viernes, 1 de julio de 2016

MercatorNet: New baby, new wonders

MercatorNet: New baby, new wonders

New baby, new wonders

First impressions from the first weeks of parenthood.
Tamara El-Rahi | Jul 1 2016 | comment 5 

Just under four weeks ago, my husband and I were overjoyed to welcome our first child - little Emma Maria, named after our mothers. 
In the lead-up, my main fears revolved around the experience of labour. I hoped for a natural birth, and wanted if possible to avoid the use of any painkillers (as my mum had done for the birth of my eight siblings and I). But what I had to accept was that the whole thing was out of my control, and as much as I had learned in antenatal classes, it remained that labour was still an unknown.
Emma arrived six days before her due date and my husband’s reassurances that everything would be fine were spot on – with him by my side to talk me through every contraction, plus lots and lots of prayers, Emma entered the world naturally and a lot quicker than we expected! Labour was tough, but I can honestly say that it, and any birth experience, is well worth the reward. And it’s true what they say – you do forget the pain quite quickly!
Labour may have been my main concern, but that was just the start of the fun – let’s just say that parenthood is a crash course in selflessness. Of course, selflessness is something we were already learning in marriage, but really, we’re all human and sometimes we choose not to be as giving as we could be with our partners. With a baby, you don’t have a choice – their needs have to be met before yours. Hard work? Yes, very much so. However it’s also a blessing – without even knowing it, we can see that little Emma is giving us the gift of parenthood, which is an opportunity to be the best people we can be, and to discover inner strength that we couldn’t have possibly known we had otherwise! How beautiful is that?!
Speaking of strength, the whole process of pregnancy and labour has me in complete awe of my body. A lot of women these days are so concerned about the physical changes of having a baby, and it’s true, there can be many. But why focus on that when we can focus on how powerful and amazing the body is! I’ve never been particularly athletic or more that averagely fit, but my body facilitated life – this has to be its most incredible function!  From the development of the baby to my body knowing how to bring it out into the world, pregnancy and labour is such a miracle. How can anyone possibly believe that something as complex as a new human happens randomly?!
Looking at our baby, there are so many emotions. Complete awe - that she is the result of a moment of love between her parents. Astonishment - that she is a blend of the two of us; an eternal symbol of our love. And also that she is her own person, with qualities and talents and ideas that we’re yet to discover. Wonder - that somehow, without any skill required from me, she has 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes and is just altogether perfect. Gratitude – that we have been lucky enough to be blessed with her, especially when there are a lot of couples that can’t have kids or struggle to do so. Responsibility – because this little soul is ours to guide, even though my husband and I joke that she’ll be the one to bring us up. But mostly – love. Lots and lots and lots of love.

First the good news. The great news! The MercatorNet family was extended recently by the arrival of Emma Maria El-Rahi, the new little daughter of Tamara and Nadim whom Tamara introduces to us today in a post on Family Edge. Congratulations both, and thanks Tamara for sharing your joy with us. And thank you Emma for your sweet baby smile – the world needs it so much.
There are certainly reasons for gloom as, a hundred years after the Battle of the Somme, we are still in a kind of world war, now driven by religious fanaticism and terrorism.
Michael Cook suggests that the Somme can be seen as “the opening salvo in the culture of death” – that is, the war we wage against ourselves with technology for lack of a moral framework that would make it serve only humane ends. His reflections introduce the reminiscences of a German soldier who fought in the front lines on July 1, 1916, and which vividly illustrate what was new and shocking about the First World War – the industrial scale of the thing that swept away the lives of 38 million people.
Technology is neither good nor bad in itself, but it’s not always easy to work out when we are putting it to good use or bad. That seems to be the case with handing over human work to robots – a subject visited by Marcus Roberts. Of course, we have lived with automation for a long time, but we could still take a wrong turn with it, don’t you think?
Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,
When 19,000 British troops died in a single day
Michael Cook | FEATURES | 1 July 2016
The carnage of World War I was the opening salvo of the culture of death.
New baby, new wonders
Tamara El-Rahi | FAMILY EDGE | 1 July 2016
First impressions from the first weeks of parenthood.
Handshakes, Islam, and religious tolerance in the West
Jennifer S. Bryson | FEATURES | 1 July 2016
Genuine tolerance allows for difference.
The robots are coming!
Marcus Roberts | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY | 1 July 2016
And our jobs are under threat.
World War I marks a bloody anniversary today
Mark Harrison | FEATURES | 1 July 2016
Why the Battle of the Somme marks a turning point of World War I
Don’t feed the trolls
Jennifer Roback Morse | CONNECTING | 1 July 2016
It only encourages the PIPsqueaks.
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