Once upon a time, there was a beautiful woman who lived in a beautiful house with a beautiful garden. One day, the woman learned that she was expecting a baby. As the weeks turned into months, the woman started feeling like she loved the baby inside of her more than anything she’d ever loved in the entire world. And like her garden that she tended, she knew instinctively how important it was to care for this baby inside of her and to love it, and cultivate it, and nourish it so that it would grow and thrive.
In order to do all of this, the woman read books and blogs and talked to other moms about how she could grow and care for her baby. Every day, she sang to the baby so it would hear her voice. She ate organic food free of any GMO‘s or pesticides. She said no to offers of sushi and deli meat. She said good bye to her morning cup of coffee and her evening glass of wine. She drank bottled water because her house had old pipes. She filled her pantry with healthy nuts and multi-grain pasta. She stopped dying her hair and painting her toenails so that no chemicals entered her body and transferred to the baby. She read the baby stories she put headphones on her tummy so the baby could hear music. She never forgot one day of taking her prenatal vitamins. Each day, she set aside 10 minutes to sit on a pillow near the window overlooking her garden. Gently resting her hands on her tummy, she'd breathe deeply and focus on her dreams for being the best mommy possible.
This mommy-to-be felt more and more like a momma bear as the days passed and she felt a deep concern and intense focus on making sure her baby was safe, every where, at all times. She bought a copy of consumer reports list of safest kid gear and she made sure that she bought only the highest ranked items- car seat, stroller, crib, etc. She brought the car seat to the police station to have it properly installed, learning the alternative use for a pool noddle in ensuring the seat was position properly in the middle of the back seat of the car.
On that most wonderful and magical day when her baby was born, her Doula massaged her perineum with olive oil and she breathed deeply and envisioned her body to be opening like a flower. She breathed to the tune of her favorite synapsis stimulating classical music playlist. She declined any type of drugs so that they wouldn’t enter the baby's system. Then, during the most important moment of her entire life, she brought the baby to her breast. Swaddled in organic cotton with a cloth diaper on its bottom, she gently spoke to the baby in three languages, knowing that a child learns languages at an early age and she had didn't want to waste one moment.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. Like her blooming garden, her baby blossomed under the woman's gentle care and cultivation. While there were nights and days when the woman had slept very little, and she questioned her abilities to tend to her child, she pushed on with the same level of passion she'd had during pregnancy. The beautiful baby ate pureed organic veggies and fruit that the mom pureed herself. The baby never touched its skin to the metal bars of the grocery store cart because of the cloth seat cover the mother sewed herself and never forgot to bring with her on their grocery outings. The baby got lots of skin to skin contact securely nested in the wrap that, yes, the woman sewed herself.
Then, as a toddler, the child's mind and motor skills flourished, surrounded by only wooden toys and that bike without the pedals. The beautiful, happy child used sign language to communicate and potty trained in record time, thanks to the fact that the child could better connect the sensation of a full bladder to the discomfort of a wet bottom.
Life couldn't be better for the woman. She often thought back to those moments of peace and comfort on her pillow in the window overlooking the garden, and realized her hopes and dreams for her baby had all come true, like a real life fairy tale.
Months later, the woman found herself in that window again, cradling her growing tummy, anticipating the arrival of yet another beautiful baby to cultivate and grow.
The woman welcomed her second bundle of joy and during the pregnancy, delivery and early months, she did all she could to grow this baby like her first. But, it was harder. She was older and she felt older. She was tired. She decided half caff coffee couldn't be that bad on the baby's development. She got her nails done at a salon because it just felt good for someone to touch her and not want something from her. She forgot her prenatal vitamins a few times. She tried to read to her belly, in French, Spanish and Italian each evening but she'd fall asleep. She meant to decorate the new baby's nursery but she was too busy and too tired taking care of her first born and so she settled on borrowing her friend's co-sleeper and parked it next to her bed.
On the day of the baby's birth, she wasn't able to listen to her playlist, or have her Doula stretch her perineum because her water broke and she could feel the baby's head coming down before she arrived at the hospital. The baby struggled to nurse and she had to supplement with formula but at least she was able to get organic. She started crying a lot, feeling overwhelmed while trying to give her toddler the time they used to have together and nurturing her needy, helpless baby. Her garden felt overgrown, tended to but not with the same level of attention to detail as in the past.
Then one day, after three days of both children suffering from the stomach bug, after she'd done seven loads of laundry and picked vomit out of her ear canal, the woman was washing poop off the baby's cloth diaper with the diaper sprayer, and she felt nauseous herself.
She stumbled from the bathroom, tripped over a Melissa and Doug Rainbow Stacker, toward the pillow by the window. Then, the baby cried and the toddler whined and the woman did not know what to do. She needed just one hour to lay down and rest her aching body. If she could do this just once, this one hour, on this one day, she knew she could regain the strength to tend her to her garden of love in the manner of her hopes and dreams. Then, she had a moment of clarity. She wheeled the baby's organic cotton, highest safety rated baby swing, toward the window. She filled a sippy cup with organic juice and loaded a cup with organic Annie's goldfish and she placed them near her pillow. Finally, she grabbed a blanket and her Ipad. She propped the device up in front of her beautiful, amazing children and hit the Netflix app. She drifted to sleep, on the pillow in the window overlooking her garden, to the sound of Puffin Rock.
And everyone lived happily ever after.