When I found out I was pregnant, and I was still single at that time, with plans of our wedding still in the works for the date was still very far, the very first thing that I thought of was, "How in the world am I going to tell my parents?!" and then "Is this for real?!?!?!?" and then lastly, "Oh, my. There's something alive inside me." I was in a rollercoaster of emotions. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad, to announce it to the world or keep it to me at first. Of course, I told my husband, fiancé still at that time, about it and he was ecstatic. I wanted to tell him, "Shush! Can't you tell how conflicting it is for me?" But of course I didn't. We both wanted a baby. But not at the moment as we're still preparing for our wedding and our current budget wasn't focused on rearing a family yet. Besides which, we wanted to enjoy having each other to ourselves first before spreading our love to a fruit (or fruits, because I seriously want five) of our affections.
But anyway, my emotions changed the nearer it got to our new wedding date, because I don't want to have a child out of marriage (with all the legalities and papers attached to it when we finally do wed and then have the child's name changed, etc), and getting near to our wedding date means securing my baby a future with less paperworks (birth certificate needs not be changed, surname needs not be changed, just sign and fill-up on the appropriate blanks, etc) and just waiting for him/her to come out.
The wedding came and went and while I was being somewhat extra cautious on what I eat, where I go, how much I walk, etc. while thinking of how much do we have in our account and how do we manage an apartment by ourselves, I found myself really preparing for the baby when I started reading books and articles online on pregnancy and all the complications that comes with it. I even bought a book, What to Expect When You're Expecting which was really helpful and insightful as it describes week-by-week changes in your body and the baby's development. I also signed up at the WTE website for email. And as my pregnancy progressed, I started looking up on baby stuff: bottles, clothes, sterilizers. And then I started thinking how I want to raise our baby. I knew that I wanted to use cloth diapers for my baby, reason being more eco and budget friendly. I also knew then that I wanted to breastfeed exclusively, and I read up loads of articles on breastfeeding and even cloth diapering, finding tips and warnings, mothers' experiences (both good and bad)...
My free time was spent looking up on baby stuff that I can buy online, what was good, what was bad, what was recommended. My first ever purchase was a sling and I could already imagine myself holding my baby close to me at all times, alert and aware of his/her every need or want, and being there to supply whatever it is at once. And then I was looking at bottles, Onesies, tie-sides, socks, baby legs, sterilizers, breast pumps, and any other pieces of merchandise related to having a baby and breastfeeding.
And little by little, my stock of baby things grew. We now have a few clothes (tie-side ones), booties, caps, mittens, two dozen chino pinos (courtesy of my line manager), five 150ml bottles, three 260ml bottles, and an electric sterlizer. We're also going to receive a box-ful of baby stuff, courtesy of our godmother in Australia who seemed to be more excited in baby-shopping than us. Hee. :)
And as my little pile of baby things increased, so does my thoughts on parenting. Or rather, on being a mother. The choice of exclusively breastfeeding was a major one. I want the best nourishment my baby can have and breastmilk is the best for infants, especially the first few drops that will come out immediately after delivering for those tiny drops contain enzymes/chemicals/whatnots that would help jumpstart, boost, and strengthen the baby's immune system. It's tailor-fit for a baby's changing needs. It'd establish a close bond between the baby and the mother. And a lot more other benefits both for the baby and the mother. Plus, breastfeeding is closely associated with attachment parenting, something I want to practice on my baby when I give birth.
Attachment parenting, on the other hand, promotes practices that creates strong bonds between parents and children. It promotes breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and baby-wearing, or something I call going-back-to-basics type of parenting. I wanted to breastfeed, I wanted my baby to sleep between me and my husband, and I certainly want to wear my baby. When I read about this, I immediately became a follower, and while I don't read up on it too much that I'm becoming a fanatic, I think I got the basics of it. It's basically going with your instincts, going back to what was practiced long ago when technology and science weren't that advanced. When nurturing and raising a child was something instinctive and comes naturally. You do what you feel is best for the baby and consequently, for you.
I'm still far on the long road to becoming a real mother. I'm still pregnant at this point and while I may seem to know a lot about being one, I'm pretty sure nothing beats the actual thing, when I'm already holding my baby in my arms and trying to practice what I've read up on and what I feel is right. There surely would be rough roads ahead, with thunderstorms and hurricanes making the path more difficult, and I actually am anticipating just how and what I'd do when the time comes.