This is my family. There are seven, yes seven, of us. Our family started ten years ago, first with our marriage in August of 2000, and then with the birth of our first son, Blake, in September of the same year. Our journey, however, started on August 26, 2010. That's right, two days ago...and 10 years later. Prior to Thursday, we had been on a different path, one where I was conflicted between what I knew was best for my family, and what was convenient for me. This conflict had been raging inside of my since I became pregnant with Blake. Sometimes convenience won, sometimes knowledge won, and sometimes I tried my uneducated best to balance the two. Balance did not work, and convenience won out too many times. It was best for nobody...not me, not my children, not my husband, and not society.
Let me back up. When I was pregnant Blake, I knew I did not want a traditional hospital birth, but I didn't know where to turn. Society dictates a hospital birth with a doctor, so I went to the first ob/gyn recommended to me. He seemed nice. He seemed to go along with my "outrageous" requests (no epidural, no iv, no episiotomy, etc). As time went on and my belly got bigger, the man changed his tune. "I usually put i.v.'s in moms...I usually do a routine episiotomy". I panicked. At 37 weeks I up and left his practice in favor of a midwife and a safer, calmer birth center birth. No needles, no drugs, no interventions for me or baby. It was the beginning of a revolution. I discovered Dr. Sears and attachment parenting, I learned that I didn't have to circumcise my perfect newborn son, and I learned that vaccines didn't have to be given as doctors dictated them. At this time, I was the only person I knew who shared these beliefs. I was going into new territory all by myself.
If you've ever gone into uncharted territory in main-stream society by yourself, you know that it is a difficult road to take. I learned what I could, but ultimately followed the "norm" in many ways. Blake was bottle fed, vaccinated on an alternative schedule, and fed conventional food. Enter Cole. Before I was pregnant with him, I knew I wanted a home birth. I was lucky enough to find an amazing midwife who put up with my hormonal craziness. He was lucky enough to be born at home, but not lucky enough to be breastfed either. After a horrible experience, the poor baby was put on formula. I was crushed...defeated. Although he was kept intact as well, that is as far as it went with him. He was vaccinated according to doctors schedules and was on Zyrtec by the time he was 5 months old. My poor, sick, formula-fed baby. Alex was also born at home and was kept intact, but this poor baby also got formula. All of them were raised on fast food, processed food, and conventional food. It was the best I felt I could do at the time.
Enter Maddie. My world started to change with the birth of my first daughter. Again, she was lucky enough to be born at home. What's more, she was and still is lucky enough to be breastfed. Finally I had a nursling! I also became an expert baby-wearer. No strollers for this baby! It was with Maddie that I discovered the benefits of chiropractic care and learned many lessons from Dr. Fred. We cut back on sugar, processed foods, and fast food. We are more organic foods, but I often feel under the spell of cheap, easy, processed foods. Eleanor, born at home and breastfed, strengthened my belief in chiropractic. I should also add that neither daughter has been vaccinated. It was at this chiropractic office that my journey unknowingly changed, and my resolve to do what is best for my family finally cemented.
Cole was angry at me for refusing to feed them fast food for dinner. When he told Dr. FJ why he was angry, Dr. FJ told Cole that the cows the meat comes from stand knee deep in their own poop. This sparked further discussion and inquiry. He recommended Food, Inc to me. The next day, Brandon and I sat down to watch it, prepared for change. I don't think either of us were prepared for how much change. Food, Inc rocked our worlds. I cried. Brandon was angry. We tossed everything in our fridge/freezer and instantly changed the way ate. I resolved to cook, meal plan, and buy organic. He finally agreed with me! It didn't just change the way we eat though...I feel it has also changed the way we live. It will force us to slow down, to eat at the table for all of our meals, to work together as a family in our new, unexplored path. It will make us a stronger unit, and we will earn together. I find I like being in the kitchen cooking for my family. I am frightened of what will happen when I go back to work. My home and my kitchen, I feel, are where I belong. My desire to stay at home has also strengthened, and where there is a will, there is a way. No fast food, no processed food. This is our journey to health, happiness, and a stronger home life.