My poor darling husband has declared that I am a full-blown hippie. I don’t’ know if that is totally accurate, but I am definitely a little crunchy…
It all started when several weeks ago (though, really, probably much earlier) I read an article about a woman who had been harassed by Target employees for breastfeeding at the store. There was a “nurse-in” organize and I so wanted to go. Unfortunately for me, it was at 10am during the week. I was considering taking my lunch early and going, but Sam didn’t want me getting involved. He was afraid I’d get arrested and then Patrick would be with me. Oh – I had a lot to say about that one! That breastfeeding moms have every right to feed their children, she was covered, it’s all small thinking like that that makes it so much harder to succeed in breastfeeding, and Target’s own policy allowed breastfeeding, and on and on.
I, personally, have never been harassed while feeding Patrick in public. I usually try to be way out of the way and I always use a cover, just because I don’t want to make other people uncomfortable and create a scene. That being said, I would do what I had to do in any situation to make sure that Patrick was getting what he needed. I think I’m fairly discrete though. I remember when Patrick was only three weeks old and we had to stop to feed him on the way up to my parent’s house that I was going to feed him on the McDonald’s playground while William played, but Sam was too embarrassed of me and “made” me go to the car. (Truthfully, I didn’t want him to be embarrassed, so I went begrudgingly…)
After that, it took several weeks before I was then comfortable enough to breastfeed in public. I even then always went out to the car and sat in the passenger’s seat. Not 100% comfortable, but not bad, and atleast there was the radio. I don’t know at exactly what point, but I am now totally fine feeding him wherever I have to. (Today - I walked around Hobby Lobby feeding him - with the cover - but still) And it’s probably, in some ways, because I was so upset that the woman had been given a hard time. It became the principle of the matter. I have fed him at the zoo, in Olive Garden, Target, etc. So that’s the first way that I am granola.
The second is that I don’t want to give Patrick solids before 6 months. Under any circumstances. WHO, AAP, and a slew of other organizations recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Period. I tend to agree. And, I enjoy the satisfaction in knowing that he relies solely on me for sustenance. That his thigh rolls and chubby cheeks are products of my milk. I’m proud of how he is growing. Sam doesn’t feel the same way. Despite all the research and articles I found, he still wanted to give him cereal. He thinks that Patrick will sleep through the night if he has something more “substantial” in his stomach. We are all tired, I get that, but I’m not going to do something I don’t believe is right because I want to sleep. So, I volunteer to get up with Patrick every time he wakes up for the next two months (until 6 months basically).
After the first night of this, I realize that life would be oh so much easier if I didn’t have to actually get out of bed. That that is what wakes me up and makes it so hard for me to go back to sleep. I suggest that Sam can sleep in the uber comfortable daybed in another room and I will sleep with Patrick in the bed. Surprisingly, Sam has absolutely no problem with that (of course he wouldn’t, he gets to sleep peacefully all night). So, Patrick and I have been co-sleeping all week, and the co-sleeping was the third nail in my granola hippie coffin. The first co-sleeping night, he spent half of it in the pack and play because Sam wasn’t wild about Patrick being in the bed with me. But after 1.5 hours of trying to get the very awake and playful baby asleep at 3am, I was not risking waking him up by shuffling him into the pack-n-play… so he slept with me. And that’s where he’s been all week.
The jury is still out on whether I am getting more sleep…. I know that he is eating more. Or I think he is…. And if I don’t swaddle him, he just plays with hands, but I think we are starting to get the hang of it after 4 nights. I certainly don’t mind the extra snuggle time. It was nice the first night – it felt special – just the two of us. I am thankful for the extra time at night since we don’t have it during the day and he’s such a sweet wonderful boy. So, I sleep a little lighter because I am hyper aware that he is right next to me. I think he is sleeping better overall and that’s worth it.
I don’t think of myself as a particularly extreme parent. I have definitely been reading more about babies, breastfeeding, and everything in general this time around (I read little to nothing with William) but I don’t think there is anything wrong with being informed. Sam is afraid that it is making me insecure in my parenting skills, but I don’t think so. I feel armed with information. But, if that makes me a hippie granola crunchy parent, then so be it.
Oh – I almost forgot… haha. The granola icing on the cake for Sam was when I said I was considering extended breastfeeding and didn't want to wean Patrick until he decided he was ready. Sam still hasn't wrapped his head around that one....we shall see. (the same organizations that recommend not introducing cereal and solids early, also recommend breastfeeding two years) I just can’t imagine waking up one and telling Patrick that he’s not nursing anymore. I actually enjoy it now, and there are SOOO many benefits for the baby even past a year, that I don’t think it will be worth it to me. Pumping however, I’m thinking that will disappear quickly. Haha!!!
And let me be clear, I definitely don’t think that we did William a disservice because I basically made the opposite of every decision I’m making now. He has grown into a wonderful, independent, trusting, healthy, sweet little boy. All the decisions we made then were the best decisions we could make at that time and for him in particular. There are things I might have done differently and I have small regrets (not surrounding myself with a breastfeeding support system in particular) but I am fully confident that we have and are doing right by him. And the same for Patrick, even though it’s very different parenting. He’s a different kid.
Anyway – just wanted to get that out there and out of my head. I’m granola and I’m proud.