Following the Path That Found Me

cloth diapers

January is often a time for self-reflection, starting new projects and making resolutions. Many of us begin the new year with hopes to improve ourselves. What a perfect time to feature a series of posts on gaining wisdom! Over the course of this month, we'll post interviews with experienced mothers and feature stories written by women about what they've learned, and are continuing to learn, about motherhood. Thank you for starting the new year with us. We wish you all a very happy and inspired year of growth! ~TMC--

Hello everyone, my name is Sara and I'm a "natural" mom. I'm a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby food making, natural childbirth advocate and I have no idea how I got here. You can read in my bio that I didn't grow up as one of those girls who day dreamed about the day when I'd earn the title of 'mother'. But now that I've got it I have to admit I'm quite surprised at the path motherhood has taken me on thus far.

I guess you could say that our planning process began before we even got pregnant… but we were totally clueless that it was happening.

When the hubs and I got hitched we signed up for a class that taught Natural Family Planning (NFP).  I won't dive into too much detail but it's basically birth control without the birth control. Natural. Effective. Awesome. I had been on the look out for a new gynecologist ever since making the move to GA so when our NFP teacher recommended a Christian-based practice that wasn't far from our house I thought I'd hit the jackpot. And after going to the practice and meeting the staff I was sure of it. Jackpot, all the way! Oddly enough it took me actually getting pregnant to realize that the 'doctor' I had seen at my first annual visit was actually a midwife. I guess I REALLY trusted my NFP teacher's recommendations and did little research on my own. Oh well. I was totally in love with her so I never thought twice. I was pregnant and a midwife was going deliver our baby. The plan was falling into place.

We started the usual schedule of pregnancy check-ups and one day while waiting for the midwife to come into the room, I noticed a flyer on the corner table promoting a child birthing class. It had dates and contact information and something about a "Bradley Method" so I thought, what the heck, may as well see if we can't get some birthing wisdom. It's customary, right? Once again… for whatever reason I did little to NO research on the Bradley Method before scheduling our classes. It was only after a very pregnant Bradley coach was sitting in our living room teaching us how to 'simulate sleep' during labor that the hubs and I fully realized it was a natural method of childbirth. No drugs. Very little intervention. Au Natural. She was a wonderful coach and completely sold us on the method so we thought, cool… let's run with it. I started out thinking, "Yeah, I'll try this naturally but if I decide that I can't handle it I won't be above getting an epidural". But after each class I became more and more confident in the fully natural Bradley method and the more confident I became in my own ability to successfully deliver without any medical intervention. The more I learned the more I fell in love with the miracle of childbirth. Another piece of the plan... laid out for me to follow.

So, we have a midwife and are going to bring this baby into the world without any medical intervention. Right on. What's next in the progression of what I like to affectionately call our 'hippy dippy decisions'? Choosing to breastfeed for at least a year, make our own baby food, and opt for cloth diapers over disposable. WHAT? Through a series of unidentified events that flowed through our birthing classes, research by the hubs and I, a desire to avoid letting a child completely bankrupt us, and talking with other new moms, we went full-fledged "natural". I never imagined I would consciously make the decision to nurse for a full 12 months, spray poop off a piece of cloth then throw it in my washing machine, or puree fruits and veggies on a weekly basis, but sometimes you have to follow that path that is laid out for you instead of trying to construct your own from scratch.

I'm so thankful that I had an open enough mind to embrace all the new ideas that were being thrown my way. The decisions my husband and I made surrounding my pregnancy and childbirth made such a strong impact on my life that I've even added becoming a birthing coach and even a midwife to my life's TO DO list. Gaining the right wisdom to suit your needs doesn't always come from the places you expect. Sometimes it just falls in your lap and you run with it.