‎"We cannot withhold facts for fear of offending because the importance of the information outweighs people's right to not be challenged in their beliefs."
-Maddie Reid

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In the beginning....

I really debated on what I should do for my first post. Different ideas swam through my head and I'd originally thought, Ooo, I'll do it on vaccines. No, scratch that. I still have more research to do and I don't want to go in head first without looking. Then I'd just look stupid. Ahh, the joys of being in my head, right? It's a crazy mess in there but sometimes it's kinda fun (being in my head that is).
Then I thought I should do a post on the thing that started me down my crunchy path...breastfeeding!! (And can I just say that everytime I say crunchy, I get hungry and start thinking about foods that crunch? Carrots, granola, cookies, deep fried chimichangas...mmmm...)

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I remember thinking, I'll breastfeed until she's 6 months. I have no idea where I came up with that number or what I planned on doing afterwards. I also remember buying formula and bottles "just in case" because that's what the baby registries (who I'm sure are helped funded BY the formula companies) told me to do. That's what websites told me to do. And I was TERRIFIED my baby would starve. Sigh. There is SO much misinformation out there that leads mamas down the wrong path...that's a whole other blog post though...I'm not even going to start ranting about that (FYI, I'm sure I'll blog A LOT about breastfeeding on here...it's my absolute passion in life!).

When Olivia was born, she was 6 weeks premature due to pre-e. She also had high levels of magnesium sulfate in her blood and jaundice so she was extra sleepy. The NICU where she was, as well as the lactation consultants were completely worthless. Within a day and a half they said if I didn't give her bottles, she'd never go home. I had almost no chance to work on latching with her. She had a weak latch and sucking...of COURSE, because she was premature and just at the gestation where the suck, breathe and swallow reflex usually kicks in for babies. I would always go to the NICU and try to nurse her but I couldn't get her to latch on. Hindsight, I now know that I didn't give it enough of a chance but I didn't know. Everyone told me otherwise. Oh if only I'd known about the resources! In a nutshell, I ended up pumping for almost 6 months and bottle feeding Olivia. I had problems with supply and I also didn't pump enough (again, thanks to the LOVELY LC's advice from that stupid hospital) so I had to supplement (and I didn't know about milk sharing!). Right before Olivia turned 6 months old, my supply was SO incredibly low that she was getting like one bottle a day of bm and the rest formula. I was doing everything to try and increase my supply...fenugreek, marathon pumping sessions, drinking TONS of water, breast massage, but nothing was working. I knew that if I couldn't get her to start nursing, it wouldn't be long before she was on formula. It was right around this time that I started learning more about breastfeeding and starting my lactivist ways. I got Olivia to latch on (much to the dismay of said LC's AND the LLL I had contacted!) and the rest, as they say, is history! She became a boobie baby almost overnight!

When Olivia was one year old, it was time to wean, right? Because that's when you're supposed to wean isn't it? But I thought to myself, wait a second, I've actually ONLY gotten to breastfeed her for 6 months so really, that's not fair. I loved breastfeeding, she loved breastfeeding and I thought it was a bunch of BS that I'd only gotten to nurse her for 6 months so I wasn't about to stop now! I didn't know the term "extended breastfeeding" and I didn't know about WHO's recommendation to nurse until the age of 2 and I CERTAINLY didn't know that people nurse even LONGER then 2! I was just flying by the seat of my pants (which is what I did with most of everything I did with Olivia!).

When she was 14 months old, we decided to try to have another baby. With Olivia, we had to do fertility treatments to get pregnant with her and we thought we'd need to do that again. I went to see my OB who said they couldn't give me the drugs while breastfeeding (and of course, I later found out there ARE drugs you can take while BFing, sigh). I was so sad, I didn't want to wean! But we wanted to have another baby and we were afraid that insurance would cut us off from fertility treatments since our old insurance had. So, I very, very slowly weaned her...like over 2.5 months. At 16 months, we finally weaned.

.......and 3 weeks later I was pregnant on my own. How do ya like that?!

So it was through flying by the seat of my pants with pumping and breastfeeding Olivia that I started to discover my inner crunchiness. The first forum I found was The Leaky B@@B on facebook and that was right around the time I was weaning Olivia. That's my story for now, which will later be continued as I talk more about breastfeeding and other crunchy subjects...now off to find something crunchy to eat.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today I was laughing to myself at how drastically I've changed in my views over the last few years and I realized that it wasn't just a few things. I have done almost a complete turn around from being mainstream to crunchy...and it's still happening! Ha! Then I thought, hmm, what a fun thing to blog about! It would not only give me the opportunity to share with others but also to do further research and reexamine myself and my newly found crunchiness. I also write another blog with 2 other mamas, The Good Letdown about breastfeeding....feel free to check it out! :)

About me: I'm a 26 year old stay at home mom of two girls, Olivia and Ella. Olivia is 2.5 and Ella is 6 months. Both my girls were premature, Olivia was born at 34 weeks and Ella was born at 29 weeks. I had c-sections with both girls, although both I'd intended on having a natural, drug free delivery. Unfortunately that wasn't in the cards for me. I have been married to my husband for 4 years and we just bought a house. I"m not the crunchiest of them all, for sure, but I'm definitely there and especially compared to how I used to be. I know I'm going to have people check out this blog who are like, what the crap are you talking about crunchy? I got this definition of a crunchy mom from Nature Moms Blog:

Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods. See crunchy and hippie.

I admit, I'm not a vegetarian and I don't eat all organic. I would eat all organic if it were affordable and I try to eat feed our family as much as we can organic. The rest though? Yup, that's me...and so much more. The things I'd like to cover in this blog? CIrcumcision (gasp, oh yes, I'm going there), cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, vaccines (uh-huh, I'm going there too), extended rear facing, things I don't do that are considered crunchy (and why I don't do them)...and whatever else strikes my fancy. 

A few years ago I was soooo not the person I am today. When I was pregnant with my first I was so pro vaccines that I thought anyone who didn't do every single vaccine was a stupid, irresponsible idiot. I planned on breastfeeding for 6 months and I didn't even know the term baby wearing. I thought that spanking was the way you handled discipline and you couldn't PAY me to have a home birth. The only things I was slightly crunchy about were circumcision...I just wouldn't do it but I wasn't as passionate about it as I am now, and co-sleeping. I"m almost totally opposition of that now which is kind of weird to experience especially because the people in my life are used to the old me. I've had to literally sit down and tell family the changes we've made and my new believe system (that's a whole blog post within itself!) and I'm finding that I'm constantly learning and changing still. 

I hope to have fun with this, educate and just share. I also hope to examine myself and go back over the changes I've made...and laugh at myself! If no one follows this, oh well, it's still a fun way for me to get it all out!