Monday, May 25, 2009

New Gig

Here's the first column for Tulsa Kids. I'll be interested to hear what you all think.

When a good friend told me she planned to use cloth diapers with her second child, I looked at her like she was crazy.

I had the same look on my face when another friend told me about delivering her nine-pound baby without an epidural, and it’s a look I’ve seen many times on the faces of others – directed toward me.

As an expectant first-time mother, I voraciously devoured any pregnancy-, childbirth- and baby-related literature I could get my hands on. That set of books and magazines included the typical, mainstream stuff marketed to and considered a “must read” for new mothers: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy, Parents, etc.

It wasn’t until seven months into my pregnancy, as I watched videos of medicated and unmediated births and practiced deep chest breathing at my hospital-sponsored birthing class, that I started to consider a natural birth – natural meaning without an epidural, not just vaginal.

My class wasn’t geared toward mothers who planned natural births; in fact, when the nurse who taught the class asked how many of the mothers attending planned to have an epidural, all but me raised their hands.
What convinced me, though, was realizing that birth is a natural process and something that my body is completely capable of handling. The nurse explained to us, “The uterus is a smooth muscle, very similar to the heart, and childbirth is a natural function of the uterus. When your heart functions properly and naturally, it doesn’t hurt.”

So, in theory, neither should childbirth.

I’m not going to kid myself or any of you by saying my labor with my son, Isaac (who’s now one), wasn’t painful. But, in discovering that the pain is manageable and by learning techniques to manage the pain, I was able to remove a lot of the fear I had about childbirth and commit to having a natural birth.

From there, I began to question things I had previously read and seek out new information. I discovered Ina May Gaskin, Dr. Sears and Mothering magazine. I began to rethink, not only the way I would deliver my baby, but how I wanted to raise him. Suddenly, I was considering cloth diapers. I was also considering co-sleeping, baby wearing, making Isaac’s baby food and other things I had considered “crazy” before.

The idea of co-sleeping or refusing an epidural seems crazy to people because information about such things and their benefits aren’t widely available. When I began to seek out information, I found plenty of it, but I really had to look. I wish that more mainstream parenting magazines would include more information about natural and holistic parenting practices, especially as their popularity increases.

Luckily, Tulsa Kids is on board, offering this column, designed to offer information about alternative parenting. We’ll present information on such topics as breastfeeding, baby wearing, toys and playing, feeding, pregnancy and more. And we really want to hear from you, so we’ll continue the conversations we start here online at the (column name) blog on Tulsa Kids’ new Web site, See you there.


I've been working so much, with my full-time job and a bevy of freelance assignments, that I haven't had much time for blogging on this site, but Little Man is growing and developing into an ornery but adorable little fellow.

Since Isaac started taking his first wobbly steps earlier this month, he's become a full-fledged walker. He started last Monday, the 18th, walking all over the house. I was at my parents' house that evening, working in the kitchen with my grandmother, and I stepped out to check on Isaac, whom I'd left playing in the living room, but who had teetered his way into the dining room, coming to find his mama. When I caught him, he squealed with delight. In the course of just one week, he has really learned to balance himself, walking (sometimes nearly running) all over the house.

He's as demanding as ever, and has learned to throw tantrums when he doesn't get his way. If he feels like I'm preventing him from getting or doing something he wants, he head butts or bites me. I'm trying to nip that in the bud now, but sometimes I just have to laugh, because even when he's acting like a total brat, he's just the cutest thing ever.

I'm meeting with a Realtor on June 8 to start looking for a new home for I-Man and me. I've been browsing properties for months, but with Vicki's help, we'll really start looking for the perfect house. I'd like to close in August or September, which would give us plenty of time to get packed and move before the lease is up on our apartment in October.

I'm working with the Community Actions Project's first-time home buyer program, which helps low-income families buy their first home and offers a little bit of down payment assistance. Isaac and I have been saving our pennies, and I already know my credit is good and I shouldn't have a problem getting a loan, so the only thing left now is to find the house!

I also picked up another gig (as if I needed any more work) with Tulsa Kids. A few months ago, I pitched the editor a column on natural parenting but didn't hear back for a while. I continued to check in, and finally she told me she liked the idea but didn't think she had room for another column. So, she asked me to write a feature on the subject, but as we discussed my idea and all of the different aspects of natural and attachment parenting, she agreed that there was just too much information to fit into one feature, and so she agreed to give me a column. I'm excited because I think information like this should be made more readily available by mainstream pubs like TK, and I'm also excited that, once I explained my idea to her, the editor got really excited as well. So, my first column, which is basically just an introduction to me and what I'll be writing about, will come out in the June issue. Also, TK is revamping its Web site, so I'll be blogging there as well, extending the information I provide in the column. I'm super excited, and I'll let you all know when it goes live.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How we celebrated Cinco de Mayo...

Isaac took his first steps tonight! We were at my friend Natasha's house with a couple of other people, as we were engrossed in our conversation, Isaac stood up and took two steps toward me all on his own. I said, "Um, you guys? Isaac just walked." So I stood him up and he did it again, this time with everyone paying attention. We clapped and cheered him on, and he walked back and forth between me and Natasha's husband Aaron for probably about 30 minutes. Sometimes he only managed one or two steps on his own and others he made it four or five. It was incredible. I probably would have been bawling if I hadn't been in the company of others.

Afterward, it was like he understood that being mobile meant he could do so much more, and he was really interested in playing with Natasha's son Sam, more so than he's been any of the times we hung out together with our boys. They hugged and kissed each other over and over. It was so sweet. I have pictures of everything to put up tomorrow when I'm not working on a computer from the Jurassic period.

It was an amazing night, and I know my life is never going to be the same. I just hope I'm ready for it...

Friday, May 1, 2009


I found a molar in Isaac's mouth tonight. It's already halfway in! How did I miss that? (He's also got his fourth lower incisor, if anyone's counting along with me. Haha.)

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