how exposed will my child be

Tonight my husband went on to facebook to update his status regarding our prenatal appointment this week. He realized his updates went to friends of friends and was peeved about this, he thought it was for friends only. He began poking around and noticed his images were public. This made him irate that their default was not some level of privacy. He is becoming very protective as a father and was upset that the ultrasound from week 8 was a public image on facebook.

You need to understand that my husband is one of the most transparent people I have ever met with his online dealings. When we first started dating I found out way too much about him and his internet life with one night of intense searching. Even now on twitter he tells people anything and everything. His followers may think it is part of his charm, I think it can be TMI a good deal of time but he does not give it a second thought.

I felt reassured to hear him be upset about any information about our child being out in the cyberworld unless he orchestrates it. I asked him when our baby is born if he will only go by an initial and only post photos I take of hands, feet, or action shots where the face is a blur. He is considering it.

I think making these decisions about how exposed a child will be are important. I know with my husband I sometimes catch myself censoring around him to make sure my words don’t end up in his twitter stream. A young child does not have that option. I also wonder what the future will hold and wonder if their classmates will be able to pull pictures of them playing in dirt when they are two. How will these images and words about them come back to haunt them as they grow up? Another thought is wondering if this exposure will be ethical. When children work in Hollywood there are strict laws regulating how often they are working, as blog subject matter they are never off the clock. It is just a world of hypotheticals we are exploring in my home right now.

It is a conversation my husband and I are glad to be engaged in. What about you? What compromises did you and your significant others make in this conversation?

I Don’t Mean to Hurt Your Feelings

With wedding planning women can be crazy. You will find all kinds of nerves, stress, situations, and everything in between on online wedding boards. Many of us have had that one friend that went Bridezilla out of the blue, that Bridezilla could have been us. Overall I find it all funny and ALWAYS encourage friends to do marriage prep in the beginning so that the focus is on the marriage and not the party.

Weddings are one thing, starting a family is a different story. As women we can still be crazy but those situations that range from A-Z take on a much different gravity that I try to be considerate about. In real life and online there are many topics on parenthood that strike some polarizing cords because people are passionate about them, or sometimes people want to be passionate about them but can’t partake and are angry/jealous, or people don’t really care until a passionate person approaches them in an offensive manner.

When people become pregnant all the controversial topics flood your life. What kind of birth plan do you want? Will you breastfeed? We talked to friends about their opinions and two surprises came to me with the circle of people I know. First we know a lot of people supportive of natural childbirth and I know way more home birth families than I thought I did. The second was breastfeeding and that not as many people are as supportive of this as I thought. When we interviewed our midwife we learned she does not take clients unless they plan to breastfeed, my initial thought was… who would choose not to breast feed but still want a natural birth? I suppose I was naive in this reaction.

I think from my friends who wanted to breast feed and couldn’t the issue that makes the topic polarizing is their guilt. Whenever the topic of breast-feeding comes up they defend the formula stance with fervor to assuage their own guilt in not being able to provide for their babies this way. For those friends of mine in this position there were medical complications they could not foresee and in no way can be held at fault for not breast-feeding (e.g. baby was too sick to feed or the mom was too exhausted to produce enough nutrition for their little one). Yet the guilt is still there and that is heart-breaking for me.

I am also acquainted with a few people who are pro-formula, I suppose I can understand why. It is easy to make this choice when you are fed literature backed by special interest organizations with important sounding names or important organizations backed by money with special interests. These acquaintances don’t know any different and it is hard when lobbies working on behalf of formula makers ram down your throat that there is no difference between formula and breast milk (or that formula is fortified thus healthier). My only hope is that people become as educated as they feel comfortable with and make the best decision they can for their families with the information they have at their disposal.

Then there are the people who are pro-boob and will high-five you in public for your similar opinion. However it is like whatever, it is like preaching to the choir. I mean we are friends because we probably have aligned values that include out attitudes towards the boob and what it means for baby. We probably think breast feeding is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated and that women shouldn’t have to hide to feed their babies if they are hungry in public.

In the middle of these opinions are the moms who want to breastfeed but face challenges of pumping at work without having a private space to do it. Or all the other situations that put them in limbo and leave them feeling like the decision is taken out of their hands. These are really the moms that I think need to be supported with their decisions and not skewered by popular internet opinions.

I did a tweet today:

formula-war has surfaced in my “other ego” twitter stream. it doesn’t matter how moderate your opinion is, others will make it extreme 4 U

and I stick by this assertion. I am new to this prenatal/mommy cyber world but like all things with the internet we let that web-rage and polarization take over and take away from a dialogue.

A good deal of the current formula argument has resulted from the Nestle Family of companies and their push to supply formula to other countries outside of the U. S. in lieu of the breast. Some mommy bloggers are now sponsored to use social media to promote this agenda and lines can become blurred when it seems like they are promoting formula instead of breast milk in developed countries. This is a HUGE argument that most first-time moms taking to twitter while searching for advice are not aware of.

I just want to say that in all these controversial topics I may state my opinion but do not be hurt like I am an extremists judging your decisions with any authority to exact my opinion. I have learned not to be upset by your opinions that conflict with mine. I will always be supportive of a mama using the best information she has at her disposal to do what is right for her and her baby’s health. So when we talk about infertility, breast feeding, natural birth, co-sleeping, baby wearing, being paid to mommy blog, etc. we will talk. I won’t close the door on you if you are working in the best interests of your babies. This is just supportive dialogue I hope most online communities subscribe to before the confrontations begin.

Messages We Send

In the spirit of this really being the first post I thought I would mention the mantra I chanted as we tried to conceive and that has been carrying me through this first trimester.

Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha

Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and is always invoked at the beginning of any endeavor. He is also the earth element or root chakra which needs to be solid before we can fly. Sharanam means refuge, protection.

I write this because it is a sweet ritual I have. My husband and I both would chant this in melodic tones around the time I was ovulating to welcome fertilization. Once we realized I was pregnant it became a message we send to the little one growing. I sing it when I am driving, think it or chant it when I am meditating, I try to say it out loud at least once a day.

I believe the messages we send to our little ones when they are developing are powerful. I recommend doing it no matter what you want to say… theistic or non-theistic. Just let it be a message of love and encouragement.

first post

If everything works out well I will be a mother in June 2010. This is my first pregnancy.

I don’t forsee this blog being all about the details of my changing body and the developing body within me. I do keep a paper journal to chronicle that journey for my little one when they are older and curious. I don’t really see a need for me to keep a blog but I am going nuts not being able to tell everyone I am pregnant at this point. It is too early (I am still in the first trimester). I am researching and reading as much as I can to prep for this baby. I figure I can articulate my musings and record what I learn on this site. If I get a reader or two then that will be cool (as long as you are supportive), if not I won’t be upset.

Some things about me and this pregnancy:

  • I am a yogini and will use yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breathing) as I carry this child.
  • My husband and I plan to use a midwife for a home birth. Whether my body will go through with this is not up to me (stuff happens). What is up to me is to be as healthy as possible while I carry this child.
  • I wish I could walk extremely lightly on the earth, but I am part of modern society. I walk the middle way, I use technology and am mindful of my resource consumption.
  • I generally like to eat low on the food chain but will give in to what my body wants during this pregnancy as long as it is within reason. I do like to talk about food, and show food porn.
  • I like to play.
  • I enjoy taking pictures and may watermark what I take (e-mail me for permission and an image without a watermark).
  • I like crafting and plan to post some of my successes, and failures.
  • I am flexible and will change what I want when I want. I am also open to feedback.