The further along I get in this pregnancy, the more frustrated I become when people begin to ask questions. I find myself getting defensive and avoiding certain topics with people because of the lack of open-mindedness that many seem to possess. I don't like having to defend my actions or choices to anyone, let alone family members. I hate the helpless feeling we seem to feel after one of these discussions. When it came time to discuss our plans for pregnancy, birth, and raising kids Charlie and I were at opposite sides of the spectrum. I asked Charlie to do his own research, like I had done, and THEN make his decision. I didn't point him in the direction that would help me get my way. I let him find his own way. Once he had done his research, he was on board with me.
It's not that I don't like western medicine, hospitals, or doctors. I don't think it's all evil. I just believe that there is a time and a place. Birth is a natural human thing. Hundreds of thousands of generations have been born. Yes, while some have died..most of them THRIVED. There is no way we would be here today if the natural way didn't work. Long before pitocin, fetal heart monitors, c-sections, IVs, etc...babies were born. Hospitals are meant for sick and broken people. Do I go get pain killers before I feel any pain? No. And If I did, I should see someone about a possible addiction. My point is...pending everything is progressing beautifully as God had intended...I want to stay home. I also want to point out- if something ISN'T dandy...we're going to the hospital.
I just wonder if it's all worth it anymore. Family members threaten to cut us off if we continue on this way. Friends and family use scare tactics to scare us into doing it the "normal" way. They say we can't have possibly researched this, but I wonder...do these people do research or just listen to what the doctor says. True, they spent years in school learning about certain things that I just don't know and probably won't ever know. But I also know that a lot of things are unnecessary. I know the doctors are in the money making business and scaring mothers and fathers is a quick way to get money these days.
Call me crazy, but I believe in my body. I believe in my baby, my body, my husband. And I believe in my God. I believe that even when I'm terrified and scared that I have no idea what I'm doing, that my body knows what to do and my God is watching over me and protecting me. Some people don't have that much faith in me or God.
There are things we just will not be doing when it comes to Austin. There are other things that we remain firm on doing or implementing. I will list them and the explanation for them below.
We will be delaying the cord cutting.
At first, the decision was to delay it until the it stopped pulsating. This was to prevent jaundice. I was jaundice as a baby and even though this had very little to do with how quickly the cord was cut but more about how early I was born, I don't want to risk him being jaundice because the doctors and nurses got a bit snip happy. As we researched it a bit more [reading more books, watching more videos, talking to like-minded individuals], we decided that we'd let him stay attached as long as possible. I brought this to my doctors attention and he begun pushing his own agenda. ["How about we clamp it?"] Austin will have been growing inside me for quite some time. After birth, we're going to lose this vital piece of the puzzle that keeps us connected. I want to savor the last few moments we have being together [literally]. And medically, I want as much of the cord blood to drain into his body. There are vital pieces of goodness in that cord blood and why shouldn't he get all of it?
He will not be getting a bath right away.
When a baby is in the womb, he is covered in vernix to protect him from the amniotic fluid. It also acts as a lubricant during birth. When he comes out, he's got the white gunk all over him and typically the doctors and nurses rub it all off right away. There's nothing truly scientific about our reasoning other than it has some good juju [natural protective properties]. It's actually good for his skin. Rather than scrubbing all of the gunk off, we're going to massage it in and allow it to absorb into his skin. Sounds gross, but we're all for it.
We will not be administering Vitamin K or eye drops.
-Western medicine has decided that certain procedures for some should be standardized. Roughly 1 in 10,000 babies has a vitamin K deficiency. This prevents blood clotting and can cause major problems if your baby has it. Some want to bring up the link between vitamin k and the increased risk of childhood leukemia, but there have been no conclusive results from any of the studies. The beauty of mother nature and the way that God designed bodies to work and function properly is that any vitamin K that I take in will go directly to him through breastmilk. The first milk he'll receive from me will be full of it.
-Shortly after birth, doctors and nurses administer an antibiotic ointment [or drops], erythromycin. This next part is what really makes me shake my head at western medicine and how blindly most people will follow it. These eyedrops protect babies from eye infections. Infections from what? Gonorrhea/Chlamydia bacteria! The last time I checked, I've never had nor am I at risk for these infections therefore Austin isn't either [unless he's getting busy in the womb!] Therefore= UNNECESSARY. Did you also know that these drops temporarily blind your baby. So when he could be getting some bonding time with mommy and daddy, he's actually being blinded because some people are too careless with their bodies and now EVERY BABY has to have these STD drops.
We will not be circumcising Austin's penis.
Currently, this baby is growing inside of me. He is being made from scratch. God is entrusting one of his precious angels to Charlie and I and it is our duty to protect him from harm. There is no medical reason that circumcision is necessary [unless phimosis occurs- where the foreskin doesn't retract, becomes tight and obstructs the flow of urine]. So why in the world would I let someone snip him? A lot of people believe that uncircumcised penises attract infections and cancer. Circumcision does NOT prevent any disease. Diseases happen to anyone who doesn't practice proper hygiene. If you play in the mud, you're going to get dirty. Austin will learn proper hygiene and practice these on a daily basis. Then comes the argument of looking "aesthetically pleasing" or "like daddy". Honestly, all penises look the same when they are erect [and isn't that the point where you are looking at it anyway?]. And if I wanted him to look like daddy, he'd get two large tattoos on his arm and pierce his eyebrow. Besides, more and more people are choosing the uncirc'ed route so I doubt he'll have issues in the locker room.
We will be selective/refusing vaccines.
Austin WILL receive: [possibly with some delay]
-Tetanus [though I can't recall ever getting a booster from this. they tried to give it to me at Madigan and I refused]
-Pertussis [might even forego this one as his chances of getting whooping cough aren't that likely until he goes to daycare]
-Hib [to protect against meningitis]
Austin WILL NOT receive:
-MMR [not bc of the link with Autism, but because the three illnesses it protects against are pretty minor. I never had it and never contracted any of the diseases]
-Varicella [aka chicken pox vaccine]
-Polio [although the jury is still out on this one]
-Flu Shot [unless he is in a high-risk area...which I doubt since I've caught the flu once from having someone cough onto my pillow. besides...i'm allergic to it and all flu medication so if he gets it..i'm screwed.]
Charlie and I aren't irresponsible parents-to-be. We are merely looking at the facts, researching all possible options, and deciding what we think is best for our family and our son. We are doing the best we can think to do. That doesn't make us irresponsible or reckless. I'm not against doing the hospital/doctor route if it's necessary, but if it's not...why should we?
I don't expect anyone to understand, but I do expect some level of respect for these decisions from EVERYONE. We're not saying you're wrong if you do it differently or that you made some major mistake that we're trying not to repeat. It's just that this is what we want and we're confident that it's the best decision.