The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families
Like a flower
Over the weekend our pregnancy group discussed final preparations for the big day. We have a good number of families due in the next few weeks and I wanted to be sure everyone had a chance to asks all those last minute questions like,"How will I know when it's real labor?" or "What should we pack and when?" Our friend and HOH mama, Jupiter Otazo shared the unique birth story of her son Dante. Jupiter was one of the unlucky folks that experienced prodromal labor, or labor that does not progress or make cervical change. For some folks, this type of labor can last a few day or in some cases, like Jupiter's, weeks on end. As Jupe was telling her story to the group it occured to me that her story was the perfect example of the mental labor often overlooked when discussing stages and phases of labor.
For first time parents a lot of the mental labor is wrestling with the reality of having very little control over when your baby will make their appearance. You've done the work asked of you, taken the classes, installed the carseat and now...what? You're just supposed to sit around wait for things to happen? If this isn't your first rodeo, the mental labor is much different. Childcare is usually at the top of your list of concerns. Followed by flashbacks of your previous labor and recalling the sleepless night of the newborn period. How on earth will you do that again with a toddler in tow?!?
After weeks of prodromal labor, doing all the "things" to encourage labor along and a very intense emotional breakdown, Jupiter decided that she would just have to go back to work and endure the contractions until this baby decided to make his entrance. She surrendered. She didn't give up, she gave in. The night after her emotional release and as she planned on returning to work the following day, her bag of waters broke in the middle of the night. Jupe and Josh had Dante in their arms an hour later. Thank goodness they live so close to the birth center!
She surrendered. She didn't give up, she gave in.
What was it that triggered active labor? What was it that finally pushed her body over the edge? I don't know, it could have been a combination of the slutty circles she'd been doing on the ball or the body work she was getting from Rowan or maybe Dante just decided he was ready. We can't know for sure but knowing Jupe for as long as I have, I'm pretty confident it was the act of surrendering control that the birth Gods were waiting for before they moved things along.
As much as I would love to tell expectant folks that laboring is like the gentle opening of a flower and that intuition will take over when the time comes, I've seen enough birth to know that is not always the case. It is sometimes dirty and difficult but always completely transformative. We can enter into our birthing time gripping onto everything we want it to be or we can enter with the openness that allows the story to unfold the way it's going to, with or without our permission. My hope for those of you awaiting the arrival of your little ones is that you revel in the magic of what your body is doing at this very moment and rest in the knowledge that you, my friend, can do hard things.
More opportunities to get your yoga on
Our friend and super awesome doula Breanna aka Bee the Doula is offering her Yoga and Brunch event online Sunday January 16th. This event will have a few giveaways so be sure to register. Bee and her team will be back in person offering smaller, more personal classes Friday evenings. RSVP for January 21 and 28th on our event page. Classes are open to everyone. Current HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members can attend with a love donation, $20 drop in fee for everyone else.
This weekend yoga instructor Kristen Hanna is offering an online, four week, Mindful Mama series. Kristen says, "My intention here is to equip and encourage women to heal, release their fear, build their confidence, break minimizing generational patterns, trust their intuition and expand gracefully in their role as mother to their child, on all levels, from womb to delivery room and beyond. I am so excited to help the next wave of mommas cultivate and nourish their gardens: your mind, body, spirit and your baby. This package includes a virtual community of other mommas-to-be, safe, gentle prenatal yoga instruction, guided meditations and discussion/journal prompts."
All pregnant persons are welcome to join this session regardless of how you identify. This series runs from Saturday January 15th thru February 5th from 10am-12noon. Price is $150 for HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members and $200 for non members. Email Kristen for more information.
When plans change
This weekend's pregnancy group will cover what happens when your plans have to change. Midwife Mary will discuss the ways our practice approaches changes to your ideal birthing preferences. This class will be over zoom and we highly encourage every HOH client and Whole Heart Collective member to attend. RSVP here.
Take a Walk PP Support Group : No group on Thursday 1/13
Latch Clinic: Now on Zoom Wednesday 1/12 10am, Leah Jolly IBCLC will join our weekly postpartum support group to answer your feeding questions. We have breakout rooms now so you can spend a few min in private with Leah if necessary.
HOH Gear Swap: We've rescheduled this event to March 5&6th. This weekend's Houston Marathon means road closures all around us.
Pregnancy Group Core Class: Online zoom When Plans Change with Mary Love 1/16 2pm -3:30pm
Postpartum Support Group: Wednesday 1/19 10am Babywearing expert Angelique Geehan will join us for a babywearing 101/ Q&A session so please bring all your questions and gear!
Infant CPR: January 23, noon- 2pm. $45 a person, masks required please email Gail Gould at cprandsafetylady at gmail dot com to make payment, RSVP here.
Partner's Event: January 23, 2:30-5pm Expectant partners chat with new parents about the ins and outs of life with a newborn.
Postpartum Support Group: Every Wednesday from 10-12ish and Thursday 9:30-11:30. Zoom link has been sent to all HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 3:30-5pm Open to the public!
Birthworkers Circle: Second Sunday of every month starting Jan 2022 time 11am-1:30pm