Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Q&A with SPB: Crying It Out

Posted on November 24, 2015 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (111)
It is so tempting to an exhausted parent...putting their Sweet Pea in a crib and closing the door to let them cry it out so that they can all get some sleep.  We encourage our students to nurture instead of ignore their infant's cry in class, and in today's VLOG we share why we suggest our students find other options:

What We Know About Crying It Out

This video was reported and taken down from YouTube today.  In it, I present information as we do in class: here is some information, here are some options. We trust that our students/readers/viewers are responsible adults that will make the best decision for their family. It is crazy that instead of engaging in a conversation about Crying It Out, someone in the Thought Police decided it was better for this information to be stuffed away into cyberspace.  I hope you can see it, and that the information in the video and the blog gives you a viewpoint to consider before you choose one way or another.

Posted by Sweet Pea Births on Tuesday, November 24, 2015























Here is the presentation we share in class:

For more reading on biological infant sleep patterns:
"Normal, Human Infant Sleep"  via
 Psychology Today http://bit.ly/QkH2Dr


Links to explore:
•Co-sleeping resource: Dr. McKenna http://cosleeping.nd.edu/

•Dr. Sears’ Website: http://www.askdrsears.com/

•Dr. Jay Gordon’s Sleep Information for Night Weaning AFTER ONE YEAR: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html




Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 







Top 10 PostPartum Tips

Posted on May 22, 2015 at 7:12 PM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer:  
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Birth Story: Baby P Born At Home

Posted on January 29, 2015 at 10:02 PM Comments comments (41)



We are thrilled and honored to share a very special birth story today.  Our guest blogger, Cassandra is a newly minted mother of two - congratulations!!  Today she shares the story of Baby P's arrival. It is the complete opposite of last week's marathon labor birth story. She and Baby P definitely had a different path!



Baby P is baby #2 for our family; you can read my son’s home birth story from 2012 here on the blog.

I have been blogging about certain aspects of my second pregnancy on Sweet Pea Families over the course of the last few months; fears, affirmations, newborn essentials, and most recently musings over my labor, what it would be like and who would be there. I had grand visions of a coming together of many women in the late afternoon or evening, laboring peacefully in the birth tub with plenty of laughter and wearing the cute new bra and panty set I purchased to look nice for the photographer that would be there. My daughter would definitely be born in the water since coincidentally her brother, even though we were in the tub, was born over the water. But, as it turns out (again!) babies decide things for themselves and we, as mothers are simply a vessel for whatever their life holds for them.

My son was born at 43 weeks 3 days from my LMP. Dates were ambiguous due to irregular cycles and lack of ultrasounds, but with no vernix, long fingernails and an aging placenta at birth he was definitely a longer cooked baby. Going that far past my “due” date was definitely an emotional time: not knowing what to expect as a first time mom, worrying, comments from family/friends/strangers, etc. etc.

Baby #2 was surprisingly conceived after my first cycle at 25 months postpartum. I got a positive pregnancy test on cycle day 30 and a twelve week and then twenty week ultrasound both matched up with my LMP due date. So, this time was different, we knew! It was always in my mind that maybe I just cooked babies a little slower than most but as the pregnancy progressed I didn't really think there was any way I was going to go past my due date. I was so cramp-y this time, so much more pressure down low, so much more active, I had a completely different lifestyle chasing an almost 3 year old every day than during my first pregnancy.  But alas, my due date came and went and then a whole other week passed. At 41 weeks I was having doubts about the baby coming out any time soon and really just couldn’t believe I had gone so far again. 

At 41 weeks 1 day, a Monday, I was feeling good and talked with my midwife about just waiting it out another week and seeing what the weekend held. At 41 weeks 2 days, Tuesday, I was totally done being pregnant. My son and I had a great, exhausting day that day. We played at home, went grocery shopping, had a coffee and muffin date and met with a friend at the park to play in the sunshine for 3 whole hours. We came home and made dinner and he stayed up past his bedtime while my midwife came over for our weekly appointment. We chatted about the risks of the pregnancy progressing past 42 weeks, how we (my husband and I) each felt, what natural induction methods she likes to use and ultimately I decided I really just wanted a membrane sweep right then.

I had one with my son that resulted in losing my mucus plug and then starting labor two days later and I was ready. It was the night of a super new moon and I finally felt at ease to try and do something (at this point we weren't employing any kind of help labor start tactics). If my baby and body weren’t ready I trusted that nothing would happen anyways and we would continue waiting.

We were done with the sweep around 7PM with caution from my midwife that there could be spotting and cramps during the night, all totally normal and to try some nipple stimulation if I wanted. My son went to bed and my husband and I settled in on the couch for some Netflix while I hooked up to my breast pump for exactly ten minutes. We went to bed shortly after as we were both really tired from a long day and I fell asleep pretty quickly. I felt cramps on and off through the night in a very sleepy haze, my son slept horribly and was crying most of the night but thankfully my husband was comforting him and I spent most of the night able to drift in and out.

I woke up at 6:40AM and had what felt like bad period cramps, sharp, painful cramps super low in my pelvis that went away very quickly. I wondered if I should still be having cramps 12 hours after the sweep (?) and hoped they would go away soon. I got up to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and had lots of bowel movements. This used to happen to me every time I had period cramps so I wasn’t surprised; and afterwards laid back down to try and sleep some more until my son woke up. 

He was up a little bit after 7AM and I was still having the cramps so I text my husband around 7:15 and asked if he could come home for a little bit to be with our son until these cramps went away. I was fine in bed but T was asking for breakfast, etc. and I just felt icky and wanted to stay resting. He didn’t respond so T and I read books in bed and then looked at photos on my phone. Around 7:45 I was still having them so I called my husband (he hadn’t seen the texts) and asked him if he would just come home from work for a little bit. T and I stayed in bed cuddling, goofing off, laughing and watching videos of him on my phone. 

Around 8:30AM my husband finally walks in just as I was about to call him again, he had brought breakfast and I was so happy because I was starving! I used the opportunity to finally get up and go to the bathroom again and the cramps were still coming, fairly frequently and kind of radiating down and out into my pelvis. Definitely still cramps though, did not feel anything like a “contraction”. We decided to call the midwife as she emphasized calling her as soon as I suspected anything since my son was born fairly quickly after active labor began. 

I dialed her at 8:37AM and left a message. She instructed on her voicemail that if she didn’t call back in 15 minutes to call our other midwife. Right afterwards I text our photographer, she has a son that she needed to make arrangements for so I wanted to give her as big of a heads up as possible if there was any chance I was going to be in labor today. “Hi it’s Cassandra, I might be in labor today!” I told her about the sweep the night before and that I was just having cramps so I wasn’t sure and I had called my midwife but was just waiting to hear back and that I would keep her updated. After that I came out of the bathroom and tried to lean into our hallway wall during one of the cramps to see if that alleviated the pressure, it didn’t so I headed back to the bathroom. I was starting to think this was a membrane sweep gone horribly wrong and I had brought these insane cramps on myself and now who knew what was going to happen!  

I felt much better on the toilet. I would push down into the sides of the toilet seat during the cramps and kept having to pee or poo so it was better anyways. 15 minutes passed so I called our second midwife at 8:51AM. We talked for 8 minutes about what was happening (cramps, mucus tinged with blood, bowel movements) and I had two of the cramps while I was on the phone with her. She said she couldn’t tell I was having them and it sounded like early labor stuff and to try and lie down and rest between them, eat something and to let her know when they seemed to undergo a change. So I got off the toilet and lay down in bed and asked my husband to bring me some pancakes. I was still so hungry and so happy to be eating, I had two bites and then another cramp came and I immediately needed him to take the food away from me. I also did not want to be lying down. There was NO way I could rest; so back to the toilet I went.

I listened to my husband and son playing a Frozen matching card game in the other room and was still trying to understand what might be happening to me. The cramps got stronger and I asked for a chair from the kitchen to put backwards in front of the toilet so I could drape my arms over the back and press into it during the cramps. At 9:17AM I had a cramp that left me shaking and immediately breaking out into sweat all over. This was intense! I text my midwife “Ok getting hot and sweaty and shaky. Can’t rest” and she responded she was on her way. There was also a lot of blood after that and I finally knew this was definitely labor. 

Midwife called at 9:21 while she was driving and I couldn’t even really talk to her. I text my photographer at 9:24 and said “Ok def in labor. Midwife coming over now, 15 mins away.” She wrote back that she would be over in about 15 or 20 minutes too! This was when I told my husband to start filling up our tub – it had been inflated and ready to go for weeks and he just needed to fit the cover on it and then add water.

I had wanted to alert my friends from my blessingway when I was in labor and now that midwives and photographer were out of the way I could finally let them know. I sent out a text to everyone in the group at 9:27AM that said “Baby’s coming, send love – need it already <3” I remember trying to make sure that I included everyone and that I was trying to count the names and count the girls in attendance and it was hard for me to concentrate, but I did get everyone! The responses were just starting to come in when my midwife walked in about 9:30AM. 

Just before then I was starting to get worried about continuing to do this on my own as my husband was tending to the tub and playing with our son so I was really happy to see her. She asked if I was pushing and I was kind of caught off guard, pushing!? No way, what? I was definitely not pushing! Then another wave came and AH! There was a head! I was pushing!? I half yelled out that I was pushing and she asked if I could feel the baby’s head. I said no but then I barely reached up and the head was right there. She told me I needed to get off the toilet, which was seriously the last thing I wanted to do. She helped me down onto the birth stool where I tried to sit and then hold myself up against her but it was really unstable and I needed to get down. This entire time I could feel baby’s head right there. When I got off the stool I felt her head kind of suck back up a little and wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was doing but I heard hands and knees and I just kind of fell onto the floor in that position, head facing the corner, butt facing the doorway. This all happened in a couple of minutes and soon our photographer, Kirsten, walked in. She was greeted in the bathroom doorway to my bum and then a little bit of baby’s head starting to come out.

On the next push I moaned out so loud and low, it didn’t even really sound like me, I think this was the first noise I made the entire time. I was proud of myself that it was loud and low and not high pitched screaming (like I was with T). I knew I had to keep it that way and gosh the burning, ah! I literally just gave way to the burning, told myself it was happening and just feel it, don’t fight it and then her head was out! I said I wanted the rest of her out, just get her out! but I knew that wasn’t what I really wanted. Tearing so badly again was one of my biggest fears around labor and I knew this was the moment. My midwife told me to pant and I tried but couldn’t really so I started just breathing shortly and blowing raspberries, I could do that and it calmed me down and gave me something to focus on while I just stayed in hands and knees with her head out. I heard my husband say something like oh my gosh eyes! A little nose and mouth, awww! I kept up my breathing/blowing and then all of a sudden her body was out!

Birth story - Baby P born at home

She handed her to me and I sat back on the bathroom floor and held her, it was 9:51AM. Not even an hour and a half from when my husband walked in the door with breakfast and our baby was here, so mind blowing.

I felt fantastic. I had so many emotions rush me all at once and I felt energized and ecstatic and it will definitely be engrained in my mind as one of the best moments of my life. I got up and walked to the other room to lie down in bed and seriously just could not believe how great I felt. T was right there in the doorway watching the entire time and once I got settled in bed  he climbed right up to touch and kiss his new baby sister.

Birth story - Baby P born at home

Needless to say the tub was not filled up enough for me to get in it once I had to get off the toilet and the pictures are not going to be anything like I had imagined. I did not get to diffuse my Serenity blend or light my beeswax candles or stare at the affirmation wall I had created in the bedroom, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. So intense, but so quick and so perfect. It was a beautiful sunny day and after everything was cleaned up we all hung out in bed as a family of four watching movies, reading books and playing games and I couldn’t have even imagined the amount of bliss I felt.  
Birth story - Baby P born at homeI needed no stitches, which literally made me want to jump up and down and cry out with joy and I have felt pretty great every single day since.
 
Birth story - Baby P born at home

I learned so much from baby P’s birth, there was not a single sensation that felt the same as my last labor and birth. Again, mind blowing. It was a great reminder to throw out any and all expectations I may have surrounding this little girl and being her mama, as we truly are never in control.

Congratulations, Cassandra, Eric, and new big brother T !!
Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Thresh’s Birth Story Part 2

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)
Today is a continuation of my birth story from earlier this week. You can read Part 1 here.

Thresh's Birth Story
Thresh's Birth Story
Out of the tub & resting in bed
There is a lot that happened right after Thresh made his entrance into the outside world: getting into bed, skin to skin between Thresh and his daddy, cutting the cord, delivering the placenta, eating Greek yogurt with almonds, diapering Thresh, being made a smoothie with a piece of my placenta, trying to breastfeed, my midwives and doula cleaning up and later on being stitched up; but instead of detailing the events I want to reflect more on how I felt that night and beyond about my son’s birth.

It was the greatest thing I had set out to accomplish in life, and I did it! Every day since I have been amazed at the strength, determination, and physical abilities I am now capable of since becoming a mother.

The most over powering emotion of the night was that of shock. I really could not believe everything that was going on. I had a baby outside of my body; all of the physical sensations were entirely overwhelming in themselves and our lives would be forever changed. Amidst the shock though, were huge feelings of gratitude and comfort.

It was dark and peaceful all around me, with only the light of the huge full moon through the window and my lightly burning beeswax candles. I had an essential oil blend diffusing throughout the room and I was in my bed with my familiar sheets and blankets wrapped around us. There was so much love, from my midwives, doula, and husband, for me and for my baby. I was so happy to be surrounded by people with such love for us, and between the shock of what had just happened and the apprehension of what was to come, I felt safe and comfortable.

Although my birth story technically ends around 3 or 4 AM on March 8 when everyone was cleaned up, packed up, and ready to leave our home, that level of love and comfort continued on for the entire week.

I could not imagine giving birth any other way. I trusted my body, my self, and the process and truly experiencing all that it was changed who I am forever. When my thoughts wander back to that night I can feel the support and warmth of my bed, the hot water on my belly, how slippery my baby was (who wouldn’t stop trying to poke his eyeballs out with those tiny, tiny fingers), how delicious the food brought to me was, and the trust I had for everyone and everything around me. 

A year has passed and I still feel empowered when I think about it! But also extremely thankful for the resources, child birth educators, herbalists, chiropractors, yoga instructors, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants and other mamas that played a huge role in me achieving my goal of natural child birth.

So there you have it, the how, when, where and personal reflections of my first time giving birth. The story of my 8 pound, 20 inch, Pisces water dragon who reminds me every day that birth is the easiest part of becoming a mother ;)

What were your first thoughts after giving birth? How do you feel when you think about your birth experience today? Tell us in the comments!


Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
*I think* that the amount of traffic you so generously generate has led to a lot of spam posting.  In an effort to keep the spam to a minimum, I am taking the time to moderate comments now. ~Krystyna
 
Disclaimer:
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.
Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

In Their Own Words: Shara

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 3:02 PM Comments comments (2)
This post was written as part of Sweet Pea Birth’s "In Their Own Words" series. For more info on the ITOW or if you want to participate, contact Krystyna Bowman: krystyna{at} sweetpeabirths {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding after a cesarean.  The breastfeeding ITOW series runs through the month of August.    

Shara Cohen-Sandhu is fun-loving, red-headed mama to two lovely girls and wife to one busy Coach.  She is an advocate of breastfeeding, co-sleeping and attachment parenting, and she is active in the Phoenix-area ICAN chapter.   

 There's something magical about looking into your baby's eyes for the first time while nursing.  Nursing my second little girl shortly after having her was amazing.  It came so naturally, like we had shared years of experience, but it was also so new and exciting.     

 Leila was my second baby and second cesarean section.  She was my second attempt at a natural labor; this time I thought I was so much more prepared.  The hurt of still not being able to bring my baby into the world the way I was made to was lingering.     

 However, nursing my little Leila was so very healing.  Looking into her big brown eyes helps to heal my disappointment even today because I know that regardless of how she came out of my body, her body is beautiful and healthy thanks to the breastmilk I provide for her.  Other than healing emotionally, the beauty of breastfeeding is that it helped to heal my body faster by shrinking the uterus naturally.   

 After having both babies via cesarean births, there were some things that I had to take into consideration while nursing.  Here are the lessons I learned with Jasmin, my first baby, that I was able to use again with Leila: 

POSITIONING:  I learned quickly that nursing while lying down was extremely beneficial since I had to let my body rest.  So I propped her up on a pillow parallel to me and had my head on the same pillow, so my top breast was at her level.  I curled my body around her, which prevented her from moving, and had a pillow between my legs and one behind me, which prevented me from rolling either way.  I would let the baby nurse for a long time on the one side, then I'd have my husband help me switch the pillow to the other side.     

 Not only did this allow my body to heal, it also encouraged our bonding and eventually led to co-sleeping, which I did not think I'd do prior to having kids.  I learned that it is the best way for everyone in our family to get rest and also helps the children learn how to sleep.     

BABY CARRIER: With my second, I didn't have much down time because my first needed my attention, too.  So I found a baby carrier that I could nurse in easily.  This allowed me to be able to still have the same interaction with my first, while having the same bonding with my second.  It also was a lot easier on my body because I didn’t have to carry the heavy and clunky car seat.     

SUPPORT GROUPS: With my first, nursing didn't come so easily.  I found a breastfeeding support group and it made the difference for us.  I was determined, yet I needed help and encouragement. At the weekly meeting I learned that I could share my accomplishments and struggles with other moms and learn from them as well; all while watching our babies grow, and become playmates.    

 I decided to attend the same support group with our second baby.  Today Leila is 5 months old.  Nursing couldn't be better.  We nurse on demand and she is happy and healthy, and so am I.   

 I also had the aid of my encapsulated placenta after my second cesarean.  I noticed it helped bring my milk in faster, helped with postpartum weepies, and the lochia (postpartum “menstruation”) stopped after only 3 weeks. 

Parting thoughts:  There are so many beneficial things about breastfeeding.  Regardless of what struggles a mom has, if there is a will there is a way.  I've learned through trial and error while having wonderful support.  I have to say there is nothing in the world as rewarding as giving my babies what they need: love, nourishment, and security in mom's arms.         

Find a list of breastfeeding support groups click here

Read more about placenta encapsulation here and here

Visit the ICAN-Phoenix Chapter website   

Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®. 

Motherhood Evolved

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM Comments comments (1)
"This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Blog Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Timbra Wiist landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today's post is about how becoming a mother evolves our motherhood. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed in the comments section at www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!"   

What I imagined motherhood was going to be: A pipe dream.  A nightmare of watching other happy families while I tried to put a smile on my face.  I had been told that I was probably not going to be able to have children when I was twenty years old.  My husband and I were open to adopting, however we hoped and prayed for one child of our own.    

 Then I got pregnant!  I was going to be the perfect mother – loving, encouraging, building his/her self-esteem, never going to raise my voice, not going to spank. We were going to be so happy!!   I planned to breastfeed our child until his/her first birthday (we did not find out the gender).  I created a well-appointed nursery with refurbished second-hand furniture in which our baby would sleep and play.  I believed in spanking when it was appropriate.  As a working mom, I was willing to use shortcuts in the kitchen to get food on the table, so our pantry was well stocked with canned beans and goodies from Trader Joe’s to make quick suppers.   

 Eight years later, we could not be further from this picture if we had tried on purpose.  We now have four children and I joyfully left my career to take be a work at home mom. 

My mantra is this: 
  •  Be Blissful 
  •  Listen 
  •  Say Yes   


 I raise my voice although with the help of Lotus Wei products, I am doing it less and less. I really, really make an effort to take a deep breath before I say something.  I do not believe in spanking these beautiful gifts that I have been given.  Instead, we have appropriate consequences that honor their personhood.  

Here are some other things that have changed: 
  • Co-sleeping 
  • Duration of breastfeeding
  • Food habits   


CO-SLEEPING 
 When our daughter was born in the hospital, they wanted us to put her in the bassinet to sleep next to the bed.  I jut could not bring myself to put her away from me – I just wanted to look at her and hold her and look at her some more.  As it turns out, it was easiest for me to breastfeed in a semi-reclining position, so we just fell asleep nestled together.   

 This continued when we got home.  My husband and I made up the downstairs guest bedroom to be our “nest” while we bonded as a family.  It was close to a bathroom and our kitchen, and I did not have to bother with climbing the stairs for about a week.  I look back at those times fondly.   

 Our nursery was upstairs, and once I felt comfortable enough to climb up the stairs, baby stayed with me.  I thought her nursery was too far away and she liked sleeping on her tummy.  We listened to our pediatrician’s admonitions “back to sleep”.  The minute we put her on her back, she woke up.  We decided we preferred to sleep, so our choice was to hold her on our chests when she slept so she was not technically sleeping on her tummy and we all got more rest.   

 I started reading the co-sleeping articles given to us by our Bradley™ teacher and looked for more info on my own so we could make an informed choice, and also to learn about safe co-sleeping practices.  My feelings about having children in our bed were shaped by a co-sleeping article that made this observation: many adults dislike sleeping alone, so what makes us think that our children would enjoy it or that they should be forced to separate from their sleep companions?   

 Our sleeping arrangements grew to a family bed – she only slept in the nursery occasionally for naps, and by the time she was eighteen months old, she could climb out.  The crib became more of a hazard than a helper and it became more of an accessory than a functional piece of furniture.  We liked the family bed so much that each baby has slept with us until they are about a year old, and beyond that we call them “flexible arrangements”.  Our children start the night in their own beds, or asleep together on the couch – where everyone wakes up is a different story.   

BREASTFEEDING 
 Neither my daughter nor I were ready to end the nursing relationship when we reached the twelve-month mark.  So we blew past that milestone and we explored and enjoyed extended breastfeeding.  She nursed until she was twenty-two months old.  It was a mutual, gentle process.   

 Now I am exploring new territory.  I have a son who is about to turn three in four days who is still nursing along with his baby sister who is almost ten months old.  I was thinking about starting to do a more forceful weaning with him – after all, he is going to be three, right??   

 Wrong.  He has pinkeye right now.  It reinforces even more why we are still nursing.  He can get the benefit of power-packed milk to help him through this little bump and hopefully speed the healing process.  So for now, I will continue to be a tandem nurser, and we will wait it out and work it out together.  

NUTRITION 
 “I am never going to feed our kiddos hot dogs.” 
 “Our children are not going to drink sports drinks.”   

 I wonder if every “crunchy” mama says that to herself.  This is the first year our children have ever eaten a hot dog.  One child at 7 years, one at 4 years, and the youngest hot dog eater is 2 years old.  Will it really make a difference?  I do not know.  It is a every once in a while meal.  They think it’s a treat – I still call it junk food!   

 We have used sports drinks when the kiddos get dehydrated.  A natural alternative that we are now using is coconut milk and/or trace minerals depending on the kiddo.  Which brings me to the next point: there are easy choices - there are natural choices...and sometimes they converge.   

 Our two oldest children have had since birth or have developed food allergies, which have brought us back to the point where our children, for the most part, eat primarily fruits and vegetables along with free range meats.  No more shortcuts or canned foods.  No more foods that have chemicals or ingredients that we cannot pronounce.  If it is not a whole food or a grain product with whole ingredients, they are not eating it.  Unless it’s a hot dog.   

 Is it a commitment?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  We decided it was a yes.  There are so many children’s diseases on the rise in our country: autism, diabetes, ADD, ADHD, cancer, leukemia…the list goes on.  Our choice was to do our part to reduce the pesticides, other chemicals and plastics in their bodies.  We will take the extra time and money to invest in their health by buying organic foods and preparing those for snacks instead of the commercial foods sold as “snacks”.  

EVOLVED
 These choices work for our family:  what I have learned as a mom for the last few years is that I can only make choices for my family.  We all have different realities to deal with and different parenting dynamics.  The beautiful thing about children is that they are resilient despite our learning curve.  As long as a family is not making choices that are abusive, I believe that we as a mom-tribe need to hold each other up.  We need to honor that each family is doing the best they can with the information they have, even if those choices are vastly different from ours.  We need to resist the forces that tear us apart if our choices are not the same, because at the end of the day, we only have to answer for our children.  We can pray for those we can't see and peacefully set an example for other parents; they may, or may not, take it to heart.  They may just say we are loonies, and that is okay, too!

 Here are a couple of illustrations to close with: 



    

For more information from EWG and to sign up for updates, go to http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/   

Has your motherhood in action changed from what you envisioned before you became a mother?  How?

Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  
This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®. 

0