December 25, 2010

A half-birthday new mana rant

I'm not choosing to do things "the hard way" because it makes me feel good. I do it because I believe it is what's best for my baby.

I understand that I/you/your kid was brought up in a certain way and that you feel you were fine, but I sort of disagree. Our rates of cancer and autism are way up, our ozone has holes in it, and people are f-ed up and mean. I'm doing everything I can (no matter how inconvenient you feel it is for me/you) to stop the cycles and give my child (the one I chose to conceive) the best I possibly can (according to me).

1) Yes, I could feed him formula, but I have the luxury of having this time off work to ENSURE that he gets breastmilk. I know you think six months is plenty of time and I should switch to formula, but I'm going to go a year. Formula might be fine for other babies and if Turner needed it it would be fine for him, but he doesn't, so he'll drink the milk that I make him (and work hard to maintain). I actually don't really like breastfeeding. It is inconvenient for me (dude only eats with BOTH OF US laying down), stressful to try to keep my milk up, and makes it difficult to get time alone...but I do it anyway and I try not to complain. If I mention that I can't feed him there or I need to go home because he needs to eat, please don't argue with me or suggest that "if he's hungry enough he'll eat." That may be true, but we'll all have to endure many hours of crying first - which I don't think will add anything positive to the situation.

2) We're not cloth diapering to prove something to people who use disposables. We chose to do so mainly because it is far more affordable for us. Its a bonus that it is better for the planet and I like that it seems like it might be more comfy for my boy (though I don't know). Doing a load of laundry a day isn't a burden and I deal with poop anyway - why not wash it? When you see our handy cool cloth diapers, you might try asking a question rather than saying that "disposables won't kill him and you/your kid/your parent had them and you are fine"

3) I nurse him to sleep and don't let him "cry it out" because generally, he's a happy baby. I understand you are concerned about the lack of sleep I'm getting - I am too, but I know him really well and I know that he doesn't have "energy to work out" or "need to unwind" by crying.

Other babies might have needed that, but mine doesn't. If he's having a hard time going back to sleep or waking up a lot, I know that he needs me/he's teething/has gas/is hungry/had a bad dream. He's a baby and I'm his mom. It isn't "good for him" and it won't "exercise his lungs." My baby won't be spoiled and he won't be sleeping in our bed when he's 15, so I'm not so worried about that either. I hate sleeping alone and am up all night when Tim's out of town, so why should my new baby like to sleep in his vast crib away from his parents. All babies are different and I wish you would trust that I know mine.

4) My waterbirth, was amazing. It was beautiful and both my baby and I are safe. I'm sure your epidural was loverly and that you felt as safe in the hospital as I did at home, but please don't call me crazy (I don't call you crazy). I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about homebirth and the pain and our safety measures. I wasn't trying to "prove anything" - I promise. And you don' t need to try to bring me down a notch - I'm proud of my birth in the same way most women should be proud (shit is challenging and painful).

5) When I tell you my child is tired, we're up past his bedtime, and it would be best if you didn't hold him during this loud crowded Christmas party, please don't argue with me. Sure, he'll be fine, but he doesn't need to "learn to be with family." He knows family and I know how family interacts with him. If we're seeing you for the first time at a Christmas party and won't see you again for a year, there is no reason why my baby needs to get "used to" you. Come over and visit occasionally and you can hold him. You can talk to him while I hold him, but don't try to make me feel like I'm crazy for trying to respect my baby's needs. We're making sure he feels safe and knows i'll protect and take care of him, so you disappearing into a 200 person party where I can't see you "because its good for me" to "relax" is not really helping. It also doesn't help that when I look for him 30 minutes later, a 13 year old I've never met is holding him outside, in the rain.

My hope is that all this hard work now pays off later. It might not - but that's my burden, not yours. If you feel I'm harming my baby, let me know, but if you think I'm doing something that is making MY life harder or is making him "wimpy", I'm comfortable - so you can just move along.

End rant.

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