Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Great-Grandmother's Perspective

We had lunch with my grandmother and great-grandmother today.

When I was pregnant with Isaac, as soon as my great-grandmother found out I was planning a homebirth, she was excited for me and would tell me every time she saw me about how she had all her babies at home. She was so encouraging, and kept telling me positive things even when my grandmother (her daughter) was sitting right there shaking her head and musing at how "brave" I was for not having my baby in the hospital. (As a sidenote, my grandmother made this comment again today, and I told her that after all the research I had done on hospital birth and homebirth, I think it would have taken more courage on my part to have had my baby in the hospital. It's true, too.)

Since Isaac has been born, every time I see my great-grandmother she talks about how wonderful breastfeeding is for the baby and the mom, and how it helps them bond. Today when I mentioned that Isaac sleeps in our bed, she told me that all her kids slept in her bed until they were weaned, and encouraged me not to be in a hurry to wean (I'm not in any hurry, but it was still nice to hear, especially when so many people look at me like I have three heads if I mention that we'll wean when Isaac is ready, and not at a set time).

It was truly encouraging and refreshing to talk with someone who is so supportive of the choices we've made, and to hear about her experiences with her own babies. It makes me laugh a little when people act as though homebirth, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping are these new, weird ideas, when in fact, these things have been the norm throughout much of history (rather than hospitals, formula, bottles, and cribs).

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