Sunday, October 24, 2010


I have been blog silent for a few weeks. Not for lack of things to say. But because the book has been progressing at rocket speed the last month or so. We have been lucky to get many more stories, essays, and contributors join us in our last push. Thank goodness for the laborers that come into the vineyard at the end--they bring that last surge of energy that the others need. Thanks everyone who has contributed even in small ways such as commenting on the blog. Every comment gives us more inspiration and information. We are very close to being done with the first draft and are ready to talk to publishers.

In the last year of working on this book, we have met or connected with many wonderful people and have quite a few publishing contacts, interest, support, and ideas available to us. The feeling I have right now and than has been echoed by some of the other inspired women on this project is that we should submit it far and wide and then let God ultimately guide our choice. We have considered everything from LDS publishers, small and large, self publishing--just for the freedom of it, and medium to large mainstream presses.

Though our book is written to and by a very specific target audience, I believe it will still appeal to a wide audience, which makes me lean toward mainstream publishing, which I am more familiar with anyway. Many people read this blog who are not LDS or even into birth. The fact is, birth junkies want to know about how anyone and everyone views birth (at least I do--especially other religions and cultures) and religious junkies want to know about all different kinds of religious cultural history, which our book is full of. So we are going to query all the contacts we have, as well as some we don't know, but thought we'd put it out there to readers to let us know if you have any additional ideas or contacts you want to share. We'd really like to find a publisher that shares our vision of helping women to rediscover and reclaim the divine nature of pregnancy and birth.

If you have any information or comments for me please leave them here or email them to me privately. And please pray for this book! Satan doesn't want this book to be published, because the ramifications could be horrible for him. Imagine if every woman did not fear birth or motherhood, or if all women saw birth, their bodies, and their powers of procreation as sacred. Satan's attacks against the family would fail. What a wonderful thought. So he has really been trying to slam some of us down hard for all the work we have been putting into this. We could all use your prayers and love.

Friday, October 15, 2010

You Only Remember...

I have been reading a lot of poetry this week. This is a really beautiful one by Pablo Neruda. The translation may be a little clunky, but it's a beautiful poem.

by Pablo Neruda

We will never have any memory of dying.

We were so patient
about our being,
noting down
numbers, days,
years and months,
hair, and the mouths we kiss,
and that moment of dying
we let pass without a a note--
we leave it to others as memory,
or we leave it simply to water,
to water, to air, to time.
Nor do we even keep
the memory of being born,
although to come into being was tumultuous and new;
and now you don't remember a single detail
and haven't kept even a trace
of your first light.

It's well known that we are born.

It's well known that in the room
or in the wood
or in the fisherman's quarter
or in the rustling canefields
there is a quite unusual silence,
a grave and wooden moment as
a woman prepares to give birth.

It's well known that we are born.

But of that abrupt translation
from not being to existing, to having hands,
to seeing, to having eyes,
to eating and weeping and overflowing
and loving and loving and suffering and suffering,
of that transition, that quivering
of an electric presence, raising up
one body more, like a living cup,
and of that women left empty,
the mother who is left there in her blood
and her lacerated fullness,
and its end and its beginning, and disorder
tumbling the pulse, the floor, the covers,
till everything comes together and adds
one knot more to the thread of life,
nothing, nothing remains in your memory
of the savage sea that which summoned up a wave
and plucked a shrouded apple from the tree.

The only thing you remember is your life.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today is My Birthday

And I have nothing profound to say about it. Nothing at all. So I think I will share a poem.

Birth Day
by Elise Paschen

Armored in red, her voice commands
every corner. Bells gong on squares,
in steeples, answering the prayers.
Bright tulips crown the boulevards.

Pulled from the womb she imitates
that mythic kick from some god's head.
She roars, and we are conquered.
Her legs, set free, combat the air.

Naked warrior: she is our own.
Entire empires are overthrown.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Breastfeeding Struggles

3rd March - Breastfeeding

I will say no more than to just publish this beautiful story as it was submitted to us by Julie Mills.

To start I have always struggled with nursing my children (we have 5). However, nursing has always been very important to me. So when my daughter was born (she’s our 4th) it was no surprise to have some struggles in the hospital. It was typical so I didn’t think that much about. By the time we got home it was getting harder and harder and more painful. I began to see why it was getting worse. My first three kids are boys and now we had this little girl. Well, her mouth was much smaller than her brothers had been. Her mouth was too small to be able to latch on properly. This is because I am (unfortunately) very large busted and so she just simply couldn’t do it. By the time I finally figured this out, I was in tons of pain every time she tried nursing. My face would just run with tears. She and I were both upset and struggling. I began bleeding every time and when she would let go, she would have blood around her mouth and that of course just made me cry more and feel like I was failing her.

We went to see the doctor because we were afraid I was going to develop mastitis. The doctor let me know that I was fine. He then told me that it’s no big deal not to nurse and that I should just give up and not worry about it. Well that wasn’t going to work for me. I got a really good pump and began pumping for her. I pumped and pumped and pumped. I pumped everything she ate. I kept a log of how much milk I pumped, what she ate and how much I had in reserve. I also had a system to make sure the milk was being rotated properly.

My family and I prayed and prayed that Elise would be able to nurse. After a couple of weeks and then months, I pretty much gave up on that idea and just accepted the fact that she wasn’t going to. I would try from time to time to get her to nurse, but she didn’t like it. It would just make her mad. My oldest son Jake (he was 5 ½ at the time) was not willing to give up. He continued to pray. He was very faithful about praying for us everyday.

There were some blessings I gained from pumping. My husband David was able to help feed his little girl. He really enjoyed taking part in this. The boys also enjoyed in helping out their new little sister. I think it helped them realize how special she was. They are so close to her and absolutely adore her! She really, really looks up to them a lot. Also it forced me to be more organized. Pumping to that degree takes a lot a time and so I needed to be very careful with my time. Plus my milk supply is very sensitive. If I missed a pumping or was more than 15-20 minutes off my schedule, I could see the effects of it the next day. So this experience really taught me several things.

Then one day when Elise was about 4 ½ months old, David asked me if I had tried nursing her lately. I said no, because I had just accepted that I was going to pump and that nursing wasn’t going work. Now, like I said, Jake would not give up on praying for us. He was very diligent. David encouraged me to go ahead and try one more time. So I did… and she took right to it!!! I couldn’t believe it. My little girl was 4 ½ months old and started nursing. To us it was a miracle and a true answer to prayer! I am so incredibly grateful that Jake never gave up! After that, she and I had no more struggles with nursing. But I did have one other problem… I had 432 ounces of breast milk stocked up in my freezer!


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