Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Opposite of War is Creation

In the year and a half following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, there were more babies born in this country than for many years prior. I found this statistic surprising when I learned it a few years ago. Logically, I would think that in war times or war torn countries, parents might think twice about bringing another child into the world, or that wombs would close up out of sheer terror or sadness. But it's quite the opposite as statistics show.

Most of those 2002 babies are now in second grade. If you go to an elementary school performance, you can see the difference in class sizes. There are just so many more second graders.

I always tell my yoga students that the babies that are coming now are more spiritually and mentally evolved than ever before--because these are the children that are going to usher in the age of peace. It is hard to think our children are more spiritually evolved that we are. Aren't we wise and experienced and here to teach them?

Yes. And Yes. We will teach them many things. But the most important thing that we may teach them is their divine birthright and to trust in their own inner wisdom. Even when they are in the throws of childhood--tantrums, mischief, etc--we must remember not to do anything to them that makes them forget who they are.

When my daughter was a new toddler, she would occasionally throw tantrums and I would just look at her and say, "I know. It's hard being a world that is not as advanced as you. I'm doing my best with the tools I have and I hope that you are patient with me."

The tantrums didn't end that second, but once she felt heard, she'd pick up her work of moving books and toys from room to room and there seemed to be a greater understanding between us.

I once heard a woman give a talk and she was talking about how rotten the world is getting, but she said that the world can't be all bad yet, because as long as babies are being born, that means that God still has some belief in the goodness and salvage-ability of it. For many years (pre-baby) I was skeptical of that line of reasoning. But now I totally believe it.

So in addition, it's also up to us as parents not to do anything to frighten them from becoming creators themselves. By this I mean mothers and fathers, but also artists. Many of you out there are afraid to call yourself artists. I know. I hear it all the time from bonefide professionals. Even many people that make a living at art don't feel like they can call themselves artists. Perhaps this is because of the myths we have created about what a real artist is. (Real artists wear hats, have cool parties, are drug addicts, are divorced, etc.) But the truth is, a real artist creates and a real artist speaks truth. This is why in every dictatorship, the first thing they do is get rid of all the artists.

The opposite of war is not peace. It is creation.

Dream. Love. Create. It's what love does.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Feeling Like a Mom

After I had my baby and my forty days of rest, I remember the first few times I ventured out on a short errand without her. It was the strangest feeling. I lost my baby weight quickly and so when I went into the store or the bank, I felt like no one knew I was a mother. And I didn't like that. I wanted to shout out to everyone "I just had a baby!" so they would all know. I felt so strange without her. She had become a part of my identity so quickly, and yet, at other times, I would look at her in disbelief when I realized that I was her mother. There were even a few times when I forgot--for a nano-second--that I had a child. "Oh my goodness. I have a baby," I'd say out loud and run to her room to look at her.

Now she's almost 5 and I'm trying to pick a kindergarten. Eek! But even though I have been a mom for that long, I don't feel like my mom, or rather how I imagine my mom felt being a mom. In some ways I think of Phoebe as my sidekick. I take her to plays, book signings, the beach, fondue parties. She went surfing with me for the first time when she was 2 years old. Also, we're not a traditional two parent family, so in that way I don't feel like my mom, but today I had an totally motherly moment.

I decided to make Phoebe a scarf for Valentines Day. She picked out some purple puffy yarn a month ago and it was just sitting there, so I went for it. I don't crochet at all. Really. Not at all. But luckily the yarn was forgiving so I basically just used the hook to tangle it up in a shape that resembled a scarf. As I sat there crocheting I felt a motherly spirit superimposed on mine and I felt very much the picture of motherhood as I sat there in all my zen crocheting goodness. I laughed in my own self-consciousness of it, but it felt nice. Maybe because I don't sit for very long like that anymore unless I am at the computer or doing hypnosis.

Though I am a mom all day, every day, for the rest of my life, I think it's interesting the things that make me "feel like a mom."

What makes you feel like a mom?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Mirror Fast

This morning I realized a little bit late that it was fast Sunday. I'm not sure how I forgot when for a week I had been sending reminder emails to my collaborators to fast for our book.

I decided it was not too late. Since most of the ladies working with me are pregnant or nursing and wouldn't be doing a traditional food fast either, I decided I should fast something else. I thought about fasting my computer or my phone, but I needed to coordinate some things and the phone was necessary. I contemplated all this as I was putting on lipstick. Then I had a random thought pop into my mind. Maybe you should fast looking in the mirror.

Hmm. I wondered if God was trying to tell me I was vain. I have to admit, I do love to admire myself--mainly because the human body is amazing to me and I like mine. But I decided that a little more humility was probably a good thing, so I finished my lipstick and hoped it didn't come off for the rest of the day because I was going to fast looking in the mirror.

It was the strangest experience. I know that some days go by where I don't look in a mirror all day, but when trying to consciously avoid them, I seemed to catch my reflection everywhere--and catch myself looking at it. This conscious shift in awareness about my image, didn't register until on my way to church when I caught half my eye in the rearview. Then I remembered my morning scripture study. Early this morning, I had read Alma 5: 14 "Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have you experienced this mighty change of heart?"

My image in the mirror suddenly took on a whole new meaning. And I realized I didn't need a mirror to answer that. I could close my eyes and see myself as Christ saw me. At church everyone told me I looked gorgeous. Personally, I think I always look good, but this week everyone seemed to notice. And interestingly, I noticed how great everyone else looked today. True, it was a gorgeous day--but those aren't uncommon here in Los Angeles. It think I just saw Christ in their countenances as well. Especially my little girl. She was radiant.

I love how God continues to teach me in unexpected ways. What I thought was about vanity, was really about the beauty that comes from being spiritually born on God.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Birth Story from Sara Bobo

This birth story is from Sara Bobo. Though Sara had a scare, she still had a truly spiritual birth experience. Thanks for sharing your stories.

I have had three children and three very different birth experiences. All were spiritual experiences. Two included epidural.

I would like to share the story of the birth of my second child.
During a very difficult pregnancy, my water broke at 33 weeks. I did not know what to expect with a 33 weeker. All I knew was that our goal was to get to at least 34 weeks and we weren't there yet. I was scared of the unknown and what might happen to my baby.

I headed to the hospital. My water broke at noon, I arrived at the hospital at about 130pm. I was soaked in amniotic fluid but the nurses didn't believe at first that my water had broken. They tested it and, as I knew, without a doubt, my membranes had ruptured. I thought for sure that the baby would have to be delivered in the next 24 hours as I had always been told that's what had to happen once someones water had broken. I found out that in the case of a preemie they will keep you on hospital bedrest up to 34 weeks if there were no signs of stress to the baby or infection.

When my water broke I was not in active labor but I was dilated 3 cms and 80% effaced. When my doctor came to see me at about 5:30 pm, he decided to give me a blood pressure lowering medication to keep me from going into labor. I received the medication at about 6pm. About half an hour after I received the medication I went into active labor and was in horrible pain and bleeding terribly. It was decided that if the first dose of meds did not work there was probably a reason why my water broke and why my baby was trying to come at that time.

As I went into active labor, we knew something was very wrong. The heavy bleeding and constant pain, and not just pain with contractions, was very concerning. It was decided that I likely had a partial placental abruption. I had really wanted to avoid an epidural. I was pushed into one with my first child and was not happy with the experience. I was very scared for my health and the health of my baby at that time though.

The decision to have an epidural did not come lightly or easily. My husband knew that I really wanted to avoid an epidural and was very supportive. I was in constant pain and then each contraction made the pain worse. I couldn't focus, I couldn't just concentrate on one contraction at a time because the pain was constant. I was not allowed to move around because my baby's heart rate kept dropping, not just with contractions, but randomly. My baby was obviously in distress. If I moved around, we could not keep the monitor on my baby I asked the nurse if it would be better for me to get the epidural so I could sit still. Her answer surprised me, in a good way. She told me that she was not going to tell me to get an epidural no matter what. I had made it clear that I did not want an epidural and I was never offered one. I asked for an epidural after being in so much pain. The nurse knew that I really didn't want one so she left my husband and I to figure out what I really wanted and needed. I felt desperate at that time. I did not want to make the decision feeling desperate. I prayed and prayed to know the right thing to do. I was afraid that my baby or I may not be ok. After a short time I felt at peace and knew that no matter what, everything would end up ok. It was an overwhelming peaceful feeling. It was the Spirit of the Lord comforting me in a time of fear and pain. I also felt very strongly that it was not right or wrong for me to get the epidural, I just felt that it was up to me to make that decision and I was be protected in whatever decision I made.

My decision was to get the epidural. I got the epidural and had small amount of relief for about 10-15 minutes when my blood pressure crashed. I remember it getting down to 40/28 and then after that, I don't remember anything. I know that my blood pressure was not registering on the machine at one point and the crash cart was ready to go. They gave me epinephrine and stopped the epidural and fortunately, that did the trick and I was ok. The nurses were rushing around and the anesthesiologist was in there when I came around. I could tell that everyone had been scared about what was happening but were trying not to show it. The combination of the blood pressure medication, losing so much blood, having an epidural and laying on my back, was a very bad one.

I had not been checked since right about the time I went into active labor and when I came to, I felt a ton of pressure and really felt like I needed to push. The nurse checked me and was amazed to find that about an hour and a half since the last time she checked, I had gone from still being 3 cms dilated to complete.

At that point they called my doctor. While we were waiting for him to get to the hospital, I was moved to the Operating Room. I was moved to the OR because it was connected to the NICU and my baby was exactly 7 weeks early.

By the time my doctor arrived the epidural had completely worn off and I really needed to push! He ran in ready to deliver my sweet little baby. Two pushes later my precious little girl, Taylor Ailine was born. She was 4 lbs 9 oz and screamed and screamed upon her arrival into this world! I cannot even explain the love I felt for her and the relief I felt. The gratitude to my Heavenly Father at that time was also more than I can explain. I know He helped me and my daughter through a very scary experience.

When Taylor was born, the placental abruption was confirmed. My placenta was also very worn and wouldn't have supported a baby for much longer. I know that it was not a coincidence that my water broke and my baby came just 8 hours later and a little less than two hours after active labor started. Heavenly Father was looking out for us through it all.

The doctor's believe it was a good thing that I decided to go with the epidural because it likely helped me to progress more quickly. This was important as my daughter was under a lot of stress the entire time. She needed to come quickly. I am sure that for whatever reason things went so quickly, the Lord's hand was guiding the process. I very literally felt Him there with me constantly, from the time my water broke until she came home from the hospital three weeks later. I felt his love and guidance through the entire journey and I know that I would not have been able to get through it all without the peace and strength I felt from Him.


Related Posts with Thumbnails