If things go the way we have planned, hubs and I could be parents by the end of 2015. I know that sounds like a long time, and to me, it is. But with our plans, I think it'll happen, and it's a lot sooner than it would be if we were adopting.
Plan A - Spend all of 2013 focused on my health and weight loss, so we can start using a sperm donor in 2014. My dad might not want to hear this, but oh well. I'm going to be a mother and you are going to be a grandfather, whether you like it or not :)
Plan B - A secret :) This is still a little up in the air, so I don't want to talk about it yet.
I brought this up because a lot of things have been on my mind lately. A very good friend of mine is pregnant, so we have been talking a lot about how we want to raise our kids. Hubs and I have always known we were going to homeschool, but what about when they are babies? Normal people probably don't think about stuff like this before they are preggo. But I'm not normal. I think that it really helps to have discussions about child-rearing if you are in a long-term relationship. Sometimes the differences in opinions can cause huge problems, and I believe it would be easier to end a relationship before marriage rather than after (mainly because I've gone through a divorce and it sucks). I was glad to learn that hubs and I had a lot of the same beliefs... And the ones that we didn't agree on quickly changed once we did our research. I've determined that I don't obsess over something nearly as much if I write it down, so that's what I'm doing.
How we will raise our children -
If we have a boy, we are not circumcising. The old wive's tales about circumcision being cleaner - a lie. Doesn't harm the baby - a lie. When we first started talking about this, hubs wanted to circumcise, because he was taught that it was difficult to clean. We read some articles about that myth, and he changed his mind. I became even more interested in leaving baby intact when I learned about how the process is done. They don't give babies anesthesia The give them a paralytic so they can't move. Bet you didn't know that, did you? Think about a sensitive area of your body being chopped off without anesthesia Wouldn't do it, right? So why subject poor little baby to it?
We will co-sleep. There are several reasons for this. It is difficult for me to get out of bed quickly due to the RA and fibro. It will be a lot easier for me to care for baby if I don't have to get out of bed. The newer research about co-sleeping also shows higher self-esteem in children, increased life satisfaction and more positive behavior. I could go on and on about this.
We will baby-wear. I don't buy into the myth that babies will become too attached if we always hold them. A study in Pediatrics found that baby-wearing for just 3 hours a day reduced infant crying up to 50%. It also helps reduce the possibility of postpartum depression, which is a big deal for me. It also eliminates the need for dragging strollers around. And all-in-all, it just brings baby closer to parents.
We will breastfeed. Even if I don't end up carrying a child of my own, I will still breastfeed. It's a bonding experience between baby and mom. It's healthier than formula, and much cheaper. There are methods to induce lactation, and there are groups that donate breastmilk to women that have adopted or are unable to breastfeed on their own. No reason for me to not BF.
We will cloth diaper. A friend of mine said she was definitely cloth diapering because they can't afford the major expense of disposable diapers. Although that is one of our reasons, it's not the only one. Cloth is more comfortable. There's a reason we don't buy plastic underwear for ourselves. It helps you learn your baby's habits.
We will not practice the 'Cry It Out' method. Babies cry because something is wrong. I will not teach my little one that crying is useless. I will not let my little one get the idea that I don't feel her needs are important. I will learn my baby's cues for food so she never has to scream for it. I had never thought about this until I read it, but babies show signs of hunger long before the screaming. The screaming usually indicates that that poor thing is starving, because we waited too long to feed them. I'm not going to force my baby into some ridiculous feeding schedule. Babies have little tummies. They need food a lot more often than we do.
We will make our own baby food. Making baby food isn't hard. It requires a blender and a strainer. There won't be a need to buy jars of food when I can make baby food with our dinner. If we are going to eat green beans, so will baby.
I'm sure there are more things we will decide as time goes on. I also know that I'll be belittled by some family about the choices we have made on raising our children. And when that happens, I'll be ready to back up our choice, because it's OUR choice.