The pandemic was a very odd time to be pregnant. All the ideas I had about community and gathering and connection was very different, but also in a way I didn’t have to share this time with anyone besides just my husband and I. I had a small bubble I could reach out to, I could share what I wanted to share, and read what I wanted to read without that added pressure of what peoples idea of this time is supposed to be. If there are silver linings to this – that would be it.
Here are a few books that spoke to me:
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin
The thing about being a mother is that it’s different for everyone and hearing stories outside my world view was something I sought before I found out I was pregnant. Especially in a country that views parenthood from a white lens. Nefertiti finds her way to motherhood by adopting a Black child and faces the stereotypes of single Black motherhood, of the foster care system, and raising a child in this America.
Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley
There isn’t a graphic novel of Lucy’s I haven’t read (currently reading Go to Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons From the Fog of New Parenthood). I’ve followed her travelogues, her food filled adventures, her wedding, and then her pregnancy. Lucy’s pregnancy was not an easy one. Fertility issues and health problems plagued her pregnancy and sometimes those scary stories can be a lot for new moms or potential moms to take in, but those stories show you how to be your own advocate and that we all do this differently and that’s okay. Advocacy can be a very powerful thing when this time comes – listen to yourself and speak your power.
This book had become my bible. It covered everything from the beginning months of pregnancy to the baby’s first weeks so it was incredibly comprehensive and educational without judgment. Erica Chidi Cohen is a doula and entrepreneur changing the status quo. She is the co-founder and CEO of Loom in Los Angeles, CA. She began her work in San Francisco, volunteering as a doula within the prison system, working with pregnant inmates.
The Wonder Weeks: A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby’s Behavior by Hetty Vanderijt
There is so much that happens with your kiddo that you can often take personal – what am I doing wrong? Or what is wrong with my kid? This book put so much of that into perspective. Babies are learning so much so rapidly and when they are cranky or irritable its often because of all that learning they are taking in. This book breaks up those irritable times into wonder weeks and when you see those milestones reached, that is the sweetest reward.
What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
Kids don’t come with a manual (or a return policy) so just getting a bit of an idea on what’s going on with their little bodies is super helpful. This was kind of the guide my husband and I used when we had questions…and didn’t want to bug the pediatrician for the umpteenth time. Not only do babies learn quickly, they change quickly: poop changes, sleep changes, eating changes. You name it, it’s completely different in a week or two.
Most of all though – you got this! We got this! You roll with it and figure it out. You know your kid and your brain and your body and while it all feels like chaotic monotony in the moment some days. You will find yourself looking back and seeing the successes and wins and that sweet little face becoming this truly amazing person who thinks you are the coolest thing in the whole world. Pandemic or not – we know what we are doing.
Oliver’s recommendation: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood.
~ Posted by Kara P.