The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Family and Friends
It's Monday friends and we are hitting the ground running today. No point in ignoring the elephant in the room so let's get to it. I asked Mary to share her thoughts:
"This week the Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade which protected a persons the
right to an abortion under the constitution. I wish I could say that I was surprised by this, but
over the last decade we have seen more and more states legislatures pass laws restricting access to abortions. After the leaked brief it seemed inevitable, but even so, when the decision was made official earlier this week it struck hard. There are some many complex and sometimes conflicting thoughts and emotions that get brought into the abortion debate.
As a midwife, I understand the importance and celebration of the birth of a new life but I also
understand that it isn’t black and white. The complex circumstances of pregnancy, birth,
newborns, and people in general come in countless shades of grey - as well as pink, red,
purple, blue, green, violet… I have seen so many variations over my 20 years caring for
pregnant persons and their families. There is no “right” solution that fits all scenarios.
Reversing Roe v. Wade is packaged and sold as a way to protect "the sanctity of life," and I wish I could be assured that every birth that occurs, because a desired abortion wasn’t a viable option, would be met with the full support and backing of our society. However, this isn’t the case. We live in a nation that is already failing mothers and children.
There are more than 400,000 kids in our foster care system, of which an estimated 117,000 are eligible and waiting to be adopted. Approximately, 17 million children live in "food insecure" homes and in 2020, the leading cause of death for children and adolescents was gun violence. Our grandmothers were less likely to die in childbirth than pregnant persons today. With a mortality rate of 55 per 100,000 live births, if being black and pregnant were a job, it would be the second deadliest job in our nation.
In light of our nations existing struggle with the care and keeping of its people, the outcome of this reversal just adds fuel to the fire. It will perpetuate and enhance existing racial, social, gendered, and economic inequities. The reality is, reversing Roe v. Wade has little to do with protecting the unborn and everything to do with preserving power and the status quo."
New Location Progress
Check out few pictures of our new location. We are expecting more cabinets and *gasp* maybe some tubs installed this week! Enjoy these before pictures!
Skip the boring board books this week and try one of the books from the How do Dinosaurs series. My girls love these books because they get to act like they are misbehaving just like the dinosaurs in the books.
HOH mama Amanda Wren loves to read these to her one year old JJ. She says " We are dino obsessed in our house and the How do Dinosaurs books are some of our favorites. The art is wonderful, the stories are silly and kind, and the every page introduces a new dino!"
What are you reading this week? Share you picks and pics with us!
Meet Jodie Gonzales, LCS
Who are you? Jodie Gonzalez, Founder of JAH Grief Services. I am also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
How do you serve/help the pregnant and postpartum communities? I have recently begun supporting the postpartum community by co-creating a course for birth professionals with Jessica and the Heart of Houston Birth Center. The course focuses on supporting the birth community by identifying the various layers of grief they may face in their personal and professional lives. It is my personal mission and through the work of my business to reduce the taboo of talking about death and loss. By creating avenues for open discussion about the grief we experience in our lives, we can offer opportunities for support and connection so others don’t feel so alone in their loss.
How did you get into this line of work? It has been a long road to this point in my career, which began when I experienced the deaths of my younger sister and brother-in-law in 2004. It was at that point I shifted my career and began a masters in social work program here in Houston, which ultimately led to starting my own business offering grief support services. Since graduating in 2008 I have worked as a hospital and hospice social worker, and then at a bereavement center providing education and training to helping professionals.
What you wish everyone knew about your area of expertise? wish everyone knew that grief is hard. That it isn’t something we can “get over” with three days of bereavement leave from work. That grief is a lifelong journey. And that it’s not something you have to do alone. I hope each grieving person has someone or someplace they can go to be honest about their experience and find meaningful support. Sadly, even those with very strong support systems often feel isolated after a loss because those supports don’t know how to help.
What is most rewarding about your work? For me, this work is an ongoing connection with my sister Jamie. I feel this gift I have been given allows me to spread light into very dark times for those who are walking the path of grief. Although I know I can’t change their experience, it is rewarding to know that I have helped someone feel less alone or understand the experience of grief in a way they wouldn’t have without my support.
Tell us about something (or someone) you love. I love books. We recently moved into our forever house and my only requirement was that we build floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in our living room. That has become one of my favorite places to spend time, sitting on the couch looking at every shelf lined with books of mine, my husband’s and now our two daughters. I get such joy from all the little knickknacks and photographs along with our hundreds of books. I also love knowing that we have passed a love of reading onto our children and that it’s represented visually in our home for everyone who comes to visit.
Cloth Diapering 101: Thinking about cloth diapering but have questions? Swing by and learn all things cloth from our friend Amanda Wren. Saturday July 16th 10-11am Free for current HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective Members, $10 for non members. Register Here
Core Class: Newborn Care: Everything you need to know about caring for your new baby including how to pick a pediatrician and common characteristics of newborn babies. . Class will also have Q&A session with newborn expert. Class is free and open to members only. To join visit our membership page.
Postpartum Support Group ONLINE: Wednesday 6/29 10-12pm
Postpartum Support Group/Feeding Clinic: Thursday 6/30 9:30-11:30 IN Person
Queer Parent Circle: Sunday July 10th 2-4 in person and open to everyone
Cloth Diapering 101: Saturday July 16th 10-11am Free to members $10 public
Pregnancy Group Core Class: When Plans Change 2-4pm on Zoom
Pregnancy Group Core Class: Newborn Care Sunday July 24h 2-4pm
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.
Feeding 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