The Life Changers of 2012

December 31st, 2012 | Posted by Alison Spath in Life

At the end of last year I wrote about The Life Changers of 2011 - the books, blogs and other ideas that effected my life in a positive, meaningful way.  I’m here today to do the same for 2012!

Of course, the biggest life changer for us this year was addition of this guy to our family:

Kaz 6 months

To think that last year at this time I was still going “wait, what?  who’s having another baby?  US? shut up! really? really.” and now Kaz Man is 6 months old? That just plain old crazy!  He’s sitting unassisted, crawling well, pulling to a stand (!!) and is just beginning to step away from the boob to try some real food.  I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this little boy and am so grateful for his presence in our lives.

Casimir’s arrival was certainly a monumental moment this year – he was born via VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans) and I spent a lot of time and energy during the first half of this year preparing myself physically and emotionally for his birth.

If you are pregnant or will be someday and you want to have a normal, natural birth – you HAVE to educate yourself on child birth.

Duh, right? Sadly, I learned this lesson the hard way.  I spent my pregnancy with Ava (circa 2003 – 2004) reading about pregnancy, when I should have been reading about birth.  I ended up with an unplanned cesarean that may have been possible to avoid had I made different choices about prenatal care and my care provider.  I spent my pregnancy with Maxine (2006) reading a little about birth, but mostly about the benefits and risks of VBAC and trying to decide if it was a safe option for me.  I spent a lot of time worrying and being afraid of birth too.

It wasn’t until my pregnancy with Kaz that I really, REALLY came to understand all the stages and physiology of childbirth. It was also when finally stopped being afraid.  Educating myself helped me eliminate fear and reduce worry – I find this to be true of anything in life really, not just pregnancy and birth.

So for my pregnant or family-planning friends out there, here are the best books I read this year that helped me get the birth experience that Kaz and I both needed and deserved:

Childbirth

Books

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Birthing From Within is especially helpful for handling fear you might have about child birth; fear of not being able to handle the pain, fear of dying, fear of your baby dying during birth – the three things most every pregnant woman in the world is afraid of.

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering

Documentaries

The Business of Being Born

Orgasmic Birth

Birth As We Know It

(I watched all of these films before this year, but I watched them again in 2012.)

Parenting

Babies

Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene - Elimination Communication is by far one of the best, coolest parenting choices we’ve ever made!

Baby Led Weaning was a fast, easy read.  I’m excited to take a very different approach (as compared to the girls) to feeding Kaz solid foods.  I hope this is our ticket to a baby who loves vegetables as much as his mother!  (Or at the very least, more than his sisters do.)

Older Kids

Aha! Parenting Blog - to say this blog has been “helpful” when it comes to dealing with every day parenting frustrations would be a huge understatement.  This site has helped me become more compassionate, understanding and patient with the girls, I highly recommend it.  I love the gentle parenting advice from this blog and think about and (try to) use her suggestions often.

Health and Nutrition

Even though I’ve written a lot about this recently, I must mention Deep Nutrition in this post as it has most definitely changed the way we’re eating now, and will continue into 2013 and beyond!

Deep Nutrition

I’m still recommending this TED video by Dr. Terry Wahls to anyone and everyone – her story is amazing, remarkable and inspiring, you must watch this if you haven’t already!

Other Miscellaneous Favorites of 2012

This American Life Podcast

THE VITAMIX!

Vitamix 1709 CIA Professional Series Blender

Can a kitchen appliance really change your life?  Why yes, YES IT CAN!  We’ve had ours since April, we use it every. single. day.

Books On My Radar for 2013

Non-Fiction:

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet of Dictocrats

Fiction:

The Life of Pi (admittedly because I just listened to Jillian Michaels talking about this on her podcast! I’ll be adding the audio book to my iPod as soon as it’s in at the library.)

It’s been real, Twenty Twelve!  Got something remarkable you came across this year that improved the quality of your life?  New favorite books, blogs, appliances?  Tell us, tell us, tell us now!

Happy New Year to you – see ya on the flip side.


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