I am Jessica, a 32 year old, tea-swilling, super-nerd mother of one big, extra wiggly, baby boy. I am married to a great guy who is a chef turned stay at home dad. I am a working mother. I am also a super-nerd; I love gaming (online and table top), computers, and dressing up and going to Dragon*Con. I was a nerd before nerds were cool. If it is considered a “nerd” activity, I probably do it. I hope that one day, my boy and I will sit down to a good game of DnD and he can feel the joy of rolling a natural 20. I also play soccer, read a ridiculous number of books every week and do various crafty things.
I work in research and development and am a scientist at heart. I love science and all the great things it can do for our lives. I have an eye for logic and mathematics- not something you might expect out of a natural mama. But science has taught me that we are natural creatures and can do amazing things.
From the time I knew I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to have a completely natural child birth without drugs or interventions. I grew up around people who believed birth was natural and I figured if my mom could do it, so could I. I did a lot of research into natural methods of child birthing, took classes and read countless blogs, books and websites about natural parenting. I knew I wanted to cloth diaper, breast feed, make my own baby food and crochet an extraordinary number of hats and booties. I also knew I wanted him to play in the dirt, ride his bike in the street (gasp!), get scraped up knees and grow up in a loving home. So far, I have succeeded.
I had Zev in a completely natural childbirth- no drugs, no interventions, no nothing. He was born on July 30, 2011 in the hospital after about 10 hours of labor that I can only describe as mildly uncomfortable (I rolled a natural 20 on my constitution check). My doctor, husband and I were discussing challah recipes while I labored (about 20 minutes before I started pushing). After three days in the hospital (one day under the lamps for some bilirubin issues), we went home.
Eight days later, Zev was named during his Brit Milah (or Bris/Circumcision for the non-Jewish folk out there) and it was a lovely, communal ceremony. The local community welcomed us into their homes just because I knew one person (my OB). Admittedly, my husband’s family was a little uncomfortable. But, it was a lovely way to give my son Zev his Hebrew name (Eri Akiva Lavan) that was chosen by my mother to honor both my family and my husband’s family.
After ten weeks of maternity leave, I went back to work. My husband became a stay at home dad. I was never worried about him being a stay at home dad despite the backlash we got from the people around us. He is a wonderful father and husband. He loves our little boy and wants nothing more than to be a great father. Truth be told, I am jealous that he gets to stay at home with him. So, we have an unconventional household to say the least. Especially here in the Georgia South where we live. But we are committed to natural parenting, not just me, and that is what it takes. A family commitment.
Despite my scientific leanings, I still consider myself to be a natural mama. A different sort of natural mama compared to many (and probably a bit more moderate). Yes, science can help us live healthier lives, but we don’t need everything in our lives to revolve around better living through chemistry. Science is about understanding and facts. So, based on my research, I made the decision to cloth diaper, to breast feed, to (sometimes) co-sleep, my husband makes organic baby food, and we try to make sure we do what we can to make sure our boy is healthy and happy. Because healthy and happy is all that really matters.