By Lizzie Heiselt & Valerie Best
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Cocoon is not a pregnancy podcast. Not really. It’s not about babies. It's about you. It's about what you didn’t expect when you were expecting. It's about the messy complexities of growing a family, from the unforeseen challenges to the surprising joys. It's about how you, and your life, has changed through the process. It's about what you have become.
||Clean#23: “You Just Live Life As Best You Can”||When Kristy went into labor at 33 weeks gestation and had her baby via emergency c-section, it seemed like a series of small miracles took place. She and the baby would have the healthiest outcome in a scary, unpredictable situation. End of story. But w||7/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#22: Helen (part 2 of 2)||It wasn’t too long after her mother died that Meg began to feel . . . tired. Maybe a little under the weather. Possibly depressed. But it was winter—cold and gray. She was grieving. And her life was hectic with house renovations. And then a more fa||5/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#21: The Greatest Gift My Mother Gave Me (part 1 of 2)||The relationship we have with our moms can be fraught and complicated. We must differentiate ourselves from our moms, but no matter what we do or who we become, they are always guides or shadows on our paths. We can never fully disentangle ourselves fro||4/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#20: Before, After, & Then After||Natalie was 19 when she got pregnant. Plans to marry her boyfriend quickly fell through and she was left with a choice to keep the baby or place the baby in a closed adoption. With her parents’ help, she chose adoption. And then she found out it wa||3/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#19: “I Could Bring Him to His Family”||I knew that it wouldn’t do me any good to say, well, I’m going to have a baby and then I’ll figure out my life because I’d already made pretty much made a solid decision that I was going to place him for adoption and I didn’t want to put my li||10/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#18: “We Have Derailed”||When Grace was 28, she had just finished breastfeeding her 2nd daughter. Her husband, Dave, was working through his residency as an ophthalmologist. And their life in the Bronx, New York, was busy and mentally and physically taxing. And then she was dia||7/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#17: The Midwives||If you really understand what is going on for them, then you can actually take better care of them. Its about being open to what people are experiencing and not having an agenda for them, or making assumptions about them, or these plans for them, or cle||4/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMini Episode #2: Imperfectly Perfect||In this week’s mini episode JoAnna reads her essay about her baby Levi, who, after being diagnosed with trisomy-13 at 18 weeks, beat the odds and was born alive at 35 weeks gestation. Levi may have lead a tiny and quiet life, but his existence was||3/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#16: “This is What I Am Meant To Do”||Bente kept a journal when she was growing up in which she wrote that she would have 12 kids: 2 boys, then 2 girls, then 2 boys, and on and on. A couple of decades later we meet up with her and find that things went surprisingly well for her.||3/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#15: Who Am I Without This?||Liz has known since she was a child that she would be a mother. It was the fact she based many of her life decisions around and the thing that made her a crazy person.||2/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#14: “In The End, Wasn’t It Worth It?”||Nicole had a severe case of pregnancy sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum—which is definitely NOT morning sickness—that left her feeling like a shell of a person for virtually her entire pregnancy.||11/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMini Episode #1: Love the One You’re With||Today’s episode is an essay written and read by Lizzie Heiselt. It takes on the “all that matters is that you have a healthy baby” idea. For anyone who’s been told this, you know there’s not really a response to that. On some level, it’s tru||9/30/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#13: The Full Human Experience||The full human experience includes this: pregnancy, birth, life, death. And if all goes well and normally, the pregnancy is 9 months, the birth takes a day or so, the life is decades long, and the death neither sneaks up nor hovers for too long. But t||8/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#12: “But Honestly, How Are You Feeling?”||There is an expectation with pregnancy that growing a life leads to glowing. The question, How are you feeling? is supposed to elicit maybe some talk about morning sickness, followed quickly by, But were so excited. The words prenatal depression are rar||7/18/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#11: On the Brink of Something Big||We talked to some soon-to-be-moms about this, their first pregnancy, to find out how they are feeling, what they are thinking, and what their story is as they are on the brink of becoming someone new. Someones mom.||6/2/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#10: What Does “Healthy Birth” Even Mean?||Among her 5 children, Alanna Smith has had just about every type of childbirth experience you can have, and each one has left an impression and shaped her perspective. In episode 10 she shares the ups and downs of childbirth—and how, by the time she h||3/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#9: “My Joy Is Always Tainted” (part 2 of 2)||In episode 8, Misty told us about how when she was 18, she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that made it a really bad idea for her to have biological children, and about the first few disappointments she and her husband went through as they pur||1/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#8: “I Don’t Want You To Bear Children” (part 1 of 2)||At 18, Misty was a college freshman enjoying the freedom of life away from home for the first time. Then she got sick, and her life changed dramatically. One result: she could no longer safely bear children. Instead she and her husband have adopted 3 ch||12/7/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#7: I Never Stopped Building My Life||I never stopped building my life, Gloria says. At 17, she found herself pregnant and abandoned. At 18 she gave birth to her baby in a new country where she hardly spoke the language. Since then she has continued to work and to make something beautiful f||11/20/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#6: The Ups and Downs of Breastfeeding||Best things about breastfeeding: bonding, still moments, connection, losing the baby weight. Worst things: lack of sleep, hallucinations, insanity, depression.||11/4/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#5: Not My Mother’s Story||Many women experience fear during pregnancy: fear of pain, fear that something is wrong with the baby, even fear of death—their own or the baby’s. But not many women have actual first-hand experience with the realities of maternal mortality. Suvi do||10/21/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBonus: Jodie’s Journal||Lots of us turn to writing when life gets tough. It’s a proven form of therapy and it let’s us understand and experience our emotions so that we can untangle them and—sometimes—make something beautiful with them. As Jodie was pregnant with An||10/14/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#4: Incompatible With Life||You’re 20 weeks pregnant and it looks like something is wrong with the baby. How do you spend the rest of the pregnancy? Jodie and Adrian tell us how they handled a worst case scenario and came out of it feeling strengthened, loved, and grateful.||10/7/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#3: The Birth of a Podcast||There is always hope that out of every difficult, painful experience, there is something good to be gained. Lizzie tells about her own losses and struggles and her hope that Cocoon Stories will help her—and others—find a silver lining. Listen in iTu||9/23/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#2: Cancer Has No Place in this Family||Annie and Ben Howington share their experience of helping their daughter fight childhood cancer—and what it did to their family.||9/9/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean#1: It’s About Being Passionate About Two Things||Our first episode features Mary Jane Callister telling us how she’s handled two things that are both so common and yet so personal to so many women: the challenge of getting pregnant and starting a family, and the challenge of balancing your variou||8/26/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCocoon Trailer is Live!||A sneak peek at whats coming. Full episodes begin August 26th.||8/8/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
I’m not a parent, but the stories of Cocoon appeal to me. The focus is less on baby mechanics and more on the foray into parenthood itself—a kind of hero’s journey, which I enjoy. It’s also very emotional, which, duh: pregnancy, birth, and child-rearing are intensely intimate experiences, ones that this podcast makes me feel close to for the first time. The hosts and guests are thoughtful, energetic, and genuine. A lovely podcast!
Such a great Podcast! I'm a people person and I love listening to these stories. Each of us will have different ups and downs thorughout our lives and I think it's great to be able to listen to a Podcast that is so real! Real, and at the same time, uplifting (despite those heart wrenching moments). After each Podcast I feel a closeness to these women who have shared their stories. The hosts are caring and thoughtful and the music is wonderful. I'm always looking forward to the next story!
Strength in connection
I have listened to every single one of these podcasts and I have yet to hear one that didn't impact me deeply or that I didn't feel a connection to. That is the beauty of this podcast. Even if you haven't experienced the same things as the people being interviewed, you can't help but feel connected to them and marvel at the trials they have gone through. Cocoon highlights the idea that through trial and pain can come beautiful transformation. That is something we all want: for our challenges to have meaning in forming us into something better, stronger, more resilient and more at peace. And by listening and connecting to Lizzie and Valerie and the people they interview I feel like I am able to tap into that strength and I become different, new, and more aware of the experiences of the wider community of women of which I'm a part.