The Mostly Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families and Friends.
Hope is in the air!
And by hope I mean low humidity!! Wednesday night's Super Blue Moon was absolutely beautiful; I hope you were able to see it. The best thing to come out of this drought are the August evenings without assaults from bird sized mosquitoes! Silver linings y'all.
I'm super excited about this issue of the Bumpdate. September is shaping up to be chock-full of events for everyone starting with our very first Spinning Babies class. If you haven't heard about Spinning Babies you're in for a treat. Midwife Gail Tully developed this method of labor preparation over 20 years ago to address breech and malpositioned babies. The goal is to balance the pelvis and surrounding connective tissue to allow the baby to make rotations it needs to exit quickly and efficiently. After chatting with numerous birth workers recently it seems we are seeing higher than average rates of breech presentations this summer. My theory is that the damn heat has kept so many folks inside and therefore we aren't moving our bodies as much as we usually do. I don't have hard numbers but I believe midwives and doulas tend to see patterns in ways other healthcare professions do not or cannot because of limitations in time spent with clients. But also, sometimes babies just decide on a position and our job as your provider is honor what the baby is telling us. Bottom line, we do the best we can to prepare in pregnancy and then you show up on game day and see what the birth gods have to offer. It is THE best entry into parenthood. It is our first opportunity as parents to make tough decisions that might not align with what we had envisioned for our birthing experience but it's what our baby is telling us they need. The struggle of labor is the first of many ways we will have to change course with little notice and let me tell you, there's plenty more to come!
If you are pregnant, you and your birthing partner are invited to a fun and interactive birth preparation workshop.
When: Saturday, September 9, 1:00-4:00
Where: Heart of Houston Birth & Wellness Center
What you get:
PREGNANCY YOGA MINI-CLASS
20-minute sequence of postures that you can do daily to support your body as it changes throughout pregnancy. Suitable for all bodies and abilities. You will learn simple yet practical and impactful postures for reducing stress, resolving pain or discomfort, and making space for comfort and joy!
$99 for each couple or dyad
15% discount for HoH members email Jessica for discount code!
Complete Info and Registration:
Baby Sign Language
Our friend Mimi Vance is back for another 8 week series!
Baby Sign Language Class - Level 1
8 week session (once a week for 30 minutes)
11:30am - 12:00pm
Every Monday September 11th - October 30th
$150 for non Members and 12% discount for WHC members
Your baby understands you, but can't yet speak, and you can't read your baby's mind (or not well enough!). Baby sign language can give your baby a way to communicate with you even before they can talk. Start with a few signs - just a handful - and build up to as many as you and your baby want and need. It's a fun way to promote a language rich environment in your home - and to take some of the frustration out of life before language for your baby and your whole family.
Anne Zwicky Bradley Method Instructor
I teach Bradley Method childbirth classes at Heart of Houston, and I have a story I tell me students about birth preparation. Labor is a wild ride, and the only thing you can predict is that it won’t look like what you expect! I teach students a variety of techniques for relaxation in labor. We practice massage and breathing techniques, brainstorm how to create a calming environment, and I introduce a new mental relaxation technique each week.
One of my favorite mental techniques is called Rainbow Relaxation. The basic format is something like this:
Imagine a screen in your mind’s eye. Project onto that screen the color red. Hold that red firmly in your mind for a few seconds. Now the red changes to orange, a bright orange filling your whole mind’s eye. The orange morphs into yellow. All you see is yellow…
The technique continues until you go through all colors of the rainbow in ROY G BIV order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Spend a few seconds on each color, and the technique will take you about one minute, the length of an average contraction.
I learned the Rainbow technique when I was pregnant and attending Bradley Method classes with my husband. We tried out the Rainbow technique in class, and I thought it was absolutely ridiculous! I couldn’t see it ever helping me through labor. However, we were good students and always did our homework. We practiced the Rainbow technique at home that week. I was glad when the week was over, and I would never have to do that one again.
Then the day of my labor came, and you guessed it, we used the Rainbow technique more than any other mental technique! Somehow it just clicked for me right when I needed it to! I was in hard, active labor, and my husband was running out of ideas for how to help me. He remembered the Rainbow technique and asked if we could give it a try. I was willing to try anything at that point! He wrote the colors of the rainbow in order on the whiteboard in our hospital room and started talking me through the technique with each contraction. After a few contractions, we got into a smooth rhythm, and it was like my mind and body were draped in the colors as he said them. I was able to focus on the colors in my mind, and the contractions no longer felt overwhelming.
I was so glad we practiced the Rainbow technique, even when I thought I would never use it. I ask my students to practice every technique from class, no matter what they think about it. You never know what will hit just right and be what gets you through labor.
Fall series runs from 9/28 to 12/14 every Thursday 6:30-8:30pm (No class 11/23). There are a few spaces left so register now!
It's been a minute since we've featured a HOH family but I'm ready to bring it back! Email me if you're interested in being featured and sharing your small business with your fellow HOH and WHC peers.
Meet the Carr Family!
Who's in your family?
My family consists of me (Isaiah), my wife Chimezie (Chi), and our daughter Chizaram (Chi-2).
What is your biggest challenge currently?
As a first time dad, my biggest challenge currently is helping our daughter transition away from bottle feeding to real food. I know that she’s learning and that her body has its own defense mechanisms, but watching her learn how to chew (and sometimes choke) on food makes me very nervous! Thankfully my wife is much calmer about it than me, otherwise I would just let her drink from a bottle until she’s 18 years old if I knew that would keep her safe.
What's your best pregnancy, birth, or parenting tip?
My best pregnancy tip is to enjoy and embrace the positivity in each season. Yes, parenting is hard and challenging, but the joyous moments get us through each day. In the parenting journey we tend to look forward to the next trimester, or upcoming birth, or next milestone, but fixating on the future can sometimes cause us to miss out on beauty in the now. Ever since our daughter started crawling, people’s reactions tend to center on how hard it will be now that she’s getting into everything. Of course it’s more work, child-proofing, etc., but our little human being who couldn’t hold her neck up a few months ago is now crawling! I encourage all parents to embrace and sit in these moments because they are always going by so fast.
What's one thing you can't do without as a pregnant person or parent?
Now that Chizaram is on a routine, I cannot do without a semi-consistent bedtime schedule. Knowing that my wife and I have personal time after a long day helps refuel the Carrs (#dadjoke). Whether it’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, or working out, this time to decompress gives us solitude and time to focus on our marriage. I love 7:30pm!!
How do you fill your cup when it's empty?
Spending time in nature (when it’s not 100 degree) definitely fills my cup. Going outside reminds me that the world is bigger than us, especially after spending a majority of the day inside working from home and taking care of our child. Even Chizaram loves being outside and winds down for the day well when we go for a walk in our neighborhood park. It’s always a good reset.
Tell us about something (or someone) you love.
I am becoming more and more of a book nerd, so I love reading books about history. One of my favorite quotes is “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”. Everything we experience today in some way, shape, or form has happened in the past, so I love being able to read how the past mirrors what’s going on today in areas like finance, culture, and technology. Literally almost anything you’re interested in is in a book that explains the history of it somewhere. I didn’t like reading as a kid unfortunately because I was mostly forced to read, but now that I’m older I feel like I have my whole life to catch up on reading I actually enjoy!
Isaiah is a Financial Coach and Certified Financial Education Instructor. Check out his latest post 3 Ways to Transfer Generational Wealth for under $50/month for small steps young families can take now with big returns. You can contact him firstname.lastname@example.org or learn about his services here coaching Profile: https://www.noomii.com/users/isaiah-carr
Sunday 9/3 2-4pm Core Class: Stages of Labor Learn the phases and stages of labor our tips for you and your support team. Doula Paige Hopkins will join us! HOH and WHC members only. RSVP here
Monday 9/4 NO ANXIETY GROUP- Clinic closed ( unless you're in labor!)
Wednesday 9/6 6-8pm Core Class: Orientation /Mapping Out Your Pregnancy. Welcome to the community! Learn all the benefits of your Whole Heart Collective Membership. New Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness clients and WHC members welcome. Curious about the program? Join us for this information session to see if our program is a good fit for you! Please RSVP
Thursday 9/7 Postpartum support circle-Babywearing Support-Angelique Geehan, babywearing expert, joins us for another Q&A session on all thing babywearing. 10-12 members only
Friday 9/8 Meet the doulas! Local doula join us for a laid back Friday evening Zoom call. Get to know some of Houston's best doulas and learn how they can support your family before, during and after pregnancy.
Saturday 9/9 Spinning Babies Birth Prep Workshop; Open to the public! Register HERE
New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100
Monthly Ongoing Events
Thursday In Person Postpartum Support Circle: 10-12 in the community room. Open to current HOH & WHC members. Feeding clinic first and third Thursdays of each month.
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public.
Babywearing Beginners Series:Every Third Saturday 4-5pm Free for HOH & WHC
Birth workers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm midwives, student midwives, doulas, birth assistants, Obs and L&D nurses are all welcome to attend.
Yoga with Bee: Select Mondays from 10-11am Open to the public members donation based register here.
Various Childbirth Education Curriculums starting soon: Bradley Method with Anne Zwicky