Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | July 17, 2009

Hippie Dippie Kinda Sorta

I didn’t start out in my pregnancy believing that the “all natural” approach would be the one I would take. I was fulling expecting to get THE DRUGS, use disposable diapers, have the baby sleep in “its” crib…

Then I joined a ton of pregnancy communities on Live Journal and somewhere along the line a light bulb went off. I wanted my baby to have the calmest entry into the world that I could provide. I was very worried about bonding, and wanted to take every precaution to ensure that we could avoid any unneeded obstacles. That’s when I sought out a midwife practice at a birthing center and hypnobirthing information for drug free pain management.

Many of the online communities are very polarized. You’re either black or white, natural or medical, formula or breast milk…you get the idea. The more I got into it, the more I realized I really was a wee bit “crunchy”. I started doing research on attachment parenting, and what they had to say made sense. Keeping your baby close will make breastfeeding at night that much easier. Wearing your baby will keep them calmer and happier. Breastfeeding will keep them healthier, and so on and so on.

As it so happens, Lexie was a preemie so she spent her first 5 weeks in an incubator (but the nurses hate it when you call it that…it’s an isolette god dammit! haha). So our dreams for a natural birthing experience were squashed since she came via emergency c-section. Our hope to breastfeed immediately didn’t work out either (she didn’t know how to swallow yet and was tube fed for a couple of weeks…then they started her on bottles…then I was allowed to “dry nurse”. It was a whole ordeal, though we’re doing just fine these days with the boobies).

Since these 2 huge ideals soooooooo didn’t not work out the way we planned, we dove even further into the Attachment Parenting things we could apply once Lexie came home.

We had a co-sleeper/bassinet attached to the bed. Low and behold, Lexie hated it. So where did she sleep at night for the first few weeks? In my arms…not just next to me, but propped up in the crook of my arm. Where did she nap? Well…in my arms as well. While we didn’t set out to practice true co-sleeping, we ended up being more comfortable with that arrangement. It also makes breastfeeding at night much easier now that we’ve mastered the side-lying position. Now, she still sleeps next to me, but we don’t have to be touching…which is awesome!!!! She even naps in her swing during the day now.

I’ve now been through 3 different slings/baby-carriers. We had the traditional wrap and the pouch sling. The wrap was a mother-effer to get on and the pouch just wasn’t comfy looking. We’ve settled on something that acts as both, either or…The Baby K’Tan. Though, honestly…I rarely “wear” The Babe. She nurses way too frequently to make it useful at home (and I’ve yet to figure out how to get my boob in her mouth while she’s in it), but it’s good for walks on the trails.

So far that’s about the extent of our child rearing abilities. We’re doing our best to make sure she’s raised in the most loving way possible…and keeping our fingers crossed that these practices make her a confident and healthy child.


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