Dear Struggling Mom

Every once in awhile I receive an email from a struggling new mama who feels hopeless, and alone, and they ask for my advice. The thing is… I don’t have advice. For the most part, all I can offer is support, encouragement, and some tips that I learned from trial and error. Because the truth is…I am there with you! I struggled to!

The biggest mistake that we make as mothers is not supporting each other by being honest about our experiences.

We do each other an injustice when we pretend that we are perfect.

We fear talking about our struggles, because we don’t want to be judged. But, the truth is, we ALL feel that way at some point, and we SHOULD talk about it.

So, I’m going to talk about it….

I struggled, and I still struggle sometimes.

If you struggle, here is my letter to you…

Dear Struggling Mom,

I want you to know that I FEEL you!

Many of the struggle stories that I hear are part of my own story as a mother.

Just because I have a blog, post high quality photographs of Kaia being cute, and talk about how sweet life is on Instagram, doesn’t mean that I am perfect. Sure, our little family is happy a lot of the time, but that doe not mean that we are always happy. The truth about life is that it is bittersweet; and that means sometimes it has to be bitter. (And, nothing is “wrong” with bitter, it’s just part of being alive!)

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Kaia tree blossom (placenta burial)

The placenta. What is there to do with it? Most people I know don’t even consider it. It becomes the hospitals waste, and disapears into the unknown. Not many people really care about them at all…and even go further in thinking it’s weird to care about them.

However, for me, I knew from early on that I wanted to do something with our placenta… It was too beautiful of a thing to discard of like a piece of garbage (I mean spiritually, of course, because physically it looks like a gooey brain). Even though I knew I didn’t want to toss it out, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. So, I did some research to find out what my options were.

I read that some women consume their placentas. So, I researched the benefits of consuming the placenta, and I considered it. I did some digging on the internet to find out what other moms did. I found out that some ate them raw, some whipped them up in a smoothie, and some made them into capsules to be swallowed. I questioned if it were something I may have done if I were in the wild, and if wild animals do it. Which they do.

kaia treeAfter much thought I weighed the options. Consuming the placenta seemed like the most natural thing to do, and had many health benefits. However, I just couldn’t imagine doing it. The thought of eating it felt gross to me. The placenta isn’t appetizing. It looks like something from a Fear Factor episode. I knew it was something I wouldn’t be able to stomach. So, I decided not to eat it. *With that said, I want to mention that I respect all the mommas out there who were able to consume their placentas. I know they probably get a lot of flack for doing it, and I’m not trying to put them down. I think it’s a good choice out there. It just wasn’t for me.*

Even though eating the placenta felt gross to me, it wasn’t the only reason I chose not to eat it. I also felt that I wanted to honor the placenta, and I couldn’t imagine eating something I wanted to honor. So, I decided to research how other cultures honored their placentas. What I found was that the Hawaiians honored their placentas by planting them in the ground with a tree. I loved this idea, so that’s what we did.

The following weeks after Kaia’s birth the placenta remained in our fridge while we waited for the ground to soften. A big tub with the word “PLACENTA” written on it sat next to a jar of peanut butter. It was a funny sight. Then, when Kaia was a few weeks old we went to a local farm and picked out a tree. The tree was bare and looked dead, but the farmer said it would grow pretty pink flowers over the summer. The species was called a “Pink Valure Crape Merdle” or something like that.

Kaia PlantingIn April, my husband dug a hole in my parent’s backyard, while Kaia and I were resting in the shade. The three of us buried the placenta under the tree, and then said a little blessing. It was a beautiful moment, and I was really happy we were able to do it. I was excited for Kaia to grow with the tree, and to have her visit it over the years.

It took awhile, but over the next few weeks the tree started growing small dark green leaves. By the time it was August it finally began blooming it’s first flowers. I noticed them a few days ago when I saw a pink blob on the tree from our window. It was on the same day that I became inspired to start Loving Kaia.

I took a walk outside to appreciate the beautiful tiny flowers that were blooming. They smelled fresh and were soft to the touch. I decided to take Kaia out to see them. I ticked her face with the pedals. She laughed.kaiaflower

Kaia’s tree blooming on the day I started Loving Kaia feels like a beautiful symbol of what’s to come. In my heart, I feel that this community will enrich so many lives and help so many people—or at least I am hopeful. I’ve never felt so inspired before and I feel that the energy of the universe is creating this through me.

Everything seems to make sense to me now, in a way I’m not sure I can put into words. ….but I’ll try….

Compassion starts at conception. Without compassion we create an apathetic world. A world that is angry, a world that tortures animals, a world that is materialistic and careless, a world that doesn’t help its fellow men, a world that is full of fear and hatred, and a world that has stopped unconditionally loving.

The answer to our problems can be summed up in one word: Apathy –and perhaps we develop this apathy because we aren’t cared for as children… because our continuums were not met, and we became afraid… Afraid of everything… Even to love. So, that’s why this is so important. Because, creating compassionate children creates a compassionate world.

Well, that’s how I feel at least.

Last minute advice: If you aren’t sure what to do with your placenta, and you can’t work yourself up to eating it, then placenta burial is something you should consider. If you’re like me and live in an apartment, you can ask someone close to you if you can plant it on their property. I was lucky to have supporting parents.