Before having Joel, I didn't realize how scary being a mother would be day in and day out. In fact, I envisioned myself being this carefree mother who would let my baby fall down without worrying. I was determined to be the opposite of my mother.
That quickly changed when I was pregnant. First, I discovered that everything I did could possibly affect Joel. I was extremely careful about what I ate during those first twelve weeks. No turkey sandwiches, no weird cheeses, etc. Joel rarely let me eat my guilty pleasure...Chick-fil-A. Something about it (and most chicken) made him (me) nauseated. Unfortunately, my love for Chick-fil-A did not die after giving birth...
I was also so careful not to lift things. I just really wanted a healthy baby. I thought my worries would be gone after he was born. Boy, oh boy was I wrong. I remember crying in the closet for a week because I thought I was messing him up already. I find myself going through those panicky phases again.
The other day I watched a show on the ID channel. The ID channel is one of my guilty pleasures. I got hooked watching it in the wee hours of the night when nursing my son. Sometimes I would freak myself, but I still watched. Last night I watched an episode in which a mother sacrificed herself so that her kids could get to safety. She was kidnapped, raped and murdered. She did all the right things by leaving clues, calling 911 and screaming for help in public, but the 911 call center and police kind of dropped the ball.
I felt an extreme connection to this mother who I did not know. I would do anything to save Joel; however, I worry about what would happen if he did not have a mother? the woman's husband remarked that it was a blessing that their sons were too young to remember the ordeal, but also that it was a shame that they will not have any concrete memories of their mother. Things like that freak me out. I not only have to worry about his safety, but I also have to make sure I'm safe so that he has a mother.
That's one of the reasons why I'm so picky about what I feed Joel and my family. I know my friends don't understand how the queen of casseroles now prepares hearty, healthy meals. How the person who once bought one veggie once a month, now visits the farmer's market for fruit and veggies. How the person who used to live on Lean Cuisines, can no longer stand them. Yep. that's me. I I think it's great that my family is coming to see things the way I do, especially in regards to soy. Joel's pediatrician wanted us to switch him to soy formula, but we were reluctant. I've read so many bad things about soy and Murad and I have tried to exclude it as much as we can from our diet. I reluctantly put Joel on soy formula. It did not affect his spit-up as we thought. He grew out of the spit-up phase when he started crawling just as his dad did. We immediately put him back on regular formula and I'm so glad we did. It's one of those mother fears that I had and I wish I would've trusted my instincts instead of listening to what others thought was best. We love our pediatrician, so that is not to say that we don't trust her completely. I just think sometimes it's not all scientific.
Murad and I also try to avoid fast food. Of course, we have our weaknesses: Chipotle and Jimmy John's are the two we battle right now! I do not want us to become dependent on them. It makes me sad that fast food is so cheap and so many families have no choice but to rely on it. I feel like our nation does not do a good job of educating poor families on how to eat better.
Finally, GMO and GE foods are also on my list. I feel passionately that the government should provide labels for consumers. Many do not know which foods contain GMO and GE ingredients.
Why is this so important to me? Obviously, I want Joely to eat well, but it is also important for us to do the same. Remember how I said that I want Joel to have a mom (and dad)? This is why! We need to keep our bodies in tip-top condition. Food is one of those things that is easy to control. I want to lead a long, healthy life for myself and my family. I want Joel to know his mother.
My mom started reading The Ugly Truth by Robin O'Brien. I have not read it yet, but I follow her work closely. My mom was astonished by what she read. While we ate extremely healthy as children, my mom couldn't help but think that she made errors. She worries that the allergies we have may have been due to something we ate or that she ate while pregnant. While this may seem extreme, it's not. I've heard countless cases of children having ill effects due to eating McDonald's and soy.
As I learn more about the food industry, I'm sure I'll share more ramblings. Just know that my posts are out of love for my son and love for all children. I want to make all parents aware of food issues. I know I can't, but maybe some parent will stumble across this blog and learn something.