issue #134 - the weary one
Weary sums up all the emotions I’ve felt this week.
At a macro level, I’m terrified that overturning Roe is the beginning of even more restrictions to bodily autonomy for those who live in the United States. I feel gratitude (and guilt for that gratitude) that I live in a state that protects my right to choose (a right I was grateful for when I miscarried, and required a D&C to remove the products of conception of a very wanted baby). I was also callous about that privilege (and subsequently humbled).
But mostly, I’m terrified.
At a micro level, I’m relieved to have closed something at work that took longer than expected. I was also so honored to have interviewed THE Jane Green about her new book Sister Stardust. And I’m relieved to have packed my suitcase away for a bit and am savoring normal life at home - playing with my kids in the afternoons, watching TV on the couch with my husband on weekends, strolling through the park after drop-off, cooking dinner for the family.
And for the fulfillment I’ve felt on a personal level, it hasn’t lessened the sting of the terror. Hence, the overwhelming weariness that I feel deep in my bones.
How does one cope? Well, for me it’s increasing my monthly donations to abortion funds serving states with the most restrictive anti-abortion laws, re-reading Controlling Women (which warned us of this very news last summer), and beginning Formula 1: Drive To Survive on Netflix (because I was told it was basically Selling Sunset, but with cars, and that’s all I needed to hear).
I also want to hold space here today for those who find this day to be a hard one. I hope you take some time to care for yourself today - prepare or order in your comfort meal, watch or read something that lets you escape (highly recommend ACOTAR or the aforementioned F1 series for this), and get some rest.
We didn’t get here overnight. And no matter how dire things look right now, we will not get out of it overnight either. So take care of yourself, find enjoyment (or at the very least, disconnection from the news), and prepare for a long fight ahead.
I’m sending you my love.
Celebrate yourself, today and everyday (sponsored by Haverhill)
For me, jewelry is personal.
I wear my family’s birthstones (and jewelry designed to honor my professional accomplishments as well) with pride. The pieces I wear everyday show the world who I am - as a person celebrating her big wins as much as she celebrates her husband and children).
I wear my Haverhill birthstone necklace and bracelets (1 honoring my kids, 1 honoring my books and company) with pride. And their incredibly quality and construction means I never take them off, and they’ve resisted my kids’ superhuman strength.
The only constant in life is change, and Haverhill has you covered there as well. They make it really easy to add or shorten the length of your pieces, or to add new gemstones and initials to your pieces to reflect the changes in your life.
I wear these pieces with pride and love, and love that they show the world my multitudes beyond being a wife and mom.
If you’d like to invest in a Haverhill piece that shows the world exactly who YOU are, use code hitha15 to get 15% off your order.
What Hitha Read This Week
It was a heavy re-reading week (and I highly recommend every single one of these books):
Controlling Women by Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay
A Court Of Thorns & Roses (Part 2) by Sarah J. Maas
Sister Stardust by Jane Green
What Abigail Read This Week:
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan - I stayed up late reading this book and I can't wait to read Julia Whelan's next book, out this summer. She's also a beloved audiobook narrator and her love of literature, poetry and language is clear in this romance set at Oxford. I rooted for Ella from page one and it was the perfect respite from well, everything.
Hitha here, chiming in to say that I LOVED this book and highly recommend snagging the audiobook. To hear Julia’s words in her own voice makes this book come alive.
Top #5SmartReads of the Week
Bad First Drafts (Jill Filipovic)
These Laws Are Making Miscarriage More Traumatic in America (New York Times)
7 Strategies For Wasting Less Food (The New York Times)
The rest of the week’s reads (and conversations!) are below:
Your Questions, Answered
Why do you keep pushing the narrative that COVID isn’t over, yet you’re always out at events?
Because COVID is not over, but we can gather safely given that we have vaccines, many places have upgraded ventilation, and testing is widely available and I take advantage of all of these measures when gathering.
I test daily when I’m traveling or have events (and the days before and after). I continue to wear KN95 mask when on transport or in crowded areas. I ask about vaccine requirements for events and if their ventilation is upgraded. And I’m grateful that a number of my events have been outdoors.
This isn’t a purely black-or-white issue, and I also recognize that I am lucky in not being immunocompromised (and we are test and mask when gathering with our loved ones who are). We have a lot of mitigations we can use when gathering and I’m not shy about confirming them before accepting invitations.
What to read to cure my HOSAB hangover???
I haven’t read Throne of Glass but if you’re stuck in the Maasverse and don’t want to leave, I would recommend it! It’s my summer book series.
Best NYC spot for solo lunch date?
Hillstone, Buvette, Sugarfish, The Smith, Jajaja, The Well (book a foot masage as well!)
Having a miscarriage- misoprostol or D & C?
I’m so so so sorry. It’s best to consult with your OB on what’s best for YOU.
How did you manage those first few weeks of motherhood? 1wk in and happy, but exhausted!
As a first time mom, I was exhausted and overwhelmed and din’t know what to expect and as all “is this our life now?”
I let the messes pile up, lived in sweats, and snuggled the baby as much as humanly possible.
With Rhaki, we planned for help (a night nurse and postpartum doulas - I know how privileged we are to be able to budget for this) and I savored the time a lot more because I think I knew it would be the last time, and I knew it wouldn’t last forever.
How did you navigate new marital space after first child? “Newborn + this is new” phase
Couples therapy (and therapy on my own).
Our first year as parents was rocky for our marriage and we needed someone to help us really hear each other and finds new ays to support each other.
Fair Play didn’t publish until we’d been parents for a couple of years, but it helped us so much with communication and divvying up the load fairly when I Was expecting Rhaki, I cannot recommend the book and more if you both need a framework to communicate better.
Have you discussed probiotics? Trying Seed now. Curious on your thoughts
Athletic Greens AG1 has both prebiotics and probiotics, which is why I love it so much!
But the thing with any supplement is that it’s mean to supplement your diet and lifestyle. There’s no such thing as a magic pill that replaced good nutrition, rest, and exercise. So I hope you are able to prioritize these as well as supplements, and always consult with your doctor before taking any supplement!
If digestion and gut health are a priority for you, consider adding more fermented food and drinks to your diet as well- sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, miso, or idly and dosa.
Did you have a fear of losing yourself/career in motherhood? How did you navigate?
I did, and I remember talking to Divya Gugnani about this exact fear when I was early in my pregnancy with Rho.
She told me two really important things that I still hold onto today:
That this fear and recognition meant that I would find my way to juggle both
that it wouldn’t look like how I imagined or planned for, so to stop obsessing about it.
I have to admit that motherhood unlocked new levels of creativity in me and taught me how to ruthlessly prioritize and offload things to other people. I have the career I have BECAUSE of motherhood (and a shit load of privilege that allowed us to budget for a lot of help on the home and work fronts, and for me to have the flexibility to work the best way for ME)
What would it take to send your kids massless to school in the fall?
At a bare minimum, vaccines authorized for under 5, upgraded ventilation at my kids’ schools (both my kids’ schools are).
It would also depend on community transmission at that time and the severity/transmission of the variant circulating at that time, which I can’t predict but would be a major factor for us.
Tips/articles for discussing abortion who ask why it’s diff than vaccine/mask mandate
Simply put, vaccines and masks protect yourselves and your community.
Abortion affects the person who is choosing to have one (and should be left to the person seeking it and their doctor, and not be dictated by lawmakers who are only interested in controlling bodies and not in the health and safety of 50% of this population).
If you’re talking to the “abortion is murder” people, there is not reasoning with someone whose fixed view rejects basic science and masks compassion for the many, many reasons someone needs an abortion.
What is difference between doula and night nurse? Curious why you opted for both vs 1.
My doulas were there during my delivery and while I was in the hospital, and I scheduled a couple of postpartum visits so they could help me with nursing, and taking the baby during those visits so I could nap and rest.
The night nurse was there in the evenings so I could sleep.
I had prenatal depression with Rhaki and prioritizing sleep was a huge part of managing it during my pregnancy, so we made the investment to help me prioritize sleep in postpartum. Nursing Rhaki was also a priority for me (Rho didn’t latch and I wasn’t able to experience it with him), so having my doulas teach us how to nurse beyond the hospital’s LC was an important investment for us.
Support like this should be a given, not a privilege reserved only to those who can afford it.
Nursing friendly clothing recs? Esp dresses for summer
Nesara kaftans! I live in mine all summer long. Code hitha gets you $10 off your order
How are you?
Is anyone okay? I know I’m not given the news this week, but i’m also trying to figure out the best place fo ray time and resources to invest in this fight (which will open the door for other heard-fought rights to be revoked).
I’m not okay, But I’m taking a beat to rest, regroup, and plot my sustained actions to fight for a future we deserve and not this dystopia nightmare designed to control bodies.
Julia Dzafic referred her night nurse to me and she was INCREDIBLE. Since I was supplementing from the beginning, she fed Rhaki formula during the night feedings and I nursed/pumped during the day.
Stay strong, stay safe, and do something to help you stay sane. Sending you my love.