Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Rhythm of the Rollercoaster

This has been a very exciting week indeed. The proof for Transformational Mothering is now being printed, and all the artwork for The Divine Hours of Motherhood (prayers and lullabies for mothers and babies) is complete! Tomorrow I head to Thundering Sky studio to rerecord some things I was not completely happy with and by the end of next week that project should be on it's way to being printed. Phew!

The past few months have been a grand adventure. Writing and editing, recording and designing, learning about social networking and marketing and, of course, being a Mom. I wonder, were Barbara Kingsolver or Margaret Atwood ever interrupted at their desk with an "I pooped in my pants, Mommy."? Or a "Mommy, I hungry. Why aren't you feeding me?" (I do feed him but lately he is a bottomless pit and he knows that I will always stop to feed him. Clever little guy, no?)

I hear people talk about keeping their lives balanced. Does this really happen for anyone? When I try to keep my life balanced I just feel guilt for whichever part of my life seems neglected at the time. My life is more of a roller coaster, some things get more attention at one point and then swoosh it is on to the next. I am a wave of motion climbing slowly to the top, pausing in the still points and then hanging on while plummeting toward the next goal.

The good news is that I love beyond words the people I am on this ride with, I am excited about the hills we have to climb and the rise and fall of our life. All things have a rhythm and we are finding ours.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Prayer for Homeless Mothers

Dear God,
Today I pray for all homeless mothers and their families.
Wrap Your arms around them Lord.
Give them strength as they face this transition.
Send Your angels around them and give them hope.
May they feel the presence of Your love
in this even the hardest of times.
May they be restored.
May they be blessed.
May they find You in these troubled times.
May we be ever mindful of our blessings
and use them to serve the world.
Thank You.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The First Transformational Mothering Gold Star Mom!

In my book, Transformational Mothering, I talk about wanting gold stars for my mothering efforts and recognizing that there just were not that many being given out. Mothers do not get enough recognition! So, I would like to use this blog to give out gold stars.

The very first Transformational Mothering Gold Star goes to...(drumroll please...) my friend Katie B.

Hooray! (wild applause)

Katie is the mother of a beautiful little boy named Richard who happens to have Type 1 Diabetes. Knowing how stressful it is to have a child hospitalized, I can only imagine the stress of caring for a child with an ongoing illness.

Katie is a beautiful and enthusiastic mother who is also brilliant and blessed with a magical voice. Little Richard made a very good choice when he looked down and chose Katie for his mother. Each day I watch Katie focus on the joys of motherhood rather than the trials. Each day I read her Facebook updates and they educate me about Type 1 Diabetes. Each day I am amazed by what we all accomplish as motherhood transforms us and redirects our lives.

Katie has created a beautiful, educational and inspiring video that I have linked to here. Just click on the title of this post and it will take you to it. After you watch please join me in congratulating Katie by leaving a comment on this post. And if you know a mother who has a child with Type 1 Diabetes why not give her a call and give her a "gold star" today?

P.S. If you know of a mother who deserves a Transformational Mothering Gold Star, tell me about her at amy@amyrobbinswilson.com!

My Child Has Diabetes-A Mother's Prayer

This prayer was inspired by Katie B. and all the other mothers who are caring for a child with Type 1 Diabetes. I am so proud of all of you.

Dear God,
Comfort me.
I am so tired.
I feel consumed by numbers, weights and pin pricks.
Take my worry, Lord.
Bring me Your peace.

Keep my mind clear that I may interpret the numbers around me correctly.
Help me, Lord, to embrace the technology that keeps my son alive.

I ask Your blessing today on all the doctors and nurses who have gotten us this far.
I ask Your blessing on all the researchers who are
developing the medicines and technologies that will bring us a cure.
Please bless me with patience and perseverance as we await this miracle.

This is not the journey I had planned,
yet I know that Your hand is upon us.

Please guide and strengthen us.
Show me how best to use my talents and abilities
so that I may be a source of comfort to my family and Your light in the world.

I am so grateful for the gift of my son.
He is a blessing and a joy.
Let me not forget that joy is my strength.

May I be an instrument of Your peace.
May I be an instrument of Your love.
May my hands be Your hands.
My life is Yours.
May it bless my family and the world.

Thank You.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to Tap a Sugar Maple

When I tell my out of state friends that Sugaring Season has started in Maine they are often confused. Making maple syrup is a tradition in my family. I remember collecting sap from the trees in my current backyard (which used to be my grandparents home) when I was small. I would follow my grampa from tree to tree filling big garbage pails full of sap. Then we would spend weekends boiling it down in an open pan over an open fire in the backyard. Flies and other detritus added protein.

A few years ago, my family bought a larger property and we now tap over 200 trees each year and make 30-40 gallons of syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup so there is a lot of collecting to do and we are a whole lot higher tech than what my grampa was in the backyard.

I made this video last weekend as we were finishing up tapping the trees. Click the title of this post to check out the YouTube video and enjoy! Welcome to my part of Maine!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I went to a great event put on by our local Maternal Wellness Center last week. There was a showing of my friend Nicolle's short film entitled "Roar" and a poetry reading by local poet Arielle Greenberg. After the performance there was a panel of midwives and mothers who discussed choices in birth and answered audience questions.

I went, because even though we did not have a natural birth, I am a great supporter of natural birth whenever possible. The puzzle of how much of the difficulty of our first year was related to the challenges of our birth is something that can never be unraveled. It is pointless to try. Our experience was our experience, it was necessary and I would not trade what I have learned for the natural birth I thought I would have.

I was curious about how I would feel watching a mother give birth naturally. I wondered if it would make me sad to think of what I had "missed." But the truth is, I was proud of both of us. I was proud of the power of women to adapt to whatever their birth brings and take lessons from it.

It was disturbing to learn that birth choices for women are being limited. I was shocked to hear that in some states midwives are illegal. While a homebirth is not something that I would choose for myself, I strongly believe that it should be possible for those who wish to make that choice.

I also learned that it has been decided that in Maine, midwives do not have to be licensed. We need to license our hairdressers but not the women who assist us in bringing life into the world?

There are so many changes going on in medicine right now. To hear that maternity care is considered a "special service" is insane to me. What mixed messages we are sending to our mothers. On the one hand we will not license your midwife to help you with a birth at home, and on the other we reserve the right to eliminate your ability to give birth in a hospital if it is not financially advantageous to us. How did we get here?

I thought that the best comment of the evening was by a midwife named Holly. She said that she supported women along the full spectrum of birth experience. What she wanted was for women to be educated about their choices so that they could make conscious, educated choices about their births. I absolutely agree. This is a bit more difficult than it seems however.

While midwives often feel that doctors overemphasize the medicalization of birth, doctors often feel that midwives under emphasize the dangers of giving birth. Knowing firsthand how much our emergency birth has colored our feelings about birth in general, I can only imagine how repeatedly seeing dangerous birth situations must skew a doctor's view. In the same vein, if you have seen hundreds of women give birth naturally that also skews the midwife's perspective toward natural birth.

None of us is "right."

I look forward to the day when Maternal Wellness Centers present panels that include the voice of doctors and when panels of obstetricians welcome the voices of midwives. Until then, the burden falls to pregnant mothers to educate themselves knowing that at every turn the experts have their own biases, and perhaps necessarily, perhaps unfortunately, their own agendas.

To see the film short "Roar" by Nicolle Littrell (15 minutes or so) click on the title of this post. You will be watching a live natural birth with all the sounds that go with it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thank you Nancy Dysart

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a celebration of Nancy Dysart. Nancy just retired from working as the Philanthropy Officer and Director of Healthcare Charities' Children's Miracle Network of Eastern Maine Health Services. All of which means that she led the efforts to raise the money that made the services for my son possible while he was in the neonatal intensive care unit in Bangor.

What an inspiration. I have never met a more positive and loving person, or anyone more passionate about helping children. Though Nancy has helped tens of thousands of families, she always manages to make each of us feel special. Her memory for people and their stories is astounding. It was wonderful to listen to her daughter's tribute to her and to learn a bit more about the woman who has helped so many.

Many blessings on your retirement Nancy! Thank you for all you have accomplished on behalf of miracle families in Maine.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Blessing

Dear God,
Please bless this site and all who enter it.
May it be a space of comfort, joy and inspiration.
Bless my words, Lord.
Make them windows, never doors.

May we find joy in our interactions.
May we find comfort in each others' stories.
May we find inspiration through prayer.
May our community illumine the world.

Thank You.