I’m a brat. If you asked me, off the cuff, if I am a nice, open-minded, non-judgmental person, I would say yes. But when you get right down to it, I’m the opposite. How do I know this? Because recently there have been a slew of things in my life that have changed rather dramatically (see this post that, in fact, started this whole blog), and suddenly I find myself eagerly taking part in things that…well, things that I used to look down my nose at other people for doing. So for Quick Takes this week, I’m going to look at all those things I used to think only crazy hippies/crazy homeschoolers did. That I now do as well, even though I’m not as cool as hippies and I’m not as organized as homeschoolers.
When my husband suggested I go natural for our first child, it made me think that he secretly hated me. I could not fathom why in the name of all that is holy someone who had easy access to beautiful painkillers would voluntarily choose pain.
And then, well, for some reason I chose the pain with our third child. I really just felt cheated by both my epidural births; when people talked about the triumph of birth and the strength of a mother giving birth, I didn’t understand what that meant because, for me, there was no work. It was easy, painless, and I was quite disconnected from the whole process. But I didn’t want to be; I wanted to experience it fully so that when people said “oh, women have been doing this for thousands of years” I could be one of them, one of the ones who did it the way God intended. That may seem like a pretty flimsy reason, and really it is, but it was enough for me. And I loved my natural childbirth and would never, ever again choose medication.
Okay, so some of my experiments have been better than others. I’m not really eating crow on this one; I always thought that people who took out bottles of peppermint or ylang-ylang and sniffed at them during times of stress were…well…probably not that stressed. And when I developed pretty serious migraines during pregnancy, I tried essential oil of peppermint. Things it did do: smell wonderful and help me relax a bit. Things it did not do: affect my headache one iota. So, yes for slight stress relief; no for headache relief.
I had never even heard of kombucha before we met our dear friends out here (and I’m not sure they want their names in my blog so I’m just going to call them…Yen and Pisa). Pisa’s mother does this totally freaky and bizarre thing called Nourishing Traditions, which includes making kombucha, a lacto-fermented beverage (I’m not sure what that means either but it sounds intelligent). The first time Yen explained it to us I was disgusted. It’s like a big mushroom that grows into some water or something and ferments it. So we all made fun of Pisa, who likes the stuff, for a long time. And then Pisa made her own kombucha and on a whim I tried it.
That stuff is good. It’s super delicious and really good for you. And, since we’re jumping on the Nourishing Traditions crazy train, Pisa has now agreed to make kombucha for us so I don’t have to look at the disgusting mushroom.
You can’t ask for a better friend than that.
Co-sleeping is one of those things that I thought was a ridiculous and terrible theory. First of all, wouldn’t you roll on the baby and like, crush them? Second, shouldn’t the kid just learn to go to sleep on his/her own? And third, if you co-slept, wouldn’t that be the end of any plans for future babies?
My mind was changed pretty quickly when I realized that the only way I was going to sleep was if the baby slept too, and the only way the baby was going to sleep was if I was holding her or she was snuggled up against me. Period. Oh, we tried to let her cry it out and you know what happened? She just cried. She never cried it out, she just kept on crying. So I hauled her into our bed and she’s pretty much been there ever since.
No, not really. It turns out that kids will let you know when they’re ready for their own bed. With Sienna, it was about at age 2 that she finally stopped crawling into our bed in the middle of the night. Charlotte, however, absolutely refused to sleep in our bed as soon as she was nine months old. She won’t sleep anywhere but her own crib now. And Liam sleeps with Mommy, who protects him from Daddy’s flailing elbows. It turns out that I sleep very lightly with a baby next to me, and some weird intuition actually wakes me up when the baby is about to get pummeled by heavy-sleeping Daddy. Additionally, I can hear the little guy breathing, which keeps me from anxiously getting out of bed and checking on him every ten minutes. It may not be the greatest quality sleep, but it’s sleep. As to the third objection, well, sometimes the baby sleeps in the swing. And everyone is happy.
On this issue, I’m eating lots and lots of crow. I really used to look down on homebirth. I thought it was just crazy-crazy!-to subject your baby and yourself to possible death from lack of doctors. But, as it turns out, doctors actually don’t…always…prevent….death. Shocker!
What doctors do is invaluable, I’m not going to argue with that. The fact that we have the technology of C-sections has saved many lives. That is indisputable. However, I also tend to believe that it has created lots of unnecessary complications as well, because see, we can always do an emergency C-section!
I’m not going to go into the politics of it, I’m just going to say that I now believe that homebirth for women with no risk factors, overseen by a competent midwife, is perfectly safe provided they are within a reasonable distance of a hospital should something go wrong. Personally, I really enjoyed being at home when I gave birth and not having to constantly tell a nurse that I was sure I didn’t want pain meds. Were I to do it again I would probably seek out a natural birth-friendly hospital or birthing center, but if none were available I would not hesitate to have another baby at home.
Yum. I love crow. I used to think, again, that drinking raw milk is just asking to die a horrible, painful death from some dirty stomach disease with a scary name. And I still believe that getting a disease from raw milk is a (small) possibility. But I also think it’s worth the risk. Pasteurization and homogenization destroy good things in the milk, things that aid in digestion. Additionally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since cows have been pumped full of hormones, little girls have been getting their periods earlier and earlier (I think there are other contributing factors as well). I’m currently on the hunt for raw milk, not easy to obtain here in the desert, and am looking forward to having a healthier family for it.
No picture or statement here. I wrote all about this already, so at the risk of being repetitive, here’s a link
. Let me just say this: the idea is gross. If I think about it too long, it still makes me faintly nauseous. But I was one happy post-partum mommy, for which my husband and children have my placenta to thank.
(Go see Jen
for more Quick Takes. She doesn’t write about freaky things like placentas and raw milk.)