Thursday, November 18, 2010

pregnancy + reading novels = not an equation i'm familiar with at the moment

summer saturdays

I have not been reading enough.
Not of the fiction variety at least.

Since I got pregnant I can name the books I’ve finished on one hand.
If you know me, you know that this is uncharacteristic of me.
But let’s be honest,
The first 4 months of pregnancy were torture for me
nausea all day, vomiting many days, extreme exhaustion and on and on...

I did not read before bed
Bedtime usually consisted of any time after 6 p.m. when I started to feel queasy again
Instead of roughing it and sticking it out
I’d go to sleepy town
Where nausea couldn’t touch me

That and the fact that I was ready to go to bed while I was still at work most days
There’s no exhaustion like that of the months in which your body is literally creating a new life.
Maybe the infancy stage is comparable, but we’ll see.
A whole new ballgame I’m sure.
There were days I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open past 7.
I’m glad that first trimester is over.
Long-gone, forgotten,
Almost enough to think about doing this all over again in the future.

All that to say that I haven’t
Finished a book in months
I’ve barely picked up a book in recent weeks

I started Water for Elephants
Which I heard was fantastic
And it was weeks between readings
So I returned it back to the library
Only up to page 30 or something pathetic like that

Then I started The Help which I got with great expectations
It came with such high recommendations from many,
I just knew this one would put me back in the reading game

So I started it, then came with me to Dayton and Chicago
And was never cracked on either trip
I think I’m on about page 40 with this one 
equally pathetic

It sits and stares at me from my nightstand
And I ignore it’s great reviews in lieu of the extra hour of sleep 
Not reading allows me each night

I hope this isn’t a trend
Especially when entering into motherhood
I hope reading isn’t the first thing to go.
First reading, then my writing, then my style.
Keep the mom jeans away, oh for the love!

Actually, I feel like I’ve read quite a lot since getting pregnant.
Just not novel-wise.
I read a few pregnancy books early on.

this is the one that gave me my unnatural fear of pooping on myself when giving birth.

I’ve made it halfway through {What to Expect When You’re Expecting}
and have just gotten into a few labor, delivery and feeding books now.

I’ve also started a few of the adoption books that were on our must-read list for the agency we were with
But eventually I had to put them aside, as I found they were actually making me sad and anxious to skip ahead to the future.

I told a friend today, I want to be fully and completely present in this stage right now
And adoption is not the season we’re in.
I believe we will be soon enough, but for right now, I want to immerse myself in the joys of pregnancy and childbirth and breastfeeding.

This is and will be my life for now. I will have time for adoption books soon enough, but for now, I think I’m supposed to lay it down.
Not forget all about it, but let myself enjoy and be immersed in this stage – there’s certainly enough to read about, that’s for sure.

So last night I started two books.

The highly debatable {Becoming Baby Wise}
And another that was recommended to me - {The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth}

Also on my desk sits a book on {The Bradley Method}
And another related book about {Husband Coached Childbirth}

Both of which I have yet to sit down and start.
At this point, we have principles that we know will guide our parenting decisions and our family as a whole, but when it comes to hard and fast “rules” I for one am weary. So right now I am taking it all in and forming opinions of my own.

When I was done reading last night, I left the open books on our coffee table so next time I lounge on the couch they are right there, just waiting to be picked back up from where I left off. No pressure to read before bed or to trek up to the nightstand to grab some reading material.

I read a fantastic blog post the other day that referred to something she read by someone else after they heard a feature on NPR (got that?) anyways, you can read what i'm talking about if you're interested - {here}.

In essence, it was about how formative the fact that her mother always had books lying open around the house. Music always playing and the tv always on.
While I’m not a fan of leaving the tv on all the time, or playing music in rooms where I’m not listening to it, I am a HUGE fan of leaving books around the house.
And not just books, but books in the midst of being read.
Books left open (in an orderly fashion, of course)
Books started and not yet finished, left lingering as reminders to finish.

I love that. And I think a parent’s love for books can only transfer to their children.
I hope that my children love to read.
But I also know that the love for books is rarely innate.
But it must be mentored and nourished and children must be taught the love of books
Shown the love of books
For them to appreciate them themselves.

That is one area I am most excited to parent in.
Passing along the love of the written word
And I don’t think it can be done too early.

So here’s a question for ya,
As we begin to build our children’s library
What are your favorite children’s books that must be included?
Not just the classics, but the lesser-known books that I just have to have in my book-loving arsenal…

Sidenote: one of my goals in life is to write (and ideally publish) at least one children’s book.
Seems much less daunting (and perhaps much more rewarding) then writing and getting an adult  book published – although that is one of my ultimate life goals…

ok, your turn. Please share.

*this photo is not current, my hands/legs aren't nearly as tan right now -- but my toes are painted the same color.


Rona said...

Here's some great book advise from another book lover.
Read everything you see that might be interesting and your son will light up when it's right. He will want to hear it over and over and over again. Keep looking for what lights him up and you will be cultivating a love of the printed word. You just never know, so be open. I have been so surprised and thrilled with the differences in my childrens' interests. You will learn all sorts of new stuff too, because if you're listening, they will take you to new places. That's my best advise. Useful?

Amanda Kate said...

A favorite children's book for suggestion is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Brings a tear to my adult eye everytime.

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