Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Short and Sweet: Thank you, dear lady

Just one week after I posted about the "just wait" mumbo jumbo that people love to share with new moms, I found myself once again waiting in line (this time at Michael's :) ) wearing Conner on my front, being accosted by a father and his adult daughter...both of whom started the "just you wait til he gets bigger" schpeal.

And then all of the sudden the woman in front of me turns around and says "Just wait for nothing. Enjoy him now and always. Children are wonderful at any age".

It was all I could do but smile and think about the wonderful, pleasant, positive people she must have raised, looking at them as being wonderful even as they grew out of babyhood and into every stage of life thereafter.

Thank you, dear lady. Your statement made my day :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just Wait For What?

As I was walking around Target today, I was stopped by the usual gazers oogling over Conner (I know he's cute...and apparently everyone agrees with me :) )...grandmas who love to coo at him and get a smile back, mom's with babes around the same age (who I love conversing with) and the parents of older children who stop to see the little baby and reminisce.

But today I found myself in a strikingly interesting position. I've heard more than once a parent say to me "just wait until he's older!" or "you wait until he's this age" as they're pointing to their own child. As I'm walking through the aisles I'm stopped by a mother with a boy of about six in her cart. She starts the usual "oh how cute" routine....but then it turns to "you wait, they're not so cute and precious anymore when they hit this age!" as she pointed to her own son. It immediately sent me remembering a post I had read on another blog, titled Joy or Just Wait. Similarly this blogger had been in Target and witnessed another new parent being given the "just wait" speech and was quite bothered by it.

I found myself feeling irked as well. As I walked away from this woman who apparently thought her comment was in good humor, I felt bad for the little boy in her cart. This mom had blatantly put down her son, in front of a stranger no less. What could that possibly do for his self esteem? And how many times has this little boy been out with his mother and heard her say the same thing to other parents with little babies?

And then I felt bad for the mother. It saddened me to think that she found humor in telling a new parent that as their child gets older, she won't find him to be as cute or precious. Her comment made me want to shake her and wake her up. Sitting in her cart was a gorgeous little boy, with a smile on his face, who was developing into the person she's helping to mold. How was he not cute and precious anymore? Sure, sometimes his actions may not be, but he is a child after all...

Perhaps I took the comment too seriously, perhaps there is some kind of humor deep down in there. But I can't find it, and I didn't think her statement was funny. I did, however, find her statement to be a reminder to enjoy every moment with my son, and to appreciate the ups and downs of parenting....well past babyhood. It was also a nice reminder of what I don't want to do to my own children: embarrass them, whether they realize it or not. I want to set a positive example for my son, starting with the way I speak of him. I think that rather than telling parents negative things about your children, a more positive, effective thing to do is to embrace your child, no matter the age, and show the stranger with the sweet little baby that children are cute at any age...and parenting, while sometimes a challenge, is wonderful, positive and beautiful.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Admittance

I've been dreading this post for a few weeks now. I've been denying the fact that it happened, I've been wallowing in my own disappointment and a bit of embarrassment, not wanting to admit it.

I can't breastfeed anymore. My milk supply, despite efforts of diet change, supplement taking and even one-on-one help from lactation consultants a-go go, diminished.

It's a heartbreaking fact for me. Having wanted to stick it out for 6-12 months, at the least, it's a disappointing occurrence. And I hate to admit it, because it makes me feel and sound like a failure. The LCs speculate that it was a combination of Conner having a very difficult time latching without an aid because of his high arch, and the fact that I had been given the "mini pill" which, while doesn't usually affect milk supply, certainly can...and apparently did with me.

I hate that I can't spend those moments bonding with my son in a way that, truly, can only be done mother and baby-style. And I feel guilty that I can't provide for him in that way anymore. Yet another lesson learned in this school of mommyhood....but at sad and disappointing one at that.

I'm still a huge promoter of breastfeeding, if you can though. It's the healthiest, most natural thing you can do for your child and it's wonderful. I still encourage all new mommas out there to nurse as long as you can, and to truly embrace and enjoy it. It's so very special.

I hope that no one reads this and looks at me as a disappointment. I hope that you understand it took quite a bit of courage for me to write this post, admitting that my body failed me, and in turn failed my son. I hope that you can read this and understand that I am proud of the almost 4 months of exclusive nursing I was able to do with Conner. And I hope this post is a reminder to cherish the things that mean some thing special to you and your baby.

And remember that breastfeeding is wonderful no matter how long you do it for!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why Midwives Rock My Socks

I'm always reflecting back on Conner's birth. It's something I look back on every day, no longer to grieve over my disappointment in having an emergency c-section, but to remind myself of how blessed I am to have a healthy little boy, have had a speedy recovery, and the memory of a care team who will hold a special place in my heart forever.

I always say, for the situation I was in, I couldn't have had a better, more positive experience. And I chalk quite a bit of that up to the fact that the people who cared for myself and my son did just that: they cared.

The person who always sticks out in my mind though was the midwife who assisted the doctors to care for me. On our base, a woman may choose to be seen by a doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner throughout her pregnancy. I chose to see nurse practitioners for mine, and was taken care of primarily by nurses with advisement by doctors while I was in labor. The only time I really ever saw a doctor was when the decision was made that Conner was in too much distress and needed to be born. And that was completely my choice, to have minimal interaction with the doctor. See, I have a thing with doctors...I'm not a fan of them. I've always felt that nurses are way more gentle and compassionate.

And while my nurses were absolutely wonderful, I still reflect back the warmest on the midwife who joined my team.

The hospital where Conner was born is very big on natural birth, and they try to avoid c-sections at all costs. As my labor progressed and my infection got worse, a midwife was brought in to see if she could help naturally progress my dialation so that I could push Conner out quickly and safely. Though my body didn't cooperate, I was beyond grateful for her efforts. She understood that pushing my son out was important to me, it sincerely meant something to me. When I was told that a c-section was now becoming necessary, and when I broke down in tears exclaiming how much of a failure I felt like, she hugged me. While they wheeled me down to the operating room, leaving Derek to wait until I was prepped before he could come in, she held my hand. While they prepped me, she sat by my head and stroked my hair. She told me everything that was happening during my surgery. She told Derek when to stand so that he could see Conner come out, and she made sure he got to cut his cord. And when Derek left the OR to go with Conner to the NICU, she resumed her place at my head, gave me a kiss on the cheek, stroked my hair again during the uncomfortable process of being put back together.

That midwife was the sweetest, gentlest, most compassionate woman who cared for me while I was in labor. Though she will see hundreds of other women in the hospital and probably won't remember me, I will never, ever forget her.

Her gentle being, her kindness, her willingness to care has left an enormous impression on me. And she is the very reason I am going to certainly put my care in the hands of the midwife team throughout my next pregnancy.

Midwives rock :)

Video Sunday: Baby Giggles

Friday, March 2, 2012

Short and Sweet: It Never Gets Old

I'm the mom that snuggles my son to sleep. We cuddle, I rock him and rub his back, and he lays his head on my shoulder and sucks his little thumb as he drifts off for a nap. I always hold him a few extra minutes after he's fallen asleep, and I always hug him tight before I lay him down. And I never lay him down without a kiss on his little forehead.

That moment every day never gets old. And it's a wonderful reminder to cherish life's little things.