Confessions of a Crunchy Mama

Or am I even crunchy at all??!!??!!??

According to this little quiz I am "Pretty Crispy" with my score of 89. 

Most people would just assume that I'm some sort of crazy hippy that adheres to all the natural parenting stereotypes, but I don't. And when we had our first, I would have been lucky to score a 20!

Let me tell you about my introduction to parenthood:

About 2 weeks before we got pregnant, I quit smoking and decided that beer and Cheetos was probably not the most healthy diet if we were going to be trying to conceive. See, I wasn't crunchy at all when I started my journey into parenthood!

I had every intention of breastfeeding my child (we didn't know the sex of the baby) and cloth diapering. Breastfeeding to save money and cloth diapers because they were cute. Still not crunchy. I gave up on cloth diapers before I ever even put my hands on one because I was so overwhelmed with the idea of being a mommy that the diaper research pushed me over. But I was still determined to breastfeed.

We saw a regular OB/GYN in Nashville, TN for our prenatal care. I had told her I wanted to wait as long as possible to have an epidural and even try to go without, she shrugged me off. At the advice of my OB at my 36 week appointment, I was induced at 37 weeks for "high blood pressure."
After being scared into getting an epidural at 3.5by my nurseWe delivered a beautiful little girl at 5:38pm on March 31, 2008, right after the episiotomy. OUCH! From there, things just kept going the opposite of what I wanted. My epidural didn't wear off of my left leg for 2 days so I was in bed for the entire time I was there. 

Breastfeeding was hard, very hard. The lactation services in-room were not helpful. All they did was give me a nipple shield.
Lactation Services after release from the hospital were, and I'm not kidding here, $99.00 per visit! After the first two, you then had to go to your pediatrician and get a prescription to go back to Lactation. After four visits to Lactation, weight checks every 3 days, a Medela Pump 'N' Style (thanks Dad!), 2 cans of formula and 3 1/2 weeks of torture, we switched entirely to formula. 
I was starting to feel like a failure. But then I looked at my daughter and realized she was all the success that I needed.


Side note: You will never hear me say that I "Successfully breastfed" because that suggests someone who was unable to, for whatever reason, failed. Any mother who tries their best and does what is in the best interest of their family is a success! If you didn't breastfeed, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

We vaccinated (and still do) on schedule, used Tylenol for teething pain, loved our disposable diapers and used Johnson & Johnson skin care products. However, we were fine with co-sleeping.

Now for Little #2: 

I was determined to do things the way I planned originally. 

I found a midwife, the only one in our non-crunchy area, who is amazing! I jumped in and bought my diapers in advance, a whole bunch of bumGenius one size diapers. I broke the pump and nursing supplies back out and started planning my natural labor and delivery. My midwife introduced me to the idea of a Doula, and let me tell you, best decision ever! I'm not going to lie and tell you it was easy, but I will tell you that I was blessed with a very short labor and delivery. Checked in at 11:30pm, first painful contraction at 2:30, baby at 4:38am. I had my moments of sheer panic and doubted myself, but my support system pushed me through. By 6:30am, I felt wonderful and I am so glad I did it! There is no comparison between my two birth experiences or my recovery.

We didn't take cloth diapers to the hospital, we just used the Pampers they provided. Those diapers ended up burning our sweet little angel, yes, another girl, with the DryMax chemicals. My mother ordered us some newborn prefolds and covers to have shipped to us overnight as soon as we figured out what the rash problem was. Thanks, Mom!

Breastfeeding was still tough. I was in horrible pain for the fist 6 weeks. Once we got over some hurdles, it was smooth sailing and we happily nursed for 16 months.

We use Amber Teething necklaces instead of Tylenol and Natural washes and lotions instead of Johnson and Johnson.

I'm sure I'll be a little more crunchy with this third baby. I WILL be bringing cloth to the hospital this time!

Why am I telling you all this? Because it just proves that you don't have to be fully crunchy or even a little bit crunchy to use the products in our store. I will never judge you or your parenting decisions. Just when you thought I was done, let me let you in on a few other secrets:

 - We are currently using disposable diapers on our 2 year old. Why? She's daytime potty trained and only wets an over night diaper 4    
       times a week. Washing a couple diapers at a time is annoying. 
 - We use dryer sheets on our regular laundry. If it weren't for this, I would probably throw the wet diapers in with regular laundry.
 - There is "emergency" baby wash in my house and it is Johnson & Johnson because I refuse to throw things away.
 - We only recycle cardboard.
 - I would never have a home-birth intentionally. (I'm scared of the "what if")

Do you need more? So there you have it, I'm not a crazy hippy and I definitely do not expect every single person to walk through the doors to be one either. I learn from customers every day and others learn from me. In this new day in age of cyber bullying that has made it's way to mom boards, I think it's important that people know that you are free from judgement when you shop with me. I just hope that you can all return the favor.

Happy New Year! Let's try to make it the best year of parenthood yet!
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