Thursday, March 27, 2008

I went last night to a meeting for a new group in Tulsa called the Holistic Mom's Network. The group is national, first started in New Jersey, I think, and some women are setting about starting a local chapter. It's sort of a support group for moms who want to raise their families naturally, healthily and holistically. They plan to have guest speakers covering topics from natural childbirth to breastfeeding to the environment and anything else someone in the group is interested in learning about. Last night's meeting gave attendees (and there were quite a few of us, I was happy to see) the opportunity to speak up about why they were there and what they hoped to gain from the group. I was there because, out of about 12 or so people I know who are pregnant or who've had babies in about the last year and a half, only three have attempted natural childbirth and nursing, have thought twice about whether or not to vaccinate their kids and have the attitude that maybe, just maybe, when it comes to our kids, natural is better. So I'm hoping to meet more like-minded people who won't call me crazy every time I want to try a parenting technique that goes against the norm. Other women were there because they wanted to explore natural remedies for family ailments, learn how to lighten their environmental footprint and have an impact on the kinds of foods being fed to their kids at schools. All in all, I think it's going to be a really neat group, and I'm excited to be a part of it. The website for the national group is

I also started reading a new book last night, one Tasha recommended me called Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Ina May is a leading midwife who lives and works in a small village in Tennessee called The Farm. At The Farm, women are used to giving birth to their babies either at home or at a birth center, aided only by midwives and almost always completely naturally. The book discusses ways women throughout the country can take the theories and practices of birthing at The Farm and implement them in their own hospital deliveries. I haven't reached that part of the book yet, but what I have been reading, and the reason Tasha recommended I read it, are the birth stories of women who have given birth or were born on The Farm. It seems like everyone is so eager to tell you their negative birth stories and scare you into thinking that giving birth has to be this traumatic, tortuous experience, but reading these positive, natural birth stories has been really uplifting. Thanks, Tasha!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photos by Jeremy

Jeremy Charles ( took some fantastic photos of John and me a couple of weeks ago. Here are some.

The last time I tried this blogging thing, it was in an attempt to supplement the arts writing I was doing for Urban Tulsa Weekly with additional reviews, previews and all around performance and visual arts coverage. If anyone actually read that blog, you know it didn't go very well. I think I made one entry. It wasn't that I didn't have ample material to cover; I just got so busy with other things that the blog kept getting pushed back farther and farther in my mind until I just abandoned it altogether. I'm trying again, but this time it has nothing to do with UTW; it has instead to do with absolutely everyhting else.

As of right now, I am seventeen days from giving birth to my son, Isaac. Being pregnant, though it came as a shock, has been such a wonderful experience. I've complained a lot about little things--the pain in my ribs and pelvis expanding to accommodate my ever-growing belly, the endlessly swollen feet and ankles, the exhaustion, the few tiny stretch marks that have only appeared in these last few weeks, the heartburn--but I couldn't have asked for a better, easier, more healthy pregnancy, to be completely honest. It has been incredibly fun watching my belly grow on an almost daily basis, and to feel and see this little person kicking and squirming around inside of me. Part of me knows I'll miss it a little bit when Isaac is born, but I know that feeling won't compare to the joy of finally having my son in my life and in my arms.

At the very beginning of the pregnancy, I was completely terrified of the birth process. I thought, "Okay, I can handle being pregnant. But I don't even want to think about giving birth." But I think God allows women nine months of pregnancy to give them time to get used to and prepared for their children's birth. John and I have been through classes and read a number of books, and I honestly feel like we are completely ready for our son's arrival.

I've made the decision to have Isaac naturally, without an epidural. If you asked me seven months ago what my birthplan was, I would have told you I wanted nothing more and nothing less than an IV in my back, pumping me full of pain-relieving medication. But the more I've read and learned about the birthing process, the more strongly I feel about natural childbirth and its benefits for me and my baby. When I tell friends and even some family about my decision, their automatic response is to tell me I'm crazy or even try to talk me out of it, but I feel one hundred percent at peace with my decision. And I've received support from a couple of friends who have delievered their babies naturally and had great experiences doing so. Their support and advice are invaluable to me. I know births don't always go the way you plan them to, but it's my hope to have Isaac naturally, with as little medical intervention as possible. And I feel very blessed to have Dr. Lora Larson as my doctor. My experience with her so far could not have been better. And having John's support is the most important thing to me. I couldn't do it without that.

John and I are so excited to be parents. And I can't wait to see what kind of parents we'll be (good ones, I hope!). I have a lot of ideas about how I want to raise Isaac, but I know I won't really know who I am as a mother until he gets here. And I can't wait to meet that person.

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