28 May, 2012

thank you, mom and dad

i've been seeing a therapist to help me work through some of my "stuff". and though i try to hide it from you, i'm sure you are aware that i've got a lot of stuff. i feel like some of my sadness (she is working with me on calling it sadness instead of anger) revolving around losing your brother overflows into every area of my life. sometimes i am meaner to your dad than he deserves. and sometimes i lose patience with you more quickly than you deserve. sometimes i'm just too angry sad to really just enjoy life. and to enjoy you. the therapist has helped me to see why i do a lot of what i do, and to see that i really am stuck in my grief over the loss of your brother. so many good things have come out of losing him, and i try to always remember that, but i think i try so hard to make it positive that i have yet to deal with just being sad.

don't get me wrong. i was really sad for a really long time. and a lot of times i am still really sad. just in the course of a day, i can out of nowhere get really sad. and angry.

and that's just not fair to you.
or to your dad.
or to me.

believe me, i know that we have a lot to be thankful for. to be happy about. just the fact that we have you is a miracle to celebrate every second of every day. we have a cute little house and two cars that we can depend on. you have a lot of fun toys to play with and there is always food in the fridge. we are all healthy (unless you count my head). we have loving family members who adore you and shower you with love every day of your life. your uncle and cousins live just down the street and you get to see them and play with them whenever you want. your grandparents live close by and you see them all the time, too. (except for nana, but you still know she loves you all the time and i think that you think you see her more often than you do, which is good.)

i am so grateful to be able to be home with you every day. i was able to leave my full time job and to take on another career that allows me the flexibility to make some money while doing something i am passionate about, without having to be away from you all the time.

that being said, we are not rolling in income.

your dad is a teacher. he is a really great teacher. and he is lucky to have a good job in a nice district that pays well. he has great benefits. i am making some money, but that's really just enough to cover what gaps there are between the current income and output.

we were smart in our choice of a home. we knew that i would want to stay home when we had kids, so we bought a home that cost less than we could afford at the time. we are lucky to have very few college loans to repay. actually, i have none because grandmom and grandpop were able to pay for me to go to college (as long as i lived at home and stayed in state!). but even with all of those lucky and planned choices, we still struggle a bit with money. i don't mean that we can't pay our bills, but i do mean that we sacrifice a lot so that i can stay home with you. we don't go out to eat as often as we would like. daddy and i don't buy new clothes for ourselves. we do make sure that you get to experience a lot of fun things, but really, every penny is accounted for.

i'm really not trying to do a poor me post here. really. i know that i have way more than many people do. and i am grateful for every lucky thing i have received and for every penny that we have been able to earn. i wouldn't trade my decision to leave my teaching career for anything.

but here's the deal.

i think that it's starting to get to me. and i have so little sanity to work with sometimes that every little bit helps.

it's hard for me to be on such a tight budget. i'm not used to it. i was a teacher married to a teacher. and together we had very few bills to worry about. we had enough money that we lived without a budget, we spent what we wanted to spend within reason, and all of our bills were paid. and we still had some leftover. but now, every penny is allocated for bills and the extra goes to the really exciting stuff like groceries and gas and other essentials. there is really very little, if any, left for anything fun. i am so conscious of wanting to save money that being unable to do so makes me feel sick. and it makes me fear spending a penny on anything silly.

so the outcome here is that we don't really spend any money on anything fun for us. i mean for me and for daddy.


so my therapist suggested that we take a family vacation. i shuddered at the thought of spending money on something so frivolous. even though travel is another one of my true passions. so i thought maybe we will go to cape may for a weekend. or go camping. or drive up to boston or something like that.

but really deep down i wanted to take you to disneyworld.

so when i mentioned to grandmom and grandpop that the therapist suggested a vacation and that i really wished that we could take you to disney, they said that i should look into how much it would cost.

so i did.

and when i did and told her, she said, "merry christmas". she said that i should tell your uncle, too and that they were sending us all to disney world.

holy bleep! can you believe it? can you believe how lucky we are? and i can't believe how much just this week of having something to look forward to has changed my mood. i forgot how fun it is to look forward to a vacation.

i'm not saying that life is all about the big stuff. it's not. and i know that going to cape may for a weekend would have been a blast. and i know that i can't take my worries and troubles away with a trip to disneyworld.

but i just wanted to say thank you to grandmom and grandpop. it means so much that now matter how much we sometimes fight or how much i might piss them off from time to time (to time to time), that they are always there for us. and they always want to make us happy.

they've always been that way. they've done so much for uncle and for me and i am pretty sure they have no idea that we appreciate it all.

so i hope that grandmom reads this and just gets a little feeling that everything that they do for us, not just the money stuff, but everything, has been noticed and appreciated. and that none of it has been taken for granted. and i hope that they know that someday, when we can afford to do these things for you and for your kids, we will. and i hope that they know that everything they do for us and have ever done for us, they do for you, too.

i think that sometimes because i am such a different parent than they were to me and to uncle, that they think i don't appreciate everything they've done and the people that they were and are. i think that they don't see that i am really not as different from them as they might think.

they loved me and uncle with all of their hearts and they did the best that they could at every second with the knowlegde and the power that they had.

and isn't that exactly what your dad and i do for you?

and i promise you that i will keep working with my therapist in order to get a hold of my feelings. so that i can learn to be more patient and to be less angry. i don't want you to grow up with an explosive mommy. i want you to see love and happiness and laughter all around you, so that you can grow up to be full of love and light.

18 May, 2012

dr. kimberly bridges-white and garden state obstetrical and gynecological associates -- a review

if you searched for dr. white or garden state ob/gyn and were led here, read some of my other posts.

and then decide for yourself if you want to choose this practice to be your "care providers".

maybe you will still go ahead and choose them or stay with them. maybe my story isn't quite personal enough for you.

but maybe instead you will find a practice with doctors who will take the time to listen to you...to try to figure out if something is wrong. maybe you will choose to find a practice with doctors who will remember that your baby died and subsequently will not ask you if you are breastfeeding him. maybe you will decide to google the "midwife model of care" and then because you like what you see, maybe you will look into home birth. maybe you will check out a a birth center. maybe you will try really hard to find an ob or a midwife who will take the time to know you and to listen to you. maybe you will take the time to build a strong birth team.

you don't know me, so i will just give you a little summary. i am cooper's mother. and mason's mother. i am a woman of childbearing age. and because of the loss of my first baby and my experience with garden state, i am a doula and a childbirth educator.

i matter. my experience matters. and i hope that my experience matters to you.

i want you to have a better experience.

this is important. it's your birth and you might only get one, or at least no more than a handful of them, in your lifetime. you deserve better. all women do. tell your friends to do the same. learn more about pregnancy and birth. demand more from your care providers. expect more. take responsibility.

take back your power.

14 May, 2012

creepy sick weirdo

when i was a teacher if i heard a kid used the word "gay" or "retard", i would always address it. i would ask them if they knew what the word meant. and if they said yes, i would explain that they never knew who was listening and whose feelings were getting hurt. i would remind them that, "you don't know anything about me. what if i am a lesbian? what if my brother has downs syndrome? you have no idea who you might be hurting."

i hope that when you get bigger that you will always think about who might be listening when you speak and about who might get hurt by it.

i know that i have made my share of comments in the social media about topics i am passionate about. i know that i have hurt feelings. but it has never been intentional or out of ignorance or disgust or hate or anger or fear. i have spoken out against circumcision in defense of the babies. i have never called anyone a bad mother, or tried to make them feel bad for a decision that they made that they cannot change. i have posted links about the benefits of breastfeeding and about the many ways that society has failed so many women when they have attempted to nurse their babies. i have never said that women who do not nurse their babies are bad mothers. or harming their babies in any way. i have written from the child's personified perspective about being left alone to cry in their cribs. i have not called anyone a bad parent for doing this. i have shared information about natural birth, even though i have yet to have one of my own, without ever implying that a woman who gives birth without an epidural is any more of a woman than those who deliver their babies with epidurals or through surgical birth. i have always made it very clear that i believe that we are all doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time. all of my comments have been made out of love and out of a desire to help someone who might be interested. i have written and posted in the hopes that others would hear something that might help them somehow. i have encouraged people to hide my posts if they were offended or hurt. i started a separate page on facebook so that my friends who weren't interested didn't have to be bombarded with information that they didn't want. my intention has never been to hurt anyone. i have never intended to make anyone feel like less of a mother because of any decision that they have made.

though i know that at times i have done that unintentionally. and in those cases, when i have been made aware of it, i have apologized and tried to explain myself. and in most cases, the conversation ended with a hug...either a real one or a virtual one.

so can you imagine how it feels to read in the social media and in the news and to hear on tv over and over again that i am a pervert? a child molester? gross? a creepy sick weirdo?

on mother's day weekend.

i'm hearing this from strangers, but also from friends. imagine all of those mothers who are not even as outspoken or as confident as i am in my choices as a mother. imagine the woman who nurses her toddler to sleep without ever mentioning to anyone that she does so. imagine how it must feel for her to be called a child molester. me? i am pretty tough. and pretty aggressive. i can take it, but i have to admit, it's starting to really wear on me. i am really starting to just feel sad about it. i love you. i do what feels right for me and what seems to feel right for you. i have messed up a lot along the way. but i have always listened to my instincts. and when a mother listens to her instincts, no matter what they tell her, how can that be wrong?

i am not a child molester. i am not damaging you. i am not doing anything that is unusual in the scope of the world. and actually, in our little part of the world, among the people we see on a daily basis, nursing toddlers is very normal. most of your friends are still nursing, or just stopped nursing recently, or have mommies who stopped nursing early on but don't even bat an eye when one of you kids runs up to your mother and asks to nurse. it is normal in our circles. in the tight circle and even in the outer circles.

i understand that some people don't understand why i would still nurse you. but they just don't have the same information i have. i don't understand why some people do a lot of things. but unless they are actually abusing their child in some way, i have to respect that decision. i will be honest, as i have said before, i find it difficult to understand how a mother can listen to her baby cry in a crib alone without responding. but i know that she is doing it because she believes that is the best thing for her baby. i believe that she is making the decision out of love, and she is basing that decision on the information that she has. i am against circumcision. i find it hard to understand how a mother can allow her son to undergo unnecessary surgery that is painful. again, this is my point of view. i have come to this point of view based on the information that i have. i don't believe that any mother has her son circumcised because she wants to hurt him. i do not believe that any mother purposely harms her baby or her child. even the worst of the worst. the real child molester and abusers. i can even see from a point of compassion that they do not WANT to hurt their children. no mother does. we are all...all of us...doing the best we can with the knowledge that we have. and we are all doing it because we love our babies.

i am sure that there are a few people reading this saying that i have hurt people with my words. that now i can feel what it is like to be on the other end.

well, i am always on the other end. nearly every single parenting decision that i have made is one that is neither supported nor respected by the majority. i am always finding myself in a place of defense.


this all being said, the last few days have been hell. i hate mother's day. i know. move on. get over it. i have you now who i can love and appreciate on mother's day. yes, i do. and i hope that someday i can love mother's day. but for now, i still hate it. it reminds me of mother's day in 2008 when i had no baby to kiss. when i was still mourning the loss of your brother and everywhere i looked i saw mothers and babies and pregnant bellies. it reminds me of the card i got from your dad reminding me that although i had no baby in my arms, that i was in fact a mother.

this mother's day sucked. even more than usual. for lots of reasons. one of those reasons being that because last week, time magazine released a photo of a mother nursing her toddler.

and the country went wild about it.

i love the photo.

i hate the title of the article. i hate the way it has successfully accomplished what it intended to accomplish. it has turned mothers against mothers.

and isn't that just the way to keep us women down? they give us something silly or irrelevant to focus on so we don't focus on important things like improving health care for our children or shattering that glass ceiling.

and we buy into it.

myself included.

and they released this at the beginning of mother's day weekend.

i still nurse you. and i love that i do. we nurse multiple times a day. standing up. sitting down. lying down. while i am cooking. sometimes while daddy is driving. and sometimes i nurse you in restaurants or in other public places if you really need it. and sometimes i tell you no and that you can wait. it all depends on your mood. and on mine.

you are two years and seven months old. you walk. you talk. you eat lots of solid food. you drink from a cup. and yes -- you ask for milkies and you even sometimes you lift up my shirt.

when you fall down, milkies help you feel better. when you are tired, milkies help you go to sleep. you love to nurse. you always have.

i never intended to be nursing a nearly three year old.

but here i am.

i nurse you because you are still really a baby. i do not nurse you because someone says i should in order to follow some set of rules in a parenting book. i nurse you because you need it. i do not nurse you because i have some weird need to keep you dependent on me. and let me be very clear here, i do not nurse you because i get some sort of sexual pleasure out of it. nope. i nurse you because i love you and because you are my baby. and because YOU need it and because it is normal.

do i think i am a better mom than anyone else because i am nursing my toddler? nope. do i think that other children are being damaged if they are not being nursed in their toddler years? nope.

but some people think that about me. they think that i think i am better. they think that i think that other moms are somehow damaging their kids.

they think i am a sick creepy weirdo. they think that i nurse you for my own pleasure and for some creepy need to hold on to you a little too tight. they think i am extreme.

that makes me sad. on so many levels.

when you get bigger, mason. i hope that before you speak, you try to have at least some information about what you are about to say. i hope that you are thirsty for information. i hope that you understand that the best way to win an argument is to have information about both sides of that argument. i hope that you think about who might be listening and whose feelings you might be hurting. and i do hope that you can learn to be more gentle with your words than i am. i know i have work to do there. i also hope that you know i do what i do and say what i say always out of love. and i try to always have compassion. and i try to always see things from both sides. i hope that you know that about me. and i hope that the world you bring your children into is better than this one.

i hope, like all mothers hope, that i don't screw you up too badly.

and as always, i hope, again, like all mothers do, that you know just how much i love you.

12 May, 2012

how AP found ME

in my twenties i can recall saying at least once that i would have a cesarean if i could, because "it was just easier". but that was probably before i even thought i would ever have a baby. through most of my early twenties i swore i wouldn't have kids. not until i was at least forty, anyway. even during my first marriage, i always said we would start trying "in two years"...i mean i said that every year. the two year time span never got any shorter. i was present at the birth of my second nephew. it was a planned cesarean. my then sister-in-law's third planned cesarean. and even at that, i didn't really think that planning a cesarean might not be a great idea. she couldn't walk afterwards. she looked awful. but i guess i figured that was just part of birth. before my ex-SIL had my first nephew, i remember asking her if she would breastfeed. she was appalled and said, "no way! why would you?" and even then, as a woman (a very immature late twenty-something woman) who would have chosen a cesarean over natural birth, i said "yes. of course." she responded with disdain, "ewwww...you would let some kid suck on your tit?" i said, well not any kid, but my kid, yes. so even then, for some reason, i knew that i would nurse my babies. i have no idea where it came from. no one in my family nursed. my friends fed formula. that was normal for me. i had never seen anyone breastfeed. so when i was pregnant with cooper, i read 'what to expect when you're expecting'. i got my babycenter emails and was fascinated with my weekly updates. i looked forward to my doctor's appointments so that i could hear the heartbeat and hope for a random ultrasound. i looked forward to pushing my baby in a stroller while walking the dogs. i imagined the baby sleeping peacefully in his nursery (yes, i always imagined having boys). i never thought about breastfeeding. i didn't think about anything related to parenting at all. i thought about stuff. and how neat it would be to finally be a mother. and how great your dad would be as a dad. i think i thought i would have a natural birth, but when i lost cooper at 22 weeks, i still hadn't researched it. so i probably would have been one of those moms who showed up in labor and freaking out in pain completely unprepared and begging for the epidural. that's just how it is, i guess. in a formula feeding, epidural giving, stroller pushing kind of world. we don't think about it. and then it just becomes what it is. i imagine that if i had had cooper at term, i would've ended up with an epidural. i would have tried to breastfeed, but it's very likely i would have failed. i would have believed the myth that i wasn't making enough milk and then i would have gone on to spread that myth to others. i would have had another baby and likely i would have planned the epidural and then planned to feed formula. i may never have heard of an ergo baby carrier and i would probably be sitting on facebook tonight talking about how nasty it is that some women breastfeed their three year olds. but here i am. writing. to you. about your brother who isn't here. i just got done nursing you to sleep in our family bed. on my to-do list is to write a blog entry for the birthworks blog about the value of a doula. i am waiting to hear back from a client about what day we will meet next week for her our first prenatal appointment. i just send an email to my reviewer checking to see if she has been able to go voer my essay questions because i can't wait to start teaching my childbirth preparation series. today i have both looked at you in awe and cried about losing your brother. so how did i get here? how did i become this mother? cooper was born. and when i lost him, i went crazy with grief. literally. and i read everything i could get my hands on to find the answers about what happened to him. that led me to birthworks. i walked into my first class asking about water birth...i was told that the only place around here was in elmer, nj. i figured that was too far away. she said you could always birth at home. WHAT? are you crazy? i told her i was way too scared to ever do that...what if something happened? by the end of the eight week series, there was no way i would ever give birth in a hospital. i didn't want an epidural. i knew all of the interventions to avoid unless they were absolutely necessary so as to avoid an unnecessary cesarean. i was prepared with information about breastfeeding. i had seen this woman's bedroom...she had two queen sized beds in one room -- her daughters slept on one and she and her husband slept on the other (though she did admit that most of the time her husband slept on the couch. that was so weird to me.) i made my registry with the help of a friend i met in that birthworks class. i registered for a stroller that i figured i'd use as you got older, but i also registered for a sling and a wrap, so that i could wear you close to me. i couldn't wait to carry you around. i learned about the benefits of babywearing as i searched online for which carriers to register for. it was so exciting. there were so many to choose from. i still hadn't even heard of dr. sears at this point. i'll confess. i'm lazy. super lazy. most of my parenting decisions have come from that. of course i would breastfeed, who the hell wants to wake up in the middle of the night and make a bottle? who can remember to pack all of that gear in the diaper bag when you want to leave the house? and who wants to carry that gigantic diaper bag around, anyway? not me, not me, not me. we planned a homebirth, which as you know, ended up as a cesarean birth. but it was a family centered cesarean, thanks to the knowledge i had gained from reading and reading and preparing and through choosing an amazing midwife who had even more information to share. and i worked closely with my OB and my midwife to make the best of the situation. we attempted to nurse right there on the operating table while dr. salvatore stitched me back up, but i was just too tired, cold and out of it. but you never left me. and once i was awake and in the recovery room, you were on my chest naked and within a very short time, you were nursing. you basically stayed there for three or four months. i fed you when you were hungry, i nursed you when you needed comfort. which was all the time. i remember going for a walk with meredith (our midwife) sometime when you were about five or six months old. i had you wrapped up in my Moby wrap and mer and i were talking about how long you and i struggled with getting nursing on track because of our months of back and forth thrush transmission. she said, "these are the kids you hope will nurse for a really long time." and in my head i had no idea what she meant. oh! she must mean nursing past one? weird. (i used to think nursing past infancy was weird. but you just kept getting bigger.) you cried a lot. i know, you know this. i mention it all the time. but i mean seriously, kid. you cried all the time. and i guess i will never know for sure why you cried all the time, but i can only imagine that it had something to do with your birth experience, your highly spirited personality, your desire to communicate, or something else or everything else. i have no idea. but what i do know is that i spent hours and hours nursing you and bouncing you and rocking you and walking you and shhhh-ing you and singing to you and begging you to please stop crying. but what i didn't do was ignore your cries. i knew you needed something. and even if that something was something i could never provide or something as simple as letting you suckle at my breast, i didn't ignore you. no matter how tired i was or how frustrated i was, i always responded to you and almost all of the time it was with sensitivity. i must admit there were a few times when i just put you down and went into my room and screamed. or when i bounced on that yoga ball a little bit faster and harder than usual while saying a little bit louder than usual, "JUST STOP CRYING!" but i responded because i knew you needed me to. and you always needed me to. i nursed you every two hours or more for over two years of our lives. you slept on my chest your first night in the hospital and every night afterwards. when you got bigger, you would roll off and sleep next to me. i loved snuggling with you and having you so close. but again. i'm lazy. of course i kept you in bed with me. who the hell wants to get out of bed at night and go to a bassinet or to another room to sit in a rocker and nurse? not me. so there you have it. we share sleep. you and me and your dad, all snuggle in bed every night. well, some nights your dad has slept on the couch. weird, right? i planned to go back to work when you were six months old. those six months turned to twelve. and the twelve turned to eighteen. and then two years. and then i resigned. i didn't want to leave you. and once i figured out that i didn't have to leave you, i stayed home. i wanted to watch you grow up. i wanted to watch you learn. i didn't want to miss it. and i didn't love work enough to miss it. i didn't love money enough to miss it. and even though you were going to be home with grandmom and grandpop only a half a mile away from my work, i couldn't stomach the thought of missing so much. and while all of this was going on...while i was learning from you about how to be your mom, i was reading everything i could get my hands on about parenting and breastfeeding. after all, i was spending hours and hours on the couch nursing you. i might as well learn something. i read a lot. the natural parenting book. mothering magazine. the continuum concept. and yes, the baby book. good old dr. sears. i bought that one before you were born. i don't know why. but i didn't open it until you were already a week old or so. after you were already sleeping in my bed on top of me. after i had already been gifted multiple babywearing devices. after i had already spent countless hours nursing and rocking and shhhhh-ing you. my point is that i had already found attachment parenting on my own. i had found it inside of me. it's what my instincts told me to do. and reading the baby book was refreshing. it was nice to know that there was a name for what i had been doing. but what it really meant was that i couldn't be the only mom in the new jersey who wasn't feeding formula, putting their baby down in the crib on a schedule and pushing a snap-n-go. so thank you dr. sears. thank you for helping me stick with it. thank you for helping me to believe that i wasn't a weirdo crazy person. or at least if i was, i wasn't alone. so i went to some la leche meetings. and i met people. people who were like me. moms who breastfed their babies, even after six months. moms who had homebirths. moms who slept in bed with their kids and who never used their strollers. it was such a relief to have met these moms, because until then, i felt like such a weirdo. i felt like even though there was this giant book telling me that i was normal, i really felt like i was the only one in the world who was parenting this way. i was being told that i nursed too much, that i should let my baby cry so he would learn to sleep. i was seeing facebook statuses from friends all the time about how they had been listening to their babies cry for an hour and seeing the comments about how it was good for that baby to be ignored because he had to learn. i was getting bad information about breastfeeding from pediatricians. i was watching my friends in their neat houses bake cookies with make-up on and blown out hair and thinking what is wrong with me? i hadn't showered in a week. i was tired from not sleeping. i had hairy legs. my baby was attached to my boob. i hadn't had any time alone, not even to sit on the toilet, in months. but here i was. an attachment mom. accidentally. or out of laziness. or naturally. i guess there was something inside of me that remembered about those monkeys. you know the ones. the ones you learned about in your sociology and psychology classes that died or couldn't interact with other monkeys as they got older because they had been isolated as babies. and the other monkeys who chose to snuggle with their surrogate wire mothers who were covered in cloth when they were frightened. the monkeys that developed normally were the ones who had an attachment with a mother -- even a surrogate wire mother covered in cloth. it had nothing to do with food. it had to do with them feeling a sense of security in those early months of life. i guess maybe deep down that had something do do with it. but more than that, i guess i just listened to me. and to you. and i guess i was also listening to your brother. he wasn't here. but i listened. i always do. he is still teaching me things. every day. most of all, he taught me that i really wanted to be a mother. more than i ever knew or could have imagined. i wanted it deep down into the depths of my soul. and that i should never take motherhood for granted. so i became an attachment mom. not because dr. sears gave me rules to follow. or because i thought i was better than anyone else. just because it felt right and natural for me. and it was what worked. it still works. i struggled a bit for a while with finding balance, but i'm getting there. the first two years or so were rough at time. the very early months were hell. but i wouldn't do anything different. i just watched you the other day walk a long walkway all by yourself to go down a big wooden slide all by yourself. you had to ask a stranger to fix your burlap bag for you to sit on. you waved "bye by mommy" as you walked away. you learned to go pee on the potty all by yourself. you go to grandmom's and tell me to go and to have fun when i leave. you have gone on water slides and ordered your own ice cream. you walk away from me at the park or in the mall and don't look back because you know i'm behind you. you have grown so much in these thirty one months. you are confident. and smart. and funny. and so many other wonderful things. and i'm still nursing you. and i see no signs of you stopping. do i love it? no. lots of the time i don't. so why do i do it? because you need it. you are still a baby. thirty one months is still a really short time to have been human. and i'll do it until you don't need it anymore. do i hope that's sooner rather than later? yes, i do, but for now, i'm willing to wait it out. again, i'm not doing it because some book says i should, or because the world health organization thinks i should. i am doing it because that's what i do. i respond to you. to what you need. you are my baby. i love you. i am your mother. this just all came naturally to me. i found AP on my own. or it found me. i didn't plan any of it. or follow some list of rules. one thing just led to the next and before i knew it was was "practicing" attachment parenting. and i have no guru. except for you. and cooper.