Peace! Bearing life and raising my sun has been a great learning experience. My sun is my master work and I am so glad to raise him. Here are some things I've learned from my pregnancy and taking care of him thus far.
1. Do not buy into being the emotional crazy pregnant lady! The power of conditioning is real...meaning,if you keep hearing that when you are pregnant you will be a raging lunatic, it is likely that you will think that behavior is expected and acceptable. Every woman is different and your hormonal levels are more swift and changeable throughout that time, however, I had the ability to maintain control. In fact, folks were telling me how kind and peaceful I was. The only time I was tempted to go off was when I was nauseated, and someone said or did something annoying. Of course you're gonna have a short fuse when you're nauseous! But I still kept it together. And if you have Supreme Mathematics, you have even less of an excuse to go crazy. Even if you're preggers, you know knowledge comes before wisdom! You might become a little forgetful though.
2. So-called "morning sickness" (which should be re-named 24 hour nausea)and cravings are relative. Some women are sicker than others. My nausea was non-stop all day every day for months, but I never vomited. Some women vomit several times a day. Some women do not get morning sickness. If you do get morning sickness, do not feel guilty about not being able to do all of the things you usually do, or moving a little slower. I mean, it feels like you have the stomach flu! Do you still do everything while you have the stomach flu or do you get some rest and relax? I never got super hungry during my pregnancy, nor did I crave pickles and ice cream, but man did I want I nice juicy steak...and I haven't eaten beef in like 6 years! When I thought about food, half the time I was thinkin about beef, but I resisted the urge.
3. I did not have to buy any maternity clothes. Why? because I dress modestly. Being Refined and Fly saved me money!
4.The kind of birth you have (natural or epidural; home birth, birthing center, or hospital...I recommend watching "The Business of Being Born" and "Orgasmic Birth"), if you are going to circumcise (if you have a son), how long you are taking off from work (if you are a working mother)and whether or not you are going to vaccinate your children (a good resource for vaccination info is "The Vaccine Book" by RobertW. Sears) are personal decisions that you as a parent must make and you and your child must live with. It's one thing to have a theoretical perspective. It's another thing to live out that reality and be faced with some tough decisions. Do the knowledge, research, talk to people who can offer you sound advice and make an informed decision. I don't judge.
5. Taking classes and reading books about childbirth and newborn care are helpful, however, it's more of a learning on the job situation. Nothing truly prepared me for what I experienced during birth, and it will probably be or feel like nothing you have experienced in your life. For me, taking care of a newborn is not difficult, but it takes ENDURANCE. You really do have to be okay with not getting much rest. And if you're a working mother like me...sheesh! However, you will find your rhythm and you will get used to it.
6.Let's not downplay the role of stay at home moms(whether its for 6 weeks or 2 years). Let's not act like sisters are just sittin on their asses all day (at least sisters who strive to be responsive mothers). Being fully present and essentially revolving around an unpredictable little being who spits up, urinates, and defficates in the diaper and on you, your carpet, in the car, in the onesie (you get the picture) can be a lot of work. Will you always get everything done? No. Plus, at least in the beginning, brestfeeding makes you SLEEPY. But can you go to sleep? No.
7. Though your child has been inside of you for almost a year, when they come out, there is a "getting to know you" adjustment period. You have to learn each other. Every child's demeanor isn't the same. Some are very active and need a lot of attention and cry alot. Some are real chill and you can put them down anywhere and they're cool. Some want to be on you at every moment of the day. Some are a mixture of these things at different times or different points of their development. Don't have any expectations, except being ready to ride the waves with your life jacket on!
8. A good pediatrician and one of those books detailing the first year of life (there are several) don't hurt. "Your Baby's First Year" by the American Academy of Pediatrics has been quite helpful.
9. One of the best most natural things you can do for you and your baby is breastfeed. Combined with the birth, and a primarily vegan diet(with the exception of some fish), I lost 35 pds in 2-3weeks! I got a fever sometime in the first week I gave birth. The midwives told me to breastfeed and that bad boy was gone by the morning with no medication, herbs, nothing. Your baby is getting everything he needs...from you! That is the beautiful synergy taking place between you and your child. You make enough milk for them (your supply meets their demand)and your milk production will be in tune with his eating habits. Plus, it's a real opportunity to bond. Sing to him, talk to him (minimize the baby talk).I will say that having been back at work for 3 weeks, pumping at work takes diligence. I have to remember to pump 3 times a day in the midst of a busy work environment. When I am tempted to miss a session, I remember my sun is relying on me to eat to live, and that's all it takes!
10. You will learn the art of making choices. When your child takes a nap, you will have to chose whether to sleep, shower, cook&eat, clean, or do some level of work you may need to do. I'm typing this post at 4am (and yes I have to get up at 7:45am for work tomorrow). You learn to operate on a differnt schedule. Every thing may not get done every day...and it's okay. Do the best you can.
11. You really will learn all of your child's crys and what all their little mannerisms mean. You will feel very triumphant at accomplishing this...and you should be! It's a milestone.
12. If you are having a baby shower (or if you do like we did and have something after the child is born so people can meet the baby and also give gifts), don't request too much newborn clothing. They will grow out of that fast, if they are able to fit it at all when they are born. You should ask for ALL of the following size ranges. 0-3months, 3-6, and 6-9months.
13. You may obsess about little things and you will think how he kicked his foot or punched the air or a look in his eyes is the greatest event in the world. If you are at home with your child, this will dominate most of your conversation, along with other things going on with the baby.
14. Going back to work, baby withdrawl is real. You may look at pictures. You may call the person taking care of your child often. You may cry. The highlight of your day will be reuniting with your baby. What helps me remain sane is that the person taking care of my son is a friend I have known for a long time who I trust and love. She knows my wishes, what I advocate and does what I ask. She sends me pictue mail and texts me when little cute things happen. It's a collaboration...and I know she loves hime too! Make sure, whether it's a friend, family, or a daycare center that you sit and talk business before hand. Just because you know someone doesn't mean you know how they take care of children.
15. You will become a fierce protector of your child. You will kill anyone who trys to harm them and you will give your life for them
16. Check the weather daily
17. Build in extra time when you have to go places (and you may still be late). He may throw up on you when you're on the way out the door, he may be hungry and require an extra feeding, he may urinate or defficate (or both) through the diaper and all over his nice outfit, etc. Put at least one extra outfit in the diaper bag.
18.Be patient with yourself and your child. You pretty much are on their schedule until you are effectively able to teach and train them through repitition, consistency, and culture.
19.Both parents must WORK TOGETHER! Establish a flow and synergy enabling you both to be able to get things done
20.Enjoy every moment, every day, every week, month and year...and take lots of pictures!
Feel free to add on!
I Medina Peaceful Earth