Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Crunchy Daddy Takeover!

{Hello all, Alyssa here. My husband Justin wrote a post for me, and here it is! If I write anything or have any input, it will be in bold and written like this. Enjoy!}

It’s official.  The Crunchy Mama blog page has been invaded by the husband!

That’s right.  This week’s blog will be done by the man that my wife, Alyssa, has talked about on many different occasions.  

Now you would think that Alyssa would have asked me to do this, but actually, I was the one who asked her if it would be ok to take over for a change.  Usually, my wife writes about different kinds of topics which range anywhere from light topics such as eating organic foods, the wonders of coconut oil, or even her latest posting about “no-pooing”, to more controversial topics such as vaccinations, breastfeeding in public, or circumcision.  The reason why I wanted to write this week was because I wanted to share my perspective from being married to a “crunchy mom”.  And honestly, this post is more directed to the men who are married to crunchy moms who might not be fully comfortable with the crunchy beliefs that their wives have.  This is a message to you from a man who used to feel the exact same way.

Of course, today, my wife and I are on the same page as to how we want to raise our children, but that wasn’t always the case.  Originally, I believed the most mainstream opinions that the world today has conditioned everyone to believe, such as you are supposed to give birth in the hospital, you are supposed to get your kid vaccinated, and that you stop breastfeeding after 6-8 months and then give them regular milk.  My wife had to do a lot of research to get me to see a different perspective. 

For starters, when Alyssa and I found out we were pregnant with our daughter, the topic of whether to have the baby at home or in the hospital arose.  At first, I definitely wanted to have the baby at the hospital, but she wanted to have the baby at home.  She set up a meeting between us and a few midwives that she knew so that they could explain to me the differences.  At first, I thought it was just going to be a couple of old broads giving me their old-school opinion, but it was actually well-trained women who have done research and gone to school for this that were sharing with me real-life experiences that they have had.  But it wasn't until one of them asked me a simple question that I really got on board with the idea.

One of the midwives asked me, “how long have humans have been around?”  I said that they have been around for thousands of years.  She then asked me, “Did you know that hospital births have only been around for the past hundred years?”  At this point, I saw where she was going with this and I understood.  If women have been giving birth at home without hospitals for thousands of years, then why couldn't my wife?  Childbirth is a natural bodily experience.  A woman’s body is conditioned for it, but somehow, the world has conditioned us to believe that it is more of a surgical procedure that requires a doctor’s assistance.  Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t instances where a doctor isn’t needed because there are sometimes complications with childbirth, but for the most part, childbirth is a natural process that should be able to be done anywhere. 

Throughout the course of the 9-10 months that my wife was pregnant, she did more research about different topics such as vaccinations.  Again, I thought that vaccinations were just another thing that you are supposed to do.  Nope.  I found out that actually, widespread vaccinations in the U.S. have only been around since about 1812.  Before that, not a lot of people were getting vaccinated.  Nowadays, there are vaccinations for almost everything, but what a lot of people don’t know is that they are not necessary.  In fact, many vaccinations today can be more dangerous than the actual sickness or disease that they are meant to prevent because of the ingredients in them.  Most vaccinations are composed of mercury, heavy metals, and in some cases, aborted fetal cells.  Don’t believe me?  Do some research.  You will be shocked at all the crap in vaccines.  I wouldn’t want that crap in my body, so why the jack would I want to pump my new-born baby full of that garbage.  Honestly, the only real vaccine that a baby needs is breast milk, which brings me to my next topic. {Ultimately, the vaccine debate is something you need to research for your family and decide what you feel is best for your children. Our choice to not vaccinate has been a long time in the making, after a lot of research, praying and soul searching. You can read more about my research and perspective on vaccines HERE.}

When my wife told me that she would breastfeed as long as she could, I thought she meant around 6-8 months, but she literally meant “as long as she can”.  When I asked why she wouldn’t switch to regular milk, once again, I would get schooled by her extensive research.  A women’s breast milk is constantly changing depending on the baby’s needs.  It is full of natural proteins, nutrients, fats and sugars that a baby needs in order to develop and grow.  Not only that, but a woman’s breast milk contains all of the antibodies that a baby needs in order to fight off infections and other sicknesses and ultimately, naturally strengthens the baby’s immune system, whereas vaccines will most likely weaken it.  

When I asked about regular milk, I found out that milk actually doesn't have much of a nutritional benefit to our bodies.  Apparently, there are good and bad types of calcium.  Because of all of the processes that milk goes through in order for us to drink it, our bodies aren’t actually able to absorb the calcium that is in milk.  Also, because of the hormones that are injected into the cows and the milk itself, more and more children, especially girls, are going through puberty earlier than usual.  So giving our daughter milk was out of the question.  

But what about formula?  Again, I learned that formula is not an adequate replacement for breast milk.  In fact, formula contains fats that are not easily digestible and if given too much, can result in childhood obesity.  I never really fought with my wife on this matter, because to me, if my kid is healthy, happy, and is growing, I don’t care how long they breastfeed.   Our daughter is over a year old and is still breastfeeding.  Yes, she eats regular foods like chicken, eggs, and puree baby foods, but she still gets her daily fix of milk from the tap. {I would like to add that this is not a hate on formula or moms who use formula. We realize there are instances where some moms cannot physically breastfeed. Our belief is that in general, for the average mom and child, breastmilk is the ultimate nutrition and food we can give our child, and shouldn't be a "will I" or "won't I." Not only to save money but because the benefits are innumerable and there really is no comparison. Also, there is such a thing as "toddler formula." If there is toddler formula, I don't understand the controversy over me breastfeeding past one haha.}

Probably one of the biggest crunchy debates that my wife and I ever really did have when we found out we were having a baby was the topic of circumcision.  And again, I thought that it was just something that happened to all boys when they are born.  But this was the one topic that really got my wife going on her research.  If we had a boy, she did NOT want him circumcised.  Doctors in America (emphasis on "in America" as we are the only country to routinely practice circumcision on infants) say that there are health benefits to circumcision.  The most notable belief is the decreased risk of a sexually transmitted disease.  Really?  If cutting off the end of my penis reduces the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease, then chopping off my ear reduces the risk of me getting an inner-ear infection. When I heard that that was the most notable benefit to circumcision, I couldn’t freaking believe it.  How about this?  Don’t have unprotected sex unless you want to have a kid, I’m sure that reduces the risk of an STD better than circumcision.  Besides the fact that America routinely practices infant circumcision and has one of the highest STD rates in the industrialized world. Europe doesn't routinely circumcise and their rates are a lot lower. Just saying. {to read more about circumcision, the lack of benefits, and other info, click HERE.}

After reading about the “benefits” of circumcision, I also read about the risks, and as it turns out, if the doctor botches the procedure, the baby may end up having to have its penis fully amputated and in some cases, the baby can actually die.  Don’t believe me?  Again, do some research. Babies die of circumcision related blood loss more than a 100 times a year here. You will be shocked to see how common it actually is that a baby dies from a botched circumcision.  I knew that circumcision was the removal of the foreskin of the penis.  What I didn’t know was that when a baby is born, the foreskin is actually fused to the penis and that, over time, it retracts naturally.  So when a newborn baby boy is being circumcised, the doctor is actually peeling flesh away from flesh.  How would you like to feel that?  I’m sure you wouldn’t.  Try taking a scalpel to your finger and taking off your attached nail, for an example. 

What really convinced me against circumcision was after hearing all of this, Alyssa asked me to watch a medical video of a circumcision being performed, and the way that the doctor was so brutally handling the child and the amount of pain I could see on the baby’s face and hear in its cries made me realize that I would NEVER want my kid to go through that kind of pain.  So, if God ever decides to bless Alyssa and me with a son or sons, they will be staying intact.

I know that most of the men sitting here reading this might be thinking that I’m totally nuts, but seriously, I was the same as you and have had same reservations that you might have against your wife or girlfriend's viewpoints.  But seriously, if you take the time to do the research, you will learn that your crunchy wife might not be as crazy as you think she is.  I thought mine was, and look at me.  I’m almost as crunchy as my wife!

If you want proof for anything that I have talked about, let me tell you this.  My daughter is now over a year old and since the day she was born, she has never been sick.  She hasn’t had so much as a cough or a runny nose.  Why?  My wife and I believe it's because we don't vaccinate her and she's been breastfed so long, she has quite the immune system.  Another kid that I know who is around the same age as our daughter has had all of their vaccinations and they have been sick on several different occasions with things that there vaccinations should have prevented you would think. 

I’m very blessed that my wife is as crunchy as she is, because if she wasn’t I couldn’t even imagine how our daughter would have turned out.  Without her doing her research, we probably would have gone to the hospital to deliver our daughter where all sorts of interventions could have changed the outcome, gotten her vaccinated, and given her formula instead of breast milk.  All in all, things could have turned out very differently than they are now.

Today, I am about as crunchy as my wife when, before, I was pretty “creamy," I guess that would be the opposite of crunchy if we are going based off of peanut butter types. I hope that I was able to give you guys a little insight to what its like being a guy who is married to a crunchy mama and hopefully you have learned a few things and will do your own research so that you are prepared to be the best father you can be to your kids.

                                                                                                                Best wishes,

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