The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families and Friends
Happy Pride Month!
Happy Monday dear ones! We hope you're enjoying your summer so far. It's been a busy couple of weeks around here and we are looking forward to meeting a couple of new babies some time this week or next. We've said goodbye to our Fall student midwife Tori Herbert and welcomed a new summer student, Jola Ogundiya. We've also added a new birth assistant to our roster, Carolina Guzman. I'll introduce both of these amazing people later this week. We've added a few new events to our summer calendar so check them out! Finally, I missed saying happy birthday to some of our newest members to the HOH 1 year old gang. Let's get started!
Not goodbye but check ya' later
Some of you might have heard that our favorite CPM Rowan TwoSisters will be leaving us this week. Rowan is a lifelong student of all things and she's entering into a portion of her studies that will require her complete attention. She's deep into an advanced scar remediation course and Soul Restoration Training. Even though you might not see her around the birth center as often she will be filling in when Mary or Bethany need a few days off. We've absolutely loved having Rowan as part of our team and will miss her presence immensely. Leave some love for her on our social media walls this week. We love you Rowan!
Welcome back, friend
Late last year I introduced you to our very first HOH baby Hattie and her mom Mary Alice. Mary Love and I met Mary Alice at the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) conference in Orlando and we all became fast friends. Back then Mary Alice was working as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) with our friend Certified Nurse Midwife, Jackie Griggs. Mary Alice and her husband Aaron reached out to us when they were ready to start their family. Enter Hattie and all the beautiful chaos of parenthood. Mary Alice, being the overachiever that she is, decided to go to grad school and get her masters in family therapy. With her unique perspective as a birthworker and her innate ability to put folks at ease, our friends at The Center for Postpartum Family Health have taken Mary Alice on as an intern Family Therapist. Part of her new role will be leading CPFH's Wednesday support group and offering individual and couples therapy sessions. She'll also join us every Thursday for our HOH postpartum circles. We know you all will love having her around as much as much as we do. Welcome back, Mary Alice!
Representation really matters
When my wife and I decided to have children we knew that we'd need thick skin to raise kids in a two mom household that just happened to be in a VERY red state. Having been involved with social justice activism my entire adult life I just knew my kids would be all loving, all accepting, anti-racist, magical unicorns. Imagine my horror when at three years of age my daughter informed us that the idea two boys getting married was "silly". Umm, what the..?! We'd been reading books about same-sex parents and families made up of a multitude of combinations since she was in utero. Her very first friend came from a two dad household! WE ARE A TWO MOM FAMILY FOR PETE'S SAKE!!! Where on earth had I gone wrong! The fact was that until then she had only interacted with a handful of queer families. Not one television show, Disney movie or non-curated book had queer parents represented. Wait! There was ONE episode of T.O.T.S on Disney Jr that included a pair of dolphin moms but that was 30 seconds of the entire show. We did managed to make a lot of the families in library books queer by changing pronouns or using gender neutral language. But in real life, she didn't have much to go on. Last year I started hosting a monthly queer parent circle at the birth center as a safe space for those of us navigating parenting while LGBTQIA+. In our very first meeting it was made abundantly clear that every parent in attendance was also seeking community for themselves and for their children. Our monthly meetings have morphed into bi-weekly playdates/meetups, pool days and even planning a fall camping trip. My now six-year-old no longer finds gay marriage "silly," (gee, thanks kid) but still questions why a friend with two dads (biological and step) were not invited to our annual Family Pride Pool Party. I'm definitely not winning any queer parent of the year awards over here but I'm satisfied that my kids will grow up with families that look like their own and can celebrate the diversity of our community in June and everyday in-between.
Meet the Sieger Family
1. Who's in your family? Our family includes myself (Danielle), my wife Christina, our son Luca (3 1/2 months) and our furry son Finn (6yr old small terrier mix)
2. What is your biggest challenge currently? Our biggest challenge currently is Luca’s 30 min naps, which make it challenging to be productive during the day. Breastfeeding has also been a pretty consistent challenge for us, but has been getting easier over time!
3. What's your best pregnancy, birth, or parenting tip? Our best parenting tip is to keep an open mind and try new things when it comes to caring for your little one. There’s not a magical book of how to raise a baby (unfortunately) and every mom/parent and baby are different, so if something worked for your friends don’t get upset if it doesn’t work for you and your baby.
4. What's one thing you can't do without as a pregnant person or parent? We can’t do without each other as cheesy as that sounds (major props to those single parents out there!). I was fortunate to have Christina take a month off when Luca arrived and she was the only one able to keep me sane those first 6 weeks. Not to mention all the cooking, house chores, taking care of Luca and I on top of working full time has definitely nominated her for super star wife or the year IMO! She’s my rock! Oh and food delivery/curbside grocery pick up! I know that’s cheating and technically two things, but we haven’t been able to cook as often as we used to before Luca.
5. How do you fill your cup when it's empty? Pour another drink…jk Making sure to take some “Me” time, whether it’s booking a massage, going for a long walk, or binge watching Grey’s Anatomy etc.
6. Tell us about something (or someone) you love. Christina is a big foodie so we love to try new restaurants and pop ups.
New events and Core Classes
CPR: You still have time to sign up for our next CPR class this Saturday at 10am. Cost is $45 per person and TOTALLY WORTH IT.
This was an exchange in our HOH What'sApp chat over the weekend:
Parent 1: "Ya'll if you haven't taken a baby CPR class DO IT!!! I had to give (11 month old) the baby heimlich maneuver this morning. 😭 I'm so glad I took a class!! She's fine. I'm a bit traumatized though. 😩"
Parent 2: "Oh no that's so scary! I'm sorry! I'm so glad (She) is feeling ok now! We both took the class offered through HOH and it was great. When (daughter) was maybe 4-5 months old she choked on milk while nursing, got red, couldn't breathe, and we used our training too! Babies can absolutely choke on something as simple as milk, especially if they have congestion/drainage in their throats! Nvm when they start solids 😵💫 That takes some real courage as a parent to watch them tackle solids! Take the class!!"
Core Class - Comfort Measures: Our doula bestie Bee the doula will join us again for a 2hr session dedicated to comfort measures in labor. Bring your support person(s) and dress comfortably. Sunday 6/12 2pm-4pm. Mask required. Free to current Heart of Houston clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Please RSVP
Pumping 101 with Leah Jolly, IBCLC: Our resident lactation consultant Leah Jolly, IBCLC will cover all the things you need to know about pumping to feed your little one. Leah will cover the different types of pumps available, when to use which pump, flanges and flange fit; how to pump and maintain a supply while pumping. This class is FREE to current Heart of Houston clients and Whole Heart Collective members. The cost is $40 for non-members. LPT: Whole Heart Collective monthly membership is $30 and includes an entire month of programming including this class! Become a member HERE!
Our calendar will look much fuller when we get into our new space!
Postpartum Support Group ONLINE: Wednesday 6/8 10-12pm
Postpartum Support Group & Feeding Clinic : Thursday 6/9 9:30-11:30 IN Person
Infant CPR: Saturday 6/11 10-12pm $45 a person. Please read event details to register
Pregnancy Group: Sunday 6/26 Pumping 101 with Leah Jolly, IBCLC class is free for clients and Whole Heart Collective Members. $40 for all others.
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.
Latch Clinic: Twice a month during Postpartum group. Keep an eye on schedule for specifics
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