Jessica Bates, author of Birth & What Came After: poems on motherhood last shared with us her miscarriage story. Today she is sharing a few poems from her upcoming book. Next week we will be giving away one copy of her first book so please be sure to check back in on details of how to enter!
Jessica Bates lives on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee, with her family. She likes long hot baths, long steamy books, and howling at the full moon.
Jessica released Birth & What Came After: poems on motherhood on May 9, 2017. She plans to release a second collection of motherhood poems in the spring of 2019 with a section on miscarriage and loss. The miscarriage poems featured here will be included in her upcoming collection. Sign up for her mailing list to stay in the loop about her new collection. She's also working on her first novel.
You can also follow Jessica on Instagram to see what she's reading, what she's writing, and to follow her pregnancy. She has a 4 year old and will welcome her rainbow baby earthside in early 2019.
Photo credit: HN James of Punk Rock Photography
Today I'm doing a spotlight on The Noble Paperie. Similar to the one I did a while ago with I Had a Miscarriage, Kate created a company of greeting cards targeted towards parents of loss. Kate has been through a lot of trauma in motherhood and in dealing with her heartache she noticed the same void in the card market that Jessica noticed. Instead of ignoring that void, Kate turned her heartache into something beautiful and purposeful. She created a line of support cards for The Noble Paperie.
Kate was kind enough to send me some samples of her products and I cant enunciate enough how well made they are. The quality is so high and the details are so thoughtful (the back of every card has a custom design!). You can tell that she takes care and pride in each design that she creates.
Some of her cards are filled with heartfelt words and other use humor to help mend the wound. And if you're like me, humor is the way to my heart. And also adult beverages ;) So the options are a welcomed detail of her shop.
A portion of the profits from these cards goes to Miracle Babies, a charity whose mission is to provide support and financial assistance to families with critically-ill newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and to enhance the well-being of women, children and their families through education, prevention and medical care. If the cards weren't great enough on their own, I'm all about supporting am amazing cause.
In the next coming days I will be sharing more of Kates personal story that lead to the creation of these cards. I'm so thankful for people like Kate who use their own personal struggles to help others. I hope you check back and follow along with her journey and that you use her shop to help comfort parent in need. Sometimes just a small 'hey, I'm thinking about you." can make a huge difference in someone's grieving process.
With that I will leave you with The Noble Paperie's mission statement
"Our mission is to spread joy and hope to those with a mama’s heart, who are struggling through miscarriage, infertility, and other pregnancy-related issues. We believe that becoming a mother starts when you prepare your heart to have children – not the actual manifestation of a child. Our paper products are designed with love and care to support, advocate for, and inspire a community to live with joy through the journey."
Think THINX but for bladder leaks.
Now you have Icon
I have always wanted to try THINX but I have an off the wall period so I didn’t know if I would have a good use for them. I use actual depends 3-4 days in my cycle *insert cry face emoji here*. But when I found out about Icon (thank you instagram for always opening my eyes to the best products and people!) I was all “underwear I can pee in?! Where do I sign up?!”
After having three kids my pelvic floor has slowly weakened causing me to have bladder leaks when I do anything straining ie sneezing, coughing, barfing, existing in life. And I know what you're thinking “Go see a PT Ashley, you can totally fix that!” but let me just be honest here for a second. I’m kind of too lazy to do that. The thought of having to find a PT, make an appointment, find child care, and then actually go to an appointment, or 5, that's like my nightmare.
Luckily for me Icon is here to help me out when I’m not willing to help myself (let’s also seriously note that not all pelvic floors and bladder leaks can be fixed by PT, at least not totally) It should also be noted that they do encourage you to take care of your pelvic floor and offer advice and exercises to do on their website so. bases.covered.
So what exactly are Icon undies? They are essentially underwear that take the place of disposable panty liners. They hold an average of 5-6 teaspoons of liquid (pee) depending on the style you get, all while keeping you odor and bacteria free thanks for their fancy technology. So you can sneeze and not have to follow it with an ‘Oh Shit!’ You get to just have that bladder leak and go on with your day because Icon's got your back (or I guess, front in this case)
“But that cost!!!!” Yeah, I know. They are a little bit pricy for a pair of underwear but hopefully this video can break that down a little better for you
Basically, you're replacing your disposable liners. So you're saving money on all of the liners you would be buying and tossing otherwise, and instead, reusing your Icons. Can we also talk about how much better that is for the environment? I mean, if you’re into things like helping our our mother Earth. And while we are talking about positive impact, a portion of each pair of underwear sold goes to the Fistula Foundation to help fund life-changing surgeries for women in developing countries. In their first year alone, they funded surgeries for 71 women. I don’t think your panty liners are doing that. Just sayin.
And incase you don’t know what a fistula is or what it means to have one
“The most common type of fistula involving these systems is a vesicovaginal fistula, in which the woman's vagina is connected to the urinary bladder. This causes leakage of urine from the vagina and results in frequent vaginal and bladder infections. Fistulas may also develop between the vagina and the large intestine (a enterovaginal fistula) so that feces leaks from the vagina. Although both these types of fistulas are uncommon in the developed world, they are common in poor developing countries and result from long, difficult labor and childbirth, especially in very young girls. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as obstetric fistulas.
Some experts suggest that in parts of Africa, as many as 3-4 women develop these fistulas out of every 1,000 births. Others estimate that as many as 2 million women worldwide are living with unrepaired obstetric fistulas. If left unrepaired, obstetric fistulas cause women to constantly leak urine and feces. As a result, they become social outcasts, causing them extreme hardship and psychological trauma.” Source
Yeah. awful right? I think we can all get behind ICON in their mission to fund these surgeries.
Lets touch a little on my actual personal experience so far.
It started off with me ordering the wrong size and feeling like a total dunce but then getting the most amazing customer service and the correct pair being sent to my door right away with no issues. Thats huge. Especially when you are spending a significant amount of money on a product. (thanks Bridget!)
So then I get the right size and they are great. You can tell that they are made from quality material just by looking at them. They are also packaged adorably with the best sayings like “Our favorite wine? Pinot.” (I know right?!) Which, I know packaging doesn't matter to everyone but it totally does to me. (Yes I will spend $20 extra dollars on the same exact product because it has a pretty box. I'm so annoying) (JK I'm poor but if I wasn’t, I totally would) And when they say that there is no bulk with their padding, they mean it. You really can’t tell that you're not wearing normal underwear. It’s amazing. Nice work team.
On top of the quality and comfort, they really do work. I was actually typing this up and I sneezed and guess what?! I didn't have to change my pants. That’s a sure sign of a good time right there folks. So, no leak. Check. No odor. Check. No weird infections from bacteria. Check. They really do it all.
My only, very small, very personal, complaint would be that they have an elastic waistband (all except the thong cut) and elastic waistbands tend to cut into my well cushioned hips. Which I personally don't love. For this reason, I would recommend sizing up. But again, that’s a personal preference and I’ll reiterate how wonderful their customer service is if you have any questions or issues with sizing.
In conclusion, I happily stand by Icon's quality and service, their environmental impact, and their charitable actions helping women in third world countries by providing life changing surgery. I wholeheartedly back them and their products as well as their mission in “celebrating our strength as women, while chuckling at the ways our beautiful, imperfect, sexy, hilarious, resilient, leaky bodies can go rogue.” So what are you waiting for?? Go order yourself a pair of Icon undies. Trust me, urine for a treat. (you guys, I had to)
A collection of posts from different humans all over the world, sharing their stories about the struggles they have faced in their individual journeys to motherhood.