A blogging friend of mine recently wrote a post about all the “crunchy” things she and her husband have chosen to do now that they’re parents. In all honesty, it made me giggle a bit. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been called a hippie since O was born, I’d be rich. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard it… And I’m not even that crunchy!!! After reading her post, and giggling/nodding in agreement, I was inspired to talk about the “crunchy” decisions we have made along the way.
It all started with O. Truth be told, I didn’t have a birth plan. I had NO idea what I was doing. I called the only obgyn office in town, and they wouldn’t make me an appointment (that’s a LONG story). I had no idea what I was going to do, until my boss at the time mentioned the Bellingham Birth Center. Her cousin had recently had a baby there, and she had nothing but good things to say about it. I didn’t know ANYTHING about midwives, or the type of prenatal/postnatal care they provided, so I called them up. They were amazingly sweet, and very honest, and scheduled us a visit right away. Since I didn’t have another option in town, I just went with it. And 6 years later (holy crap), I’m so very glad I did. We discussed several birthing options, what would happen in case of an emergency, all of the care they provided for me AND the baby, and doula options.*
That’s when my very first hippie-like decision was made. I was going to have O in the bathtub. And in all honesty, it was mostly because it sounded the least painful. I love the water, so it just made the most sense. Along the way, I learned about how it’s a smoother transition for the baby (liquid environment to liquid environment), how they don’t breathe underwater (cuz hi, scary), and how it would EXACTLY go down. I also decided on a doula, which if you ever have a baby I highly recommend, since we had NO idea what we were doing.
With O, that was about the extent of the hippie like decisions I made. Breast feeding was a disaster with him, he got baby food from a jar, wore disposable diapers, I didn’t “wear” him, he was forward facing at a year old. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing… I’ve learned a lot in 6 years.
With A, I’ve done a lot more “crunchy” type things. Probably because this time around it’s been different. For starters, I’m older, and less depressed (hi meds, I love you). But the birth plan was the same (minus the doula actually IN the room, mine was 1300 miles away and a friend from high school – love you, L.). Bathtub, no drugs, birth center… I wanted to have him at home (could I GET any crunchier than that?!) but we don’t have a bathtub, and that’s a LOT of weight in an upstairs apartment. So that was the same, but a lot of stuff is different…
He’s breast fed: I almost gave up, and I supplemented for a while. And in all honesty, I wanted breast feeding to work because formula is EXPENSIVE. We spent a LOT of money when using formula with O. I am a firm believer in either way is okay (hello?! I have both types of babes, and they’re awesome), so seriously, that was the reason.
I made baby food: up until the refrigerator incident (another story for another time), I made his baby food. I went out, bought local produce, and went to work in the kitchen. It was fun for me, as I love to cook, and I felt good about it. After the incident, I stopped, mostly due to frustration with the situation concerning the refrigerator. Plus he’s more interested in food off my plate anyway, so, that’s what he gets (in addition to food out of a jar). So, that only counts as half-hippie.
I wore him: for the first three months of his life, whenever we would go somewhere, he was in the Moby. I loved that thing. I had both hands free, which if you have another child over the age of WALKING, you know that is important. He would snuggle up against me and fall asleep, it was pretty awesome.
He’s weaning himself: I started to consider weaning him (his top two teeth are coming in, and my nipples are scared), and then he just started not wanting to nurse as much. So, we are just going with it, and if those teeth come in before he’s done, well… I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I plan on having him rear facing well past his first birthday (providing he’s not six feet tall and 100 lbs by then…. Seriously, this kid can EAT). But I don’t consider that to be a crunchy type decision, that’s just safe.
So many of the decisions I have made this time around are mostly due to education. Yes, O is amazing, and we had no idea what we were doing, nor did we feel like we had a very good support system at the time. We just kinda went with the flow, and some of the decisions we made with him were due to my excitement for “the firsts.” His first solid food (4 months old, we should have waited), his first forward facing car seat (11 months and 3 weeks old), and on and on and on. I was excited to watch my baby grow up, and now I wish he were little again. This time, I feel like we are just going with the flow again, but a little more educated. A told us when he was ready for solid food, he’s leading the way when it comes to weaning (and drinking from a cup). I had WAY more support (you know who you are) with breast feeding this time, so it was a lot harder to give that up. I am in a better place mentally (because I anticipated it), which helped me to focus on my kids and what THEY need rather than what I need them to do.
I get why people call me a hippie, especially after I tell them where (and how) the kiddos were born. But I’m okay with it. I know a lot of moms doing things the same way, I like to think we are all just doing what we think is best for our kiddos (and families).
What decisions have you made in your parenting style that makes you “crunchy?”
Thanks for the inspiration, D. 🙂
*its because of my personal experience that I’m a HUGE advocate for the midwifery practice. There are some amazing resources out there, if you’re in the market, let me know. I’d be glad to help.