I was searching for books about babies in general. My girls love to read and I think it helps them process things to read about them, especially Peanut. So last month I searched for children’s books about babies and we came home with a handful. A couple were immediately duds (absolutely nothing the girls can relate to when all they’re about bottles and nurseries and cribs) and a couple we could just substitute things that made more sense for us. This one though, it just nailed our birthing style right on the head.
Welcome with Love is the story of a home birth from the perspective of the soon-to-not-be youngest child. He has never seen a birth before, as his two older sisters have, and learns a lot of things along the way (like how mum is just as loud as she said she would be). The book talks about preparing for the baby (and not in the nursery way), the labor and birth, and even the placenta. It’s a wonderful way to introduce all these concepts to little ones who will be present at a birth.
Peanut in particular has really latched onto this book. She has literally had me read it every day since we got it from the library (and I’m sure she’ll be very upset when we have to return it in the near future). I think it’s because it’s one of the fewbooks that shows birth in a way that’s actually similar to how we do it. It has sparked a lot of conversations about different aspects of the birth. Even though she was there last time, she doesn’t remember a lot (she was only 34 months), so it’s nice to be able to go over all these different things again.
My only criticism of the book, which is only half-hearted mind you, is that some parts of it make the family seem like they’re not in this same time period. Obviously they are, as it shows the midwife using a Doppler, but they’re using a fire as their main warmth in the house, he lights a “night candle,” and stuff along those lines. It does appear that this books is about a family in Europe (the mom is referred to as mum), so maybe these things are more common there? I just don’t like the impression that you only give birth at home in a rustic setting. I can have computers and what not and still choose to birth at home! Really though, this is just a minor beef and it might be more cultural than anything.
So if you’re having a home birth (or have had one) and you’d like something to read to your kids, I’d definitely check this one out. It’s nice to see home birth shown in a calm and realistic way in a children’s book. And the part where they find out the sex of the baby (which is uncommon not to know these days, even with homebirthers), makes me want to cry. So sweet. Maybe we’ll have to buy a copy to own.