Motherhood, Reviews

Your Amazing Newborn | Book Review

No Comments 12 October 2012

Your Amazing Newborn is the first book I’ve read of my DONA postpartum doula training reading list.

The book was short at 114 pages but is packed full of extremely useful and fun-to-know information.

Our education actually begins before baby is born with Chapter One, Before Birth: Dawning Awareness. I learned so much about how precious little beings can express themselves in the womb; can taste, suck their thumbs early in life and recognize the sound and smell of their mother.

There are several studies cited in Your Amazing Newborn.

Each fact is backed up by a study. For instance, newborns respond to their mother’s voice. Similarly, mothers can pick out their baby’s cry from a group within a few days of birth. This one blew my mind – newborns sometimes smell like a spice their mother ate days before giving birth. Amazing!

Another aspect I liked about the book is it’s gentle lean toward attachment parenting and mentions newborn bonding frequently.

Chapter Two, The First Minutes, has a beautiful photo sequence of a newborn crawling to the breast to self-latch. In fact, this book is peppered with great images of newborns and their families on nearly every page. I loved looking at the photos as much as reading the text.

Chapter Eight, Expressions and Emotions was one of my favorites – Newborns are very expressive indeed! They can mimick our faces at a very early age. But newborns tire out quickly, and the authors are good to remind us to let our babies rest and not to overstimulate.

I would recommend this book to any parent – whether they have children or are first time parents – because it’s easy to handle. The information presented isn’t overwhelming and has a nice balance between being scientific and thoughtful without boring us to death.

One down, three to go. Stay tuned for more book reviews in the coming weeks!

BBH TV, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Mama Natural ROCKS It on BBH TV! (Video Recording)

No Comments 30 May 2012

Genevieve, founder of Mama Natural, was our special guest on BBH TV tonight, and wow! She’s so awesome!

I’m so glad to have talked with her. She’s doing a great job at getting highly informative messages out there to the natural parent community through her videos.

Watch our video interview below to learn more about Genevieve and Mama Natural.

Motherhood

The Imperfect Day

13 Comments 20 May 2012

Hi, my name is Kaitlin Rose, and I am not perfect.

That’s how I felt yesterday.

And I want to share why because I realize I often paint a beautiful, unscathed picture of my life.

I don’t write whiny or depressed Facebook status updates. I rarely delve deep in conversation with fellow mom friends about the things that irk me. I’d rather stay positive. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have crappy days. I DO.

Yesterday was one of them.

First off, I forgot to grab a package to send to a friend on the way out the door. I remembered 15 minutes down the road and was already running late, so I couldn’t go back to pick it up. Since it was Saturday, I’ll have to wait to send it until tomorrow. That bummed me out.

Then, after finishing my coffee, I stupidly sat coffee mug between my left leg and the door. When I opened the car door, it fell out and broke. Man! I loved that to-go mug!

We were driving into town for a few reasons – one was  to sell a vintage guitar I’d put up on Craigslist. I realized when I got there that I’d made a crucial mistake: I didn’t have the guy’s phone number. And of course he didn’t show. What I didn’t realize was that he had emailed me the night before saying he couldn’t make it. That’s what I get for NOT checking my email first thing in the morning! Waiting around in the parking lot for 20 minutes wasn’t fun for any of us. My bad.

After the failed sale, we drove another 30 minutes deeper into town to attend an unschooling/homeschooling meeting/open-house. It was a complete dud. SO not our thing. Not impressed, and with a gas tank near empty, we headed back toward home feeling completely defeated. And I have to mention, it was 80 degrees outside. Hot and cranky is not a good combination for anyone!

Stopped at the Farmers Market for asparagus and saw some friends, who – thank god – brightened my day. Gave me a bit of hope to finish the day.

Riding home, I realized I had forgotten yet another task – to go carseat shopping. WTH? How could I have forgotten to do that? My friend is due to have a baby anywhere between 2-4 weeks and we need to give her infant car seat back, trade Ella’s to Lucan and get a new toddler car seat for her. <slap the forehead>

The rest of the day wasn’t actually that bad. At all.

We gardened, went to Ella’s cousin Jack’s birthday party, and arrived home just in time to get bathed and go to sleep.

Only, I couldn’t sleep.

As exhausting as the day had been, emotionally and physically, I was still swimming in the turmoil of a wrecked day. I have a tendency to hang on to feelings, good or bad.

I sat down on the couch with a carrot stick, wishing it was a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, wanting to write. How could I turn the day around by seeing some lesson learned? How could I change my perspective?

Oh forget it! It was still to fresh. I was still too raw. And one final word of constructive criticism from Eric on his way to bed was the last the I needed.

So, instead of write, instead of editing my ebook like I should have been doing, I parked my rear end on the couch and watched two back to back episodes of Modern Family. It was great. I even laughed a little!

Thanks for reading this post.  It felt good to get this out, especially since I rarely complain (publicly at least!).

I’m sitting on the deck as I write this. Geese are swimming with their babies across the lake, and some guy is slowly circling the shore with a rowboat.

If I could learn anything from yesterday, it would be this: there’s always tomorrow. Today will be a better day.

Motherhood

Motherhood Revealed Through Loss

8 Comments 26 April 2012

Before becoming pregnant, I wasn’t sure if having children was in my future.

It’s not that I didn’t like kids – I did. I just wasn’t sure about a life of domestication and monogamy. I was an artist. A musician. A free spirit. I’d travel. Singin’ in the streets. That sort of thing.

But when I met Eric, ideas about my future started to change.

Slightly at first, and then all at once, everything flipped upside down.

I got (unexpectedly) pregnant. It was Fall, 2007.

It was a shock to my system.

To my whole, (self-written, not inherent) constitution. I was a smoker and a full time coffee drinker. Like, 3 o’clock in the morning at the smokey cafe writing in my journal kind of coffee drinker.

And yet, I rejoiced. I was really excited! Not to mention, surprised that I was excited! Who knew? I didn’t.

Then, just four days or so after finding out, I started bleeding.

Light at first, then more heavily, accompanied by cramping. I had been somewhere between 4-6 weeks along.

The loss hit me hard. Which also surprised me.

I was taken aback for two reasons:

#1: How could I be so upset when just a week prior, having children was nowhere on my radar?

#2: How could I be so upset about this loss when I had only known for less than a week?

Everything had changed.

I began looking at the world in an entirely different way.

Later that week I remember sitting in my car at a traffic light as two teenage parents passed on the cross walk in front of me.

The dad was rollerblading and the mom was pushing the stroller. They looked poor and dirty, and…was I judging them? Hell yes I was.

I felt like the situation was so unfair.

A major injustice had occurred.

Why couldn’t I keep my baby while their’s flourished? I’m a good person. I have a nice car and a clean apartment, a good job, supportive family. Why was this allowed to happen?

I did a lot of writing during that time, trying to manage and cope with my feelings. I’d like to share one with you.

9-26-07
An Understanding: The Unreal Pain

For one brief moment,
I was an aged dandelion.
I was it’s see through white phase:
delicate.

Wind blew stronger
one brief
 passing moment,
and
 all my seeds
helicoptered away.

 

Poof.

 

Like a soundless picture
of an atom bomb,
it’s destruction all too apparent
even in silence.

 

Sudden death.

 

A breeze softly sweeping
like feathers across newborn cheeks.
Like the last exhale that does not return;
stays gone.

 

And there is nothing I can do.

 

My heart goes out to all of you who have lost a baby, no matter how far along you were.

In retrospect I can see how valuable an experience my miscarriage was.

I learned a lot from it. I learned how much I wanted to become a mother.

In the Spring of 2008, I rejoiced the coming of a second pregnancy.

I was fearful though that it wouldn’t last, so we told very few people until I was a full three months along.

Today that baby is my beautiful Ella Rose, 3 years old and fit as a fiddle. Her brother is nearly 10 months.

And now, I couldn’t be happier.

When did you realize that you wanted to be a mother? Share your story below!

Motherhood

How to Get 10 Minutes of “Me Time.”

3 Comments 20 April 2012

This week at the monthly La Leche League meeting, a thought of mine caught me off guard.

We were nearly finished with the formal chat session and were about to shift into play mode when one of the leaders wrapped up the conversation with one final point.

We’d been talking about integrating a second child into the mix – what it meant for our relationship with our first child, breastfeeding, night time sleeping habits, etc.

She said, “And we can’t forget ourselves! We’ve got to take care of us too. Does anyone have any tips on how to do this? How do you find time for yourself during the day?”

I immediately scoffed at the idea. Time for myself? Are you kidding? That doesn’t exist! Tips? Nope. I got nuthin’.

Of course, I didn’t say any of this out loud. I sat the question out and listened to other mothers respond.

One said, “I get up before anyone else does and take a shower. If the kids wake up, my husband can handle it until I get out. It makes me feel so much better to start the day clean.”

Another said something similar, but she woke early for a different reason. Her morning ritual was to write, drink coffee, meal plan or read while the rest of the family slept in.

Good idea, I thought. Only, I really enjoy morning cuddles. I’m more of a night owl. Although, I would really like a hot cup of coffee.

When no one else had a thing to say, I finally spoke up.

“You know, as much as I try to find a moment here or a moment there, most of the time I’m just reminding myself that this time goes by fast, and to just enjoy it. Because it’s super rare for me to get time to myself with a nursling under one and an energetic toddler. Sometimes it’s better just to say I don’t get me time right now, but this phase will pass soon and I’ll have a lifetime of time to myself later. I’m going to be wild during my 50′s!”

There was laughter around the room and a few nods.

The meeting progressed into a playgroup and I hung out with a few of my favorite locals.

Later that day, I thought back on what I had said.

Was my situation really that dire? Was I so hopeless to think quality me time was impossible?

Just to prove myself wrong, I devised a little experiment (and it worked).

I took the kids out to the porch with a few toys. Walked across and angled the gravity chair toward the sun and parked it. I made an agreement with myself that unless someone really needed something, (which was unlikely at the moment as both kids were fed, dry and well-rested) that I wasn’t going to get up.

Heck, I wasn’t even going to open my eyes (I kept them open long enough to capture these shots).

It worked! I got somewhere around 10 minutes of peace. The sunshine of my face felt amazing. I counted it as “me time,” and it felt great. Do it! Get it in while you can. It’s refreshing.

I realized it all comes down to re-framing thoughts. I could have sat in that chair and complained – said it wasn’t me time, because the me time I want is to be alone at a coffee shop with my laptop writing all day.

As soon as I told myself, ‘this is me time right now,’ that is what it became. We believe what we tell ourselves. Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective.

Home Birth Advocacy, Motherhood

The Too Good Home Birth Blues

19 Comments 19 April 2012

I just had my baby.
Yeah, I gave birth at home…
I didn’t need nobody,
I did it on my own.

I was triumphant!
Midwife saw it in my eye.
I was feeling so proud…
now all I want to do is cry.

‘Cus I got the blues…
the I had too good’a home birth blues.

Had it all under control - things were going so well.
Then my toddler went a stir crazy
and the juggling balls all fell.

My honey went back to work.
And grandma did too…
suddenly I’m overrun -
outnumbered by the two.

And now I’m singin’ the blues.
I musta had too good’a home birth blues.

The older one is acting up.
It’s getting to my head
I want to take my newborn
and spend the day in bed.

They said the birth went real good,
And I agree!
But I need takin’ care of too.
Don’t forget I just had a baby!

Now I’m singin’ the blues.

My doula says “better sit down”
you’ll be payin’ for it tonight.
When I finally got the chance to rest,
oh boy was she right.

Damn, I got blues,
Had such a beautiful home birth too.

Oh me, oh my,
I got some microwaved entrees.
But no one is here to wait on me -
I haven’t sat down nearly all day.

I only wanted a babymoon.
Was that too much to ask?
It’s been a week already -
Time goes by so fast!

I’ve got the blues.
The I had too good’a  home birth blues.

I gave birth too good I guess,
no one can see I’m really a mess.

I got the blues.
The I had too good’a home birth blues.

Even with the most beautiful of home birth experiences, mothers can still feel let down or depressed after birth. If you know someone who has given birth at home, do what you can to provide support. Don’t assume that just because a mother looks great, that she feels great. 

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