Sunday, May 16, 2010

About My Choices

When I was in labor, all of a sudden, all of my dreams of this 'perfect' birth were taken from me (as they are many women). I am not angry/upset/bitter. Lydia came out healthy, and I healed quickly... but I went back and researched what it was that was that went wrong. And you know what went wrong? Doctors want time to sleep and more money in their bank accounts. Formula companies, pediatricians, drug companies, baby food companies, etc. don't care about your baby - they care about dollars!!

Having a child is amazing but SO SCARY!! In the hospital, the doctors told me I HAD TO supplement with formula to remove the jaundice or Lydia can suffer horrible long-term repercussions. I cried and cried because that was not my plan for her once she was born. Then a lactation consultant came to my room, said her babies had jaundice, and there is no research to support that babies with jaundice need formula. Why were the doctors telling me this? Why did they say something that could have potentially ruined my nursing experience? When Lydia was four months, the doctors told me that I HAD TO start feeding her baby food. I didn't feel fully ready. Did I really have to? I did my research, and learned that breastmilk is a 'perfect food.' Babies can easily live off that alone for the first year. Why was I told that I had to feed my baby solid foods? The doctor's recommendation also went against recommendations made by the American Pediatric Academy, which states - breastmilk/formula exclusively for the first 6 months. Why were the doctors who I paid out-of-pocket for telling me things that just weren't true?? They also said my baby's first food had to be rice cereal. Yeah, not true. From the research I did, we trashed the rice cereal and really began solid foods at 6 months - with real foods (fruits, veggies, etc.) 

This was so frustrating for me because with all my childcare experiences, I never had to make the ultimate decision...but I had this little life in my hands, and I had to make all of these decisions that could affect her for the rest of her life. And right around that point, the 4-month mark, I said fuck the dr's advice, fuck what other people tell me to do with her...I need to parent with my heart. I need to be responsive to her needs in the best way I could. And all of a sudden, Richard and I felt confident about the choices we made as both informed consumers and parents. Again, it's not judgment. I just wish that all parents believed they are able to make informed decisions. 

So what's my point with all this? I am not judging individuals for the choices they make. I'm only suggesting people question things. Don't just pull the Pampers off the shelf because that's what you're supposed to do. Do those things because you've thought them through and realized that that is what's best for your family. Don't have your child sleep on his/her back because that's what you're supposed to do. We all slept on our bellies and we are happy and healthy (Lydia began sleeping on her side at an early age). Don't just feed jarred food or Similac or use a pacifier because that's what you're supposed to give your child. Do that because you think it's best...  And when you actively make decisions for your family, you can say - this is what is REALLY best for my family. 

7 comments:

Meg @ A Dash of Nutmeg said...

Wow. I'm getting married in October and my fiancee and I hope to start trying for a baby right away. This really makes me think. And you're completely right about the baby food. That stuff in a jar has only been around for a short while compared with how long humans have been around.

Blacktating said...

A group of friends got together to do a mommy intervention via email? Sorry, that is just beyond obnoxious. Sounds like some people are jealous.

Jennifer said...

Right on! I agree that the email intervention is silly...how we parent is entirely individual. I just want to be the best mom for my child - it may not work for someone else.

I was given the same crap about jaundice at the hospital, too, and then again from the pediatrician's LC. I tell my friends who are planning to have a baby to just please do all the research and make informed choices. Infamil and Pampers throw lots of freebies at hospitals so they can claim to be the hospital's "#1 choice" and try to get you hooked before you walk out the door. I often wonder if, for moms who truely need to use formula, the cost wouldn't go down significantly if they stopped sending cases and cases of freebies to hospitals and pediatricians, and even expectant parents. I recieved 4 cans of formula in the mail before Jack was born!

Stuff Parents Need said...

I think I said, "Amen" at least 8 times while reading this. AMEN!!!

Huppie Mama said...

Thanks, everyone!! The funny part is how outrageous other people may feel like you're being... but as I said to one of my friends, if our great great grandparents didn't breastfeed, we wouldn't be here! I like to think about what life would be like without all of the modern-day conveniences. Then I factor in the modern-day methods that are practical for my life. I can certainly thank the internet for making more products and information available, and that is definitely a modern-day invention!

Z said...

It's funny reading through that I see so much of the same crap going on with us in the hospital, and I think the biggest problem is the inconsistencies between the Nurses, the lactation consultants, occupational therapy, doctors, nurse practitioners, and so on. They all say something different, and until you go and figure it out for yourself who is really right? In the end you make your own decisions for your children as you are the one who has to live with those decisions. I can honestly say I view it totally different now that Kahlan is here than I did just a few months ago. Keep on keepin on mama ;)

Huppie Mama said...

Thanks, Zory! What you guys are going through is so exciting, but definitely scary. I'm so glad to hear that she's being transferred to the hospital closer to your house. She'll be home in no time, but it probably seems endless. More than any other decision you can make in your entire life, parenting opens you up to every criticism, praise, weird look, smile, tear, etc. You just never know what each moment as a family will bring - but you have to believe in yourself and your ability to make good decisions. And if you slip up and make one that's not so good, do some self-reflection, re-evaluate, and try again! No one is perfect :-)

Oh, and yes, nurses, doctors, therapists, lactation consultants, other moms/dads, books, etc all have some agenda or viewpoint. It's hard to gain the confidence to determine which one is right for you!

 
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