C-Section Mothers: Your Birth Story Isn't a Failure

C-Section Mothers: Your Birth Story Isn't a Failure

I’d agreed to the Pitocin when my contractions didn’t strengthen after eight hours, the Nubain when a day had passed under the fluorescent hospital lighting and I still hadn’t slept, the epidural when the contractions weren’t dilating my cervix according to established medical timeframes. The full buffet of medical interventions I’d vowed to avoid was up for the taking, and I’d sampled many of the offerings, starving for the bliss of my newborn child against my skin. The c-section was the final course, served up like the dessert I knew I didn’t want but just had to try.

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A Letter to My Body

A Letter to My Body

The fact is, I'm not mad at you for changing. I know it seems like I am. But I know it isn't your fault. It isn't your fault that we're sick and that we can't do life the way we used to. Neither one of us asked for this. And the truth is, you've handled this thing amazingly. I hate to think of where I would be had you not shown so much strength over the last seven years.

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What Self Care Means to Me

What Self Care Means to Me

What I'm realizing as the weeks slip by and I step more fully into this new version of me, is that the indulgent bubble bath at the end of the night is only enjoyable if I stop calling myself 'lazy' while I take it. The home cooked meal only counts as self care if I don't stand in the mirror obsessing about my stomach afterwards. Self care for me is looking a lot like the way I give myself permission to do and enjoy the things we want.

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Fumbling My Way Through Birth and Death

Fumbling My Way Through Birth and Death

I’m an “old” mom. My son arrived just ahead of my 35th birthday and before that year my husband and I weren’t sure we wanted to be parents. However, after my father-in-law died unexpectedly, the conversations about having a family of our own became more frequent. We faced the grim reality that if we didn’t stop riding the proverbial fence we may have a child whose grandparents never knew him. So when my mom was diagnosed with stage three anal cancer in April 2015, her positive biopsy swiftly led to my positive pregnancy test four short months later. I was not at all prepared for what was to come.

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My Mom Was a Runner

My Mom Was a Runner

My mom was a runner. I don’t know when or why she decided to run, but once she began it became a very important part of her day. Up at dawn, she put on a tattered baseball cap, equally worn t-shirt and shorts, and Nike Air shoes. She carried a stick and a pocket full of dog treats. A dirt path around a quiet, desert golf course was her domain as the sun began to rise. She didn’t have an easy life. There was little peace in her life apart from running. This was the one thing she did for herself. An introvert, she rarely socialized outside of family. Life had ups and downs and she had concerns about various family matters, finances, and other things. But for an hour each morning, these were put aside as she allowed herself to feel the emotional freedom that comes from the movement and breathing that accompany running.

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You Can Do Hard Things

You Can Do Hard Things

I come from a tight-knit family. We love each other deeply and keep in touch, whether via text or in person, often. So, when one member is hurting or celebrating, the rest of us feel it right there with them. Last fall, three huge events happened in our family’s life that were met with a strange mix of joy, grief, and fear: I gave birth to my first child, my oldest nephew passed away two weeks later, and my mom – our rock – was diagnosed with a serious case of bladder cancer two months after that. To say my emotions were in overdrive is an understatement.

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9 Beautiful Journals to Share Your Story

9 Beautiful Journals to Share Your Story

Here at Holl & Lane, we truly believe in the power of story. Whether you share your story with the world, or you keep it private, writing your own story, the pieces of it, the moments, is such a valuable tool. Something else we believe in? Writing your story in a beautiful keepsake - something you’ll want to pull out time and time again. We’ve rounded up 9 beautiful journals just begging to hold your life within their pages.

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The Dinner Table

The Dinner Table

Every Sunday my family gathers together for family dinner. We pile all the food onto the table and check in with each other. On a warm summer night, the windows will be open and our neighbors will be wondering what we're laughing about. In the winter, the woodburning stove is lit and crackling. The ambiance changes with the seasons but a constant is that, whether in joy or stress, my family week after week comes to the table to spend time together.

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Mending My Broken Heart

Mending My Broken Heart

On a mid-January evening, my (now ex) boyfriend of two years, whom I loved unconditionally and lived with in Colorado, blindsided me after he came home from a solo trip to the mountains and informed me that he “wasn’t happy”. While I initially suspected another woman, he blatantly denied it and lied to my face on multiple occasions. I later found out that I was ultimately deceived. This deception rocked me to my core; my emotions and actions that immediately followed were desperate, pathetic even. This was by far the hardest thing I had been through in my 29 years. The one person I needed to be there for me the most was the one person who put me in this horrific situation. This wasn’t JUST a breakup, this was much more than that.

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Cancer at 23: How it Changed Me for the Better

Cancer at 23: How it Changed Me for the Better

The moment I found out I had cancer, I was sitting in my cubicle at the first job I had gotten after graduating from college. My biggest worry that day was finishing my Christmas shopping, as the holidays were just a few weeks from then. That was going to be my first Christmas together with my family since moving back from college in Minnesota, and I was so excited to spend time with those I loved. With one phone call from my doctor that afternoon, after a set of yearly routine tests, my entire life was flipped upside down.

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Growing Up Among the Trees

Growing Up Among the Trees

There is something about sitting among the trees and just watching and listening that is so beautiful and cleansing. It causes you to pause and think about what it took for the forest to grow. The trees that have managed to survive the longest have undoubtedly been through so much. But the trees that had short lives and ended up on the forest floor, only to become kindling later, still served a purpose.

It is the same with us as humans. We often stop to compare ourselves to others, wondering what we are lacking, wondering why someone else is growing stronger or faster or living longer. We don’t stop to look at the beauty that we hold within and recognize our purpose.

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Friendship 2.0

Friendship 2.0

Many of us have friends who are friends of circumstance – the person who sits next to you at work, the mother who always arrives at child pick-up the same time as you, the girl in yoga class who hangs out near the back where you are. And due to the necessity of social convention, we keep those friends at arm’s length. As my daughter once said, "Imagine if you really tried to become true, deep friends with your neighbor and it turns out you don't like them - and then you live next to them for 25 years. It's so much easier to just smile and wave and invite them over for a birthday party." How right she is.

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The Other Side of Suicide

The Other Side of Suicide

On October 8, 2016, my life abruptly changed. The man I’d loved for more than 15 years took his own life. I was shocked, devastated, and lost in a sea of emotions while simultaneously trying to collect myself enough to face my two small boys, who were nine months and three years old. It was a moment that induced a fog that I had never experienced before. I have heard it described as “widow brain” but it was much more than that. It was the detachment and numbness that happened while trying to process my new reality, but it was also all the sadness, confusion, anger, and hurt that came with it.

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At Home with My Siblings

At Home with My Siblings

I think all of us have felt unsettled lately, like a general un-anchoring is taking place in each of our lives. The past year or so has been full of change, decisions, and uncertain direction for all of us. Deciding on a college major. Moving. Job searching. Changing a college major. New jobs. New babies. Dissatisfaction with jobs. A major medical diagnosis.

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How I Became a Runner While Focusing on Self-Care

How I Became a Runner While Focusing on Self-Care

I started small. I focused on what I was eating. I’ve never had a problem with adjusting my diet, so I figured the easiest step was to focus there first. I re-downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and started paying attention to my portion sizes. I started watching how many calories were in the foods I had been eating. I didn’t starve myself, I still enjoyed food, I just did it in a healthier way. This was my sole focus for a month. And I began to see very slight changes in my body and how I was feeling.

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