A little tid bit about this blog…

This blog is for new parents, and parents-to-be, who are interested in raising their children differently than what the western culture deems “normal”. You might be interested in parenting with an attachment parenting type style.

Once we decide that we want to parent this way, there are many decisions to be made, but no clue on how to make them. Many of us have never actually seen a mother breastfeeding, or a baby sleeping in bed with its parents, or anyone washing cloth diapers. So, how are we to know how to do these things?

We could ask our parents, and our friends. However, most of them also have no experience in the things we are interested in.

One of the things my daughter has taught me is that the human species learns by example. That is why we turn out like our parents, and why Kaia mimics everything that I do. But, it is also one of the reasons that attachment parenting, and “unorthodox” parenting styles sometimes don’t work out for the family. We don’t have anyone in our lives to learn from and follow their example. Since the world is a big place, there has to be other moms and dads out there that are like minded, so the internet is a great place to connect.

If you are looking for some advice and don’t know where to look, this is the right place for you. As a new-mom I know how tough it can be to raise your child this way when no one around you agrees with you. Sometimes we might even fail because we don’t have enough support to do things our way. This is especially true when we have no visual example of what attachment parenting look likes. We might ask ourselves if we are even doing it right. I know I almost gave up on breastfeeding because I was convinced the baby wasn’t getting milk when she was. I had a lactation consultant come to our house because I didn’t have anyone else to tell me if she was even drinking!

So, to help women parent this way I make review & how-to videos, take photographs and blog about different things that my family does. It’s my hope that showing mothers how we make attachment parenting (and the like) work for us, they will see how it can work for them. Make sense? I hope so.

Here some of the things I touch on:

Natural birth, birth in general, breastfeeding, breastfeeding supplies, a healthy diet (I chose Raw til 4 Vegan), cloth diapering, elimination communication (how to start late), co-sleeping, bed sharing, baby carrying, holistic medicine, starting solids late, plant-based foods, attachment parenting, gentle discipline, distraction, reviews on products, and many other similar topics.

 

When I was pregnant I was obsessed with researching EVERYTHING. Everything about pregnancy, everything about birth, and everything about babies.

I guess you could call me a hippy. I didn’t want to follow government guidelines, or blindly go along with ‘what everyone else is doing’. Sometimes I feel that we, as humans and parents, need to do some of our own research and find out what is true for ourselves. For me, that meant a lot of digging into what ingredients were used in baby items, what it was really like to breastfeed, what ingredients were in vaccines, how cloth diapers worked, what baby products were safe for my baby’s skin, what holisitic pediatrician would be a fit for our family, what co-sleeper would be safest for our bed sharing plan, what midwife would deliver our baby, and so on.

Even though I had nine months to do my research, I was still not prepared for the obstacles that life put in our way during, and after our pregnancy…

From birth complications, to a hospital stay, to latch issues, engorgement, plugged milk ducts, detergent reactions, cloth diaper routine problems, to sleep issues, back and rib pain from poor breastfeeding positions, sleep deprivation, and calorie intake issue, to stomach issues and colic, to baby carrying issues, and feelings of un-acceptance from loved ones… I was not prepared.

If you are pregnant, and reading this in hopes of becoming prepared for motherhood, you should know one thing right now… no matter what, you will not be prepared.

I’m sorry, I know you don’t want to hear this. I certainly didn’t, but it is very true.

So now that I’m here… on the other side of pregnancy… the motherhood side… I thought it would be helpful for other hippy moms (and moms-to-be) for me to show you what it’s like to parent this way. Because, for me, I had no one in my life who had experience with breastfeeding, co-sleeping, holistic medicine, baby carrying, or attachment parenting. Whenever I ran into a problem I was on my own. When I got engorged I didn’t have anyone to go to for advice since I didn’t know a single woman who had breastfed. I would have given up on breastfeeding all together if my midwife had not sent a lactation consultant to my home.

Having support is so important if you want to succeed, and I feel that many women- who want to parent this way- don’t have the support they need. I know I didn’t. So, here I am…. ready to led my helping hand to new moms who don’t know what they are doing (because none of us do), and maybe my hind-sight will help you figure out the obstacles that you might be going through (or will be going through soon enough).

Before I end this rant, I would like to say one last thing: Being a mother is not easy. Of course, it’s wonderful, and a miracle, and a total blessing. But, those are the things that everyone talks about. I want to take a moment to talk about what no one seems to talk about. Motherhood is tough. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought that I would love everything about being a mom. I figured since I was going to baby carry that I would simply strap the baby to my chest, plop my breast in her mouth, and go about my business. Dead wrong.

There are some days when you think to yourself “I just need a minute to myself” and that is OK. You need to know this, because I didn’t. We are pushed passed our physical, and emotional limits on a daily basis. Breaking down from time to time is completely normal. Things will most likely not go the way you plan, and let that be ok. Expect the unexpected. And know that everyone is just pretending… no one really knows what they are doing either. We are all simply trying our best…and that’s all we can do.

Why “Loving Kaia”?

Kaia is the name of our daughter. Her name means ocean, or sea in Hawaiian (where we hope to move to). Since Kaia came into our lives she has changed us for the better. Loving Kaia has made me a better person. Loving Kaia is the reason I wake up in the morning now. Loving Kaia is why… everything!

Bless! 🙂

 

I want to put a little disclaimer here:

I am not perfect. I am not certified in anything, and I am not a professional. I’m simply a mom who is showing you what worked for me, and my family. Also…. I want to say that I am proud of every parent. I don’t negatively judge any parent’s philosophies or choices. Being a parent is the hardest, most beautiful role in our lives, and we all do it differently. Just because I chose a certain parenting style doesn’t mean that I think less of parents who chose otherwise. I understand that we all must make choices that consider our beliefs and circumstances.

Sometimes I get upset when I unintentionally offend people (but that is a huge lesson in motherhood… to let go). None of us are perfect, and that includes me. I am far from perfect. When some people read my thoughts they are instantly offended, and that is not my intention. I try my hardest to come across as loving and accepting, but some people will always misunderstand me. If you find yourself in this place, please know that I am not negatively judging you or your parenting. I am only showing how I do it…. for other like-minded women. If you do not agree, then this website is not for you.

 

Kaia tree blossom (placenta burial)

The placenta. What is there to do with it? Most people I know don’t even consider it. It becomes the hospitals waste, and disapears into the unknown. Not many people really care about them at all…and even go further in thinking it’s weird to care about them.

However, for me, I knew from early on that I wanted to do something with our placenta… It was too beautiful of a thing to discard of like a piece of garbage (I mean spiritually, of course, because physically it looks like a gooey brain). Even though I knew I didn’t want to toss it out, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. So, I did some research to find out what my options were.

I read that some women consume their placentas. So, I researched the benefits of consuming the placenta, and I considered it. I did some digging on the internet to find out what other moms did. I found out that some ate them raw, some whipped them up in a smoothie, and some made them into capsules to be swallowed. I questioned if it were something I may have done if I were in the wild, and if wild animals do it. Which they do.

kaia treeAfter much thought I weighed the options. Consuming the placenta seemed like the most natural thing to do, and had many health benefits. However, I just couldn’t imagine doing it. The thought of eating it felt gross to me. The placenta isn’t appetizing. It looks like something from a Fear Factor episode. I knew it was something I wouldn’t be able to stomach. So, I decided not to eat it. *With that said, I want to mention that I respect all the mommas out there who were able to consume their placentas. I know they probably get a lot of flack for doing it, and I’m not trying to put them down. I think it’s a good choice out there. It just wasn’t for me.*

Even though eating the placenta felt gross to me, it wasn’t the only reason I chose not to eat it. I also felt that I wanted to honor the placenta, and I couldn’t imagine eating something I wanted to honor. So, I decided to research how other cultures honored their placentas. What I found was that the Hawaiians honored their placentas by planting them in the ground with a tree. I loved this idea, so that’s what we did.

The following weeks after Kaia’s birth the placenta remained in our fridge while we waited for the ground to soften. A big tub with the word “PLACENTA” written on it sat next to a jar of peanut butter. It was a funny sight. Then, when Kaia was a few weeks old we went to a local farm and picked out a tree. The tree was bare and looked dead, but the farmer said it would grow pretty pink flowers over the summer. The species was called a “Pink Valure Crape Merdle” or something like that.

Kaia PlantingIn April, my husband dug a hole in my parent’s backyard, while Kaia and I were resting in the shade. The three of us buried the placenta under the tree, and then said a little blessing. It was a beautiful moment, and I was really happy we were able to do it. I was excited for Kaia to grow with the tree, and to have her visit it over the years.

It took awhile, but over the next few weeks the tree started growing small dark green leaves. By the time it was August it finally began blooming it’s first flowers. I noticed them a few days ago when I saw a pink blob on the tree from our window. It was on the same day that I became inspired to start Loving Kaia.

I took a walk outside to appreciate the beautiful tiny flowers that were blooming. They smelled fresh and were soft to the touch. I decided to take Kaia out to see them. I ticked her face with the pedals. She laughed.kaiaflower

Kaia’s tree blooming on the day I started Loving Kaia feels like a beautiful symbol of what’s to come. In my heart, I feel that this community will enrich so many lives and help so many people—or at least I am hopeful. I’ve never felt so inspired before and I feel that the energy of the universe is creating this through me.

Everything seems to make sense to me now, in a way I’m not sure I can put into words. ….but I’ll try….

Compassion starts at conception. Without compassion we create an apathetic world. A world that is angry, a world that tortures animals, a world that is materialistic and careless, a world that doesn’t help its fellow men, a world that is full of fear and hatred, and a world that has stopped unconditionally loving.

The answer to our problems can be summed up in one word: Apathy –and perhaps we develop this apathy because we aren’t cared for as children… because our continuums were not met, and we became afraid… Afraid of everything… Even to love. So, that’s why this is so important. Because, creating compassionate children creates a compassionate world.

Well, that’s how I feel at least.

Last minute advice: If you aren’t sure what to do with your placenta, and you can’t work yourself up to eating it, then placenta burial is something you should consider. If you’re like me and live in an apartment, you can ask someone close to you if you can plant it on their property. I was lucky to have supporting parents.