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Entries in La Leche League (2)

Tuesday
Jun102008

LLL Founder Gone

La Leche League has had such a positive influence in my life. I changed my parenting style because of the books I was loaned through LLL. I found life-long friends through League. My partner and I met at a LLL meeting and my apprentice and I also met at a LLL meeting.

The Founding Mothers, in 1956, had no idea what they were doing when they gathered together to support each other as they struggled to breastfeed in a world that idolized bottles. But, their meeting has forever changed the breastfeeding terrain.

Edwina Froehlich died at 93 on Sunday, June 8, 2008.

Only 6 Founding Mothers remain.

Join and support LLL when and where you can.

Sunday
Apr222007

LLL Love Story

I thought I'd told this story here before, but can't find it anywhere, so guess I'll tell it again. It's kind of fun to tell anyway.

When Aimee was born (see story below), I was a childbirth educator, LLL leader and a doula in the Frankfurt community, so was pretty well-known in natural childbirth circles. Of course, the word "doula" hadn't been invented yet (for use as in the birthing context), but it was in its gestation period because I'd met one other doula at a LLL Conference that same year (1986).

My partner Sarah was 7 months pregnant when I had Aimee on April 20 and was attending her childbirth classes religiously. That night was the cesarean night and she was the only attendee. Apparently, no one thought it would pertain to them, so took the night off. Sarah, ever prepared, was there - and learned more than just about cesareans.

Sarah, in the military, wanted a homebirth. But, her commander had taken her aside and told her if she had a homebirth she would not be given any leave. If she had a hospital birth, she would be given her 6 weeks leave. She felt there was no choice but to have a hospital birth since she had every intention to nurse for a good long time. Even as an active duty military mom.

So, while at her childbirth class that night, the teacher told her about this woman who'd had this car birth that day and how she'd finangled a way to get out of the hospital within 3 hours after the baby was born. Curiousity piqued, Sarah thought, "This woman, I've got to meet!" The instructor went on and on about the birth plan I'd constructed and how I'd gone to interview with the hospital staff and been in cahoots with the nurse-midwives and Sarah knew more and more that she had to know me.

"How can I meet her?"

The childbirth educator told Sarah that even though I was going to only be 2 days postpartum, I was a pretty die-hard La Leche League leader and that I would surely be at the next LLL meeting in a couple of days... she could try to meet me there.

As Sarah tells the story now, she could hardly wait the two days.

The night of the LLL meeting, Sarah was napping - and the girl LOVES her sleep - woke up remembering she had to come and meet me. She got up, put her blue maternity shirt on with the sailboats and Peter Pan collar and came to the La Leche League meeting at Rhein Mein Air Base.

It was a crowded meeting. Yet, when I saw Sarah, I thought, "How the hell did this dyke get pregnant?" And she was there, present, right there... I saw her the whole meeting. I smile remembering.

After the meeting, she made a beeline for me and told me who she was and what she wanted. She was intense! I asked her if she'd read this and that book and when she said she hadn't, I gave her 4 books... I remember giving her Silent Knife and A Good Birth, A Safe Birth but don't remember the others. Now I know that Sarah doesn't read a whole lot... then, I assumed everyone read like I do and didn't think anything of giving her so many books to digest in a short period of time.

She called me 2 days later. I blinked asking her if she'd read them all. She had. (She really had! She never lies.) She wanted to come over and discuss them. Uh... could we possibly wait until my husband is back to work? (My, this woman was pushy!) He was heading back to work when the baby was 2 weeks old. She said that would be fine.

When he went back to work, she called at 9:05 am that morning. She wanted to know if she and her husband could bring over pizza and Diet Coke for dinner that night. Laughing, how could I refuse? Now I know... she knew right where to get to me... through my stomach!

All these years later, we are baffled at how intense the draw was for her to meet me, how driven she was to stay near me, how much we had to do together in order to pave our paths in life together. From married with children through separation through her being asked to leave the military to our separation of several years (off and on) to our finally committing to a life together in 1997... it has been an amazing journey.

One constant in our lives has been our committment to always grow and change, to never remain stagnant, to always learn... and we do!

So, as Sarah tells the story of our meeting, she is much more humorous about it than I am. Although we would love to tell the story in Leaven (as if they'd accept it!) or stand up at a LLL Conference or something... I mean, how many people meet at a LLL meeting in the first place, right? Much less last for 21 years?!?

Sarah says that LLL meetings are great places to pick up chicks. And, she says, if you are so inclined, you can even check out the wares. shaking head laughing I find that sort of vulgar, but you gotta know her to know she means it with cop humor love in her heart.

Anyway, that's our LLL Love Story. 21 years ago today I met my Sarah. Isn't life grand?