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None of my three daughters have been interested in baby food.  After my first was born, I decided not to fool with it at all.  So, with Ivy and Gwen and by default with Deladis, I have practiced baby-led weaning.

Baby Led Weaning, quite simply, means letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning. The term was originally coined by Gill Rapley, a former health visitor and midwife. – Baby-Led Weaning: The Mush Stops Here

The term “weaning” is used in the British sense on this website and does not mean ending nursing (breastfeeding).  It simply means introducing solid foods.

Deladis’ first swallowed food was cucumber.  Ivy’s was avocado, and Gwen’s was peas.  For Gwen, it is more about exploring the texture and the taste of the food.  She rarely swallows it.  I have noticed her increasing the amount going in to the stomach little by little.

I also do child-led weaning.  “Weaning” in this use means end of nursing.  Child-led means that the child dictates when the breastfeeding relationship will end unless the mother becomes uncomfortable and ready to wean prior to that time.  Deladis stopped nursing at 2 years and 6 months.  Ivy did at 2 years and 2 months.  It worked out beautifully for our family.  My girls have rarely needed antibiotics and are generally very healthy and strong.  I love nursing my babies and fortunately I’ve had an relatively easy go of it.  With Deladis I had some difficulties in the beginning, but once they were worked out, I had no more problems.  The key is when problems do arise to seek help if your remedies do not solve the problem.

Child-led weaning is actually in tune with the American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding recommendations.

Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk,” published in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 27), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.

Anyhow… all this to say that this is what baby-led weaning looks like in our home. 🙂  Happy Sunday!

Yep, I "gommed" up a strawberry.

Yep, I “gommed” up a strawberry.

And now I get a bath in front of some nice moist heat and a picture window looking out on the sunny Sunday!

And now I get a bath in front of some nice moist heat and a picture window looking out on the sunny Sunday!

 

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On the second, I started a post about the fact that I have actually made some New Year resolutions for 2013.  I was excited while writing, and at the same time feeling a bit ridiculous.  Gwen started fussing and I stopped writing.  Then, yesterday was a difficult one for us.  Ivy has started crying a lot throughout the day on most days for reasons so numerous that I’d have to write a book to describe it all and then some she just makes up on the spot.  I’ve been told that it is middle child syndrome, but I’m not satisfied with that answer.

It was the first sunny day in weeks, so I made sure the girls went outside for a bit of play.  However, Deladis decides that since they play in the creek during the summer, it would be a good idea to wade the creek in January in her new snow boots and Ivy in tennis shoes.  I had a hard time with patience and the fact that I thought she would know better.  There coats were thrown off in the floor.  Their wet clothes thrown in the floor.  I sit Gwen down to pick that up and to remind them that they also know where their clothes go, and she cries.

She doesn’t like to sit on her own much.  I have about 10 minutes before I have to get her back up.  She, like Deladis, is a spirited child.  She doesn’t like to take naps, though she’s a decent night sleeper.  Generally, a lot like her biggest sister.  Like my sister reminded me that evening on the phone, “You’ve never had a laid back child.”

This was after Deladis cried during our first day back at school because she didn’t complete something perfectly.  I wrestled Gwen through her fusses while trying to read Deladis her lessons, shifting Gwen from floor, to lap, to clothes basket.  Right after, Ivy cries like a wild banshee because I ask her to tell me her ABCs.  She says, “I’m too scared.”  Same little girl that will dance in front of 100 people, won’t say her ABCs for her mother who is just curious at how well she knows them.

By the middle of the day, I was feeling like a failure of a mother.  For sure, there was something bigger that needed to be fixed.  I needed to just stop daydreaming about plans and things I needed to get done.  The pile of dishes in the sink.  My New Year resolutions, and pay minute detail to what spurs these fits.  I felt bad for believing that I could tack yet more things onto my already determined to do list when I was already not doing that well.

Yet, I found reassurance from a group of mamas on Facebook.  I realized that if I can turn it into a positive it is fine.  I’m not failing, just seeing room for improvement.  I talked to my sister, who rubbed her two laid back kids in my face, while talking about how grown up the not so laid back one is getting to be. 😉  And, I felt better.  Not like it was the end of all I wanted to accomplish, but still just the beginning.

See, it is easy from these blogs and social media posts… and from mothering forums… Pinterest… to think that this parenting/homeschooling gig is a great accomplishment.  But, what we often miss out on is how dag gone hard it can be sometimes.  For, on this, we mostly see the end results.  Our kids dressed in the play costumes, with their basketball trophy, the cool cake we made for their birthday, all the boxes of stuff I’ve managed to purge out of our cabin.  We don’t see as often the work that got us there.  And so, when the results simply aren’t there on any given day.  It can feel like a loss.  What do we have to post about that day?  Sure don’t want to sound like you are complaining.  There is no room for complaining in such a blessed life.  How dare you feel like raising your voice or crying?!

The truth is… my list of resolutions is boring.  I have quite a few, and I’m not cutting it down.  The interesting stuff is the doing.  The grunt work.  For that is where our accomplishment is – the fact that we get up in the morning ready to do it all again.  We’ve not abandoned our post.  We’ll be there for those beautiful little souls when we wake up in the morning. Deladis always gets up before me now days.  We haven’t and aren’t giving up.

As my friend reminded me of tonight.  “I just think of it like this.  Such a strong willed child will one day grow up to make one heck of a strong woman.”  Amen, sister… Amen.

So, this year this blog is about the doing.  Forget what I plan to do.  I’ll share with you and record for my girls what we actually do and how we get it done.  That’s the point – right?

Below is the start of my resolutions post….

I’m not one to make resolutions in the New Year.  I never really have, or if I did I wasn’t serious enough about it to remember it right now.  2012 was a special year for me.  I had my third daughter at home in one of the most beautiful experiences possible – an HBA2C.  I accomplished something so very amazing for me and my beautiful daughter, our health and well-being, and am forever changed.

tired

I called it my Jesus year.  I was 33 for most of it.  I discovered just how powerful a spiritual practice can be.  I had the chance to pull back, reassess, and now I have come out with a plan.

My last post was all about my inspiration to be re-motivated for most of these resolutions.  Many of them aren’t new, but things that have served me in the past, and will again.

1. Recommit to eating a Traditional Foods diet.  (Being pressed for time and tired during the last months of pregnancy I haven’t been cooking from scratch as much as I’d like.)

2. Simplify our living space.  Look what I am purging so far.  I’m just getting started. 🙂

IMG_2261

3. Organize what is left of the cabin and create a sanctuary for living.  I’m making a designated school and office space in the living room!  Our space is small and if you’ve followed me when I wrote here before, you know this is something that I am constantly working on.  Yet, in this case, I have a new strategy, and am approaching it from a different mind set.  It’s going to be fun!  I’ve gotten some tremendous inspiration from some DIY homebuilding friends who have built a beautiful home at minimum cost and almost all on their own.  I am still inspired by this home I toured in New Echota a few years ago.

My favorite kitchen of the day in the Worcester House at New Echota

My favorite kitchen of the day in the Worcester House at New Echota

4.

I’m so excited to share with you an article that was published in The Daily Yonder last week!  I wrote it!  Closing Maternity Wards: Costly and Risky… click on the picture below to read the article.

My darling nephew - brand new

The article was also picked up on www.kentucky.com!  There has been some discussion on both sites.  I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to write this article for this publication. 🙂  I hope you will take a look if you get the time.

I am so excited to announce that a radio documentary that I have been working on these last few months is going to air on this coming week’s edition of Mountain News and World Report on the local public radio station WMMT.  The topic is cesarean awareness and how it affects the women of the Kentucky mountains and nationwide.  We interviewed a local obstetrician, a certified nurse midwife, and a certified professional midwife on the topic, as well as a local mother whose daughter’s life was saved by cesarean surgery.

The airdate is August 1st (Sunday) at 10:30am EST and again on August 3rd (Tuesday) at 6pm EST.  You can listen locally at WMMT 88.7 and also online at www.wmmt.org where you will find a link for listening live.  The piece will also be available for download after the airdates if you click on the link for the Community Correspondence Core.

This issue is close to my heart and the piece is airing right after the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued revised guidelines that are more supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean.  It also airs on the week that we will celebrate Deladis’s 5th birthday and my 5th year of motherhood. 🙂  I hope you will get to celebrate with us by listening to the piece.

Be blessed,

Kelli

Find more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Today is a rainy Monday in the mountains.  It’s been sweet though.  I just got word that the first baby born whose parents completed my childbirth class series was born!  The birth went wonderfully and mom and babe are doing great!  This makes me smile no matter how hard it rains.

Birth for me is the biggest miracle.  In everything pregnancy, labor, and birth is, you can’t deny that it is miraculous.  I don’t care if you are the most spiritual person in the world, or think spirituality is a crock, I believe everyone agrees that the act of birth is amazing.

It was about 40 minutes ago today, two years ago that my water broke in Karma Cafe on busy Bardstown Rd. in Louisville, Kentucky while I waited with John and Deladis for our dinner and my journey to my Ivy began.  She was born on the 28th at 2:12am chubby and red with a head full of black hair and fuzzy ear lobes.

I loved being pregnant.  I loved my large, hard, round belly.  I loved waiting for her and not knowing if she was a boy or girl.  I loved labor.  The ebbs and flows, as hard as some of the waves were to ride.  To hold her was real rest.  To nurse her was completion of a life cycle.  To be her mother is a gift.  Pregnancy and birth is a true gift.

Hi everyone!  I wanted to invite you to my “birth” blog today to check out a three part series I have been working on.  The first post is on the history of childbirth in eastern Kentucky.  I hope you enjoy it.

http://birthtrueblog.wordpress.com

Later this afternoon, I will be making the long journey into the city.  Friday is the first day of the workshop that will begin my formal training to become a certified childbirth educator.  As I have mentioned before, the training is through Lamaze and I will eventually receive certification from Lamaze International when I complete the requirements.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.

Knowing my perception of myself ten years ago, I would have been very amused if someone had suggested to me that my life would take this path.  I was in my early twenties and while I had just recently witnessed the natural birth of my first nephew and acted as a birth coach for my sister, I had no plans to give birth myself.  I thought giving birth to be a miracle and it absolutely made me embrace my womanhood in a way I never had prior to witnessing the glorious capacity of a woman’s body.  I was sure though, that while other women were enjoying pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, that there were other plans for my life.  Not that I thought those plans more dignified at all, but more that I felt like life had not prepared me to fulfill that role in another’s life.  I felt like I was doing the child who I would birth a favor by choosing to remain childless.

I look back on my life at this juncture, and it is obvious to me my preparation through everything from my birth order, life experiences, and educational choices for motherhood and teaching (or should I say sharing my experiences with others and guiding the search for information).  I was the first born of my mother’s children and I tortured my baby sister day after day with school play.  It was either that or her torture me with trying to copy and become a part of my independent play. 😉  I majored in English with a minor in Creative Writing in college, only to accept a job as a Language Arts teacher in the public school system.  I went on to receive a Master’s in Teaching.  It was like I had forgotten how I told my family that I wouldn’t be a teacher when they had suggested it to me so many times.  I was going to be a writer.  Then, I experienced birth through my sister, and almost five years later John and I desired to make a family.  It was sudden, and in spite of all the plans to the contrary.

There was the planning for my birth – the dreaming.  Then, there was the experience.  I didn’t embrace what happened to me and my baby girl in any way for the longest time.  It wasn’t suppose to have happened that way.  Not to me.  I didn’t understand that it was another leg of my journey.  Ivy’s birth gave me a little more understanding, and yet I still didn’t accept what my heart was asking me to do.  I felt like everything I had experienced and studied about would eventually bring a correction of what happened to me.  It wasn’t about that at all.  Healing isn’t always a reversal of a problem, and I would argue that most often it is not, but it is a renewal of our perception of that problem.  That self that I thought I was, wasn’t me at all.  It was an ego denying my whole self peace.  I am complete just as I am.

So, now I have this awesome opportunity to put myself to use to a cause greater than I could have ever imagined for myself.  A cause that is much greater than I am.  It is not something I could ever take on of my own accord or understanding, but it is a movement of a collective body of women and men, working, in the best of times, as one force.  To help other women learn about their bodies, enjoy their pregnancies, plan their informed births, and process the experience is a huge undertaking, but it is one that I love.  It was done for me, and I am so thankful to those women.  Not only will I have the opportunity to be an active part of a birth community, but I will be helping women in my mountains.  The birth tradition in these hills is so rich and beautiful as much as it is hard to grasp at times.  I think of the courage of those women and the trust that they put into the natural course of life.  I want to help women from whatever place they come from in their journey to motherhood and through whatever their plans may be, help them to understand what is happening, to trust their body, and help them to feel comfortable and safe in the choices they make for themselves and their babies.

I’m thankful that I am finally able to listen to my heart.  It is much easier than trying to rationalize contrary choices.  I’m thankful for this opportunity.  I’m able to embrace what happened to me as an experience in a longer journey that has a larger purpose than a few events in my life.  Not that those experiences were easy ones, but more that they helped me to grow as a person.  No, it wasn’t a part of my planning, but it chose me, and I’m so glad.

I think I have already chosen a name for my services and a tag line.  It may change, but for now I like it. 🙂  I will be starting a new blog upon my return under that title.  I will blog about my experiences in formal training and the topics I am studying or finding interesting in the world of childbirth.  I won’t blog about anyone (privacy is my utmost priority), but it will be more informational in tone and a companion to my eventual personal website for my services.  Birth is a very personal topic and because of the many varied experiences can seem almost mythical.  Learning about the ideas surrounding birth and the issues involved is a great way to make it seem less so, but no less miraculous. 🙂

Ivy has been sick since Thursday night.  Fever and coughing.  I’m reluctant to call it the flu as no one else in our house has had those symptoms, but Ivy has been real poorly.  After sleepless nights keeping a check on the fever, it was amazing to wake up Saturday morning to see the ground covered in snow and huge chunky flakes falling from  the sky.  Both of the girls stood at our picture window mesmerized for the longest time.

Because Ivy is so sick, and we didn’t receive the best gravel job on the new road from the gas company, we decided it would be best to stay at my mother’s in case we needed to take Ivy to the ER.

The willow in Mom's yard and Lydia's (my step-dad's dog) doghouse. She's in there full of pups. Due Christmas Eve.

The wettness left from the rain we’ve had this last week caused the snow to lay in blankets over everything.  It was so beautiful.  I haven’t been able to shake my melancholy since my last post, and just seeing it filled me with a white peace for awhile.  There isn’t anything much more gorgeous than seeing a crown swooping from a white branch onto a ground covered in snow.

Maple in Mom's yard, planted when I was 12 or 13.  Just a stick then.

These hills are home in every season.  Home because they are real.  Life here is real.  It is these solitary moments – the in breath – that takes me through my days lately.

I want to thank all of you who left a comment of well wishes on my last post.  I appreciate it.  If you don’t mind, please pray for or send healing thoughts to my Ivy.  She’s so puny.  I will rise up… one day, I will.

Such is the way of the world

You can never know

Just where to put all your faith

And how will it grow?

Gonna rise up

Burning black holes in dark memories

Gonna rise up

Turning mistakes into gold

Such is the passage of time

Too fast to fold

Suddenly swallowed by signs

Lo and behold

Gonna rise up

Find my direction magnetically

Gonna rise up

Throw down my ace in the hole

-Eddie Veddar, “Rise” music from the motion picture Into the Wild

Wrap it up in Calico

Wrap it up in Calico

For more Wordless Wednesday visit Wordless Wednesday.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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