Don't Let Life Get in the Way

I am having one of those nights where life keeps getting in the way. Bugster would not go to sleep for what felt like an eternity, even though sleep has been going really well for her lately.  The Big Cheese wakes up complaining her necks hurt — only to throw up a few minutes later.  An old friend calls, asking for insight on some big things going on in her life.  And, then Bugster wakes up crying and won’t go back to sleep unless I’m holding her.  And I can’t even think of lying her down.

This led me to some serious reflection.  The older we get, the more responsibilities we have.  And, with more responsibilities, we have more times when life gets in the way.  We had some friends over this weekend and took time to just relax. We cooked a relaxed, low-key meal and just took time to sit and enjoy one another’s company.  Last week, we met an old friend for coffee because it was all the time we could squeeze in.  But, the important thing was that we made time to get together.

With all the focus on new year’s resolutions, this time of year is usually about people thinking about themselves and what they can do to improve their looks, wealth, or love life. My charge to you this week is to turn some of that reflection outward.  Think about who has been important in your life and reach out to them.  Call up your friend you haven’t spoken to in a couple months just to say “Hi.” Schedule a weekend breakfast date with the girlfriend who needs a break from her kids as much as you. Do something to let your old friends know you still care — stop letting life get in your way.

My Top Preggo Documentary and Book Recommendations

After attending a baby shower today and my neighbor giving birth to her son 6 days ago, I guess I’m in a bit of a preggo mood. Here are my favorite movies documenting pregnancy and birth. If you’re pregnant or contemplating a pregnancy, I would suggest you add these to the top of your Netflix queue pronto.

  1. Orgasmic Birth (www.orgasmicbirth.com). If you can only see one film, this is it hands down for me. I love the positive messages. Just the knowledge that an orgasmic birth is possible, is empowering and encouraging. With so much negative propaganda about birth, the overall theme to this film is to believe in yourself and to birth without fear. Our bodies know what to do and we just have to trust and not fear it.
  2. Business of Being Born (www.businessofbeingborn.com).  A great exposé on what is going on presently in our society and how birth has turned into big business where women are viewed as dollar signs. This movie turned everything around for me and my husband. I identified with executive producer Ricki Lake, as I too wanted something different for my second birth. This documentary started to open my husband’s eyes and mind where he became agreeable to hiring a doula.
  3. Pregnant in America (www.pregnantinamerica.com). This documentary is told from a different perspective, the father-to-be’s. I read a lot of negative reviews about this, like there wasn’t enough in-depth information given about birth. Well, the filmmaker does not need to reinvent the wheel. Why go where the above films have already gone? This documentary is told from his perspective which is wonderful to watch with your partner who can now identify with the filmmaker.  After viewing this film, my husband agreed to a home birth with midwives and our doula in attendance. We were brought to tears as it has a very emotionally charged ending, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Use your What To Expect books as kindling and put these on your bedside table for some bedtime reading.

  1. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (www.inamay.com).  Again, if you can only read one, this is it. The first half is chockfull of wonderful inspirational birth stories that will help empower you even if you’re planning a hospital birth. The second half is overflowing with empowering information, references, and resources. All this said, it is a very easy and delightful read and can be done in a few nights. You won’t want to put it down. I found myself rereading passages for reference and encouragement.
  2. Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin (www.inamay.com). Like the above, this book covers everything you could want to know about breastfeeding. I feel this is an important read during pregnancy as there are many tips that you may find useful.
  3. The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin (www.pennysimkin.com). This is an awesome book for your partner. It covers everything in great detail and with illustrations. It reminded me of a textbook. A must have for labor companions.

As my doula Romy would say, “Happy Gestating!”