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Things are so busy here!  I’m going this weekend to beautiful Asheville, NC to get some prenatal yoga training for pregnancy and labor.  I was on the radio last night.  I’m working on another radio piece to air in May.  Preparing for some upcoming classes.  Then, Deladis starts real kindergarten in August, so I am ordering the curriculum because we will be staying home for school for sure.  I am so darn excited!  Our school is The Confluence Homeschool, and we are eclectic homeschoolers with a seasonally inspired curriculum that fits in with our lifestyle really well.  And to beat it all – the curriculum I have found is only $50 for the whole year!

Our garden is going well, though I haven’t gotten to work it much myself. 😦  Spinach is ready for eating and the broccoli has sprung up real nice in the last week.  I hope to plant some zucchini and squash when I get home and maybe some corn and beans.  Ivy has been sick and where we moved the garden away from the cabin, it has been hard for me to get down there to work.

We had our first collective meeting for The Confluence, which is what we are calling our project here.  We are looking to organize our educational efforts into a real opportunity for us and anyone interested.  We’ll have art, traditional music, history, sustainable living, childbirth education, food ways, and so much more. hehe

I hope to be able to write more as we get into May.  Things are really clumped up after the hard winter, but I think it will slow down again soon.  Hopefully, I’ll have more pictures. 🙂

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Today is a rainy Monday in the mountains.  It’s been sweet though.  I just got word that the first baby born whose parents completed my childbirth class series was born!  The birth went wonderfully and mom and babe are doing great!  This makes me smile no matter how hard it rains.

Birth for me is the biggest miracle.  In everything pregnancy, labor, and birth is, you can’t deny that it is miraculous.  I don’t care if you are the most spiritual person in the world, or think spirituality is a crock, I believe everyone agrees that the act of birth is amazing.

It was about 40 minutes ago today, two years ago that my water broke in Karma Cafe on busy Bardstown Rd. in Louisville, Kentucky while I waited with John and Deladis for our dinner and my journey to my Ivy began.  She was born on the 28th at 2:12am chubby and red with a head full of black hair and fuzzy ear lobes.

I loved being pregnant.  I loved my large, hard, round belly.  I loved waiting for her and not knowing if she was a boy or girl.  I loved labor.  The ebbs and flows, as hard as some of the waves were to ride.  To hold her was real rest.  To nurse her was completion of a life cycle.  To be her mother is a gift.  Pregnancy and birth is a true gift.

I have been subject to or seen a few different instances of women threatening other women and accusing them of atrocious things the last weeks all in the name of mothering and child rearing.  I knew in my heart and through my studies of childbirth and parenting that the accusations had no merit, but it still hurt my heart all the same.  In one instance I became reactive and posted an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics to try to show that the women being accused weren’t in the wrong and that every woman’s choices in mothering are different and based on the information she learns firsthand, from relatives and friends, and from reading and research.  Two women might come to two different conclusions depending on the information they have and cultural influences on parenting.  But, there are certain choices that are strongly backed by research and supported by reliable organizations.  Despite this, I’m learning that some people for whatever reason don’t care for why a choice is made or how a choice is made, but only their belief that that choice is wrong.

The fact of the matter is that most of us want the very best for our children and we work hard to do the best we can to provide that for them.  Sometimes we will make mistakes, or learn that something we did wasn’t the best.  Some of us will feel guilty for awhile and try to make up for it.  Others of us will pick up where we left off and take our knew knowing and apply it to our day to day.  Really, in nurturing our children, providing them with the best nutrition we are capable of, proper shelter and clothes, doing what we know to provide them with preventative healthcare, and allowing them room to explore and supervision to keep them safe, and with guidance when needed, we are doing our job.  We do the best we can.

What saddens me is that when mothers/women disagree they do so in such a way that can often lead to unnecessary hurt, heartache, and harsh words.  Why when we encounter choices different from ours can we not share what we know and listen intently to what the other woman/mother knows and conduct ourselves in non-threatening ways.  It is too sad that we can’t seem to support one another in life.  We could help each other become better mothers, better people, but what we can do is clouded by judgment and arguments.  If there was anything to be learned, it is often absorbed into the malicious words we speak to one another and those works do no good.  It then makes womanhood/motherhood an almost isolating experience because of mommy wars.

I saw this quote yesterday and it really spoke to me in many ways.

Labor is like mothering: you prepare and do the best you can, but finally, most of it is out of your hands.  Birth is a great mystery.  Yet, we live in a rational, scientific world that doesn’t allow for mystery.

-Jennifer Louden via Talk Birth

This definitely applies to childbirth, but it applies so much to mothering.  We can’t know the adults our children will become until we meet them in the future.  We don’t always recognize the impact of our actions and words.  But, what we can do and most of us do do is to prepare and do the best we can, and wait to see the mystery unfold.  And to think that women who have researched choices in many different aspects could be accused in such ways and it happen under many different circumstances is a harsh reality of motherhood.

I can expect about three or four times a year to have a crisis of emotion that comes out of no where and has no reason.  Today, is one of those days.  I don’t know what to call it because it usually only lasts a day or two.  But, in those one or two days everything seems wrong.  Not with those around me, but within.  Like suddenly my effort is unreasonable.  Like suddenly there is no reason.  Like suddenly even triumph is failure.

It’s on days like this when I long for some good girlfriends to talk to.

This quote struck me today.

“…there is one thing we are very, very good at – fooling ourselves. It’s the only thing we’re good at! We’re not good at fooling others. But we will try forever to deceive ourselves.”

Karen Maezen Miller author of Mama Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood

I wonder about deception.  I wonder about what we perceive as struggle.  I wonder about reason.

Maybe I’m tired from a long trip and hard work.  Maybe its hormonal.  Maybe it is some reset time for the body.  Maybe…

-Thank you to Mommy Mystic for the quote.

Dots of color through greener grass…

Fairy houses turn glorious with decoration…

The individual asks to be heard amongst all the bloom…

The redbud tree dots pink and purple…

The legend as told by my grandmother (Barbara (Johnson) Mullins Fletcher) is that Judas Iscariot hung himself on a redbud.  Redbuds used to be a large tree with bountiful white blossoms.  Judas chose this tree to take his life after betraying Jesus.  When he did so, the tree withered down and turned pink with embarrassment and thus we have the redbud.

Everyone is curious…

The trees aren’t the only thing budding.  Deladis spends her days creating.  An artist she might make…

God bless her. 😉

I probably won’t be posting or be able to answer comments for the next week or so.  The Haywoods have some work to do.  Hope to see some old friends as well. 🙂  I’ll be back soon.

I’m just finding it funny that someone searched the words “two headed hillbilly” and arrived at my blog. I hope they found what they were looking for. 🙂

Betsy has completed her final story and it is published on the Appalachian Cultural Project website.  I invite you to take a look at hers and the other final stories of the people of our region.

Also, I have another entry in the Birth in Eastern Kentucky series I’m doing on my birth blog.  I discuss the current state of things not only in our part of the world, but all throughout the country as it is in the basic ways the same at this point.

Hope ya’ll enjoy ’em. 🙂

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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