Hello all! I hope everyone is staying healthy and doing well. The Choiniere’s are settling into life in Indianapolis – a transition that has been wonderfully smooth even in the midst of the Coronavirus mayhem. I hope to do a blog post on our house, just for fun, since we haven’t been able to share it with friends and family yet. We shall see!
Meanwhile, more and more of my friends are starting their families and I’m SO excited for them. Today I’m sharing a few things that were a pregnancy/birth game changer for me when I had Reagan. If you’ve read Cooper’s birth story and/or Reagan’s, you will have an idea of how different they were from each other.
The most overwhelming part of pregnancy and birth is the surplus of options you have. Countless books to read, countless podcasts to listen to, countless baby things that you don’t need, and, the worst, a never-ending chain of unwanted advice from people you hardly know.
I’m a simple gal. I chose just a few things to focus on. But my main focus was on the spirituality of the birth-giving experience.
Here are things that made all the difference for me the second time around.
I read this book at the very beginning of my pregnancy out of pure excitement and again at the end. It’s probably most helpful at the end as your due date is nearing and you’re getting yourself mentally prepared.
It’s a book by Catholic author Mary Haseltine called, “Made For This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth“
What I love about this book are its rawness and spiritual focus. It asks the tough questions and guides you through the decision making process. I felt prepared for any number of circumstances that could have come up. It also mentions several other resources if you would like to continue your quest for knowledge.
She is a dula and a devout Catholic woman. I was inspired every step of the way.
The Birth Hour was hands down my favorite podcast to listen to during my pregnancy. It’s quite simply women sharing their birth stories and it’s inspiring. I never came across a story that instilled any sort of fear. They were all empowering – even the ones that didn’t have the “happy” ending everyone expects.
I would listen to it on long walks or while doing the dishes or playing with Cooper outside. Podcasts are so portable! Hearing other women’s stories helped prepare me in ways I couldn’t have on my own.
This one is more just for fun than necessary, but I love the website Sancta Nomina. It’s a Catholic mom of 6 (?) who has an obsession with all things baby name related. She does “name consultations” and shares other people’s name stories for added inspiration. I could peruse the site for hours.
She does such a beautiful job of including not only obvious Catholic names but names that are more out of the box and unexpectedly rich with meaning.
I found this blog after I had Cooper and I scoured it in search of any sort of faith meaning I could find. Of course, I was not let down! One of her readers named their son Cooper in honor of St. Joseph of Cupertino. Another one named their son Cupertino and called him Cooper.
I couldn’t help but feel that, even though we didn’t intentionally name him after this saint, this saint had specially chosen our Cooper. There is nothing greater! Now, we’ve taken to calling him Cupertino for fun and it’s just the best.
And finally, I have to include my most treasured companion always, but especially during pregnancy, Mary. The Hail Mary Prayer was my life-raft in difficulty. I felt especially close to her when meditating on the birth of Jesus. And I knew everything I was feeling, she too had felt.
If you are expecting (and even if you’re not!) use this time to make friends with Mary. I feel that many think she is difficult to relate to because of her perfection but she is with you every step of the way. Pregnancy is such a special miracle that could be just what you need to inspire a newfound devotion to Our Lady.
So, there you have it, my few recommendations. I know it’s so overwhelming so I encourage you to focus on the important things. Focus on your mind and heart and watch as your other worries fall away.