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care to share first pregnancy stories tips and resources?  RSS feed

 
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Heya,
i have just embarked on the adventure of pregnancy and all resources i find on-line are mainstream anxiety-filled stuff.

from: what one book you suggest? best diet tips? how did you find your mothers-alike community? did you do ultrasounds, etc.? how to learn to ask for help - my personal fear - later in pregnancy and upon arrival of baby, and to whom? how to manage parents that do no understand rural simple lifestyle and will inundate you with plastic stuff? if you were alone would you get workaway, au pair, share house with another mother?

but also wishing for just your stories and some potential contacts for pen-friends

the challenge is bigger since my partner has got ...'cold feet' (?) and he has left the country upon knowing of our planned pregnancy is positive. this is our second. first was a miscarriage at 10w, just as much time as we are now. we had / have a dream of a simple life, we are over 35, live in countryside, and wished for this; but... somehow this is what it is. we are in contact. i am home. and focusing on my wellbeing - physical, emotional and spiritual - planting next crop, finishing work reports; to say: the shock as subsided but i know i will need help. i'm trusting the right people and situations will come
there are a few other pregnant woman around, with their partners...
thank you immensely
hugx
 
pollinator
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Hi and welcome to permies!

You have a tough situation...What I would really like to do is offer some practical help, but obviously that's not possible from here...

Babies can be hard work and any trustworthy extra hands you can get are a good idea. Anyone can hold a baby while you take a shower, for example. So yes, I would consider aupairs, friends, older kids in the neighborhood, any reasonably normal & trustworthy person. Of course your parents or your partner's parents, but there can be downsides to that help, as you mentioned.

I stayed with my mother-in-law (bless her!) 2-3 days almost every week when my first kid was a baby. My baby was colicky and I really needed help. My husband had to work full time so could not always help, though he did spend his evenings with the baby and sometimes stayed up most of the night with her, too.

How to manage your own parents and keep them from inundating your life with needless stuff and "advice"...  I wish I knew! There is no polite way of doing that with my parents, at least I haven't found one. I think if your parents are normal(ish) you might try being assertive. The old classic book "When I Say No I Feel Guilty" is excellent, it has helped me a lot. Just not with my parents, sadly.

Re: diet, books, ultras: I can't really help here as I did everything the mainstream way. Had ultras, ate what the conventional doctors recommended, etc.

I found other mothers via the local church, they had a day club for parents with babies and toddlers. It was really relaxed, not anything to do with any religious stuff, just drinking coffee and chatting with other mums (and the occasional dad) while the kids played or took their naps. Then I had a few old friends who had their babies at the same time and I met them occasionally. I also joined a mother's group that I found through our municipal service for families with infants (it has a better name than that, I just don't know what it is in English).

Lots of luck and hugs,
Nina
 
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My kid came along at age 38. I was lumped into the "high risk pregnancy" category, due to my advanced age. *scoff* I asked a few moms of many kids about what they did, and the following is what was helpful to me.

Mind you, this book lists nearly all the things that can go wrong. Just remain calm. Be armed with knowledge, which can help you make informed decisions in an emergency.

https://www.amazon.com/What-Expect-When-Youre-Expecting/dp/0761187480


My whole life I've been inundated with stories of tremendous amounts of pain during childbirth. Those who opt for an epidural seem to make it their mission to make sure you do too. In the same way, natural childbirth proponents can be sanctimonious if they gave birth naturally, and you agree to some form of standard practice. So, make the choices for yourself. Do not go feeling guilty if somewhere in the process, emergency or exhaustion sends you into the arms of standard practice. As a father of 13 told my Hunny, there is no "wrong" way to birth a healthy baby.

In the States we have birthing classes. I chose to take the Bradley Method, FAQ link below. They have several informative sections there, free. The book and classes were an excellent resource of knowledge. Armed with knowing what to expect, the whole process was much less frightening. Even so, as I'd not had a child before, we decided to use an OBGYN and the hospital. You know, 'cause I was ancient.

The below book was also used by my friend for her third child. She did not take any of the classes. She borrowed it three weeks before baby came, and found it helpful, and breezed through her home birth with a midwife in attendance.

http://www.bradleybirth.com/FAQs.aspx
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Childbirth-Bradley-Susan-McCutcheon/dp/0452276594

 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Oh, and the Bradley method is subtitled "husband coached childbirth". Any friend can fill that roll. My Hunny was busy with putting pressure on my spine. I roped a friend in to act as my Doula/ coach.
 
pollinator
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I've always been a very instinctual parent, never read books, and it's worked out very well for me. I never had much help either, my ex worked all the time, my parents were overwhelmed. I had one full time mom that I hung out with, that helped a lot. She was nursing at the same time as me, and it helped to be able to leave my colicky baby with her so she could nurse him, and vice versa. That's my best advice, other stay-at-home mothers. Being home with a baby can be very lonely, even with multiple children.

As far as childbirth, the best advice I have is keep active and stretch a lot. Being strong and flexible goes a long way in childbirth. Some of my births were traumatic, but all that fades away when you have that baby in your arms. Epidural or no, that's a personal choice. I had one with my second child but it didn't work, so all four ended up natural/full pain.

My daughter is pregnant right now, due in a month. It's so interesting to see how different it is for her. She thinks about things a lot.
 
pollinator
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FWIW....from someone who never had or raised kids but was one once upon a time......

http://www.continuum-concept.org/
 
Stacy Witscher
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John Weiland - while I've never read that book or heard of it before now, just from looking at the link that seems a lot like what I mean by instinctual parenting. Looks good.
 
melodie sam
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Good morning,

thanks for sharing. i will check. i see patterns here, of very varied experiences even from same mother with different pregnancies. great process of acceptance and instinct development.

i have borrowed the Ina May Gaskin books.  There is also a movie. Very good !
 
pollinator
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First and foremost, I am sorry for the loss of your first child. My wife and I endured that a few months ago, and just now the baby would have been born had it survived through pregnancy. I do not know what it is like from a mother's viewpoint, but do know what it is like from a fathers, and I am empathetic to you.

But that does not mean this birth is to be celebrated, father around or not. I will not sugar coat it, it will be harder, but I know of a woman who is a homesteader who has 3 boys, all with a father who suddenly wanted no responsibilities. Well don't we all loser, but some of us do what is right even when it is hard. In fact that is when our true character shines.

But as for words of encouragement, and yes I have (4) daughters, my words may be different then some. Most will say to develop a birth plan, but as a Christian, as a person who has seen a few babies born, will say that is BULLSHIT! There is no birth plan, the baby will do what the baby will do and that is all there is to it. Do all you can, and know it is up to the baby. Does the baby need to be born in a hospital: most of the time not, and things go perfectly well, but when things are bad, you want a hospital very close by. One of my children was an emergency C-section.
 
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Seconding what Travis has said - most births are uneventful. But when stuff goes wrong it goes wrong really really fast. You don't want to be 20 minutes from a hospital. And what ever is on your birth plan goes out the window when the shoving starts.

Here in the UK many of our hospitals have midwife-led units, where normal births can happen under "less medical" arrangement. While they have a full maternity ward with surgery suites right nearby for those emergencies. Our first son was born in the midwife-led unit, and it was a great experience. Our second was late a needed to be induced, which is done on the main maternity ward. Both were great, and were only 60 seconds apart in the same hospital.

I would also like to add that my friends who have been most psychologically messed up by the birth process were the ones who had really strong belief about what their birth experience was going to be like. One was hugely emotionally invested in a "natural birth" experience and ended up having two emergency c-sections. The fact that her birth didn't go as planned caused her huge amount of turmoil - she felt in some way like a failure because she was fixated on the birth process, rather than the two beautiful kids she has ended up having. Her preconceived idea of what her birth should be like caused her far more problems than even the recovery from the surgery.
 
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Lots of good advice in this thread! Forgive me for braindumping all my ideas at once...take what works, and leave the rest. You will know what's right for you.

I have had 4 babies. 3 at home and 1 in hospital. I prefer the home experience, but the hospital experience is nothing to rail against.

Research and birth planning is fine, as long as when it comes down to the wire you are able to let go and feel instinct/Spirit tell you what is needed. Use research to find an appropriate and compatible caregiver, then trust them, yourself, the baby, and nature/God in the moment. (I enjoyed "The thinking woman's guide to a better birth.") Do not set yourself up in an adversarial relationship with your caregivers or "the system". Understand that everyone wants the best outcome and that anger/fear/defensiveness is ultimately going to be way worse than whether or not the cord is clamped early or late, or even whether the baby comes through the birth canal or through an incision in your abdomen.

Birth is as safe as life gets. It's also as deadly as life gets. That is to say it's perfectly fine most of the time, but babies can die, moms can die, injury and disability can happen. But these risks also apply to driving a car. The risks will never be zero. Be as prepared as makes you comfortable, but avoid getting worried or obsessed. Fear makes birth much more difficult, painful, and possibly even more likely to go wrong. Pregnancy is a good time to visit the big questions and make sure you are living the values you want in your life.

Eat what makes you feel healthy and balanced. Enjoy looking through nutrition books if that's what you enjoy, but don't stress about it if you can't stomach those brussel sprouts you were planning on.

Don't psych yourself out too much about the pain. The pain doesn't mean very much at all the instant you get to hold your little one. Mothers have been surviving the discomfort and pain forever, usually more than once. You can prepare yourself psychologically somewhat. The biggest thing for me was to not fight it. The only way out is through. Having a mantra to focus on might help (it did for me). Hypnobirth has some ideas. The folks that believe in Unassisted Childbirth also claim you can have a pain free birth. I read their stuff, took what worked for me, and left the rest. (Mine were not pain free, but they weren't as bad as I thought they would be  with the horror stories you hear some ladies tell.)

Do not feel ashamed if you want to get an epidural. That doesn't make you a failure or less womanly or anything else some rigid natural mamas might imply. And it's not going to ruin your baby either.

Postpartum can be challenging. Find support. If you do not have a friend or family member you trust to help you through a potentially discouraging, uncomfortable, and scary first few days, consider hiring a postpartum doula. Accept all help offered. Make a list so when  someone offers to do something you can  give them an idea or two of what  is needed most. Freeze a few meals ahead of time. Be gentle with yourself. Day 3 or so when the milk comes in can be rough. Have a head of cabbage on hand to use as compresses just in case you get engorged.

Don't feel guilty. Don't feel bad if you stay in bed a lot. Don't feel bad if you're not feeling as happy as you expected to. (Do practice lots of self care and talk to someone if you suspect you might have a hormonal imbalance. It's a common thing.) Don't feel bad if you choose to be mainstream. Don't feel bad if you choose to be alternative. Don't feel bad if you don't fit neatly into any particular "tribe."

Moms can be hard on each other sometimes. Don't join in that kind of devisive talk. You can have friends that breastfeed and bottlefeed...work, and stay home... homeschool and use public education... vaccinate and don't... whatever. No one needs to be shunned or judged over what choices they feel are best. So long as the kids are fed, clothed, loved, and protected, every mom is doing the best they can, and that is okay. That's not to say you can't enjoy finding your people. Just don't let the glue that holds you together be disdain for someone with a different opinion.

All kids are different. If someone knows the right or best or only way to parent, they just haven't had enough kids to know that you have to roll with the punches and learn as you go.

Most of all, you will know what's best. Don't doubt yourself. You are going to do an amazing job, even on days when you don't think you are. You are a good mom.

 
Always look on the bright side of life. At least this ad is really tiny:
3 Plant Types You Need to Know: Perennial, Biennial, and Annual
https://permies.com/t/96847/Pros-cons-perennial-biennial-annual
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