The Birth of Children- Life's Rewarding Treasure
Life is such a wonderful treasure with the finding out about the expectancy of a baby. Some females feel like they know ahead of time that they are expecting, while others are surprised. Lately, more females are doing home pregnancy testing. But the unique experiences of before, during and after birth represent some of the most rewarding treasures in life that takes place after birth!
- The First Pregnancy
- The Positive Test
- The First Three Months
- Is It A Girl or A Boy?
- What Do I Do If I Know the Sex of the Baby?
- Life Changes Before Birth
- Preparations for Baby's Arrival
- International Naming Ceremonies
- Baby Showers- Baby Gifts
- Hospital or Midwifery Birth!
- Happy Birth Day!
- Traveling Home- Mom, Baby and All!
- Children Are the Reward of Family Life!
- Have A Beautiful Baby Life!
The First Pregnancy
Many still wonder today how is it that such a miracle could ever occur for once in a lifetime? The birth of Baby Jesus was amazing from it's form of conception. Mary was the first virgin to conceive and deliver a child in biblical days. There were many questions by others including her husband who wondered about this amazement. The baby was born in a manger, delivered and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Today babies are conceived and born through the interrelatedness between a male and a female. However, today there are other approaches that are being used to provide families who desire children to still be a part of the birthing process. Most babies are on a nine-month track to birth, with some at variant birth days.
The Positive Test
Each day throughout the world, females are finding out that they have tested positively for pregnancy. There are many reactions upon finding out the news. So many people speak of planned and unplanned pregnancies. Some women discuss the issue of a planned pregnancy based on timing and various procedures. Yet many share that the child was certainly not planned. However, planned or not planned, decisions are made about being able to go through a full term pregnancy with hopes of having a healthy baby. Sometimes others make different decisions based on their personal opinions and life experiences. Regardless, pregnancy is still well accepted and respected throughout the world. In different parts of the world, the number of pregnancies vary from family to family and also culture to culture. There are some societies that request a limited number of children per family as a means of population control. In other parts of the world, HIV, Aids infected mothers and babies are often separated for life's care and health reasons. Earthly tragedies such as hurricanes and earthquakes have also become separation experiences for many babies and families. Yet the births of children continue. There are some cultures that vary in the significance of female and male infants.
The First Three Months
Research has proven that the first three months after conception are critical in the growth and development of the fetus. It is highly recommended that the mother-to-be take extra care of herself during this stage. It is highly recommended that healthy foods are eaten and healthy lifestyles are practiced.
Many of the babies vital organs and developmental prenatal milestones are acknowledged. This is a significant time for the baby to experience a positive environment of the family.
In some cultures, mothers begin talking to their babies, reading to them and teaching them with the sensory touch of letters, numbers, shapes and words. Of course singing with the baby during this period in the child's life as practiced by some mothers-to-be can be beneficial.
Is It A Girl or A Boy?
After the news of the expectancy of a child, families all over the world begin to wonder whether it is a girl or a boy. For some, the sex of the child can signal a time of importance, while for some, the sex of the child does not matter.
With all four of my children, the doctors did not risk trying to tell me the sex of the children. Strangely my babies would position themselves in hidden positions on the days of the ultra-sound. There were some more advanced tests that I could have taken to get a closer view of the sex of the baby, but I found them unnecessary, especially since I would have to go to a nearby town. Today, they seem to have more accurate tests to provide families with sex-identity information.
My husband was kind of old fashion, too. He just believed that it would just be wonderful to rejoice over what the baby is at birth. It was kind of fun trying to guess the sex of each one. My daughter who was the first born, was so active that I just knew she was a football player-to be. But I was certainly wrong on that one. But she came into the world as curious and eager as ever. Those traits and characteristics remain with her today.
I dared not guess until I got to the fourth child. Well, I had two boys after my daughter. So as the fourth one was to arrive, somehow I was convinced in my mind that this one would be a girl for sure. Then for some mothers-to-be, many of the elder women in the community declared that they could predict the sex of the child. They had many ways of predicting, especially the way the mother "carried" the baby. So if the baby seemed to be high up in the mother's stomach, it would be of a certain sex. Or if it looked like the baby was traveling lower, it could be of another sex. With one of my children, they thought they could hear two heartbeats- twins? Oh my- could that be possible?
Well my mom had twin brothers and sisters on her side of the family, which meant that they were my aunts and uncles. So according to some family information, that was close enough for this type of birth to occur.
What Do I Do If I Know the Sex of the Baby?
I did not know the sex of any of my children prior to their birth. As I said earlier, there are certain thoughts that can dominate and control one's mind as to what the possibilities are. With my fourth, so many people told me it was going to be a girl. So I started believing this myself. Then as I began to think about names, only girl names came to mind. But the lasting touch was the night when I went into labor, arrived at the hospital and the nurse told me we have a special, beautiful room for you! Of course everything in this room was pink! So now, I was convinced it was a girl and they just didn't tell me. So when the baby was born and the doctor said, "It's a boy." I must admit I was very shocked- why? because I had convinced myself that it was a girl. Thus, convincing one self of a sex can be very defeating if it is not real.
Some families know right away today what the sex of the baby is. Therefore they begin planning everything based around that information provided to them. Well I guess the information that they receive is more convincing and accurate than my own perceived information.
Life Changes Before Birth
There are often changes that occur before the birth of the baby. For some, decisions have to be made about employment, careers, lifestyles, where to live, whether there is a need for additional space for the family and many other issues.
One important task that many parents-to-be are faced with, especially if there are other children in the family, is who will take care of the other children when mom goes to the hospital to deliver.
This is a very special time when grandparents, other relatives and friends may step in to give a lending hand. Sometimes this may entail family members and/or friends traveling across states or countries to arrive for the special occasion. Often this is a time to give the mother, family changes and preparation time. The adjustments for the whole family when a new baby arrives can be overwhelming. So the extra help can prove to be beneficial.
The more preparations made for the changes before birth can decrease some of the family stress. Such was the case for me as a pre-school-kindergarten teacher. We had to find the best substitute teacher for the children. I had to begin to prepare the children for the fact that I would be leaving for six to eight weeks. And of course, all proper paper work for family/maternity leave had to be in place.
Preparations for Baby's Arrival
Now we were often told that the closer it got to the due date, that every mother-to-be should have a bag packed at all times. For a mother is often given a prospective due date, but everyone is prepared for the possibilities of change. A baby is known to arrive when it gets ready- true or not?
Mothers are also beginning to have an outfit for baby to wear from the hospital, a receiving blanket, pampers, wipes and other needed items to be used upon baby's arrival.
Having a newborn car seat is also critical, since this is the law. Hospitals often will not allow the mother to leave without one. Some families are fortunate enough to have a separate room for the newborn. If so, it is often prepared for the arrival of the child.
International Naming Ceremonies
Choosing names can be a very important part of this entire process. All over the world, babies are named in many different ways and by many different people. In the United States, children are often named based on the interest in or creation of a name. My husband thought of the name for my daughter, but he asked me to do the spelling.One son had both parts of his dad's first and middle names. Because his cousins begged and pleaded for his name to be Corey, I gave in to them. Now why they felt that we needed a Corey in the family was beyond me.
Then our last son, had a very interesting experience. As I stated earlier, I was prepared with all girl names. Wow, I thought I had chosen some of the most beautiful ones at that. My husband said to me, "If it is a boy, he will be named after this famous African American baseball player." I looked at him on several occasions because I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard. I also thought it was the craziest name I had ever heard. I had convinced myself anyhow that I wouldn't be needing the name.
I still laugh today because I would go to school and laugh telling the other teachers that we all had better pray that this was a girl because my husband had chosen a crazy name for the baby if he was a boy.
Now, again I ended up spelling the name. He only told me that the baseball player's name was something like Hal Lanier. Well since I had never heard of him, I just made up the spelling the best way that I could.
So when it was a boy, his name became HaLanier Jamaal. I gave him the middle name. Surprisingly when I went back to work, one of the older male teachers knew exactly who this baseball player was. Then I met three more older men who also knew of the player from the early 1950s, I think. So then I gave my husband much more respect for this wonderful name that I had made so much fun of.
Oh, my next to the last baby boy's name selection was easy. I had been doing some research and following Dr.Jawanza Kunjuf's work on African American children. So I made up in mind that it would be cool to name my son, "Jawanza." Then I took his daddy's middle name and added an extra ending to it. LeeRenzo! There- that one was settled.
I also had some beautiful girl names also- but didn't need them.
In some parts of the world, the babies are not given a name anywhere from 10 to 30 days. This is so that families could study the characteristics of the baby before choosing a name. Often important family members or elders help choose the baby's name. Some are based on tradition- such as girls are named after grandmothers, boys named after grandfathers, fathers or uncles. Then there are various ceremonies held to acknowledge the birth of the baby! Relatives and friends come from near and far.
In the United States, baby christening is an important ceremony. It is not necessarily a naming ceremony as in other parts of the world, but more of wishing a blessing and a life of hope and longevity for the baby! The baby is usually dressed in all white.
Baby Showers- Baby Gifts
Baby showers are very popular, many before the birth of the baby. This is a special time dedicated to the mother-to-be for friends and loved ones to bring gifts to help with the preparation of the arrival of the baby.
These are well attended and often a time of fun for all who attended. These events are filled with food, games, prizes for the attendees, lots of gifts for the baby and often gifts for the mother-to-be.
Now, with more families knowing the sex of the baby, attendees often feel better prepared with the gifts that they bring. However colors like yellow and green still remain as neutral colors that could be appropriate for girls and boys.
During this time, the well-wishers often sign up to take turns making sure that the baby and family will have what they need, especially the first month after birth. My colleagues started a tradition of each of us signing up to prepare or order a meal for the family for the first three weeks after the birth of the baby. Again, this allows the parents to focus more on their newborn baby.
Oh well, the father is usually not involved in the baby shower. But his friends bring gifts too- but after the birth of the baby, many men bring cigars, real or imitation as a sign of congratulations to the father. This has been a long-standing tradition.
Hospital or Midwifery Birth!
My sister-in-law received her Master's Degree in Midwifery. At first I wondered why would she do that? I asked her and it was very important. She explained to me that in the State of South Carolina as in so many other states that there were so many rural areas with no doctors, no hospitals or medical facilities. Some women would have to travel, thirty, forty or fifty miles in order to go to the nearest doctor or hospital. So many of the midwives were trained to work side-by-side with the doctors and in many cases if there were no complications with the pregnancy or anticipated delivery, they could help with the birth of the child. Then I began to read more about this. Then realized how many women shared this story of lack of health care nearby. In other parts of the world, midwives are key people in the birth and delivery of babies.
But all in all in the United States, most babies are being delivered in hospitals, by trained medical personnel. In some other parts of the world, hospital deliveries are not as prevalent. Most importantly, is to make sure trained people are helping with the delivery of the babies.
The decision of the place of birth is usually up to the families. In some cities and states, the mother-to-be may have to travel to a nearby town because of insurance and designated places of birth for low-income families. Some states feel that this is prejudicial and have fought to have it changed.
Happy Birth Day!
Now the day that the baby comes into this world is designated as the child's birthday.
It is very important that this is recorded on record as the beginning of life for this new birth. The child's birth records are recorded and in a short time that child will also receive a social security number that he or she will keep for the rest of their lives.
In some cultures, birthdays are not recognized per se. However the day that every child came to life should always be cherished and remembered. So in some cultures the family showers the children with love and gifts throughout the year, so there is no need to single out or focus on just one designated day to say, "Happy Birthday."
So children all over the world still love the universal song:
Happy Birthday Song
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you.
How old are you?
How old are you?
How old are you?
I am 1 day old
I am 1 day old.
I am 1 day old.
I am 1 day old.
Traveling Home- Mom, Baby and All!
It's time to travel! Get ready, get all packed up with all of the specialties from the hospital! Make sure the baby's badge matches with the mother's. Make sure the right baby goes with the right mother.
All instructions about breastfeeding or bottle feeding! Make sure that recheck time is arranged and any special instructions for arrival at home. Time for last minute questions!
Car seat, strapped in, blankie, cap for head, and all of the extras to have a comfortable ride home.
Oh, and don't forget the weather- that makes a difference in what and how baby travels to and from the hospital. Oh yes, and take extra good care of mommy too- she is tired and had a long travel journey just bringing baby into the world!
Safe traveling home!
Children Are the Reward of Family Life!
Yes, the old African Proverb describes it all. "Children are the reward of life." That means that they are special, they are blessed and they must be cherished by all. They are special gifts from God. It is very important that we take extra good care of them.
We are expected to be their guardian angels. As children depend on us and respect us the wiser to help in their assurance of a bright life-
So, yes, we must cherish, love and care for them. We must take on the responsibility of teaching them and teaching them with care. I can still remember one of the first prayers I learned as a child:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take!
Have A Beautiful Baby Life!
As we strive to help in better understanding and learning more about what babies know, and how they develop- we've got a great task ahead of us!
There are some things that we already know that prior to the babies speaking their first words and utterances of sounds, they become very active learners. They come into the world looking all around. They come into the world looking for those familiar faces and listening for those secure voices. Babies explore, learn, and communicate from the first hours of life. They look to us to help them learn the words for objects, actions, and people. We have an obligation to help a baby's language and speech development. We are also responsible for reading and singing with them while providing them with a positive and supportive environment.
Let's help the babies have a beautiful, baby life! Welcome baby!