30 June 2008

"temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events."

That's what Jung was describing when he came up with the term "synchronicity". And synchronicity is cool.
About 48 hours ago I was having dinner in NYC with my visiting college roommate, Sally. We started talking about people from college - friends who lived in our freshman dorm (which totally has air conditioning now!) - people we were close to but with whom we had completely lost touch. Two of the people we were both curious about/would love to find were Johnny & Stephanie.
Fast forward to this afternoon when I checked email and found that the aforementioned Johnny had "friended" me on Facebook. I about fell over. So I look through his Facebook friends and see another old friend, Angie. I'm just about to friend her when I see she has already sent me a request. Viral, man. One of their pages lead to finding Stephanie's. So cool.

So if you're reading this, hi y'all!

29 June 2008

Maybe they just love the AC?

OK - I know I'm anthropomorphising in a big way, but I think the fireflies like us! We have a catch & release policy, but nearly every morning one or two fly back in when we open the front door. Did one of their friends get stuck in our house? Is it the firefly creed not to leave a fellow-firefly behind? Or do they like us - do they really, really like us? In any case, I think it's sweet. Even though my dad told me as a kid that lady bugs & fireflies (both members of the beetle family) would surely eat us if they were big enough (thanks dad - nice), I tend to think of them as friendly. I wonder if these firefly visitors will satiate my 7 year old's desire for his OWN pet?

25 June 2008

You say lightning bug, I say firefly

Or tomato/"tamahto" (but without the salmonella). Whatever - summer is really here! The farmer's market opens today & the pool is waiting if we want to head there.
Today I sent my oldest two off for their last (add-on) day of school. A summerish schedule has already begun & we can't seem to get the kids in bed at anything resembling a decent hour. They prefer rock-star hours when given the choice. I was the same way for most of my life, but not any more.
Last night we had such fun catching fireflies. We gathered a bunch in a container & brought them in. The idea was that they would have a "sleepover" with my youngest. But they didn't really light up much. My son said he's sure they must be afraid. I'm sure he's right.
A little Google action & I learned that fireflies light up to attract mates. Well who can relax and do that when being held in a plastic container, no matter how well-ventilated, with prying eyes peering in?
Hmm - maybe it's sort of like being able to relax and open up for birth. As famed midwife Ina May Gaskin says, "the energy that gets the baby in, gets the baby out". Sure easier to do when you don't feel overly watched or afraid.

I guess I'll go let these babies, er, fireflies out so they can relax and find their soul mates.

23 June 2008

Home Sweet Home

There is a great new statement on Huffington Post about birth which begins,

"Ladies, the physicians of America have issued their decree: they don't want you having your babies at home with midwives.

We can't imagine why not. Study upon study have shown that planning a home birth with a trained midwife is a great choice if you want to avoid unnecessary medical intervention..."

Check out two responses to this resolution to limit women’s autonomy in how, where, and with whom they give birth. http://www.pushedbirth.com/ The first is from Canadian physician and researcher Andrew Kotaska, the second is from the National Childbirth Trust in England, where the government is encouraging women to consider home birth!

Home birth not for you? Fine by me. But please, we need to speak out and protect a women's right to choose (her birth place)! Elective cesarean is being held out as a matter of women's choice by the very doctors who seek to deny women the right to choose home birth. This in spite of the fact that home birth is repeatedly shown to be as safe or safer for healthy women than hospital birth - something that can not be said for all cesareans.

Still not convinced?

Why We Must Stand Together

My 3 international sons?

Having travelled quite a lot, I know that Cheerios do not constitute breakfast in much of the world. In Scandinavia & parts of Europe, for instance, they seem to enjoy lunch meats & cheeses - well, lunch meats for me, breakfast for them. And in Asia they tend toward many things that I'd also rather eat later in the day, like soup. I'm pretty open to most things, but I like my food in order. Breakfast before lunch - it doesn't have to be "American-style breakfast", as hotels might advertise. In fact, I think the French have about the best breakfast going: maybe a soft boiled egg in an egg cup, some crusty bread, some jam, some fruit and yogurt and of course coffee. One of my favorite words - one that makes me feel happy & hopeful is BRUNCH...thoughts of meeting friends on the upper west side maybe - or Raymond's. Brunch is the perfect meal, as far as I'm concerned.
But my children are not so restricted in their approach to meals. They have requested mac n' cheese for breakfast (Amy's in the microwave is not a morning smell I enjoy). And now my oldest has decided that he likes noodle soups for breakfast - the kind from the Asian section of Whole Foods (don't worry - I get the low sodium ones - some have crazy amounts of sodium!). I don't get it. Maybe it's because of the times I have not gone grocery shopping & have trotted out the fun "breakfast for dinner" nights that has lead to this confusion?
I will draw the line if kimchi is requested, I can assure you of that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimchi

lemons = lemonade

Just back from the Celebration Of Life service. Thunder storms let up & it was beautiful - there must have been rainbows because it was both sunny and raining - I love when nature has a sense of irony.
I don't know how many people were there - 200 maybe? More? But a lot of people loved this guy. It was very upbeat - almost like a wedding. In fact we watched a bit of their wedding video. There were a few tears but more laughter. I was not letting myself cry - I knew if I started it would be hard to stop & that wasn't the point of the day. The toughest was when their 10 yo son played the song he wrote for his dad on his electric guitar. Deep breathing got me through. I read my piece and was happy that many people found it moving and meaningful. After the main service we sat in the library where my friend had met her husband. She said she had just read a book, "How to Meet A Man In 30 Days" or something. They met within the 30, were engaged within 60 and married a year later. And today is his memorial service and the 49th anniversary of his birth.

I wonder how many of the people in attendance were thinking some of what I was: If this were my memorial service, would there be this many people? Is there anything I need to change in order to be living a life that I am proud of? What would I do if this were my husband we were all talking about? (and also, btw, I really dig the Unitarian Universalist approach - honor the passage, celebrate the life...the Reverend said something that struck me, something like, "a veil has fallen between this man and those who love him" - wow. And also she talked about birth and death together, all the while banners with birthing goddesses graced the walls - nice)

An especially wonderful part of tonight was that I got to reconnect with another doula friend, Deb. We hardly ever see each other (though plan to remedy this) & generally end up sitting in the parking lot until way too late chatting and finding it hard to break away. Tonight was no different - what fun to be reminded that there is another friend who completely gets you & with whom it is so easy to be.

Oh - I wore the shoes and they were the right choice. Makes me think of Elvis Costello - "Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes"

22 June 2008

Indulge me

first: a piece of Ina May Gaskin's quilt to bring awareness to maternal mortality in the US - at a rally in front of NJ's State House to protest the cesarean epidemic in NJ.

second: my family, minus oldest son, DoulaBoy1

third: DoulaBoy1 + cat (Toby Ziegler) - green screen fun

fourth: me, checking out new glasses

Half-baked plan

I really wanted to bake something for the "Hungry For Change"/"Make every calorie count for victory" bake sale for Obama today - it's being hosted right at my town pool. But time got away from me yesterday/last night and I somehow got recruited to take lots of preteen boys to the movies. So now I will just take a cooler of waters/drinks over to either add to the sale or cool us as we work the table. If it doesn't get rained out.

So just to be clear: my failure to bake does not mean my support for Obama is half-baked.
I am hungry for change, indeed. 1/20/09 - hope it's a good day. Can't come soon enough for me.

Hello, My Name Is

I guess we're still at the name tag stage. I'm Kim. As my profile says, I'm a:
wife, mother to three boys, friend, family medic/homeopath/zoo keeper/photographer.
I'm a former attorney, and for the last seven years, birth doula, childbirth educator, belly cast maker, placenta printer and birth advocate. www.doulamomma.com/

And I write a column in magazine called The MotherHood. www.themotherhoodmagazine.com/

My kids are 10, 7 & 4 & boy are they busy. So this seems like the perfect opportunity to neglect them a bit more & bond with my laptop. (hey now- just kidding)

I've never been very consistent at keeping a diary or journal and when I have done so, it's been written as though others would read it (in spite of efforts to do otherwise), so I might as well put this out here. (warning - I'm a really bad speller. I promise to use spell check - but as we know, if it's a real word, it won't be picked up).

Feels a little like a midlife crisis - 42 with a blog, facebook page, a cell built for texting, tattoo & pierced nose. oy. But I think it's also just how we communicate now, so I'm going to go with it. (If I were a guy, I can promise I wouldn't have hair plugs & a corvette - I swear!)

"Dancing shoes optional"

That's what the invitation to the memorial service reads. Hmm. Today is the Celebration Of Life for the husband of a doula colleague. I've been asked to read the piece I wrote about this "doula couple" and how death is a lot like birth for the column I write for www.themotherhoodmagazine.com/

I'm never one to shy away from basic black - it's sort of my uniform and a clothing/shoe color to which I have always naturally gravitated (much to my mother's dismay - I think she was concerned about me as a child). But today I'm planning on mixing it up, as the invitation also said "summer casual dress". But are my red platform espadrille sandals with bow a bit much? I want to honor what has been requested - not to dress like it's a funeral (for once). Perhaps I'll bring a second option with me...

I hope I can keep it together while reading. Just like birth work, this isn't about me - it's about this family. I'm just there to assist, to bear witness. And maybe dance a little to celebrate the life of this man, this father and husband, who would have been 49 today. Happy birthday Duke.