The recent New York Times article, Why America’s Black Mothers & Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis, by Linda Villarosa, is required reading if you care about birth, mothers, babies, families, women, race, equality, feminism, healthcare, or any-or-all of the above.
And if you don’t quite understand what institutionalized racism is or means, this will be an eye-opening read. The implications are shocking & sure to shift the way you think about the impact of systemic racism.
I don’t even want to summarize the article here because it’s just so compelling that you really need to read it for yourself.
The New York Times has just published a lovely visual story on miscarriage. Everything Jessica Zucker writes in the piece rings true to my own experience with pregnancy loss, from her description of the deep grief to the more mundane (“On top of losing a baby, now I have to lose weight, too.”)
I love this best:
After miscarriage, the body grieves. Depending on the length of pregnancy the body may continue to look pregnant after it’s not. Living in a no-longer-pregnant body —longing to be, looking like you are—is a complex aspect of pregnancy loss that gets lost in conversations surrounding grief.
This was definitely part of my experience. While I was not at the point where my pregnancy was outwardly obvious when I lost my pregnancies, my body already looked pregnant to me. Body image issues were confusing & confounding.
Also, be sure to find Jessica Zucker on Instagram (@ihadamiscarriage) to see other brave women share their stories of loss & infertility.
I’m starting to understand the ebb & flow of writing & the importance of habit… I just haven’t been in the writing mood lately. I have a handful of notes & unformed ideas but I can’t seem to connect thoughts to typing out text.
That & I’ve been reading a ton.
And I’ve been riding my bike to work (which cuts out my train-commuting-writing time).
Ok. I could think up a million excuses. But the truth is I’m simply feeling uninspired & I don’t have a disciplined writing habit to help push through.
Everything I’ve been reading is related to topics I write about here, so I expect I’ll be getting some fully-formed posts in a bit. I’m working on finishing Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (which I had to return to the library mid-way through). I started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (which is due back at the library very soon). And in the down time between, I picked up Smart Casual by Alison Pearlman (a critical book about restaurant & “foodie” culture).
Meanwhile, I can hardly believe that MFA Dad & I just celebrated 10 years of marriage. T is about to finish his first year of preschool. I’m looking at wrapping up my current job in a couple months. I’ve acquired a couple bacteria-yeast pets (kefir grains & a kombucha SCOBY). The garden needs serious tending. Summer is here & life is full… & there are only so many hours in the day.
Thinking of life as full (& not obnoxiously busy) reminds me of one more project I’m working on: shifting my focus from less worry to more confidence & happiness. Unsurprisingly, there is a chapter in Lean In on the notion of “having it all.” It’s (in part) about how mothers beat themselves up upon discovering that, despite empty (feminist?) promises, women cannot “have it all.”
On a certain level, I don’t think Ms. Sandberg is wrong. But I’m proposing a shift (or positive spin). Instead of telling myself that I can’t have it all, my mantra is that I do have it all. Because I have all I have in this moment. If I want something else I have to either make it a goal (& work towards that goal) or I need to forget about it. Sounds cheesy (& it probably is) but it’s working for me right now. More later.
What are some of your summer projects? Or summer
coping mechanisms inspiration?