Tuesday, March 4, 2008

how i got here.

It's so funny how people can totally affect your life. I had a LiveJournal friend, K, whom I "met" in 2003. She was pregnant, and my babylust was in high gear at the time, and so I absolutely devoured her every post. (Living vicariously through people is fun! Sometimes anyway.) I was obsessed with pregnancy and childbirth, and at the age of 14 I decided I wanted to have a drug-free waterbirth at a birth center. I knew all kinds of stuff about pregnancy and childbirth, and since I focused on developmental psych in college, I knew enough about fetal development and early childhood development. But I didn't really know much about parenting.

K was super into cloth diapering - something I hadn't even considered. Whenever she would mention her cloth diapers, I would look on Google or poke around online to learn more about them. I read all about Fuzzi Bunz and Cotton Babies and all this other stuff and decided I, too, would use cloth diapers. I loved the idea of a comfier diaper for a baby while not contributing more to landfills. In fact, at that point I also switched to cloth sanitary pads for the same basic reasons.

She also was really into attachment parenting, and through her I found Dr. Sears's website, and I ate it up. I would often not do my homework and instead read through sections of his site and daydream about my own future baby. Through K I also learned about babywearing, exclusive breastfeeding, co-sleeping, delaying solids, and all kinds of things I'm not sure I ever would have learned about otherwise. At around this time, I also learned about extended nursing and tandem nursing from another LiveJournal friend, and I thought that was just so cool - I never really knew that people nursed babies beyond infancy, and I especially didn't know that women nursed when pregnant or nursed a baby and a toddler at the same time. I've learned a ton about women's health and babies from the good old Internet.

All this has really affected the way that I looked at parenting before getting pregnant and obviously has impacted how I'm raising Bumblebee. And I'm really happy about that. I feel like what I'm doing right now feels like what I SHOULD be doing. Like it's the best thing for her AND for us. Obviously, if it didn't feel right, we wouldn't do it, and for many people it doesn't feel right. And that's fine. But all this awesome stuff, which I may have never learned about had I not clicked on some random links, feels right for us.

My mom always kinda laughs at me because somehow, SOMEHOW, she parented us without the Internet, gasp of gasps. Now we have access to so much information - sometimes too much, but oh well. It's really incredible.

We don't really raise our children as a community anymore, for the most part, in our culture. But somehow just by typing into a box, I created a community for myself.

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