Sunday, May 31, 2015

Birth Without Fear meetup

Yesterday was an amazing day! I was lucky enough to go to the birth without fear meetup. There were amazing speakers, a harmony circle, vendors, goody bags. Really, I'm not going to do it justice. There's still so much to process. 

Sweet Pea and I stayed the night up at my mom's, because she was going to watch Sweet Pea while I was at the meet up. We went to bed a full 30 minutes early, because we were going to have to get up extra early. Sweet Pea fell right to sleep. She had a full afternoon of playing outside in the dirt, and soaking up the sun, while nomming on some watermelon. We had also gone on a nice walk after dinner. I on the other hand, could. not. sleep. I was just too excited. I even took some melatonin to sleep. Did nothing. 

At about 1 am, I got up and made my lunch for the next day, then took another shower. I tried to go back to sleep, but it didn't work. So at about 3 am, I painted my nails. Seems totally logical. I think I finally fell asleep around 4-4:30 am and had to be up at 7:30 am. A large coffee was in order.

Could you tell I was a little excited?

When I got to the venue, I started looking at the vendors a little and messaged a friend I was going to meet there. Then I saw Jen McLellen from Plus size mommy memoirs!!! I have been dying to hear her speak for ages! I've talked to her a few times online, but I was a little star struck when I saw her. I looked at her and said, "Oh my god. Oh my god." And she just gave me a big hug. We chatted for a minute, and I asked if I could have a picture with her. Seriously, I've gotten so much better at this then 3 years ago, when I met The Bloggess. I couldn't speak then. But now, I can actually carry a conversation. 

Jen was the first speaker, and I was SO freaking excited to hear her speak. I met up with my friend, and met her best friend. While we were waiting for Jen to start, January Harshe, who started Birth Without Fear came up to me. I looked at her, and again said "oh my god" lol I'm a woman of few words. January and I have a little bit of a bumpy past, so I wasn't sure how this day was going to go. I was really, really nervous about it. She knelt down, and said she just wanted to check in, because she knew I had social anxiety. How sweet is that woman? There are over 200 people at this event. Thousands of followers. And she comes up to me to ask me how I'm doing. I of course have the cheesiest grin on my face and said I'm fine. And I was. I made a couple new friends already, and I was surrounded by a group of my peers. 

Jen was amazing. She spoke about how plus size woman are capable to give birth vaginally, just like everyone else. How we should love our bodies, no matter the size. And how we should step out from behind the camera, and be in the pictures with our children. She also gave pointers on how to take the perfect picture. And had us take selfies lol It was worth the wait to see her. 

After Jen was Hermine Hayes-Kline, a lawyer for birth rights. Her title kind of explains what she talked about. She told quite a few horror stories about how women were mistreated in their births. I took this opportunity to go talk to January again, and get a picture with her. 

I wasn't sure if she remembered what had happened in the past or not, but she had. So we talked about it a little, and she confirmed a few things, and made me feel a lot better about the whole situation. She commented on how much weight I had lost, and about how long my hair is. She said it was almost at "mermaid" length lol 

Earth Mama Angel Baby was next. They talked about all the toxins in our body care products, and how Earth Mama didn't like it when she had babies. So they decided to make their own. This is actually when I went to go look at the vendors some more lol 

After Hermine was finished talking, it was time for lunch. My new friends went out for lunch, but I had packed mine. So I stayed behind and ate there. I tried to call my mom and check up on Daphne, but they were napping. 

After lunch we sat at numbered tables. I was lucky enough to get to sit with my new friends! We did a harmony circle. This was life changing. You're sitting at a table with complete strangers, spilling your heart out, and you know that you won't be judged. It was pretty amazing. There were so many tears, tissues were provided ;) and a lot of healing. Motherhood is hard, and with this harmony circle, you find out you're not in it alone. 
After the circle, we got to listen to January's birth stories. All six of them! She had six very different births. Although I enjoyed my c-section, how I was treated leading up to it was not OK. And some of the things she said made me ugly cry. Tissues were needed for that to.

It was great. It was wonderful meeting such strong women.

After January was done speaking, everyone got to meet her and take pictures. I waited in the long line too. I wanted thank her for being so gracious and welcoming. She was very sweet. I explained why I was having so much anxiety, and she apologized and said it's all in the past now. And you know what? It is. The person that caused all of this mess is no longer in either one of our lives.

I can't wait for BWF to come again! This was so fantastic, and I wish I could go back tomorrow! If you have a chance to go, GO!