Friday, December 31, 2010


Baby-wearing. It's something we've just gotten into a smidge. I put a Lovey-Duds wrap on my Christmas wish list this year for Santa, and the wonderful old guy delivered! The instructional DVD that accompanied the wrap was useless (literally--it didn't work in my computer) so I YouTubed both homemade and the original clips for ideas on how to tie it to my body.
There were a few ways to do it, none of which recommended carrying Lydia facing forward, as it puts pressure on a baby's lower spine and pelvis. There were hip carries, front carries, ways to sling it over your back...other mamas are super-creative when it comes to dedicated baby-wearing! As newbs to the whole thing I chose the front carry, which Lydia hated at first. She's used to being faced forward or over my shoulder when I carry her, so being snuggled in and faceplanted to my chest was NOT desirable, and she let me know it. But throughout the day we tried again when she wasn't fussy, and she fell asleep after about 15 minutes in the thing. I'll have to practice more ways of tying it.
My friend Jenny and her son Collin, all wrapped up :)

When I first started researching, I had no idea there were so many ways to carry a baby! There are Moby wraps, PeaPods, Lovey Duds wraps, Snugglis, backpacks, front packs, slings...the list was seemingly endless! I chose the Lovey Duds wrap off of Etsy ( because it was pretty (pffft don't judge) and it looked the most versatile, similar to the Moby wrap. Apparently the Moby wrap is more of a jersey material and stretchier; the Lovey Duds wrap has a little give, but not much. I'll have to try other ways, but for now I think Lydia and I could get used to this! It will certainly free up my hands and be better for my posture and chiropractic bill--Lydia's getting big! :)
Lydia and I out on the prairie...this is a Snuggli

What ways do you carry your baby, and why do they work for you? I'd be interested on hearing more about what other moms are doing out there!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the Indiscreet Breastfeeding Manifesto

I was introduced to Mothering a while ago. It's a phenomenal bi-monthly magazine, complete with articles on pregnancy, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, lactivism, cloth diapering, organic foods and household products...a true wealth of fun and current trends in motherhood. Once in a while, an article will really hit home for me. This month happened to hold a story entitled From Bashful to Brazen: The Indiscreet Breastfeeding Manifesto (,1).

In the 15 weeks (has it been that long already?!) that I've been breastfeeding, I have come across some incredibly provoking material, from the mouths of friends and relatives, and those of complete strangers. Voices asking me to feed my daughter in a bathroom. Put a blanket over her head while she eats. Don't whip those things out here, that's nasty. If you wouldn't change her diaper at the table in a restaurant, you shouldn't feed her there either. You're showing too much skin, people will look at you. You're bleeding, hurting and she's crying, just stop and give her formula already. The amount of negligence and shame a breastfeeding mother goes through in a day is astounding, and until you're actually doing it, feeding your baby in the best way you feel and know's hard to understand why I then feel so vehemently about the whole thing. It's really a defense mechanism.

Part of the article included a manifesto, a creed that breastfeeding mothers can learn and repeat, post or divulge to other mamas and supporters. I instantly fell in love with the wording. Here it is, from I hope it inspires and encourages those who are struggling to get lactation support.

  • I will nurse my child anytime, anywhere, no matter who is present or what I am wearing.
  • I will bare my breast with pride and confidence.
  • I will not apologize for nourishing and nurturing my child.
  • I will not smother my child with a napkin or blanket.
  • I will smile at everyone around me and ignore rude stares.
  • I will know that I am giving my child the perfect infant food from the most efficient, ecological, and economical delivery system.
  • I will know that I am giving my child the healthy start that is his or her birthright.
  • I will set an example for women and girls, educate the public, dispel breastfeeding myths, desexualize the breast, and make the world a better place, all through the simple act of feeding my child.

What's next, no dads?

I was getting some laundry going this morning when I overheard on the news a story on hospitals preventing people from taking videos or pictures of their baby's birth. A pit formed in my stomach as I took in how grieved I would feel had we not been able to record our daughter's birth. The pit turned to rage very quickly; what's next? A dad or partner might see something happen during the birth, will they be banned from the delivery room as well so that the hospital can cover its ass?

I wish I could find the link to the news story, but it was just a two minute clip; I did Google "no cameras in delivery room" and came upon a deluge of hospital policies and opinion columns on the matter. What do you think about this? I'm outraged, but I always feel like I'm the only one in an uproar about any of this.

We had Lydia at Sanford Hospital in Luverne, MN, and we were able to take as many pictures as we wanted. Our dear family friend Lani captured Lydia's arrival in all its gorey glory, and I love looking through the photos remembering her entrance into the world. I had wanted to do a video, but pictures serve their purpose well. They're beautiful, and it's my hope that other families would have their opportunities to have their hearts swell with pride to have pictures of their births, too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

sweet sweet sleep

I just put my firstborn daughter down for the night. I almost went to sleep myself rocking her. Her rhythmic breathing made me forget everything in the world but her. In my mind before she was born I pictured every night like this one: warm, sweet and cozy, never exasperating, never hurried. Now these nights are a treasure, being few making them worth every minute of every other night's sleep deprivation.

There is a new world of motherhood unfolding. I am beyond interested in the workings of other families. Who is breastfeeding? Who is determined to give birth naturally? Who wonders whether or not their child has had enough mental stimulation for the day? Who out there is dedicated to the practices of doulas and midwives? My questions are many, my answers limited. I want more for my community; I loathe that mothers here settle for less than they and their babies deserve because not enough light on this new world has been shed here. No questions, no doubts, just acceptance of what is doled out to them in pregnancy, birth and beyond.

I want more. I want more education, more love, more questions, more listening, more grievances against those who forsake women in labor and birth, more strength, more heart. I want this for my community, I want it for the world. Here's to a litany of articles, reflections and heartfelt diatribes pointed in the direction of a new beginning.