Let’s face it: if parenting were an emotion, it would be vulnerability.
There’s so much pressure to do this the “right” way — whatever that means. So, you stay busy with planning out the fantasy experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting, instead of participating in what’s real and happening right now. Because all of it feels too big, too scary, too “Was this a mistake?”
Just thinking about becoming a parent can be exhausting and overwhelming these days.
There’s SO much information — all at the touch of a button. But what about that information? Is it credible? Is it evidence-based? Is there a biased agenda attached to it?
Not to mention social media. It can be a wonderful way to connect with others who are going through the same experience as you, but it can also be a virtual war zone as you try to navigate what feels right to you about any one of the gazillion topics you’re supposed to figure out. It’s hard to not get defensive or feel under attack by those who make decisions different from yours.
I’d like this to be a safe place for you and your partner to land during your pregnancy year.
I want to be your confidante,
a person you feel you can come to, like a sister or a friend, to get the real story about pregnancy, birth and parenting. I’ll always be honest with you about the challenges as well as the joys of these life-changing experiences. I promise not to tell you any scary stories, but I believe that realistic expectations better prepare you for what’s to come.
I talk a lot about the influence our brains can have throughout the pregnancy year — from trying to conceive all the way through “The 4th Trimester.” I’ll explain the best way to work with your brain, instead of fighting it, so you can have easier and more enjoyable experiences throughout.
I’ll share resources but only those I feel confident in promoting because I believe in the integrity of their evidence-based message.
Authenticity is at the core of everything I am and everything I do.
“What you see is what you get!” is one of my personal mottos. Who you find here, in my writing, and in my classes is exactly who you’d find if we were to meet up in person over a beer or a cup of coffee.
Vulnerability is a normal part of pregnancy!
It might even increase as you approach giving birth and I wouldn’t be surprised if it seems like you’re buried in it when you’re in the day-to-day of changing diapers and sleep deprivation. But I hope that some of the passion and joy I have about pregnancy, birth and parenting will rub off on you and help ease that vulnerability.
Because, believe it or not, when you embrace and explore your feelings of vulnerability — instead of running away from them —amazing things can happen!
There’s something here for everyone on the birthing/parenting journey, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage, poke around a bit, and stay for a while. I hope something here grabs your attention and provides you with what you need at this point in your journey of becoming a parent.
Wonder how my journey began?
It all started with a friend who wanted me to be at her birth.
Never one to do anything half-way, I drove 300 miles to Seattle to train to become a doula. Even Liesl and Andy — the soon to be parents — thought this was a little overboard. But as I sat in that darkened auditorium watching a birth film at the end of the first of my eight days of training I had an epiphany: “I know what I’m supposed to do with my life!” And I’ve been working in this field ever since. It’s such an honor to work with women and couples as they prepare to welcome a baby into their lives. Knowing that each of them will discover their own strength, resilience, patience, vulnerability and an even deeper love than they knew was possible is something I can’t get enough of! I feel so lucky to be doing this work helping others find their way as they become parents.
I’m so happy to be married to my best friend, Roberto! We met in 1992 as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps: I’m from Indiana, he’s from Puerto Rico and we ended up together in Oregon. That makes our four children – Elisa, Alejandro, Lucía and Félix – “Hoosier-Ricans.” The very different pregnancy, birth and parenting experiences that I’ve had with each of my “babies” have taught me so much! I’ve learned how to be the best version of myself from these incredible teachers. I’m blessed to call them my family.
Five fun facts about me:
- I read everything I can get my hands on about the brain — with a specific focus on how it affects pregnancy, birth and new parenting.
- I always dreamed of being a rock star, and I live that dream singing with a local band, Karaoke From Hell, as often as my schedule will allow.
- I also dreamed of living in Africa with Jane Goodall and her chimpanzees but it would be too solitary a life for this extreme extrovert.
- I’ve gone sky-diving, climbed a mountain, rode Class 4 rapids, and raced along a half-mile zip line above the Costa Rican rainforest at about 50 mph — but none of this compares to how awesome birth is!
- My first time teaching was as a seven-year old during recess at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School. I gave an impromptu sex-education class to a dozen curious first graders, without realizing that Sr. Joan of Arc was listening in. I’m happy to report that, while completely accurate information was shared during that first class, I’ve learned a few more things about the subject since then.
Click here to listen to my conversation with Charlie Gilkey and Angela Wheeler of Productive Flourishing. Finding out what works best for you, instead of holding on tightly to the idea of how things must go might be the best birth (and parenting!) plan. Here's what...read more
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