Monday, March 2, 2015

Our shape and the clothes we hold onto: applying the KonMarie method to discarding clothes EVEN when we are "inbetween" sizes.

here I am with my stretch marks, lose skin,
and breasts which DO dangle without a bra. LOVING IT.
Our shape and what we hold onto.

How am I supposed to minimize clothes, I'm heavy and plan to lose weight? 
Dear stranger on the internet, you are more than good enough. Please don't live in the past or future you are perfect right now. If you're rapidly losing weight maybe keep one size down, but as a woman who has gone up and down between pregnancies it has been a conscious gift of self love to keep only what fits.

I am pregnant (or newly postpartum) how can I declutter my clothes?

I purged my maternity wardrobe then I did my nonmaternity while still pregnant. I designed a nice postpartum wardrobe of cute sweats, wrap dresses, maxi dresses,cross over tops, a cardigan,flowing pants, under belly maternity jeans that would work postpartum. I didnt want to leave looking nice up to chance. 
Then I gave myself a gift. I shop at h&m, at ross, at thrifts. I didnt own any designer clothes. I discarded everything except that postpartum capsule wardrobe. I may lose weight but I will certainly have a new shape. 
I am two months postpartum and I have carefully added new pieces to build on that, but it has been truly joyful! 
Most people wouldnt describe dressing their postpartum body as joyful. I blame minimalism and a capsule wardrobe. Im also growing out a pixie haircut and I still feel cute.

I got rid of it all, but I hate shopping with this body.. 
I feel you. I have icky fat days. Let's stop for a second and exercise. I don't mean hitting the gym. I mention emotionally. 
What can you thank you body for today when you start that cycle of negative self talk? 
Do you live with a chronic disease? Thank you for the good health TODAY. Are you blessed with good health? Well thank you for this body that never holds me back. Have you experienced trauma? Well thank you for healing. Are you a mama? Thank you body for getting pregnant, carrying to term, birthing at joyfully and peacefully, are you nursing? Thank you body for making some or all of the milk my babies needs. I solute you! 

This body, with the big arms, cankles, hormone related deodorant allergy right now, stretch marks, lumpy full thighs, face with gets VERY full in pregnancy yes THIS ONE. 
I love it. 
Thank you for carrying the groceries. 
Thank you for carrying the babies to term. 
Thank you for three joyful homebirths. 
Thank you for healing the injuries.
Thank you for nursing.
Thank you for this body. 

And then let's talk fat. Take a moment to comfort the monster. Women are simply "not allowed" fat in this culture unless it is firm breasts, and full undimpled bottoms and hips. 
Men are "not allowed" to be lithe, fat, or thin. Pure muscle, but not too much-that's tacky. Wow! What a fucking prison. Maybe it's time to stop. 
Maybe there are amazing thin things like gazelles and grey hounds and you.
Maybe there are amazing fat things like house cats and elephants and you. 

Okay, Okay, I loooove myself, what do I wear it honestly looks bad?
If you want to follow trends pick popular colors you like. Or bag/shoes/etc of the moment. Let your clothes follow the actual body you live in. Some things are designed to best flatter the lithe while others the curvy. Don't MOLD YOURSELF! Find a new shop. Follow fashion icons who have a body like you. See what looks good on them. Twiggy wore shift dresses and tall boots, Marilyn wore cross top dresses with full skirts. Things that embraced their amazing shapes. Be comfortable. Be confidence. Be yourself. Wearing hiking boots or flip flops or cargo shorts or catsuits every damn day. It really doesn't matter. Just love yourself.
And please dear God, ditch the clothes that don't fit.

I have no money for clothes...
Try consignment shops, try collecting one piece at a time. thrift carefully, check ebay, ask your friendslist, post to freecycle, host a naked lady party or free swap. 

Further resources: - amazing clothes xs-2x - amazing clothes small -4x - ditch your old clothes and ask for things that spark JOY.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Goodbye to baby clothes: A how to inspired by the KonMarie Methods.

thank you for passing on! A friend shares her thrift store score..
How to let go of tubs and tubs of baby clothes...
It took years, but I took my absolutely favorite few items from each child and put them in the baby box. Even if you have another elastic and graphic usually rot in the box, Styles change. Some love the 1960s peter pan colars and 1990s Winnie the pooh and Ralph Lauren sets, others would prefer a more modern look!
What about grandchildren?
I love retro clothes and hand me downs but if my mother in law or my mom handed me TUBS AND TUBS of our clothes as babies and expected me to use them it really would be weird. She got to choose those things, why cant I?
Think about the children..
Also, future children have the own gender, birth season, body type, preferences. Save a favorite from each stage and help someone who needs those things NOW. My fuzzy newborn bear suit was completely useless in southern California. I had LOVED it up north, but after a few years sitting in a box untouched it looked aged. And it was just too hot even for my January baby. I didn't want to keep it forever. So, why had I saved it? It was too hard then to let it go. I was ready now. I looked through freecycle and a family who lives in a place a little colder happened to be seeking a bear suit. Didnt mind it looking a bit worn. Like it was meant to be really.. It wasn't a loss. It was a gift to everyone to LET IT GO. 

If discarding items makes you cry.. 
 it doesnt sound like your items bring you joy now, but instead a fear of future scarcity and loss. Trust me, keeping it all will not ensure any other babies come or prevent your babies from growing up. I had three babies and saved the very best, and cried as I discarded the rest, but they are unique little people and other items will be there if you have another.
What if I make a quilt with all the clothes.. 
yes, you can. If you think you actually will do that. And that those clothes would make a nice quilt. And it is something you have the skill or money to do. And then that quilt, will you store it. Would your child like to sleep under it, or would they like something more to their taste now? what about you? I'm not saying don't, I'm saying question your choices. Gently.
What if I have another and cannot afford clothes... 
That sounds very frightening. If that is your reality how likely is your community to ignore that need? Ask yourself honestly?

this is my personal experience. I finally let go of 90% of items, and my surprise third baby came along. My community rallied around us sending and dropping off mountains of beautiful clothes. I still had my very favorite hand me downs. And a chance to purchase and find just a few new things for this brand new person. I recently packed up the newborn cloth diapers. This used to make me sob. Like a nut. And hoard. This time I picked out my two favorite for the baby box. I bagged the rest up, and made a plan to find someone who could not afford them. I can't honor these items by letting them rot in a box. Someone needs them now. 
goodbye with love!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Birth of Judith Marigold

My entire pregnancy with my third child was a world beyond humbling. I had wanted another child, but had not intentionally become pregnant. I was living in a brand new city, and had just begun working as a doula which I adored. Our tiny apartment, overstretched budget and exciting changes did not lend themselves naturally to another baby yet. But this was happening. My husband handled the situation with a lot of grace. I was a mess. When I felt joyful, I felt guilty. When I felt miserable, I felt guilty. 
I had hyperemesis with every baby. Constant nausea. Months of vomiting. This one took the cake. I vomited constantly well into the third trimester. I was exhausted. My emotions were raw. My pubic bone separated early on and as the first trimester ended and every step, rolling over, bending down, putting on pants. It all became quite impossible. It was all met with a feeling my bones were breaking. 
Despite all the discomforts my baby was obviously thriving, and thankfully I felt movements very early. This was my comfort and joy in a dark and painful time. I felt deeply connected with this new life, that had obviously taken great care to choose me to mother them. 
Having had two uncomfortable but uneventful pregnancies and joyful out of hospital births having another homebirth was the most natural choice for me. 
I met midwives. Some were lovely. Some were decidedly not right for us, and in the end after very serious consideration I decided to do my own prenatal care and not seek a midwife for the birth. 
I felt I had a good understanding of complications of pregnancy and when to ask for help. The more I thought about an unhindered and undirected birth the safer and more attractive it was. I knew when to ask wise women and medical professionals for guidance, and until then I simply rested and waited. Whether I had a three day labor like with my daughter, or a 45 minute labor like with my son I felt I could cope and cope well. I ate as well as I could. I played with my children. My family went to disneyland and the beach as often as we could. 
I chose not to seek any prenatal testing beyond a routine blood work. I talked to my baby. I had a clearer intuition that I had with previous pregnancies. I had another daughter coming. I felt quite sure. 
Early into my third trimester prodromal labor began. I always felt as though I was on the verge of true labor. Constant contractions. I was exhausted beyond words. 
Croup came. And our baby wisely waited. Our building was fumigated. And we had to stay in a hotel for a few days. And our baby wisely waited. I had the worst flu of my life. The entire family did. And she waited... mostly. 
I went to bed on the 20th feeling deeply sorry for myself. I even pooped the bed in the middle of the night. Not something that comes up for me much as an adult. My son came to bed and wanted a cuddle in the early a.m. I spooned him, but around 9:30 I noticed some VERY difficult contractions. 
The children got up with Joe and I got in the bath. "Are you okay?" Joe asked. "Contractions.. bad ones." 
I was really begging and reasoning. How could I cope with a long labor when I hadn't eaten in days? I knew baby was moving well with good heart tones, but I felt miserable just the night before. 
Contractions quickly became impossible to think clearly through. I asked Joe for the birth tub. I got in and thought, "this is amazing. why everyone should labor in water. everyone should get the chance. this is perfection."
two or three contractions later.. "this isn't warm enough, or sturdy enough. I'm getting out of here." Thank you Joe, you're a wonderful sport. 
I got in the shower and felt it against my back. It felt amazing. Back labor was really bothering me. Contractions that would wrap around my back and linger a little. I dried off and did some contractions of the toilet afraid I might poop again, wishing I could pee. Anything to relieve this intense pressure. I tried gently lifting my belly with my hands during about three contractions. I tried a couple lunges alternating lifting a leg on the potty. I felt exhausted. The back pain was almost completely gone, but the contractions were SO intense. I tried sitting on the potty, but the pressure was AWFUL. 
Joe offered I might like the birth ball and got me some ice water. He briefly brought in our four year old daughter to say hello, and then our two year old son in his arms. It was so affirmative to see them. Joe was so sweet as he tried to bring my sounds nice and low. I was kind of squeeking and saying "ah, ah, ah" loosening my lips and saying "mmm" or "ohh" would really help, but somehow I couldn't, and I couldn't be touched gently. "please stop" and "Shhhh" I asked him. He didn't seem at all offended which I'n very grateful for. 
I leaned on my birth ball hands and knees and rested my chest on it between contractions. I had no idea "where" I was in labor and begging my baby aloud, "please. lets work together. I'm tired. lets go fast." And with every contraction I howled, "Oh baby, baby, baby, baby, baby." 
"open, open, open, open, down down down owww owww oww baby." 
I had plenty of darker thoughts at this point. My inner monologue chattered "this is why folks get epidurals." A siren went by and I thought of a rather famous birth professional who talks about her homebirth and how she hears a siren and thinks "theres my ride." I laughed a bit, knew for sure I did not want a cathater inbetween my spine or to go anywhere. I also accepted I was probably in transition, but felt a flicker of doubt about that. 
At this point I heard Joe saying, "You're doing amazing. You're perfect. You're safe here." All while holding our little boy. And I knew. "I know." I said, and I felt strong again. Joe put my blessingway necklace with all the beads friends and family had sent on the cabinet and I felt the love wash over me. His thoughtfulness to bring that just then. Contractions continued to come and the pressure in my pubic bones was tremendous. I felt my body pushing all on it's own, and it felt amazing, but a little unsafe. "What if I'm not complete?" I wondered. I heard my own sounds changing even from baby to... "Baby.. baby.. baby.. Arrrggghhhhhhhump baby I love you!" 
"WHY AM I PUSHING!?" I asked Joe, he responded reasonably, "I don't know do you want me to call our friend for advice?" We had a few wise women who said we could call. 
"Uhm ARHHHHHH yeah. please. No wait.. just..."
I remembered I could check my cervix, no need I put my hand down my vulva and felt my babies head descend into it instantly. I said something about the baby coming and asked for him to take pictures.
My body pushed a few more times and I squeeked a little, "heeelp" my baby slid out in one wet water bag bursting move. I had wanted a little perineum support, but had literally wedged myself into a corner not even Joe could get to and I couldn't make coherent requests anyway. I reached down and pulled my baby up. I looked quickly, but I knew. "OH HELLO DAUGHTER! HELLO JUDI JUDI JUDI. YOU DID SO GOOD." 
*it was 11:30 a.m. at this point. another very quick labor. 
Joe started to cry and told Wendy and Benji they had a sister. We spent awhile figuring out how I could turn over from hands and knees and then I rested against a yoga ball. Admiring this delightful, fat, soaked in vernix baby. Who did a few quick "I'm doing fabulous" cries and then just seemed dreamy as if to say, "actually I was napping thanks." 
Birthing the placenta was easy. We called our wise woman friend to say all was great and I took a few drops of motherwort tincture. I thanked the placenta for it's hard work. And with it's birth... 
hypermesis and it's CONSTANT nausea and frequent vomiting is like the ocean. Sometimes a quiet tide sometimes a raging storm sometimes a roar, but always there. Always sick. And then it was just gone. 
I leaned against the birth ball in the hallway about an hour and then felt I would be ready to move to bed. I felt GOOD. strong. Happy. peaceful. overwhelmed with gratitude. Judi seemed to like her placenta so we left her attached to it for another couple hours, and when the very cold limp cord seemed to be bothering her to tied it off and cut it. Judith Marigold Wiklund is an excellent nurser and pooped and peed many times before we wanted to bother and weigh her. At 24 hours she weighed 7 lbs and 11 oz, had a 14" head, and was 21" long. 
Though we declined any routine tests of pregnancy we knew her guess date was either December 6th or January 6th. She looks quite perfectly like a 38 week gestation baby, and probably shared a guess gate with her nearly four year old sister Wendy who was due January 6th in 2011. I know she was meant to be here however humbling the process, and she is an overwhelming joy to our entire family. More joy than we ever imagined possible. 
I am continually amazed by how many times this pregnancy I was forced to accept my limitations, ask for help, realize I couldn't doula myself, and connect to wise women and men for guidance and love. Judith has already made me a better person I am sure of it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

More pregnancy self care

In my last pregnancy comfort post I talked about a few things you can do to manage common and sometimes very humbling pregnancy discomforts.
again; I am NOT a medical professional and this is not a substitute for medical advise. Consult your own experts before trying any new herbs, supplements, or exercise. If it feels wrong. Stop! I am writing this post only to be filed under "it worked for me. Read up for yourself and decide."
one; hop on over to spinningbabies and download their daily essential series. Seriously, I cannot emphasis this near enough. keeping your hips and spine limber and supple will ease your discomforts of back, hips, legs, and more. This is a basic inversion. Obviously use care or a spotter if this makes you dizzy. 

Here in a good shot of my inversion. Bum over head. Lots of room for baby to roll into a nice comfy position. I am in a really blessed position to have an excellent webster chiro who is affordable and this is a great supplement to that care.

Two; Ina May suggests 300 squats a day for a shorter healthier labor. I am definitely not there, but I do a few every day and often sit in a supported squat. More about that in this great blog
Three: see that stool again? Hemorrhoids suck. Hydrate. Increase fiber. And when you visit the potty prop your feet. Modern toilets are terrible for your pelvic floor. A simple stool helps you "squat" and have a healthier happier Bm! 
My last post showed yoga ball love. Here is a physio disc. Only about $15 on amazon. Very soothing if you do have a swollen vulva or hemorrhoids. Healthier than a traditional seat for your spine and hips. Bring this on your car trips. I also use when doing a long sewing session. 

This is my bathroom kit. Coconut oil is a basic moisturizer. Great for diluting lavender oil which can be used on a hemorrhoid to soothe. I also add a drop of lavender oil to the back side of my pillowcase for a sweet night's rest when pregnancy insomnia nags. Also pictured are ziplock bags of Epsom salt. Very soothing and a great way to relax and absorb magnesium. Win win. Help with all things that swell. The jar is baking soda which can also be sprinkled in your bath or made into a water paste for hemorrhoids.
finally witch hazel. Great again for a miserable bottom. Here is some great info from Susan Weed on hemorrhoids. 

Six: if I could only afford two pregnancy supplements you're looking at them. 
Calm soothes my pregnancy crazies, helps with leg cramps, helps me fall asleep in the evening, and softens stool for easier bathroom visits.
a good pregnancy tea is invaluable. Toning uterus, helping blood volume expand, and offering vitamins. More from the awesome Susan Weed on herbs in pregnancy.
Seven: here is my whole shabang. Left to right. black strap molasses is an excellent, affordable, nourishing source of iron and cheap! MORE on Molasses in pregnancy HERE
Pink salts! Benefits of pink salts 
Chloroxygen. Expand that blood volume. Keep your energy up! MORE of Chloroxygen in pregnancy here and also here
Calm, if there was a cult I would join. Babycenter talks about magnesium in pregnancy here. 
Pregnancy tea! Don't like it hot? Try it on ice with honey or black strap molasses. Or make badass popsickles. 
In front; rescue remedy. Can't stop crying about that aspca add? Me neither. Good thing rapid cycling hormones are a good sign of baby growth. Try a pastille. BACH on pregnancy And more here.

Check out that molasses. Great iron to kcals. I take 1-2 tbsp a day.

Hope this was fun for you as it was for me. More soon. <3 p="">

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pregnancy comfort.

Pregnancy can be magical, but it can also be miserable. Aching hips and pubic bone, sciatica, swelling of feet, legs, and if you're extra lucky your vulva too! Wooboy.  Here are a few ideas which may offer some much needed comfort. This should be part of an ongoing series. Check back often for new ideas.

As with any idea.. I am NOT a medical professional. If you feel you want to consult a doctor, midwife, or doula first you should. Even if they say "it's fine!" But it feels wrong, stop. Trust yourself. Listen to your body! 

Easy peasy; wrap your hips and gently support your belly with a nice wide scarf, or sarrong or rebozo. This can help with pain from sciatica, spd, aching hips, and so much more.

Two: consider swapping your chair and couch time for a yoga ball. Keep your hips open. Notice you will gently swirl hips, bounce, and shift in healthy natural ways. That is great way to comfort your body and may offer some relief when you experience sciatica, spd, or a swollen vulva. Ouch! 
Three: quick! Buy a good pool ring before your season ends and indulge in a short belly nap. If this feels wrong, stop! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jersey knit pregnancy/labor/nursing/postpartum gown

Ive seen labor/nursing nightgowns online and they looked beyond comfy for pregnancy and newborn nurse-a-thons. They looked way awesome so I tried to find a tutorial but all I was seeing was cute prints on the traditional stiff cotton labor gown. So I made one to share. Grab a nice piece of jersey knit that fits you like an oversized beach towel. Mine was 60x 40 inches. 
 You're going to want to cut four 1" strips from the longer portion of your fabric. 
Not required but i added a quick hem to the whole rectangle. 
Now cut those four 1" pieces in half lengthwise so you have 8 pieces.  Sew three sets to the front. 
And one to to the back so you can close the back which is rather drapey. 
nursing access. Cool. 
Back access. Some labors require good access to your back. Here you go. And your bum stays covered. Huzzah. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Moon Ceremony, a mother helps her daughter welcome menstruation

Do you remember the day you first began your cycle? When your daughters began their cycle? I remember being at my friend's house. I called my mom asking to come home. She seemed really annoyed about my period, and later that sentiment changed to pity when she began a tirade about swimming pools being off limits, cramps, headaches, bloating, "and maybe that's why you've been so moody lately!" We got in a huge fight about whether I was permitted to use tampons. She brought home chocolate icecream, but the damage had been done. Those first moments had a lasting impact on how I felt about my cycle, my body, my gender, and my mother for years to come. It is only recently I have entertained the idea that my period was not a horrific curse to endure. I can't tell you how happy I was to see my friend share photos from her daughter's Moon Ceremony. A woman and body positive gathering to welcome her first menses. Thankfully Sheena has agreed to an interview about hosting her daughter's Moon Ceremony. 

Rosie: Was the celebration your idea or your daughters?
Sheena: Mine but i asked her permission

R: What was her reaction?

S: At first I think she was a little... Trepidatious? She's pretty open minded, so I just explained that it was a right of passage and that she deserved to be celebrated, that she would be in full control over the details and besides who doesn't love a good excuse to eat cake?! She couldn't argue with that.

R: Totally! Can you tell me a little about who you invited and why?

S: We invited all the woman and close female friends who had already entered menarche. No men and no young girls, because we were going to be sharing womanly wisdom.
We were also careful to only invite those who would bring good energy, if we didn't think they could come to the celebration without brining in negative views of menstruation they didn't get an invite. It ended up being just my grandma, my mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law
R: Are there any gems of wisdom from the event you would be willing to share?

S: I think the only thing I would have done differently is just being a little more prepared. Paige was 16 and I knew it was getting close, I knew I would want to throw her a party of some sort, but I didn't actually start thinking seriously until the told me she started! Then it was a mad scramble to figure out what I wanted to do for her, some of the ceremonial candles take weeks to make, and I had to order books, all these things took time. With my younger daughters I will have some of that stuff stashed away ready and waiting.R: Can you tell me a little more about what inspired you to want to do an event like this?S: I think it comes mostly from a place of wanting to protect and empower my girls. They are constantly being told that their power is in their beauty, that they have to be perfect and airbrushed. That they are crazy and bitchy because of all those pesky feminine hormones, that menstruation is dirty and gross. I want them to see the flaws in that thinking, how it robs them, and I want them to change it. I want to give them their power back! I want them to know they are NOT crazy, there is a reason for the rhythm. There is a beauty and magic in the ability to give life- and it's not JUST for procreation. Woman are creators. I want them to own themselves and love themselves completely. They are told their power is in their looks, not beauty.
R: That's gorgeous. And so inspiring.

S: And wow. How is that answer for hippy dippy? 
: R: Nope. It's a strong mom answer. Do you ever imagine you would do a coming of age ritual for your son?

S: Yes! I don't know what that will look like just yet. I'm just at the very beginning of my boy mama journey. I was raised by a single mom, with just a sister, so the boy world is completely foreign to me! However, part of instilling feminist ideals will be acknowledging and respecting all that is male, right? I 
mean, at it's core it's really just equality. Boys need to own their own personal brand of magic too.

R: I couldn't agree more! What do you think you enjoyed the most out of the event?

S: I think seeing her excitement. I was worried she was going to think I was weird and was maybe just "letting" me throw her a party. But she seemed to really love it! She got all into it, dressing up in a celestial themed top and flowy skirt. I could tell she FELT special and honored, and that was the whole point. She also has sort of taken to collecting moon themed things, so I know it was an important event in her life. Something that helped define her.

R: Thank you do much for being willing to share this. I am so grateful to have you as a mentor mom.

What about YOU? What was YOUR first cycle like? What do you wish it was like? What do you wish we could do for the next generation of women?