It's been over two years since I started this blog, and I think I'm finally starting to learn what I'm actually doing with it.
When I started in October 2008 I wanted to provide a place where expectant parents could find information about pregnancy and birth. I wanted to avoid writing about myself, but to be a source of positive uplifting information, and I was hoping to provide it in an unbiased fashion. That's proven kind of hard to do, especially because I'm naturally biased by my own experiences and opinions. I've done my best, and I'm happy with what I've done so far. The most fulfilling thing for me is when someone thanks me and tells me that I've helped them in some way. That's really what I want to do: help others and touch as many lives as possible.
Along the way I've found other really great blogs that exemplify different aspects of what I would have wanted to do with this blog. I'll just name a few:
- I like Birth Faith for the amazing in-depth information Busca provides on each subject she writes about. Her posts are based on her personal studies and she's able to back it all up. She also has a really interesting point of view and isn't afraid to look at things from a different angle.
- Rachel from The Beginning of Motherhood is another blog I found that gives me a unique point of view, and I like that she's a labor and delivery nurse who supports women in natural birth as much as possible. She doesn't post as often as some other bloggers, but what she posts is always interesting. She also relies a lot on research, which is something I struggle with personally, so I find it really helpful to have a resource like that available. She recently quit her job as a nurse to focus on supporting women as a birth doula, and I'm excited to see where this leads her.
- Sheridan from Enjoy Birth is a Hypnobabies instructor, doula, and mother of three. I always appreciate her point of view and birth stories she posts. She is down to earth and provides a lot of good informational resources.
- Stand and Deliver is another amazing blog that I found myself drawn to. Rixa is well-educated and well-written and she always has something interesting to say. I appreciate the quirky mix of personal and educational posts, and I appreciate that she had an unassisted birth with her first baby, and that she follows her heart and does what she feels is best for each pregnancy. She also backs up everything she says by provided resources along with the information.
- Mama Birth is a blog I've come to appreciate more recently. She is a talented writer, and she seems to capture the hearts of many women when she writes about her own personal feelings and experiences in a way that enfolds her readers. When she writes about her emotional struggles with raising several small children, other women can relate to her situation and they feel validated by it.
- The Midwife Thinking always writes really great informational posts, kind of like what I wish I could write, simply informing people about real physiological birth. She tells us what real birth is like when it's not being interfered upon constantly by doctors or nurses. She debunks the common medical practices and explains things in simple terms that anyone can understand.
- The Unnecesarean is a great source of information. Jill and her co-contributors always stay on top of the latest pregnancy and birth news, and they write about it. The posts are edgy, which I appreciate, and they always give me something to think about. They don't tell anyone what to think or do, but I think they push their readers to take matters into their own hands and make more informed choices.
There are many other really great blogs I haven't mentioned, and I don't have the time or space to describe them all here. Many times the information I post is based on what I read on other blogs, and I really don't know what I would do without these amazing resources.
As I've been writing this blog I've gone through a lot personally. I had my own amazing surprise breech home birth in 2009, which transformed me as a woman and a pregnancy and birth supporter. I went on to have two miscarriages in 2010, one of which was only a few weeks ago.
Through writing about my miscarriages I've realized some of my strengths. I feel that I've touched more lives through the personal posts I've written about my experiences. I feel more fulfilled by these types of post than I do by any others. I've come to use my blog as a personal journal of sorts and a tool for processing and healing, and others have responded in positive ways to that.
In the beginning I avoided writing anything too personal. I didn't think anyone cared to read about me and my emotional self, and I felt self conscious about putting myself out there and making myself vulnerable. However, I've found that when I do put myself out there I find an amazing support network of compassionate people, and that is very humbling and comforting. I'm also able to connect with other women who have gone through something similar. We can console each other and provide validation that can't be found elsewhere. My personal experiences have given me something to build on, and I want to take advantage of that.
In the process I've learned something about myself and my blog. I'm not going to be a Sheridan, Busca, Rachel, Rixa, Jill, Mama Birth, or Midwife Thinking. I can't be any of them, and I don't need to try to make my blog like their blogs. Each blogger provides their own perspective and utilizes their own strengths and talents.
So Mamas and Babies is becoming a lot more personal. You've probably noticed it's already started to be that way. Don't look to me for the factual data-supported information, because that's not what I'm good at. If that's what you're looking for, I'll happily point you to another blogger who fills that need exceptionally well. I'll still post information as I come across it, and provide links to great pregnancy and birth resources that we can benefit from.
I'm an emotional and spiritual creature and I make many of my decisions based on my feelings and personal inspiration, which is generally (but not always) based on factual information. I'll be raw and honest, and I'll tell you exactly what it's like... from my perspective.