Here is a picture of my older son Miles at about six weeks old with my Aunt Toni, a bona-fide baby whisperer. See how peacefully he is sleeping? That is the only way he would ever sleep. As they say (he's 14 now and almost as tall as me) the years are short .... but those days were very, very long.Read More
Studies show that up to 20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD) — and the numbers are probably higher since many cases are unreported. Why are so many moms having a hard time, and how can a postpartum doula help?
I love books and my father used to say that I, like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, “taught myself” to read. Of course, when I had kids I couldn’t wait to read to them! It was such a treat to take the boys to the library and pick out a stack of the latest picture books as well as finding copies of my old favorites to share.
They are older now and still like books and going to the library. My older son is proud of his geek cred and prefers graphic novels and reference books about things he likes (which is currently a resurgence in interest in Transformers!). But, give him a book that is in his sweet spot and he won't put it down. Both my husband and I loved Ready Player One when it came out a few years ago and we figured at age 13 he was old enough to like it, too. He read it in three days and now has an overwhelming interest in all things 80s!
My younger son is more like me and will read just about anything -- he tore through the whole Harry Potter series in just two weeks and is rereading them now after our recent vacation to Universal Studios.
Something we all still enjoy is when I read out loud to them (they claim that I could do that for a living if this doula thing doesn't work out) and some of our recent favorites have included Tom Sawyer, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and No More Dead Dogs.
But, as little guys, these books stick out as our favorites (so much so that they remain in the bookshelf for young visitors):
Leo Lionni books with their gorgeous illustrations are a favorite, and best of all is Frederick, starring a mouse poet who “gathers colors … for winter is gray.”
The Velveteen Rabbit, winner of the the 1971 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, is a treasured book from my own childhood that still makes magic.
And, of course, what list is complete without Goodnight Moon? The following words that end the book still make me tear up with their beautiful simplicity:
Goodnight noises everywhere
What are your favorite books for reading aloud?
PS Support your local booksellers! All books listed above are linked to independent and/or brick-and-mortar stores.
My younger son was born at home and he loves to hear stories about it. My favorite one is that he came so quickly we weren't expecting it -- the midwife said in her sweet sing-song voice: "Look down, there's your baby!" And my husband and I both looked down and saw him for the first time. We were so surprised and delighted that we both laughed out loud. What a wonderful way to spend your first seconds on earth!
Here is his interpretation of how it all went down:
What are your favorite birth story memories?
Just about anyone involved in the world of doulas is familiar with these two organizations — one a venerable, “gold standard” and another a rapidly growing upstart that is shaking up the industry....Read More
Hello world! I'm so excited to debut my new website and my new business, Mesa Birth. Please take a look around and tell me what you think!
I'm providing labor and postpartum doula care, teaching Lamaze childbirth classes, and offering placenta encapsulation to new families in DuPage County and the western suburbs of Chicago. Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet you in person soon!
"Hi! I'm Melissa Gonzalez and I'm a doula, a childbirth educator, and the founder of Mesa Birth. One of my favorite things about being a doula is that I can make a really big difference in people's lives at a time when they could really use the extra help. Having a baby is such an enormous transition, and getting the right help at the right time can transform that experience from one that is maybe kind of scary or difficult to a time that is really satisfying and joyful. If you'd like to find out more about how having a doula can help you, please visit my brand-new website at www.mesabirth.net. Thanks!"