2012: The Year in Birthing Beautiful Ideas
In many ways, it was a quieter year than 2011. There didn’t seem to be so much whirlwind drama in my life. There was less tumult, more peace.
But this doesn’t mean that the year was uneventful or unexciting in any way. To the contrary: we added a new baby (Eric) to our family in the wee hours of a January morning. This is pretty much the opposite of uneventful and unexciting! And many of you helped to keep this blog going by contributing some extraordinary guest posts for the months of January, February, and March. (And still, I cannot begin to express my gratitude for every single one of these posts.)
When Eric was two weeks old, I participated in a panel discussion on childbirth in a women’s studies course at the Ohio State University. (Eric “participated” too from the comfort of his Beco carrier!) Then in May, I did a guest lecture on feminism and birth in a feminist philosophy class at Ohio State. In May and October, I also assisted my friend and doula Catie with two of her DONA doula trainings. All this talking about birth helped to make up for the fact that, as the mother of a high-needs infant, I could only attend three births this year as a doula (though the births themselves filled me with joy and awe and wonder, as always).
Though I don’t discuss it much in this space, I also began doing freelance work as a social media consultant for a couple local businesses. These businesses have nothing to do with birth, and the work itself has nothing to do with pregnancy and/or parenting…and I love it.
What’s more, just this past month I did some consumer advisory work for a big upcoming birth-related project that is, as of right now, secret. I am chomping at the bit to share it with everyone once it’s finished!
I also contributed an essay to a book that is due to be published in the fall. Again, I can’t wait to share more details. (And I cannot wait to express to you all just how monumental it is that I will have my writing published in a genuine, real, pages-inside-a-cover book. This is a Big Dream of mine, capital B, capital D, BIG DREAM.)
Somewhere in the midst of plugging along in this cobbled-together career(s) that I’ve fashioned for myself, Tim and I managed to take the kids on a road trip all the way from Ohio to Colorado in July. It was an incredible journey: an adventure in every sense of the term. But what might be more incredible is the fact that mere days after returning from Colorado, Tim, Eric, and I hopped in the car again to attend BlogHer ’12 in New York. For this trip, I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Leading Lady, the ever-wonderful nursing and full figure bra company.
And, of course, the life that happens when you’re busy making other plans happened: my babies grew. My babies grew into not-really-babies-at-all anymore when Alec turned four in May and Miles turned seven in November. Even my Eric who is a baby won’t be one much longer.
This year, I think, has been a good one. A great one even. And I hope for you that yours has been good, even great too. Even if not, I hope that 2013 brings you goodness, greatness, peace, happiness, and joy.
With that, here are some of my favorite posts from 2012:
“Eric’s Home Birth, through his Brother’s Eyes” – Miles (then 6) took time during his kindergarten class one day to write and illustrate the story of his baby brother’s home birth. The result was absolutely adorable.
“Eric is Born: Our Peaceful, Extraordinary, VBAC-Homebirth-Waterbirth” – It’s my baby boy’s birth story. He came into the world with 99% tranquility and 1% drama, after a labor that truly was my ideal birth.
“Teaching and Talking about Breastfeeding: Let’s Get Real” – I examine a study on the “idealism” of breastfeeding goals and arrive at this take-away message: “If we want to change breastfeeding rates–if we want more people breastfeeding exclusively, or even at all, at six months–then we need to think more carefully about how people make decisions.”
“Three Months Old: Like Running Water” – I especially love the running water metaphor that I use in this letter to Eric. It’s a metaphor that I call up in my own mind whenever I feel that the moments are slipping by too quickly for me to grasp (or too slowly for me to enjoy).
“I am Someone’s Mother” – Sometimes I take a step back and wonder, “WAIT A SECOND. Since when did I become a mother? How did that happen?!” (In case you’re worried: I know how it happened.)
“To Be a Parent” – A little post I wrote after riding a roller coaster with my little Alec. Turns out that a roller coaster ride is an apt metaphor for the journey (and ups and downs and twists and turns) of parenting.
“A Mind, to Her Body” – Wherein I try to make peace with my body: to rejoice in all that it has accomplished for me, and to relinquish all the negativity that I sometimes feel about it.
“Your Name is Eric” – Eric’s name has a sad, magical, beautiful story behind it. This is that story.
“Lest I Forget” – Some day, I might forget just how mind-blowingly challenging it is to parent three small children. And some day, I might look back at my current self and say, “But oh, you get to do and enjoy so much that is wonderful–so much that you will miss terribly. Savor it all.”
“Tori Spelling, Cesarean Complications, and Assumptions that Make an Ass out of You and Me” – Mixing snark, birth advocacy, and research–three of my very favorite things!
“VasecTimy: The Unintentionally Hilarious Patient Education Pamphlet” – It’s one of those posts that still makes me giggle when I read it. I mean, who doesn’t love laughing at vasectomy-related illustrations?!
“VasecTimy: The One Where I Have Second Thoughts” – I like the candor of it post. I like how it sums up so much of what I love about parenting. I like that the feelings I express in this post caught me off guard, that they seemed to unravel throughout the writing process itself.