Your child, your CHOICE!

I had a wonderful conversation with a good friend last weekend. She’s due with her first baby this spring, and had some questions about cloth diapering. That conversation naturally led into a number of other controversial parenting topics, some of which she didn’t even know WERE surrounded by controversy until she got pregnant and was consumed by the “internet mommy wars”.

She said she wanted to talk to me about all of this, because she knew I would give the most honest, unbiased view. That doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on anything, because I do…(you’ll see!) But I’m a big proponent of “This worked for me, but it may NOT work for you! AND THAT’S OK!!!!!” Every mother, child, and family is different…and it shouldn’t matter WHAT anyone else says or does!  As long as you’re not abusing or abandoning your child, you teach them to respect all people and animals, and you don’t let them steal or set things on fire…you’re doing something right!

So, in our two-hour conversation, we covered every aspect of parenting from breastfeeding to vaccines…and here’s where I’m going to break it down for you. Maybe you don’t like what I have to say, and that’s fine.  We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Breastfeeding

  • It is no secret that breastfeeding was an epic fail for us. Little man was supplemented with formula from day two of existence. Congrats to the mothers with breasts that pour liquid gold like a garden hose.  I envy you.  This was the biggest hurdle I had to cross being a new mom, and I was very upset about it. Formula was an added expense that we weren’t expecting, and even the cans say “breastmilk is best”. Not only that, but I was faced with a LOT of criticism from mommy friends in real life and online about my decision to supplement, and then ultimately, switch my son to 100% formula. Were there other alternatives I could have taken to make sure my child had “the best start possible”? Yes, probably. But, this choice was not made out of ignorance or selfishness, and for anyone to suggest such a thing is ridiculous!  Almost 18 months later, he is a happy, healthy boy who (despite attending daycare full-time) has only been REALLY sick once in his life. *knock on wood*  To those of you that say “formula is baby junk food”, do you eat 100% clean, unprocessed food when you are breastfeeding?  No??  That’s what I thought…

Circumcision

  • This was the first time I’d ever had a real-life conversation with another mom about my son’s business. I did all of the research, and then…left this decision up to his father. Maybe that’s taking the easy way out – but I am, obviously, lacking some expertise here. Seriously, though, WHY DO ALL OF THESE WOMEN I DON’T KNOW CARE ABOUT WHAT’S UNDER MY SON’S DIAPER?!?!?!

Cloth Diapers

  • If you don’t know where I stand on fluffy butts, you must be new here. 😉   I {heart} cloth diapers! I’m realizing though, that my reasons for choosing cloth may be a little misguided now. Either way – if it works with your lifestyle, you don’t mind the extra laundry, and can control your spending (like I apparently can’t)…cloth diapers are definitely something to consider, even part-time!

Vaccines

  • I had a lot of mommy guilt regarding my return to work and having to send my son to daycare. The morning before his two-month checkup, I talked to a friend of mine who is way crunchier than I, asking if she thought I should delay his shots. Even she told me that as long as he was attending a daycare and was going to be around other little germ spreaders, he should be fully vaccinated. In her opinion, in that situation, the benefits outweigh the potential risks. That being said, we have delayed a couple of vaccines recently (at least until we have to send an updated report to daycare.) I’m still on the fence about the long-term effects of vaccination, but even I get a flu shot every year, due to my asthma.

As we were nearing the end of our discussion, my friend asked if I would do anything differently with my next child. It’s looking more and more likely that I will be a stay-at-home mom once we become a family of four, which truth be told, makes a lot of these decisions easier. I will definitely attempt breastfeeding again, and it will hopefully be more successful. My decision on the circ debate still stands if we have another boy…daddy’s choice. (He has a very strong opinion about this subject, and that is fine. I know a lot of dads don’t, but it’s something that you as a couple need to agree on without outside influences. Again…why do strangers care so much about baby boy penises (peni?) Obviously, we will still be cloth diapering (maybe even full-time), and if possible, I would like to follow a delayed schedule for vaccinations (since we won’t have to worry about daycare!)

If you take anything away from this post, it’s this: These are personal decisions. You have to factor in your lifestyle, and do what works for your family. Others will try to influence you, and make you feel guilty. But, we’re all trying to do what’s best for our kids…and remember, it is your child, your CHOICE! That is all that matters.

You should probably also get this onesie for your baby, to make sure you get your point across…

 

(In case you’re wondering why I didn’t mention co-sleeping above, I did a whole separate post about that recently. You can find it here!)

We’re all AP moms!

By now, you’ve all seen it. Or at least heard about it.

The latest cover of Time magazine.

(If you’ve been living under a rock you really have no idea what I’m talking about, please Google “time magazine breastfeeding cover”)

It’s making waves across the country. Breastfeeding and La Leche League groupies are rejoicing in the fact that a child who looks old enough to be in middle school has a boob in his mouth. The “other” mommies at the playground are either 1) appalled by the inappropriate nature of this photograph, and/or 2) feeling mega mommy guilt for being unwilling or unable to do so themselves. (For the record, I’m in the second group….)

I thought about bringing the debate over here. How old is too old for a child to be breastfed?! But, when I actually got a chance to read the article this afternoon, I was surprised to see that it had very little to do with extended breastfeeding (ie: breast feeding past the age of one). It’s actually about Dr. Bill Sears and his family (who are well known for The Baby Book, The Vaccine Book, etc.) and how parents take their attachment parenting (AP) philosophy to the extreme.

I will admit, I kind of wanted to be one of those AP, super-crunchy moms. But things don’t always work out as planned

Enough Mom guilt for one day, though!

As it turns out, according to these “eight principles of attachment parenting“:

  • Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  • Feed with Love and Respect
  • Respond with Sensitivity
  • Use Nurturing Touch
  • Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  • Provide Consistent Loving Care
  • Practice Positive Discipline
  • Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Even though I’m not a stay-at-home Mom, won’t breastfeed my son until he starts kindergarten, and will not co-sleep until he goes away to college…

I am still an AP mom!

(And so are you, provided you don’t abandon your child at the grocery store. Anymore. That one time he really needed to be taught a lesson…)

** I selected this post to be featured on Top Mommy Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!

The last two weeks (and more than you wanted to know about my boobs…)

So, as I mentioned in my previous post…I have a 2 week old. I will admit that the last 2 weeks are kind of a blur. My kid, as it turns out, is a night owl like his father and prefers to sleep all day and be awake every hour after midnight. I never understood the phrase “Sleep when the baby sleeps” more than I do now!

We were only in the hospital overnight after my son’s birth, which was unexpected, but nice. We started off breastfeeding, and things were going ok. His latch was good, but it was still painful for me, and he never seemed satisfied. We had our first pedi visit the day after we left the hospital because we were discharged early, and she was concerned about his weight. (He went from 8 lbs. 2 oz. to 7 lbs. 9 oz. in 2 days.) She suggested I start pumping to see how much milk he was actually getting, and supplement with formula if he wasn’t getting 1.5-2 oz every 3 hours. So, I’m a mom for 2 days and I already feel guilty that my son is starving, and my boobs are broken. (Postpartum hormones are a bitch…)

Not knowing what else to do, I got out my pump. For the first few days (once my milk actually came in), my boobs did their job. I had 9 oz saved up that I ended up freezing because he was getting plenty to eat! I decided to reintroduce the breast. He was not happy with this and refused to latch. *sigh* It was probably for the best, though, because now my boobs can’t keep up with him. He’s eating, on average, 2 oz every 2 hours and I’m lucky if I can pump 2 oz every 3-4 hours. At our most recent pedi visit (last Wednesday), he’s back up to 8 lbs. 1 oz., but his pedi is still not completely happy with that. So, now I have a spreadsheet of each of his feedings, how much he’s eating, whether it’s breastmilk or formula…and a spreadsheet of when I’m pumping, how much I’m getting from each breast, etc.

For what it’s worth, I have a love/hate relationship with pumping. It’s less painful, that’s for sure, but it’s a pain in the ass. I have to stop what I’m doing to be a moo cow, and I need both hands to hold the bottles. (I tried to fabricate a handsfree pumping bra out of an old sports bra and that was a disaster…I may just have to suck it up and buy one.) So, if the baby starts to cry (and he ALWAYS does, right when I turn the pump on!), I have to stop, tend to him, pray he lays quietly in the bouncer for just 5 more minutes so I can get some milk for him…and in the meantime, he’s probably sucked down 2 oz of formula because he was hungry and wasn’t going to wait for the good stuff…

But at least he’s eating, and hopefully, he’ll be back where he needs to be weightwise at his next weight check in a couple of weeks! That’s all I can hope for.

On the bright side…cloth diapering is going pretty well. I only have a few XS bumGenius, so we go through those pretty quick and end up using disposables often (but we’re still on the boxes we got as gifts, so we haven’t had to buy any yet!) I have prefolds and covers too, but the prefolds are really bulky on him still, and they don’t fit with the XS covers I have. I managed to make it work with a Thirsties Size 1 unsnapped, but he looked ridiculous…lol

My August baby is 2 weeks and 4 days old, and he loves his cloth diapers!

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