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#1 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What did you wish someone told you when you were pregnant? What book/activity/etc. did you find most helpful or meaningful? I'm only 5 and a half weeks into my first pregnancy. We haven't told the grandparents just yet (as this was a "surprise!") and so I haven't gotten any words from my mom just yet.
Thanks.
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#2 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by asoulunbound View Post
What did you wish someone told you when you were pregnant? What book/activity/etc. did you find most helpful or meaningful? I'm only 5 and a half weeks into my first pregnancy. We haven't told the grandparents just yet (as this was a "surprise!") and so I haven't gotten any words from my mom just yet.
Thanks.
I'm 31 weeks along and don't have any other children...so I don't have super special words for you....BUT, after I started doing my meditation excercises with my hypnobirthing at around 23 weeks...I REALLY wished that I'd started it sooner. Meditation and relaxation has been one the the most enjoyable parts of my pregnancy and I wish so so so badly that I'd started sooner. I connect so deeply with my baby girl when I do my meditations...I just really wished I'd done it sooner. The inner peace and calm that it brings me would have been so great earlier on!!

Also...I am really wishing that I had stuck with my prenatal pilates for longer. It was winter and I just became so unmotivated...but I wish I'd stuck with it. Stretching is so good, keeping limber is important I think. I'm trying to get back into it...but it's harder now, I wish I'd kept it up so I could have stayed stretchy!!

Also....the biggest thing for me has been time. This pregnancy has FLOWN. I remember like it was yesterday....I was five or six weeks and I felt like it would never pass...now, I am in disbelief at how fast it has gone by. Just be aware of how fast it will go by and use this time to be super close to your DH. It is really just hitting me this week that our baby will be here in two shakes of a lambs tail and that we will never be two again....we will be three! No more lazing about for hours in the middle of the day, no more doing nothing whenever we feel like it...and that's fine, we're so anxious for our life as parents to begin....I just wish I had been more aware of how special this time is for me and the husband from earlier on!

Congratulations and I hope you have a very happy and healthy nine months! ALSO! EAT FRUIT!!! I have eaten more fruits and veggies during this pregnancy than you could shake a stick at and I'll tell you, I've had themost wonderful pooh! I hate to say it that way but honestly....I have not had any problems with constipation, etc...nice regular bm's! Also, if you have really bad morning sickness (I lost 18 pounds in the first tri, I was miserable!) try squeezing lemon juice on everything you eat...the zest is really good for getting things down. I've spoken with a lot of ladies who have said the same. I'll tell you, I thought I was going to die I was so frekaing sick...but things got better for me once I realized that I could get down anything that I could squeeze fresh lemon juice onto!

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#3 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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Well, I wish someone had told me that it's possible and normal to not instantly bond with your baby the second he's born. Sometimes, it's a gradual process, and it doesn't mean you're a bad mother, or that you love your baby any less.
If I'd known that with DS1, it could have saved me a lot of guilt and self-doubt.


Also, I wish I had my friends and family backing me, when I was struggling to BF DS1. Thankfully, we prevailed, and he continued to nurse until 2.5yrs.
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#4 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I really enjoyed reading GF's Guide to Pregnancy and So That's What They're For while pregnant. I would advise preggos invest in a few maternity tanks (I liked Old Navy's) in different colors for layering when your shirts start to ride up. If you want to babywear and haven't before, get a couple of different carriers ahead of time (my ring sling is my saving grace for DD's colicky nights!) so they're there whenever you want to try it out. And while I scoffed at it before, it's true...enjoy every full night's sleep!
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#5 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Bradley classes, yoga, swimming, lots of romantic time with hubby, your body really does know what it's doing, labor can be fun, this time is magical, take advantage of people being nice to you since you will never have this much attention again (LOL)
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#6 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Sleep!!!!!!! Even when you're huge and uncomfortable and getting up all night long to pee, you'll still be getting more sleep than you will once your precious babe arrives!

Oh, and start going to LLL meetings now if you plan to b'feed. I've met so many great people and learned so much from my LLL group.
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#7 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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I'm only 27 weeks with my first, but i guess what i'd tell you is that first, one day [soon...as it goes by fast] you will explode with baby. And *everyone* will let you know, no matter how funny they're trying to be, you're not as big as a house. I really had let this get to me over the past few weeks, it seemed like everyone was commenting.

eveyone will have advice - take the good stuff, leave the bad. stick to your guns! don't listen to anyone telling you to schedule a c-section if you would never do that or that an epidural is absolutely necessary if you don't feel you want one.

oh yeah, and no matter what, if you *hate* or at least *strongly dislike* your ob or midwife, sWiTcH! I just switched Ob's yesterday - even the receptionist at the place i got referred to from people i've talked to here was better than the one at my old doctors.

good luck momma! 2008 is a good year for babies!

Shirl, (f)un!-married to my love since 05', Momma to (Rosey!) Norah Rose *5/08'* & (Brutus!) Blaze Noah *11/12'*
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#8 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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I 2nd the recommendation to get as much sleep as possible before the baby arrives. Many people jokingly told me while I was pregnant about the sleepless nights, but it actually happens for most new parents (for some reason I didn't take this advice seriously).

It doesn't sound like a big deal -- at least it didn't to me, but if you're not used to it (and who really is?!) it can be almost painful! All worth it of course! It's also important to remember, the lack of sleep doesn't last forever.

Instead of napping when I could have I was sending thank you notes, cleaning the house, and so on --- silly, silly, silly me! I will not do that again!

Congratulations on the pregnancy!!!
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#9 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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If you want a natural birth, DON'T listen to all those strangers who like to share their horror stories about birth gone wrong. Your body is made to know how to birth and if you want it, you can do it! I had so many people tell me that I wouldn't be able to handle the pain and I might as well give up my dream of doing it all natural. It was just so disheartening. I eventually had someone tell me to just ignore those people. Just stop them in the middle or ignore them. In the end, birth was not as bad as I ended up expecting it to be with all those comments floating around in my head! Don't worry about it and it will happen the way it was meant to.

Divorced mama to baby girl (7/5/06) and baby boy (8/5/08) Into anything fun and creative!
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#10 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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The two most powerful influences in my birth choices for my first were Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May and finding MDC!

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#11 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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Let me see, a few bizarre things that no one told me:

1) I had to pee in a cup every time I went to a prenatal appointment. These people gave me these skinny little things to pee in.....................and expected me to aim into these little things. I got bigger and bigger and, um..."lost touch" with what it looked like "down there"...but the cups never got any bigger. They did not give me a mirror to see down there. I couldn't see down there. I just had to aim blindly. Um. Yeah. A nice large funnel would have been good to go along with that skinny little cup. (I hope there are some midwives reading this. They seemed clueless about my reckless plight in the bathroom.)

2) See above. Yeah. If you are used to keeping your pubic area "neat and tidy" that goes out the window as well. Expect a bush.

3) I kinda knew that you sometimes do "#2" when you push the baby out. But nobody told me, I just found out doing searches on waterbirth. That may come as a nasty little surprise, I felt you deserved to know if you didn't already.

I had "issues" after my munchkin was born.......I was afraid to put him down. I was afraid he wasn't "getting enough". These thoughts almost obsessed me. I was afraid to walk near a knife if I was holding him, or near some where high, like a balcony or something. I had "issues" and should have gotten those things checked out instead being ashamed.

Anyhow, that's all I can think of at the moment....
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#12 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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Activity/Book I recommend:
Prenatal Yoga (dvd, book, class, whatever you can do)
and get a copy of
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year (its only 12 bucks and the best investment I ever made)

Thing I wish someone would have told me:
Elimination Communication is for real! (I didn't learn about it until several months after he was born, although we did it starting at 6 months, I would have loved to have started earlier)
Lotus Birth! (doing it this time!)
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#13 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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I concur with those who mentioned sleep. Sleep is precious. Get as much of it now as you can and don't be afraid to nap with your baby once he/she arrives. Naps are wonderful!

What I wish I had known before baby #1-

Don't invest a ton of $ on fancy newborn outfits. The baby will be in onesies mostly (and you'll want lots of them on hand). The baby will rarely wear those fancy outfits and newborns grow so fast, he/she may be in a size 3-6 month after only one month. Save your $ and buy those type of outfits for when the baby is older.

If you plan on using Dreft for laundry, something like All Free or Tide Free (no dyes, no fragrance) works just as well but costs half the price (at least it did for us).

Write down all the cute things and milestones when they happen! Actually, my sister gave me a journal and told me to do this but of course, I said "I'll write down that cute thing she did later". Later comes around and you've forgotten exactly what it was, or when it was, and next thing you know she's 9 years old and you still don't have it all written down!

Keep an extra shirt or jacket with you at all times. Sometimes breast pads leak, often babies puke all over you. Sometimes you're 2 hours from home with no store in site. An extra shirt is nice to have on hand!

I also wish I'd been told it was okay to mourn birth trauma or a birth that didn't happen exactly as I'd hoped. And I also wish others around me, including my OB would have tuned in to the signs and symptoms of post partum depression. I was in such a state that I could not figure it out on my own. Ultimately, I did, but I was lucky I did not harm myself. I would encourage you to tell close family and friends how to spot p.p. depression so if they see the symptoms in you, even if you can not see them, they can take you for help. And also know that ppd is not a sign of weakness, failure, or any indication of what type of mother you are. It just happens sometimes and it can get better!

The only other thing I can think of now is that if you're considering circumcision, please stop by the Case Against Circumcision forum here and talk to some of the mamas who decided against circing. Actually, all the forums here have moms who are a wealth of knowledge on so many issues. I really wish I had know about this site when I was pregnant (for one, it would have been awesome to know about slings and baby wearing!).

Good luck in your pregnancy! Take care of yourself.

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#14 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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Read Birthing From Within and DO the exercises! Very helpful for preparing for birthing a baby.

Also, I thought doing yoga was extremely helpful for learning to listen to your body and breathing well- that is one of the best helps for the physical part of labor.

Good question!
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#15 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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1. You don't have to do anything your caregivers, specifically OBs and hospitals, say you do. You can decline any test or intervention, up to and including induction/cesarean. Take their words under advisement, but know your rights and know ahead of time what you are and aren't comfortable with.

2. Post-partum depression can be truly awful. It can make you into a shell of yourself. It can make you think and do things you never thought you were capable of, while at the same time leaving you horrified and guilt-ridden at these very thoughts and actions. It can make you feel like the world's worst mother and terrified that CPS will take your baby away. Regardless, the best course of action is to seek treatment. Do not pretend it doesn't exist, hope it goes away, or otherwise fail to get help. They will not take your baby away and they will help you.

3. Regardless of how the birth goes, your feelings about it are in no way a reflection of your child itself. It is possible to be completely and utterly in love with your new baby, while at the same time feeling traumatized and in mourning over the birth. Ignore anyone who tries to be helpful by saying such nonsense as "A healthy baby is the only thing that matters".

Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)
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#16 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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After 2 pregnancies and births, this is what was helpful for me...

Keeping a journal...I loved this one http://www.amazon.com/Letters-Tomorr...6537490&sr=1-1

Reading the Hypnobirthing book was amazing and I had the natural birth (second time around) that I wish I had the first time.

Prepare for breastfeeding. Contact a LLL, go to a BF support group, talk to an LC, read read read! Get your partner/support system educated and be ready to commit to the process.

Let yourself off the hook and try to have NO expectations for what you will look like, feel like, etc after birth. The first time I was up and about in a week. The second, I felt like I would never get out of the house alone and it stressed me out. Let your body dictate how fast you can go and try and have support for the few weeks after birth to help out around the house.

Prepare for newborn I wish I had read "The happiest baby on the block" and "The no cry sleep solution" prior to birth when I wasn't exhausted and holding a screaming baby! Also, research all the vax stuff early so you're not making game time decisions after birth.

And most of all, be ready to surrender to the process of being a parent. No matter how prepared we are, we can never be truly ready and just opening up to the experience will help you enjoy all those little moments in between the excitement/bustle/fussiness that are really the most important.

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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#17 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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Please, do not (DO NOT) pay any attention to those "what to expect" books. They're crap...and they will probably come highly recommended by at least one person you know.

Read up on circumcision just in case you're having a boy. (Please!)--A good simple website to start at: http://oknocirc.blogspot.com/

I agree, instead of spending a lot of doe on cribs, bassinets and gadgets, and outfits, instead spend them on cloth diapers, and a bed that will accomodate your whole family.

For the cloth diapers: If you're due in Nov (?--I'm due in October, and a little bit further along than you...., so I'm guessing here..) if it will be cold where you live, invest in fitted cloth diapers and wool longies (that is, if you read up and decide you'd like to try wool...there are a BUNCH of different cloth diaper options) ...if you decide to go with wool/fleece longies (like, little pants) over cloth diapers, then you'll need a lot of tshirts rather than onsies...but it wouldn't hurt to have both. Just don't forget the regular tshirts if you plan to cloth diaper, because they come in handy for that.

If you dont have one, you may also invest in a nice digital camera. If you are a big internet person, your friends and family will want to see your new baby and it's SO MUCH easier just uploading pics and emailing them out from home than it is having to trudge to the store to get film developed. (Unless they've upped technology in the last few weeks and I don't know about it, don't count on camera phones. Most of them are extremely low quality...the pictures from them suck.)

Look into babywearing. If you are interested, I wish some one had told me that stretch carriers are MUCH easier for a newborn than woven ones....save the woven ones for when baby gets heftier. If you want one available for when baby is first born, it will be better if it's stretchy...stretch = knitted or interlock material, such as tshirt fabric. Here's a link to a great babywearing website: http://mamatoto.org/Default.aspx?tabid=67

Just a few more things I thought of!
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#18 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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1) I wish I had known about Traditional Foods (visit the forum here on MDC!) and that the synthetic prenatal vitamins the doctor gives you are pretty useless. I wish I had known to eat or supplement with natural vitamins A & D such as those found in cod liver oil so my son could avoid expensive dental work and orthodontics.

2) I wish I had known about slings and pouches when DS was a newborn. I only found out about them when he was 6 months old.

3) I wish I had known that its OK to sleep with your baby and to not let him cry it out. I couldn't bring myself to let DS CIO but felt like I was doing everything wrong by not doing so. It was a relief when I found out about Attachment Parenting.

4) I wish I had researched vaccines and circumcision prior to DS being born and not after he was fully vax'ed and circ'd.
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#19 of 33 Old 04-02-2008, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Great, now I have a TON of questions.

1. babywearing- What kinda wrap is sling is affordable and versatile? I'm looking for one that is safe for me and baby, comfy, affordable, and useful for as long as possible

2. what kinda crap will the hospital want me to do if I give birth in a hospital as far as vax'ing n stuff? What is the stuff they put on the baby's eyes?

3. It's not too early to go to LLL? Seriously? I don't even have to be showing or anything...?

Y'all (born in TX) have helped me so much already. Totally didn't think about having trouble keeping myself from growing a bush... or circ'ing if a boy (that's always be a given NOT FOR MY BABY kinda thing in my mind. Thanks for mentioning it anyway).
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#20 of 33 Old 04-02-2008, 09:17 AM
 
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lol, just a funny side note - you mentioned growing a bush, and the line under your user name says something about shrubbery...I know, bad girl, get my mind out of the gutter...In my defense - it's too early in the morning!!

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#21 of 33 Old 04-02-2008, 01:27 PM
 
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The one thing I wish someone told me was how hard breastfeeding was going to be. I think some people have a wonderfully easy time with it, but not us. We got lots of support after birth in our BF journey, but I somehow thought that she would be born, and come up to my chest, latch on, and that would be that. Not so in my case, as she had a bad latch, and took her 6 weeks to get the hang of it. I am so glad I stuck with it, because now she is a 2 year old breastfeeding machine.

One thing I am GLAD someone told me, was to write a birth plan.

And a bit of advice from my personal experience, stay healthy threw the pregnancy, do yoga, and buy a birth ball of your own. I did pregancy yoga alot, and the extra flexibility it gave was awesome and so helpfull. I got a birth ball, (or excersize ball) and it was GREAT in the last trimester. Good for opening up your hips and helping baby possition itself correctly.

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#22 of 33 Old 04-02-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I wish I had read a lot more birthing stories - wish I hadn't written off "Spiritual Midwifery" as too far out there for me.

Favorite books to read:

Henci Goer "thinking woman's guide to a better birth"
Ina May Gaskin "spiritual midwifery" and "ina may's guide to childbirth"
"Birthing from within"

Other advise: don't rush through your pregnancy. Even though you want your baby, cherish your last months without her: get lots of sleep, spend time with friends, enjoy your partner. It is no joke that babies completely change your life and take up an unthinkable amount of your time and energy. I am not saying its a bad change but seriously, enjoy the freedom you still have.

Welcome to motherhood!
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#23 of 33 Old 04-02-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I wish someone had told me that it's possible not to bond the moment the baby is put on your chest, or feel tears of joy stream down your face. I'm terribly bonded to her, but just didn't have that kind of moment. To me, it was more like, "Now, *who* the heck are YOU?!!"

The other thing is that, should you have a tear that is not healing quickly enough for your liking, skip the sitz baths, squirt bottles and all that jazz. Go to your market and pick up a leaf of aloe vera. Take the gel directly from the leaf and put it on your post partum pad. You'll heal very, very quickly after that. I suffered for too long without that information (my tear went undetected at first and was not stitched up).

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels. Expecting my 2nd rainbow baby 2/15!
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#24 of 33 Old 04-02-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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I wish someone had told me how AWFUL I would feel the first trimester. I knew I was pregnant, but I thought I had cancer. I remember laying in bed wishing I would die...it was that bad.

Start reading now. I recommend a good book on vaccines (there are several out there), The No-Cry Sleep Solution, and a book I am now reading called The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
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#25 of 33 Old 04-08-2008, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamond lil View Post
I wish someone had told me how AWFUL I would feel the first trimester. I knew I was pregnant, but I thought I had cancer. I remember laying in bed wishing I would die...it was that bad.
:::::
Sigh... and I feel like all I do is complain because I'm hungry and nothing sounds good and I feel ill anyway.
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#26 of 33 Old 04-08-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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I actually wrote a 70 page book of all the things I wish I would have known and have been giving it to pregnant friends and people who seek out my help as natural parenting consultant. If you would like a copy via e-book let me know and I will get one to you! Just PM me!
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#27 of 33 Old 04-09-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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I have to chime in with Ina May's books again. They changed my whole feeling about birth. I love Spiritual Midwifery,but my epiphany from her writing came with her most recent book where she is talking about pain.She clarifies that the pain of labor is not hurtful pain. The pain of labor is different from when your body has been damaged, say like when you blow a knee out and tissue is torn and pulled. Contractions are not hurting your body. it is just doing it's thing, and all will be well after it's finished.

I can't sum it up well, I think you know have to read her writing for it to sound right. This realization CHANGED me and my perception of labor, made my contractions much more tolerable when I had this knowledge in the front of my brain.

Delivery, well, that's a little different, but by the time you are there, most of the work is done and that pain is so fast and fleeting it's like magic. Good luck!

Elizabeth, mama to 4 kids and 5 chickens.
The grateful recipient of 3 home water births, 1 being an accidental UC.:
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#28 of 33 Old 04-09-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by asoulunbound View Post
1. babywearing- What kinda wrap is sling is affordable and versatile? I'm looking for one that is safe for me and baby, comfy, affordable, and useful for as long as possible
I'd say you may look at using at least 2, or possibly 3 different types of baby carriers before your baby is too big to carry anymore. (....or maybe I'm just addicted to carriers. )

For the youngest stages, a stretchy one is good. Maybe a sling. (Or a wrap.) It's very easy to put the sling/wrap on, tighten it securely, and stretch it to put the baby in. It's the easiest and works well for light newborns.

I think it would have been better for me to start with a stretchy one rather than a woven one like I did. It was really difficult because I had to hold baby (wobbly head/back and all) inside of sling while I fumbled trying to get it to the perfect perfect tension since there was no give. I had to make sure it was not too tight or too loose. I did learn, but being that I had the woven sling on hand instead of a stretchy one, and it was so hard to get used to, it delayed my endeavors to really wear my baby. I didn't really get into the joys of babywearing until my son was 5 months old. Once I got the hang of it, I really wished I had had a stretchy easier one to wear when he was younger. It could have meant the difference between sitting to nurse for 6 weeks straight (and beyond) and actually getting up and DOING stuff while nursing. It may have helped me to get out in the sun more maybe ward off a little bit of the postpartum depression I experienced and not feel so homebound. It would have also alleviated the guilt I felt when I HAD to put 4 week old munchkin down because I just HAD to make a sandwich or else I'd be dead from starvation by the time my husband got home, much to munchkin's delay while he screamed. (Anyhow I'm rambling.)

Woven slings are good for later when babe gets a little heavier, and since they don't give the way stretchy ones do, they support more weight better.

Once my child got really big (as in, past a year) the slings just weren't doing it for me anymore. I needed something that offered two shoulders instead of hanging on my one. That's when I started to look into mei tais and wrap teis and so forth.

Anyhow, this mile long post that I made was intended to let you know that there is really no "one" best carrier that will take you all the way through. It depends on how much your kid likes to be held and what your one shoulder can handle vs/ what you'd need two shoulders for.

I'd say get one good carrier to start you off with and worry about the next "issues" as they come. Start off with something good for a newborn, and use it, and as your newborn grows, access your needs and his/her needs and decide from there which direction you should go in. Some people start off with a stretchy carrier then move on to a mei tai and never need anything else after that. Some others (like me ) need to test and try everything because I'm nosy like that.

If you can sew, you can get you about 5 yards of tshirt material, go to the mamatoto.com website and cut it to width (maybe just in half or in thirds the long way) hem it, and have yourself a good wrap. Or you could even order rings from slingrings.com and make your own sling. It's really simple to do. (Not as dangerous as I thought it was, if you put in good reinforcment stitches it won't come aloose, which was one of my fears...)

You could also try http://www.thebabywearer.com for excellent suggestions.

(sorry for rambling.)
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#29 of 33 Old 04-18-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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Also, I would have spent more time researching vaccines before birth. It is an overwhelming task IMO that would have been a lot easier without the distractions of a little one.

I also wish I had read more about child development and discipline prior to being in the middle of a toddler tantrum.
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#30 of 33 Old 04-18-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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if you can afford it, take a trip with DH and make it a fun trip! we didn't have the "time" and I really wish now we would have just done it because now that baby is expected any day.

don't buy a bunch of books. find one or two that you like and use the internet and library for everything else. actually, if you want some of mine, i'll gladly send them over. half of them i haven't opened since i got them.

i agree with the relaxation/meditation stuff. i did yoga most of the way through and did meditation and it made such a difference and helped me be calm.

don't take what in-laws and parents say to heart and follow your heart/gut. i can't tell you how many times i have disagreed with my parents and my MIL and I've just learned to let it go. it's not their baby, they had their chance. it's my chance and i have to what is right for my family.

good luck! this is my first too and it does go by fast. enjoy the last few months that you have with your DH and yourself!

Amy
SAHM to a super sweet and sensitive 2 year old and a happy giggle-monster baby (1/2010).
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