Timeless Spirit Logo ARTICLE Timeless Spirit Logo

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. November's Theme: "Birthing"
Volume 5 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265
Index Meet Our Staff Free Subscription Donations Come Shopping Advertising Archived Issues


First Time Mama
by Mandy Furney

After many years of imagining, there is life growing inside of me. Four days ago I heard my baby's heartbeat for the first time and I cried in ecstasy. Finally there was proof beyond a stick with two pink lines. Everything is more real.

With this new life comes many questions. What happens now that I am pregnant? How do I nurture this life both in my womb and after birth? How will we labour to bring baby into the world? And then what…? How do I raise a child?

As daunting as they may seem, these questions do not frighten me. I am not afraid because I have known the answers for several years. I have been prepared ever since I found the wonderful women of the Earthy Birthy Thought Swap (an online forum). Grace, who was my babysitter until age five, blessed me with the gift of this supportive group of women when I was yet single and dreaming of my future family. Over the years they have welcomed my questions and shared with me many resources and new ideas - concepts I may not have otherwise encountered in my social spheres. They inspired and challenged me to consider how I would be an Earthy Birthy Mama when my time came.

I am only eleven weeks pregnant, but already I know I am a home-birthing, breast-feeding, cloth-diapering, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, home-schooling Mama. I don't wear Birkenstocks. I am a motivated PhD candidate who will be a tenured university professor with a stay-at-home husband - who also happens to be an amazing cook. I love my career too much to ever leave academia, but this has not hindered my vision as an Earthy Mama.

Being an Earthy Mama was an intuitive and informed choice I made long before my husband and I began the very brief process (first time) of trying to conceive a baby. I love to do research, but even more so, I am a determined young woman who wants to create the best of all possible worlds. In the best of all possible worlds, children are loved and supported, they have full human rights, and they are consulted about how we can all make our world a better place.

Here is how I will start:

I will breastfeed my baby for at least a year because "breast is best". Baby will thrive and grow healthy on my breastmilk. As baby feeds we will have ample time to bond. When we are out and baby is hungry, there will always be food on hand (or breast). I have no qualms about breastfeeding in public, and I pity the fool who tries to challenge my right to feed my child. You won't find me hiding in a bathroom. I don't know how long we will breastfeed for - baby will have to let me know.

For the first several months passers-by might not even notice there is a breastfeeding mama in their midst because baby will be safely nestled in a cloth wrap carrier. She can feed while I sip my tea at the local fair-trade coffee shop with my best friend. I have already used my baby wrap while looking after other children. I love the freedom and ease of baby carrying. I can walk my dog on any trail while baby either sleeps or gazes out at the world. When we have to run errands, I need not waste time loading and unloading a cumbersome stroller. Baby and I are ready to hit the local market with two hands free.

I wouldn't subject baby to our small double bed, but baby will co-sleep in our room right next to me in a cot which opens up to my side of the bed. When baby is hungry I can easily gather her up for a late night feeding. When baby is fussy I will know before she starts to cry.

My baby will wear cloth diapers. I know that I love the feel of cotton and hemp clothing and when I am bleeding I use soft flannel menstrual pads (and a Diva cup) rather than horrid plastic. I want my child to have the same comfort. I don't want her to have to sit in a bacteria-infested soiled diaper while the chemicals within wick away the moisture to falsely make her believe she is dry and safe.

I will have a beautiful homebirth with a caring midwife. I will labour in a pool of water and give birth to my first child in the comfort of my own home without intervening nurses and doctors pushing their agendas upon me. When baby enters this world we will cuddle immediately and she will know only love in those first moments.

My baby will continue to know undying love throughout the rest of her life. One of the many ways we will support her is through a good education, one which allows her to develop her skills. This will very likely involve home schooling because I am all too aware of the gross inadequacies of the institutionalized public school system. I am appalled to hear every year how the basic expectations for a good education are lowered, necessary programs (particularly in the arts) are under funded or cut, and children are pushed through whether or not they are ready. I see the results at the university level and they are truly disheartening.

This is my vision. There will inevitably be some compromises as life throws new challenges. I am ready to be flexible when necessary, but I will not compromise my basic values of being an Earthy Mama. I do not know what experiences the future holds, but I am excited to find out. I look forward to hearing my baby's heartbeat again and sharing this experience with my husband. I look forward to my baby's ultrasound in ten more weeks when we get our first glimpse of the life growing inside of me (and hopefully I will know which gendered pronouns to use when I speak of baby). I look forward to that life-changing moment when baby joins us in this world, full of possibilities. I look forward to a fulfilling life as an Earthy Mama (Dr. Earthy Mama to my students).

First Time Mama Kit

A list of "must haves" submitted by the women of Earthy Birthy Thought Swap and compiled by Mandy Furney.

Mandy is a laughing, dancing, singing observer of life. She lives with three cats, one dog, and her own personal cook. Mandy loves to read, play her harp, and knit. She will work for fairly-traded dark chocolate.

Copyright (c) 2007 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only.

Timeless Spirit MagazineNEXT PAGE