Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely time on New Years Day and that this month brings peace at the prospect of a new beginning and new adventure. I hope it brings lots
of opportunities to dream big and work hard! I am so happy to welcome in the New Year with the arrival of a little, lovingly wrapped book through my letterbox.
This is Birth Affirmations, both written and illustrated by the talented Susan Singer. It features a series of empowering affirmations for use during pregnancy, labour and after the birth and beautiful graphite drawings illustrate the intimate moments and stages of welcoming a new child in to the world. It explores a woman's relationship with both herself and her baby, while promoting a realistic portrayal of women's bodies, based on real mothers and mothers to be.
Birth, pregnancy and later, parenting, can be scary because they are entirely unpredictable, which produces fear and stress. It can be a time of uncertainty, especially with having to adopt a 'wait and see' approach to find out if if the test is positive, if your little one is healthy, how the birth might turn out and what you might have to face after it, especially if it's not what you expected. The whole experience felt completely bizarre for me and I struggled to get my head round it and find a connection with my baby at first, especially in the newborn stages.
Especially with the added risk of complication, pregnancy, birth and parenting can be insanely difficult at times in completely different ways, but I love the message this book carries, that it is normal to feel all of these things, as part of the rollercoaster of parenthood - and everyone's experiences are different. Singer encourages us to connect with the art of child bearing and parenting as an age old practice, letting nature take its course, reminding us that the whole experience is an entirely natural and incredible one, despite the problems that can arise. We find ourselves uniquely connected with our mothers', grandmothers' and different women across the world because we each share the experience of motherhood, in one way or another.
Singer teaches us to accept and embrace uncertainty: 'to be and to let be' or 'put faith in my body'. Since creating another human is often purely out of our control, the message is to do all that you can, but if you simply cannot do anything about it, that's normal and okay too.
"I guess an important thing to know is that the reason I wrote the book is the reason I do other forms of activism as well - to help others become empowered in their lives. My first birth in the hospital was just fine - nothing bad happened, and my son was born healthy and well. My second birth, however, was a whole different story - since giving birth the first time, I had made lots of friends who had home births, who gave blessing ways, who used affirmations, who LOVED being a woman and a mother, who revelled in giving birth. I learned more from them than I can ever say. It was their love and support that I felt when giving birth the second time, that sorority of women who have been there before and know the way and share it with their sisters.
My hope is that my book will offer women the same type of support, love, direction, and empowerment. I hope it offers women a view into how birthing and parenting can be. Of course, it isn't easy and it isn't simple, and it is sometimes exhausting and overwhelming, but I found that having a picture of how it could be, created from affirmations and other women's stories, helped me tremendously. I was able to hold that image in front of me and have someplace to aim for in the midst of challenges. If my book is able to help even one woman in this way, it will have been worth writing!" - Susan Singer
My only wish is that I had discovered it earlier, to use throughout the duration of my pregnancy with Oscar. It's a wonderful companion for mums to be and those who have recently welcomed a little one in the world! I feel relaxed just reading the affirmations and the book even includes a section at back of the book and front for your own notes, affirmations and to record your birth and pregnancy stories. For a larger sample of her divine illustrations, head over to the Birth Affirmations Gallery here or visit Susan's main website at www.birthaffirmationsbook.com.
Do you like to collect positive affirmations? What are your resolutions for 2016? Thanks so much for your lovely comments over 2015, I've had a really fun start to blogging again. Reading them is one of my highlights! I will get back to all as soon as I can and thank you!! ♡