Goodness, it is hard to just start writing a first blog! Here goes the first installment of the “Mommy’s Quiet Time” series; we’ll start with the most helpful books I came across while I was pregnant with Mina. I was always reading something about kids, babies, childbirth; here are my favorites!
Easy Labor: Every Woman’s Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth
I liked this book because it really went over all the different ways to help you through labor. It covered various natural methods and explained how they worked. It led me to decide to go with a doula instead of a midwife, and I was so happy that I did. They really did a good job of explaining various natural pain relievers that I had never previously heard of. For example, there is a procedure (forget what it is called) in which they inject water at the base of the tail bone and this (somehow!) relieves back pain. Who knew? It made natural childbirth not only possible, but less scary.
Natural Baby and Childcare: Practical Medical Advice and Holistic Wisdom for Raising Healthy Children
I picked this book up and found it to be a nice blend of natural healing methods coupled with traditional medicine. The book is a great reference for childcare from birth up to age 14. It is written by a pediatrician who turned to natural and/or homeopathic healing remedies for her patients. I think the best aspect of this book is that it combines natural and traditional remedies. The page is set up with both at once and you can make the best decision for you and your child. Sometimes, you might put sliced onions next to your child’s bed to relieve nasal congestion, other times you will hit the medicine cabinet and use Benydryl. Not only does it go over illnesses, it has chapters on breastfeeding, sleeping, what to expect at different ages, etc. It is very substantial and encompasses a variety of child-rearing subjects.
My friend, Sunny, sent me this book and it really validated the way I was raising Mina. I think mothers these days have it rough — there is always someone to criticize the way you are doing this or that, and it makes you insecure and more likely to second-guess your mothering “gut instincts”. Attachment parenting is a very natural way to raise a child, but very different from our our mothers’ methods, which were more about structure and setting expectations for mom and baby. After I read this book, I was able to take a breath and say “Hey, I am not doing such a bad job after all! It’s OK if Mina sleeps with me sometimes… It’s ok if I carry her around with me. She will NOT turn into a spoiled child just because of all this so called ‘attention’.”
I wish I had had The Happiest Baby on the Block and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer before I had Mina. It would have made things a bit easier. They really go into babies, their rhythms, and how to relax into being a parent. I think I was so preoccupied with labor, the birthing process, and baby health that I forgot to read up on what happens when a baby comes HOME! DUH!
Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood
This was a really honest book about the details of pregnancy and motherhood that no one tells you. Let me repeat: It is a very HONEST portrayal of the whole process, so only read it if you are pregnant. It was refreshing to read lots of things that you think about but never say to anyone else. Yes, it really does hurt when your feet swell and you retain water! I am not going to say anymore about this book because it’s one that you need to decide to read for yourself, when you are ready. Even though it was honest about what you are going through and what you WILL go through, it relaxed me. I knew what to expect, and that I wasn’t alone.
I have to say that I had a fantastic pregnancy; I pretty much felt like a big fat and happy buddha by the end of it all. Delivery… well… the best laid plans of mice and men… I did the best I could to prepare and we all came out healthy and happy in the end.
Well, until next time. We will be talking about sleep….or the lack of it! ~ Elif