About the Back Labor Blog
Forty Weeks Founder Julia Beck takes you behind the velvet ropes in the brave new world of Bump and Baby. Pregnancy trends, media coverage of parenting, research and recent findings, celebrity pregnancy and baby, the business that keeps it all in motion are among the topics that Julia covers in her signature candid and open style.
I have no idea what Webster's says about it - but Julia says: Back Labor is the ultimate pain on the way to the most delicious reward! Back labor hurts like a bitch, but it's all worth it in the end. And that about sums up our "lives behind the velvet ropes" here at Forty Weeks. We invite you into our Labor Room - via the Forty Weeks' Back Labor Blog. Read about how we do what we do, and follow along our labor of love that really pays off for our clients, and hear a little about the juicy behind-the-scenes bits, too!
And Forty Weeks wouldn't be who we are without the people - our dedicated crew and the BFFs of Forty Weeks and, of course - you too! We love to hear your comments, so please join in the conversation.
- November 26th, 2013 by julia
- I am thankful for those who have cared for me when I have needed it. And for those who allowed me to care for them when the tables were turned.
- I am thankful for new friends who bring fresh energy and light to the day. And for old friendships, either tireless or renewed, which remind me of the scope of the spectacular journey I have been on.
- I am thankful for an abundance of intelligent, passionate and driven people in my life – you spark me, encourage me and challenge me in all the best ways.
- I am thankful for those who turn me on to so many new ideas, finds and inside lines - and always, I am grateful for the ability to return the favor.
- I am thankful for health – the return of mine and for the optimism that those I love will regain theirs.
- I am thankful for my family for cheering me on from here and the great “what’s next”.
- I am thankful for my soul’s mate and for a house full of beautiful souls to go with him.
- I am thankful for amazing genes that make so much of my dreaming morph into my reality.
- I am thankful for love – the ability to give and receive it.
- I am thankful for age – the intersection of experience and recognition is a remarkable one!
- I am thankful for the little moments of perfection I keep finding along the way.
- I am thankful that there is today and maybe even tomorrow to see what’s next…
Thanking all of you for being a part of my world – and so, sending love to you and yours.
So many precious things to be thankful for this year
- October 27th, 2013 by julia
I left Philadelphia in 1985. I was bright-eyed, ambitious and hungry for life’s experiences. I left behind friends and a way of life that would never be mine again. Though the way life works is funny, and sometimes these things circle back. The very sweet silver lining of loosing a beloved friend to a terrible disease this summer was reconnecting with a childhood friend in a new way. This weekend, Julie came to DC to bring her daughter to look at colleges. Funny circle that was created – my leaving point was our reconnection point. The power of that was not lost on me as I made plans for a day doing some of what I have always loved, followed by an evening reconnecting.
Bob and I made plans to visit my all-time favorite art-space in DC – The Phillips Collection. There, we would enjoy the Van Gogh exhibit – interestingly enough called Repetitions (an exploration of Van Gogh’s repeated study of the same subject matter). It is a worthwhile show and a very engaging way to connect with some some of my favorite Van Gogh subjects (the towns of St. Remy and Arles as well as the families that filled his world).
Luncheon of the Boating Party (Renior)
As we wandered thought galleries on 21st Street, I made my way to another old and very dear friend. I have been visiting Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party at the Phillips Collection since I arrived in DC in 1985. I have powerful memories of standing in front of this majestic, lush painting with my mother, my friends, various dates and certainly alone. I would dive deep into the narrative of the painting – paying close attention to the characters. I saw myself in the painting – that was clear. I was (or longed to be) the flirty, alluring woman in the top right. She had a twinkle in her eye was surrounded by two rapt men. She did not lack for company or attention. She did not lack for anything it seemed. Though yesterday when I stood in front of that painting, I allowed myself to look not though my old lens but with fresh eyes. And as I did, tears began to flow from my eyes as I realized with complete clarity that I was not that girl. I may have been, and that may have once worked for me – but that “moment” seemed far away. I looked harder, wondering if I was even still at the party. And I was….my eyes connected with the woman sitting confidently alone, sipping her wine and taking in the scene with a quiet strength. This is the actress, Ellen Andree. I did not realize that I was crying until the lovely, young docent walked over and asked if I was ok. I explained what I had been considering and she said clearly, kindly and with total conviction – “that is who you want to be – that other woman had a messy, complicated life — the actress was the best of the guests”. I will take it…
This weekend was about revisiting. And while backwards is not my preferred trajectory – I am glad I did.
- October 9th, 2013 by julia
It is a chily, damp day in DC. There is a Nor’easter blowing into town. And there are THOUSANDS of people out of work. People are watching their wallets and ISO entertainment. I wonder, what is something to do on a grey afternoon that is free and fun? Hmmmm – thinking… Are you there yet? Are you doing the math?
YES — we are on the verge of a FURLOUGH BABY BOOM…
The great irony here, pregnancy requires health care, babies require health care, breastfeeding support and services require healthcare — feels like we may be backing ourselves into a bit of a corner…
See you in July baby!!!!
- October 8th, 2013 by julia
What must you know about pregnancy in DC? This week, I took the adorable Meghan Mills out to discover what should be on every pregnant woman’s short list here in the Nation’s Capital. I donned my Fairy Godmother tiara and grabbed my wand – and off we went! Here are my top three picks:
THE BREASTFEEDING CENTER FOR GREATER WASHINGTON
At 20 weeks, Meghan is ready to upgrade to a maternity and nursing wardrobe.
Hidden in a medical building at 21st & K — The Breastfeeding Center is both the most hidden gem and also the most essential resource in all of DC. Part community, part classroom, part retailer and part lifesaver — this is the one spot for care and comfort from the moment your pre-pregnany bras start to feel snug. I introduced Meghan to manger Gina who skillfully fit her for bras and helped her to hand-pick classes (Back to Work and Breastfeeding - a must for the first time expectant mom) easing her discomfort on multiple levels. While there we met an array of dads (picking up or returning rental pumps), Moms with adorable babies on their hip (a quick stop for Medela supplies), due-any-day women (seeking out in-home lactation support for post-delivery) and more. It was is an amazing micro-universe and the top of my DC BUMP ESSENTIALS LIST
Birth day buddies! Both Meghan and Rachel are due in late February – can you guess who is having what?
A cozy and sun-lit space that is full of great, nurturing energy, Fuse is a nesters haven! Owner Roxanna has given birth to a warm and welcoming world for expectant mothers This spot has the cool urban vibe of a resotred townhouse with the pure, exacting goodness of reofrmer based pilates. The one class to be for any DC Mom to be is Fuse’s Push Prep. This is a course designed for all levels of moms-to-be. What I adore is how doula and instructor, Randi prepares her students for a combination of strengh and relaxation that the body requires to deliver a baby while at the same time – keeping a real connection and encouraging new friendships along the way.
When Megan shared her pregnancy cravings with me, the choice to super-sate her cinamon and brown sugar Pop-tarts urges was immediately clear. We made a b-line for Ted’s Bulitten on 14th street. We were greeted by Ashlie who introduced us to owner Mike (a new dad himself) who had some fun with us – tempting Meghan with a new universe of flavors to choose from (classic strawberry, blueberry cheesecake, salted caramel and the over-the top peanutbutter and bacon). We did not stop there — we were offred the chance to design our own milkshake (I went with strawberry S’more) and sip our way into an indulgent afternoon. Ted’s menu also features a wide selection for those in the salty craving world as well (grilled cheese and tomato soup anyone?!?) – and will quickly become your crave-out go-to!
Ted’s Bulletin custom milkshakes to toast our guest of honor.
The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington
- September 8th, 2013 by editor
With beauty, brains and a whole lot of spirit there is little that can get in the way of the wonder that is Ms. Corinne Ingrassia. Pregnant with baby number three, Cori is a radiant tour de force. Her signature humor and warmth are only eclipsed by her can-do, super-resilent stance. From the mundane to the mega-complicated (and thus the moniker – Complicated Mama) – Cori brings an unparalleled level of competence and grace to the party. I am particularly taken by her generosity of spirit. I have seen Cori step up again and again – always without hestiation and with a big heart. Corrine’s instinct is to care - and care she does. The results speak for themselves!
While my relationship with Corrine is relatively new (let’s call it a few years) — it has great value and meaning to me. Somehow she is always there — stepping up, joining in and making it so. My team and I have so enjoyed her presence - it reads a bit like her fashion sense– bubbly, brilliant, bold and balanced. So good!
I was particually touched by Corrine’s particpation in Strut this weekend for Cottonelle. She walked for the RBaby Foundation — helping to raise much needed awareness for the need for a national standard for pediatric emergency care and the immediate and ongoing need for parents to be well prepared for an ER visit with baby.
Meet a model mama and the latest Philanthropic Mom:
What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?
I’ve always enjoyed pitching in and helping my favorite causes. It feels good to do good. I’ve done walks, fundraisers as well as used my online website, Complicatedmama.com to help raise awareness for various causes that are near and dear to my heart.
What is an early or stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world?
At 11 years old I began walking for the March Of Dimes every year with a group of friends. We walked together every year through college.
Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?
I suppose my biggest philantrhopic influencers were my mother and my teachers growing up who educated me about both issues and the importance of giving back and helping others.
What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?
Again, it just feels good to do good. When we work together we have a bigger voice to help change the world. When we can give back to others who are struggling, it makes us grow.
When Hurricane Sandy devastated my hometown of Staten Island, NY– though, my family was luckily not affected, my heart broke into pieces. So together my friend Melissa Chapman (of www.thestatenislandfamily.com) and I began directly connecting affected families in need with those who wanted to help them get back on their feet. We had law firms in Louisiana who were devastated by Katrina coming together to help and be a shoulder to lean on for families in New York. It was a beautiful thing.
Then just last week (almost a full year later) one of our volunteers shared a note and picture she had received from the family she had connected with, thanking them for renewing their spirits and hope that things would get better. To see those connections? Hands down my most proud philanthropic moment.
What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind? Simply that one person can make a difference.
What would your kids say about all of this?
I try to involve my kids in all I do and let them see how important it is to help others and use your voice for causes you believe in. I hope that they bring that with them into their adulthood.
- August 18th, 2013 by julia
Ron Barrett – you drew it, you blew it…
So, Amy Sohn
authors an honest, level, non-inflamitory piece in the New York Times today. The focus is on how women of the maternal variety find what they need to feel complete, energized and engaged when the norm is a bit more of the torn and road-worn variety. In Modern Mothers’ Turn to Scratch an Itch
, Amy Sohn explores different models of connecting with work, friendship and self during the summer months. In short — finding one’s way back to “feeling it” — oh yes, this is familiar. But, it is not only the familiar and relatable plot of Jess Wade
who is profiled with candor and care. I read the Styles cover piece and smile, recognizing for the first time in a very long time
, a parenting-focused article that tells a relatable, non-comment baiting story.
That is until I see the illustration above. It seems (and yes we know author and illustrator are not a team – in fact, there is little chance the illustration/comic was seen by the author prior to publishing) Mr. Barnet was brought in to bait after-all. His obvious intention – to show us the unpolished, scruffy, messy, super- tuned out Dad handles the other-side of this story…Well I guess I spoke too soon.
- August 11th, 2013 by julia
I get stuck sometimes. I read a piece like Saturday’s reader/comment bait TAKE BACK YOUR PREGNANCY article in the Wall Street Journal and I hardly know where to begin or even, how I will react. So, maybe today I will not. Perhaps today Ms. Oster and her Personal Journal Style piece are just to hang out there — luring in all who wish to fight it out. Kudos the Wall Street Journal for meeting their lofty circulation and engagment goals. Count me out…
If common sense and personal choice are not working to keep the media mill going – perhaps the sage wisdom of the National Zoo might help:
Yes, this applies to all expectant mothers.
- July 22nd, 2013 by julia
Monday’s child is fair of face;
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is on the go;
Thursday’s child if a joy to know;
Friday’s child is loving and giving;
Saturday’s child takes joy in living;
but the child that is born on the Sabbath day
is merry and blithe and bright and gay.
- July 17th, 2013 by editor
Thank you Debbie for sharing some shots of London-town. Here, shop-windows fill with the only news of the day, Royal Baby Fever!
- July 1st, 2013 by julia
Ilissa really knows how to celebrate Jules Galpin style — that would be a chocolate passport (to go with the USA shot glass and American Flag cookie) to mark the moment! Congratulations to Jules on your citizenship and just in time for Independence Day too!
A chocolate passport- sweet!