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mother nature

Strength and Sacrifice

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Strength and Sacrifice

Last week I traveled by boat to Santa Barbara, past the many missing people buried in the Montecito mudslide, up and over a big and endless swell, vomiting repeatedly and shaking and shaking and shaking. It was a gnarly two hours. And then I soaked in my sister's tub in a bath of various salts to warm my body and ground myself. After all, the reason I made the trip was to support a client in labor, and she was deep in its throes by the time I arrived.  

The first thing I witnessed upon entering the birth space was my client, Lilly, being so lovingly supported by her fiance. He exuded excitement and awe toward what he was witnessing. It was beautiful. Because of his confidence, I sat on the sidelines until I was needed. They were a perfect team, so excited to meet their baby and so fully connected in that moment. 

After a drawn out transition due to a bag of waters that never broke, Lilly birthed her beautiful baby en caul, and dad announced that it was a girl - Baby Cleo. I totally cried. 

Baby Cleo's mama is an amazing photographer. View her work at  lillyrosenthal.com .

Baby Cleo's mama is an amazing photographer. View her work at lillyrosenthal.com.

The strength I've seen within my clients (some of whom nearly lost their homes in the fire), our community and the many care providers that keep us safe in an area that has experienced so much devastation is oddly in endless supply. I personally am working the hardest I've ever worked. I've pushed past almost all of my comfort zones and I'm still here, thriving and serving and learning and doing my best. And still, I feel so small.

Mother Nature is a force that no one could ever compare themselves to. She will always be the one whose mercy we are at. But it is my belief that the more we care for and respect her, the more she will care for and respect us back. She too has endless strength, but we cannot control how she chooses to use it, especially when triggered by the misgivings of manmade creations

All of this said, don't doubt yourself. Don't doubt what you're capable of, whether it is an unmedicated birth or making it through the coming days as you grieve all you have lost. You are surrounded by support and love and the undeniable determination of many to guide you through these times in life that seem to be the most impossible to get through. 

Though I made it to this Santa Barbara birth, I missed another birth in Ventura and had to reschedule with many people over the following days. Some understood, others didn't. Nothing is ever perfect or easy. Going above and beyond in one area means sacrifices in another. This season has taught me this repeatedly, as has motherhood. It seems to be a never-ending lesson. I embrace the fact that "perfect" doesn't exist, but so long as I do what feels right in my bones, all will be well in the long run. 

For now, I pray for my community, for all the lives lost and all those yet to come Earth side during such a tumultuous time. It isn't a perfect world to become a part of. No. It is very, very far from it. These little babies being born right now have a heavy weight on their shoulders, and it is up to us to draw on our endless strength to guide them through this new unknown. We must teach them how to care for the Earth, how to care for their neighbors, how to care for themselves and how to be a helper in times of duress. We must teach them by example - and that's the hardest part. 

I also wish the best of luck to us all as we take on the role of parent, mentor, teacher and guide. These babies deserve all of the goodness we could possibly help them find. Cheers to a better tomorrow, which is a fitting way to end this post since the 20th was my 29th birthday, a special day I share with my own mother. Even more fitting was the fact that I was blessed to attend the birth of my neighbor and friend's son, Fisher, that night. It was one of the best birthdays I've ever had, gluten-free cake and all.


I have been given an incredible opportunity to train with a woman I admire, the author and founder of Birthing From Within, Pam England, in New Mexico. To help me attend this training and business planning meeting (I am a member of her Board of Dreamers that are re-envisioning the BFW business model), please consider donating funds here. I am not in a financial place to cover all of the required costs for this trip, but it is a trip I must take in order to accomplish my career goals and serve many more families during their childbearing year. Consider it an investment in all of our collective future - BFW has a very powerful message for mothers and all women, regardless of whether or not they have any children, and we need such empowerment now more than ever.

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Revolutionary Motherhood

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Revolutionary Motherhood

My mother and me at my sister's wedding reception.

My mother and me at my sister's wedding reception.

I think the revolution that is to come will be led by mothers. Mothers of all shapes, sizes, colors and age. Mothers of all types of children, with all types of capabilities. Mothers as a whole.

It will be led by mothers because mothers don’t do anything that isn’t essential, and a revolution is absolutely essential. They make decisions based on the well being of their children before anyone else. They can sense threat and they can protect fearlessly. With a vigilance like no other, mothers always succeed at that which needs to be accomplished because the livelihood of their children depends on it. Mothers know best, and mothers do best. No matter what the circumstances are, they always do their best.

It will be led by mothers because mothers have endured pain. They have endured abuse and disrespect for centuries. They have always come last and yet always continue to put others first. They are an imperative part of nature and its cycles, and are treated as such - but this is not a good thing. Like nature, mothers are treated as property. They are torn down, mistreated and destroyed simply because they are women, women whose bodies and hobbies have changed since bearing children. Women who are sexualized while simultaneously being very undervalued in their personal lives, in their maternity wards* and in their workplaces. It is truly disastrous, for mothers and for society as a whole, that this is the way we treat our mothers.

In contrast, mothers who are revered - who are treated like queens, who are supported by their communities and upheld by the laws, who have love made to them and exude love within them - these are the mothers whose children are happy and healthy; primarily because of the amount of maternal love that is always bestowed upon them, and secondly because of their mothers’ access to the services she needs so as to care for them.

It is time to value the mother, and mothers know this. They will not stand for the current state of our world because their daughters need them to clear the path, and their sons need to know how to treat the mothers of their own children. They will do it because it is what their children need them to do, and the children come first. Please note that it is so fucking good for society that children are first in the eyes of mothers, for society’s well being** depends on it.

The future of everyone is reliant upon how children are raised, how well they develop and how much they thrive in their environments. Thus, the mothers themselves will lead the revolution because the children need them to in order to survive. A key component of the mothers’ success is that you will help them. You will help the mothers to win the revolution because you need the children. You need the children because without the children, there is no future. Without a future to strive for, what’s life? Because, eventually, the future will come and it will be the present. If that future never comes, what happens to the present it was supposed to become?

So, yes, mothers will lead the revolution. And it will be celebrated for centuries more. Until then we will all continue to fight for the rights of mothers, especially in the worlds of healthcare and business. We will work to empower them and care for them when they are in need. We will not judge them, we will assist them. We will not outcast them, we will enable them. All of them.

I help mothers by guiding them through birth and early motherhood as a doula. I do this because I believe that world peace starts with creating positive pregnancy, birth and postpartum experiences for mother and child. How do you help mothers? Together we will help them to attain all that is required to truly change the world.

* Further reading on birth trauma here.
** I do not personally practice any religion, but I am spiritually inclined and admire other spiritual thinkers. What the Pope says here about mothers is truly beautiful.

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