Friday, January 14, 2011

Welcome to Ma Ma Land

I became a mom this year. It's a little weird to say that. I am a mom. Not that it wasn't time. I mean, the clock's been ticking. But still. To actually say the word Mom and mean me is still going to take some getting used to.

There were a few things about becoming a mom that I never intended to do. Things that seemed crazy, weird and totally unnecessary. But when the time came, I found myself not only considering them as an option, but hopping on the train to hippie-ville.

Let's start with childbirth. ACK! Gross! Why would we talk about that?! Um, because it's amazing. And let's be honest, we've all been involved in childbirth at one point in our lives. It's impossible to be alive without it. Ok, I'll spare the details (for now...dum, dum, dum), but had you asked me two years ago if I would try natural childbirth I would have responded with an emphatic "HECK NO!" Then I got pregnant. You'd think the knowledge that I was soon going to have to expel another human from my body would further solidify my resolve to have drugs for the whole ordeal, but just the opposite began to happen. I began to wonder what childbirth was like.  Everyone talks about it like it's the most horrible experience imaginable, but what does that really mean? People keep having babies, so it can't be that bad, right? On top of curiosity, my competitiveness kicked in and I felt more and more determined that I was tough enough to do it sans medication. Our town doesn't have any kind of birth class except the crash course at the hospital, so I borrowed a book from a friend and began to read about how to endure childbirth. It seemed easy enough. Adam and I practiced the technique a few times, which usually ended in either a fit of laughter or me falling asleep. And then the time came. G was on his way out and I found myself at the moment of truth. I didn't rule out drugs altogether, but I was determined to give natural childbirth my best shot. When push came to shove (literally, ha!), G was born au naturel. I did it! I felt wrecked and spent and like I had run a marathon. But I survived. I felt every bit of it, and am so glad I did.

Now on to diapers. Sick out! Diapers are yucky! And please don't say cloth diapers. Ew! My mom used cloth diapers. It was pretty much the only option and it was disgusting. But times have changed and so have diapers. There are tons of choices now. Of course, cloth was never on my radar because let's be honest, who wants to deal with that? Then I got pregnant. And under the influence of pregnancy hormones, I saw a picture of a baby wearing a cloth diaper. I cannot tell you how cute that little bumpkin was. So I started doing a little research and found that cloth diapers have morphed into fuzzy little bundles of cuteness, i.e. the must-have accessory for babies. Granted, they are still diapers and function as such, but come on, who doesn't want something soft and colorful covering their baby's bottom? Plus, and to me this is the best part, you only have to buy them once. Sure there's all the hoopla about the environment and landfills and saving the earth one blow-out at a time, but the hook for me was the money. It's an investment up front, but then you're done. And they last for more than one kid. Yeah it's gross sometimes, but I can already tell we're saving some bucks. I'm not a fanatic about what touches my baby's skin, so on trips, we use disposable all the way. But we were fortunate to receive a bunch of disposable diapers as gifts before G was born, which means we have only purchased one pack of newborn diapers in six months. That's it. One pack. How awesome is that? And when we run out of disposables, we'll make the cloth work away from home too. My mom did it, and so can I. I will say too, that when G is chilly after a bath, it's so satisfying to put on a diaper that's fleece-y instead of something paper-y. And they breathe because they're cotton, which means so far we've had zero rash. Oh, and the kind I finally settled on are called gdiapers. How can you not love a diaper that is monogrammed for your baby?

Finally, let's jump into the world of baby food. Who knew there was a world of baby food? I didn't. And it never occurred to me that I could make my own until my friend sent me a book about that very topic. Making baby food fell into the category of things like making yogurt. Obviously someone does it, but how would you even know how to start? Ok, that's a bad example because I've actually made yogurt. In any case, being the cheap-o that I am (hey, those little jars aren't free), I decided to explore the world of baby food. I read a bit of the book and took a field trip to the grocery store to do some hands-on research. First, I checked the price of a little jar. After some rough calculations, I use the term rough literally and the term calculation loosely, I figured that there was a significant price gap between the jars and what I could make at home. Second, I checked the ingredients. Jar after jar was the same. Veggie and water. Pureed fruit. Veggie and water. Pureed fruit. Nothing mysterious there. I have veggies. I have water. I have a blender. Let's make some baby food! So I steamed some carrots, dropped them into the blender and added some water. Voila! Baby food! Next I cooked a squash in the microwave, scooped it into the blender and added some water. Voila! Baby food! I just freeze ice cube amounts and when G gets hungry, I thaw what he needs. Easy peasy. Now, things may change when he starts eating things like chicken. There's just something disgusting about meat in the blender. But hey, I said cloth diapers were grody and look where I am now.

So, I'm officially one of those moms. Let me warn you, it can happen to anyone. I didn't think I would ever use cloth diapers or turn down drugs in childbirth, but you get pregnant and start to go a little crazy. One final word of warning, never say you won't use a kid leash because you may become the parent of a hyper-hypo. Oh gosh, let's just pray that G goes from calm baby to calm kid.

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