One of the most significant ways people start to feel connected to each other is in both telling and listening to the stories of transitioning from pregnancy to parenthood.
There is a a deep human-ness in these stories that roots us to one another.
“The root system nourishes the family tree and fastens the tree to the earth.”
I wanted to share how wonderful your organization was to me, as a mom with little ones a few years back. It helped me connect with other moms at a time when I really needed their support and friendship. Seven years later, some of the moms I met from being a part of your classes and groups, are some of my closest friends. So, thank you for providing a place where new moms can meet, connect and support each other. It was invaluable to me as a young mom.
We just wanted to say thanks for being such a great teacher these past 6 weeks. The class was terrific, and we came out of it with so much clarity on so many issues (many of which we had never even considered before). We’re really looking forward to the 4th Trimester class and all the rest.
— M and B
I think you all do such wonderful and amazing work, and that Birthroots has been such an important part of my journey into mommy-hood. Thanks for all the work you do, I don’t know what I would have done without Birthroots.
Birth Roots literally saved our lives during my pregnancy and first year with Iver. Birth Roots = one of the most impactful grassroots nonprofits ever. Changing the world, one family at a time.”
“Birth Roots BellytoBaby does far reaching work in our community to support mothers and families when they have their little ones. The classes and groups at Birthroots helped me feel so much more at home during my pregnancy, and during & after birth.
When my sweet son was just two months old we had the good fortune to attend a newborn class at Birth Roots. The name of the class was Buds and we all were: our darling infants unfurling their hands and minds like the tender buds of a new leaf and us bleary eyed mums learning to open like the bud of a rose and enjoy the moments racing by. I know I have said it before but without that group of mums and buds it would have been a dark winter for us. I feel so blessed to have this local organization providing such essential guidance both in the prenatal months and in that chaotic time after birth. I want to spread the awareness of their helpful programs to as many parents as possible!
Birth Roots changed my life. This local nonprofit gave me all the tools I needed to be a flock-loving (and loved) mama. Birth Roots gave me resources, showed me my capacities, and introduced me to life-long friends.
Dear Birth Roots,
At the end of last October, two weeks after my daughter Maeve was born, I had a problem I never could have imagined. Maeve wasn’t getting enough milk. She hadn’t gained weight, she was sleeping all the time, and sometimes it took us 45 minutes to an hour to wake her up. I came home from our first visit to the pediatrician with a container of formula, notes for increasing my milk supply, and the phone number for Birth Roots. I’d had several painful plugged ducts with fever and chills. My nipples were sore and bleeding. And on top of all of it, my heart felt totally broken.
On a whim one afternoon I just drove to Birth Roots. I didn’t have an appointment, but I was so desperate that day that I had to do something. When I walked down to Birth Roots, I heard soft music playing. Baguettes and cheese were scattered among mugs of half drunk tea on tables. Boppys and pillows dotted the floor and couches. It was clear women had been here. Babies had been here. For a moment I just I sat, with Maeve asleep beside me, and cried. They were the kind of tears I’d been holding on tight to, the kind you can finally let go of when you feel safe. They were tears I couldn’t shed with my husband or my mother-in-law or even my sisters. These were tears for all the expectation and the misunderstanding and the guilt and the anger I felt. I let them fall. And even though I was alone, I felt like I was being held. Not in tight arms, but in a soft spacious place with others who’d been through what I had.
I started to attend the group Eat, Sleep, Nurse once a week at Birth Roots and talked with other women who were having or had similar problems. We laughed about pumping at three AM, wearing bustiers, and wanting to throw the supplemental nursing system out the window. We shared our frustrations about not being able to nurse in public and how sometimes we had to skip a feeding and have our partners give the baby a bottle. Among these women, it was okay to get frustrated with your baby, to feel angry, to want to quit nursing altogether. They weren’t judging me, and so I could finally let go of the judgment I’d placed on myself.
As time crawled on, I kept coming back to Birth Roots. Back to the soft music, the comfortable couches, the warm smiles. Every other day I brought Maeve there to be weighed, to nurse her, and weigh her again. Sometimes I would have to feed her the bottle I brought. Sometimes she’d get just enough from my breast. No matter what, I almost always left Birth Roots feeling better than when I came.
Birth Roots is an amazing collection of women who genuinely care for the women and children of our community. These women go above and beyond education — they hold on when you need them, let go when you need to be alone, and always reserve a space for you in their circle without judgment or expectation. I am so thankful we have this bright light in our Portland community.
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