I had a really interesting evening tonight. I ended up deciding kind of last minute to head over to Lunapads HQ for one of their "Lunacircle" gatherings, it was the first one I made it to so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect... The topic of the night was doulas and women's bodies in times of transition, and the conversation was led by two doulas - Danika and Andrea - from Fig Birth Services. And before anyone gets ahead of themselves, no I am not pregnant, I was just curious to go listen and learn (and it turned out to be pretty split between pregnant women or women who already have children, and those who haven't had kids or don't even plan to, which I thought was really cool!).
I think the big take away was: "Learn to listen to your body", because it sounds like that's the most important thing you really need to do during pregnancy and childbirth. A pretty on topic take away, since that's something I've been really working on doing over the last several months - and something I really struggle with. Connecting to what my body needs and really listening to it is a tricky thing to (re-)learn after trying to tune it out for such a long time...
But it was really amazing hearing about a couple of the women's experiences with home births (I won't go into any detail because I didn't know most of the other people there and would want to get their blessing first!), and also from the doulas who have witnessed many births, and how different a perspective they all have on the process. To me, it's still really scary, unknown, full of losing control, full of risk, etc. but to them, it's this very natural and powerful process.
I feel like it's too bad no women I am close to (like a close friend or relative who I actually see regularly) has had a baby yet, as it all still feels very mysterious and hard to imagine. It's been interesting learning (now that I feel more comfortable asking people about their experiences) more about what it's really like, not just from TV/movies (although the Ricki Lake documentary "The Business of Being Born", which I saw recently was quite good).
There were a few book recommendations towards the end, that I thought I'd share in case anyone is interested:
- Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
- The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth
I'm so thankful to Lunapads for all the amazing outreach and community building they do (it's been especially important to me this past year), and especially to Suzanne who has reached out to me several times and made me feel so welcome!
EDIT: Another lovely blog post about the evening is over on Megan's site Narrative Communications!
Off topic, but a little side story... On my way out, I walked pas the amazing wall of love, and saw this bolt of fabric standing there and it looked very familiar to me.
Sure enough, it was Harmony Art fabric! Lunapads is making lovely organic cotton hankies from it! Why is this exciting? Well, back when I was in university working on my Masters degree, I was kind of miserable, so to keep myself going (I should have taken this as a big clue back then, but live and learn) I started my own small business making organic cotton bags, housewares, etc. It was super hard to get organic/sustainable fabrics back then so I was ordering everything from the US and one of the only companies making prints was Harmony Art.
Harmony of Harmony Art had started her business right around the same time that I started City Girl Designs, and my bags were the first products on the market made from her fabric! Even though I retired my company when I started working after I finished school, I've always felt a special connection with Harmony and her fabric. It's just wonderful to see her continuing to thrive as a pioneer of sustainable textile design, what a joy to come across her fabric like this!