Monthly Chai: June 2015

I have to laugh at Feminist Midwife’s hot off the press Monthly Chai Date post...I totally feel you, Stephanie, on the sentiment of “screw the month of May.” I haven’t been doing monthly posts for a while, in part because, well, school and clinic have just been so consuming. It’s been great learning, but I have limited brain capacity at the end of the day to write a truly meaningful reflection on it all.

Then there’s the whole growing a human thing… that takes some energy, too. I’ve been wanting to write more about this whole wild experience of being a pregnant midwifery student and the words just haven’t been coming. I finally took it as a sign that this is the universe’s way of telling me to take some of my own medicine, the very encouragement that I often share with laboring patients: stop being in my head so much and just let the experience unfold, noting sensations, but not feeling the need to obsessively catalogue and analyze each one. What a novel concept!

I will say this: baby kicks are the weirdest/coolest freaking thing ever. I can’t imagine ceasing to be amazed and delighted by the feeling of this little one wiggling around…inside my body! It’s wild and magical, and yes, also increasingly annoying when it’s at 3am and I’m trying to sleep…but mostly just magical. I can’t quite tell position yet (in a few more weeks I think I’ll be able to get a better sense of that), except that it changes often, exactly as it should be at this stage. 

Now that I’m a week+ past spring finals and officially on vacation, it feels like I can finally let loose a little bit. B and I are in the process of tearing down our garage and building an accessory dwelling unit for our housemates…which means last week we cleared out our garage in anticipation of demolition, giving away and/or selling boxes and boxes of books (so liberating!!), and being ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff we’re never going to use: 

Old cans of half-used paint? Goodbye!

That pile of wood scraps that maybe was going to be a cool project? Adios!

That stash of craft supplies that looked so pretty and colorful and not opened and gathering dust on the shelf? Passed along to a friend.

Old photos that I literally haven’t looked at or remembered exisiting in the past ten years? Tossed.

All those carefully organized notes from nursing school that I haven’t looked at since? Gleefully recycled.

And on, and on, and on. I made five trips to Goodwill, along with several others to the local FreeGeek to get rid of old computer stuff (B’s), and to our storage unit to store the things we actually will use again (B’s Lego collection, my culled-to-the-essentials collection of poetry and books on adoption, the stroller/carseat we’ve already purchased…).

As exhausting as it was, the week ended with the whole house feeling lighter. Books I’d been holding onto for years because I felt they were a part of my identity have finally been released back to the world…and the best part? I don’t miss them, not one bit. I will admit, I’m making more use of my Kindle these days…which feels like a perfectly acceptable solution to being a voracious reader but not wanting to be burdened with the space needs of physical books.

 If you’re looking for a place to start in paring down, I highly recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. It’s a fantastic, short sweet read that will have you itching to get going. Read till the end, then start tidying. I promise, it will be super helpful! 

In other news…I’m in Boston for a few days visiting friends, and it is so lovely to get out of Portland. I like Portland alright, but I get antsy being in one place too long and I find Portland’s pretentious hipster culture grating after a while, so getting my every 4-6 month travel fix is always required for me to survive there long-term.  

On Thursday I head down to DC for my very first ACNM annual meeting and I am SO EXCITED! I’m attending as many of the diversity and inclusion events as I can (more thoughts on the recent ACNM report “Shifting the Frame: a report on diversity and inclusion in ACNM” soon). On Sunday I’ll be attending a workshop on Early Miscarriage Management led by two of my favorite midwives, Tara Cardinal and Amy Levi. I’ll also be co-presenting a little roundtable with Robin from The Mindful Midwife, and Stephanie over at Feminist Midwife called Modernizing Oral Histories. We’ll be talking about the role of new media, or social media, in midwifery storytelling and community-building! I’m also excited to participate in my first report-writing process as my campus liaison to the Student and New Midwives (SANMS) committee…and of course, Lobby Day on Tuesday…and, on Saturday and Sunday I’ll be tabling with Nursing Students for Choice! Com stop by and say hi and buy some great NSfC swag!

As I wind this post down (no chai today, had ice cream at the BEST ice cream place in the world, JP Licks!), I’ll share some of my latest reads. What have you been reading/listening to lately? I’ve been pulled in by:
Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory….a fascinating read on a little-known period in Oregon’s history in which we basically came thisclose to being a slave state…and the de facto effects of racism and exclusionary laws that made it feel like we might as well have been one for the next hundred years.

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine. Read her searing, spot-on piece in the NYTimes today, too. More thoughts to come on this. 

Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This amazing Tumblr, Pregnant, Parenting, and Pro-Choice (I submitted my own entry here.) 

The Book of Unknown Americans, by Christina Henriquez

Here’s to a great start to summer! Stop by and say hi in the comments, Facebook, or in person at ACNM! Looking forward to connecting with some of you soon!

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