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Motherless Mothering w/ Kate Spencer!

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Totally Mommy Podcast

Episode 3

Listen in for a foreword (it’s 13 full minutes so feel free to skip ahead if you’d like!) to this episode regarding birth choices and judgement from Elizabeth before a fun albeit tear-filled conversation with writer and VH1 correspondent Kate Spencer about becoming a Mother when we don’t have our own Mothers. Plus some great Good/Bad/Funnies as well as our unqualified advice/answer to an excellent listener question regarding guilt in parenting! Enjoy!


Alia says:

Thank you for this week’s episode; I’m actually listening to it right now (it just started.)


I’m not a mother so maybe I don’t understand people’s reactions to last week’s episode. From my perspective, I think it’s interesting how much someone is willing to say online. I doubt that many of the listeners who wrote negative comments would ever have the guts to say any of those things to you in person. I know it’s hard not to take what they said to heart, but I hope you are able to sort of compartmentalize the negative things that have been said to you online, and know that none of that matters. All that matters is your daughter and the people around you who know you and know that you are very open-minded and respectful of everyone’s choices in life.

Anyway, I think you rock and your podcasts are always so much fun to listen to.

Julia says:

I have no kids yet, fingers crossed it will be soon, but along with the Laime podcasts I listen to two other pregnancy podcasts “Pregtastic” and “PreggiePals” I mention this because they have not only a lot of great info but also have a lot of great birth stories. They share birth stories with a variety of birth methods from home to hospital including various methods of pain management such as the bradley method, hypnobirthing, epidural, and more. Looking forward to hearing some Laime Mom’s birth stories!

Andrea says:

I think cutting yourself off the scale can be healthy, it has been good for me. I cut myself off about 2 years ago. I use how my clothes fit as a good gauge of how I’m doing with my nutrition and fitness. I know this may not work for everyone, but it has done wonders for myself and my body issues (especially with my daughter’s). When my clothes get snug me and my girls get more active and talk more about nutrition and the correlation between what what we eat and how we feel. I’m now 22 weeks pregnant with my third daughter and the only time I hear my weight is at my ob appts. Even though ny body is changing and my clothes are getting snug because of the bump, I use how my body feels and focus on nutrition, and my weight gain has been going really well. At least for me I have enough body awareness to work without a scale. Best of luck on getting off the scale. It has been amazing both physically and emotionally for me.

Melissa says:

Stopping mid-podcast, just after your intro, to say, Elizabeth, you are the best!! Thank-you so much for sharing how your arrived at your choices and plan for your pregnancy and birth, and I love the how you, through your own example and through your goals, are promoting community among women and mothers – a healthy open dialogue. We need each other! And I also absolutely love the idea of sharing and reading birth stories; I think stories – all kinds – are things that draw us together as human beings, they help us to understand and to sympathize with one another in ways we could not otherwise do. Stories immerse us in another world, another mindset and make our thinking more complex – and it is so empowering, too, to feel that our own story is being listened to. So thanks, Elizabeth, for being you and for doing this podcast, for being so open and warm, and responding so positively to all the responses.

O-Shen Christ says:

Lovely episode. You never need to explain and honestly do u want listers not open and full of judgement? Stop defending. Just be your wonderful lovely self who’s wonderfully flawed and beautiful!! I love you Elizabeth Laime!!!

Sara says:

Just wanted to say that I had the exact same thing happen when my husband and I had our first appointment with our OB/GYN. We were rushed, treated abruptly, and I was told I was overweight (like I was unaware?). I wanted to switch doctors but didn’t find anyone better, and we stayed. My doctor grew on me, and I know she was just having a bad day. During birth, I fought getting pitocin (against my doctor’s advice) until I was worn out after four hours of active labor. I wound up having a hemorrhage (which pitocin prevents) and a horrible post-birth experience. I was basically passed out for a few hours and didn’t get to bond with my baby and husband. In the end, I should have listened to my doctors and given in to the “medical establishment.” Once I decided to stay with my doctor and her practice, I had someone who knew me and was an expert right in the room, and I was so worried about internet posts about the dangers of pitocin. In hindsight, that was ridiculous. In the end, you cannot really predict what will happen or what will be helpful or harmful. All I can say is that you really don’t know.

Thanks for sharing your story. I thought I would share a story about the benefits of drugs and hospitals that I never expected. They saved my life. If I do it again, it will be with my doctor and a bag of pitocin. Good luck to you.

Sarah says:

You guys made me cry. I found this podcast on a whim and now am trying desperately to catch up on Totally Married too! Love what you’re doing and it’s totally real life which I love!! Anyway, back to today’s podcast…I am lucky enough to still have my mom yet we live many states away (too far to drive) and only see each other usually once a year. She lost her mom at 22 and her dad at 15 so she had a rough time being an “orphan” so early. I too feel like I know my grandparents even though they were gone long before I entered the world. What a wonderful feeling. But I can relate (somewhat) to that feeling of sadness knowing that she’s so far away we won’t have all those close moments many get with their moms when they have a child. But you both did a beautiful job of pointing out the positives in a hard situation. Even if it’s through your daughter’s eyes, or mannerisms, or whatever other cool things she does, your mom is there. What a comfort. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, I absolutely loved today’s show. πŸ™‚

Laura N says:

Your explanation of the journey you and Andy took to choose your Midwife was awesome. That was a fantastic way to calm everyone and their strong feelings.
Might I recommend a great book full of inspirational birth stories:
Adventures in Natural Childbirth edited by Janet Schwegel

Emily says:

Professor Blastoff did an episode a while back, all about midwives ( It is a very informative episode, all the while being hilarious!

For anyone who wants to hear a different perspective on some of the things talked about on Totally Mommy from a midwive’s perspective, I highly recommend checking it out!

Melissa says:

Agreed! That was a really good one… very informative. If I remember right, the midwife had a fear of putting out any of her opinions out in the world on that episode (constant disclaimers). There isn’t one right answer to bringing a kid into the world. Stop the judgement. Elizabeth doesn’t need to apologize for having opinions.

Kels837 says:

Thank you for helping me remember to never take my mom for granted! I have an amazing relationship with her and she has been such a support as I raise my daughter and go through my current pregnancy with #2. You two made me cry and my heart goes out to you.

Kate’s tack story made me feel better: a while back my daughter was playing with our French press. (I was cooking or doing something in the kitchen and figured she was playing with it along with all the Tupperware.) Somewhere along the line it broke and she was walking around with a piece of GLASS!! I still thank God to this day that I caught her in time and she didn’t have a mark on her. I also remember cutting her finger when trimming her nails as an infant – it was even an infant nail cutter! I think I cried for 3 hours after that. We’ve all been there!

I wanted to respond to the writer-inner and say that I completely sympathize – Elizabeth and Kate’s advice was spot-on. If anything, as a stay at home mom you COMPLETELY deserve some “you” time. It is the best thing for you, your child, and your family. Last year I was working full time and hit postpartum depression when my daughter was around 9 months old. I was trying to (as I told my obgyn) “be the best wife, mom and teacher I could be.” The problem was, I wasn’t putting myself first AT ALL. What made me get help was knowing that I couldn’t let my daughter see me in that state. This year I am staying home with her and I make sure to do things on my own because it ultimately makes me a better mom to her, a better wife to my husband, and a better friend. I don’t have any guilt at all now when my husband puts her to bed some nights (even going to the grocery store by myself can be soothing!). If you continue to feel this anxiety, you may want to talk to someone about it. You sound like you’re an AMAZING mom!! πŸ™‚

P.S. Elizabeth, not that you need to EVER defend yourself on your OWN podcast, but I loved your beginning segment. Your story was wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for all you do!

Allison says:

Love your podcast! Also, thanks for sharing how you arrived at your birth-decision. I can totally understand that. I’ve always been interested in a midwife/birthing center birth, but that isn’t much of an option in the state I live in. πŸ™ However, I have had 3 wonderful hospital births with my dr, and I feel totally comfortable and happy that way.

I also always believe the 2nd trimester horniness was a myth, but I have finally experienced it! I am pregnant with my 4th, and there is no other explanation for the few weeks of horniness I experienced at about 19 weeks other than hormones. Seriously, pregnant and raising a 6yo, 4yo and 2yo does not typically equal horny! So, it can happen. I only wish I could have experienced one of those mythical pregnancies without morning/all day sickness. πŸ™‚

Masha says:

Elizabeth, it was great to hear your discussion of your issues with body image and that you have a plan for coming to terms with it. I’ve certainly struggled with my body image extensively, as up until about 3 years ago, I was obese. Luckily I ended up losing the weight, but I think that it wasn’t until my body image improved (even at my very high weight) that I was able to love myself enough to believe I could lose the weight. It’s tough because we want to teach the next generation how to be healthy, since being overweight or obese comes with an elevated risk of a slew of diseases. I think though that the way to do that isn’t to teach little girls and boys to diet or to care about their weight extensively, but instead to make being active a part of their lifestyle right from the start, and teach them to enjoy healthy foods. I’m incredibly thankful that my parents instilled in me a love of fruits and vegetables because when I started losing weight, I didn’t have to battle a dislike of healthy foods.

DT says:

As a Daddy listener, my role in my partner’s birth choice was 100% supporting her in whatever she chose. That included helping her research the different options. We eventually settled on a midwife, but planned to deliver in a hospital.

That said, from our own two-time experience, I’ll recommend that not getting to fixated on a particular ideal. The pregnancy will have something to say about what actually comes to pass. Unfortunately for us, both pregnancies required emergency C-sections. However, we were so incredibly grateful for the midwife, even if she did not end up delivering the baby. Our midwife told that the guiding ethos of midwifery is ‘informed choice.’ She helped us navigate the medical system and when we felt like an ob-gyn intern was bullying my partner, she gave us the information they wouldn’t and explained the available options, which we exercised over the ‘my way or the highway’ interjections of the intern, whom we eventually banned from the room.

I was so grateful to the midwife, even if the delivery itself was performed by a doctor. As far as we were concerned, he was a set of skilled hands, while she was our care provider.

Nicole says:

When I was 2, my parents (along with every other adult in the park) didn’t notice that I had climbed all the way up a back stop at a softball field in between games! They realized I was missing, freaked out, ran around calling for me, and then saw me up there giggling at them while perched on the edge of the fence. My mother said I just smiled and sat still until my dad could climb up to get me. So, don’t worry too much about your kid nibbling on a tack!

shannon says:

mmm eating tacks… well I have three girls who all have done ill advised unsupervised play!! One played with a shaver in the bath, one ate eat dog food, one refuses to buckle into a park and projects herself out of the pram every time I curb it. I convince myself it’ll make them tougher…

Danielle says:

Along lines of eating tacks, once I found my now two year old had climbed up on my dresser and found a little catch all dish. He was drooling a ton and when I stuck my hand in his mouth, I found it full of buttons and safety pins. I actually thought it was kind of funny, and didn’t even mention it to my husband but when I off handedly told a friend a few weeks later my husband was so horrified. Then I felt bad that I hadn’t freaked out more.
Also, our dog bit our son’s face once (our son tried to eat of the dog bowl and my husband wasn’t really paying attention, so not really the dog’s fault). Any way, long story short, he had to get stitches and because he was so young and it was his face, he had to have anesthesia. My husband and I both felt pretty horrible about it, but my son honestly didn’t even seemed fazed. He was just really happy to be able to watch all the TV he wanted and snuggle with us in the hospital bed all day, so that made me feel better.
Even better, the next week my son ate some mystery berries in our backyard and I had to call poison control (they were poison, buy he didn’t eat enough to be dangerous).
Maybe it’s just being a mom to boys, but seriously, every week is about defying death!

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