I suppose the moral of this post (and also the best advice I'd give anyone about to have a tiny squalling baby) is this: don't get too set on anything.
I'm no longer capable of writing a post without pictures. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I've never considered myself to be a hippie. Quite the opposite, actually - I was terribly proud of my non-tree-hugging, non-granola-crunching, non-hemp-wearing, dreadlock-hating, flesh-eating, electric-guitar-preferring conservatism. Alas, something flipped when I got knocked up, and I suddenly found myself lurking on natural childbirth forums and perusing cloth diaper selections. Here, then, is a review of how all my newfound hippie tendencies turned out.
Jim prefers Slayer to Bob Marley (or whomever it is that hippies listen to these days).
Natural Childbirth: Well, we all know how that one turned out... Unless you don't know, in which case make some popcorn and go here. Still, I had a good 30+ hours of laboring naturally (holy crap, I say), which I think was pretty beneficial to him. Assuming there are no issues (head position, say, or umbilical cord nooses) with future babies, I'd really like to try it naturally again. Call me insane, but I'd really like to try a home-birth with a midwife, if we can get Tricare to cooperate.
Breastfeeding: Going beautifully and I will probably continue to breastfeed for about fifteen years so I don't have to screw around with making food and trying to shovel it into his heartily-objecting face.
Drooling and vacant.
Cloth Diapers: Much easier than expected. They're not much more time-consuming than disposables to put on, they leak less (he hasn't soaked a onesie [er, with pee or poop, anyway - vomit is another matter] since we switched over), they are actually not a pain in the ass to wash, and they're freaking adorable. Also they make him adorably pear-shaped, which amuses me immensely.
Co-sleeping: We were actually quite opposed to co-sleeping initially. It was our line in the hippie sand. Drug-free childbirth and human milk were all well and good, but co-sleeping? No, that's for crazy hippies, and that, my friends, we most definitely are NOT. ...alas, Jim winds up sleeping on my chest in bed for at least a couple hours more nights than not. He's got the maddening habit of falling asleep during the midnight nursing and waking up the second he's moved to his own bed. Solution? Just leave him on me so we can all get some damned sleep. Don't judge, folks.
This is Jim taunting us by pretending to be tired when, in fact, he is not.
Baby-wearing: I had no intention of wearing him everywhere, and I do not now wear him everywhere, so I actually managed to predict one correctly. Huzzah! We do have several carriers, though - a Snugli (but we can't find one of the straps), an Ergo (awesome, but baby-scaldingly hot in this weather), and the ring sling I posted a couple days ago (from Sleeping Baby Productions, whom I soundly endorse). They're mostly limited to use on walks (short ones around the neighborhood and the occasional longer one in the woods), but they have the excellent effect of not only transporting the kid but also knocking him out within five minutes of putting him in. He hasn't had any crying jags yet, but in the event that he does and it's not solvable by boobs, I'll probably wind up sticking him in the sling and walking in circles until he's properly comatose.
Elimination communication: I actually know nothing about this and have no intention of learning.* I just put it in because it sounds fancy.
Homeschooling, homemade baby food, baby sign language, and other later hippie developments: We're planning on doing all of these things, but none of them are necessary now, so we'll see what happens. Before you know it we'll probably be wearing those little round glasses and appropriating indigenous cultures to make ourselves feel earthy.
Us in five years, after Noah gets kicked out of the Navy for excessive sideburns.
*That's what I would've said a year ago about natural birth, cloth diapers, and babywearing, though, so maybe don't take me overly seriously.