Dear Younger Jill,

Things you need to know before you turn 30…

You are going to have babies, don’t believe the doctors.  You are not infertile!  I repeat, you are not infertile!  Don’t believe anything they tell you about advanced maternal age, either.  It's all a bunch of hooey.

Once you have those babies your life will be COMPLETELY altered.  You are not mentally prepared for this, because you think you cannot have babies.  Stupid doctors. You will no longer be able to "up and go as you please" or "live your life as you see fit".  You will spend all of your time balancing work, family and your social life.  This will always be out of balance.  It’s ok!  They all adapt perfectly well.

Don’t listen to your judgmental mother after they turn 5.  You will wonder if you are permanently damaging your children.  You are not.  They are fantastic.  You will also enjoy being with them when they get older.  Don’t listen to the “terrible teenager” stories.  Also a lot of hooey.

Oh yeah.  One other thing.  Your ass is going to go south at age 43.  Wear the thong bikini in your 30’s.  This is not hooey!  The good news, eyesight starts failing around age 40, so your husband will not notice the slow progression.  Just make sure he takes his glasses off.

Tons more to tell you, but all I will say is, you will enjoy the ride.

Your grown-up self,

Supporting mothers in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship is one of our most important roles as doulas.  

When we talk about the first hours after birth we often tell expectant mothers to trust the baby, they know exactly what to do and the less we mess with the process, the better it goes.

The following YouTube videos show how the slow, gradual process occurs.  We all just need to be patient and let nature take its course.  You and your baby are amazing magical creatures.  If anyone tells you otherwise, come back and watch these.  

The first is a quick highlight reel video by Entrust.  
The second video is from Raising Children Network and has interviews with two mothers.
This third video posted by Jennifer Pitkin is the whole process.  This mom and baby have had immediate skin-to-skin and it seems there has been no interference.  Oh the suspense!!
I taught myself to knit and crochet in high school.  MANY moons ago!  My favorite time spent knitting and crocheting was during my pregnancies.  There is something special about knitting baby outfits for your little one.  Each of my littles had a wardrobe by the time they were born.

I also made a blanket for each of my babies while I was pregnant. It kept my mind occupied when I was nervous about giving birth.  It helped keep me sane when I was still pregnant at 42 weeks.  It helped me connect with my baby before the birth.  While I crocheted, I imagined what their personalities would be and what they would look like wrapped in my creation.

Being pregnant in New Jersey during the winter made me feel isolated.  I found a little knitting group that met at the Barnes & Noble so I would have actual human interaction.  I kept up with them after the baby was born, too. It helped pick me up during the baby blues. They were a great postpartum support group of wise, experienced grandmothers.

As a doula, I continued knitting to occupy the "waiting time".  I always have a baby hat in progress in my doula bag, sometimes finishing them in time for the birth.  Clients sent me pictures of those babies wearing their doula hats.  My creation on their creation.  Nothing better than that.

My Stained Glass Blanket above is a version of the Granny Square found here.  It was a stash buster project and I love how it turned out.  It isn't quite a beginner project though, so this link will take you to the Yarnspirations site for an easy Beginner Baby Blanket Pattern.  I hope it inspires you to try yarn crafting!