Thanks for participating, guys! I really enjoyed this. Now I will get to the answers so those of you bored at work can have something to read while you eat your breakfast or drink your coffee. :)
Do you believe in God? and if so, what brought you to believe? if not, what do you believe in and what brought you to believe in that? This is a tough one. Great question though! I was raised Catholic, but about 5-6 years ago went through a period where I really started questioning my faith. I used to play the flute with the church choir and I was sitting at mass one Sunday when the priest said (this was during the 2004 Presidential campaign) we basically had to vote Republican or we were all sinners. Um, no. Nobody tells me who I have to vote for. Seriously, The Church could support a man who took us to war, killing thousands, but we had to vote for him because he did not support abortion? So, I stopped going. I was also sick of all the hypocritical ways: seriously, all the scandals involving priests and children was really making me sick to my stomach--and those were only the ones that got reported. I am sure there were many more that went on behind the scenes. It seemed to me like The Church was all about money, money, money...which goes against what they preach (not to be greedy). I felt like a sheep, not allowed to think my own thoughts. I also got to see how people reacted in 2001 when my mom filed for divorce. All the gossipy people at church who did not know her background (that my father nearly killed her on several occasions and that he beat his children--he was The Devil himself) would whisper behind her back because, gasp, she's getting a divorce! Even Monsignor G told her she had his permission to get a divorce, because her lives and her children's lives were in danger. Anyway. I can't possibly believe a Bible when I see so much scientifically that disproves it. I do believe it was written to keep people in line, and it was basically plagiarized from ancient religions. Again, this is my opinion, so please don't take offense. I do not have any problem with other people practicing religion and believing whatever they want. But basically, for me, it is show me the proof. If there were a God, how could he allow child molesters and child abusers to continue to ruin lives? I guess I would consider myself agnostic. I'll leave some possibility open, and I won't call myself completely Atheist. It is just my belief that organized religion is a way to control people. I am a free thinker. :)
I've heard you mention you going to have a natural childbirth. What are your reasons behind that decision? Yes. Definitely. My reasons are based on my last childbirth, which was long (27 hours total counting from waking up with contractions 5 minutes apart to the birth). I know that if someone would have been supportive and said, "you can do this" and kept encouraging me, I probably wouldn't have gotten the epidural. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. with the contractions and I labored all day long and finally got the epidural after 20 hours at 1:00 a.m. the next day. The reason why? When they checked me, I was only at a 5. My contractions had been right on top of each other and I could not see (in the shape I was in) how I could dilate 5 more cm and then have to push. I basically chickened out. Well, after the fact I learned that those with low blood pressure (which I have--I am on the low side of normal) should not get epis because it can cause the BP to crash. Which mine did. It went to 88/30 and I started shaking uncontrollably before throwing up my ice chips (lol, I hadn't eaten all day because I wanted to just work through my contractions and I honestly wasn't hungry). Also, last I heard, epidurals were supposed to numb you from the waist down, not the neck down. Because I was numb so high up, they had to elevate my upper body and try and do whatever they had to do to keep me safe. Also, my labor stopped when I got to a 9, so they had to give me pitosin to get the contractions going again. I was SO scared that I would end up with a c-section for "failure to progress". Anyway, I didn't like not being able to feel ANYTHING. When it was time to push, the nurses had to tell me when I was having a contraction, and this was after turning down the epidural twice. I could not feel which muscles they wanted me to use and it was very hard to visualize. The only thing that I liked was I did have the mirror so I could see the progression I was making. An hour-and-a-half later, Andrew was out and that was the best thing ever.
I don't like that today childbirth is treated like a medical emergency. There are so many measures that can be prevented so that the woman can allow her body to do what it is designed to do. So much of this I learned after the fact, but I can say that this time around, I will labor at home for as long as possible (because, let's face it, I'm not going to be one of those mothers with a 2 hour labor). I will not let them break my water (I will let my body do it on its own when the baby is ready to come. The water WILL break when it has to). The later I get to the hospital, the less chance they will have to offer me pain relief. Once I get to the transition phase, I will need A LOT of support from my hubby and he can tell me that the baby is almost here, or whatever. I am going to talk to him ahead of time to be a lot more supportive this time (instead of complaining that it's taking too long, and can he go home? like he did last time). I will continue to tell myself that I can do this. I am a strong woman and I will get through it.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom? And what is the one thing you want your children to know when they grow up? Seeing my son learn and grow has been the most rewarding experience. It amazes me all the time that this little man of mine has learned love and learned to love just from us. It is so awesome to have my son run up to me and give me a hug or a kiss, just out of the blue. I love it. One thing I would like him to know when he grows up is that he can do anything he sets his mind to. If he has a goal in mind, he shouldn't let anyone bring him down or tell him he can't do something.
Favorite 80's Hair Band? Guns 'N Roses
Favorite Broadway musical? I have only seen Cats and Joseph and I really didn't like either very much. I guess I will say that I would like to see Les Mes.
If you were forced to choose between chocolate chip mint and chocolate chip cookie dough ice creams, which would you pick? Mint chocolate chip.
How do you take your coffee / tea? I don't drink either. :)
What is the meaning of life? Basically, to have happy families.
What's one place you've always wanted to travel to that you haven't yet? And why? Australia. I would love go go there. Reason why I haven't? Too long of a flight.
How would you describe your basic parenting philosophy?? I definitely lean towards attachment parenting than anything else. I guess I would fall under the "crunchy" category, more so than mainstream. I believe that you can't spoil a newborn and it's okay to cuddle and snuggle with them as much as possible. I am a big believer in breastfeeding, as I did breastfeed my son for 2 years, 1 month, and 1 week. My original goal was 1 year, and I far surpassed that. I guess I would have never thought toddler nursing was "normal" until it was me doing it. It's not like you look down and see a big boy--it's a gradual thing. For me, 12 months became 15 months, and that became 18 months and so on. There was no damage to him when he wanted to continue to get the very best (especially when I nursed through his second year and got him through another winter). It's such a gradual process--going from baby to toddler, that it really just felt natural to me. That was the most important thing to him: nursing. He would cry when I got home from work and grab my leg, saying, "more", which was his word for mama milk. I couldn't deny him that because society says "no more than one year". We will never get that time back--ever, and that, to me is the best thing I have ever done. We will both always remember the special times we had together while nursing, and that is something that NOBODY else can share besides us. ♥ For me, there was no alternative.
I also know that I am the "softer" parent. I think biologically, that can be the norm (although not always). Andrew does listen better to Daddy, but I also think it has something to do with the fact that I am at work during the week (8-4 Monday through Friday) so Andrew knows that my time with him is special so he does demand more from me. He's not spoiled, but he knows that he can always come to me and snuggle if he is feeling sad or scared (he gets scared easily, even in non-scary movies like Madagascar. He's a sensitive kid).
We did co-sleep, and it started because of his horrible reflux. After finding him in his crib with thrown up milk all over the back of his head (even with his mattress elevated), I worried that something would happen to him. My solution was to have him sleep propped up on my arm. It worked like a charm. Co-sleeping isn't for everyone, but I was (am) a very light sleeper. My DH wouldn't sleep in the bed with us. When he got older, I was easily able to transition him to going down in his crib (awake). My philosophy is to do what works for the time being. It was also very easy for those night feedings. :)
All of that said, I don't judge other moms for their parenting beliefs. I want to make that clear because often it is implied that "we" crunchy people feel we're superior, and that is not the case at all for me.