Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nursing In Public

I can't recall where I found this, but I think it's pretty dang funny...and true!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unfortunate Scene

I observed something on Saturday that left me feeling sad. This is it. Take it how you want to.

Our family was eating at a restaurant. It's a pretty rare occurrence for us because we have four little kids and it never goes well when we eat out. But on Saturday we were seated near a group that consisted of a fashionably dressed mom and dad who had a baby (I'd say to be about five months old) and another couple with no children. They were seated at a table with four chairs surrounding it. The baby stayed in her carseat the whole time, being more or less ignored by the parents. She would fuss a little and they would not really acknowledge her.

She started getting hungry. She was fussing and sucking on her little hands. The parents just kept talking and laughing with each other. Finally the father got up and got an empty bottle from the diaper bag. He walked away from the table and I assumed he was going to fill it with water to mix with formula. As he was walking away, he passed a table where seated were some friends of his because he stopped to talk to them. The baby started crying more and more. Yet the father stood there at this table and laughed and talked with his buddies. I watched the mother who was still seated at their table and finally she started to at least jostle the car seat and shush the baby.

Her crying grew louder and louder. The father continued to chat with his friends, holding the empty bottle in his hand. He eventually said "Well I guess that's my cue" and left to get the bottle filled with water. By the time he returned to their table, the baby was screaming. She was starving. The mom quickly mixed the powder formula into the bottle and gave it to the infant. Never once did she pick up the baby to soothe her. Even as she drank her bottle, she remained in the carseat. And did I mention that bottle was propped up by a folded blanket as the baby drank? Yup, the mother didn't hold it. They were seated a table with ample room for her to comfortably hold the baby as she fed her. Cuddle with her. Make her feel better. They were done eating, just chatting so it's not like the mother needed her hand for feeding her own face. She never even picked the baby up.

The whole scene made me a little sick to my stomach.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

His Everything

This is Devin.
He has been outside the belly for 19 weeks now. He is one happy baby. He has never had anything in his tummy except Mommy's milk. He weighs about 16 1/2 pounds.

He is healthy.

He is alert.

He is smart.

He is well adjusted.

He is content.

This picture was taken right after he had a snack.

Try and tell me that he isn't getting everything he needs from Mommy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Home Educating

I've been wondering what I could post about. There are a lot of posts on breastfeeding and baby stuff and I'm kind of out of that stage right now. My "baby" is 2 1/2 and I won't have another baby until October. I'm also in the stage of pregnancy when I feel "blah". I'm exhausted, nauseous and lacking motivation, so I haven't felt like the greatest mommy lately anyway.

We are a homeschooling family. This year and I am home schooling my 1st grader and preschooler. This is a big job for me. I home schooled my oldest son who is now almost 13, for K and 1st grade. I loved every minute of it. He is a quick learner and is a very mellow, obedient child. He was "easy" to teach. My 1st grader is just like me. Stubborn, independent and free spirited. He doesn't like authority at all! He is not so "easy" to teach! I've finally figured out a curriculum that is working for both him and I and it's getting better. Being able to stay home and teach my children is so rewarding. I love to see their eyes light up as they learn and master new things. I love to see them create new things and see their imaginations at work. I love to see the ties they build with each other. The connections that they have because they are all home together. I feel very blessed to be able to have my kids at home all the time.
BUT...I want to say this. I know that home schooling is not the best option for every family. I feel like we are ALL home schoolers to some extent. We all teach our children at home in some way, not always academically. I have a friend, whom I think is such a great mom. She does not home school and we have VERY different views and opinions on a lot of subjects. But she is so good to her kids. She makes a point to spend good, quality time with each of her children. She is very unselfish with her time. I see her spending her days doing art projects and reading and singing and playing games with her kids. You can just see how much she cares about them and that she really wants to teach them and help them grow. She is a great example to me as to what a nurturing mother should be. I really look up to her. So, I really believe that we are all "home schoolers" in one way or another. 
If you have thought about or are interested in home schooling, look into it. It's so great. I'd be happy to answer questions or point you in the direction of some good sites. There is so much great information out there. If you "feel" like home schooling is something you should do, then it probably is! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010


So let's say you have this super new car? And pretty much everyone you know is getting this same car. Let's say that you find some amazing information on how to make this car better. You find out how to make the car run better, look better, feel better and last longer. And best of all, the things you can do are FREE and so much easier than the way you have been taking care of the car. Not to say the way you have been taking care of the car is wrong but there is a better way to take care of it that you didn't know about fully. The way that it was supposed to be taken care of. Wouldn't you want to know about it? Wouldn't you want your friends to tell you if they had this information? I know I sure would.

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CHILD? Why do you get offended when people simply try to share information that can make your child healthier, happier and live longer?

This is how I feel about people who get all butt hurt about sharing parenting advice.... really? Why wouldn't you want to do better. I am not attacking what you did in the past but for the sake of your kids... try better next time. 

Veronica has the BEST quote on here..... 

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."
— Maya Angelou

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So Glad I Didn't

Devin turned 4 months old on Thursday. He has been an exceptionally great nurser since he was born (not that I myself didn't go through an enormous amount of pain and setbacks in the beginning...). For the last serveral days he has seemed less satisfied with nursing. He started nursing around the clock again like he did as a newborn, and was very cranky and unhappy after each feeding.

On Thursday I felt very sad because I thought maybe he needed to start on solids. This was a huge blow to me because it made me feel like I wasn't able to give him everything he needed. I went on Facebook and asked around to see what I should do (lol- turning to society for the answers and not listening to my gut.) Most people told me it wouldn't hurt anything to start him on rice because THEIR pediatricians said it was okay. Yes, it likely is safe enough, but that isn't the only thing to consider.

I admit that when my oldest was a baby, I started him on rice at 3 1/2 months because he was VERY big (about 17 pounds at that age) and everyone said I wasn't giving him enough milk. He loved baby food from the second it touched his tongue. Well I'm sad to say that this did in fact begin a gradual weaning process and he weaned himself from nursing at 8 months. Then I tried #2 on solids at the same age and was very frustrated that she wanted nothing to do with them. I tried and forced solids on her LONG before she was ready. She tried to tell me that but I refused to listen.

Lauren, baby #3, went with out solids and lived solely on milk for the first 8 months of her life. She in turn nursed until she was 13 months old (but looking back I wish I'd nursed for a few more months). I really wanted that for Devin as well. So I promised myself I would not offer him anything but the breast until at least 6 months. And when he started becoming unsatisfied with my milk alone, it made me feel really sad!

He had his 4 month check up on Thursday and guess what- the poor guy had a massive double ear infection! Bad ears run in my husband's family. He and his siblings have very short eustachian tubes and had ear infections frequently as a result. So what I thought was a hungry baby, in fact turned out to be a hurting baby. He started turning to me more often for comfort, not because he was hungry. When I realized this, I was so happy! If he hadn't gone into the doctor that day, I likely would have become too frustrated and given him cereal at the tender age of 4 months.

I'm so glad he just needed his mommy to feel better. And I am more than happy to be there for him like that.

Beth's Introduction

I love babies.
Love them to pieces.
If I could have a permanent baby, like a pet, I would be in heaven.

I love newborns. I crave having my newborn babies as close to me as possible. I love to sleep with them. I love when they nuzzle in to nurse. That is just the most beautiful feeling.

I love when they become more aware of the world around them. When they are just drinking everything in with their eyes.

I love when babies start reacting. A smile, a laugh.

I love when babies start learning that they can interact with their world. That they can get smiles out of people or learning to use a toy.

I love when babies want to be more independent. It's hard because I wanted to stay the most important person in their life, but I love seeing their progression into becoming their own person.

I am Beth and I am addicted to babies (babyholic?). I have two children, a two year old and a five month old. My five month old and I are still in the honeymoon stage where we can't get enough of each other. My two year old and I have a more complex relationship.

I was drawn to this blog because of the premise, instinctive parenting. That just spoke to me as a great definition of what I want to do for my family. My parenting style is that I research many things and then find a solution that fits for my child. I do not think there is one size fits all in parenting. I believe in following your intuition for big and small decisions. I think that as parents we are given a gift from our Creator to be able to know what our child needs to thrive.

Here are a few of the topics I am passionate about and will probably be posting on:

I am a huge supporter of breastfeeding babies as long as possible. I delay solids as long as possible. I think that if my baby needed rice cereal I would have a third breast full of it.

I am a huge supporter of having a parent stay at home with children. Households that have one parent stay home are giving children one of the best gifts they can possibly give. No one can love your children like you can. One of my goals in my previous career as a financial educator was to help people find ways to stay home, too many have been told by the media that it is impossible to get by on one salary, but that is a huge myth.

I try to practice positive discipline with my oldest child. I believe that the consequence should be the lesson, not me lecturing or nagging him. My two year old has chores, yes he does. And he loves it and his behavior has greatly improved since then.

I am happy to be a part of this blog and cannot wait to learn from everyone else.

Me wearing both of my babies (about six months along with #2)


Friday, February 12, 2010

" I don't make enough milk"

I can not fathom any mother not trying to give their child the best. Personally I think that makes you a worse mother than one that will try. Yes, it may be hard and gross you out and be inconvient but for God's sake it is your child. You are going to have to do a lot of gross and hard things over the years. That is part of being a parent. Breastmilk is a MILLION times better than formula and can protect your baby from so many diseases and actually MAKE THEM SMARTER! Why on earth would you not even try to give your baby the best? How freaking selfish are you?

I know people will chime in and say "well I just couldn't do it" " I didn't make enough milk" and the various excuses that are completely false.

It is VERY rare that a woman CAN NOT breastfeed. Breast reduction is one of the leading reasons because the milk glands have been removed and a lot of times it is true that THESE women can't nurse but 99% of the rest of the world is equipped.

People that turn to me and say "well it just wasn't as easy for me as it was for you"...PISS ME OFF.  having a baby attached to me 24/7 when I was recovering from MAJOR surgery that I could feel with no pain medicine that would work IS NOT EASY. I wouldn't send him to the nursery to rest as was suggested. I wouldn't give him "just one bottle" so I could get a break. None of this was easy but I knew that this was what I had to do to make it work. So none of it was easy and do not tell me I am "lucky" that I worked my ass off.

Those first few days are CRITICAL. You can not supplement. You simply can't. Your body needs the stimulation to set up your prolactin receptors in your brain and to set you up for milk production for the duration of your nursing. One bottle can and will throw that off. Your body and your baby's body were designed in this way. Their stomach is the size of a marble and all they need is that coating colostrum. Its what they need. They don't need a two ounce bottle of processed cows milk. This will make them full and then they will not want to nurse and your body will not continue to do what it is supposed to.

So yes, when people say "I can't make enough milk" ... they really can't...because of thier actions, not because of their physiology . Had they not given a bottle of formula the very first day their body would not have told their breasts to produce less milk beacuse the baby didn't need it. So, I am sorry if it is hard to hear. But you did it to your self. Those first couple days are horrible. HORRIBLE and it is not easy so don't anyone tell me how "lucky" I was.

I may be saying how hard it is but it is SO worth it. Even if it doesn't help you bond or you don't enjoy it. You should enjoy what it is doing for your child! You would have to be a bad mother to not.

I can not tell you how many times I have heard people say after a couple weeks "well I just didn't make enough milk" and then you look over pictures of the baby in the hospital and they always have a bottle in their mouth... really? You are right, you don't make enough milk because you told your body that you didn't have a baby because your baby was drinking from a cow!

* I know a lot of women that need to supplement when they return to work because of supply problems and that is not what I am talking about here*

People seem to be so freaking upset when this gets talked about but why would you not want the best for your baby? Why would you not want to try again? Yes formula has a place in this world but if it were not so covienent for people to use just because "breastfeeding is too hard"... maybe we could all be healthier.

It's been proven that breastfed babies grow up to be leaner, healthier adults. Perhaps if we could get breastfeeding rates close to 100% we would not be such a sick nation.

Where would you rather be?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Introduction and "My Style"

Hello all! My name is Amber and I am excited to be contributing to this blog. I have 4 children with #5 on the way. I started my mothering journey very early in life. I was a teen mom and was clueless. I've learned so much over the years and continue to learn and grow daily. It never ceases to amaze me how different and unique each of my children are. I believe that is how parenting is. I've been criticised many times for the choices I'm making in raising my children, and I'll be honest...I've looked at family and friends before and have silently criticised their parenting styles and choices. But I believe, when it comes down to it, we are all here, doing what we know, and trying our best to be the best parents we know how to be. It's my goal to be a better mother to my children everyday. To be more loving, to be more patient, to be more compassionate.
I am a home birthing mom, I'm passionate about breastfeeding, I love to co-sleep, wear my babies, I've tried my hand at cloth diapering (but it only lasted a few months :)), and I also home school my kids. I love having them with me and can't imagine sending my kids out the door everyday. Don't get me wrong, I need my time too, and take advatage of grandma when she wants the kids. It's nice to have some time away and recharge.
I really like Veronica's term "Instinctive Parenting". If I had to put a label on myself, that is probably what it would be. I do what I feel is right at the time and that may be slightly different in each and every circumstance. No two children are exactly the same and so therefore cannot be taught or parented the exact same way.

Why Instinctive Parenting?

I've had several people ask me if "instinctive parenting" is an actual parenting style or if it's a term I made up. The answer- I don't know. But I decided to make that the title of this blog because I feel it is all encompassing.

We live in an era where there is a certain way or protocol for how we are supposed to parent. Each child and each infant is more like a check list than an individual. But in reality, each baby and human being has different needs and they grow, develop, and evolve at different levels.

The same goes for parents. There is no right or wrong way to parent your child. I believe that the majority of parents are just trying to get by and they are doing the best they can. We are all learning as we go, right? So what I hope to convey through this blog is the idea that we need to sometimes throw caution to the wind, say to hell with society, and do what feels natural and right to us. Let Mother Nature do her thing.

There is a common denominator that connects us all as a species, but sadly it is something that most of us never acknowledge. And this is it- human beings are in fact animals. And just like any animal, we have instincts. That carnal part of our brain is what helps us to know what is right, what is safe, what feels wrong, and what makes us comfortable. And it's when we forget that simple concept that we begin to lose confidence in ourselves and start turning to "society" for the answers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Anelgesic Effects of Breastfeeding

I found this article today and it is very interesting. Just another reason why breastmilk is nectar of the Gods!

About Nursing in Public

I recently found a blog I really enjoy, called Woman Uncensored. I really enjoy her straightforward writing style, so I thought I'd share. There is one article in particular I liked, because I'd never thought about it this way before. It's about nursing in public. Read it here. Warning, I think she swears once or twice :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Amazing Birth Story

Grab a box of tissues. You will likely go through the entire box as you cry your eyes out. Read this birth story and you will know what I mean. It is incredibly moving. So very beautiful. This woman is so blessed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cry it Out: You think I should do WHAT to my newborn baby?

I want to start this out by saying that I don't intend to cause problems with this post. But I am a little straight-forward in what I have to say about this. In some cases, "cry it out" can be helpful--in older children. But let me back up and start at the beginning...

A couple of days ago, I had posted on my Facebook profile my minor frustrations at not being able to shower because the baby woke up right before I was going to get in. Any time I post anything about what the baby is doing on Facebook, I get at least ten responses of un-solicited (and sometimes completely wacko) advice. So, as usual, I had a bunch of responses to my shower dilemma. And to my dismay, two people were encouraging me to let my three week old infant just sit and cry while I take a shower. Wow, seriously?! Sorry, but I don't care that much about my hygiene!! I absolutely cannot justify letting my child sit and cry just so I can smell a little less stinky!! An older child, sure. But here's my reasoning for not letting a tiny baby sit and cry: they are completely dependent upon their mothers for food, love, cleanliness, and all the things that babies need. They cry when they need something, and they need it now!! He's not saying, "oh, you can feed me when you get around to it, when it's convenient for you..." but "I'm hungry now, I need to eat now!" And he's not saying he wants a toy or a cookie or something completely unnecessary. A tiny baby's wants are the same as his needs.

So, no, I am not going to let my child sit and cry while I take a shower. Yes, I know moms need mommy time too, but that's what baby's nap time is for. I think when you become a mother you need to set aside your own wants, and even some of your needs, to take care of this little person who is completely dependent upon you to fill his needs and wants. It takes some sacrifice. That's what being a mom is all about.