Sunday, July 27, 2014

Telling Women They Can't Talk About Their Awesome (or Upsetting) Birth Experience- THIS Needs to Stop

That is me. I am holding in my hand a magazine that I have an article published in. I am so stinking happy that this happened to me. (You probably want to buy a copy now, so it was "Pathways to Family Wellness" issue 41, Spring 2014.) And I have every right to brag about it.

Yes, I have come out of my blogging coma to write a tiny bit of angry tripe aimed at some other blogger. Look at me go!

So another childbirth educator I work with shared this little gem on a private group I am on:
 "Pregnant and new moms who boast on social media: It's time to stop"
If you manage to make it through this annoying piece of "I'm so offended you had a great birth," bit of fun then congrats, you did better than I did.

What is wrong with this article? Well, many things. I have contemplated listing them in alphabetical order or in order of importance, but I am just going to go ahead and start.

1. Finding JOY in other people's JOY is a sign of character. 
Being annoyed when somebody else is happy about something awesome that happened in their life...well, let's just say it is a sign that you don't have character. And yes, we should try to find joy in the happiness of others EVEN IF they are happy about something that has been denied us. That is what we try to do when we try to be good human beings.

Is this always easy? Absolutely not. That doesn't mean we shouldn't make an effort and it certainly doesn't mean we are RIGHT when we are grumpy about every good breastfeeding or birthing experience (or job or graduation or family vacation or any of the other numerous things that people post selfies of on social media).

Being a stick-in-the-mud when something good or triumphant happens for another person doesn't just make us grumpy, it makes us jerks.
This mom is overjoyed at her natural birth. GO HER! (shared with permission.)

2. Keeping our mouths shut because we might offend and injure the precious flower that is the ego of woman is downright stupid AND it takes feminism back to the dark ages.
So, let me get this straight...Women are liberated. They want good jobs. They want to make choices regarding their health care and their reproductive organs. They run companies, countries, homes, and tons of other things. They are smart and strong.

But WAIT! Don't post about your great birth on instagram! You might offend one of these powerful women and then she will cry and hate herself!!! OH NO!! You hurt her FEELINGS!

OK. Give me a break. Seriously. I am a woman I can tell you right now that I am way tougher than this. If I can handle the right to VOTE, then I can handle an instagram selfie of somebody who did something I didn't do.

Get off this RIGHT NOW. Because when you talk like women can't handle it when another woman "brags" then you are acting like we are all idiots who basically don't have the basic ability to survive waking up in the morning.

And we do. For goodness sake, give yourself and all of us more credit than that. This makes me absolutely ill.

3. Claiming that women shouldn't "brag" is ludicrous.
This woman had a VBA3C. Yeah, I think she should brag about it.

You know, I read another article recently too. It was in the Atlantic and it concerned the "confidence gap" between men and women. The authors claimed (and had some decent data to back themselves up) that women lack confidence in general and tend to NOT pipe up with their abilities, ideas and expertise when they should.

The result? They don't get promotions, they don't move ahead in the business world, and this is one more reason women lag behind men in certain areas. Not lack of ability, but lack of WILLINGNESS to TALK about their ability.

The worst part? Women are just as bad or worse at putting the smack down on confident women.


You know what- I am acquainted with many men. And you know what else, it is not unusual for them to have an inflated sense of self. Why are we OK with this in men and not OK with this in women?

I am just going to go ahead and give women everywhere the go-ahead on this one. You do something that makes you proud? Brag about it. It just might get you promoted.

4. Assuming that because women have pain relief or c-sections means they wanted it means you just don't get it.
Yes, some (many?) women want and like their epidurals or cesareans. That is just fine with me.

But you know what? Many women are not happy with those things in their birth.

I love birth and an interesting thing happens when I talk to women. When I tell them I teach birth classes, they tell me about their birth.

And I listen.

I listen if they had a c-section or an unassisted birth. I listen to what they have to say. Because I love birth and I think women have a DEEP need to talk about their births.

You know what I hear when they talk to somebody who is just sitting there listening?

I hear a lot of pain.

Just the other day I talked to a woman who told me she had needed two cesareans for the births of her children. She told me why. She then expressed sadness over those births.

Her sadness wasn't based on an instagram pic she saw of some celebrity after a home birth. She was sad within herself because SHE (nobody made her feel this way) felt like SHE should be able to give birth naturally.

I didn't impose this feeling on her. I did not PROJECT disappointment in her. Nobody did.

And this is the case for many women.

Yes, some are perfectly at peace with surgical birth, but not all. And this sadness (I believe) is not inflicted by the natural birth community. I mean seriously, almost NOBODY has babies naturally! We are a freak sideshow. Women have an inborn NEED and desire to birth their babies the way women have for generations.

Should they feel broken or like failures because they couldn't? Absolutely not and nobody thinks they should! But women DO feel this way, and when we say they only feel this deep sadness and regret because somebody "made" them feel that way, we both discount the free will and power of women everywhere, we also totally discount their feelings regarding their own birth experience.

Frankly, this makes me ill. Again. This article made me feel ill twice.

5. Assuming that women had cesareans or pain relief because they NEEDED it also makes you a fool.

The author assumes that BECAUSE something happens a lot means it is NECESSARY. Ahem...not so. The fact that something happens a lot just means that it happens a lot.

"So, if the majority of women need intervention or pain relief when giving birth" says she.

Sorry cowboy, not true. Just because something happens doesn't mean it HAD to happen. Do I really need to go further with this one? I mean where the heck does this false logic come into play and gain acceptance?

"Well, people in America drink milk every day THEREFORE people in America MUST NEED to drink milk everyday."

I am getting ready to bang my head against the wall right now. GAH.

There is NOTHING that justifies a c-section rate over 30%. NOTHING. So don't say that again. There is nothing that justifies the claim that all women (or 80% or so) NEED pain relief in labor. Nobody likes pain in labor, but seriously, that never killed anybody. Other stuff in labor, yes. Pain, no.
In conclusion, (I feel like I am writing an essay in the fourth grade. I just said "in conclusion.") can we just stop this? I mean really.

I had four babies naturally. They were great experiences. I have done lots of other things in my life that make me happy or that were goals that I worked for and then accomplished. I breastfed for over six years, I have been published, I finished college, I stayed married for 14 years, etc, etc, etc.

I will admit that I don't put that stuff on twitter or Facebook or whatever. That isn't my style. But I don't begrudge other women for sharing their triumph over something awesome.

When a woman has a natural birth (or any kind of birth!!!!) it is a big deal! Birth is hard work. It hurts. It takes a long time. It is an enormous effort. And we have EVERY right to brag about it and talk about it and share our joy!

Our real friends won't tell us to keep it to ourselves or "stop it". They will celebrate with us because they love us. Those that do otherwise...

Well, thank goodness for the un-friend option.

Monday, June 30, 2014

"Free to Breastfeed- Voices of Black Mothers"- A Book Review

Melek Speros, founder of Black Women Do VBAC and Birth Boot Camp instructor in Austin, TX, nurses her VBA2C baby.

At the recent birth roundup in Tarrant County, TX, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, author, IBCLC and book editor and publisher at Praeclarus Press. Her presentation table was filled with books about birth I had never read but knew needed to be shared with others. Dr. Kendall-Tackett was kind enough to send me on my way with a healthy stack of books for my reading pleasure.

The first one I chose to read was titled “Free To Breastfeed” by Jeanine Valrie Logan and Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka. I had recently done an article on breastfeeding resources and was able to find very few books dedicated specifically to supporting Black women in their breastfeeding journey.

Black women have some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country. According to the CDC,
Black infants consistently had the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration across all study years. Black mothers may need more, targeted support to start and continue breastfeeding.”
Not only are breastfeeding rates among Black women even lower than the dismal national average, infant mortality is worse. Knowing the positive impact that nursing at the breast can have on both infant health and the mother/baby dyad, we must find ways to encourage and support breastfeeding among all women, especially those who are the least likely to nurse. It seems as though there is a need for more literature in this area.

“Free to Breastfeed,” is a book full of information, positive stories, quotes and wisdom. Written by dozens of women and quoting dozens more, it combines the voices of many to help the individual succeed in breastfeeding.

I no longer breastfeed anybody and probably never will again. Nor am I a Black woman searching for support. Still, I loved this book. It was easy to read, peppered with inspiration, and filled with diverse voices of all different kinds of women. Those with cesareans, VBACs, natural births, single children, numerous babies, and all different kinds of lives told their stories.

I think we as women almost NEED to hear the birth stories of our peers. The diverse stories of birth help us understand the miraculous nature of something which is different for each yet shared by all mothers.

There is also a need for breastfeeding stories. Like birth stories, these tales of breastfeeding help us understand that each journey is as different as the woman on it and these differences, joys, hopes, and disappointments, can help us on our own way. Probably at no time have these stories of breastfeeding been as important as they are now. With increasing virtual connections but disappearing real ones and with generations in a row where the blessing of nursing was lost, books such as this are needed.

“Free to Breastfeed” is a wonderful book. While written by and for Black women in particular, it deserves a place in the library of any birthing/breastfeeding woman. It will have a place in my lending library where it can reach more women, tell more stories, and help more people than just me understand how differently each of us experience the dance of breastfeeding.

You can find “Free to Breastfeed” here, from Dr Kendall-Tackett’s publishing website (Preclarus Press). I wouldn’t limit it’s power to women of color; it is useful to anybody seeking healing or success in breastfeeding. An excellent addition to the library of any birth worker, I highly recommend this volume of knowledge and inspiration.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Your Midwife Is Not Your Therapist (Or Your BFF)

This is Freud. He was a therapist. 

The midwife.

Some place her on a pedestal, others vilify her as a witch.

Those that love and choose midwifery care sometimes make them out as sensitive, floating apertures of real midwives, perfect versions of what they "should" be but cannot possibly be in a real world.

If we are being fair, you can't possibly expect your midwife to be everything on the list below:

-your therapist
-your husband/partner
-you personal trainer
-your nutritionist
-your life coach
-your doula
-your childbirth educator
-your own personal charity
-your clergyman
-your babysitter
-your housekeeper
-your advocate
-your photographer
-your massage therapist
or many other things that midwives are often expected to be.

Of course many midwives excel at many things on this list, but nobody excels at all of them, nor should they. More importantly, we should stop expecting them to.

The Midwives Alliance of North America defines a midwife as,
"Midwives are experts in normal birth and adept at ensuring excellent outcomes for women and infants. "
Pretty cool, pretty important, but certainly not a catch all for filling every possible emotional and physical and spiritual NEED that a pregnant and birthing woman may have.

I really love midwives. But I have to admit that we as women often expect more from them than they can give.

They are human. They have bad days. They make mistakes. They also lack the ability to be everything to everybody in every situation. Have you ever TRIED to be one person's everything, to make them completely happy and fulfilled all the time? Trying to do so is a great way to make yourself absolutely miserable. (This might explain midwife burnout.)

We cannot expect somebody to listen to your every complaint, brush your hair, comfort you in every possible way in labor and do it for dirt cheap or for free.

A midwife exists to catch your baby, to watch your birth and make sure it is as safe as possible and to make the call and get you somewhere else if that is what is needed. That is about it. THIS IS A HARD AND SOMETIMES THANKLESS JOB.

Frankly, the way women sometimes treat and talk about their midwives who give so much for so little just makes me ill and feel a little ashamed of my gender.

It is not her fault if your birth isn't perfect, if you husband is a jerk, if you don't get exactly what you want or if (heaven forbid) you feel pain in labor.

Yes, hold them accountable when they are negligent, stupid, unprofessional and unethical. This should happen to everybody in every profession. (Yet midwife witch hunts have not disappeared. They are alive and well online and in our communities.) But expecting consequences when there is a serious breech of ethics is NOT the same as trashing on somebody because they couldn't give you something that frankly, nobody can.

For goodness sake, give these women a break. (This goes for all medical providers- YES- including OBs!.)

Photo credit: Psychology Pictures / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Motherhood- It's A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Growing up I remember one consistent thing about Christmas- my mom seemed to get fewer presents than anybody else. The kids always got the most, things flown in from grandparents, parents, and other relatives. Mom always got something nice from dad and maybe a few things from us, but just a few.

Today is Mother's Day and oh...

I have had some awful Mother's Days. One year my husband slept while I cleaned the house and cooked. I ended up furious taking everybody to Taco Bell and then buying It's-It ice-cream sandwiches at a roadside liquor store. (By "everybody" I mean everybody in the house except him. He was left behind.) I then drove until I was no longer livid and went home. I re-payed him on Father's Day by taking a nap and not making dinner. (I am so grown up and forgiving. Can you tell?)

Sometimes Mother's Day has just seemed like a big fat day for disappointment- even more than the usual. Somehow I would expect great things, recognition, a load off, from the people around me and it would just turn out to be a regular day where the laundry piled up and everybody seemed to be fighting.

At a meeting today there was a soon-to-be new mom, pregnant and due any day. All the mothers were asked to give her advice. I wanted to say one thing--that being a mom is hard often for one reason- it is a marathon and a very long one. You won't know for years and years how your kids will turn out or how this will all end. You may not be rewarded every day. The moments that are hard are often accompanied by sleep deprivation, powerful emotions, fear, and compounded by all the regular every day struggles that come in any life even without children.

It is so hard in those moments (for me) not to get discouraged and caught up in the now.  I really struggled when pregnant with my fourth. My third was still waking up every hour or two through my pregnancy and I felt like jumping off a cliff or screaming or doing awful things- I wish I knew then that that moment was a great big mountain, but that I would eventually reach the top. Now everybody sleeps through the night. I get a good sleep almost every night.

I wish I looked at those hard times as moments rather than the entire journey. I wish I had paced myself, forgiven myself, walked away, said a prayer, accepted that I didn't and couldn't control the will of another human (even a tiny one), and just taken a deep breath and truly, seriously, understood that this was just a moment.

Motherhood is a very long journey. It is the ultimate marathon. It will be difficult physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

There will be days, even months with rewards that seem invisible.

But I believe that they will someday come.

My mom gets more presents at Christmas now than anybody else.

I for one understand her better than I ever did. I forgive her more because I realize how hard a time I have without the challenges that she carried.

Today, I woke up and walked the dog and came home to my three older children furiously wrapping gifts for me. Some were made at school with their teachers. Many were home-made little bracelets and drawings and recycled things they had found around the house. I got a Valentine's candy box with all the chocolate spots filled with rocks and trinkets.

Even now, though my children are young, they remember me and do kind things for me. It seems like just yesterday that I felt as though nobody loved me. Now the love they show me is more than I can even open my arms for.

It isn't over yet and there will be more hard times, more mountains, more disappointment and sorrow. But I hope you know and I hope I can remember that this is a race worth running and that it doesn't matter at all how others seem to be performing.

People sometimes (often men) talk about how motherhood is the hardest job. Sometimes I feel like this is done in a condescending way. I don't care for it too much.

But motherhood is hard, but it is also glorious. I feel as though I can touch the divine sometimes- not just because I see the beauty of the heavens in their eyes, but because I am brought to my knees in such a way that I can actually sense the divine within me.

I am so grateful for motherhood, for my children, for this gift, and even for the times that are so difficult for me. I am grateful now for the times where nobody thanked me, when nobody cared, when I never slept and when I felt like nothing to all those around me.

Because of those moments the love I feel now is so much sweeter- both for my own children and for my own mother, and for my heavenly parents too.

Chin up ladies- we can do this. But I think it helps if we have each other.

Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day! And if it sucked, I feel your pain. Someday it will be better!

Photo credit: AndrĂ©-Francois Landry / Foter /Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hanging Out With Martha Sears

I took a sudden trip to Dallas/Fort Worth recently to participate in the Tarrant County Birth Round-Up. I felt terrible about leaving my family and all the imposition it was, but I had a wonderful time. (Thanks everybody who made that happen.  The list is long.)

I loved the first talk from Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, I loved listening to Jill Arnold from (and I had lunch with her!) I loved everything!  I had dinner with Dr and Martha Sears- TWICE.  I had the opportunity of listening to Jennie Joseph, a midwife doing some amazing things down in Florida. There were good times! A VBAC panel, with Melek Oz Speros and much, much more.

I hadn't planned the trip, but last minute I was asked to sit next to Martha Sears and lead a discussion with her. I had a horrid attack of something I won't mention the night before (Note to self: never eat goat cheese ice-cream, even if all your friends are doing it if you know you are lactose sensitive. It will be a very bad choice and it will try to exit your body as quickly as possible.)

I wasn't feeling that well but it was an honor to sit next to this woman.

I have experienced a sort of love/hate relationship with what is known as attachment parenting in the last few years. I started of strong, having read The Baby Book and The Birth Book (written by The Sears crew) with a solemn pledge to never let that baby cry. I even had a tender term for those little bald spots on the back of other people's children's heads- the "neglect spot." And as you may have guessed, my first baby never had a "neglect spot" because he slept in the arms or on the chest of a loved on for the first year of his life.  Yes, he did.

As expected this devotion soon turned to abject exhaustion, especially since I was pretty much on my own, far from family, and had a hubby who lived at school during that time.

I never really looked back after my AP discouragment and just stopped reading books and started trying to parent in a way that was good for my kids, but encouraged their own independence and also didn't make me want to jump off the nearest balcony from being reduced to a shadow of myself.

But listening to Martha talk and answer questions from a room full of mothers who are just trying their best to do right by their children and survive the process intact, was amazing. I mean, truly, amazing. There were tears just listening to her talk- not just about advice on what to do but on admission of her own faults and flaws as a mother.

She wasn't perfect and she admits it!

I can't even tell you how comforting this was to me. I think after reading their books and knowing that she willingly parented eight children and knowing that I can't handle the four I have (HALF what she did!) I just thought she was perfection personified. All the talk of hugs and gentle discipline, I pictured her being a constantly baby wearing/breastfeeding/embodiment of patience. (Oh, she writes books too.)

But she talked about the things she did wrong. She talked about balance. About forgiveness. About spirituality. About getting help and taking time to be with your friends or alone. How did I never understand this?

Turns out, attachment parenting isn't perfection like I had begun to believe. It isn't pushing yourself past your own sanity so that you can raise deeply selfish brats who think the world revolves around them.

It is about being loving and kind and connecting to our children. But it isn't so about giving more than you have to give.

If the legendary founding mother of Attachment Parenting did it well, but not perfectly, then what more could be asked of me?

The whole experience just actually blew my mind. I can't really get over it.

Martha Sears was awesome. You should read her books. Her husband wrote them too.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cut, Stapled and Mended (A Book Review)

You know I love birth stories, but even more, I love birth books. A birth is so much more than just the act of giving birth- it is history, drama, emotion, love, hope and sometimes dissapointment, all rolled into one. To really understand a birth you need to know so much more than just what happened in the 18 hours of labor.

That is what Cut, Stapled, and Mended is- three birth stories, completely told by the women who lived them and learned from them.

Written by Roanna Rosewood, Cut, Stapled and Mended, is about cesarean section.  However, unlike so many cesarean section books out there that dwell on numbers and risk factors and other deeply important but measurable things, this book focuses on the emotional journey of one woman. After all, each cesarean is performed on a single woman and I think we need to humanize those percentages so we can understand the depth of what is actually happening to all these millions of women.

Autobiographical in nature, Cut, Stapled and Mended follows Roanna Rosewood on her quest for an elusive natural home birth. While many women are experiencing cesarean section today, Roanna was one of a small but growing group of women who planned for a home birth, but had something very different happen.  

I believe that birth will always have an impact on a woman, no matter her expectations, her preparations, or her beliefs.  But I also feel a special sense of tragedy for women who so strongly desire and so furiously prepare for a natural birth and have surgery instead as their home birth slips through their fingers.  

Such was the case with Roanna.  She experienced not one, but two cesareans (both home birth transfers) in her travels as a maturing woman. She spends thousands seeking every possible natural or alternative practitioner she can find searching for someone who can give her the best chance at achieving the home birth she yearned for. While many of these alternative measures might seem strange to the more mainstream among us, they help us understand the lengths she is willing to go to have a better birth.

In the end, she finds peace, healing, and something much more- an appreciation for the uniquely feminine power within her. This is what I loved about the book. I think one of the most damaging things about modern obstetrics and even just American culture is that women often unknowingly don't value the things that make them feminine or their relationships with other women. Her realization is one that we all should have no matter our birth experiences. Too many women hate their feminine side and thus themselves.

I found this book both heart wrenching, eye-opening and in the end -- joyful. Roanna details her emotional, physical, spiritual and mental journey towards healing through her pregnancies and births. This ability, to open her heart and her pain for other birth workers, like myself, who have never experienced surgical birth, is a gift.

While we crunch numbers and debate techniques and policies, often what is lost is the very real but often glossed over, emotional struggles that women experience as they prepare for birth after a birth that was traumatic for them.

Roanna asked me if the book left me feeling depressed. You know what- it didn't at all. I feel like the word "empowering" is over used, but appropriate in this situation. The book is a story about two births that don't go as planned and the journey to VBAC. For me the book was the opposite of depressing- it gives hope for women even those told they could never safely VBAC. She does something that nobody seems to believe she can do. Birth can be triumphant even when the only person who believes that is the mother herself.

I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend Cut, Stapled and Mended both for women seeking VBAC ( especially after a home birth transfer), birth workers, and any seeking to better understand the emotional journey towards VBAC.  

You can find Roanna’s website here. Her book is available there and on Amazon. She is the managing director of Human Rights in Childbirth ( and can be found traveling and speaking.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Hannah, Delivered," A Novel About Birth (Book Review)

There are few things better than opening the mail to find a thick book awaiting you.  Brand new, perfect, unblemished, full of potential.  I just love it.  Kind of like getting a new baby.  Well....

The day before "Hannah, Delivered" by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew showed up in my mail I had started a new Jo Nesbo mystery.  If you have ever read Nesbo and you understand my deep love of murder mysteries from countries where the sun never actually comes out, then you would not even need to read the rest of this review.  I opened up "Hannah, Delivered" and PUT DOWN MY JO NESBO book ("Cockroaches") and started reading "Hannah" instead.

That really says it all.  "Hannah, Delivered" was that good.  I couldn't stop reading it.  It sucked me in and kept me glued to it for the next two days until I had devoured the whole thing.

So what is "Hannah, Delivered" about?

Simply put, it is about birth.

Oh, but ladies, we know that birth is so much deeper than just birth, don't we?!  And so is this book.

Quick run down:

Hannah is the main character.  A Midwestern preacher's daughter who is living a pretty ordinary life as a desk jockey in a hospital when her mother dies.  You know, I think that death is sometimes harder when we have unresolved issues with the person who passes than if we love them perfectly, and I felt like this was the case with Hannah.  She loved her mother, but didn't understand her motivations, her passions, or her behaviors.

One busy night in the hospital Hannah gets dragged into a birth with the midwife on duty and witness a primal, natural birth.  And she is hooked.  She heads off to midwifery school in New Mexico to change her life.  She is exposed to things she never experienced before, finishes school and moves home to practice in a state where home birth midwifery is illegal.

The story culminates on two fronts- as Hannah discovers the mysteries and deep impact of her own birth and prepares to assist a mother at home expecting a breech baby.

"Hannah, Delivered" explores so many things.  The deep importance of birth on the baby, the mother, the father and on their entire life together as a family.  Birth is truly a momentous event.  It is said over and over in the book that "The way we are born matters" and when you get down to it, that is what "Hannah, Delivered" is about.  The way we are born matters.  It matters to Hannah and it matters to every woman.

The story also follows Hannah's decision to assist (or not assist) a mother with a previous traumatic birth who is dead set on delivering at home but who is expecting a breech baby.  "Hannah" explores not just the emotional and spiritual impact of how we are born, but the complex and often ugly politics surrounding the choices women have (and don't have) when it comes to birth.

I loved the book.  I hope it does work as a novel that advocates for birth can never really do when we tell people things using statistics and studies and intellectual understanding. Birth is so much more than can be put in a study. You can't quantify the impact of a birth on a woman and her children and her very psyche.  It can't be counted and placed neatly in a double blind study. Those who think so don't really understand it.

"Hannah" tells a fictional but very real story about the depth, the breadth, and the politics that surround how we are all born.  It matters how we come into this world.  It always has and it always will.  Hannah teaches us that our own births and the births of our children, and even the births of those women and mothers around us touch us far more than we will ever know.

Check it out.  You won't regret it.  (Your kids might because you will be busy for a few days, but that is another story.)


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