Thursday, December 31, 2009

A blessing for you

A friend passed on this lovely blessing today as a thank you to all the women in her life who have inspired her. (Thank you, Melissa!) Every so often I come across this blessing and it's always such a lovely reminder. My shoulders rest easier, my breath deepens— ah, yes, that's right, I'm "exactly where I'm supposed to be." What a good and comforting thing for each of us to realize as 2009 winds up.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that
you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not
forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that
you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow
your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

Wishing each of you a happy, festive & safe New Year's Eve! (Note that Blooma is closed New Year's Day, but will be happy to see each an every one of you in class again on Saturday.)

Love, Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good-bye 2009, hello 2010!

Take the opportunity to reconnect with yourself and with your growing baby belly tomorrow during Sarah's special New Year's Eve 2-hour prenatal class, 9:30-11:30 a.m. (Hint: This class is open to anyone—pregnant or not!)

Sarah says there will be "a KICK ASS mix of the 2009 hits and lots of other great stuff."

So show up to breath, stretch, energize, reflect on 2009, and set your intention for the New Year. There's no better way to send 2009 on its way than with a bit of time on your mat. Sign up here. See you tomorrow!

Alisa & the women of Blooma

Monday, December 28, 2009

Throwing out the "shoulds" in 2010

Thanks to guest blogger Sarina LaMarche, life & wellness coach, and author of the fabulous blog "One Balanced Life" for this posting about intention setting for the New Year. Happy dreaming & visioning!


We here at Blooma are all about setting intentions, for your yoga practice and for your day. With the New Year approaching we wanted to suggest some alternatives to the traditional "resolution" setting that occurs. We encourage you to throw out the typical list of New Year's "shoulds" and instead embrace a more supportive practice of reflecting on the intentions you have for 2010.

Another idea is to write down all the things you want for yourself and your family in the new year. Think outside the box... think big.... and think small. Keep going until you can't possibly come up with another. Include not only things you want to do or achieve but how you want to be.

Some ideas include on my own list include:

• To spend time alone

• To be creative

• To be organized

• To start climbing

• To honor and respect

• To start climbing again

• To take a vacation with my family where we stay in one place

• To proofread stuff before I send it out

If one of your intentions in the New Year includes reconnecting with yourself, experiencing more balance or sense of presence in your life, you may want to consider signing-up for a Personal Renewal Group at Blooma. Blooma is the exclusive venue in the cities for these highly-acclaimed groups. The next group starts Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Groups meet once a month for six months on the 2nd Thursday at 7:30 p.m. You can sign up for the next PRG here and read more about PRG at

Sarina LaMarche

Life & Wellness Coach

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From all of us at Blooma, to all of you, we wish you a
very Merry Christmas filled with much love, family, friends.

We are grateful for each and every one of you!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blooma's holiday schedule

Happy Holidays! In celebration, Blooma will be closed on Dec. 25 and Dec. 26. Most classes are canceled Thursday, Dec. 24, with the exception of two fabulous classes.

We would love to see you at one (or both!) of the following:
• Prenatal Yoga at 9:15 a.m. with Sarah Longacre
• Yuletide Yoga, a special Christmas Eve class, at 11:15 a.m. with Nan Gane

We will resume our regular schedule bright and early Sunday morning, Dec. 27. Happy celebrating!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Surviving the holidays...

My Early Childhood & Family Education (ECFE) teacher passed along a handout with simple, but wise tips called "Survival Skills for the Holidays for Young Families." I'm not sure where the tips come from, but I thought you might benefit from me sharing a few of them—especially as you start boarding planes to leave town or begin welcoming family visitors.

• Be in charge of your holiday season. Don't let other people or advertising medium impose their expectations on you. Keep in touch with your deepest feelings.
• Keep it simple. You arrange the pace and space. (So important for keeping your kids sane, too!)
• If the loss of a loved one, financial troubles, or any serious anxiety surround you this holiday, make the season as simple and as positive as possible for yourself.

And this part I really loved!

Holiday Bill of Rights:
• You have the right to take care of yourself: eat right, exercise, and get enough rest.
• You have the right to mixed emotions: happy, sad, frustrated, guilty, afraid, and thankful.
• You have the right to solitude—for planning, thinking, reflection, introspection, prayer, and relaxation.
• You have the right not to accept party or dinner invitations.

So curl up with a warm blanket, a cup of tea, breathe a loud ahhhh, and let any holiday stress simply melt away...

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Citrus + Snowflakes

Holiday cheer from Joanne, our web design goddess at Velvet Peel. xoxo!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sarah's gift guide

Mama and local blogger "Pretty Mommy" posted a holiday gift guide based on Blooma owner Sarah Longacre's wish list. (No, this isn't a hint to get us a gift!) Take a peek at Sarah's gift recommendations for the woman in your life... maybe a funky, chunky ring, a pair of pretty gloves, or how about a riveting read? Happy last-minute shopping!

Alisa & the women of Blooma

Postpartum depression study seeking moms with infants (0-6 mos)

Women aren't always comfortable talking about sad feelings after birth. But guess what, mamas—we NEED to talk about things like this. Postpartum depression (PPD) can strike any time within the first year after giving birth. It's important to know that you have options and help nearby, even when you're beating yourself up for feeling so blue when you think you "should" feel happy.

If you're a mother of a baby up to 6 months old, and have or even may have PPD, you may be eligible to participate in a study through the University of Minnesota/HealthEast. Participating moms may receive either an in-home doula or peer telephone support. The goal of the study is to reduce the impact of PPD on mothers and their families.

See this web site for more details, or contact Krista Post, a licensed Twin Cities psychologist who focuses on counseling mothers and families. (612-296-3800)

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday stress— be gone!

Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the holiday shopping, travel, meal planning, managing of the in-laws, present delivering, party going, and so on? Though all these things are in the name of F-U-N and celebration, that doesn't mean we're necessarily relaxed at the end of the day.

If that sounds familiar, check out these holiday stress-reduction secrets in Women's Health magazine. According to the story, drinking black tea can help lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, while pressing a simple acupressure point can relieve tension. For more tips, read the full story.

You know what else can help relieve holiday stress? A massage at Blooma! Call to book an appointment with any of our bodywork therapists, or to purchase a gift card for a loved one. (And yes, we cater to men, and women who are not pregnant, too.) You can also book appointments online by clicking here, then clicking on the "Wellness Appts" tab in the upper right. You deserve to be pampered during the holidays and all year long!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa, please bring healthy toys

As you wrap up the last of your holiday gift shopping, you may want to check out this informative web site by the Ecology Center. Nearly 700 toys were tested for the 3rd Annual Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys. According to a press release, "one in three of all toys tested this holiday season contained one or more harmful chemicals including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury."

Not in my house, Santa!

Check out the Ecology Center's, where you can type in the name or brand of a toy to find out how it ranked in the consumer guide. Armed with knowledge of which toy manufacturers are playing naughty or nice, you'll feel much better about the presents under the tree or by the menorah this year. Happy shopping!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blooma Birth Story: Gretta

Thanks to Gretta for sharing the story of her inspiring August VBAC at Methodist Hospital. She shares her experience below in a letter to Sarah Longacre, Blooma owner and prenatal yoga teacher. Welcome to the world little Lydia, and well done, mama!


Alisa & the women of Blooma



I wanted to share our VBAC story with you as I credit a lot of our success to our time at Blooma. Thank you so much for the yoga, tips, advice, and workshops you provide.

Monday night I was three days past my due date and started to have contractions that lasted through the next day. I had them about 20 minutes apart and they stopped around 2:30 p.m. So, I decided to kick it in gear with one last (hopefully) yoga session before she was born.

That night I started contractions again at around 9 p.m. and they quickly intensified. By 11:30 p.m. they were 3 and a half minutes apart and we were calling my sister to come over to watch our 2 year old. We reached Methodist hospital at 1:20 a.m and I was 6 cm dilated!!

By the time we got checked in and up to get an epidural I was at 8 cm! Before we knew it I was completely dilated and decided to get some rest while my body did some work with the contractions. I ended up learning through our doctor that my pelvis is small and tilted which probably caused our son, Walter, to be sunny side up and that this little one was presenting herself the same way. I was told that this could be a good thing, as this may be how she has to come in order to get around my pelvis!!! Great news as we were told that Walter wouldn't make it because of his presentation.

What a difference a positive doctor makes!!!! We were encouraged to make it this time and told of all our options. He did say another C-section was possible, but he also told me what I had to do to make this a VBAC. He was very encouraging and gave me the extra push by saying I could do it and it was possible.

So, at 9:45 a.m. Lydia Anne was born. She was four days past her due date and weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long. I kept saying "We did it! We did it! We did it!" while she rested on my chest.

I never felt like more of a "Goddess," as you would say in our classes, and never more powerful in my life. It was the biggest personal accomplishment I could have made. After the whole experience, I truly believe that God made Lydia the size she needed to be and the presentation she needed to be in in order to make it into the world! I also am very grateful to my doctor for his support with my VBAC.

After Lydia was born I told my husband that I think your yoga classes are what really inspired me to have a successful VBAC. I have never felt more engaged with my body than when I was in your classes. Thank you so much for your compassion for pregnant women. You are very talented at what you do. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Put a sling on 'em

You baby-wearing mamas are going to love this tribute to slings. Inspired by Beyonce's "Put a Ring On It," a New York City mom named Leigh switched up the lyrics, got a few friends involved, and viola! you have "Baby Mamas (Put a Sling On 'Em)." Check out the lyrics at Leigh's blog if you want to sing along. And to learn more about babywearing, check out Liz Abbene's "Enlightened Baby" workshops at Blooma!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fertile Grounding — coming soon!

Many of you know and love Jennifer Colletti's yoga classes. Here at Blooma she teaches prenatal yoga, BYOB yoga, BYOB partner workshops, and now, Fertile Grounding Yoga fertility workshops. What you may not know about Jennifer is that her own journey to becoming a mother was a challenging one. After many tests and two rounds of in vitro fertilization, Jennifer birthed sweet baby Beckett in 2007!

While struggling to get pregnant, Jennifer and her husband found that they longed for a sense of community with others going through a similar process. Naturally, Jennifer found solace through yoga.

Now, she is creating a community for men and women experiencing fertility challenges. Fertile Grounding Yoga workshops are 6-week fertility workshops geared toward women who are either just beginning to walk the path of getting pregnant or those who may already be in the midst of fertility treatments. Incorporating meditation, yoga, and educational components such as nutrition into the workshop, Fertile Grounding aims to nurture your body, mind, and soul.

Her next session at Blooma begins Saturday, Feb. 6, and runs through March 13; 2-5 p.m. Sign up by clicking here, clicking the "Workshops" tab, then scroll down until you see "Fertile Grounding Yoga."

Jennifer and her husband, Michael, recently shared their story during a film festival in New York. They entered a contest to create a film with an "uplifting story of infertility." As one of three finalists, Jennifer and Michael traveled to New York for the screening, and met with other couples, doctors, and industry professionals all trying to shed the stigma of infertility. Watch the video here. Well, done, Jennifer! Thank you so much for sharing your story, wisdom, and open heart with all of us.

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tote your tot and your bag, all at once!

The last time I was schlepping through the airport with my toddler, an array of rolling luggage, and a car seat somehow thrown over my shoulder, it wasn't a pretty sight. Then I saw a mom strolling along easy-peasy with this little contraption, apparently called a "Tote-A-Tot."

I don't normally go for gadgets. But this was one of those "WOW! That looks so much easier!" kind of moments. So for those of you with holiday travel coming up, I thought I'd pass this along... just in case this looks like it would make your life easier, too. Do any of you already own this thing? If so, chime in — what do you think of it? Does it work?

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dads get down in the dumps, too

You may have seen the story in yesterday's New York Times about how it's not just women who suffer from postpartum depression (PPD)—those feelings can overwhelm fathers, too. There is so much that still needs to be done about PPD awareness even when it comes to new moms, that it's easy to overlook the issues that can plague dads, too.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one surprised to learn about the science behind male PPD. As
Times writer Richard A. Friedman, M.D., explains, "there is probably more to male postpartum depression than just social or psychological stress; like motherhood, fatherhood has its own biology, and it may actually change the brain... There is also some evidence that testosterone levels tend to drop in men during their partner’s pregnancy, perhaps to make expectant fathers less aggressive and more likely to bond with their newborns. Given the known association between depression and low testosterone in middle-aged men, it is possible that this might also put some men at risk of postpartum depression."

Fortunately, there are many resources for new parents (whether you're a mother or a father) that can ease the new-parent adjustment and feelings of isolation. The Twin Cities also boast excellent counselors to help sort through more complicated responses, like PPD. For more specifics, see Pregnancy & Postpartum Support Minnesota for the Minnesota Perinatal Mental Health Resource List, as well as more information about the emotional challenges that often accompany the first years of starting a family. Fathers may also want to check out a web site devoted just to them, called Postpartum Men.

New dads, also know that Blooma caters to families — fathers, too — not just moms. Be on the lookout for special classes just for you, like infant massage for dads. Or, drop your baby off in our childcare room while you take time to breathe and move in a Yoga For You class. We know that not everything is solved with a good yoga class, but taking time for you is a good start, whether you're a new mama or a new daddy.

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yoga @ the Walker

Tot yoga teacher Shayla Boger was invited last week to get kiddos moving and learning about art at the Walker Art Center. What a bright, beautiful space to breath and move in! Here are some gorgeous photos of Shay teaching yoga at the exhibition Robert Irwin:Light/Slant/Volume.

Did you go? If so, let us know all about it!

Like what you see? There's more! Blooma teacher Jessica Rosenberg will also be teaching yoga for tots and kids during the Walker's Arty Pants Playdates, for ages 3-5, on Dec. 8 (that's tomorrow!) and Tuesday, Dec. 22. The playdates runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and are free with gallery admission. Every kid will tell you that Jessica's Adventures in Super Stretch classes are a blast!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Friday, December 4, 2009

Healthy mamas, healthy babies

I read a disconcerting story the other day about the high number of chemicals babies are exposed to prenatally. Unfortunately, it's impossible to avoid these chemicals entirely, but there are ways to minimize your baby's exposure, according to Alexandra Zissu, author of The Complete Organic Pregnancy.

Zissu advises that you start by cutting back on or eliminating canned food, since cans may be lined with chemically-enhanced water-resistant coatings that include BPA. Getting rid of any pots and pots with Teflon or non-stick coatings, and switching to stainless steel or cast iron cookware is another healthy choice. Other options: resist microwaving your food in plastic, choose all-natural cleaning products (you'd be surprised what a bit of vinegar and water can do), and stick to 100 percent cotton materials that aren't treated with flame-resistant chemicals.

Whew! That's a lot to think about, I know. Your baby will thank you, for any small changes, both now and once baby is born, since those chemicals have been shown to pass into breastmilk as well.

For more information about the Environmental Working Group's cord blood report or a similar report by the Washington Toxics Coalition, read the full story at The Daily Green. EWG also has a very helpful website called Skin Deep that shows you which beauty products are safest (and which aren't).

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Swami Shopping

Have you seen these cute black hoodies with "Breathe" written on the front? I just love them... a holiday present for my best friend, and a holiday present for me, coming right up! And how fab are these winter Om hats with the ear flaps?!

these pique your interest, too, don't miss Swami Baby Boutique's 2nd birthday, this Saturday (Dec. 5) when you'll find adorable clothes for baby and fashionable yoga-inspired wear for men and women, too. Plus, 20 percent of sales during the party will be generously donated to Blooming in Uganda. Enjoy food from Aunt Else's aebleskiver and a cake from Sweets Bake Shop—mmm!

Come celebrate Swami's birthday at Local D'lish, Saturday, from 5-7 p.m. at 208 1st St N, Minneapolis 55401. Happy holiday shopping!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Visions for Healing

We couldn't let this week pass without spreading the word about an important and inspiring night coming up. This Friday night, please consider attending Visions for Healing, a special fundraising event being held at Mind Body Solutions’ yoga studio; there is no fee to attend.

The hour-long program will share the impact of the work of Matthew Sanford’s non-profit Mind Body Solutions, and offer a vision for transforming trauma and loss into hope and potential.
For those of you who are not familiar with yogi, speaker, and author Matthew Sanford, please take a moment to read more about him here.

Registration for this Friday's event begins at 5:45 p.m. The program begins at 6:15 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Please RSVP to Jennifer by email at or at 612-803-1616. Mind Body Solutions is located at 17516 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka.

Thank you for supporting the work of Matthew and Mind Body Solutions with the same fervor that you support Blooma. We look forward to seeing you Friday night!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Babies for Uganda!

Ohhhh, you just have to smile when you see these sweet babies! We are so honored that they're sporting Blooming in Uganda onesies. Thanks, little ones!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blooma Birth Story: Kara

Sometimes you just have to break the "rules of blogging." One of those supposed rules is to keep posts somewhat short. But you know what, I say bah! to rules of blogging. Sometimes stories are too important and too good to shorten. This birth story is one of those stories. It comes from a mama named Kara, about the birth of her daughter, Phoebe. It's open, honest, and raw with emotion. It gives an inside glimpse into Kara's labor, whether she's finding a way to move through moments of fear, or surprised at her ability to laugh at a joke while pushing. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kara, and congratulations!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


In Kara's words:

I know how important it was for me to read positive birth stories, especially ones with first-time moms, when I was pregnant so I'd thought I'd send you my story...

October 30, 2009 7:44 p.m.

She's here! Before too long goes by, I'm trying to write down the story of Phoebe's birth. It was so incredible in so many ways—and yet so perfectly uneventful and boring as births go, which I'm so thankful for. Blooma was such a place of sanity for me—I always left feeling confident, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world!

During labor, I found myself repeating "I can do this!" over and over again as a sort of mantra, which really surprised me since I've never
been someone who found mantras especially helpful. As a Labor and Delivery RN, Blooma was also a place where I could actively focus on positive birth stories, and push out of my head some of the more challenging ones I'd seen at work.

On Thursday morning (Oct. 29th), I felt the first real sense of hope that I wasn't going to be pregnant forever (I was 41 and 2 days pregnant)—or at least wasn't going to have to be induced on Monday (which had been a tentative plan)—when I noticed that I had quite a bit of red "bloody show." I'd also had a couple of contractions the night before that had made me pay attention, but hadn't really affected my sleep. I let our midwife know later that morning, but kept the normal routine going. I went to yoga, where Sarah told me that she felt a lot of birth energy coming off of me and reassured me that it would be soon.

We went to bed both excited and disappointed that nothing had happened.

I'm calling the start of my real labor at 2 a.m. on Friday, October 30,
which brings my total length of labor about 16 hours long. I was able to rest through most of the contractions up until that point, when I woke Jim up and asked him to get the bed ready (put on the second set of sheets and waterproof cover) and to let him know things were heating up. After that, though, he went back to sleep since I was able to cope and still rest through some of the contractions and we both knew we should rest while we could.

At 6:30 that morning, I woke Jim up again to call in the troops as I felt things were really starting to get serious. I was still reluctant to consider myself in active labor, but was having to breath through them more and threw up once, so we called our midwife Kim, who canceled a postnatal trip to Wisconsin and told her we'd call her when we wanted her to come over. We also called my mom and sister in law, who we'd invited to attend the birth.

With the introduction of my support folk, I found my contractions slowed down to every 6-8 compared to 4-6 minutes, but their presence energized me and we had a good couple of hours talking. Things I found very helpful coping during these contractions were standing or kneeling and having Jim (or someone else) count during the worst of the contraction. It helped to focus on his voice and to know about when it was peaking. Although they weren't very frequent, they lasted at least a minute, usually closer to a minute and 45.

I finally went
upstairs around 11:45 a.m. to try to get my contractions closer together and to refocus myself a little. Meanwhile, Kim had encouraged us to fill up the tub, since it would take awhile and it would occupy Jim for a long time, which it did.

We finally had Kim come over to check on us at 12:30 p.m., where I was very pleased to find out I was 3-4 cm dilated, 80 percent effaced, zero station with a bulging bag of membranes. I had been worried I wasn't going to be at all dilated and would have to reframe my idea of labor if that was the case. I still knew it could be many hours before this baby came, so I encouraged Kim to leave, which she did—saying I could call her back whenever and she had to renew her tabs anyway, which we
all found pretty amusing.

Knowing I had made good progress gave me renewed energy and I spent an hour or two downstairs again with Amy and my mom, eating lightly on apples, a piece of cheese, and some popcorn. By 2:30 p.m. I was feeling less able to cope and more and more interested in the tub, so we
called Kim and asked her to return to check me again.

By this point, I'd started coping with my contractions by repeating, "I can do this" over and over again, which surprised me but again allowed me to focus on the words and not the pain. I also found it very soothing to have a view of the window and to watch the leaves blowing in the wind.
Kim arrived and checked me at 3:30 p.m., and Jim (and I) were so pleased to find out that I was 6-7 cms, able to be stretched to an 8, again with a bulging bag.

Kim called the secondary midwife, Gretchen, and her apprentice, Laura to get everyone here, and I quickly got into the
tub. The tub was wonderful! It didn't take away the contraction pain completely, but it was so relaxing, and it was such a relief to be allowed to float and rest my body. I got into the tub for 2 hours, getting out occasionally to use the bathroom, but eventually I got too hot and got out.

At 6:20 p.m., I hadn't changed my cervix, although the bag of waters was descending I asked to have my bag of waters broke, which Kim did, and it had clear fluid—this brought baby down to +1
station and made my cervix go to 8-9. The next part of my labor was pretty wild, as the pain got very intense, very quickly and my previous methods of coping were not working.

Things I remember from that hour are:

- Hitting the bed in frustration
- Pushing the ball, which I'd been leaning on, violently away and Jim pushing it back, which made me furious for some reason
- Telling Jim he needed to stop talking
- Feeling very trapped, but having nowhere to go

Poor Jim! He told me later that this part was the hardest because I was in so much pain, and he couldn't do anything. Quickly though, I felt like pushing but was very nervous about pushing too early. It became clear I was pushing, however (I also think I was saying out loud, "Don't push too soon.") and Amy went down to get the midwives who had stepped downstairs for a few minutes.

They had me get back in the tub at 7:20 p.m., where I almost immediately started pushing. On a side note, the midwives had ordered a pizza at about 6:45, which arrived at 7:25, perfectly timed that no one could touch it until
after the birth. The folks downstairs had joked that the baby would arrive before the pizza, and Kim commented that it would be fabulous if it did, since that meant I was so close.

I was oblivious to a lot
of what was going on at the time, but someone made a joke at one point during pushing, and I smiled (and Amy caught it on camera), which was incredible even to me at that point—in between contractions I could interact with people, but was so out of it during.

I pushed in a variety of positions: hands and knees, flipped over over
floating in my back, on just my knees holding the side of the tub. I know I made a lot of noise during this part of labor—the feelings were so overwhelming and I think I was also afraid it would last a long time and I didn't think I could handle it. Jim was right in front of me; I could see he'd been tearing up and that he was so excited we were at this point in labor. Kim was very soothing, reminding me to push in long, steady pushes and I remember her saying "It's not going to be a long pushing stage. You're pushing very well."

I also could feel the baby inside and between nearly every
contraction, I would check my progress. It was very surreal to feel her move down—I could tell she didn't have much hair!

At one point, near the end, Kim was providing counter pressure and I
felt an extremely painful movement down there and I snapped at Kim to "Stop it! What are you doing?" but it wasn't Kim, it was the baby internally. It happened again, and I yelled at her again, but she just calmly replied that she wasn't doing anything—it was the baby, which I didn't really believe at the time.

At around that point,
someone asked me a question, and my answer was, "No, I'm going to catch my baby" and I pushed her head out, paused while Kim checked for a cord, and then pushed her shoulders out.

Kim and I brought her up
together and it was such a relief to have her out! She had her cord wrapped around her back and then twice around her foot, like a little ballerina dancer. She had her eyes open and was pinking up great, but waited about 30 seconds to cry. I looked down and saw she was a girl and a cheer went up. Then, when she did give a nice, lusty cry, Amy burst into tears and jumped up and down. Jim was crying and so happy, and I was so proud and yet still shocked that I had done it. I kept repeating, "I did it!"

I stayed in the tub for a few more minutes, cooing over my lovely
daughter, with Jim at my side, and then after the cord had stopped pulsing, Jim cut it and I handed our new baby to him, while I got out and into the bed. Phoebe was born at 7:44 p.m., weighed 7 lbs 8 oz, 21 inches long.

Apgar scores were 9 at 1 minute and 10 at 5 minutes. I'm not sure how we ended up with a long, skinny baby when we are more like hobbits, but she's here, she's beautiful and she's ours.

NEED features Blooma

NEED magazine, a publication featuring stories about global and humanitarian issues, featured Blooma owner Sarah Longacre in a recent blog posting!

Writer Tamrah Schaller O'Neil posts:

"Would you buy a chicken coop for $500 dollars? That’s exactly what five people did to help raise funds for a birthing center in Uganda, Africa this past Friday night. The Blooming in Uganda Gala, held at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, raised over $22,000 through ticket sales, donations and a silent auction. Krista Tippett, host of NPR’s Speaking of Faith and Matthew Sanford, paraplegic yogi instructor and author and founder of Mind Body Solutions, were special guests of the evening with Sarah Longacre."

Thanks for spreading the word, Tamrah! Read the rest of Tamrah's entry here.

Alisa & the women of Blooma

Friday, November 27, 2009

Full belly, happy belly

Blooma hopes you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. We spent time with loved ones and are thankful for such abundance in our lives. Our yoga schedule is back to normal as of today, so please stop in for a Yoga For You!, BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby), or Prenatal class to work off that big holiday meal and B-R-E-A-T-H-E through a bit of the holiday craziness.

Were there any Thanksgiving Blooma babies born? If so, be sure to send us your story and a photo of baby!

Alisa, Sara & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Love & congrats

I just had to share the blog posting from Shanti Uganda announcing that Sarah met (and exceeded!) her fundraising goal for the 2009 Off The Mat Into The World African Humanitarian Tour. As Shanti Uganda writes, those individuals who raise $20,000 will go to Uganda to see the work they do and help build the Shanti Uganda Birth House & Learning Centre. Thanks to help from all of you, Sarah will be on her way to Uganda in February. We are so thankful for your endless love and support this holiday season!

Alisa & the women of Blooma

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For zooming, not for ZZZs

I know it’s tempting to leave your soundly-sleeping baby in the car seat after a frenzied afternoon of errand running, but a growing body of research advises that you resist the urge.

A study published recently in the journal
Pediatrics showed that 2-day-old infants placed in their car seat for one hour had lower blood oxygen levels than babies lying on their backs in a crib. Researchers say an infant's chest wall is compressed when placed upright for a long period of time. When that happens, airway size is affected, too.

So even though car seats are essential for safe travel, experts say the car seat should stay where it belongs: in the car, while baby comes inside with you. Read more about it here.

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More fun photos!

The photos from the Blooming in Uganda gala are rolling in. We adore them! If you were there, see if you spot a photo of yourself. If you weren't able to make it to the gala, perusing these photo albums is a great way check out how the evening turned out.

Below is a link to the gorgeous shots captured by photographer Emma Freeman.
-Click on the 'Blooming in Uganda Gala' event
-Password is 'blooma' all lowercase letters

Now sit back and enjoy a slideshow of photos by photographer Sarah Bonvallet. Thanks, ladies for capturing the essence of the evening on film!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blankets for Uganda

Thanks to Blooma yoga teacher Bridgett Erickson, whose recent Sunday morning class encouraged us to donate blankets to the women of Uganda. Below is a post from Bridgett about the experience:

About 20 women gathered to bless blankets to send to Uganda. First we spent about 45 minutes in a personal asana practice. Then we all sat in a circle (shaped more like a uterus!) and sent blessings to the blankets. Each woman took the blanket she had brought with her and after practicing with the blanket in her presence and meditating with it in her loving hands, each woman individually placed her blanket in the center of the circle as she spoke words of blessing and further blessed the blanket with water sprinkled from the petals of a rose.

There was a huge pile of blankets, full of love and blessings in the center of the circle. The women were happy to be a part of something greater than themselves and for the opportunity to give their blankets!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Success for Uganda!

Congratulations and THANK YOU to every person who donated, attended the gala, volunteered their time or talents, or attended special workshops to raise money for Blooming in Uganda! With your help, Sarah has reached her goal (and more!) of raising $20,000 to help build a birth center in Uganda!

The Friday night gala was a phenomenal success. On that night alone, we raised at least $22,000 dollars. That is downright astonishing. Look what we can do together as a community when we set our minds to it!

Moving, educational, inspirational—and yes, super fun—the gala was amazing.
How about those African dancers and musicians? Talk about talented!

I don't think there was a dry eye in the house after speaker, yoga teacher, and author Matthew Sanford spoke. His willingness to share his heart and story so candidly opened all our hearts. MPR "Speaking of Faith" host Krista Tippett reminded us about the ways our personal yoga practices can transcend beyond the yoga studio and into our communities, as is the mission of Off the Mat, Into the World. And Sarah grounded and inspired us all, with her words, her vision, and her dedication to breath and birth.

There are more Blooming in Uganda events to come in the next couple of weeks. Though Sarah has met her minimum goal, all future donations continue to go to Shanti Uganda and the birth center that so desperately needs to be built.

With tremendous love, awe, and gratefulness...

Alisa & the women of Blooma