While packing away my extensive library for the move (that's only a week away! yikes!) I made my selections of the books that I wanted to have available for reading and reference. It seems like a lot of reading material for a week, but like I said some is just for reference and most of them I've already read before. It will probably be a while before we're settled in at the new place with the library back in full swing too, so it's maybe for more like a month of reading.
Here's the books, with my comments on them (including many extensive thought tangents).
I've already read all of these :)
Birthing from Within by Pam England: This is a pretty popular one, I think mostly famous for it's emphasis on birth art. This is a lot of why I kept this one out. Probably also because I was going through my art type supplies recently too and felt inspired to take some space to create. It's really amazing how I'm just over half way through this pregnancy and I feel like I've barely had time to even think about it! I mean, I do think about it, but not like I did with the first where it was kind of like I had nothing else to do but space out and wonder who this little person growing inside of me would be. So far I've been busy busy busy so I felt like taking some time to follow some of the art promts would really help me to get into a deeper and more focused space, which I feel like I need more of in this pregnancy, especially now that it's not just the beginning. I remember the prompts for the art projects in this book being really helpful for me in the past. (I actually read it while I was training as a Doula, before having been pregnant, and did all the art stuff then and it was still really good).
The other thing that I really like about this book is that it talks about the experience of labor and birth from the mother's perspective and experience, rather than a clinical progression of the stages and centimeters of dilation. I also got some good focusing techniques to help slow down the brain waves and get into a good altered state/labor land zone. But she's seems to really downplay (or maybe not even mention?) that labor is not always painful and doesn't have to be. I know that is controversial to talk about because so many women do have painful births and that experience shouldn't be invalidated (not that you have full control over the pain or not, or that pain in labor is some kind of failure), but I don't think we'll ever change that if we don't at least start talking about it. I think that it is this book where she proposes the idea that pain in labor can be a guide for your body to find the best positions, activities, etc. to open and help baby come. That's good stuff.
The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm: I love Aviva Jill Romm's books! They are always intensely practical and informative. She's got lots of herbal care recipes, examples from her practice and a listing by concern of all of the different discomforts that may come up in pregnancy. She's my go to guy for when things get uncomfortable.
Although so far nothing has been too bad. Morning sickness, but I just kind of ignored that since it seemed easier to sleep and go on with my day, but I do feel like yoga helped me a lot....although yoga kind of just helps me with everything. Lately I've been having more issues with heartburn and indigestion, but my dear dear lovely midwife taught me last time around that papaya enzymes are my friends and they've really done the trick for me ever since!
But back to the book, there is just a lot of really good self care information in here. Looking at this one really reminds me to nurture this growing baby by nurturing myself.
The Complete Organic Pregnancy: This is a reminder of all of the things that are toxic in the world. What I like the most is that there is a lot of info about what is most and least toxic, so that I can make those unfortuately necessary decisions about when to allow the toxins in for logistical reasons (mainly financial, since organic products are so F****N expensive). These authors do not seem to be at all troubled with these kind of financial burdens, so budget oriented readers beware that the suggestions in here might not all apply.
Prenatal Yoga and Natural Childbirth by Jeannine Parvati Baker: This is my number one hippied-out classic for pregnancy. She has a really good relaxing yoga routine in here and shares all of her birth stories, including her oldest daughter's birth of her grandaughter at the end. She is a very powerful woman and I remember her stories being really inspiring to me. Mostly I just hope to see this and feel motiviated to actually do my yoga routine. I think I've been doing pretty good though, at least three times a week even during this hectic move time.
Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort: I haven't read this one yet, but it's been recommended to me multiple times by other parents.
You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin: This is my latest source of Waldorf style inspiration, along with the next title, but it's a bit more Waldorfy than I, so I water it down a bit. It does talk a lot about developmental changes and needs between the difference stages from infancy to early childhood. I'm liking getting inspiration from this right now because it covers both of my little ones. I know that she deviates from hard core traditional anthroposophists in the since that she strongly supports attachment parenting. There are some good ideas and discussion in here about ideas for play, establishing a daily rhythm for your family, and discipline (although I haven't visited that so much since we've been handling that in a way that feels good for us so far, but since Ami has started working so much and Chobe is becoming ever more and more opinionated about some things, I think I might revisit these sections on discipline and boundary setting in the coming weeks).
Creative Play for Your Toddler: I've made a few of the projects out of this book and I plan to keep them coming. One of the big things about the Waldorf toys (which I like because they emphasize imagination organically by being simple rather than being imaginative by being overly colorful, battery powered and noisemaking) is that they, like organic and natural products in general, are often cost prohibitive. But with this book I've been able to enjoy the process of making toys for Chobe for an affordable price (often essentially free because I've been able to use crafting stuff that I have on hand).