Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Man, I Feel Like a Woman

In July of 2014, two days after that epic super moon that was engulfed by monsoon clouds, something awesome happened!! My monthly cycle returned!!

Wait a minute, you're calling that awesome?

Yes, yes I am. Hear me out.

My last cycle had been in November if 2011, prior to the conception of my youngest child. I'm sure many people have gone longer, especially if they've conceived on their first ovulation after having been with child and breastfeeding and then continuing on to birth and nurse again, maybe even tandem nurse their new baby and toddler. But for me, nearly 3 years had been long enough. While still nursing my 1 & 1/2 yr old, my body was beginning to feel not my own. I wasn't a person, especially not a woman; I was merely a vessel that lived and provided for another. My husband and I had thought about trying for another baby and often I heard, "well, you could stop breastfeeding" but that wasn't what I wanted.  Our breastfeeding relationship still continues but having resumed a part of my being, a part of my womanhood, it is a much happier relationship.

I'm so happy I allowed my body to act in just the way it needed. Just like birth, ovulation and the shedding if those eggs is a very personal part of a woman's life that deserves to be celebrated.

I'm sure, one day soon I may whine about the monthly visit from Mother Nature - but, perhaps not, for this time around, I have discovered something amazing!

Get ready for it....

I no longer carry around tampons.

I no longer worry of leaks or when I last attended to my feminine hygiene product.

I no longer am putting toxins in my body.

I've learned the location of my cervix. (Sad that it took until this experience discover this!)

It's so much easier than I expected it to be!

Upon return of my monthly cycle, I trekked over to Zoolikins and purchased a menstrual cup!

I highly recommend it

This doula also recommends celebrating your womanhood. That night, I treated myself to a nice dinner and simply felt amazing as my body resumed it's reproductive abilities. I felt so happy to be a woman, to be capable of growing and giving birth to new life. I really hope some day to have a daughter and celebrate this time of coming into womanhood with her. What will you, or have your done, to celebrate this time with your daughter?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thank you!!

Thank you to all who participated in the survey for my ethnography project of routine infant circumcision in America!!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!

This was an anonymous survey designed to determine the beliefs and understanding of American parents surrounding Routine Infant Circumcision. Some people left their names and/or contact information and some of you did not. I will begin with just a couple responses to some of you I was just dying to chat with and so wish I had the opportunity!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Women Improving Birth {Don't Hate, Let's Educate}

Birth is in shambles. What are we doing about it? Not much, really. Well, it's time for change. For the longest time I've thought "if only the system would change" or "if only I could change the system" but it's not going to happen that way. WE have to change. Women have to be the change.

The question arises - why are women continuing to go to OB's who misrepresent themselves, who have no respect for women and their birth choices, who make promises they have no intention of keeping?

It's because women have no clue.

I didn't with my first birth - and its sad - I SHOULD have known more. I was raised by an OB nurse who was deeply skeptical of the system - never took me to Drs, distrusted pharma and healed us with herbs my entire upbringing.

And yet when I got pregnant I hired an OB right off the bat...because "thats what you do."

My big concern? That she was a woman. I figured she would be more sympathetic and really know what she was doing since she had kids of her own. I didn't do research, I didn't worry about anything because I DID believe birth was natural and would happen naturally, BUT I also, very paradoxically, had hired a surgeon to attend my birth.

Looking back it doesn't make a bit of sense, but at the time it did; because the idea of there being other options simply didn't exist to me yet. When I got high BP in the last few weeks I wasn't concerned - but I was induced - I didn't even KNOW thats what was happening until a nurse told me. I had a 36 hour labor and both Ian and myself almost died. And everyone said WOW its a good thing you were at the hospital with all those doctors!! They SAVED YOUR LIFE. And I believed that for a long time. It's hard to opt out of that mindset - and most women haven't yet.

We need to be careful not to blame other women - because in most cases they just don't know better - and even when you start to know better its HARD to break out. It takes baby steps sometimes - and some women will never make it there. We can't spend our time being angry at each other for not "getting it." Its time to focus all our attention on education and on changing the system - so when my daughters find themselves looking at a pink plus sign their first thought doesn't have to be "lets go hire a surgeon". Should they have that right? Sure. But they should also know that they can chose a midwife or just trust THEMSELVES to birth their child.

And maybe we can never change the "system" but we can change the story for ourselves, and our children and maybe those around us. My first birth isn't the story I want to give my son - but there isn't any going back. We can however go forward and when you know better - do better.

Guest blog post written by Crystal Billington of Aniron Photography.  
Want to learn more about Improving Birth← Click here!
Live in Northern AZ? Like Improving Birth, Northern AZ on facebook 
and contact Guiding Angels Birth Services to find out what you can do to inspire change!

Contact info

Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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