For those of you that actually know me in real life, not just through the blog world, some of what I’m about to say might come as a surprise to you. That’s just fair warning. Then again, actually knowing me, reading these rambles might just make you laugh out loud...who knows?
So there are lots of options out there for babies. There’s birth options, feeding options, diaper options, care-giver options...it’s almost enough to overwhelm a person. For some people, some of these options are decided for them because of their current situation or personal choice. For others, lots of research and making an informed decision is the only way to go. For me, I like to “fly by the seat of my pants” for the most part – or “go with my gut.” It’s not that I don’t research my options before I make a choice. It’s not that I don’t really care one way or the other, so I take the easiest course. That’s not it at all. In fact, more often that not I have very strong feelings on these topics, but I can’t really tell you WHY I have those feelings. Or why I’ve made the choices that I have. Is that odd? Man, I hope not!
So lately, with this new pregnancy, several options have come up for me to consider...and I’m finding myself actually considering things that I would have NEVER thought myself capable of considering.
I was young when I had my daughter (25) and my situation decided several of the baby options for me. For instance, I didn’t have maternity leave per se. Yes, I got paid, but since I worked for my in-laws, there was a little bit of grumbling and complaining about being paid...and being the honest person that I am, I felt bad that they were paying me a salary when I wasn’t working. (I know, I know...I look back now and wonder why I was SO stupid!) But regardless, I took less than 4 weeks off of work when I had J. I was at work the day before I had her, worried about payroll getting finished while in L&D, and then was back at work less than a month later, almost full-time. And as their business is in construction, I worked with mainly men. Because of the short time off that I knew ahead of time was/wasn’t coming, I chose not to breastfeed my daughter.
I know, some of you out there are shocked and horrified. But it’s what happened, and to be 100% honest, I had no strong desire to breastfeed. And a wise person told me while I was pregnant that if I had no strong desire to do so, then I probably should not attempt it. So I didn’t. Did I worry at the time about the “damage” that I would be doing to my child? Yes. All the time. Especially when I had trouble finding a formula that worked for her. But you know what? She’s totally fine. A little on the small side, but she comes by that honestly, and she’s had (knock on wood) NO major health problems or concerns for her entire life. In fact, I would go so far as to say that she’s an extremely healthy child. Rarely sick and has had no problem with her immune systems to speak of. I’ve probably just jinxed her with catching something awful now...
It seems that my choice not to breastfeed my child due to circumstance and personal choice didn’t have an adverse affect on her growth and development. And yes, she’s very smart. Cute too, but I think that maybe I’m biased on that fact! So imagine my surprise when I’m finding myself actually considering breastfeeding this time around.
If you think that you’re shocked (Mom) image my surprise! Why would I change the way that obviously worked for me before? I don’t really know. I don’t regret my decision to not breastfeed with my daughter, but maybe I might want to experience it this time around. Maybe knowing that I’ve got three months off of work (with no grumbles or questions asked) has something to do with it. Maybe not. And I’m not sold on the idea yet...so maybe it’s time for me to do a little research and make my decision.
Another shocking thing that I find myself considering? Cloth diapering. I know, color me crazy. I mean, there are boxes of Huggies actually on my baby registry at BRU...so why in the world would I consider it? I don’t really know. Can’t explain it. My daughter did JUST FINE on Huggies, and I didn’t find the smell of diapers in the house all that bothersome. And the thought of the space that they’re taking up in our nation’s landfills? Not a concern for me, and I know that makes me a horrible person. But I find myself drawn to some blogs of Moms who made this decision and love it. (Like this one and this one) And then I find myself wondering about it all...is it better for my baby? I mean, talk about the $$ that you’d save alone! I remember how much we spent on diapers when my daughter was a baby and what a financial relief it was to get her potty-trained! They make the cutest cloth diapers these days, with excellent covers and doo-dads to help with the leaking that used to be so prevalent with cloth diapers. Disposable diapers aren’t perfect and they have leaks too, so that really shouldn’t be an argument anymore. And they all say that a breastfed baby’s diapers aren’t the messes that formula-fed diapers are...so maybe these two decision go hand in hand. I don’t know.
And do you want to hear the latest thing? Are you sure that you can handle it? If you’ve made it this far, then this one isn’t that much of a stretch...making my own baby food. Now, for those of you who don’t know me in real life...I’m not at all organic. I’m not vegan or anything close to it as I dislike most vegetables. I love fast food and pizza. I like to eat out. I do not buy things based on what preservatives might be in there and there is nothing labeled as “Sugar Free” in my house. Don’t judge. I do not buy homegrown in most cases...in fact, right now, there’s barely enough food in my fridge at home to call it respectable. So WHY on earth would I latch onto the idea of making my own baby food. Once again, J was raised on Gerber in the jars and it worked fine. No problems. I wouldn’t even consider it expensive, since you lose the cost of all the formula...but something about it just appeals to me. It seems so easy, check here and here if you don’t believe me, and there are lots of Moms out there who do this and swear by it. (Like this one) Of course she tasted all food before feeding it to her baby (like my friend Amanda) and with my immense dislike of most vegetables that did NOT happen in my house!
With all of that being said, I have no idea right now which direction I’m leaning. I registered for things as I did them last time. Meaning that there are bottles, formula and disposable diapers on my registry with no mention of nipple butter, breast pumps, or nursing pads. So as of right now, I’m holding to the status quo...but that could all change in a heartbeat. I haven’t even talked with B about all of this...except for the breastfeeding thing...maybe I should. Perhaps he has strong views on subjects like cloth diapers and homemade baby food...that should be a good topic of conversation for our lunch today! They’re pretty much just random thoughts floating around in my head at the moment...you know, things that I thought that I would share with you guys!
I hope that I haven’t offended anyone with my discussion today, please know that it was not my intention. There are lots of people out there with VERY passionate opinions on these subjects, and I’m not trying to argue or debate the merits of any of these choices. To me, they are very PERSONAL choices, and I respect both sides of the argument. I think that each decision should be made on how you feel and that’s that. I just don’t happen to feel strongly about any of it at the moment...but I’d better hurry up – the clock is ticking!