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Showing posts from November, 2011

Birth Special: Small Comforts

This week I've been running a special series of posts on one of my favourite subjects, Birth. On Monday, Michelle told the story of her empowering VBAC, and on Tuesday we heard Anna's story of her adoption experience, with a very surprising twist. On Wednesday Maddie from Developing Doulas shared some passionate thoughts about motherhood and pointed us in the direction of the fantastic website, One World Birth. On Thursday, Awen Clement wrote about the Red Tent Project, which hopes to create a travelling space in the UK for women and their many rites of passage. 
During the week an artist friend of mine has also been busy making a beautiful painting inspired by women's words about their 'post baby' bodies, especially for this blog. Late last night I shared images of her art work, and took the rather bold (or foolish?!) step of including a photo I took of my own tummy button, in the post Acceptance Nude.
I'm so thrilled to introduce the final guest post in this se…

Birth Special: Acceptance Nude

Before I had my two children, I really liked my body. I know girls are notorious for having bits of themselves they despise, but I liked all of me. I never really worked out, I never really watched what I ate, but I just had a great body, that looked good in clothes, and even better naked. Before you really start to hate me, here is a picture I just took of my tummy button:

This is what it looks like when I bend over. So if I'm naked, and reaching down to pull the plug out of the bath or pick up a discarded toy, this is what I see. As the three year old so beautifully put it, 'Mummy, when you bend over, your tummy goes all sort of melty-down.'

And I dislike it. I dislike it intensely. I realise this may make me seem shallow and superficial. But I'm afraid that I cannot quite accept the rather dramatic fall from grace my body has experienced; transformed, almost over-night, from something I willingly and happily flaunted, to something I'm keen to keep hidden from v…

Birth Special: The Red Tent Project

Today's post for the week long Birth Special comes from Awen Clement, a mother and trainee midwife, whose love of the book The Red Tent was one of the many reasons she felt called to become involved in this wonderful project. If you feel equally inspired, they would be thrilled to hear from you!

The Red Tent Project

"We have been lost to each other for so long. My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust.

This is not your fault, or mine. The chain connecting mother to daughter was broken and the word passed to the keeping of men, who had no way of knowing...

..And now you come to come hungry for the story that was lost. You crave words to fill the great silence that swallowed me, and my mothers, and my grandmothers before them."

( Prologue, 'The Red Tent', Anita Diamant)

Have you read Anita’s book? Did it speak to you? Did you feel a tugging of your soul, a tingle of ancestral memory that you couldn’t quite place? Even if you haven’t, do you have …

Birth Special: Mothers Matter

This week I'm running a Birth Special. On Monday Michelle told her moving tale of achieving the VBAC of her dreams, and yesterday, Anna shared a wonderful story with a truly unexpected twist about her experience of adoption. Today’s guest post comes from Doula Maddie McMahon. She writes with passion of the wonderful power of mothers and motherhood, and calls for a better world for those who bear and raise children. Maddie writes posts about birth and motherhood at, and offers Doula services and training in CambridgeUK. You can also follow her on facebook.

Mothers Matter…
Mothers nurture a growing child in their wombs, fiercely protecting that future human despite having perhaps been rejected by the child’s father, despite rape, poverty, despite extreme emotional and physical suffering.
Mothers give birth. Some hunker down and roar their babies out; lioness mamas ecstatic with earth-shattering power. Some dream their babies into the world – flowing, spiralling…

Birth Special: Adoption - A Beautiful Story with a Beautiful Twist!

Becoming a mother doesn't always mean giving birth. Some take a different, but equally transformative, empowering and arduous journey into parenthood. This week is National Adoption Week in the UK. Having worked extensively as a therapist with children in foster care I'm happy to do anything I can to promote this cause. I really hope the following story encourages those of you for whom the circumstances are right to explore the idea of fostering or adoption.

Anna's Story
Paul and I met in 1997, at the church we both attended. He was the youth leader and I was the youth! OK, so that’s not entirely true and sounds a bit sinister...he had been the youth leader and at 17 I was the youth! The usual comments about the 12 year age gap followed but we ignored them and married in 1999. We were both keen to have a family and started ‘trying’ for a baby shortly after our wedding. I had never been particularly ambitious and my only goal in life was to be a Mum so we thought we would get…