Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sifting with the Rebozo scarf (Manteado)

The sound is loud on this short video, but you can see some of the features of sifting.
"Mom" is on her knees on a pillow.
She rests her head on a chair. Her arms are relaxed and her belly is away from the chair. The rebozo cradles the baby. The helper stands close to her hips and lifts her belly upwards before beginning to rock her belly. Start slow and speed up when the mom is comfortable. Slow down before stopping so that the stopping is not abrupt. 2-3 minutes is long enough.
Sifting can be done at any time in pregnancy and between contractions in early and early-active labor.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The passage of trust

Yesterday, Deb McLaughlin came down from Duluth for a craniosacral meeting and stopped by my house for a lovely afternoon lunch and walk to the Minnesota River. (Yes, I know it was an icicle's width above zero. We were bundled and warmed by friendship.)

Deb then did some craniosacral with me and then some reconnective therapy. I didn't know that was what it was she called what she had done with me a couple times before. Very significant times in overcoming issues, the baggage of living.

My wonderful friend and chiropractor, Mary Grom, has been working on me lately, too.

Trust has often been an issue of mine. Feeling separate even with people who like me. Whether that sense of separation is an effect of having been molested as a child, or an effect of being an outsider, in terms of social background, let's call it, among the children I played with throughout childhood. Whatever, its not so much why, as it has been that disconnect that is too often the case with people.

So lying on my back on this padded table that Deb brought, She worked on the fascia of my head for a couple of blissful moments. Then, she did a very brief thing. She touched my heart. Literally. She called it, I think, a heart reconnection. It is something that is useful for people who have had a shock or are in grief. It felt like gently landing back in my body.

I felt beyond my body, though centered in my body. Weird talk, huh? And this feeling of pure trust was just there. And I thought, this is new. Yet...Why is this recently familiar?
And then,
I remembered.

Meaghann needed care so completely as she lost control to the brain tumor. She had around her women that she chose. She had her dad. Once fiercely independent, she now had to allow others to do everything she ever did for herself. After her initial discomfort, there was a period of wry humor, and then, she got to a place of simple grace and trust. And that is where I felt this feeling before. Meaghann showed it to me. She emanated it once she got spiritually and emotionally free in her vulnerability.

Thank you, Meaghann. Thank you, Deb. You didn't meet each other but you are certainly working together now. With me, and with the Birthing Ways' Meaghann Tully Scholarship Fund for Native Doulas.

"Magic is afoot. God is Alive."

The snow is deep (A poem for my sister)

Nov. 2007
In the cycle of grief, one comes reluctantly upon anger, or maybe anguish. The foot slams down on the break but there is no break. Time pushes you onward toward the inevitable death and loss and you don't want to go.

This poem is about my sister in anger that her daughter is slipping away. She has already lost her companion to the tumor. Lost her morning coffee buddy, the daughter/friend she has spent much of the last 14 years with 4 brain surgeries catching her and watching her back, as they would say. Meg was slipping fast, her tumor growing exponentially.

The sky was muted blues with purples taking over. Snow drifted deep around Kathy's little patio clearing. A slash of muted sunlight marked the path of the setting sun. Kathy stood outside, so her daughter couldn't hear her. This is the poem I wrote,

The snow is deep.
The mother, alert with care,
Watches her daughter in her sleep.
And later, into the icy air,
Shouts, "Not her!"

Not her, but then, the snow is deep
And the sun, barely a flare
Upon the horizon.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

BirthingWays and the Meaghann Tully Scholarship Fund for Native Doulas

Greetings all,

In pondering how best to honor Meaghann and her values of providing support to native children this is what we are doing:

A new scholarship fund is being created in honor of Meaghann Tully to provide support for Native women who wish to become doulas and serve their communities.

Contributions can be sent to me at the address below. Please make checks to: Birthing Ways and in the memo area “Meaghann Tully Scholorship Fund.”

Meaghann Tully Scholarship Fund

C/O Deb McLaughlin

31 W Superior Street, Suite 503

Duluth, MN 55802

I spoke with Gail about this. She was very pleased.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thank you for the kindnesses

Thank you for your kind thoughts and emails on the passing of my niece, Meaghann. She slipped away from us day by day saving the date to join Christ until Christmas Day.

I'm so grateful it was Christmas Day, because my sister will always be with family on that day in the years ahead. Serving her and her mother in the last weeks and months was as much a blessing for me as any help it may have been for them.

Please, if you have a chance to sit with a person who is facing death, please go. Speak with them about the daily things, crack a joke, brush their hair. Just be there. Your heart will hold more of what is valuable in life, and you will help them face another day in the struggle. Go, smile. Be there.

Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.