Before we were telling people about the baby, I found myself with research to do and no one to get a coffee with. Instinctively I reached for blogs, post upon post of advice, product recommendations and experiences others had in their first trimester. Blogs take a lot of heat, but reading them was the perfect solution to my 14 torturous weeks of sworn silence about one of the biggest things that has ever happened to me.
It made me realize what good resources we are for each other. In the same way that I can recommend restaurants in the cities we've traveled to, some discussion of the ways we navigate child-rearing decisions on this blog may be helpful to some of you.
Here are a few topics that I've been thinking a bunch about lately:
Nothing gets people angrier than cloth diapers. I casually mentioned this to a couple guys at work over lunch and got LAUGHED out of the kitchen. Unmarried men who have a hard time showering daily were giving me crap about what I'm planning to do with my kid's crap. And that's when I realized how crazypants other people are going to be about how we raise Tiny.
My parents raised us on cloth diapers. They don't deserve a medal for this, just as no one deserves detention for using Pampers. It's a choice, one that I'm happy to say has become far more appealing over the years. The latest generation of cloth diapers are super-cute!
I'm interested in cloth diapers for two main reasons: environmental and financial. Chris and I have talked about it and we're open to trying them, probably in conjunction with disposables at the very beginning. I know it's going to be tough not having a washer and dryer in our apartment, but they're literally 50 feet down the hall.
Haters gonna hate. I promise to report back as research is conducted!
I have LOTS of thoughts here, but probably not appropriate for public consumption. Suffice it to say, I think women get so many mixed messages about what's appropriate when it comes to taking time off to have a baby AND how soon it's appropriate to go back to work. It seriously crosses a ton of confusing boundaries for me, including feminism, motherhood, business and spirituality.
I haven't outlined my maternity leave plan yet, but I think about it a lot and will obviously need to have those conversations before long with work. Again, I urge anyone confronting this issue to do what is best for you and your family. Don't feel pressured either way.
Maybe I spoke too soon up there. NOTHING gets people angrier than natural birth plans. It's sort of confusing to me, actually, but people get very offended when you tell them you're going to try doing things naturally. As if you are trying to one-up everyone in the world who has not gone the natural route.
So here's our sitch: we watched The Business of Being Born and found it awfully propaganda-like. Still, there were a number of points that resonated with us and made us think about pursuing options that were not traditional hospital births. I was not down with doing a home birth in our Brooklyn apartment with Oscar and Ollie looking on (oh hellll no, I was not down with this), but I didn't like the ookiness that I heard about that was happening in hospitals either. I also have friends who have had tough hospital births. So we decided to investigate.
We discovered the Birthing Center at Roosevelt Hospital in midtown west and it felt like a great option. The Birthing Center is in the hospital, just a floor below Labor & Delivery. The BC has very low intervention and they're hooked up with a group of midwives. Now, midwives I can get behind; my sister is in nursing school right now, planning to become a midwife herself. So we ended up in a wonderful midwife practice and are planning to give birth naturally at the Birthing Center.
Could something go differently? You betcha. And we'll be flexible if it needs to. But I can't help thinking that overcoming the running barrier last year and other recent challenges have prepared my mind for difficult moments. Kate will be our doula and we'll do what we can to bring Tiny into this world with the least stress possible.
Ok, that's enough controversy for one evening. I know I don't even have to say this, but please take all of these thoughts as my own. They're not going to work for everyone. But if you're out there searching for some information or merely some like-mindedness, then I think it's a worthwhile post to put out into the world. Let's all agree to have our babies the way we want them and parent however we can!