My Journey to Crunchy

Not sure what “crunchy” means? Read this post first!

Let me tell you a bit about how I became the “crunchy” individual I am today;

I was not always crunchy. Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper were staples of our diet for the first several years of our marriage. And I’m not even going to get in to how many Dr Peppers I drank (possibly still drink) daily! I was not crunchy at all.

There were little seeds planted along the way….

Like when I got diagnosed with hypothyroid and wanted to avoid medication. But I did end up taking the medication.

Or when I heard about the dangers of cleaning products and switched to more natural options.

But it really started when my oldest was three and I was pregnant with my second. At this time there were a couple of different issues in my life that started me on the path of more natural living.

First, my then-three-year-old was exhibiting some odd behavioral issues. Some were very ADHD like and others were just strange. Second, I was pregnant. I didn’t really know how I wanted the birth to go but I knew I wanted it to be much, much different than my first birth.

When we started noticing difficult and odd behavior from my daughter we discussed getting her evaluated by a doctor but we really didn’t want to give her medication at such a young age. Since we were planning on homeschooling we didn’t really feel that it was necessary at that point. So I started researching alternative ways to “treat” ADHD. I stumbled across the Feingold diet. I was much too overwhelmed to do the complete diet but I noticed that artificial dyes and certain preservatives seemed to be a big NO-NO. So we cut them and noticed almost immediate change. (I say immediate because it felt like it but in reality it took about two weeks to really notice and even then it had been gradual and we could only really tell when we tried adding it back in). This made me a believer in diet having a profound effect on behavior and brain function.

As I was exploring birth options someone mentioned the local birth center. I wasn’t sure about this. Did I really want to give birth outside of the hospital? Was it even safe? Could I do it without an epidural? Am I OK with not even having that as an option? It seemed scary but I wanted different, so I called them. Unfortunately they were full for my due date, but they put me on their waiting list. I started researching birth options and trying to figure out what I wanted. At an appointment with my original OB I asked her two questions; 1. What is the earliest I can leave the hospital after having the baby and 2. What options do I have other than an epidural that will allow me to walk and move around? Her response to these was to roll her eyes and sigh. Yes really. She told me I could leave after 24 hours if I wanted but that the pediatrician probably wouldn’t “let” me take the baby until 48 hours and maybe more if it was a weekend. She also told me I could have a “walking epidural” and then added “but it will still hurt if you do that!” I left her office in tears. The next day the birth center called and told me a spot opened up for me!

This is only the beginning of my story. Becoming a patient at the birth center was the beginning of an education in which I was introduced to new ideas about not only birth but other aspects of life. I learned to question the things that went on and into my body and to make choices to be as healthy as possible. I learned to look into the effects on both myself or my family members and the environment of the things I used. Everyone is different and the choices that are right for you and your family may be different than the choices that are right for mine but we should all be fully aware consumers. The birth center empowered me to question everything and make choices that are not always popular.

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