Edition Number Seven
Happy 2019, Everyone!

Can you believe it’s the year two THOUSAND and 19? I wonder when my son will understand the concept of two thousand anything, let alone what is a "new year" when he still struggles with the concept of today and tomorrow. In another year of firsts, however, he did somehow know about and then asked if he could “go to the special party” on NYE with his mommy and daddy. Which didn’t happen. Actually, no partying happened since waking up at 7am even slightly hungover with a child who wants to play Octonauts is highly incompatible.

Instead, my husband and I rang it in quietly, somberly even as this new year marks the year anniversary of my first miscarriage. I was almost 12 weeks pregnant and was convinced it was a girl. I will never know. Writing that feels unfathomable, like unleashing the gates of some hellish bottomless pit and yet, at the same time, feels like opening the gates to an indistinguishable life force too... to possibility amid unspeakable pain. And that is the point here. To speak about the quote-un-quote unspeakable. I have spent the last year in various states of pregnancy and un-pregnancy; in and out of emergency with too many doctors searching for healing; options and answers; feeling strange and alone and like I was a prisoner in a foreign mind and body. And then, something resolved itself within me when I miscarried the second time, this time in August. The answer to this “problem” was the decision to return to me. A return to my best health, my own voice and my authentic self out of which TBD Mama was born. It was a different birth for sure, but an invaluable one that has set me on a whole new course of growth and awakening.

What awakenings will you look forward to in 2019? l look forward to hearing about them and learning from each other while we deepen our understanding and experience of "mothering" in 2019 -- for our children; the children we may long to bring into our lives; and, of course; ourselves.

Here’s to the individual and collective journey.

Onward with love,

P.S. There are five spots left for the first TBD Mama brunch and fireside chat on Saturday, January 12 (12-2pm) in NYC! Don’t be a stranger and just go! Gift yourself, or a mama friend, and buy your ticket today!
What a hot topic to get real about, especially with the proliferation and normalization of so many mama drinking memes (it's wine time! somewhere it's happy hour!) In the spirit of Dry January resolutions this felt relevant to include since so many mamas I know have some kind of a relationship to alcohol - be it positive, negative, ambivalent or meh. I, for one, would like my own to be more mindful period as I cultivate optimum health but don't want to go 100% monastic either. This episode of the Bustle Huddle, a podcast created by younger, Gen Z voices which admittedly I initially resisted, offers a wholly refreshing perspective with the engaging author of "Sober Curious," Ruby Harrington. When I let myself tune in I was impressed and intrigued that these young(er)women are attempting to create a new and nuanced dialogue about drinking culture that isn't black or white.
It's daunting enough to fly anywhere these days, let alone with young or finicky kids. While you don’t have to buy the whole cabin noise cancelling headphones, I have been known to make fast friends with neighbors as a reluctant heads-up that my child may, or may not, be channelling the movie version of Carrie mid-flight. Thankfully, I have found most strangers to be sympathetic and the surprise and delight strategies listed here work well for my son, including the timed distribution of copious "fun" snacks, sometimes for the grown-ups seated nearby too!
For something so up close and personal it's surprising how I have quite unconsciously, and with blind trust, inserted any old tampon inside me without ever questioning what's inside it. My path to consciousness has been interesting, indeed. Thanks to New York Democratic State assembly member, Linda Rosenthal, a new bill will be put forth requiring manufacturers to disclose all of their ingredients. She has also advocated to require public bathrooms to provide tampons, a hygiene product arguably as essential as toilet paper. It would be a first in the nation if it passes but we are entering a potentially big year of female firsts, thanks to bold women like her!
Are you in a buying coma yet? If not, these are so cute to consider. That's all.
I love the idea of identifying and working toward a specific goal as a family. This Huffington Post article presents a great year of options, one monthly resolution at a time. By offering 12 diverse "themes" to consider and practice there is continuity and variety for the whole family to get on board with and share. Group commitments can foster and inspire more individual accountability too which is a good thing to resolve toward, together.
Do we need another serum in our lives? Probably not but it's always tempting to think this one just might be the one. This Zoe Report rounds up a variety of new-ish trends including plenty of clean products which I prefer. Apparently pollution protectants are the next sunscreen, pre-biotics are key (although I can barely remember to take my PRO biotics); thermal water works wonders and, hmm, kiwi, is the new super star ingredient. Not to knock tech and science since sometimes something a bit stronger is required but I'm not quite ready, emotionally, for a hand filler. Are you?
 On the topic of medicated vs “natural” births: I'd love the public discourse to shift and stop distinguishing and, by extension, judging an individual's birth this way. Let’s assume ALL births are natural, medicated or non, vaginal or via C. A woman’s choice about how to deliver her baby is as personal and private as how that baby is conceived.

While I envisioned a “natural” birth in a birthing center with minimum everything I ended up with the exact opposite, and while disappointing in the moment, modern medicine acted entirely in my favor and my son’s. Yet the growing interest and desire for unmedicated options among many women, including me, is still largely ignored and unsupported: unsupported by traditional medicine, big business hospitals and, not surprisingly, mostly male legislators who aren’t prioritizing access to quality, holistic maternal healthcare, yet alone “natural” childbirth choices. Mt. Sinai’s storied birthing center closed on Dec. 31, leaving only three birthing centers left in the state of NY. Around the nation the closings continue but hopefully this path can be reversed with awareness and advocacy in order for women to have access to comprehensive birthing choices that work for their unique bodies, circumstances and families.
There's still time to join TBD Mama at members' club, Habitas, for a very special brunch and fireside chat with Dr. Alexandra Sacks, reproductive psychiatrist and co-author of the forthcoming book, "What No One Tells You: A Guide to your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood."

Note the " to motherhood" part which means we'll discuss the ENTIRE journey, not just the beginning!

Listen, learn and share with each other while enjoying delicious seasonal fare prepared by
the in-house chef, inspiring #realtalk, and connections with other like-minded mamas. New, expecting and anyone who wants to support other "TBD m amas" are welcome. Only FIVE spots left so buy your ticket today to guarantee a spot!