LadyBrower

Babies!

28 posts in this topic

no, no baby on board this ship yet... But I have started to wonder how babies play in piratical reenacting? How do you ladies deal with pregnancy in the field? What adjustments do you make? And what about infants? I don't want to give up reenacting just because I get pregnant, besides... it seems to me it would be very "pc" given how often women were pregnant. BUT it is important to be safe and healthy, what solutions have you come up with?

And there is also the issue of clothing...

What do you think?

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I did a few events while pregnant, and the only real adjustments I had to make were drinking more water and being careful not to get too warm. That seems to lead to fainting. :rolleyes: And, of course the obvious, no grog. As for clothing, in the beginning I just wore my stays a little looser...towards the end, I opted for a men's waistcoat over my shift and petticoat. Not entirely PC, but necessary for me at the time. My little girl hasn't been to any overnight events yet, but I bet Callenish and Salty could give you some pointers there. They're the pros. :unsure:

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I hope it wasn't my clothing measurements that brought this thought to mind! I consider this "Portly"!

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Salty wore jumps rather than stays laced both front and back and a bed jacket with her petticoats, and had to keep hydrated and as cool as possible. We attended events right up to within 3 weeks of her delivery date(Beaufort, NC). The travel was a bit uncomfortable with frequent stops and bathroom breaks. We had a crib/child bed made so Hamish was with us at our first event after he was born at 3 weeks when we did the first Deltaville event a year and a half ago. I am a pretty firm believer that children don't slow you down too much from reenacting. We adapt the modern with the period ...cover disposables with cloth diapers and make period shifts to clothe him/her. St Augustine this last week was the first exception only because it was such a tight schedule with fast travel and tight deadlines. Because of medical reason Salty wasn't able to breast feed which made feeding a bit more tedious and restrictive but that shouldn't become too daunting. I recommend finding a pumpkin cart to replace the modern stroller top carry the child and all the stuff they need if you can afford the cart and the space.

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I think the first thing you should ask yourself is what do you like doing during those events.

Would you still have fun or would you still be able to perform those activities if you were pregnant or with a baby? If the answer is yes than give it a shot.

I know many people who did reenacting with very young babies, but I personally decided not to do so. Of course, some people have easier babies than others. We've just celebrated the first anniversary of my little boy and even though I love him very much, he was and is still a handful. I find it is already tough and lots of work to take care of him in a modern and safe environment so why make it even more complicated by trying to do it pc?

when I do rennacting I want to be able to work around the camp, do martial stuff, drink and have fun with my friends not taking care of a toddler. Maybe when he's older if I feel he is really interested in it I'll bring him along.

Edited by Cuisto Mako

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hmmmm... first event we went to PIP, we had no problems... excepting the beach was a HUGE draw for the kids...(ummand myself)... but since we really were not part of a crew, thst ws no problem....

as we homeschool, we just presented it as " what was it relly like to LIVE back then--clothing customs food..."

every single one of our nine kids is INTO re enacting.... although some prefer other ages... (like the the 21 year old likes buccaneer and pirate and medieveland renaissance ages, the 17 byear old prefers 14th century clohting and GAOP,

clothing presented a bit of a problem( at thst time they were 4 and 5}... they young boys were not about to wear any dress type thing....so we sewed wee pirate clothing.... we breached them early!! LOL!!

our kids are used to doing everything with us ( homeschooling i suppose}... so it was not a great shock/ cultural difference between what the kids at school are doing versus what they are doing....and infact the kids friends kind of find it exotic and cool that our kids do this... that even mom and dad dress in costume! ad usually we can clothe a friend or two to drag with us....LOL

i see it as a no brainer--- back then, kids did as needed and at younger ages...they learned far more,did far more and did it at earlier ages than todays soft/ kids...but then again, we aint trying to raise delicate not get your hands dirty kind of kids....we believe the more skills you have the LESS money you have to make to pay another for doing things you can learn to do yourself....

our kids just kind of fell in---and if momma and daddy are hyper excited and passionate about what they are doing, well that excitement carries over and can easily transfer to ones progeny.....

one does not need a plethora of baby euqipment to do this....people back then did not have them, and some how the human race continued....

and i know that when i attend events, i am always looking for a baby to gank and hold and attend to...( of course if you nurse i am not going to be able to help in that endeavor) but when ever i attend any event with salty and hamish and callenish, well... if they want their child, they have had to come looking for him with us....LOL...i can cook and child care simultaneously... or i can sit and watch another work while i have the BEST job of holding and entertaining the baby!!!

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ps-- take a good look at my avatar.. tht is me holding MY HAMISH-- twas nap time and i had the perfect set of arms for nap time!!!! :) honored i was to do it!!!

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one does not need a plethora of baby euqipment to do this....people back then did not have them, and some how the human race continued....

:D That about sums the whole thing up IMO. Babies are probably the closer in character to their 17th c. counterparts than anyone else in an encampment. :rolleyes:

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First off, Baby droll is highly acidic and burns holes in garb an' such for everyone but thier parents..... 8)

But when they get bigger,they can't get away with to much... they have an entire camp watching them.....

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one does not need a plethora of baby euqipment to do this....people back then did not have them, and some how the human race continued....

:D That about sums the whole thing up IMO. Babies are probably the closer in character to their 17th c. counterparts than anyone else in an encampment. :rolleyes:

hehe. yes!

And what kind of 17th/ 18th century wife would I be if I wasn't popping out babies? :-P

But Patrick raises a good point... How do other reenactors feel about babies and (young) children in camp? I know it can be hard enough justifying women in a "pirate" camp, what about the offspring? And the crying? :-P Be honest people!

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So we all I know I don't have kids....I have cats and that is just fine with me. :)

Most re-enactor kids I have met are awesome (Alex Thatcher is the exception....he's a handful...oh wait. He's a teenager.) As far as babies...I've met Hamish and David. Spent alot of time with Hamish...helped Salty....traumatized the kid as much as humanly possibly....and he's been great. Even in the car he was great. I imagine though that it depends on the kid...and how they're brought into it?

I'm not really the best person to reply, I know, but since I've been around Hamish alot, thought I would throw my $.02 in for what its worth.

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IMG_0005-1.jpgDSC_0151.jpghamishandgretchenSM.jpg

hamish.jpg

First off a good Dutch Uncle is a good thing to have and it helps if the "Aunties" help with applying additional love. Hamish sleeps soundly through even cannon fire. We found a good cradle basket for the first 7 months worth of reenacting.

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AW!!!!!

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But Patrick raises a good point... How do other reenactors feel about babies and (young) children in camp? I know it can be hard enough justifying women in a "pirate" camp, what about the offspring? And the crying? :-P Be honest people!

It depends. I use to be part of a XV century group. We were about 15 member and at one point there was in camp between 3-4 babies plus couple of toddlers. I must admit I did fell it was interfering with the reenacting part. But it is really a case by case situation.

And to tell you the truth, until you get pregnant and have a baby, you can not know for sure what you will feel comfortable doing or not with your baby. A baby is not a blank canvas, it already has is own personnality. You may think I can do this, but than face the fact that it might not be the best scenario for you and your baby.

That being said if you breastfeed him it is a lot simpler to attend any outdoor activities, and I think it is easier when they are a bit younger and not yet "mobile". That way you don't have to baby proof the all camp :rolleyes:

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One thing that changes slightly is that one or both of us stay slightly sober and within earshot of the tent ...It's one reason we like having friends to come by our camp... babies are pretty resilient and if you keep them fed and clean and warm they will thrive in a reenactment environment, and if my older children are examples pretty self-sufficient.

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And to tell you the truth, until you get pregnant and have a baby, you can not know for sure what you will feel comfortable doing or not with your baby. A baby is not a blank canvas, it already has is own personnality. You may think I can do this, but than face the fact that it might not be the best scenario for you and your baby.

I'm in agreement, but I figured it would be an interesting conversation. I can't be the ONLY reenactor thinking about babies.

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from a reenactor who has no kid standpoint- as long as the venue is ok with it and the parents have control, I don't mind seeing, or having wee ones around. I'd much rather listen to a wee one crying and settling in for the night rather than drunken catterwalling or screeching bagpipes that never seem to end.

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Reenactment, like life at the time we interpret is a process, there are no guarantees; however it is not a sentence of total abandonment of a hobby. Women and babies are able to adapt ....cultural expectations have a great part to do with how we react to the situational stresses. I have 5 children including Hamish and each one has camped and been involved with reenacting within weeks/days of their births. Each one was an individual but they also adapted to the surroundings they were placed in. Children have gone through far worse than a weekend at a reenactment event for millennium, to make claims that it will mar or harm them is pretty frivolous.

I have first hand experience or watching women give birth under heavy weapons fire and the mother and child did well after the firefight ended. Most women are much stronger than many men give them credit; their strength of will and focus can overcome what a lot of folks see as impossible hardships. Even in most circumstances we place ourselves at events are a short distance from modern medical needs if it becomes an emergency, in fact almost every event I've attended in the past 15-20 years there are trained medical staff on site. Two weeks before Hamish was born we were at Beaufort with 2 nurses. One was an Obstetrics Delivery Room nurse. We were confident that if the need would arise we were in good hands and the hospital was a few minutes away.

So, like the rest of life on this mud-ball Reenactment and babies there can be risks but it doesn't mean that you need to cloister yourself away in a sanitized bubble to assure a healthy baby and a healthy mental outlook on a hobby. :rolleyes:

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when one begins a family, you do find out what kind of freinds you have.... if they are selfish and jealous about your time with them....

it has been my expereince that people are very open to well behaved children.and people in re enacting are some of the most down to earth people one can know. if here are stuck up people in this type of venue, well, i dont know any!anyone who has had children has had their dis illusionment shattered and rectified,and adjusted decently ( if they are decent people}.... children can humble you and elevate you in the same space of a minute!!!

i have a little saying that might put your mind at ease....

when you are a woman in your twenties, before meeting a group of people "hmm...i wonder if anyone will like me?"

but a woman in her 40's says to herself " hmmm i wonder if i will like anyone there!"

and there are days that you shallvacillate between the 2 thoughts....

i say," hold steady. you are far more than what people think about you.. you knwo what and whoyou are and how sure are you that you trust THEIR judgement of who you really are?????" your consceince is a far better guide , as long as you allow yourself to learn the truths about yourself... the good and the bad....

Lady brower, i hope we have some how allowed you feel relef of any worries that you have....

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We have recently added a young'un to our list of "things not to forget" when packing for camp...

He was born in December of '09, but he's already got 3 (soon to be 4) indoor trade fairs and a day trip to an outdoor event under his belt. His first camping event will be the first weekend of May. As someone who does 35+ events a year, I've gotten to know a lot of the other vendors children pretty well. It seems that if they grow up around it, then one, they respect other reenactors and mind their manners, and two, they have a lot of folks that won't think twice about bringing them to their parents or simply handling the problem themselves if they get out of line. There's an unwritten, but generally observed "code" at most reenactment events. Everyone is family and we all watch out for each other, so if someone's kid is hurt, you take care of them. If someone's kid is gonna get hurt, you stop them. If someone's kid is out of line, you verbally correct them, or make them sit in a chair until their parents find them, or frogmarch them to their own camp in extreme cases. Reenacment events are generally very kid-friendly. As far as pirate festivals and Ren faires go though, I can't attest as I'm not very familiar with them. Living history events though are all very much alike.

As far as historically presenting pirates, well... My theory is that pirates are essentially sailors first and foremost. Furthermore, if sailors are on land, (aka, not on a ship at sea) then there WILL be women in the near vicinity. If there are women and sailors within a limited space for more than a few hours, then the chances that there will be children as a result are very likely. Also, if sailors are able to get ashore in a particular location where women are known to inhabit, then it is reasonable to assume that other sailors have been in that location before. This accounts for varying ages of respective "results". Now, historically speaking, we know that there are such issues every time sailors go ashore. (See ANY period description of Spithead, Plymouth(England), Liverpool, London OR read accounts of the voyages of Cook and/or Bligh.) Therefore I feel this explanation is acceptable. Presumably some of these men were actually honorable and we know that a few did marry. Documentation here may be limited not because it didn't happen, but rather that it was undocumented, aka never written down/unimportant to contemporaries.

Don't rule out the value of a good powder monkey or cabin boy either. Remember that the British Navy took boys on at 7 years old for such duties. More priviledged younkers were bought commissions as midshipmen as well around that age.

Well, sorry, I didn't mean to write a book... Just seems like an interesting topic. I think we can always use more snotties around camp. It's fun to watch them grow. (BTW, "snotty" is a term for a young midshipman and though derived from "snot-nosed" it can sometimes be a term of endearment historically speaking.)

I'll leave you with this excerpt from a period sea song... "If it's a girl, bounce her upon your knee. If it's a boy, send the b*****d to sea!"

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I'm not really the best person to reply, I know, but since I've been around Hamish alot, thought I would throw my $.02 in for what its worth.

Wait...Patrick and I replied, so I think you're more than safe. :rolleyes:

Luv, Mission - who will never in this lifetime run the risk of having offspring if he can possibly help it (and he can)

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one does not need a plethora of baby euqipment to do this....people back then did not have them, and some how the human race continued....

laugh.gif That about sums the whole thing up IMO. Babies are probably the closer in character to their 17th c. counterparts than anyone else in an encampment. wink.gif

But Patrick raises a good point... How do other reenactors feel about babies and (young) children in camp? I know it can be hard enough justifying women in a "pirate" camp, what about the offspring? And the crying? :-P Be honest people!

Babies crying, trumpet practice, etc...

They're sounds of life... get over it. rolleyes.gif

Leaf-blowers... now that another topic. mad.gif

Jas. Hook

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lady,

i can and do speak from first hand expiernce. my first reenactment event that i dressed as a woman for i was already 5 months pregnant. I helped load and set up the camp and take it down in a rainstorm. I dressed in the same clothes you will see me in at events now, until i finish some new outfits that are in progress.

I found the biggest challage was actully people looking at me like i was insane, though as connie said you really do find out who your friends are ;) . As callenish said i was at an event that was 2 weeks before my due date, and my dear friend was begging me not to make her deliver me, had that indeed happened I could not have been in better hands. Though going into labour would indeed have been something that women did when and where they were, going into it in camp was an interesting but unneeded worry.

as for traveling with wee hamish, he is a campion traveler and a mild mannered wee fellow, this will depend on the given personality of the babe and parents. as a little one he slept most the driving time, got feed and changed on the road as needed. now he actully stays awake for some to the trip and delights in seeing the world. this is not to say he does not have his momentst, but with a bit of prep work and patience anything can be surmounted with realtive ease.

in camp the niciest thing is to know that there are many "dutch" aunts and uncles about. like the tightknit community we tend to be it is the same if there are childern about. it is a lovely example of the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. As our forefathers and mothers have done this for milinia, it holds true in this day. I will add a quick and hearlfelt thank you here for the help along the way.

as for being a healthy safe enviroment, the more they are exposed to the healthier they will be, you do the best you can for them the same you would at home. somewhere this modern world has become germophobic, before i get any slack from parents out there, it is as easy to keep the kids clean and safe in pc camps as it is in a normal house. Sometimes much easier in my case, grins, hamish is learning life both ways modern and a pc camp, i hope this will lead to his character later in life.

So to any and all parents or would be parents, dont let the thought of wee ones diseude you from continuing in the hobby/ lifestyle. Kids just add another facet of life to the camp and allow for more teaching moments, both to the public and the childern. one example of this was the cradle basket callenish tied into a tree at PIP 2008, and other events, people could not belive that there was an actul baby in the basket asleep, hang basket, add babe, cover with blanket and allow the wind to rock said babe asleep. easy, safe, and could go about cooking and working within sight of the basket with no fear of the baby being hurt.

in closing,have fun with it, the kids can deciede when they are older not to be interesting in the hobby anymore, or not ;) .

ye ship's potter,

salty

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as for being a healthy safe enviroment, the more they are exposed to the healthier they will be, you do the best you can for them the same you would at home. somewhere this modern world has become germophobic, before i get any slack from parents out there, it is as easy to keep the kids clean and safe in pc camps as it is in a normal house. Sometimes much easier in my case, grins, hamish is learning life both ways modern and a pc camp, i hope this will lead to his character later in life.

Huzzah! I'm glad that there's at least one other crazy parent out there like me! Everyone told us that we shouldn't take our baby out of the house for 2 months and not to have him around large crowds. He was born 12 days before Christmas... Needless to say, we still took him to my wife's family gathering (She has 90 first cousins...) and we've taken him a number of places including several living history trade fairs over the last 3 months and he's perfectly healthy. You've gotta let them build their immune system! Breastfeeding helps immensely as well. That gives him his mother's immunity.

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Salty, your input is very much appreciated! I didn't even consider the hanging basket to keep baby happy and out of the fire harms way. Surprisingly, I am less concerned about "germs" in PC cam than I am on the road getting there (public rest rooms, ew!). <br>

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