Thursday, September 7, 2017

Zookeeper's Wife

I know I'm basically a year behind, but I'm a mom and I use that excuse widely. 

If you're looking for an emotionally, eye opening, heart wrenching, thought provoking movie look absolutely no further. The zookeepers wife proves to be all of the above and more. 

It has always been hard for me to imagine the Nazi era, but I have been working hard to educate myself over the last years to better understand the histories of people around me. I still struggle to wrap my mind around the ingrained hatred that worked to motivate Word War II, and honestly I don't want to understand it. But, I do want to understand what led to it so that I can be best educated in how to prevent this level of hatred again.

I recently read Small Little Things by Jodi Picoult, and it too opened my eyes to experiences of racism for PoC. While I may be "woke" to the reality of these things existing, I am privileged in the sense that it isn't my daily life. 

I can't help but take a step back and reflect. How am I actively working against hatred? How am I pursuing a society of equity? How will I continue to respond as the hatred seems to be more vocal, more blatant, and more celebrated than ever before in my short life? These are questions that are quite literally keeping me up tonight. This movie. Oh my heart. This REALITY of so many- these babies being loaded in a train to be killed because of their looks and their beliefs. And a family who risked their marriage, safety, lives, and children to help others. 300+ people were saved because of their sacrifice. What will I sacrifice? What do I sacrifice? How could it be more? 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Worthington Farmer's Market

Having lived in Columbus for over 4 years, you'd think I would've taken advantage of the Worthington Farmer's Market... but we really haven't! I was so glad that a good friend and her baby (born just a few weeks before Annabeth) were willing to join Annabeth and I on Saturday as we explored all that the market has to offer!

One thing that I loved so much was that with parking at the Worthington United Methodist Church, you start exploring the market on the South East corner of the markets. Walking north, you explore some fantastic vendors- including coffee that you could smell a block away, natural honey, so many veggies, and more (like Peace Love and Little Donuts!).  Keep walking north and you pass my FAVORITE Columbus brunch spot, The Whitney House (omg the sausage). 

Then you hit the best part of the market... the park where the Columbus Folk Music Society was playing music.  The had a blanket with a large basket of kids music toys. My toddler, like many others, was absolutely enamored by the event.  She seriously had a blast.  Once she was ready to hop back in her Moby Sling, we walked south on the West side of High Street.  

The West side of the street boasted some of the most fragrant strawberries ever! My friend bought some and said they were amazing. There was even a few meat vendors selling local, organic products.  I loved the salsa and dip vendors with samples, as well!

One of the best parts of this Farmer's Market is how family friendly it truly is! There were so many families (and so many babywearers, too!) and puppies as well.  Annabeth absolutely loves going anywhere that she can people watch and this was seriously a fantastic Saturday morning event. Next time, I plan to bring a grocery bag and a list so that I'm more prepared to stock up on items I know we'll use the most!

What are your favorite Farmer's Markets in Columbus? Who are your favorite vendors?

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Someone recently asked me if I work while I pump. 😂😂😂 is all my response could be. Then they said "don't they make hands free bras". 😂😂😂 again. I replied (though it was none of her business) that I use one. She then commented, "oh so you social media and pump". My face moved from polite to RBF real quick. 

While she didn't deserve an explanation, I really should've just invited her into a pump sess. Yes I use that GD "hands free" - zipper device. So for a few seconds I get to take a deep breath and think about my baby while praying I make enough milk for her today. It's a crazy thing to have such an over supply with her and struggle to express enough for her... Pumps suck to put it lightly(and pun-ly). 

After a few deep breaths and yes, maybe scrolling through my thousands of pictures of my peanut to help my let down - that's when it becomes a comedy. Pumping is a two hand sport which is why I need the hands free bra. Seriously. No one told me I'd be twisting and squeezing the bejeezus out of my once cute tits to get the milk out- isn't that why it has suction? The LC used such cute language- "breast massage" and "compression". No. It's legit squeezing, as in bruises the next day. But if I don't do that I'm left feeling engorged and wouldn't have enough for peanut so that's what we do.

Long story short- no I don't work while I pump (minus the occasional vocera call with an awkward humming in the background). And those pictures of peaceful pumps are lies.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

She Sees Me

This little baby. This tiny little 12 lbs of love. She sees me. There are these intense intimate moments where she stares info my eyes, and I swear she sees the hurt, the pain, and the sadness that I still hold onto- and she heals it one look at a time. Sometimes it's in the quiet of the night as she nurses. Other times it when I'm rocking her to sleep, or singing her songs. But I swear- she sees my soul. 

And so of course, as a mom would, I worry. She knows that pain isn't to do with her right? She knows she makes me so happy and proud, right? 

I have a strong believe that babies join us from heaven. I strongly believe she knows my mommy, my grandma, my papaw as well as I do. And when she stares into my eyes I can't help but believe my mommy asked her to. Asked her to love me like I love my momma. I really do believe our babies are our greatest connection to God and our loved ones that have passed.

I'm going to try to not worry and just soak up these gazes, snuggles, and moments. ❤️

This Work

Let's be honest; leaving Annabeth every morning is so much harder than I ever dreamed it would be. My mind races each morning- what if she needs me? What if I miss a milestone? What if she's fussy all day for the nanny? What if she knows I leave her and she hates me for it? There's a spectrum of understandable worry to the truly irrational, of course.

But the hardest (actually I hate choosing absolutes)- one of the hardest things about leaving is arriving to work with babies and their mommas. Sick babies, and their mommas.

My passion has long been moms and babies- their bond, their love, their relationship. I've been blessed in my education and in my career to have worked with moms and babies extensively. I've sat with moms through the tears, laughs, and aches of motherhood. I've held, fed, changed baby after baby- and have even seen many travel and arrive earth side! I've held hands with families rejoicing in milestones met, goals achieved, and birthdays celebrated. 

But; I have also hugged weeping mothers, steadied broken hearted dads, and have said goodbye to fresh infants. I have held the hands of mothers grieving their child's illness, and their child. I've answered those impossible questions- "is he suffering?" "What do I do now?" "How do I leave without her?". I have sat in silence, watching husband and wife- mom and dad- say goodbye to life they created. 

It is a blessing. A privledge that families have allowed me into their most intimate relationships- have welcomed me into their best and their worst days- as well as all of those days in between. This work is an honor and I do not take that lightly.

Being a mother is impossibly hard. And let's be real- I honestly have no idea what I'm doing most hours of the day. But one thing I hope to teach sweet Annabeth is that people- all people- are the most valuable resource we have. I hope that I can teach her the importance of fighting for relationships, advocating for those in need, and holding the hand of those in grief. Again- I have no idea what I'm doing. These are just my hopes. 

All this being said- I have serious work to do in finding balance between my baby and my job. But I know that balance can exist, and I know that the work I do will help my daughter in so many ways. My job isn't special nor am I- but I sincerely hope that it is what it is for a purpose greater than me. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Breastfeeding... Ouch

I did not try to breastfeed in the beginning, I decided to breastfeed. I armed myself with tricks to increase supply, studied positioning, and ignorantly believed my instincts, and hers, would suffice. Wrong. Breastfeeding has been the most challenging experience, from the first days of her not latching. 

We have survived poor latch, mastitis, thrush (ouchhh), tongue and lip ties, fast let down, over supply, shallow latch, and cracked so super sore nipples.  And after so much effort ($ too) we are at about 75% pain free nursing and I could cry! Happy cry not pain cry! 

I've dreaded every feed, felt nauseous and nearly black out when she would latch. What a joy to sit in the quiet and feed my babe. Pain free. Peace.

This- this is why I love breastfeeding. When you see me feed my perfect baby girl you know nothing of the pain and fight we've both experienced to get here. I had hoped that negativity towards breastfeeding was gone- but it's not- and all I can think is that maybe if they knew how hard we've had to fight in order to give my baby her nourishment, maybe then they'll respect this womanly art. And maybe they won't. I don't know but I hope. 

So please, if you don't like watching moms breastfeed, don't look. If you look, look lovingly because I promise she's a nervous wreck because of the negative messages we get about feeding our babies- though I do hope this nervousness dissipates! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Every Momma Needs a Support Group

My baby girl is asleep in my arms, and as I stare at her I can't help but reflect on the momma support group I went to today- breastfeeding group actually. It was the first time I heard women use and express words that describe precisely as I feel. It was the first time a weight began to lift from my shoulders- a guilt and a list of fears slowly lifting from me. 

I've really struggled with trying to understand why this- motherhood- is so hard. I used to be a doula, I'm an infant mental health specialist, I've been around babies and have provided parenting coaching for years. I have so much knowledge about breastfeeding, infants, and parenting- but know absolutely nothing about mothering my daughter. I know absolutely nothing about the millions of feelings, emotions, and thoughts I'm wrestling with. 

It felt validating to know that I'm not a horrible mother because of the sadness and loneliness I battle while nursing my little one for the umpteenth time. Im not evil for feeling "stuck" when she can't go longer than 2 hours between feeds. And I'm not setting her up for feeling unloved when she sees me crying when I feel more isolated than ever before. 

I love this baby girl more than I can put into words, but the emotions and roller coaster of feelings has been very overwhelming. As a mother, my thoughts are completely on her 24-7 and that has been debilitating at times. I am so grateful for the women that shared today and those that gave encouragement. I know baby girl and I will be just fine, and that we will find our own rhythm very soon. 

One thing is for sure- I miss my mom, so so much. I know she'd be such a help. I also know she's with me all the time within me and my girl. I couldn't be more grateful for my hubby and my family, as well. Motherhood takes a village and I'm just trying to find mine! ❤️