Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crunchy Mama Love/Overall Brodie update (stolen from Sarah's post idea a while ago)

Before I was a mom and even at the beginning of my pregnancy I never thought I would become a "crunchy" mom. I hadn't given more than a passing thought to natural birth control, how I would give birth, breastfeeding, diapering, vaccinations, etc. I guess I just figured what the majority of the people did was sort of the norm and what was best for my baby. Then, I started researching each subject when the right time came around and discovered that the "norm" wasn't what I wanted.

First we chose to get off the hormonal birth control and switch to FAM (including temping and checking CM) with a non hormonal barrier method for fertile times. When we decided to get pregnant, it only took us 2 cycles (which were abnormal as well), 2.5 months to get pregnant! It was an awesome time practicing FAM and getting to know my body in more detail.

Then, when we got pregnant, I started researching natural childbirth. My friend Jessica had gone through the Bradley Child birthing course. I was immediately intrigued, especially since Jessica's birth/recovery was the best of anyone I knew. So, we watched a lot of informational videos, read a lot of research articles, and attended 25 hours of birthing class. We made a birth plan and had plans to not use any pain meds at all. Because of Brodie's heart decelerating/me being strapped to a bed and back labor I caved and got an epidural but besides limited movement and the epidural my birth went as I wished. No coached pushing, no episiotomy, delayed cord cutting, immediate skin/skin contact, no weighing/measuring for 2hrs, breastfeeding on demand, and alone time with just me, my husband and my son. LOVED IT! Next time I know not to go to the hospital as soon as my water breaks (I will be waiting til I can't stand the pain, then heading down) and I will be more assertive during labor.

I used to think it was just standard to have bottles in the diaper bag and feed said bottles to the child. I knew people breastfed, but didn't really think too much about the in public/all the time aspect of it. When I got pregnant I realized I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. Luckily for me, my child latched on really well in the hospital and despite some "potential difficulties" and a hard few days of engorgement that has been going GREAT! :) He is a nursing pro, still nursing every 2-3 hours and getting lots of great nutritional foodstuffs from my boobies. :) I'm very PRO breastfeeding in public and don't care if someone sees my to be them if they are offended. :P

I was convinced that I would be using disposable diapers with my child because the idea of cloth diapering was "icky" to me. I could never wash and deal with pee/poo in that way. Well, when Brodie was about a month old he got a rash that just didn't go away. I tried everything to get it to disappear, to no avail. After a month of this I decided I had to do something drastic. I looked up the possibility of allergies disposable diapers/wipes and found the advantages of cloth and some scary things about disposables. We decided then to make the switch to cloth diapers. It took us another month to order/gather all the necessary supplies and build up a stash large enough to go to cloth 100%, and we did when Brodie was just over 3 months old. Within 24 hours there was NO rash and since then his bottom has actually been "soft as a baby's bottom" and so much happier. :) It's saving us over 2000 dollars per kid as well. I feel so great about this decision and Nick is stoked that we went to cloth as well. I wish more people cloth diapered and discovered the cloth diaper goodness!

In terms of baby wearing, that was a relatively new term for me that I stumbled across while on a pregnancy forum. There are so many cool carriers and benefits to baby wearing that there was no way that I WASN'T going to baby wear. I currently have a stretchy wrap, a Mei tai, and an ergo ssc. :) I love all three and use them very very often. I just used one this morning while cooking breakfast and will use one tomorrow while gallivanting around doing errands. They all have some advantages that make them better for certain things. I've shared my knowledge with friends and because of my talks with them (and probably their own research as well) I now have 5 more people baby wearing with proper carriers! :)

We have started giving Brodie 1 pumped feedings worth of breast milk mixed with baby oatmeal/barley a day. The ped recommended this because he is so tiny for his age (weight wise). But, it has always been my intention to delay solids until AT LEAST 6 months. I don't totally consider what we are giving him a solid since it's just a thickened breast milk, but I'm also not going to give him any more than we are now until 6 months. I will not add water to the oatmeal instead of milk because I don't want him to miss out on ANY good nutrition from breast milk. People may say "what's the big deal?" Well, there are a lot of reasons to not give solids until 6 months at the minimum. This article has some great info: . When we do start solids I'd like to make my own baby food :)

Lastly, delayed vaccinations. We declined the eye goo in the hospital as well as the Hep B shot. There was no need for either of these with Brodie because they are STD related and we don't have ST D's. I have continued to decline Hep B and after the rest of his 6 month vaccinations will be researching all of the ones he is scheduled to get at his 1 year appointment and weigh pros/cons to each. I may be delaying/denying some of those vaccinations if they are not necessary at such a young age or at all.

So, all in all I have become quite the hippy/crunchy mom. The only thing we don't do is co-sleep (yet we did have him in a co-sleeper bassinet for the first 3 months). I'm happy with my decisions and encourage people to do research on the major aspects of parenting before they just go with what everyone else is doing. You'd be surprised with how much is out there to learn and is different than it may seem on the outside. Make informed decisions and do what is best for your family. :) I'd be happy to answer any questions if anyone wants more info on anything we are doing/have found.