Saturday, 22 October 2011

ICAN of Simcoe County Pregnancy and Parenting Expo

Today I left the kids with my husband and drove out to Barrie to check out the Pregnancy and Parenting Expo hosted by ICAN of Simcoe County.  I am a member and volunteer with the organization so baked some cookies to bring with me for the bake sale.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I was most definitely looking forward to going.

I don't think they got quite the turnout they were hoping for but I loved every minute of it.  I finally got to meet some of the ladies from ICAN that I had been in contact with through message boards and email, and I got the chance to speak with some midwives from the Nottawasaga and Barrie practices.  It is always great to connect with other people who I share common interests with and I am always happy to talk babies and birth with anyone else who is willing to listen. 

We watched 2 movies at the event and I enjoyed both of them very much.  The first was called Labouring Under an Illusion which explored the media's portrayal of labour and birth.  I have to admit that parts of the narrative were rather cheesy, but the film was overall very entertaining and quite funny, and the message was very clear and powerful - that the media gives a hugely distorted portrayal of what birth is actually like. 

I think about this topic a lot actually as admittedly I do tend to watch all the TLC shows on babies and birth quite often (A Baby Story, Baby's First Day, etc).  I have liked these shows for as long as I can remember, but since having children and especially since planning my VBAC, I am very much aware of how unproductive they actually are, and they don't portray how the birth experience should be.  Even though they are 'reality' shows, I am often quite saddened and disappointed by the practices I see on them.  Still I am compelled to watch them, if only to shake my head (though I do find there are some touching moments as well). 

The second movie that we watched was probably one of the most entertaining and fascinating movies I have ever seen.  Babies follows the lives of 4 babies from different parts of the world - Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo, and San Francisco - from birth throughout their first year.  I found it truly amazing to see these babies and the different cultures from which they come from.  It was so heartwarming to watch, and to realize that babies, no matter where they are from, really do share a universal likeness as they are new to the world and learning all about it.  I would recommend this movie to anyone.

I was like a kid in a candy store today at the expo, taking it all in and enjoying every moment of being around others who are so passionate about birth and babies as well. 

There were also door prizes and I bought a lot of tickets thinking that with the low turnout I'd probably get a lot of stuff.  I think everyone else had the same idea!  I didn't get any of the things that I really wanted (mostly books on parenting and babies), but I did get a few things like wall stickers for my boys, a couple pairs of gloves, a yoga mat and travel mug, a necklace and some bath products. 

The silent auction had some amazing stuff as well, I couldn't believe how great the items were and actually I could have gotten a lot of stuff for very little money (compared to what they would have costed normally), but I was trying to be good as I figured my husband wouldn't be too happy with me if I bought the place out.  I wish I had bid on a few other items like a book I had my eye on, a ring sling (even though my kids are too big for it, I'd love to have one for next time), and a gift certificate for someone to come and clean my house for 3hrs (I totally should have bid on that one!).  What I did bid on though and won was a photography session from a very wonderful photographer in the area.  I'm really excited, because I have wanted to have pictures done of the boys for quite some time but have been putting it off due to cost.  Now we can get them done!

One last exciting thing is that the leader of the ICAN chapter is going to be hosting doula training early next year!  So maybe, just maybe, I will be able to get started sooner rather than later.

I had a wonderful, birth and baby filled day.  I know that they did not get as many people as they hoped for this time, but I thought it was a success and look forward to more of these events in the future.

Here are the trailers for Babies and Labouring Under an Illusion.  Check them out!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Do you even wonder what goes on in there?

My doula posted this pretty cool video on her Facebook the other day.

I remember when I was pregnant the first time around, I used to get those Baby Centre updates telling me all about my progress week by week.  It was all fun to read about and all, stuff like "This week your baby is the size of a walnut" or "This week baby will open it's eyes for the first time", but I remember thinking I wanted more.  I wanted to know exactly what was going on in there, not just how I was feeling or reading descriptions.  Usually they would include a little diagram of the baby's development, but it just wasn't the same.

Then about halfway through my pregnancy, maybe longer, I found A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger.  What a cool book.  It had everything I wanted to know about the development of my baby, from egg and sperm all the way to full term fetus, including the most amazing real pictures of the developing child at all different stages.

The book and the images are not in fact a new thing.  I had one of Lennart Nilsson's books when I was a child, I think it was called Being Born, and it had many of the images found in A Child is Born.  He has been taking groundbreaking medical photos since the 1940's.  What I like about the newest version is it also has descriptions and information about the biology of what is going one, from before conception all the way to after the birth of the child.

I loved being able to see 'inside' and know what was going on in there, week by week, and not just through Baby Centre updates.

This book is a must have I think for any expecting parents.  But the video I posted does a pretty good job too of letting you in on what is happening.