6 Months of Wild adventures
June 16, 2017: Harvey is six months old
Inspiration has usually stemmed from the adventure of travel for me. I would kayak through a mangrove forest, plunge into a salty ocean, wander through dense forest or stand atop a craggy mountain peak breathing in awe and wonder, breathing out ideas with clarity and fresh perspective. I thought maybe having a baby would stifle my ability to look at the world in this way since I knew I might never go back to the same pace of travel I had become used to.
Six months ago Harvey Wild was born and I embarked on the wildest adventure of my life, as his mom. I am more powerful, sleep deprived and filled with inspiration than I have ever been. My back aches, not from carrying my belongings up a mountain, but from learning to breastfeed. My brain is filled with new information, not new languages, but growth charts and milestones. My heart is soft, not because of an epic sunset, but because I spend everyday watching a life growing and becoming a bigger presence in the world, a life that I have helped to sustain. In some moments I have even caught a glimpse of my own life growing and changing as I was born into motherhood. It’s scary, eye-opening, expensive and all-consuming, just like any good adventure.
And so here we are, my two worlds meeting on a page. I’m inspired to start again with this blog in order to document my new adventure as a parent and want to share our willingness to travel as parents, cloth diapers and all!
So, how did we get here? Harvey Wild was born December 16th, 2016. We moved back from Singapore in June of that same year to our hometown, Bellingham, Washington and committed to a different pace, but also to honoring seven years of living abroad with the way we planned to parent.
Our rules are simple:
Rule 1: Get outside
Harvey was born in the middle of a snowstorm, our first taste of snow in many years. It was magical, and cold! Matt went back to work after two weeks and I was home with a seven month old puppy, a new baby and 650 square feet of living space. Everyday I bundled Harvey into his carrier, put on the sweet hat my midwives had knit for him, wrangled Ziggy Pup and the three of us set out on a mini adventure. Ziggy and Harvey had never experienced Winter and several years of living on the equator for me made us all stand in awe looking at the giant fir trees covered in white.
At three months we took Harvey and Ziggy to Orcas Island’s Doe Bay for three days. We rode the ferry and stayed in a yurt overlooking the beach. It was windy and cold and we spent time huddled by the fire, hiking through soggy forests and sitting in the saltwater soaking tubs. It was the best!
We have done a few day hikes so far using the Ergo360 and we have also started running together using the BOB Stroller. We get out rain or shine, on all terrains and Harvey naps on-the-go. Finally, we take the bus a lot. Everyone is so friendly when you have a baby which makes taking the bus that much more enjoyable.
Rule 2: Ask questions
I love research and was raised to question everything. When I got pregnant I started hearing a lot of “You should…stop eating sushi, get regular ultrasounds, get an epidural, put your baby in a crib, get on a schedule, use a pacifier…” The shoulds didn’t sit right with me and so I started seeking out families who I aligned with in thinking on other issues, and then I watched how they parented. I asked a lot of questions and ultimately Matt and I made a patchwork plan of how we wanted to do things.
One thing we questioned was the medical care Harvey and I would receive before, during and after delivery. I knew that I wanted to attempt a natural birth and sought out a birthing center that didn’t see birth as a medical condition requiring uneccessary interventions. Throughout my pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care I saw the same midwives and our first post-delivery check-up was even in the comfort of our home. At every visit they listened to me and never doubted my ability to birth my baby. It was a really wonderful experience. After Harvey was born we also questioned the kind of care that was standard for him. We did our research and ended up having him see a Naturopathic Pediatrician as his primary care provider. Harvey’s doctor encourages me to breastfeed during vaccinations, takes his time duringour visits and has become an important part of Harvey’s growing community.
At each new stage we rely on our questioning again to help lead our decisions about parenting. And of course, our plans change as Harvey changes. It’s dynamic, it’s scary, it’s an adventure!
Rule 3: Respect the land
We live in a beautiful part of the world and have visited stunning landscapes in our travels together. What these experiences have brought me is a deep respect for nature and the land we live and play on. It is important to us that we honor Mother Earth by consuming less and preserving more.
The biggest step we have taken toward this goal is cloth diapering. Now, in the sense that nothing is free, cloth diapering does use water resources however, between 5-10 gallons of water are used to produce ONE disposable diaper not to mention the waste produced as these diapers pile up in landfills. Cloth doesn’t work for all families, but it is working great for ours. We do two extra loads per week and this has meant that Matt and I limit washing our clothes to once per week, yep sometimes we don’t smell super fresh 🙂 so we do a TOTAL of three loads of laundry per week. We hang dry most of the time to cut energy use as well. We also love the $$$$avings!
The challenge is always “How to travel using cloth diapers???” So far we have only taken weekend trips with cloth and that has been easy. We rinse them out by hand and place them in a wet-bag until we get home. Onour upcoming 10-day trip to Sicily we plan to cloth diaper as well, check back to see how it goes!
Rule 4: Stay wild
Harvey Wild is not a super wild baby, in fact he is about as mellow as they come. His middle name is really only fitting because of his wild and fast birth. Besides that we do strive to seek out wild landscapes, are in awe of wildlife and want to encourage our kids to be wild and free always. Having a baby so far has been our wildest adventure.
Pretty simple rules to follow for our family, and they are always changing. At six months Harvey is helping us be more adaptable everyday and he is proving to be a patient teacher for these new parents.
Peace, love and wild wishes,