, his mom hates sand. He loved it, and I got a full frontal of sand thrown at me. Just a quick reminder of how sand manages to get everywhere. Blech.

Shortly after arriving home. Porter's experimenting with facial expressions. This one is usually accompanied with head nodding up and down, preferably to a beat. 

Sep 15, 2012

Throwing Pine Cones

New favorite past time!

Stroll up the street and collect an assortment of pine cones from neighbors yards.

Walk to main canal that has a small waterfall.

Grab a pine cone, or as many as you can cram into your fist.

Throw said pine cones into the canal water.

Looks like a little turd, no? Anyway. Watch turd float towards waterfall and then over the edge.

"Hurray!" Repeat for endless enjoyment.

Sep 14, 2012

Peaceful Belly Farm to Fork Dinner September 2012

It has been my great pleasure to have enjoyed the Peaceful Belly Farm to Fork dinner on more than one occasion. Tonight my friend Chelsea and I got to enjoy the September bounty as interpreted by chef Abby Carlson. She did not disappoint! The company was friendly, the wine was flowing and by the 3rd course the conversation reached a crescendo. There were many comments made when we realized that the final course was coming that we all could have eaten more of all the savory goodness. And that was the truth!

The table settings were a  diverse assortment of squash in varying shapes, sizes and colors.

Appetizer: roasted peppers on a crustini

Watermelon jalapeno non-alcoholic spritzer. Fresh and delightful.

The best dinner companion for this event, my friend Chelsea.

The Menu as designed by chef Abby and grown by Peaceful Belly Farm. Fabulous local wines by Cinder Wines.

Crespelle with Creamed Corn, Pepper Jam, Heirloom Tomato Stack, 2011 Dry Rose

2011 Dry Rose. 

One of my top 2 favorite dishes: Pork Meatballs, Tomatillo Caramel, Fried Hakurei Turnips, 2011 Laissez Fair 

Winter Luxury Pumpkin Soup, Joe Long Sambal, 2011 Dry Viognier. Maybe I had 3 favorites because this was really good.

I don't remember which one this was, but it was refreshing.

Not Pictured is the Basil Sorbet. There was one bite worth and I ate it before I remembered to take a picture. That's what I get for living in the moment. It was dark green, sweet and cold. Maybe my favorite part of the meal.

It was all fantastic really, to pick a favorite would be silly! Pork Scaloppine, Peruvian Potato Gnocchi, Confit Tomato, 2010 Syrah

That's a legit John Deere lit up with lights and holding many bottles of wine.

Chocolate Financier, Raspberry Ganache, Salt and Pepper Caramel, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend

You know when there's wine spilled on the menu at the end of the night that it was all a great success.
Thanks Dad!