The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families.
Happy Monday and Happy Hanukkah
We hope you all had a great holiday weekend! Not gonna lie, we were pleasantly surprised that all babies stayed put for us so we could spend time with our families. Thanks future HOH babies, we appreciate you giving us a long weekend. We're recharged and ready for you all to make your entrances....single file please and thank you.
Y'all, I tried really hard to book a Santa for pictures at the birth center but apparently there is a city wide Santa shortage. No, really, it's a thing. Lesson learned and I promise to book St. Nick earlier next year. In the meantime please enjoy the very best Santa picture EVER featuring my daughter Elias and Santa in the midst of a later in life crisis.
December and January are the without a doubt the most festive months of year. Yesterday marked the beginning of both Hanukkah and Advent and next Wednesday the 8th is Bodhi Day or the Day of Enlightenment for our Buddhist friends. I love Houston for so many reasons but mainly because of the diversity of our people. So whether you're celebrating Yule, Las Posadas, Kwanzaa, or Chalica, we hope this season brings you joy and peace. Oh, and please fill my inbox with pictures of your little ones celebrating the season!
Over the Weekend
Sunday's pregnancy group covered one of our core classes, the stages of labor. Our friends Kelly and Vero of Premier Doulas of Houston walked us through the phases and stages of labor and help the non birthing partners understand how they can help at each step. Contrary to what TV would have us believe, labor is not a gush of water followed by a string of obscenities, two pushes and a baby. Well, not usually anyway. It absolutely IS a journey with twists, turns and yeah, a few obscenities but usually not something that happens like we've seen on screen for most of our lives. It's ugly and beautiful and always transformative. Like our friend Vero said over and over yesterday, "Take it one contraction at a time."
When I was a few years into doula work I decided to buy a good DSLR camera for all the traveling my wife and I were doing. When I realized that this amazing camera was fairly idiot proof and as long as I pointed it the right direction I could get some kick ass pictures, I decided to try it out in the delivery room. I got some amazing shots for my clients. Shots that made folks feel like the badass birthers they were. The images were raw and unedited, sometimes rated G but a lot of times definitely not something you'd share on social media. They were good enough for folks to remember their birth but not something edited enough to show off. Eight or nine years ago I attended a birth with Stephanie Shirley a professional birth photographer and let me tell you, it was remarkable.
Stephanie was like a tiny fly on the wall. She actually startled me once because she was so still and quiet I didn't even realize she was in the room. She can capture the energy and nuances of the labor space so well you can almost smell the lavender and clary sage. Birth photography is not new but with the rise of social media it has evolved from grainy pictures to short documentaries. If this is your first time experiencing an out of hospital birth, I highly recommend watching a few of Stephanie's films to get a real feel of what birth looks like. Have you considered hiring a birth photographer?
Latch Clinic: Now on Zoom Wednesday 12/8 and 12/22 at 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.
In Person PP Support Group Wednesday 12/1 10am all ages welcome
Take a Walk PP Support Group : Thursday 12/2 Houston Arboretum 10-12
Pregnancy Group: Sunday 12/5 Newborn Care class in person 10-12:30 Please RSVP on our event page. Free to current HOH Clients and Whole Heart Collective Members, $125 per couple non members
Pregnancy Group Sunday 12/5 2pm Leah Jolly IBCLC covers the importance of the first 48hrs of your new baby's life for establishing breast/chestfeeding.
Pregnancy Group: Online zoom open forum 12/12 2pm -4pm
Newborn Essentials : Sunday 12/19 2pm Nina Spears of Baby Chick will give her top pick for new baby essentials.
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 time TBD