Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Marathon...no running involved.

There are 2 words I read repeatedly while I was pregnant but somehow was incapable of comprehending until I experienced it firsthand so alas, may I at least attempt to warn the next soul behind me of the...dun dun duuuuuunnnnnnn...nursing marathon

In my birth education there was so much focus on the preservation of our 1st few hours together so that we could establish a strong nursing relationship that somehow the next most important period, the first weeks postpartum, were not relayed with as much lights and sparkle in terms of broken down info and coping suggestions.  

With that preservation in mind I ran not walked to the hospital exit signs as soon as my legs could carry us as I could see the chance of going downhill was certain if I stayed any longer than required.

Once home, my daughter wanted to nurse seemingly every other hour for at least 30-45 minutes sometimes stretching closer to 90 minutes at time. The concept that I was anything other than her provider whom she could literally remain affixed to like a little fish sucking happily if not indefinitely the side of its bowl was beyond her. 

Mommy needs to go to the bathroom? Sorry, either take me with you or I'll need you to sit and twist until I'm done. Thirsty? Be glad you took heed of that side note to stash water bottles around the house and by your nursing chair. Key word there of course was water; at my darkest hour I experienced the dreadfully light lift of the bottle with only a drop of liquid inside it and no one in sight to refill it for me. Car ride to do errands? Nope, I’ll cry until you unbuckle me from this seat, take me home and let me cling to you as my life depends on it. If the milk could remain on intravenous drip direct from me to her I assure you she would have found a way. I don’t know how others do without it but I quickly found a way to nursing at night without getting up and with my sling so that I could proceed with whatever movement (sling) or rest (laying down positions) I needed.

In the hospital the lactation consultant demonstrated how to nurse by stretching out on the floor and flipping on to her side, I wish I’d paid more attention. I was too busy floating down from cloud 99 to take note but after night 3 of sitting up all night nursing I started to wonder how many more months will it be before I can actually lie down and go to sleep? So I fumbled with pillows and through a slew of positions until I got it and for me the key to all of this has been to keep at it, if a position didn't work I would keep shifting until now all of it is second nature and most importantly enjoyable moment after moment to connect and nourish my daughter.

My sweet petunia would nurse for so long and so often that the valid question...didn't she just eat? was asked by the caring souls around me and the answer was yes, she did and was hungry again and still learning.  But you will be rewarded for those marathons and in our case; nursing is as little as 10 minutes sometimes a little longer.  

A positive way to view this period is as your baby moon.  Non-stop nursing is distressing when you are in need of food, concerned about other household needs, visitors, work etc. The list is endless. To get through this period with greater ease accept all offers of help, ask for help, and if you are on your own and or/with a limited circle of support there are things you can do in advance to help tide you over (I’m going to get into this further in later posts), try to limit interruptions and visitors, especially visitors whom you do not feel fully at ease around as nursing is hard enough in the 1st few days let alone trying to get on firm footing in front of others you do not normally share intimate moments with. Have a nursing nest and plenty of water, reading etc. so that you can remain ensconced comfortably. I could go on, and will in future, because breastfeeding does not have to be the toe curling scare mare it can easily turn into.

One of the most basic coping essentials though is a full water bottle within reach of your nursing nest. You will discover a new meaning behind the word want when your water cup or bottle is washed, air drying in the dish rack within sight and out of reach from your dry mouth and a baby in no rush to free you from whatever position you've been pulled to.   

Sunday, March 27, 2011

5 Months and counting!

We've made it to the 5 month breastfeeding marker yay!  No formula, no major issues and still going strong. 

Hip hip...hooray!

Going to treat myself to a new nursing cover and found these lovely ones on Etsy at a shop called LaDyLaDuke:


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great Expectations...

Folks every woman has a right to the greatest expectations possible for her birth but I have already trampled down this well-known path and can now say, expected the unexpected.  
You may envision a labor and birth with your greatest support being your partner, mother, sister, midwife and/or doula with a far thought that your greatest support might end up being the chair rail lining the corridor from the check in desk to the delivery room.
There may be thoughts of a birth suite with access to a tub, a comfortable bed, decent lighting and instead it's a stiff bed with rail, a bathroom san tubs you could care less to spend time in and lights so bright even a blind man could find his way to your room.
You may have taken time to carefully pack a well-supplied hospital bag, only to realize in your rushed state you no longer frocking care about the now unwieldy bag in the front seat. You might even hear yourself hollering to what seems to be a sea of bumbling dumbstruck well intenders around you to just LEAVE IT and sure…get it later.
Expect the greatest to happen, or not (I hope to help others avoid the negative as much as possible), and to be so absorbed in you that the plan, or what’s left of it, suddenly takes another course.  In light of all that absolutely have a birth plan so that you go in knowing what you want and can reduce unnecessary surprises.  Have a birth plan so that you can go forward knowing the known at least because there are so many unknowns that are unique to the experience that can already seem daunting.  I think a birth plan is a great way to organize your thoughts, have and obtain answers and decisions on the key points surrounding the management of your birth and newborn.  Whether you write it out or talk it out think about what your greatest expectations are and how those can be executed then know that your attempting to plan something that is as spontaneous and unpredictable as it can get, when left alone to its own course that is.  Regardless having a birth plan can be a comfort measure and an important pre-birth eye opener for most.
So blaze ahead, plan the greatest birth you could ever imagine, I assure you there is no show on earth like it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Something to consider…

As an advocate for the renewed natural birth movement I want to lend my voice to educating others on the importance of preserving the most natural of all acts the human body can carry out, birth.
Why would you want to suffer?
Unfortunately this is not an uncommon response to the idea of birth without intervention as we have become and have so removed the natural course of birth from our daily lives.  Birth stories here in the United States are often relayed amongst women with a veil of negativity and fear.  I recall sharing my desire to have a natural birth with many people and it was few and far between who offered encouragement or passed on coping techniques and empowerment.  Instead it was,
Why would you want to suffer?
Just get an epidural.
Well so and so said the same thing and it didn’t work.
You say that now but once you get there you’ll change your mind.
These things were said freely and regularly and I was grateful for the positive and supportive light the doulas and midwives around me held birth in so that I could navigate my way through these unknowing threats and maintain what I wanted for myself.
There is much to say on this topic but for now I wish to say, a natural childbirth is not a trial of abject suffering.  It is an incredible test of the human body and a natural act that can unfold on its own without intervention unless it proves otherwise.  Dignity is often taken from women in modern hospital births but when a woman is supported and her body is allowed the time to go through the sequences of birth without haste and unnecessary force it is one of these most incredible acts on earth you could ever witness.
Even if you chose not to have a natural birth or are not able to its important for this function to be not only understood but preserved.  Too many women are making choices based out of fear, lack of information and lack of support.  There is validation in all birth experiences and the goal is to return power to women as birth in this country has become a true crisis.
Through my future education classes and present thought streams I look forward to returning this subject, offering coping techniques, names of books and resources that all combined can help women help themselves.
Here’s a wonderful quote by Grantly Dick-Read who is considered by many to be the ‘father’ of the natural childbirth movement…
It is as great a crime to leave a woman alone in her agony and deny her relief from her suffering as it is to insist upon dulling the consciousness of a natural mother who desires above all things to be aware of the final reward of her efforts, whose ambition is to be present, in full possession of her senses, when the infant she already adores greets her with its first loud cry and the soft touch of its restless body upon her limbs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eco tip: Biodegradable milk storage bags

The main reason I invested in plastic storage bottles for my frozen milk storage is because I could not imagine using all those disposable bags.  I reasoned that the bottles were the most eco friendly choice since they are resuseable and when I am finished I could pass them on to someone else to use for their baby.
Since the bags are so popular and I was curious I did manage to locate what appears to be the only biodegradable breastmilk storage bags available. I requested samples and not only are they leak proof, they are just as easy to use as the other bags available.  I froze my milk flat in the bag and stacked them and have a mixture of these bags and the regular storage bottles.  No problems whatsoever in defrosting with these either.
The bags are sold in 3 boxes of 25 bags as well as a bulk pack of 300 bags (6 boxes of 50 bags). 
Visit them on
Facebook too for more info! 

The Mama Wildebeest

I became very interested in the concept of baby wearing in part because I always thought I simply cannot struggle with a stroller and all its parts on the subway.  I’ve always traveled light and as a matter of convenience it appealed.  Then when the time came for me to consider just how I would get around with my little one practicality set in.
I suddenly became steely eyed at any new item that came into the house.  American babies in particular are the recipients of more stuff than any other infant on the planet.  In your euphoria and sheer confusion you can easily think you need and want it ALL but I found myself on a path to living mindfully.  Aside from that to put it frankly we don’t have the room and I don’t understand (nor have any desire to) the concept of clutter.
I read Jean Liedloff's "The Continuum Concept" and while it was a bit of a stretch I understood the basic message in the benefits of baby wearing and it led me to learning further about attachment parenting principles.  So just as in the movie Away We Go when the couple visits the continuum home played out by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character, our faces indeed match at that moment when she is presented with the stroller as a gift.  She put hers out on the porch, I had mine shipped to Winnie’s grandmama.
I admit the Moby wrap did and still does confound me.  I saw all that fabric and watched my birth instructor enthusiatically demonstrate and I thought...neeextMy affair with ring slings has remained true and now of late, the Ergo baby carrier.  I’ve become so proficient in using the sling though that I think I could match any tribal woman in the rain forest carrying positions tie for tie.  The larger Winnie gets the more variations she teaches me based on how she settles herself in.
Remember…close enough to kiss.  That’s the rule with slings and babies.  Baby slings are safe when handled correctly so ask someone to show you if you are unsure.  Given the high use of strollers in our society it’s no wonder our skill set has dropped a notch with the cloth carriers.
Each carrier is different for each person but the ring sling has been the most versatile and light in my world both at home and out.  In the newborn stage the Ergo was the best for Winnie. The sized pouch was short lived, excellent in its security and simpliciy but restrictive.
With my Ergo carrier, parka and bundled petunia I have felt like a mama wildebeest picking my way down the streets but its provided a wonderful way to bond and as an adult party of 1 baby wearing is the way I can remain 4-handed and keep her snuggled once we are on our own.
I am not opposed to getting an umbrella stroller so that we can both have a break as she gets larger but in the baby phase I really don’t understand or see it any other way.  Baby wearing for me means literally that.  Wear her as much as possible as a baby.  I'm very interested in extended child wearing but the larger she gets I am not opposed to making use of a light stroller as needed.
In the meantime, I’m sure you’ll understand our contentment…
From the first moment I saw her, I simply didn’t want to put her down and she wouldn't let go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To stroll...or not to stroll...

When I was first presented with the idea that I need to spend $1000 on a stroller, I thought my wife and everyone on-line was insane. This is one occasion when I was absolutely correct. I am a physician/surgeon and I needed to read the manual three times to assemble the device, 2 times to figure out how to collapse and unfold the stroller, and another time to figure out how to change from stroller to bassinet and back. After our first trip through the airport (5 months into ownership), the stroller was done. I pump up the tires once/week and have changed the inner tubes to the tires three times in 2 years. All of the foam coverings are either torn, or torn off completely from simple everyday use. We have changed the fabric once due to severe fading in the weather. By the way, none of these are warranty items (I checked). But they are readily available for purchase from your vendor! The stroller was used for daily trips to the park and has been on 2 trips through the airport total.
We now use our stroller from Toys R US, which cost $19.99, for trips to Grandma's or trips through the airport. If something happens to it, I can buy at least 40 more for the price of the bugaboo (sometimes the bugaboo is on sale). But I think that's unlikely since I have had it now for over 1 year and it still works fine. Collapses in 2 seconds with no manuals or instruction!
I came across this charming review by “Simon” regarding his unfortunate experience with a designer stroller and it is a gasp of evidence as to the depths one can go in the baby product and pram world, I shall tread lightly here...
To each her own but in our house the answer was and continues to be simple when asked repeatedly about the stroller purchase (or lack thereof):

We simply don't have one at this time.
Is she serious?  I know you're thinking it and that's OK, remember to each her own.
Welcome to the world of the Continuum Concept as best as I'm able to execute it in a modern world as a work out of home single mom. 

(cue Hitchcock music...)

To be continued...

Eco tip: wool dryer balls

I learned about wool dryer balls via a thread on one of the diaper forums and ordered my very own (a party of 1) to test out.  Apparently you should have ideally 3-4 but given I have such a small dryer I noticed a difference with even just the one.  Wool dryer balls are a natural clothes softener and they shorten your drying time significantly.  Spare yourself the multiple trips to the store for boxes of fabric softener sheets and jugs, these are much nicer and better I think for those with sensitive skin.  Etsy.com is the easiest place in my opinion to get them and I highly recommend them as an eco friendly upgrade to your usual laundry routine.

Monday, March 14, 2011

If it’s dirty?…wash it.

I assure you we will move beyond the mountain that is cloth diapering but it has become (in some circles) such an unknown, a cause of fear and source of confusion that I want to address in small doses the common roadblocks it seems to present.  Diapering has such an impact on our environment and our little ones that it’s a worthy topic and (drumroll…it’s a genuine gush) I just can’t tell you enough how EASY it is.
One of the biggest sources of horror and bumbling is the infamous wash routine.  There are website forums dedicated to this very topic.  It can become so complicated that in my own time of wandering I once had to reference a recommended chart just to make sure I had the “right” detergent.  When I received my first fluffy mail (diaper speak for new cloth diapers) I carefully read the laundering instructions and still found myself…confused.  I'll spare you the examples but trust me when I say there are so many variations and recommendations that you might find yourself literally wondering what to do when you’ve got your first pile of dirty dipes.
But let me help you.
Just wash them.
You take the pail liner to the washer (we have a hanging pail b/c again I try to avoid plastic) and dump the contents in until the bag is inside out then throw the bag in.
Wash on cold no soap.
Wash on hot…and (gasp...) I use mainstream sensitive skin free & clear laundry soap and the full amount recommended by the manufacturer (...I just heard glass breaking in diaper land).
Do an xtra rinse.
It can and could get a heap more complicated.  Or not.  I’ll spare you the saga.  The point of all this is to relay that it can be done without fanfare.
Now some may have an issue with the idea of touching poopy diapers.  There is a way around this, you can use liners so that when the diaper is soiled you just take it to the toilet or trash bin and shake the liner into it and/or you can empty your diaper pail bag into the wash by pushing it inside out until the diapers have emptied out into the wash machine and your bag is inside out.  This prevents any contact with the poop.
We all have bridges to cross, I get it, but this one is not as rickety as you may think.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I know you're wondering...

What is that thing on the side of your toilet?  It's a diaper sprayer and I want to spotlight this as a luxury item that can be useful for those who cloth diaper.

Oddly enough I have yet to actually use mine for cloth diapering purposes but if you have a badly soiled diaper instead of the age old act of swishing the diaper in the toilet to rinse it you simply pull up the lever (this adjusts the pressure from low to high) that you see near the seat, remove your sprayer and hose the soiled matter (carefully...) away to your heart’s content. You can then put the diaper into your pail or washer or if you need this extra step, you can spray a stain fighter such as Bac-out then drop into your pail or launder.

I went ahead and purchased one for our cloth diaper arsenal so that we could fly out of the starting gates with the best in our defense.  Alas, in this house, it has so far not been needed.  Primarily because Winnie is exclusively on breast milk which is water soluble and as of now I've had no issues with smelly diaper pails or diaper laundry drama (diapers smelling b/c of detergent build-up etc).  Even though I'm not using it for my diapers I do use it as a way to turn my toilet into a utility sink so now I'm able to rinse out the cat litter box after it's emptied and then scrubbed, I also use it to rinse the tub and shower down or to fill pails when doing the floors etc.

So again, this is a luxury item, but one available to make things easier when diapering our little ones in all the cute cotton fluff!

Eco tip: Infant and Children's Paper Hangers

You'll hear me talking about ways to eliminate plastic use repeatedly which I think is especially challenging with kids given all the plastic toys and brightly colored disposable items that are typically pushed our way.

Wooden hangers can be dear but for infants and children with clothes that will make the life of hangers short-lived compared to adults I wanted to find an eco-option that was both economical and ecofriendly.  Alas hangers made from recycled paper by a company called Ditto!  You can order them on Amazon.com and they come in infant and child size for approx. $.90-$1/hanger.  A sweet price to pay for a sweet hanger!

Cloth baby wipes...why not?

Cloth wipes can be just as convenient as any disposable baby wipe.  You can add these soft wipes to your stash by simply cutting up old receiving blankets, using a stack of baby washcloths or buying them from a WAHM shop (work at home mom) or sewing boutique (Etsy.com and the various shops at Hyena Cart are great resources for cute wipes) and several of the brand name cloth diaper makers also have wipes in their accessories section.  As with cloth diapering, wipes can be as spartan or elaborate as you want your stash to be.  If you cloth diaper you throw the whole lot into your pail once you finish a change otherwise just add them to your regular laundry.

We use cloth wipes 24/7 at home, daycare, grandmama and grandpapa's house, in our diaper bag, for trips etc.  In later posts I can share the simple ways we store them depending on the purpose etc.

Here is a peek at a few of the wipes from our own stash:

Eco tip: Easy Cloth Wipe Solution

You can cut out purchasing diaper wipes all together by making your own wipe solution and using cloth wipes.  There are tons of recipes all over the internet so here is a basic one to get you started:

Mild baby soap
Baby Oil
Tea tree oil
2 cups water

Fill a pot or teakettle with water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Once water cools measure out 2 cups and pour into a storage container (I use canning jars to eliminate using plastic).
Add 1Tbs baby oil, 1Tbs baby soap and a few drops of tea tree oil.
Shake and pour into a spray bottle.

I store the excess in the fridge and make a large batch to last the month then refill all my spray bottles as needed.  I prefer to have dry wipes which means I spray the solution onto a dry wipe once ready to use one as opposed to keeping my wipes pre-moistened. You can use this at home or in your diaper bag (small spray bottle).  I've found it has a nice gentle smell and in the morning I can spray it on a wipe and use it to clean her face, neck etc. as well as for regular wipe use in the diaper area.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Same song, different story…

Yesterday we had our 4 month pediatric visit and I mentioned that Winnie had increased her milk intake from 12-15 ounces to approximately 14-18 ounces during the day in the last 3 weeks.  The response I received was, yes, she will start drinking more followed by “eventually you are not going to be able to make what she’s drinking.”  When I asked just how much it was she would increase to the reply was that our next major issue was going to be food and introducing formula supplementation. 
I’m beginning to see more and more how it’s the same song, different story all played at an ever increasing volume down a well-worn path to the formula aisle.
This and other experiences shared with me recently leads me to take a necessary moment to say, before making a decision to supplement with formula if you have a desire to continue exclusively breastfeeding and providing expressed milk these are a few simple tips that have helped many women, including me, boost and maintain their milk supply:
1)      Most important: Try not to stress, it will be OK.  You can provide what your baby needs, just focus on one bottle at a time.  Relax as much as you are able to because anxiety will only aggravate the issue.  You can navigate the milestone with the right help and resources.
2)      Nurse, nurse, nurse!  Limit bottle feedings to only what is necessary (i.e. when you are at work, important errands etc.).  Try staying in for the weekend and nursing on demand or for several days in a row to build your supply back.  Babies are the regulators if they are starting to take in more we need their "signal" (nursing) to tell our kitchens to make more!
3)      Drink lots and lots of water.  I think I’m consuming around 100+ounces per day and there have been times that when I pump then drink a large bottle of water it leads to a second let down a short time later.
4)      This is hard with so much on our plates but try to get as much sleep as you can.  Let others help you so that you can maintain your energy reserve.
5)      Eating rolled oats, un-processed oatmeal, and/or nursing cookies can be very helpful.
6)      There are variety of various tinctures and supplements specifically for nursing moms that boost milk production as well.
7)      A dip in output if you are pumping is a reminder to do pump maintenance (do this regularly though if you can). Replace your membranes once a month - are you getting enough suction?  Is it comfortable?  Is your environment causing you to feel on edge and not let down? 
8)      Try pumping for a few minutes after your baby finishes eating in the morning.  Also nurse right up until you must leave in the morning if you do need to leave to handle errands, work etc.
9)      You can add pumping sessions to get the needed ounces; this may be in the evening before bed, at night or in the early morning.
10)   I know co-sleeping is a controversial subject but we do maintain this in our home and the nightly feedings and additional skin to skin contact also help me to maintain a good supply.
11)   Also, you want to avoid using your freezer stash to supplement so try adding session and trying any of these options before then.
12) Do contact a lactation consultant, other nursing moms or your local La Leche League Leader and group or call the La Leche League directly for help in getting connected to the support and resources you need to address any breastfeeding issues it is that you are having.
You can do it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ficus plants aren’t nursing covers…

Be forewarned that you may find me dwelling upon the subject of breastfeeding and pumping more often than not.  Apologies in advance for those whose eyes glaze over in wonder and disturbance at the words…breast…and…pump…put together in the same sentence but yes I must go there.

For those of us who faithfully carry our pump bags to and fro in the name of love you know as well as I the few small things that could make expressing milk at the workplace more comfortable.  The very existence of a lactation room, or the more gentle reference, ‘Serenity Room’, is a gift unto itself for those blessed to have one on the job.  But before you begin to break in your Serenity Room, real or imagined, I’d like to share a few tips on items that might be helpful to have in place your 1st day back to work if you are planning to pump:
1)   Confirm location of the room and secure the key BEFORE you return from maternity leave. This will lessen the possibility of you ending up in the conference room crouching behind a ficus plant for cover your 1st day back.     
2)  Consider investing in those pricey wipes so that you can be a mobile unit.  You may have a kitchen space or of course the bathroom option as a water source and you may not care if anyone sees you cleaning your various parts but I have to say, for some of us it can mean one less trip in an already busy day.  Also, should you find yourself pumping in a stall at Port Authority Bus Terminal complete with a homeless woman having a meltdown at the sink area…those wipes will serve well in your attempt to express food for your baby in dire surroundings.
3)  Bring your own pump and back-up parts (horns, tubing and most importantly membranes) even if your work place says they will rent or provide one.  An unfamiliar pump still in the box on the shelf at Babies ‘R Us is no use to you.  If one is guaranteed to be provided still bring your own the 1st day in case there are any problems with the on-site equipment.
4)  If the room is separate from your workspace or office, make sure it has a chair…a chair actually in the room and useable and not a comfortable thought in someone’s mind or mummified in bubble wrap in the mail room.
5)  Include mini cooler totes and blue ice packs (already frozen) in your bag.
6)  Bring extra storage bags and bottles.
7)  Add a wash cloth to protect your lap or to protect your pump parts (also helpful when putting yourself back together).
8)  Pack both batteries and the charger for your pump in case the outlet is not in ideal spot.
9)  Consider bringing your hand pump as an emergency back-up, for me it’s just one piece and takes up no more room than a power bar. 
10) A nursing cover because there is no plant on display in the average office that will serve you as well.

Hello…My name is Lisa and I’m a fluffaholic.

I entered the world of cloth diapers a novice and eager fool, struggling with all the sites, sources, choices and complicated washing instructions.  And then once I got it, I ran with that knowledge like a flock of gulls on speed into action.  Alas, I am now a recovering fluffaholic.
I recognize that I have a heightened level of excitement for diaper changes that does not seem to be the norm.  At the sound or sense of each new err…output, I did and continue to hop up eager to “check” and break out the onslaught of cloth wipes, spray bottle and a new fresh diaper. 
I admit I consider reading the chatter over at Diaper Swappers' cloth diaper forum a good read.  There was also a point when I thought a quiet evening in consisted of sitting nestled in bed propped in front of my lap top ‘browsing’ the various fluff on sale a Nicki’s Diapers and other sites. 
I’ve learned to restrain my excitement when asked about our cloth routine, its genuine rush of you can do this too, it’s SO easy speech that erupts as soon as I’m asked.
It occurred to me that perhaps I had earned a seat at Cloth Diaper Anonymous when I heard myself say that I was almost sad I would have a limited time to diaper Winnie before she potty trained, I was enjoying it that much.  I can’t recall who was the recipient of that bizarre admission but I’ve since learned to embrace both the moment and change.  I love cloth diapering my little one but I cherish her ability to grow even if it makes me sad to know she will only be so little for so little a time.
So never mind that I do not own a conventional washer and dryer, our home is equipped with a portable washer that I roll up to the sink and mini dryer but never the less I stay committed to the declaration that doing the diaper laundry is an enjoyable meditative outlet. 
In the words of my sister who holds her weekly pasta ritual as a dear treat to self for the end of an exhausting week, alas the same is true for me when it comes to our cloth routine…I really need this.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why do they care?

Winnie turned 4 months old 2 weeks ago and I did a silent yippee as we have made it this far drama free in the breastfeeding arena.  I hope to breastfeed until she self weans and even though we are not even at the 6 month mark I am already starting to get the, 'so…how long do you intend to breastfeed?’ questions.  I’ve faithfully responded each time, ‘until she weans’, which in turn seems to illicit moments of silence that are awkward and a faint sense of trepidation (on the part of the inquirer).

I don’t understand why anyone cares…

Is it completely off for me to say that the older she gets the more I enjoy it?  All the sweet mannerisms babies display at that age and the bonding it offers become even more intensified.

I know she will be cutting her 1st tooth and then the next and then the next but instead of the discouraging, ‘you won’t be saying that once she has teeth’ response which has been the most common reaction to breastfeeding beyond teething is it too much to ask for some positivity?
Why must we send so many negative messages to nursing mothers who are already doing something so basic, so natural and unwieldy (at times given all the demands etc. our current society presents)?

If the eyebrows are raised in wonder at 4 months what hope is there at 8 months? 
God willing we make it that far.

I guess I’ll steel myself for the onslaught of questions surely coming our way…until then I remain contentedly ensconced with my sweet petunia.

And so we begin...

Welcome to my chatter on natural birth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering and all the how, what, why, whens that come up in my journey through natural parenting. 
My daughter Winnie and I are 4 months into our life together and she is the inspiration for my wanting to join the ranks as an advocate for natural birth and support other mothers through their birth experiences. 
In my efforts to continue trekking onwards and upwards with a desire to take the ‘but why would you bother with all that fuss?’ road, I want to share our experiences as we navigate some of the milestones together.
As this will be an ongoing ramble might as well let tumble out my current note to self…