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Reconnecting To My Dream

3 Comments 15 June 2012

Longer days, warm weather and independence of children in full bloom. The perfect recipe to connect with life offline. I haven’t been on the  computer much, and don’t plan to be. Here’s what I’ve been up to, and my plans for this season.

Summer has finally arrived in Michigan. We planted our vegetable garden and taught Ella how to water the plants, which she does each morning (and she usually gets wet right along with them).

I began taking horse riding lessons again after an eight year hiatus. Dreaming of my most-loved creatures was becoming too painful to bear. Action was beyond want. I needed horses back in my life. The moment I stepped back into the barn, a wave of emotion crashed over me so powerfully it made my eyes water. The smells, sounds, giant faces peeking out to greet me; I felt like I finally returned home.

Ella and Lucan have accompanied me to the barn and Ella in particular has a growing affection for horses, sheep dogs and barn cats. I’m overjoyed to share it with her. She cant’ wait for the chance to climb up on a pony someday - tentatively set for when she’s 5.

When I was a little girl, my dream life = owning my own horse some day. Somewhere in my late teen years, I lost a lot of hope in goals and escaped (got lost) the life I’d always known for something more wild, free and rebellious. It wasn’t a great time in my life, but I learned a lot.

Thankfully, I’ve come around full-circle. The home births of my children, (Ella’s home birth story & Lucan’s home birth story) really helped with that. Before becoming pregnant with Ella, I was still causing my body a lot of harm (smoking, drinking, staying up too late partying, etc.). I am much more in touch with my true essence these days – taking care of my body, mind and soul by living intentionally (and drinking my green juice!).

I’m a thinker. So when I stepped foot into that barn, and then a step further, when I rode for the first time again, I knew what I had to do. I thought long and hard and the answer was clear. I had to create my dream life for myself. I said it outloud: I will train to become the best rider I can be, fill my brain with knowledge about horse care and I WILL OWN A HORSE in less than 10 years.

Part of my plan to get there includes equine photography. Just received my business cards in the mail yesterday! I’m also beginning an apprenticeship in dressage training with a local accomplished trainer and rider next week. I’ll also be taking photographs for her new website. Beyond thrilled. All of this will be documented and shared through KaitlinRoseBlog.com (currently under construction).

If you’re wondering where the advocacy of natural pregnancy and empowered birth fits into the picture, I’ll tell you…

Eric and I have decided, (for now – we’re not making anything permanent) not to have more children. With that door (mostly) closed, I’ve naturally moved on to other interests in life. It’s hard to write about pregnancy and birth when you’re not in it. 

Knowing this, The 9 Steps to Home Birth Prep ebook has been a great “end of the chapter” for me right now. For the time being, I’ve done and said just about everything there is to say about birth within this site (but be prepared if you talk to me on the phone or see me on the street – I can talk for HOURS about birth!).

It feels really good knowing that I have done my part in creating a space in the world where families can come to learn more and feel inspired about giving birth at home. I have accomplished what I set out to do two years ago by founding and constructing this site. We’re on the first page for the search  terms “Home Birth Preparation“, “Home Birth Stories“, and “Birth Art.”

<grateful, happy sigh>

I am also grateful that I have learned how to trust in myself enough to know which path to walk down when I encounter a fork in the road. There is always more work to do in the birth world, and I know if I dug in the recesses of my gut I could pull out much more energy to pour into the cause. But my heart is calling me in a different direction, one that I have to follow – or else!

This site isn’t going anywhere, and I will continue to write here when I feel called. I will also continue posting birth stories and accepting guest posts.

All my love, respect and gratitude for your readership, support and encouragement ~

Kaitlin Rose

 

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Free MOBB Screening! Explore Your Options: Doulas, Birth Centers & C-Sections

2 Comments 04 May 2012

Join us for a free live screening of More Business of Being Born, Explore Your Options: Doulas, Birth Centers & C-Sections, on Monday, May 7th 8:00 PM EST.

And stick around after for a live chat with Ricki, Abby and surprise guests!


Live broadcasting by Ustream

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What It Means To Be A Birth Visionary

No Comments 03 May 2012

Today, I watched this video of Karen Brody (see below), and instantly became enamored with how she described the term Birth Visionary.

First she described the birth worker. The birth worker is out there (doing their birth work), and they carry this BIG dream. That dream is the desire for everyone to embrace the notion that birth is normal.

Then she describes the change agent. The change agent is simply the person who makes the commitment to the dream.

Now marry those two together, and you get the birth visionary.

What an eloquent way of communicating what’s already in my heart.

You too?!

Watch the video and tell me what you think.

If you’re not familiar with Karen Brody, let me briefly tell you who she is. Karen is the creator of Birth, The BOLD Movement, and FEAR To FREEDOM Birth. She was a guest on Bring Birth Home T.V. not long ago.

Karen is re-opening her FEAR To FREEDOM Birth program, and kicking it off with a free “Boot Camp For Birth Visionaries” teleclass on Monday, May 7th at 12:00 EST.

You can find all the details, and registration information for the call here: Birth Visionary Boot Camp with Karen Brody.

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Child Protective Services Called For Refusing Routine Newborn Medical Procedures

7 Comments 29 April 2012

On April 11th, Child Protective Services was called when parents declined routine newborn medical procedures.

Dr. Daniel Cooper had the opportunity to help deliver his son.

Cooper Family

He and his wife Simone had wanted a home birth, but after concerns about the baby could be in distress, decided instead to birth where Dr. Cooper had recently served a two year position as chief of staff, at Mercy Hospital in Folsom.

Although son Ivan was born in good health and doing fine, disputes began immediately, even as to the time of birth.

The family didn’t want eye ointment, brought their own liquid vitamin K and declined to have blood drawn. There were disagreements, but no one was yelling. It wasn’t a heated situation. Simone, who gave birth naturally after a previous cesarean, even refused ibprofren for after birth pains.

President of Mercy Hospital, Don Hudson, said “parents have the right to refuse treatment for themselves or their children. However, health care providers may be obligated to notify the appropriate authorities if refusing treatment places a child’s health in potential danger.”

Then why, after Daniel drove their healthy newborn home was CPS called?

“I am stunned that they could think he was in danger,” said Cooper.

The response has been one of outrage. “How dare they!” and “That’s why you should have your baby at home!”

I did my share of eye rolling too. Home birth does provide exceptional newborn care.

While I agree this wouldn’t have happened had they stayed at home to give birth, when medical attention might be needed, the hospital is the safest place to give birth.

What could have been done differently?

I have an idea: a birth plan.

What if they had written a birth plan and brought it to the hospital, handing one out for everyone on duty that day?

Would they have run into the same situation? If everyone knew their wishes ahead of time, rather than as a game time decision?

It’s a technique we use with our toddler. If she has a dentist appointment or an upcoming party, we tell her about it days beforehand, giving her plenty of time to process the information.

These choices are theirs to make, and no one should pester them, or god forbid go so far as calling Child Protective Services, especially when the newborn is healthy!

I am in no way insinuating that what happened was acceptable.

But I can’t help but wonder, if the couple had proactively communicated their wishes on these routine newborn care procedures - the way any doula, natural childbirth instructor or birth advocate would advise – would they have run into such friction?

Stephanie Dawn, Sacred Birth Mentor, had a more empowering hospital birth than her previous home birth! Why? She says it was because of her birth plan. Everyone in that room knew her wishes and what to expect. No surprises or arguments.

What are your thoughts? Has anyone experienced difference in treatment during hospital births when they had a birth plan vs. no birth plan? I’d love to hear from you on this subject!

Motherhood, Uncategorized

Living in Alignment

3 Comments 02 April 2012

What happened this weekend was a great example of what it looks like for me to live my life in alignment.

Living in alignment with our true selves has been a regular topic of discussion in the Walker household of late.

Alignment means/goes somewhat like this:

  • Does this feel in sync with my inner constitution? Such as, does this feel like the me that inherently am? Or am I doing this for someone else or for some other shallow reason (ie, for the sake of earning money or impressing someone)?
  • Does this make me feel alive or dead? (does it light my fire or throw a big ‘ole water bucket on it)
  • Does this follow the same path that my goals follow? Or will it take me off track, leading me away from my goals?

You get the point.

We believe we will be happier and healthier if we love life more, hate life less, and stay “on course” with out goals.

Giving birth at home was definitely an example of living in alignment. Read my birth stories here and here.

So getting back to this weekend…

Saturday: Valley Family Visit

Joe, aka Empowered Papa

Joe and Andrea Valley get my big fat stamp of approval!

Awesome people. Totally living in alignment. Friends for life.

Andrea and I made dinner while Joe, Eric and the kiddos ran around the house like and played crazy music on the keyboard.

Aztec Salad: mostly raw, vegan, gluten & dairy free. YUM.

 

Homemade pizza for the kids.

Joe took this one of us!

Playing during sunset

Find out more about Empowered Papa!

Sunday: My first guitar show in a LONG time.

Me & my lovely side-kick.

I call this living in alignment because I love playing the guitar. It’s a part of who I am.

But it also presented a test. I learned a lot from the experience.

See my daughter sitting up on the stage with me?

If I hadn’t allowed her to sit next to me, there would have been a major shit storm. A serious meltdown. I wouldn’t have been able to go on that stage without Ella bawling her eyes out and screaming for me to pick her up.

So I thought, you know what? This is okay. I know she’s going through a very attached time period right now.

Recognizing this, seeing the tears well up in her eyes, I asked her if she’d like to join me on stage. She happily accepted my invitation.

And so, for the 45 minutes that I played my set, Ella sat silently next to me on that bench (except for one interaction when she pointed out the huge moose that was hanging on the wall. She also handed me pick when I needed it).

Eric wore Lucan in our Ergo and took photos (yes, he rules!).

She talked about it for the rest of the night, all the way up to bedtime when I asked her what she remembered enjoying through her day – it’s one of our nighttime rituals. Ella said, “sitting next to you at Old Dog on the bench when you played your guitar!”

This is a perfect example of what I mean when I talk about living in alignment. 

No, Eric was not going to take her out to the car to cry it out while I played my songs.

No, my grandmother was not going to distract her with a Shirley Temple from the bar.

My daughter sat with me on the stage and it was great. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I am in love with my life and with creating a life that I love! This weekend was a testament to that. 

**

How are you practicing living in alignment? Any stories to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

Motherhood, Uncategorized

Death of the Ant

9 Comments 08 March 2012

This morning, Ella and I had our first conversation about death.

“Mom, what happened to this ant?” Ella asked.

Just a few moments ago, this ant had been scurrying around the kitchen floor while we made breakfast.

“Oh, it looks like that ant got squished. One of us must have stepped on it accidentally. We didn’t mean to.”

“What is it doing now?”

“Well, honey…come here. I’ll tell you what happened.”

I crouch down next to Ella. She’s sitting in front of the ant with her legs on either side of it’s tiny body.

“Ella, I’m going to teach you a new word. Are you ready?”

She stared intently into my eyes and nodded.

“The word is death. This little ant got squished and died. It can’t move or run around anymore.”

Ella thought for a moment before saying, “it can’t run?”

This was turning in to a delicate situation. Fast.

“No. It cannot.” I replied calmly.

Ella’s eyes began to water. Her lip began to tremble and pucker. Crap.

She cried hard. More like a wail.

I scooped her up into my arms. Pecans tumbled out of her lap onto the floor.

Her head on my chest, we sat on the couch. I let her cry it out, petting her head.

“You’re sad about the ant.”

Louder sob.

“It’s okay to be sad.”

This went on for about five minutes.

Finally, she looked up at me and said, “the ant died now?”

“Yes, but you know what honey? It’s okay! I’ll tell you why. There is another word I want to teach you.”

She stopped crying completely now and waited for me to speak.

“This word is soul.

Every one and every thing has a soul. It’s what we are on the inside. Our heart. Our mind…

and you know what?”

“What?”

“Our soul NEVER dies.”

Ella looked relieved. Excited even.

“So honey, even though that ant’s body is crumpled up on the floor, it’s soul, it’s inside, is still alive somewhere, we just can’t see it. But maybe it will come alive again as another ant someday.”

I could tell Ella thought this was cool.

“A big one?” she replied.

“Yes!” I said, enthusiastically.

“As big as the sky! With WINGS!” Ella exclaimed.

“Yes, honey. A really big, happy ant that can fly.”

And with that, Ella scooped back up her pecans, and asked to see the ant again. I hadn’t yet removed it from the kitchen floor.

From the next room I could hear her, talking to the dead ant.

“It’s okay ant,” she told it’s body. “You’ll be a big ant again some day.”

And that was our first experience with death.

I’d say it went really, really well.

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