Kate and Vivi sharing birthday cake
Several years ago, my husband and I rented “The Business of Being Born” on Netflix. Directed by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, it’s an eye-opening documentary about natural childbirth and the birth industry. Looking back, it sounds like an odd movie choice for a newly married couple spending a quiet Friday night at home. But when the movie was over, my husband turned to me and nonchalantly said, “We should consider a natural birth for our kids.”
To be honest, I wasn’t quite as “moved” by the film as he was. We weren’t planning on having kids any time soon, and my mantra had always been “the more pain meds, the better.” I knew nothing about vaccinations (except that I had them as a kid), my favorite food groups were sugar and processed junk, and I wasn’t hot on the idea of breastfeeding (even though I grew up with a La Leche League attending, lactation consultant mama.) I was definitely not the type to embrace natural parenting methods.
But the film stayed with me, and well, it got under my skin. And over time we made gradual changes, like eating more fruits and veggies, recycling and reducing our consumption, and taking supplements like fish oil and vitamin D. I read as much as I could about natural childbirth and parenting, while reaching out to like-minded mamas for support and encouragement.
Today, we have a very healthy, active (read: running and climbing) one-year-old daughter, Vivienne, who came into this world as naturally as I could manage. We’re breast-feeding, sometimes co-sleeping, and learning more about vaccinations. And although I never thought I could give up my career as a teacher, I am now a stay at home mama. Trading lesson plans for baby blocks worked out after all, and now I’m a regular blogger for my own website as well as this one.
My husband, Kirk, and I are a parenting team. From the beginning, our philosophy has been to research everything before saying something is or isn’t for our family. As a mama, I’ve learned that the best expert when it comes to my daughter is myself. Motherhood has forced me to let go of my inner control freak and simply embrace the imperfection of it all.
And as we prepare for a cross-country move to Oklahoma City, I’m feeling something similar to the emotions of pregnancy. I’m not quite sure what to expect or how our lives will be once we get there. But I do know one thing: this adventure we call parenting keeps getting better and better. I hope you’ll join me on this journey as we share the life-changing, exhausting, but indescribable experience of motherhood.
Kate juggles being a full-time mama, part-time graduate student, and an occasional blogger at Boomerang Mama. She and her husband currently share a home near Lake Michigan with her salsa-dancing parents and two neurotic Welsh Corgis.