Show of hands… how many of you that work outside of the home went right back to work after having your baby? For me personally, “maternity leave” wasn’t a thing for either kid. For the sake of relevance, we’ll just focus on my most recent child, born Memorial Day 2012. I was back in MBs the next day making sure things got handled, and less than 3 weeks later (because shit was falling apart), I was back in the shop FULL TIME with a tiny baby. Lucky for me (?), I was able to bring baby and nurse while I worked. As far as support was concerned, I was told (by the women with whom I’d started the damn New Parent Support groups) that I would not be “allowed to participate due to a conflict of interest”, or what therapists commonly refer to as a “dual relationship”. I was gutted. Not only had I actively created a safe space for new mothers, filling a void that long needed filling, I myself could have really used the support.
Long story short, we went our separate ways, and even though the store was bleeding money (likely due to my absence), I managed to regroup and re-brand the groups (which are awesome now, I must say) while I worked through my feelings. But it was fucking terrible. Trust me. This is a big reason that Jessica Shortall‘s video resonated with me. Watch the full video here for reference. For fun, I had Meg of Lucie’s List snap this quick photo of me as we were having our weekly “work from home” meeting. Because, real life. #yourewelcome. Just prior to nap time, I was getting really stressed out because my babysitter was out of commission. I panicked, and reached out to her helpline for support. After 12 solid grief-stricken minutes, as I watched my working-window wane, I witnessed a miracle chronicled in the following Twitter exchange: I swear… If there was such a thing as a stay-at-home mom *without* children present, you could go ahead and sign me up for that shit. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll just stick to working at the shop, “working from home”, or – my personal favorite – finishing up what I didn’t get done at work, while at home. For a good take on that clusterfuck, watch this video below…
Welcome to my birth story, 2.75 years in the making. Thanks for tuning in. Quick note before we get started: As mothers, we find ourselves apologizing for feeling good about/being proud of our birth experiences, because of those sanctiBirthers that have gone before us, rubbing their natural birth experiences in others faces and being generally gross about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that BS. I’m sharing because I want others to know that I’m not a hero (we don’t need another hero), and I’m not “brave”. And unlike most, I feel very comfortable in hospitals. In fact, I was raised in them :-). This was just a choice that worked well for me, and I was very lucky to have people who supported me on this journey.
Sunday, May 27th 2012. The day before Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. My un-due date was May 31st ish, and I’m funny about numbers. Having a baby on a Thursday seemed weird to me. Plus it had been hot that week, and if I’m being honest, I was kind of over it. This was going to be my first time actually experiencing “labor” due to the botched 4-day-induction sans epidural that was my first birth… D.r.a.m.a. that it was, it taught me that even I – world’s biggest whiner – could handle a homebirthavec OB/GYN + inflatable tub. We were all set. My mom (aforementioned OB) had flown in from Ohio about two weeks prior to aid in and facilitate this blessed event, and she was getting impatient. There were talks of breaking my water if it didn’t happen in the coming week because she had to get back to work, etc. I told her to back off and give me a couple more days, which she kindly agreed to… Provided that she and her uncle Tom the Preist could leave to watch the GGB festivites/fireworks.
I’d been meditating + evening primrose oiling and finally decided I felt something like irregular contractions that day, so naturally I downloaded “iContraction” & started live-tweeting/timing the waves. She checked me and I was about 3cm. I also was craving Zachray’s Pizza, so we sent out for it, and about 90min later, it was in my tummy. The day carried on without incedent, however my poor mom saw her GGB Anniversary window waning, and I could see the disappointment in her eyes as I told her that the dream may have to die. Alas, babies happen all the time in her line of work, and this was a once in a life time event. I plied her with the promise of making me miso soup and helping me rearrange the livingroom. by 9pm, we’d all felt a little cheated, so we sent the older one to bed, and promised to wake him up if anything got exciting… Also, I was still 3cm.
Note to those of you who’ve not yet had children and are wondering what early labor feels like: if you’ve grown up having painful periods, you’re halfway there. At midnight, I felt the overwhelming need to both vomit and diarreah at the same time. And because throwing up is the worst thing EVER, the only silver-lining here was that when this happens to your body, it means you’re really in labor. (p.s, I couldn’t eat Zachary’s Pizza for a good 6 months after this).
I drew a bath in a desperate attempt to self-soothe. At this point, I had not woken anyone else up, and because I was still thinking of others, I knew it wasn’t really time yet. As I began to drain the bathtub, mom whisper-shouts “shhhhhhh, don’t wake everyone up” from the living room. Rude. About an hour later, I could give a shit about anyone else’s comfort, and took up steady residence on the toilet… rocking myself as the waves came and went and came again… As I made my way to the kitchen, my then-husband whispered to me “let me know when things really get started, and let me know when you want me to do some of that stuff that we worked on”. Ummm… So like in the HypnoBirthing 2hr refresher session, I’m preeeeetty sure I was clear on the fact that when you’re in proper labor, you’re unable to communicate with those around you. My attempt to glare at him scathingly was likely perceived as indifference, and then I promptly fell to my hands and knees. If I could have rolled my eyes, I would have. Mom takes a look at this, and calmly says, “OK! Fill the tub!”… I flew into the thing, seeing this giant kiddy pool as my only saving grace. Turns out, I was fully in transition and my adreneline surge had already begun, thus making me feel like I was freezing cold. I demanded ex-husband make the water “hotter!”, however as I surfaced from my swandive, mom admonished all of us saying that babies cannot come out in scalding hot water. It was 4am. My girlfriend Lynne was eagerly awaiting her call-to-action, so when she asked if she should “come now or in an hour”, it was all I could do to muster a breathy, “now”. 6 minutes later, she was there, in my kitchen, supporting my entire body weight as mom began feeling for the baby’s head. We woke up Kyle, and he could barely contain his excitement. We got the in-laws set up with a live Skype feed so they could be a part of it all too. Uncle Tom the Preist was so peacefully observent, I often forget he was even there, negotiating with Jesus and whatnot. Contractions were on top of each other… And then. They just stopped. The tiny break was exactly what I needed (thank you, water). Side note, I only said “shit” and “this is hard” once. Which, if you know me personally, is huge.
Cue Video… there is very minimal editing done here (iMovie hates me), so we can go ahead and call this real-time. So, without further ado, I give you the last 5+ minutes of labor:
Thanks so much for watching and reading along, y’all. I’m so grateful for the support of my team, and even more grateful for having this second baby during the iPhone generation. I listened to that HypnoBirthing app every. single. night. and felt truly prepared in a way that never happened the first time. I suppose the moral of the story here is that I’m not special for having gone through this. And while I do wish it was a thing, NO, “birthing” is not my Superpower… You too can do this! If you’re interested in learning more about how the HypnoBirthing techniques can help you through labor, stay tuned. We’re gonna be doing a Q&A on the subject over at Ask the OB/GYN in the next couple days. NEXT UP: Placenta Encapsulation! (Eww… but yes. do it.) Stay tuned for post/video…
It seems as though this Venus retrograde we’re currently experencing is throwing both myself and a lot of my lady friends for quite the loop. Fear not, y’all. Like my cooking, my EO blending is both half-assed and lazy, but at times, awesomely lucky. This is one of those times.
Behold!!! The savior of overwhelmed moms everywhere: The “chill the F out” roll-on.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• roller ball cap (if you’ve already purchased yours, one comes in the new Young Living starter kit)
• empty bottle of Surrender (because it’s really pungent)
• sesame oil (NOT the toasted kind. The unfiltered good stuff.)
• 15 drops of Lady Sclareol
• 15 drops of Tangerine or Citrus Fresh
• 15 drops of Stress Away
Your empty EO bottles are great for repurposing into roll-ons. A child’s medicine dropper is a great way to decant the sesame oil into the smaller bottles.
In this episode of the Hey Gurl Happy Hour, Meg and I discuss all of those awesome alternatives to plasticware. You’re gonna wanna bookmark this one guys. Promise.
There’s a question about whether plastics are leaching chemicals that mimic estrogen into what we consume. Even BPA-free plastics have been called into question. Due to recently published studies on the link between plastics and early puberty in girls, we’re bringing you our take on plastic-free food and drink storage.
These alternatives are more expensive than throw-away Tupperwares and such, but they’re not going to melt in the dishwasher. Or give you cancer… or early boobs ;-)
Making the switch is a good investment, despite your mother’s attempt to talk you out of it. Politely tell her that exposure to certain toxins is a cumulative effect. The whole “well you guys turned out alright” argument that we always hear actually doesn’t apply here because we won’t know what damage has been done until we look at our grandchildren, so let’s give them a fair chance by doing our best.
Meg and I have curated a collection of our faves. Enjoy!
Well, that was fun… MBs getting some love from the San Francisco Chronicle today… w/shoutouts to many of our awesome lines. Also, they’re pretty spot-on with their description of me. Probably my favorite write up thus far:
“Yes, Reed is hip – she swears like a sailor, sharing her motherhood humor and vitriol on a punky blog”
… because your children just got home and you’re a good 5-6hrs from bed time. Also, to some, it’s too early for wine.
I’m new to this particular product, NingXia Red, and I found it tasty but a little sweet. I decided it made for the perfect sweetener for my usually disgusting ACV cocktails. Add some cold-water-soluble gelatin and your cellulite ridden thighs will thank you. To my vegan friends: I apologize. Vanity has taken over here, and I can’t help it.
• Fill your 22(ish)oz Lifefactory bottle about 2/3 of the way with water • Add contents of RED packet • Add 2ish oz of ACV • Add about a tablespoon (generous pour) of gelatin & SHAKE IT!
I really liked this when I tried it yesterday and it was suuper easy. Stay tuned for links to buy the NingXia Red (& possibly the gelatin) in both the webstore and in the shop. Coming soon!!
The other day, a Huff Post Parents article caught my eye due to its awesome title. The article was so good, I ventured into the treacherous lets-just-have-a-quick-look-at-the-comments territory for a hot second. Spoiler alert: it got me all pissed off, even though I know better than to read the goddamn comments.
Lucky for you guys, it reminded me of my mother’s favorite story about young Heather…When I was around 18mos old, I had perfect diction and a firm grasp of the English language. Despite her usually flagrant potty mouth, my mother took great care not to swear in front of me, as did her childless friends. So when a drunken college student belligerently stumbled out of Happy Hour, narrowly missing mom, grandma and me, I pointed and rightfully called him a “fuck-ING ASS-hole”. My mother was mortified, for there was no mistaking what I’d said. And while my grandmother stood there disapproving and ashamed, my mom could not figure out for the life of her where I’d picked up such foul language.
About a week later, we were driving somewhere when some fucking asshole swerved in front of us. Her ah-ha moment was a lot like what you might imagine. And to her shame, as the words were leaving her mouth, she glanced over to find me quietly nodding in agreement… Yesterday, a friend posted about her almost-3-y-o using colorful language at preschool, and taking it one step further saying she’d “heard it from daddy while he was driving”. Rude, btw. Outside of my happy-place-bubble where I keep my friends, are all y’all out there really judging us for this? So unfair. I feel like all bets are off in the car.
So here’s my question moms and dads:
Should driving swears really count against us? Please do feel free to weigh in here, as you clearly already know how I feel. Interestingly enough, I find driving a time when I curse the least… probably because I live in California, and the New York City driver in me died a slow death circa 2003. I’ve given up. I pass on the right, do not yield to faster traffic (forcing them to also pass on the right) and instead pray they get pulled over since no one should be going faster than me. I could not beat them, so I’ve joined them. Now I’m the fucking asshole, I guess :-/.
Kyle takes Colin out for some of The Lazy Chef shopping at our best, Dan’s Fresh Produce… Colin is not living his best life in this video, but these oranges were amazingly tasty. Shop more LILLEbaby here… enjoy!!
Yes… It’s the latest “it” thing. No… You’re not going crazy. Wearing giant children does have its advantages, even if you’re not so sure of them just yet. We talk about a few in our recent video:
New to MBs are the LILLEbaby & the Beco Baby toddler carriers. The smallest child I’d put in one of these is Colin and he’s nearly 3 and almost 30lbs. No, you cannot wear infants in these.
IDEAL TODDLER-WEARING SCENARIOS: • They’re being jerks about riding in the stroller • They’re being terrible and their self-preservation is nonexistent (i.e. running into the street, etc) • You’ve got a bigger kid whose carrier is currently being used by your new baby… and… • MutherFuckin DISNEYLAND
… with Meg + Heather. Yes, y’all. I’ve joined forces with Lucie’s List to bring you the latest in all things baby. But not like a bunch of boring shit. There will be good, bad & ugly on our show. Also, wine. And swears.
Have questions for us??? We’ve got answers. Whether you want to see your favorite product reviewed or are wondering if something sucks or not, we’re here to help. Tag your questions on our FB/Twitter pages with #HGHH (until we come up with something better) or leave us a comment below. In the meantime, enjoy :-)