Giving up the Natural

Max came home from the hospital August 10th.  We couldn’t wait to get him into cloth diapers.  I spent much of my time pumping to provide the most natural nutrition for my unnatural son.  So far he was only on one medication.  I had a feeling that wouldn’t last.

I was always excited about being a mother.  The community I’d been introduced to through my midwife had gotten me excited about natural parenting.  Babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, attachment parenting with no “crying it out.”  Now here I was in a completely unnatural position.  Natural went out the window as soon as my son took the ambulance to the children’s hospital. He wouldn’t have survived “naturally.” He couldn’t breastfeed because of a swallowing dysfunction and an oral aversion.  His tone dysfunction (pre-cerebral palsy) made him fuss and arch his back out of every baby carrier I tried.  And he cried inconsolably at night.  He never cried it out and got over it, but sometimes we did have to just let him cry.  Nothing we did really helped.

It got better after awhile.  He would still sleep in the baby carriers, so I could take him out to the grocery store and such.  And soon I found one that held him in the cradle position which kept him from arching his back – he still prefers it to the car seat and the stroller.  He started sleeping better at night for about a month.

It was nothing like what I’d envisioned or wanted, but we clung to what we could to keep things natural.  My mom friends constantly asked me “how can you do cloth diaper with everything else you have to do?” and “how can you keep pumping all the time?”  These are the things that I can do.  The parts of my parenting philosophy that I don’t have to give up.


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