i'm a cocktail mom.... and that's ok

i'm a little bit crunchy, quite a bit conservative, a fair amount of attachment, add in authoritative,  stir in some guilty preemie mom and a little drop of crazy... and that pretty much sums me up.

that is to say: we eat pretty healthy, but occasionally get handed our meals through a window. we have a specific morals we wish to instill in our kids, co-sleep but sleep train. i believe in baby wearing- but also personal playtime. i want a strict adherence to rules we set- and will be doling out consequences when those rules are broken- even spanking (gasp!). we're delaying or skipping vaccines along with meds for everyday aches and infections (like tylenol for fever) but give our little bird synagis every month during RSV season. we will most likely send our kids out of the home for school but will be looking for a school with high standards- maybe even a private school (double gasp!). i believe in leaving babies in tact, but would happily pin my kid's ears if they were getting made fun of..... most importantly i believe in being willing to change my opinion when life screws up all of my plans.

and oh, boy, does life do that. i wanted a water birth, a home birth, a doula, a midwife, a peaceful transition from pregnancy into parenthood with all the new age bells and whistles... i mean,
what could go wrong with incense burning, tibetan chants in the background, and our little unit of love in the living room ready to welcome our baby to the world? right? yes, i'm that much of a hippy.. anyway, my APS pretty much screwed that up for good... so, after losing our son max at 21 weeks to pre-e/hellp, i was willing to settle for a vag birth, induced at 37 weeks, without any meds, as long as i could breast feed right after she came out, we collected the cord blood, and i could still have my hypno-babies playing in the background with a doula on site. (all done while crouching- everyone knows crouching is more natural than laying flat on your back to labor-right?) well... instead... *nods head to the ever present APS, sitting next to his friends pre-eclampsia and hellp syndrome*... what i got was an onset of pre-e at about 25 weeks... some bedrest while dealing with a gnarly headache for a few weeks... followed by a sudden drop of my platelets to around 30k one morning and the news that i was getting a transfusion followed closely by an emergency c-section. oh, and by the way, you can't be awake because you're platelets are too low, and because we have to put you under, your husband can't be in the room either. goodbye every possible eventuality i had considered. so, we had our daughter at 27w 4d at 1lb 11oz.. and while i was hoping to breastfeed (everyone knows that breastfeeding right after delivery is more natural than waiting until later... it helps the uterus and helps with bonding- right?) all i got was morphine at the push of a button, and nausea as i looked through a plastic box at my baby on a ventilator. then i looked forward to going home to a baby-less house with a baby-less belly... dealing with 98 days in the nicu, and still reeling from a complete upset of what i expected to happen.

and this is not really what pumping is like- for the record.
after months of exclusively pumping and pumping and pumping while listening to the alarms of the nicu... producing freezer-fulls of milk... the little bird latched! oh joy of joys! we can breastfeed! i figured it out, and she figured it out, and it was beautiful. and God made breast milk just for babies and that's enough... so we're not going to accept fortifier - thank you very much mr/ms neonatologist... God gave my baby all the fortifier she needs in this here liquid gold that is ruining my bras and staining my shirts and leaving me smelling a bit yeasty most of the time. (well, ok, we'll do the prolacta- after all, it's made from breastmilk- right?) and i pump and pump and pump, and eventually we exclusively breast feed for a while... then i go back to pumping to add in a few meds... and now here we are.. a 10 month old trying to ween being supplemented with goats' milk formula. (everyone knows that soy produces a false estrogen and messes up hormones, and of course, that cows' milk is really just the devil- right?) love it. oh, for loftier days of the "i'm going to pump until she's 2" statements... i guess we'll just have to see about that. 

breast is best... goat is next?

flashback again:
now, we have a little bundle of joy at home and i wear her dang it. i WILL wear my little bundle of joy, with oxygen tubing connected to the bag with the tank, and the monitor cords going out the side to the pulse oximeter i'm carrying as well. (everyone knows babies who are worn bond better, and they hold their heads up faster, and sit and walk faster- right?) so... regardless of how ridiculous i look... I'M NORMAL! stop staring. i wanted to wear my baby, so i wore my baby. she held her head up on schedule, and sat up ok- though not early, she stands alright... but nothing miraculous. and guess what? i still wear my baby.. though i have to say an oddly large number of people still feel it's ok to touch the baby when the baby is actually in my personal space. weirdos.

when i bring her home i decide that it's ok to sleep with the baby on my chest... she's so comforted by my presence, and she spent all that time in the nicu when we couldn't hold her! so she will only sleep while being held. and then she'll only sleep while in our bed. (<--- that one was short lived- i can promise you that!) and then she can only sleep after falling asleep nursing... and then she can only sleep while being rocked, with a binky in her mouth. and then she can only sleep where she can see us. and then she can only sleep in the same room as us, waking up several times a night. and then i decide she will probably sleep wherever and however we train her to. and so i read the book babywise... and then after a few nights, she sleeps in the other room, through the night without waking, and goes to sleep peacefully and happily all by herself without rocking or nursing or anything. and then it was good.

while in the nicu wren gets terrible diaper rashes.. i mean... terrible. (mostly stemming from that great evil: formula.. well, that evil's cousin: fortifier) so i resolve to make my own baby wipes. i look up all the recipes online.. you can find the one i settled on here(though i added vitamin d and witch hazel). and it seems like a great idea- sensitive skin baby.. and i get to decide just. exactly. what i put on her behind.  then the logistics of keeping these wipes damp, while fresh comes in to play... as well as the transporting while keeping damp and fresh....so.. the baby wipe adventure is concluded. i still have the stuff... in a box somewhere. honestly, if she ever had another diaper rash i would probably break it all out and try again. but, here we are, diaper rash free.. and perfectly content using the target off brand- sensitive skin- without alcohol- unscented- wipes. that's ok, you can judge me for not making my own baby wipes- i'm alright with that.

and when i bring that little tiny 5lb wiggling poop machine home i have every intention of using cloth diapers. every intention. at first she was too small... but eventually, she grows into them. a friend even gave me all of her daughter's. we use the fuzzibunz, and they are awesome! i have to say, that breastmilk poo was super easy to wash out, and it wasn't really a hassle at all- i was already doing a load of laundry a day for her.. just throw in some diapers and done!
and then we move... and while moving from hawaii to arkansas, with a stop over in california for several days, it just didn't seem practical to be using the cloth diapers. unfortunately, most airports don't have a cloth diaper washing station. (yes, i hate the planet. and no, washing them in the sink and drying them under the dryers was not worth it.) so we move... using sposies. and, like most parents, we fell into the trap of laziness the terrible c word: convenience. and we used sposies for several months. in our defense, by the time we got where we were going, she had pretty much outgrown the cloth diapers anyway.... sort of (but, really, we were just too lazy.) and now we're using gdiapers most of the time. gdipes are flushable- or can have cloth inserts. they compost in 50 days or so, so i don't even feel bad about them going into a landfill. i believe it takes a typical diaper 500 years to biodegrade. that makes me 3600xs better at being a mom and loving the environment than others who use regular diapers.  now, i dump the poop- which has taken a scary turn toward food based poop now that she's eating baby foods- and throw away/flush the liner. (everyone knows that poop is toxic and should never go into a landfill, even in sposies, right?) we still use huggies pure and natural sometimes. *hangs head in shame*

so i buy organic baby foods, make some of my own... and NEVER use tap water for making any of her bottles or food. (everyone knows that tap water has fluoride and chlorine and other chemicals, not to mention all the antibiotics and hormones you guys have peed out into the water system that aren't filtered through most cities water treatment plants- right?) i buy grass fed beef- it has omega 3's just like fish, i buy healthy snacks, and lots of fruits and veggies... i try to cook most nights, and generally we eat healthy and organic, local if possible. i also enjoy a strong drink at least once a day- coke. i know, i know, it's killing me. but i just can't stop. so... i eat my brussels sprouts, but i'm going to keep drinking that dastardly addictive soda. call me a hypocrite- i just like to think of myself as weak- willed. i guess i'm going to have to kick the habit before the kid gets old enough to want some of what mommy has. i can safely say, the detox will not be a fun time.

no matter what seemingly conflicting ideas i have, or what i wish i had done differently in retrospect... i have a generally healthy, generally happy family (and everyone knows that's what's important-right?)


Jessica B said...

Why don't you want flouride in Wren's water?

wrensmommy said...

they've done studies as early as the 80s that showed no real improvement in dental health from the use of fluoride in tap water(prior to the bottled water fad). studies abroad have actually shown the opposite, that children from non-fluorinated water areas actually have better dental health- strange, i know.
there is a scientist named dr. william marcus who was formerly a senior toxicologist at the EPA in charge of reporting on drinking water.he found that fluoride was linked to cancer in rats, and calls it a "poison". (he was fired after urging the EPA to do independent study of the effects of fluoride as it relates to cancer. this firing was subsequently called "retaliation" and he was protected by federal whistle-blower laws, receiving 4 years back pay and benefits etc.) long time low dose fluoride exposure has also been linked to lower IQ in children. (with some sad research also possibly linking it to problems with the thyroid, alzheimers and dementia later in life.) in addition to cancer and neurological effects, there is the issue that too much fluoride can actually cause the lattice structure of the dentin to over harden and become brittle- having the opposite effect of what they say it is for. why it is still in our drinking water i cannot understand.
but.... i can be an alarmist sometimes. :)
if you're looking for fluoride you can still find it in mouthwashes and toothpastes- which are not actually, hopefully, ingested, so they have less long term side effects. (which, as americans, we apparently use way more than the brits. :)

thadd did a report on drinking water in college. (found out all sorts of scary things.. haha) but one of the interesting things is how fluoride got into our water to begin with. apparently a scientist employed by the largest aluminum manufacturer in the country (that was actually facing lawsuits for fluoridation poisoning) concluded that it could safely be added to drinking water. then a lawyer for that same aluminum company was appointed head of the federal securities agency. (head over the public health service.) that same year they implemented it in like 100 cities- including the cities that had been control cities for studies on fluoridation. thus eliminating any scientific research (in this country) that could contradict what they're doing. perfect conspiracy, eh? :) but it's true.

(fluoride isn't my biggest worry with unfiltered water anyway.)

wrensmommy said...

i guess i may not have been clear- fluoride is a waste in aluminum plants.