Last week started on a high note with the news that I’m a finalist in the Mad Blog Awards. Thank you to all who nominated me. This little blog has come to mean a lot to me over the last three and a half years. To be up for “Best Pregnancy Blog” is the bling on an already treasured piece of the Internet.
I’m particularly excited to have made it in this category since I started blogging back when I was pregnant with Talitha. Back then we didn’t really know what bent our parenting would take.
We tended towards the alternative anyway (possibly me more than Laurence though now I’m not so sure) and were vaguely talking slings, cloth nappies and home educating. But we didn’t know much about attachment parenting (and were turned off by its media stereotype) and I wasn’t sure how bothered I was about breastfeeding, one way or another.
I approached the birth of our first child with a kind of wide-eyed enthusiasm and with possibly more naivety than was healthy. Always an avid researcher, I was probably clued up on a lot of things others wouldn’t give much thought to but I had so much growing to do.
I look back at some of those blog posts with so much advice I’d like to give the me of three and a half years ago. But she wouldn’t have listened or, if she did, it would have further disempowered her. She needed to live it. She needed to find her own maternal instinct and know that it belonged to her and only her.
In my first pregnancy, I was also a Pregnancy Blog finalist which was huge for me as my blog was still very new. I didn’t win and rightly so as I shared the category with others who had been in it much longer and had gathered a community around themselves. I was just pleased to be noticed.
In a way, I still feel a little like this, this time around. Certainly, at least a couple of the other finalists in my category have blogged for longer. Each blog, Edspire, It Started with a Squish, Me, the Man and the Baby and Mum’s the Word, has a character all its own and Jennie, Danielle, Emma and Jayne all do things with their blogs that I can’t, just as we all carry our babies and parent our children in ways only we can. Do go check them out.
Still, I’ll be honest, I would like to win this time, probably mainly for selfish reasons but also because this pregnancy has allowed me to give voice to a desire too many women dare not allow themselves to dwell on – a desire for a positive pregnancy and birth.
All in all, I learned a lot about positive pregnancy and was able to complete that chapter with Ophelia’s birth story with which I was entirely satisfied. I learned once again that things don’t have to be “perfect” to be “positive”. It even helped me to reflect on Talitha’s birth, which I’d found traumatic and see all the good in there too – there was so much of it.
I am profoundly grateful for my girls and no matter how they’d been carried, birthed or fed, I’d be grateful for them, just as I love them equally though the early journey with each has been very different so far.
I do get a bit sad (and a bit angry too), though, when I hear about women talking about things being done to them and being made to feel like they have no choice.
There are things out of our control when it comes to pregnancy, birth and infant health but mothers matter and, ultimately, mothers are the usually the ones best placed to make decisions about their bodies and their babies.
Anyway, if you want to see me win “Best Pregnancy Blog” in the MADs, you can vote for me here – http://www.the-mads.com/vote/