Conscious feeding

I loved photographing Danielle at her home a few months back, and it made me realize something important. 

During the session, I noticed how she was feeding her daughter and it surprised me in a way that I'm surprised that it surprised me – that was fun to write. She feeds her formula because the shape of her nipples didn't allow for breastfeeding. So she prepared a bottle and then held it while Samaya drank from it. At times she was leaning so close, it reminded me of having my daughter close during feedings (from the breast in my case).

She looked at her and talked to her and kept her company while she ate.

I know that one of the advantages of bottle feeding is that sometimes you can use a blanket or a pillow to prop a bottle up while you claim your own arms for yourself for just a minute (please!). So I think this might be why it surprised me. 

Point is that it was the most beautiful sight to see.


I love creating images like this.

Mamas consciously feeding (diaper changing, burping, etc.) and connecting with their babies. Moments of inclusion and focused attention that are so valuable in deepening our relationship as mothers and for babies to feel a sense of security they need to grow without fear. 

And of course that not every feeding will look like this! It's not about being the perfect 100% mama, but to get the pleasure of enjoying mindful moments like these. I know I spent quite a few days with a baby latched on my breast and my attention fully on the television. #growthspurts




The Birth of a Mama – My Story

Five years ago, on January 24th, 2013, I gave birth to a fragile newborn at 3:45 in the morning. She weighed little under six pounds of greasy, swollen tinyness.

The plan was to last through 4 centimeters without medication. I'd heard somewhere that an epidural before 4 cm could increase the chance of a c-section ... I don't actually know if that's true, but that's what I was going with.

But it turns out that after 17 hours of painful contractions I only dilated to 3. I needed a nap. So I got an epidural and surprise! 10 minutes later I was at a fully open 10 centimeters and ready for business.


Turned out my body was too tense from the pain and it wasn't able to dilate. Knowing what I know now, I needed to soften and let the pain go through me instead of what I was doing, trying to scape it. I didn't know though, and nobody told me. I didn't have a doula and the nurses at the hospital weren't really ever there. My experience at Cedars Hospital was positive. Everything went smoothly and the space was clean. But thinking back to it, I don't think anyone ever really saw me there. They just saw a body about to give birth. One of so many.

So 19 hours into labor and I was ready to push. But my mama was sleeping back at my house and not answering her phone and I knew she'd hate to miss it. So I called a nearby friend who bless-her-soul got up and out of her house to drive to mine and wake my parents up. This all must have taken about 30 minutes, I don't know, but I said I'd wait and my body supported me in waiting. Once they arrived I asked my dad to stay in the room with us. Weird move, not planned, but it felt right then. No regrets. Then I pushed for maybe 20 minutes and she was out.

We called her Amelie. Yes, like in the movie.

She didn’t cry one tear as they put her on my bare chest. Five fingers and five toes, all covered in a funny greasy goo. I wanted to know what to next. I asked if I should try to feed her and the nurse suggested I gave her some time. She looked calm and didn’t seem to need anything, so I relaxed and sank in the beauty of the moment. 

She was here ... Without knowing what it really meant I’d wanted to be a mother since I remember and now I was. Finally the chance to start exploring that journey. Life would never be the same again. 

5 years of motherhood

This photo is an oldie from 5 years ago. I was excited, tired and full of fear. You know how it goes ... I look at that face and feel so much love and compassion. I had no idea what was coming!!

A sweet mama to be already trying her best to be a good one. Reading the parenting books, hydrating and eating enough, meditating and sleeping a ton. Because boy was I always tired! I wasn’t perfect though. I struggled with eating enough calories because I could only handle very small portions (small body packed with a growing baby). I was too tired to do any physical activity and lost all the muscle in my body. And I had my wines and my sushis here and there ... although I had an amazing OB who didn’t think those were strict no-no’s. 5 years sure have gone fast. A good reminder to document your family story with photos

That Impossible Life Work Balance

Feeling fulfilled as a mother, partner, creative and entrepreneur comes in waves and is usually never overlapping.

When I’m the mama I want to be, is usually at the expense of work. When I feel on top of my business, it’s usually at the expense of my family. Quality time, with my family and my company, are two very different things and can’t coexist in the same moment.

Family time means slowing down, thinking less, feeling my body.

Family time and multitasking don't go together. It just doesn't work. You need to pause, pay attention, listen and respond. Engage. Get out of your head. Work time for me means finding a quiet spot to get stuff done. Having a list of projects and tasks, thinking what's the most efficient way to accomplish the tasks, and focusing on getting them done one at a time. 

Sometimes I strike a balance for a few days. I feel focused at work and then I pause to connect with my family. This is how I feel today. In balance. In harmony with all the sides of me. May it last a little longer

The Birth of a Mama - Beckie Rado

I'm so happy to share Beckie's story here today. After reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, I'm convinced we need to write and share more positive birth stories with the world. As mamas, we can help others better understand their options and make decisions based on what's best for their families, not solely based on fear or what they're told to do.

I believe there are many ways to do things right. Right because it's safe and because it works for you and your family. I'm lucky that I get to meet so many fellow mothers, and even luckier when they share their story with me. I'm excited to use this journal as a safe space to share not only our childbirth stories but how we each find our own version and definition of motherhood as we raise our children. 

I met Beckie on a Facebook mama group. She agreed to be my model for a photo shoot for a new brand of nursing covers. Funny thing is that she never actually nursed, so we had to get creative with some of the shots. I spent one whole day with her and I can tell you how sweet her bond with her son is, the love and trust between them ... a gift to have witnessed. 

So now I let Beckie tell you her story ...



A year ago yesterday at 2pm my OBGYN called me to let me know I would be induced at 4am today, so naturally, I thought, well, it’s my last day before becoming a mother, what do I need to do? I need to get my hair done. So, I booked an appt at 6:30pm for that night. At around 7:30pm I started feeling some heavy contractions that started by themselves. I held out on telling my hairdresser because I wasn’t sure if I would be back anytime soon since I was about to have a newborn. I also really needed a toner and a cut. I held off until what seemed like forever and then I blurted “I think I need to go to the hospital”. She quickly washed out my color and I assured her I was fine for toner. Adam was taking a while to pick me up so I squeezed in a quick cut, too. He picked me up at 9pm and we got home and I was fine again. I was really glad I got the toner and the cut before I left.

At about 12am we left for the hospital, four hours early. I figured I was somewhat contracting and it would be good to get checked in early and not be in full on labor driving to the hospital 40 mins away.

I was lucky. I drove to the hospital in comfort.

They checked me in and started prepping me and at 4am on the dot I was in my room.

The nurse came in at 5:30am and asked me if I wanted the epidural. I paused and said “maybe”. She then let me know that the labor ward was fully booked. That meant that there were 20 other women having babies at the same time as me. She told me that if I got an epidural now I would get it right now. If I waited an hour and there was a line of 5 women it could take up to an hour and a half. I freaked out internally. I heard that Pitocin is intense and that it is a lot more painful than going into labor naturally. So, it seemed like an easy decision.

By 6:30am they pushed the Pitocin and I started laboring around 7am.

I was extremely happy. Texting, making calls, drinking cranberry juice. I even slept for 2 hours.

Hail that epi. 6 hours went by and I was ready. I felt nothing. Not even a slight bit of pain. Nothing at all my whole labor.

They left me until 3pm because they were checking other patients and waiting for my OBGYN.
Once my OB got there it was all systems go.

It took 2.5 hours until Avery was born. My epidural was halved at one point but I made sure it was in full force again right away. I couldn’t handle it. Maybe it was the Pitocin, maybe it was the fact I felt nothing and then I felt a lot, maybe I just can’t handle pain. Who knows? I think I only felt 7-10mins of intense pain during Avery’s whole birth.

I have no idea how women do it without drugs. Women are goddesses with incredible body capabilities.

I worship anyone who has gone through that kind of pain completely. It’s indescribable.

Then my son was in my arms. He was 8 pound 11 ounces of chub. He had a double chin! He instantly became my everything. He was just perfect. So healthy and so content. I hardly heard him cry when he was born. He has hardly cried since. How did I get so lucky with a perfect birth and an incredible son? I am extremely lucky.


I count my blessing every single day because I know how hard it is for some. I pray all the time only sending thanks.

This last year has been such a journey. It has been everything. I know I was meant to be a mother. This boy has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. For months I ran off adrenaline. I didn’t sleep at all for 2 days when he was first born. All I wanted to do was just look at him. I had no idea what cluster feeding was, pumping, breastfeeding. It all came. I just can’t believe how lucky I have been to experience this year. Best year of my life hands down and nothing can take that away.

I have just finished pumping for the last time and I feel so sad.

Sad that the connection with my baby has gone. A connection that he didn’t even know of because I was exclusively pumping. Maybe I had a good connection with my pump. We have been in a pretty sturdy relationship for 365 days. I’m sad because instead of washing the parts I can throw them out. My body has changed because of it. It’s so magical what a woman’s body can do for her children.


Last night Avery said, “mama” over and over and over for the first time. At 7pm. That meant a year ago on the dot between 7 and 7:30pm I was contracting and he finally said my name exactly a year later. I have been waiting and waiting for this and now it is so meaningful. So special.

Life is so precious. Every moment is a gift. Avery is and always has been incredibly special.

I made him, cooked him, birthed him and fed him with my body for a whole year!

I am so proud that he is healthy and that I made it a full year with him without completely losing my mind. So proud of the experiences we have shared and the indescribable love. He is my dream son and everything I have ever hoped for. I couldn’t have done any of it without my husband, Adam Rado. We made a loving family and it is nothing short of a dream come true.

I am so in love 💙

- Beckie