My name is Sarah Fabares, and Parenthood In Progress is the product of my career in education and my passion for all things birth, babies, and breastfeeding!! I was born and raised in Southern California and attended California State University, where I earned dual bachelor's degrees in psychology and child development, a teaching certificate in early childhood special education, and began my master's degree in special education- that is until 2005, when hurricane Katrina hit. Through my local church, I flew to New Orleans to volunteer for what I intended to be a week. Several volunteer trips later, I met a local chef named Will, who volunteered to cook for his church's relief effort, after losing his home and restaurant. We married in 2007, and thus began my life as a transplant to Louisiana and a step-mom to a 16 year old son!
I have always had a heart for teaching and encouraging children and families. Before I had my own children, I enjoyed being a Preschool Early Intervention teacher for St. Tammany Parish. When my daughter was born in 2011, I made the transition to full-time mom, part-time private tutor, and insatiable researcher. (A worried mother does better research than the FBI!) I am now mom to three precious tiny humans, who demand my full attention, but I miss teaching. I miss seeing the light bulb come on when a student "gets it." I miss building up weary parents and cheering them on in their victories.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I researched EVERYTHING. We took Bradley birth classes, private Hypnobirthing classes, hospital childbirth classes, breastfeeding seminars, infant CPR, you name it- we did it. I have since had three natural, unmedicated births in under 4 years, and been breastfeeding for over four years straight- minus the last few months of my last two pregnancies. None of my births were "easy" and I have had ongoing breastfeeding challenges with all three babies. But, for me, birthing naturally and achieving my own breastfeeding goals have been more personally empowering than my formal education or my career. It seems ironic that these two things that women have been doing for ages would be such a great "accomplishment" to me. But, we live in an era, culture, and location where the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against these "natural" processes, which makes their successful achievement something truly worth celebrating. As a teacher and fellow member of the mommy tribe, I want to equip other moms to accomplish their own parenting goals from the very start. I wish moms in my community the chance to grasp first hand that birth is not JUST about going home with a healthy mom and baby, but also a sacred opportunity to fully experience and live by, "If I can do that, I can do ANYTHING." I want new mothers to carry that same sense of confidence and accomplishment into their breastfeeding relationships, rallying them to truly grasp that they are, in fact, "enough" for their babies, just as they are- not broken, not inadequate, not "less than" and certainly not alone in any challenge they may face.
And so, the adventure continues for this teacher- teaching couples to tune out the fear and joyfully anticipate birth as "normal," teaching new parents the tools to confidently feed and nurture their babies, teaching students in ways they're not usually taught, and teaching parents to embrace their kids' struggles and turn them into learning opportunities. I continue to privately tutor children who are "outside the box" learners. I am excited to be a Birth Boot Camp Instructor. And, I am eagerly working toward becoming a lactation consultant in the near future.
This is the birth of my last baby, shared as one every-day ordinary example of the kind of peacefully unmedicated and empowering birth that is still possible... even in Louisiana, home of the highest cesarean rate in the country. (P.S. - this baby was still breech three days before my due date! Birth Story HERE)
This is the birth of my second child, made infinitely easier than my first, when I made peace with surrendering to the process and trusted my body more than the prescribed "method" or checklist. I was 8cm dilated in the pics of my doula and me laughing it up singing "Don't Worry Be Happy." Investing in childbirth education allowed me to feel completely confident that what I was experiencing was NORMAL, and nothing to be afraid of.' Angelle at Nola Birth Photographer took these pictures too. She does beautiful work!
And my first born does not have beautiful birth photography. Oh well- her clothes were all new and she was read to. :)