31st Week: Creatively Pregnant

Dear Hannah,

Have a great day today!

Last time, we talked about being intentional in your every move — knowing that the baby in your womb has already started picking up and responding to most activities you take. And that by being intentional, you are showing your care to him deliberately, instead of just relying on the automatic systems of your body. I also promised you that on my next letter, we’d talk about why doing creative activities will prepare you better for the future of your mother-child caring interactions.

So, let’s jump forward to that near future…

Flash Forward

When David comes out — 9 weeks from now — he will begin his journey to discovery and growth. He will do it in stages. Every stage is different. As his mother, you will join him in this journey, one step at a time. As he learns new things, you will learn with him. As he grows, so are you.

Here are the first three stages of his life.

  1. Newborn — the first 3 months will pass by very fast or very slow. Depending on whether you are enjoying your son or you are frustrated because you can no longer do the things you’ve been doing before you became pregnant. Here, David’s life will be plain and simple: eat, poop, pee, cry, and sleep. You will observe him and learn his cycle and timing. Here, cry is his only language.
  2. Infant — months 4 to 6 are his infant days. Many things have already changed by this time — both for you and your little one. You are now accustomed to it, or more frustrated. Here, David will be interacting with you through smiles, coos, and laughs — not just cry anymore. He will have learned a lot of movements too. He will be crawling slow, sit by his own and begin learning how to use his hands.
  3. Baby — after his sixth month birthday, he will be officially called a baby. This will be his journey from 7 months old up to his first year birthday. Here you will find yourself running around the house chasing your little David as he crawls in the bed and at the floor, climbs everywhere, and picks everything in sight in order to put it in his mouth. Another approach is needed here.

Have you noticed? David will make significant changes every three months. So your approach in caring for him will also change. And in order for you to cope up with that constant change is to be creative in many things. If you are fixed with your first learnings, and not become flexible in changing your style, you will easily get frustrated.

Here are some specifics:

  • Beginning on his birth, he will ASK FOR MILK every two hours. If you have breast milk, you will feed him alone. And you will get tired, and will have sleepless nights. If you don’t have breast milk, then that means, you and Jonathan will go alternately preparing bottled milks for David every two hours during night. After 3 months though, David might be asking milk every 3 hours. Now, your Creativity will help you adjust during these months.
  • BATHING the baby will change dramatically as he grows from newborn to infant to baby. On his newborn months, you will bath him while he’s lying flat on a nursing table. You will do it very quickly so your baby won’t get cold by being exposed to water and air for longer minutes. During infancy, that will change. You will no longer be able to bath him lying on a flat surface because by that time, he is already able to sit and crawl. During bath time, you will sit him comfortably inside a baby tub. Of course that will require another set of skills and timing. If you are not flexible in learning, you and David will struggle during bathing time. When he reaches 7 months old, David will be fast in his movements, can crawl quickly and can grab a lot of little things in front of him. It will be difficult for you to bath him alone. Again, you need to be creative.
  • Changing his diaper after he poop will also need creativity. The first 3 months will be easy. But to change the diaper of a crawling baby who doesn’t understand the word “stop” yet requires creativity. If your are not prepared for this. You will get irritated, annoyed, or frustrated. If you are prepared, it will be fun!
  • As your baby grows, he will change his needs. Therefore you will change his SURROUNDINGS in order to cope up with his needs. Newborn is the easiest. All he needs is a warm embrace, milk, and clean diaper. But when he begins to crawl you need some soft barricades so he won’t fall off the bed when he wakes up while you’re still sleeping. When he learns to pick objects — small and bigyou need to rearrange your things within the house. You will not deprive him of his desire to grab objects, otherwise he won’t learn to use his fingers and his hands. But you also be careful on what objects he may pick to avoid any accident. Be creative in rearranging your things, and everything in your house that will get in contact with the baby.

These are just a few examples to give you a glimpse of what’s going to happen in your journey together. It’s going to be fun or frustrating — depending on whether you are creatively prepared or not. I’m telling you this because I have observed a lot of first-time mothers who were extremely frustrated because they never anticipated all these small things when they were still pregnant. They forgot to prepare, they thought everything will be automatic. They were not deliberate on their care. So they paid the price. But what is worse, is that their baby paid an even higher price.

I don’t want that to happen to you and David. And I’m sure you don’t want it to happen too. So practice your creative mind now while you’re still pregnant. When you practice doing creative things now, even if it’s not yet related to the baby, your mind will be equipped in using creativity to solve problems. And when your little one arrives, your creativity will help both of you.

As your baby journeys to discover life, you will discover a lot of things too — things about yourself, about Jonathan, about your little baby himself. And of course about life in general. But believe me, with a prepared mind and a ready heart, this journey will be the most exciting and fulfilling journey of all.

‘Til next time my dear daughter…

God bless you always!

Kisses to my grandson-to-be,

 

Grandpa

30th Week: Be Intentional

Dear Hanna,

Have a great day! Today is Day 1 of David’s 30th week. He must be very busy now inside your belly, as he prepares himself for the big day. He must be far bigger now than last week. And you feel like your belly is going to explode, especially after you eat. I think that will continue for the next 10 weeks, until he comes out.

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Remember, as your baby is rearranging your life, he is also busy rearranging your belly inside — pressing your diaphragm and compressing your digestive organs. After all, your belly is his boarding house right now. That’s a nine-month contract, and you cannot bridge it without consequence. Don’t worry, when he comes out, your belly will be yours again.

img_3603In my previous letter to you, I mentioned that David was busy in multiple projects. He was working on his brain, muscles, bones, skin, digestive system, and others. That’s why he needed more space 🤣 Now he has a bigger brain, and is smarter. So be more careful, he is learning faster now too — and he’s learning from you. Are you playing the right music for him everyday? Please do. That will help develop his brain further. Are you reading books aloud? You may try it too. Are you painting, playing violin, writing, growing small indoor plants, or singing? Whatever you do, choose a creative activity. I’ll tell you in my next letter why.

Two weeks ago he was just converting his cartilages into bones; now he is manufacturing his own red blood cells with his bone marrow. His body is gearing up to be more independent in surviving life. Before he comes out, he is already a complete human being, just like you, Jonathan, and me. Just like us.

By the way, have you started counting his moves? I think you should. That’s a great way to monitor his activities, and to exercise your ability to anticipate. Find the pattern. David is now having a pattern of wake-and-sleep. And when he’s awake, observe what makes him move. Maybe it’s music, or his dad’s voice, or the presence of Prince beside you. Or maybe a certain food you eat. It is good to know. Not for knowledge’s sake, but for building the bond that will forever bind you two together.

Some mothers were not able to create a strong magical bond between them and their child maybe because they failed to connect with their child in a more intentional way during pregnancy. Be intentional in your care for him. Don’t be automatic.

When David was consuming the calcium in your body to make his own bones, that’s automatic; when you transfer the nutrients of your body to his, that’s automatic; When your body begins producing breast milk for the baby, that too is automatic. That’s not the kind of care we’re talking about here my dear daughter.

Instead, we’re talking about those proactive activities that when you ignore, won’t result to any instant problem — activities like, reading books, listening to classical music, doing some physical exercises, exercising your creativity, painting, writing a journal or articles, playing violin, talking with the baby while touching your belly, and many other you can think about. These are easy to ignore. And sometimes may also be inconvenient to do.

So many mothers ignore them. They are not proactive. And I believe those mothers who are not intentional in caring for their baby are the ones who don’t establish that magical bond between mother and child. They are the ones whose love to their children are purely based on blood, nothing else.

Some mothers sell their babies because they desperately need money. Some, just abandon their babies so they can go back to their “single” life, while some give their child for adoption. Others raise their children but hate them as if they are not hers. I believe, if you develop that magical bond during pregnancy, no matter what happens, you will not let your baby be separated from you.

My Post-2I just don’t want you to be like those other mothers out there who have no bond of love between them and their child. That’s why I’m encouraging you to be intentional in caring for David. Don’t be like robots who just act without intention. Be a mother — a caring one. In the daily activities that you choose, remind yourself that your intention is to reach David out, and establish that magical bond between you and him, and talk to him always as if he is responding to you… because he is.

 

Your loving father,

Nhoi

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