(I’m such a sucker for other people’s homes and spaces. Kate’s is cozy and colourful and gorgeous).
(That incredible painting, above, is by the wonderful Felicia Guitton)
(gorgeous Kate and little Charlotte)
(above: Charlotte and Natalie)
I spent most of last weekend in Halifax, the city where I met Lee, with two of my favourite women on the planet, and a sweet little girl. Natalie Arsenault (birth attendant extraordinaire, and creative genius behind the Moncton natural birth community and the third annual New Brunswick Womyn’s Summit) and her daughter Charlotte and I drove down on Saturday, to meet with Kate Varsava, our amazing colleague (and Halifax’s premiere–and only!–traditional birth witness). We had an absolutely hilarious great time staying at Kate’s gorgeous north-end home, hobnobbing, recording the next two episodes of the Bauhauswife Podcast (out soon!) and talking about birth. Kate had just returned from a two-month long trip to India, and I loved her stories and photos of the adventure (I hope you don’t mind all the photos of your beautiful room and house Kate! I couldn’t resist all the colour and beauty!).
We also attended a lecture by a lovely woman who has been working as a hospital doula for the past 15 years, and who is moving out of town and out of birth-work. The letter was very well-attended, and I got a glimpse of the diversity of the diversity of the birth-scene in Halifax. Some of what was shared resonated with me, and some of the content rubbed me the wrong way, providing lots of food for thought, and conversation fodder to share with my beloved friends.
Getting together for longer stretches of time with the women I love deeply doesn’t happen terribly often–playdates tend to be focused on kids, so this was such a treat. I do consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have friends who love me and get me. We psychoanalyzed each other and bitched and moaned about various things, and saved the world, as usual. I love the honesty and insights my friends provide. At one point, Nat stepped back and stopped me mid-rant to say, “Yo, do you not actually realize how incredibly radical your views really are? You’re basically a freak.” And then we laughed and laughed. That did make me think, though, about the discrepancy that exists for so many of us, between how we see ourselves, and how we occur in the world, for other people.
Nat knows me better than most, and she knows how my life works, and how it doesn’t, but thanks to some of her comments and some messages she shared with me from others (and some comments I’ve received directly lately), I’ve decided that an upcoming podcast will be all about “how I do it all”. There is no secret, I promise. Or rather, there definitely is a “secret”, but it isn’t glamorous. At all. 😉
Who do we think we are? This is a question that comes up most often for me, and I think for most of us, as an admonition; an expression of fear. It’s a shock to me when I hear that other women see me as especially confident, because I’m mostly terrified and doing it anyway. Which in the end, is the key.
In fact, most of my work with mothers around birth, both face to face and virtually, revolves around sharing specific techniques and technologies to deal with the fear that every single one of us feels, whether around birth, or pregnancy, or parenting. (Learn more about working with me, here).
Anyway. It was a lovely trip. It is a lovely trip. Thanks beautiful women.