25 October 2010

Welcome baby Sophia!

Born this evening at 6:04pm and weighing 8lb 8oz. Sophia, you were really ready and eager to be born today. Your momma worked so hard - I think your dad was in awe of her strength - I know I was. All your grandparents and many others waited nearby all day for word of your birth - you are beautiful and obviously so loved. Happy Birth Day!

23 October 2010

in memory of Cindy Collins, my mom

Here is the obituary I wrote for my mom:
Toni “Cindy” Collins was born in OH April 13, 1944 but was a California girl, having been raised in Carmel and lived in LA.
She was a fortunate woman, as she shared one of the greatest love stories ever told…she and Denny celebrated their 45th anniversary this year, three more years than the number of days they knew each other before getting married, having hit the love-at-first-sight jackpot in Jackpot, NV when their respective bands were playing in town.
Though she was already a top-ten recording and touring artist when they met, they made music together in Nashville and on the road, traveling the world and having adventures. Wherever they were was home as long as they were together. But if it was Hawaii, all the better!
Just as they decided on the night they met, they had a daughter named Kimberley. Kim and husband Len live in NJ with their three sons, Leo, Oliver and Eli. Family also meant Denny’s brother Gordy of TN, sister Donna, mom Elinor, aunt Rachel and cousin Dwayne of MT and niece Tonya of AK, and former brother-in-law and spiritual adviser Denny Roe of AZ, as well as Len’s family in NY, PA & CT. Cindy was preceded in death by her mom Bette and beloved Grandpa John.
Cindy made friends easily and if you were not friends it’s just because you hadn’t met yet. Some friends were life-long and were so very cherished. Wherever she worked, she adopted everyone as family. She was known for being upbeat, candid and a staunch advocate. When she found an interest, she threw herself into it: from being the only non-skydiver ever to become a judge at the national and world level (and never once cheated in Denny’s favor when he was competing) or playing and watching tennis (most recently at the US Open in NY) to quietly reviewing Denny’s crosswords or napping – she was a world class napper and relaxer, while also being an inexhaustible worker and entrepreneur.
Even after being diagnosed with cancer in late May of this year, she remained positive. She was a fighter and believed she would win. Although she died, we believe she really did win because of how she lived and who she was. Even when she was no longer able to have conversation, she was still able to say “I love you” and did so repeatedly in her final days. That was our gift.
Cindy died peacefully at home on October 21, 2010, listening to music, surrounded by family.
Her life was celebrated yesterday in TN at a gathering of family and friends. And because performers know the show must go on, we will be hitting the road for one more tour and hope to celebrate with those who loved Cindy in MT and the NY area.

06 October 2010

a different sort of transition

I am packing my birth bag. I am bringing the usual things...my massage tools, essential oils, my rebozo shawl, warm socks, snacks, a fan, the things I use to make myself comfortable when sleeping in a hospital chair and soothing music.

But I am not going to a birth...I am going to say goodbye to my mother and help her have as peaceful and joy-filled a death as possible. It will hopefully be at home, just as many wonderful births are. And like at a birth, I hope to be of support to my dad, her husband and partner of forty-five years, as he and I bear witness to her passing.

I will bring with me the flowers of Hawaii, their favorite place on earth, to wish her on her way.

Wish me strength and grace, that I may be of service and open to whatever needs to happen.

05 October 2010

take time to stop and smell the...children?

someone told me recently a "funny" story about an exceptionally bright young child at the table with his mom and others...she was talking/working & he couldn't get her attention, so he texted her his need to visit the bathroom. wake up call. I can be as distracted as the next when trying to blow through work...but wow. I pledge to facebook less and admire the faces of my children more.

the source of this cute kid picture

04 October 2010

Telling it like it is

Oh my god - so very funny...if you want to know what home birth is like...at least C. Clifford's experience, read the comic strip - fabulous!

Homebirth Safety: Jennifer Block helps make sense of faulty study findings

Check out Jennifer Block's (awesome author of Pushed) new post, Home Births Under Fire Amid Outcry Over Wax Paper, in The Daily Beast

“Wax Paper” is what home birth supporters have taken to calling a metaanalysis that appears in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A research method that has come under criticism in the past, a metaanalysis pools together data from several studies, and this one comes to a hotly contested conclusion: that babies are three times more likely to die if born at home, said the study, whose lead author is Joseph Wax, M.D....

...Several researchers and providers are lambasting the study as not only “deeply flawed” but “politically motivated,” the result of “intense medical lobbying.” (See: MOMS legislation introduced to the House last month.) Two independent experts who looked at the study for Time found it “weak and methodologically flawed.” The main criticism of the metaanalysis is its inclusion of old, discredited data that did not distinguish between planned, attended home births and accidentals on the kitchen floor or back seat, which have worse outcomes to be sure. And while the study was presented as being based on “hundreds of thousands of births,” its banner finding, that home birth is “associated with a tripling of the neonatal mortality rate,” is based on just 9,811 home births. And most of those deaths come from said poor data

There is a great recap of studies and ACOG's bias in saying that home birthers are being self-indulgent and unsafe - do check out the whole article. One birthing mom sums it up,
“Women are not merely participants in this process, we are the process. All women want to have healthy babies.”

(I don't know who took the image of the hearts...but it's made from wax paper...the kind of wax paper that's useful! ;-)