Friday, August 22, 2014

An Anonymous Letter to a Birth Mother

Dear Birth Mother,

Recently, as I picked my son up from Mother's Day Out, his teacher said, "Simon is just so sweet.  He is so nice and is the same to everyone."  My first thought was not to thank God for such a wonderful boy, or to pat myself on the back for raising a loving child. No, my first thought was the same prayer I've repeated many times, "Thank you, Laura, for not aborting him."

Laura is my child's birthmother.  She was a teenager when she became pregnant, and her home life was difficult.  I imagine that abortion may have seemed to her like a good idea, perhaps the easiest way out of her situation.  But she chose LIFE- and that made all the difference to us- and for Simon.

Sometimes I just look in wonderment at Simon.  Tears rise as the thought crosses my mind: What if he had never existed?  Had she aborted him, our family—and even strangers—would not know the joy that Simon brings. We’d have missed out on his infectious laugh, his jubilant renditions of “Rocky Top” (even to a crowd in the grocery store), and his thought-provoking questions. His wonder and curiosity about the world around him makes us see things in a different light.

Other times I think about what might have been had Laura kept him.  Would he be happy?  Would she have been able to provide for him the stability he needs?  Would he be hungry? Would he be afraid?

I never thought I would be able to have children.  We adopted Simon when he was a few days old, and we were content with having just him.  Surprisingly, however, I discovered I was pregnant last fall. And finally, I got a glimpse of the ultimate compassion and sacrifice of a birthmother who gives up her baby to a forever family.

Throughout my pregnancy, I kept thinking what it would be like to have a baby growing inside of me, knowing that I would give it up.  Being pregnant was almost indescribable to me.  I felt somehow chosen to bear this new life - What an enormous responsibility! I was in awe of the changes in my body and the constant flood of emotions from elation to apprehension. I imagine that Laura felt all of these things-and more.  I imagine she felt anxiety during the decision making process, fear of making the wrong decision, despair over the responsibility and change in her life, and perhaps personal grief



But should you give your baby to a forever family, I hope that you feel
·         Peace, in knowing that your baby will go to a family who can provide for their emotional and financial security.
·         Blessed,in knowing that although your pregnancy may have been a mistake, your baby is not a mistake.  That baby was meant to be in someone's family, and you are blessed to be the giver of such a gift.
·         Empowerment, in knowing that you can bring a family together forever.
·         Contentment,in knowing that you made the right decision for your baby and yourself.
·         Love, knowing that one day your child will grow to understand your loving sacrifice, while appreciating the love and gratefulness of the adoptive family.

We named our second son Asa, which means "healer."  Every moment of discomfort or pain during the pregnancy, birth, and recovery was worth it.  And when I see Simon kiss the head (or toe) of his chubby brother, I am immeasurably grateful for this family that was meant to be. 

Abortion or single parenting is not your only option; choosing adoption for your baby could be the best gift ever. When I was pregnant I had this letter—this message—already forming. Perhaps I was allowed to have Asa so that I could reach out to you to save a baby’s life from abortion or be a small part of bringing a forever family together.

You are not alone.  There are agencies out there who will envelop you in love and support you each step of the way.  They will help to make your sacrifice worthwhile.  Your choice impacts not only you, but also your baby and a potential family.  Please choose LIFE and allow a forever family the indescribable gift of happiness like Laura gave to us.

Sincerely,
A Blessed Mom

Adoption Agencies:

Family Adoption Services (This is the one we used and can’t say enough great things about them).



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Moms Find Fellowship and Fun

This set is one of the door prizes at
the Mom Brunch Tuesday!
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Moms need other moms. It's a simple fact of life. Studies have shown that when mothers are isolated they are more likely to experience post-partum depression. Huntsville is a very transient city due to a variety of factors including the presence of an army base, the high-tech nature of many Research Park jobs and the universities here. Many moms moving here are either expecting or have recently given birth and have no social support network whatsoever.

One of the things I most love about A Nurturing Moment is how quickly our network of moms embraces newcomers! Ladies who walked through our doors for the first time a year ago are now firmly entrenched with a solid group of mama friends who are there for them through thick and thin.

There are a variety of ways that moms can connect with other moms. Rocket City Mom is a great place to learn all about different activities that have been planned for young families. But some moms need more of a spiritual component; they need to find some like-minded women they can really fellowship with. There are some great options for local moms!

Whitesburg Moms' Bible Study

On Tuesday mornings Whitesburg Baptist Church offers a ladies Bible study that is geared towards moms of all ages. They do offer childcare to make it convenient for mothers of young children. This year's Bible Study theme is "Ever After" by Vicki Courtney. Life rarely turns out like a fairy tale or chick flick. This study addresses the blessings and challenges of marriage and motherhood. 

You are invited to a Mom's Brunch this Tuesday at Whitesburg Baptist from 9:30-11:30 to get an overview of the study. There will be some great door prizes (including our Fed by God's Design gift items!) For more information or to register click here. 

MOPS

MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. It is a ministry that helped me make it through the years when my kids were little. At a MOPS meeting you will fellowship with other women, you might make something fun, you will learn something interesting, and you will get a break from the day-to-day grind as your kids are lovingly cared for in the Moppets program! Several local churches offer MOPS programs, including First Baptist in Huntsville, Ford's Chapel UMC in Harvest, The Grove Baptist Church in Madison and First Bible Church in Decatur.

Just for Single Moms

Single mothers have specific needs that are different from married mothers. Hope Community Church in Huntsville has a special ministry just for single moms. They try to make sure that both physical and spiritual needs are met.

MOMS Club

Although this isn't a source of spiritual support, MOMS clubs are an international organization that provide support and encouragement for Stay at Home Moms based on where you live. In Madison County we have South Huntsville MOMS Club, North Huntsville MOMS Club, South Madison MOMS Club. and North Madison MOMS Club. Meetings are typically held weekly with a variety of activities for moms and kids of all ages. Homeschool moms are welcome, as well!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Win a Natural Mama Photo Mini Session

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Jessica Molepske is an amazing photographer! I met her about a year ago when she first moved to Huntsville for her husband's job with the Boy Scouts of America. She had actually gotten in touch with me before they moved here to let me know that she would love to get involved with photography here. We already knew several terrific photographers here, but I was looking forward to meeting her and helping her get comfortable in Huntsville.

Jessica was a sponsor of Miles for Midwives.
When Jessica arrived in Huntsville, she came in to meet me, and we hit it off immediately. She got involved with the Alabama Birth Coalition and very quickly became a part of the ANM community. In Texas Jessica had a thriving business. When she moved here, she had to start all over, but by reaching out and offering great photo packages, she has built quite a following here, as well!

Recently, Jessica agreed to be part of the team that is helping raise the money to publish Fed by God's Design, the first faith-based breastfeeding resource written by an experienced IBCLC. Those who contribute $500 to the campaign will receive, in addition to other things, a special breastfeeding photography session with Jessica, and at least two of the pictures will be published in the book!

On September 6 Jessica is offering Natural Mama mini-sessions for just $75. You can have breastfeeding, baby-wearing or cloth diapering pictures taken, or even combine them during your 15 minute session. You will receive a CD with the photos. Space is limited, and this is a terrific opportunity to get some beautiful pictures of you and baby! She is also raffling off one session to help raise money for the publication of Fed by God's Design. Each entry is $10 payable via Paypal to anm@knology.net. The winner will be drawn on September 1. You can enter below or at A Nurturing Moment.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We're Kicking Off WBW in a BIG WAY

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
World Breastfeeding Week begins August 1! This annual celebration sponsored by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) focuses on carrying forward the advances that have been made in breastfeeding support and promotion over the last 15 years. In 1990 the United Nations together with member nations set forth 8 Millenium Development Goals. Goal 4, To Reduce Child Mortality, is tied in very closely with promoting and supporting breastfeeding. We are excited to celebrate this year's World Breastfeeding Week - Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life.

We have several really exciting events planned locally for this week. I hope you will be able to be part of each one!


The Big Latch On

This year's event has been organized by Brittany Campbell who has marshalled an incredible group of volunteers to make this the biggest breastfeeding event Huntsville has ever seen! Join nearly 100 nursing (and pumping) mothers on Saturday, August 2, at 9:30 at Kid's Space to be part of the excitement. The first 25 moms to register will receive swag bags chock-full of fun goodies! At 10:30 sharp we will count every baby who is latched on and nursing. Moms who are exclusively pumping or expressing milk will also be included in the count. There are some terrific door prizes, too! A Nurturing Moment has donated a lactation consultation, a set of Babee Greens wool nursing pads, and a box of Milkscreen test strips (just in case you want to enjoy more than one celebratory drink...). Lots of other local vendors as well as several national vendors have donated amazing door prizes as well!

A Nurturing Moment won't open until 11:00 am on Saturday because we will be at the Big Latch On!!

Give a High 5

Throughout the summer we have been celebrating the babies who are part of the ANM family! This Saturday, August 2, from 11-3 you will have the opportunity to put your child's handprint on a canvas that will be displayed on our wall for years to come! We love our mamas and babies...and we love seeing those babies grow into toddlers, pre-schoolers and older children. It is such a privilege for us to be part of your family's life, so this project is especially dear to my heart!

Breastmilk, The Movie

This movie follows real people through their breastfeeding journeys, showing what breastfeeding is really like. It shows success and it shows failure...and it shows the middle ground, too. Chatty Claire  is bringing this movie to Huntsville on Saturday, August 2, at 7:00 pm at the Chan Auditorium at UAH. Tickets are just $10, and you can get your ticket online in advance. Following the movie there will be a panel discussion that you won't want to miss. There will also be some terrific door prizes! A Nurturing Moment has donated a lactation consultation, a nursing scarf, and a custom bib that says "Silly Daddy, Boobs are for Babies." 

You actually have the opportunity to WIN a pair of tickets TODAY ONLY! Happy Papoose is giving away a two pack of tickets here.

Mommy Milk Meet-up

Join other breastfeeding moms Monday, August 4, at 10:00 am at A Nurturing Moment as we have the monthly meeting of our breastfeeding support group, Mommy Milk Meet-up. We will be talking about breastfeeding promotion and support. We'll also be asking moms to share about their breastfeeding goals and how breastfeeding has impacted their lives. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, we will have healthy snacks and maybe even some lactation cookies! This is a wonderful opportunity to be around other nursing mothers, to enjoy some fun fellowship and to get lots of encouragement. Of course, if you need professional breastfeeding help, I will be there, too.

I look forward to seeing each of you a lot over the next few days. This is going to be ONE AMAZING WEEK!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fed by God's Design

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Have you looked at your local Christian book store for a book about breastfeeding recently? Chances are you didn't find anything. That's because it doesn't exist yet...But we are changing that!

The Background

Ten years ago I began writing As a Mother Comforts Her Child: A Christian Approach to Breastfeeding (yeah, I know, that's a real mouthful, right?) I had Martha Sears review it and asked several colleagues to take a look at it and give me input. The result was a really top-notch, well-written book about breastfeeding aimed at a Christian audience.

Then I began looking for an agent or a publisher. I was thrilled when agent Carol Sue Roth agreed to represent me and find us a publisher. I couldn't believe that a real live literary agent had agreed to represent me! Carol Sue was amazing. She maintained good communication and worked really hard to find us a publisher. I'll never forget the day she called me and told me that Thomas Nelson was interested in my book. Talk about a Happy Dance!! However, within a couple of weeks she called back to tell me that they were cutting unknown authors on the backlist.

I didn't realize at the time that they were about to launch a self-publishing arm. And quite honestly, I think both Carol Sue and I were pretty discouraged. My three year agreement with her came to an end, and from time to time I would think about trying to publish it myself, but I just didn't think that would work.

Where We Are Now

We are at a time when there is tremendous support for breastfeeding on a political policy level. Attitudes toward breastfeeding have continued to improve, but there is still a deep need for solid support. Within the church there is a real division. Many Christians have bought into a very strict schedule-based type of parenting, believing that is "God's way" to raise babies. However, an evidence-based approach combined with a serious study of Scripture indicates that meeting a baby's needs, feeding on demand, and building a solid relationship of trust in the early days are foundational keys to Christian parenting.

We believe this is the right time to get this book, which has been renamed Fed by God's Design and revised to reflect new information, to the marketplace. Our goal is to see it in the hands of Christian mothers across the country and on the shelves of Christian Bookstores in every state! You can help make this happen by being part of our Indiegogo project!

We've got some awesome perks including Digital downloads of the book, Fed by God's Design infant gifts, paperback and signed hard cover copies as well as the opportunity to have your baby's picture in the book or even on the front or back cover!

What You Can Do

This is a team effort, and we need all the players on the team we can get! We need prayer warriors. We need bloggers. We need people telling everybody in the sphere of influence about this. We need YOU doing whatever the Lord lays on your heart to make this a success!