Saturday, December 7, 2013

RN to Naturally Minded Mom -- My Story

As we move into winter here in Minnesota, I am getting more vigilant about my family's health.  Daily doses of cod liver oil are now mandatory.  Soup has become a weekly staple in our diet (and I'm trying to keep my freezer stocked with broth).  I've stocked up on garlic and have homemade elderberry syrup in the fridge...but this didn't use to be how I prepared for winter.  I used to prepare by stocking the medicine cabinet with over-the-counter cold medicine and pain killers and stocking the cupboards with a can of chicken noodle soup and a box of soda crackers...

I grew up in a very “medical” home, my dad is a Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant (yep, he has both degrees). My mom is a Registered Nurse. I went to the doctor often as a child, for everything from ear infections to allergies to asthma to acne...and everything resulted in a medication of some sort. At home we had a whole cupboard of over-the-counter medications ranging from pain killers and cold medicine to antibiotic ointment and the basic multivitamin.

I knew the medical name for hiccups (singultus) and the generic name for Tylenol (acetaminophen). I knew to treat fevers, coughs and sprained ankles...all with over-the-counter medications. After high school I went to nursing school and became a Registered Nurse. I worked a bit in a hospital but mostly at a camp, where I used over-the-counter medications to treat a variety of camper and staff maladies – sore throats, bug bites, poison ivy, sprains and scrapes. I carefully distributed all the prescription medications brought by campers each week...and began to wonder, “Why are all these kids on so many medications?”

While working at this camp (year-round for 5 years), I met Tony, now my husband. He grew up very differently than me...he rarely went to the doctor and almost never took a prescription or an over-the-counter medication.

We got married in June of 2007 and in August we found out that we were expecting our first child. I still don't really know why, but I wanted a natural birth...I think God was beginning to change my mind even though I didn't realize it at the time. Ruthie was born March 30, 2008 in a hospital attended by a very naturally-minded midwife. However that is where the natural-mindedness stopped...she received all her vaccinations “as scheduled” and had two rounds of antibiotics before her first birthday due to ear infections and one dose of steroids before her second birthday due to croup as well as multiple doses of infant Tylenol for fevers and teething.

During this time I began looking for ways to cook more things from scratch...just to save money. (Tony was working two part-time jobs and I was trying to decrease our food budget as much as possible.) I stumbled upon the “real food movement” and the rest was (slowly) history...

Part 2 coming soon! 

Linking to Modest Monday at the Modest Mom. 

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