Childbirth, Guilt & Forgiveness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Why You Should Create a Cesarean Birth Plan- Even If You’re Planning For a Vaginal Birth

Loss of control is a primary fear many women feel when considering the possibility of a cesarean birth. “I’ll have to give up my power to the surgeon. I’ll have no say over how the birth unfolds. I’ll feel like a piece of meat on an operating table.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can reclaim your right to empowerment throughout your baby’s birth by creating a cesarean birth plan — even if you’re planning for a vaginal birth.

Creating this plan doesn’t set the intention that you’ll have a cesarean birth, it sets the intention that you’ll be prepared, regardless of any unforeseen circumstances that may pop up in your birth journey.

Below are preferences you can use to create a simple one-page cesarean birth plan (that you’ll create in addition to your vaginal birth plan), which you will present to your care provider around the beginning of your third trimester. I recommend discussing each preference with your care provider to determine if they, or the facility you would be having the surgery in, would put up resistance to any of the preferences. If so, discuss why there would be resistance, and what can be done about it.

Read more on Babble!

Childbirth, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

5 Of The Craziest Birth Stories You’ll Ever Read

Childbirth is about as predictable as a cranky toddler with a full glass of juice — it can get messy. When the new-human-delivery process is allowed to naturally unfold, it rarely fits into a sterilized box. Nope, it often spills out, splashes onto your favorite shoes, and demands you step into your ability to roll with it — even if “it” laughs in the face of your birth plan.

I recently attended a gathering for maternal health care workers and many of their clients, where I heard hundreds of birth stories — some of them, completely insane. I received permission to share a handful of the most intense stories (some women wishing to remain anonymous), in the hopes that you can take comfort in knowing that even if your birth goes sideways, rolls down a hill, and falls into a murky pond — you can handle it, and will come out of it a stronger (totally badass!) mom.

Here’s a glimpse of the stories from five women I find far superior to any superhero …

Read more on Babble!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love, Uncategorized

5 Lessons to Learn from “Motherhood in Focus”

Mothers are the ghosts in many family albums- the facilitator of the photos but never the star.

Photographer Ahna Tessler, who began freezing the beauty of moments with her camera after the birth of her twins, was inspired to create the Motherhood In Focus project after photos of herself became such a scarce commodity she was compelled to superimpose herself into family photos. 

After seeing how moved families (that had hired her) were when viewing the photos she had captured, she decided Motherhood In Focus should focus on single mothers who couldn’t afford her services. With the support of Babble, she grabbed her camera and spent five months stepping into the un-posed lives of 23 families, immortalizing equal parts silly and poignant moments.

Ahna eloquently explained why she selected the families of low-income single mothers as her subjects, saying, “In their fight to provide a better life for their children, there is certainly no room in the budget to hire a photographer. There is no proof, no tangible memories, and simply no photos of them with their children.”

Read more on Huff Post!

Career, Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Trusting Your Whole-Being During Childbirth (And BIG News!)

Hi friends!

I haven’t been blogging much because… I’ve been busy writing the Feng Shui Mommy book- eek! (Insert embarrassingly spastic happy dance here.) Being published by New World Library Spring 2017.

Besides that little announcement, I’m keeping today’s written message short and leaning on the spoken word (many of them.)

This relaxation recording was created for pregnant women, but can be utilized by any individual wishing to have more trust in their whole (mind-body-spirit) being.

Send me your thoughts and questions 🙂

xo
Bailey

Travel, Uncategorized

Ringling Brothers Took It Out of This World

Holy acrobats-light show-unicycles y’all- Ringling Brothers brought it. And now, they’re bringing it to you. “It” being their new show, Out of This World. I went to Florida (to the 580,000 square foot complex that houses the Ringling Brothers family!) to preview a few of the acts, and the opening of the show – oh my wow. I thought I was going to see some hoops, a bit of flying trapeze shenanigans and popcorn- but saw so much more.

 

I left this experience totally star-struck by these obscenely talented people. I’m not even sure they’re people- they’re so skilled they may actually be from someplace out of this world. (I also left with videos of me jumping rope and unicycling with the Saint Charles Troupe- and when I say “unicycling” I mean “me being held up on a unicycle and pushed around by two strong men.”)

Read more on Huffington Post!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

9 Ways Dads Can Emotionally Prep For Childbirth

Hey dudes — your modus operandi during baby’s birth can consist of more than shelling out ice chips, taking the occasional photo, and having the life squeezed out of your hand. The vibes you put off directly affect your baby’s and lady’s journey through birth. Exuding a calm, confident, and prepared demeanor (even if you’re faking it!) will help your birthing honey assume more of a goddess essence than a “What have we done?!” shrill.

Here’s how to clear then bolster your emotional state before The Big Day, and infuse traditional childbirth preparation methods with deeper meaning.

1. Fear release exercise

Sometimes, releasing negative emotions via talking and journaling isn’t enough — that junk may need to be worked out via physical exertion. Make a list of any and all fears you have surrounding the birth of your child, and all areas of your life the birth will affect (which is everything). Every day, or every other day, choose one fear from the list and exercise it out. As you run (or bike, or engage in any other exercise of choice) envision the fear being released via your sweat.

Camping, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

9 Insider Tips for Family Camping on the California Coast

There’s a rare form of magic in the crisp air along the California Coast, which is why it’s best enjoyed outdoors. Camping along these beaches rich with ancient trees, active sea life and a bounty of activities (for all ages!) will support you in creating the ideal vacation for your entire family. To ensure it’s more fun than frustrating, follow these tips.

1. Find the Perfect Spot.

IMG_3472

It’s hard to go wrong when finding a site to camp along the West Coast, but depending on your family’s specific needs, some locations will suit your family better than others. Take your preferences for sites (e.g., not near cliffs, activities for young children and a beach with a mellow break) and find a few spots that meet your needs.

Read more on Discount My Flights

Camping, Reviews and Giveaways, Uncategorized

Review: GOgroove Mood Light/ Speaker- Camping Hack for Parents!

k2-_cb170036-dafc-4915-beb9-e04d587bb751.v2Hey campers! (Wait- you hate camping? Maybe living room camping?)

My son is not into the whole dark aspect of camping. When the sun goes to sleep he loses his… He also relies on a nifty sound machine filled with faux raindrops and ocean waves to lull him to sleep. Camping with him is hard.

The GOgroove has granted me sweet slumber when I’m sleeping under flimsy fabric outside. It’s portable (a camping must- they have yet to install AC outlets in trees), gently changes colors and will play the “ocean waves” track on repeat I have on my phone (it’s a speaker!) A light-speaker, and a good camper.

If you’ve been trying to convince your kids to camp, bribe them with this.

Parenting, Uncategorized

6 Ways to Trick Your Kids Into Learning This Summer

It’s almost summertime and the livin’ will be easy. Oh wait, you’re a parent. Never mind, the livin’ is about to get chaotic — but chaos can be fun, and educational.

While you’ve spent the past nine-ish months supporting the expansion of your child’s mental, physical, and social development, you haven’t been doing it alone (if they go to school). You’ve had assistance from teachers, coaches, and all the other people that help kids grow into bigger kids. But soon, the majority of this “fostering of development” will fall on your shoulders … and hands, and heart, and feet …oh heck, every last drop of you will be called upon this summer.

While camps and other such organized activities handled by other responsible adults (or teenagers) were sent down from the parenting heavens to sneak learning (and free time for you!) into your kid’s summer, you’ll likely be met with “ugh, mom” if you suggest activities that even have a whiff of education.

So, let’s hide the learning in fun activities. Here’s how …

Read more on Babble!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Pregnancy, Self Love, Uncategorized

Coming To Terms With the Negative Birth Experience You Weren’t Expecting

As a doula, I recently attended a 30-hour birth that turned the mom’s birth preferences on their head (or maybe into the breech position). The mama was elated to end up with a healthy baby but is moving through deep regrets over certain aspects of her experience (about 90 percent of her preferences had to be scrapped for medical reasons.)

It can be really deflating when you put in months of preparation to have a particular type of birth, and then fall into having the opposite type of birth. It totally sucks. But “it’s not allowed to suck” — or so everyone says — if you and baby end up healthy.

“Well at least you have a healthy baby.”

Ugh.

Yes, you had your healthy baby, and obviously you’re thrilled with that ideal outcome, but what about all the yuck in between? The dashed expectations? The missed opportunities to move through certain experiences you had prepared for? The residual trauma of moving through experiences you hadn’t prepared for? 

Read more on Babble!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love, Uncategorized

9 Date Ideas That’ll Make You Forget You’re a Grown-Up

I love me a good “dinner and a movie” date night, but they’re not unique or memorable. The nights I do remember are when we do something we both initially resist, or are scared to do (I’m looking at you ocean kayaking–at night.) I also remember the nights when everything goes completely sideways, but because we’re together, we have an unexpected blast. Here are some date night ideas that are sure to kindle (or rekindle) your sense of adventure, childlike wonder, and appreciation for that guy or gal in your life–no matter how adult you are.

1. Play Truth or Dare

Grab a bottle of wine and prepare to get honest. I would recommend saving yourself some hassle and maybe abstaining from “truths” about exes or the how your partner thinks your butt looks. But you do you!

Read more on Redbook!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Self Love, Uncategorized

Settling Into Your Favorite Spot in Nature: Relaxation Recording

vNE8214NS9GOvXOy7DCu_DSC_0266Happy Holiday weekend y’all!

Because a few extra days off can easily slip into drowning yourself in making up laundry washing, email responding, baseboard washing (just me?) and many other uber fun activities, it may be a good idea to allow yourself to chill for a few moments. If you need some extra support, here is a recording to help you settle into your favorite spot in nature (even if you’re unable to physically go there.)

*Just type 0 into the price box to get it for free.

Sending you love!

xo

Bailey

 

Uncategorized

This Is What A Mom’s Voice Does to A Child’s Brain

My son was born into a room of chaos. But the moment I spoke, my voice cut through the noise, flowed into his tiny ears, and he immediately turned his head toward mine. We locked eyes and an epic love affair was born. (He hasn’t been able to get me to shut up since.)

I thought my experience was just some mama-baby magic, but it’s actually based in science.

According to a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a child’s brain has stronger responses when exposed to their mother’s voice versus the voice of a stranger — even if the mother is speaking nonsensical words for even a fraction of a second! Magic. Science magic.

Your child’s anatomy isn’t the only element affected by your voice — their emotions are also soothed, like when you’re explaining why Diego left Dora for his own show or why marshmallows and peanut butter are not suitable breakfast foods.

Read more on Babble!

Pregnancy, Self Love, Uncategorized, Video

Talk to Me: How Talking to Our Grandparents Can Make Us Better People

562588_326545470733970_1514296375_n
G-Betty lookin’ fierce on her 86th birthday.

My relationship with my Grandmother Betty (Grambetty) has always been a selfish one. I share endlessly about my worries, accomplishments and major missteps, siphon rich streams of advice from her, send her photos of my little family but rarely ask for images from her life and generally fill her with my own “stuff”, scarcely asking about her experiences.

 

She recently visited my home, and arrived on the same day I heard about the Huff Post Talk to Me project- total “Ah-ha! I’m a jerk” moment.

 

“Why haven’t I done this with my Grandmother before?”

Read (and watch!) more on Huff Post

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love, Uncategorized

Volunteering For New Moms Saved My Life

IMG_2078I had very negative (sometimes cruel) things to say to myself before I started “selfishly” giving to others.

The giving began shortly after I had my first panic attack. My son was 4 months old and I thought very little of my skills as a caregiver, had a sudden loss of love for myself, and a sense of unworthiness for all the beautiful drops of fortune in my life. The strength of the panic grew so intense I was put on medication.

The medication would help for a few hours, then I felt shame and guilt for having to take medication. I needed a pill that offered a paradigm shift.

My mom offered something better. She recommended I volunteer for a local organization that pairs trained volunteers with new mothers who have very little support and low income. It seemed crazy, seeing as how I was a new mother with little support and low income, but I was compelled to volunteer. I had to organize childcare for my baby during the training and volunteer sessions, but I knew I had to do this to become the mother my child deserved.

Read more on Babble!