Hurricane of Grace

ImageI had a dream I was preparing for a hurricane.   It was named Hurricane Ona. I was on a mountain face, with only a small jacket that could be made into a tent.  There were a few other people near me, and we were all just waiting. As the hurricane approached, I was surprisingly calm.  When it got close enough to see, I could see in the center of the hurricane a tiny baby.  (I know, my subconscious is a little obvious)   In the morning I looked up the name Ona and it was a girl’s name meaning Grace.   A hurricane of Grace is coming my way, in a very short time, in the form of a little baby girl.

The first time I was pregnant, even with everything I knew as a doula, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I was surprised by how hard labor was.  But when it came to postpartum, I was downright shocked at the reality of taking care of a baby day in and day out.  It was exhausting, upsetting, un-nerving and never-ending.  I just couldn’t fathom that all my clients and students had gone through this as well.

This time around, we are preparing in a totally different way: Less excitement, more hyper-vigilant planning and preparation.  Less folding onesies, more meeting with a team of people to support me on every level: Biologically, psychologically, and socially.   Less fantasy, more reality.

Last time, I was planning to have a postpartum doula for one or two visits.  This time she will be with us 2 or 3 times a week for two months.  Last time I had a loose list of folks who had offered to bring a meal. This time the care calendar is already in place, and the meals started coming in last week, two weeks before my due date.  Last time I was stubborn about facing and treating the low-grade postpartum depression that I suffered with for almost two years.  This time I’m seeing a therapist and psychiatrist before she’s even here.  Last time I was the only one to feed my son at night, and I didn’t stop night nursing until a year and a half.  This time I’ve got Grandma Baba and Daddy lined up to help feed her so I can get some sleep.  And although in some ways it feels less ‘magical’ and a lot more ‘practical,’ I am confident this kind of preparation and low expectations could actually create a more positive postpartum experience.

Through my process the first time, I became even more passionate about serving mamas beyond pregnancy, beyond the grand climax of birth, and into that postpartum year.  (yes, it’s at least a year)  Now at Yo Mama, we have Milk club twice a week, Mommy and Me yoga almost every day, Family yoga, workshops and support groups for mamas (coming soon).  We are mom’s second home after baby arrives, a place where you can show up with spit up on your pants, breastmilk all over your shirt, tears in your eyes, and receive nothing but love.  I love my mommy and me yoga class, where all the moms realize that they are not the only ones feeling crazy in the juggling act of taking care of a newborn.

And  this time, I am giving myself that same room.  To not be perfect.  To not hold it all together.  .   To not have all the answers, all the theories, to read the right books that are going to make me a perfect mom.  To accept the divine imperfection of motherhood, and know that I am enough.  To take in all the lessons that this little girl has for me. To allow others to hold me, as I hold this baby, this postpartum period, this hurricane of grace and grit.

The next time I write to you all, I may have a baby in my arms, and I look forward to continuing to share this journey with you


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. moonsprig
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 13:59:00

    Hi Katie! Congrats and best wishes to you for a beautiful birth. It sounds like you have great support set up, good for you! I just wanted to say that for me, the second baby was so much easier because I knew what I was getting into and all those preconceptions were gone. I knew I would mess up and that it would be ok. (plus knowing how to change a diaper and breast feed helps too!) And I knew the intensity would ease up in time. Hopefully this brings a small bit of ease to you. Love and Light


  2. Nancy Bolton Beck
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 15:25:33

    Hello Mama –

    End the home stretch now. I am going to share this post with the prenatal class. I *love *the image of Hurricane Grace.

    I will be thinking of you with tenderness and love.

    IF you have a chance and it is handy, could you please send on the email you mentioned that you send to women who have had a miscarriage.

    With prayers for a grace-filled labor and birth,


    PS I took a video with my phone on Sunday and am working on getting it into a format that I mail to you—-


  3. Klara
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 17:18:44

    Hi Katie!
    We only met once at family yoga – but I just read about your dream and loved the story…
    I wanted to share that in Czech (my language) – and a few related languages – Ona means ‘SHE’.
    Good luck with her and all the best 😉


  4. Caitlin
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 18:31:38

    Give to yourself all the grace you give and have given to others. There is NO WAY I could have walked my pregnancy journey without your wisdom, humor and support. Let us all extend that to you, Katie. Embrace. We adore you!


  5. Jenevieve
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 12:57:12

    E Divine Imperfection is Perfect!
    “To allow others to hold me, as I hold this baby, this postpartum period, this hurricane of grace and grit.” I LOVE this statement! So inspiring, so connected.


  6. Cassie
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 12:31:19

    What a beautiful image! Thank you for sharing and I hope Hurrican Grace is the most wonderful experience. 🙂


  7. Katie
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 16:25:26

    Thank you so much for your comments. The Hurricane was indeed graceful. 5 hour labor, peaceful home birth, and postpartum has been so much easier. I’ll be blogging again soon, after I stop staring at this little miracle.


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