This is totally and completely a post in which I will release some pent-up frustration...reader beware!

*steps on soapbox*

When I get bored at work, I have the habit of "blog-stalking." Basically, I follow links to other blogs that I find on friends'/acquaintances' blogs. Lately, I've been reading blogs I've found through a girl that was in my last BYU ward before I got married. All of them are what you would call "crunchy". This girl is a bit crunchy herself. Now, I'm of the "to each his (or her) own" school of thought, so even though I see some of the ideas and notions these ladies as a little absurd, hey, they're free to live as they choose. The thing that irks me is that some of these ladies are not as open-minded as I am about the choices others make. I'm talking primarily about the views they have on childbirth and mothering.

I had what I thought was a fairly typical pregnancy and birth with my son. I had regular prenatal visits with a OB/GYN (though I occasionally saw the nurse midwife in his office). I did not start having contractions on my own, and my doctor was concerned about the size of my baby, so he induced me at 41 weeks. I was admitted to a hospital for my labor and delivery. I had a pitocin drip all through my labor, and I got an epidural about 3 1/2 hours in. I pushed for 15 minutes and birthed a healthy, 9 1/2 pound boy. I was informed and aware when I made the choice to be induced, and the choice to have an epidural.

Now that I'm a mother, I've tried to make the best choices for my son. I started out breastfeeding him, but at about 6 weeks it started to become a fight between him and me--he's always had a strong will. I held out for another month and a half, and then I finally made the hard choice to bottle-feed him. In the end, we both did a lot less crying. I went back to work after 3 months of being home with him, but Cole and I have tried our best to work our schedules so Kyle spends as little time as possible with people besides us. When it doesn't quite work out, Kyle spends the time with my mom or other relatives of Cole and me. When I'm home I try to spend as much time with him as possible. We try to keep him on a good schedule, since he's happier that way. We've taken him to regular visits with a pediatrician, and he's received immunizations. I know I'm not perfect, but I do my best. Despite that, due to my nature, I am extremely critical of myself, and I often feel like I'm "doing it wrong", or, when I'm feeling especially down, that someone else could do a much better job of raising Kyle. I still regret not being able to breastfeed Kyle longer than I did, even though I know I tried my best and I honestly believe that Kyle is, by nature, too independent and he decided he was done breastfeeding. I frequently doubt myself and the choices I've made.

Now, this all sounds like a personal problem, I know. And it is, I admit. What irritates me about these "crunchy" mothers is that they assume their way of birth and parenting is the best way, and anyone that chooses differently is wrong or stupid or causing undue harm to her children. If you trust a doctor for prenatal care or labor and delivery or pediatrics, you're a sheep that has been brainwashed by society, or you don't trust your body to do what it's built to do. If you immunize your child, you are perpetuating the country's dependence on medical personnel. If you stop nursing your child before they can talk, you are depriving them of vital nutrients, which is catastrophic to their health and well-being. None of these ladies attack me personally, so any offense taken is purely my own fault. However, if I ever met any of them on the street and we struck up a conversation about children and birth, I have little doubt that their judgment of me would show in their words or in their body language (if they have more tact). The idea that someone who doesn't even know me would judge me like this irritates me, but it also makes me that much more self-conscious about how I raise Kyle...and THAT irritates me even more. NO ONE should be made to feel guilty about how she brings children into the world and how she chooses to raise them, so long as she is making an honest effort to do her best. What's right for one mother and her children is not necessarily right for another mother and children.

Now, to be fair, I know there are plenty of folks who have similar views as I do that are just as judgmental. I only wish that everyone would be more accepting and less judgmental, no matter what he/she believes.

*steps down from soapbox*


Nine Months! (give or take)

We FINALLY got Kyle's 9 month pictures taken...now that he's almost 10 months old. I tried to get them done 3 weeks ago, but he did NOT like the lady that was helping us and absolutely refused to smile. Rather than settle for mediocre pictures, I decided I would try again another time, and I'm so glad I did! Kyle was really good, and we got some cute shots of him. I can't believe my baby's getting so big!



A-MAZING!!!!! Breaking Dawn was so worth the wait. I will, of course, post no spoilers for those out there who don't read quite as quickly (or obsessively) as I do. However, I'm pleased to say that this book left me completely satisfied with the way Stephenie Meyer concluded Bella's and Edward's story. In addition, I wasn't left with a gnawing sense of loss/emptiness when I finished, as I was when I finished the last Harry Potter book.

I don't know how they'll adapt it for film, though...
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