Category Archives: MOTHERHOOD

motherhood /// birth story



i have tried several time to post a storyboard of photos but just keep coming back to these two, two powerful moments. the exact moment anais was born and the first time we made eye contact, they seem to speak about the intensity and the rawness of what becoming a mother is like. i keep replaying the day in my mind as not to forget the magic of these moments and those of the day. i have sat at this computer numerous times to write this out but nothing was able to evoke the power of what birthing a baby is like, or how it feels to welcome a new soul into your family  or how captivating it is to watch those you love fall instantly in love with this new being. there is power there, it is enchanting and miraculous, it is like no other moment in your life, you are forever changed and enlightened.

i set my intentions early in my pregnancy: gentle, loving, kind and painless. my first experience, with lucy, was long and the recovery was hard, to this day i still describe it as traumatic; like someone hit me with a mac truck and then threw a baby at me. i knew i wanted to do it differently this time around, take out the trauma and replace it with beauty. so everyday (and sleepless nites) i would send energy into that intention, i envisioned myself in labor and how i wished it would be, i focused on my hopes and sweet baby anais growing inside me and prayed that ali would be there to catch my baby. a few days before her birth (i was already in the early early stages of labor, i was having totally random contractions)  i started saying out loud that i just wanted to show up at the birth center fully dilated and ready to push. so on april 24th, like every other day, dave went to work, lucy and i went on with our routine of breakfast, playing, reading, etc… all while i was dealing with noticeable but completely random surges. i had a midwife appointment set for that afternoon and knew that once i left home i would be returning with a new baby. i was uncomfortable throughout the day, i took a hot bath and a few hot showers to alleviate some of the discomfort. lucy gave me a massage, at one point i was in child’s pose (there was a lot of pressure in my lower back) and lucy had the wisdom to sit on my sacrum and squeezed my hips with her legs, it was a moment i will never forget.

throughout the day i was checking in with dave and michelle (my sis in law) to let them know nothing had really changed and that we should just all head to the midwife together to see if they can get things going. i called ali (my midwife) to give her a heads up, we exchanged a few texts and decided we would just see each other later that day, unless i needed her sooner. meanwhile, i was making lunch and washing dishes and taking moments of pause when needed. i did notice that when i started moving around my contractions would lessen and grow farther apart, i tried laying down as much as i could to keep things going, i read and tried to rest. by 2:30pm the surges were getting a bit more noticeable but were still nice, so i knew i still had a while to go. i was having to slow down to get through them, they were 30 secs to a minute long and there was still no pattern, they were anywhere from 4-16 mins apart, i thought i was in it for the long haul and that i wasn’t going to deliver any sooner than 10pm that night. i kept my intention close, earlier in the day i read a quote that i wrote down and kept at my nightstand, “inhale trust, exhale fear”, it became my mantra. during these nice surges i would envision my cervix dilating (i really pictured a flower blossoming, would completely relax and sent that energy south) and i would smile. smile because i wanted this to be a happy experience, smile because i wanted it to change my physical composure, smile because i wanted to send that message to my body, to be proud that it could birth a baby, to be delighted that all this work is worth it, to be happy with feeling empowered.

so i continued to smile, when i hugged my sister in law when she arrived at my house, when dave got home, in the car, sitting in traffic and especially when i saw ali’s face once at the birth center. we arrived there around 4pm, settled in, checked mine and the baby’s vitals (my BP was off and high) and talked about where i thought i was at. my surges were still mostly nice,  i was able to carry a conversation, laugh and have total clarity. i was nervous about being checked because i didn’t want to be disappointed about being at 5cm or even worse at 3cm, i was thinking this was going to have to get a lot harder before my body was ready for pushing. ali needed to check me so she could get an idea of where we were and if she needed to call someone to take over her rounds, i picked a busy day to have a baby (by the time we left the birth center was full). so she checked me, i was at an 8 and her checking me moved me to a 9!! i cried! i was so happy! i looked at michelle and exclaimed, “an 8?!? that’s the peak of pain!” i was so thrilled and kept saying.” this is so awesome” over and over, i looked at ali and made a remark about the power of intention. i also looked to lucy and told her what a great job she did, she was with me ALL day while i was at home laboring and that she helped me get to this point! we now had to make a decision, i was given the option to lay down to bring my BP down and labor for a bit (my water hadn’t broke yet) or i could have ali break my water and have a baby. i chose the latter, laboring more didn’t sound too inviting. at 4:43 they broke my water and started running the tub, i laid down while it was filling, lucy changed into her swimsuit, i had a few powerful surges and then lucy and i got in to the tub at 4:53. there was a moment of utter stillness when i looked over and saw lucy sitting on the other side of the tub, in lotus pose, meditating. it was a beautiful site and made me giggle a bit, as i often wonder where this glorious child came from. i made a comment about not feeling the urge to push, then a few seconds later it came, i immediately went from lying down to on my knees and with my hands felt the baby’s head coming. i pushed, there was her head, i pushed again and there was her body. at 4:56pm anais wren was born. i immediately scooped her out of the water, lucy was already holding her hand and as a family we discovered that we had welcomed another little girl into our lives. her birth was everything i had hoped and wished for.

i had a few postpartum complications, a bit of hemorrhaging and a stitch. i still didn’t look like or feel like i got hit by a mac truck and even though there was a lot going on around/for me, i still felt very much loved, was treated kindly, was spoked to with gentle words and felt very safe.  i stayed at the birth center a bit for observation, to eat a meal and for security of having my midwife around just incase something changed. things slowly but surely remedied and we were on our way home. we were all in our pjs and in our own beds by midnight.

in the end, i was in labor for about 12 hours, labored at the birth center for an hour, pushed for 3 minutes and gave birth to a beautiful perfect soul. anais wren was 7lbs 8oz, 19″ long and had a head full of dark hair. and there is no surprise at all that her big sister is madly in love with her, as are we.


anais /// month one


this month has flown by with: recovery, adjusting to little sleep, learning to juggle two kids at two completely different stages of life, trying to make lunch while nursing a baby and homeschooling the other and still trying to take in all the moments of a newborn that go by so quickly. i have tried to sit down many times to write out anais’ birth story but it just seems too soon to share, too precious to send out into the internet just yet. meanwhile i am enjoying the sweet smell of this baby, her sleepy smiles crinkled nose and all, and trying to give as much love and attention to a special seven year old. life is full but we are okay.


motherhood /// mother’s day

photo-2 photo-3bird2
these are 2 of my 3 loves. my day was filled with chocolates, handmade cards, cuddles and not having to clean one single bit. we also got out for a bit to grab a cup of coffee, pastries and fancy grocery store shopping (one of my favorite guilty pleasures). hope your day was filled with love.


pregnancy /// stay in


being a second time mom, i am getting to do all the things that i didn’t know i needed or wanted the first time around. as i prepared for the remarkable journey of birthing a tiny soul i was able to get more in touch with some of my asian heritage. i recently heard the term ‘mother roasting‘ (aka: a stay in or rest in) and completly immersed myself in research, turns out its exactly what my mother did with me. in filipino culture (and korean), post partum moms are given 30 days to heal, rest, and bond with their new born babes, they are served a special diet of soups, teas, meals that warm and heal the body. new moms are kept warm, given hot oil massages, warm herbs and salts are applied to the belly, avocado and guava leaves are used for steaming the bottom which promote blood circulation and healing.

i am also doing benkung wrapping this time around, with my first pregnancy it just seemed too overwhelming to take on with so many other new things like: nursing, healing, sleepiness nites  but this time I am looking forward to the extra care and pampering. i have had a lovely friend encapsulate my placenta;  placenta encapsulation benefits are so amazing and aid in so many ways that i’m bummed i didn’t know about it my first time around. i can definitely see the difference.

most of all, i am fortunate enough to have a partner that is on board with making my postpartum healing a nurturing and loving experience and a mom who is willing to take care of the traditions that her foremothers have been doing for years. i am honestly thrilled to have 30 days of pampering and bonding with our new babe.


pregnancy /// labor and delivery


throughout this pregnancy my intention for labor and delivery has held steadfast, i have focused on a gentle, loving and painless birth, reminding myself there is no need for fear as i have done this before and that experience was completely doable. my spirit has been in a very internal place during this pregnancy causing for a lot of inner reflection, self compassion and love. its given me time to listen to the desires of my heart, to let go of expectations, except a possible career change and remind myself that the universe is ever flowing. i thankfully found this book which gives me a bit of time everyday to focus on the importance of pregnancy and allows me to truly focus on the being inside of me.

i was also lucky enough to have been given a blessingway/baby shower a few weeks ago where i was surround by women who are wise, creative and supportive. my best friend, rhonda, hand poured candles for everyone to take home and to light once i go into labor, as a way to remind them to send positive thoughts my way. we also made a birthing necklace for me to wear while in labor as a reminder to me that i am surrounded by love and support.

so now i just wait, relishing in the quiet and stillness allowing these moments to naturally create a space that is loving and nurturing.