A Womb Welcome

A couple of days ago, I was using google as a calculator. You can do anything on google. I typed in 26 and the search engine supplied “26 weeks pregnant.” Immediately, I had a flashback to myself, a little over a year ago, as I looked up the stage of my pregnancy week by week … by week. I really did google every week of my pregnancy, and I often skipped ahead, marvelling at the inner and outer diagrams of my and my baby’s growing bodies. I was curious about the mystery growing inside of me – an actual person who would emerge and develop his own perspective on the world – but I was also nervous about my own transformation into a mother.

I read books (lots of books) to try to prepare myself for this momentous change. What I noticed right away was how very certain about their own messages (yet how contradictory!) these books were. Everyone agrees what a fetus looks like at 26 weeks gestation, but no one agrees on how to get a baby to sleep through the night. This certainty, while it might sell books, can be really demoralising for a newly-minted, bleary-eyed mother. So I sought out some specific narratives of pregnancy and parenting from friends and from a couple of blogs. I have found their variety of experience infinitely more reassuring than any published prescriptions for happy babies.

My son Owen is now (already!) 10 1/2 months old, and I have been feeling more and more like I have things to say about my experience of parenting (and about babies, who I actually gush over now). Not that I claim to know what I’m doing, because I still have all kinds of doubts and am really just muddling through, but because I want to share my ideas and hopefully, eventually, get feedback. Parenting can be a very lonely state full of self doubt, especially in our current social environments, where an ideal model often seems to involve a mother alone in the house with a baby. I think that the internet can actually function as a kind of community where we can share our ideas and feel a little less isolated. So I’m adding my thoughts to the fray, and if you’d like to read along, welcome.