Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

Mad, Sad and Hopeful

26 Sep

This post has been edited. After re-reading it I recognized how hurtful some of my comments may have been. That was not my intention and I am very sorry to anyone who was hurt. I went off on a rant and didn’t consider other peoples feelings.

The other night I was lying in bed unable to sleep when I heard Logan wake up in his room and go into the kitchen to get himself a drink. He then came into our room and climbed into our bed and went back to sleep. The stirring woke Bella up a bit and I rolled over, got my shirt out of the way and she found the boob herself, nursed for a moment and was back into her deep sleep within minutes. So, in the middle of the night both of my kids woke up, had a drink and were back to sleep in less than 15 minutes and all I had to do was roll over.

Why in our society do we look down on things like nursing and co-sleeping? Ugh, just thinking that people do not 100% support it makes me angry! Why do people want their babies to grow up faster? To consume processed products? Bahh I’m so mad.

I will start with all the bystanders. Those people who’s children have grown up or, my favorite, the ones who have never had children. They hear something somewhere or are grossed out by the thought of a baby breastfeeding and feel that they then have the right to give dirty looks or even comment when a mother feeds her child. Shut up! You don’t know anything and you are incredibly rude and uneducated. And hey you nurses that tried to take my baby from me in the hospital because you weren’t comfortable with me falling asleep holding her back the frick off! The chemicals released after I had her and while I have been nursing her have primed my brain to respond to every move and noise she makes. I am not going to squish her. It’s not right that a new mother should have to fight to keep her baby in her arms. Don’t tell me she has been nursing for too long! She has just been through a very traumatic experience being born and if she wants to nurse constantly that is perfect. I know that you know the best thing for baby is to be close to Mommy with as few interruptions as possible so why are you fighting me? Shame!

Fathers, the ones who complain about the baby in the bed or how all of Moms time is taken up by the nursing baby, grow up! That baby and Mommy are getting more sleep because they are together, and them getting more sleep means they will be happier, we all know that a happy baby makes for a happy Mommy and a happy Mommy makes your life a heck of a lot easier. You should be doing everything you can to help in every way you can think of. Then go online and look up more ways to help. We all know you don’t really know what needs to be done.
All you Daddys who are trying your best, getting involved and loving your babies (my hubby included) Thank You! I imagine it can be hard on you when baby is so little and Mom is the primary care giver so good on you for trying! Keep it up! Logan and Bella are madly in love with their Daddy and that has a lot to do with how much he shows them his love.

I understand the struggle it can be to successfully breastfeed. It can be incredibly painful, and lots of resources will tell you it should not be uncomfortable at all and you assume you are doing something wrong and it’s hard to want to continue. It does get better, easier and it really is natural and you and your baby will figure it out. You will learn together.

There is so much “information” out there saying negative things about breastfeeding. Formula companies advertise everywhere and there are so many bottles on the market you feel like having a baby means you should own bottles. There’s a very good chance that someone is going to tell you that sleeping with your child in your bed is bad. Those people have put absolutely no thought into the fact that we are one of the few societies where young children have their own bed at all. Or that our ancestors lived in homes that simply did not include multiple bedrooms, families slept together. Just because it costs more does not make it better. Breastfeeding first started getting it’s negative attention when only women with less money were doing it, the rich ones used bottles because they could afford to buy them and it became the poor woman’s way to feed her child. Why being free, always available and the most healthy option is a bad thing escapes me completely.

Listen hear ‘modern’ society and all you judgey people our babies need our love, cuddles and snuggles. They need to be close to the people who love them as much as possible and they need the food their Mom’s body makes for them so stop saying or even insinuating otherwise. Mothers have a hard enough time learning about their babies and trying to do the best thing for them without all of the conflicting advice out there.

All you Mommas who are trying to find your way through raising your baby hold on to what you believe and don’t be afraid to fight for what you know is right for your child. Hopefully someday the people around us will snap out of their judgmental, uninformed frame of mind and we will all receive the the support we deserve for loving our babies without bending to the people who tell us we are doing it wrong.

Advertisements

I Don`t Know What Is

12 May

It is overwhelming and in my opinion a touch unfair how many books, shows, magazines, websites and who knows what else out there telling us how to parent our children. And the people? It seems everyone person I come across can tell me what I am doing wrong. What I am doing right almost never comes up. Granted, some advice is obviously needed. And there has been many occasions where I have gone looking for help on websites, in books and in my monthly subscription to Today`s Parent. When I was feeling uncertain about what to do regarding feeding schedules, when to expect teeth to break through, basically things that are more medical and often related to milestones.

So what is all this `help`accomplishing? Well, in my experience it has thrown so much guilt and shame at me I wanted to curl up in a corner. Parenting is tough, and scary. And the aim of all of the advice is supposed to be to make this a bit easier. But it is simply too much. Have you read Today`s Parent? There are contradicting articles in the same issue. They are displaying different opinions and options but to a parent who is just trying to find the `right`answer it is confusing and frustrating. So here is the big secret that I have learned so far and I want everyone to know and I would love to scream up from some elevated position. You have to do what is best for you and your family! There are a million ways to approach the many situations you will come across in your journey as a parent, people will try to tell you the `right`way. But what it comes down to is what is going to work out best for your family. There have been a few situations so far in my parenting life where I made an against the common thread decision and got a considerable amount of negative feedback from people in my life and read that I was doing the wrong thing in those books and magazines. It still upsets me, and I have spent so much time defending my position that any time these things come up I get my back up and go immediately into defensive and often argumentative mode.

The first came before I even gave birth and my almost due over sized pregnant self was quick to anger and not impressed when no one in my life wanted to agree with me.

The following, and everything I write, is obviously my opinion. And as such is not intended to tell anyone how to do anything. I do not really care and certainly do not judge the choices anyone else makes. What I say is in regards to the choices I have made and nothing more. See above advice if you don`t believe me. You have to do what is best for you and your family!

So, this first situation. It might be slightly awkward to discuss and it doesn`t come up much in mainstream conversation. But that`s silly it`s a real decision that people are faced with. Circumcision. There I said it. In both of my pregnancies to did not choose to discover what the sex of my baby was. I didn`t care. And so the the topic of circumcision was not a decision that was always on my mind. In fact I had not even considered it. It seemed to me that everyone I knew was circumcised and I was under the impression that it is just something you do. A part of having a boy was having that procedure done. So Scott and I have have said to each other yeah if we have a boy we will have it done, and that would have been the extent of the talking on the matter. Until one of my appointments with Dr. Bos. I don’t even know how or why it came up but he asked me, “If you have a boy will you have him circumcised?“ Yeah, with a bit of a shrug, as in isn`t that obvious? was my response. Why? His next question. I suddenly felt stupid because I didn`t have a real answer. Well, doesn`t everyone? I thought it was just something you did. Would you have a girl circumcised? NO! Of course not that`s horrific (my opinion). Then why do it to a boy? Unless I had religious reasons Dr. Bos informed me, there was no medical reason to have the procedure done. He then informed me of the risk, like with any procedure, of infection or error. And did I know that it was a procedure you have to make an appointment for at a later date? They no longer do it while you`re still in the hospital after the baby is born. And you have to pay. A few hundred dollars is what I have heard. The information I have gathered is that there is only one doctor locally who will perform this procedure and I have yet to hear good feedback from parents who have taken their boys to him. So now I had new information and I felt silly for making the assumption that I would just do that to my little boy. If as a grown man he really hated his foreskin he could opt to go through the (yes I know very painful, but it would be his choice) procedure to have it removed. If however, I had it chopped off for him and later in life he wished I hadn`t he`s S.O.L. I came home so Scott with this new choice, he was not impressed. It came up at family gatherings. Nobody was on my side. Everyone had a horror story of someone who knew someone who didn`t have it done and experienced complications requiring they have it done later on. And oh I did not know how much it would hurt my little boy if he had to have it done when he was older and more aware. HELLO people!!! It hurts when they are babies too. Have you seen those baby shaped molds they strap an infant into in order to perform the circumcision? Jeez. If you haven`t I invite you to find the episode of Penn & Teller`s Bullshit on this topic. When I heard the baby cry on that episode I almost threw up. And it wasn`t even my baby! I don`t know the kid. But I do have babies and the thought of them crying that way was physically painful for me. Despite the fighting and the disagreements we did not have it done. And I often come across someone who has had a bad experience having it done, or read a new article on why you shouldn`t I feel very relieved that I stood my ground and protected my little boy. From something I almost just did because everyone does.

If anyone is offended or put off I am sorry you feel that way. This is a place where I intend to express my thoughts and feelings. They are in no way meant to hurt anyones feelings I am just trying to be honest.

My second parenthood battle was brought up in a small way before Logan was born but was not a full out fight until I held him in my arms. At one of our prenatal classes we were learning about where baby should sleep. You know there is advice out there from every angle. The main opinion though is that baby’s crib should be in Mom and Dads room and baby should sleep there for at least the first six months. If for some reason Mom and Dad do not have a giant bedroom many experts suggest putting a mattress on the floor for Mom or Dad to sleep on in baby’s room so that baby can sleep in their crib but have a parent close at hand. Yes I think this is ridiculous. One mom to be in my class said there was no way she was going to have baby sleep in the same room because every little noise that baby made would keep her up all night, a monitor was all she needed. I was horrified but each to their own. My plan involved one of those side car style bassinets that attach to the parent bed and keep baby at the same level but in their own space, I was afraid of crushing him or her. Logan was born, and on our first night in the hospital he laid beside me on the bed. My fear of squishing my baby in my sleep had disappeared and the thought of him being anywhere other than at my side was not acceptable. By my side is where he stayed. A family bed, co-sleeping, whatever you want o call it Logan slept with us. He nursed until almost 18 months and when he woke in the night all I had to do was make sure there was easy access to boob. And we both barely even woke up. More sleep equals happier Mommy and baby. I heard though, oh boy did I hear it. It`s not normal. He is going to be a big baby. He needs to learn to be independent. He`s going to have to sleep on his own eventually. One little tidbit even implied that inappropriate feelings may occur since Logan and I are the opposite sex. Wow, did people ever hate that I had my baby in my bed with me. And after months of me bearing my teeth every time someone told me it was wrong they started asking, in what they thought was a nonchalant way, if he was still in our bed. I stopped talking about it. I didn`t bring it or anything that could imply that he was in our bed up. I felt ashamed. The way people had been treating me in this choice had caused me to pull back and not even try to deal with it anymore. Logan had croup around 17 months of age and was admitted to the hospital. They were going to put him in a crib so I had to request a full sized bed that I could sleep with him in. The nurse that took of us overnight was young and very sweet. She repeatedly brought me reports of all the other nurses who disapproved of me laying in bed with my son. She said she didn’t care but they were saying it was dangerous. It had been my experience that when he was sick I could respond much quicker if he needed me because I was right there and so especially while he was sick I would stay with him. The nurse came in at one point and said she had done some research and found that co-sleeping was only dangerous under certain circumstances. If the parent was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially tired or was a smoker. Some other things as well, but you get the idea. If a parent was going to be less responsive than it wasn’t safe. Obvious right? And yet people, even many nurses hear or read a portion of research which says it may not be safe and jump on anyone who sleeps with their kids without looking at the full picture. During my pregnancy with Bella my emotions intensified and this was when I was able to come to terms with it and be at peace with the choice I had made. All along I knew I was right, doing the right thing for my family and I finally fully felt that way. I had sought out and enjoyed some articles that supported my view. I loved one which talked about people in less developed countries who always had shared beds. It was a normal way of life, and those little boys were hunting wild boar at four years of age. And that article brought me to the conclusion that before we in developed countries were in these multi room houses that we also slept with our kids. It was normal even for us at one point but then it became cool to have several bedrooms in our homes and so we kicked our kids out of our warm beds and left them in the dark of their own. And you know what else I realized? That someday my child was not going to want to snuggle with me. Some day he would be too big and way too cool to lay down beside his Mom and fall asleep. So damn everyone else I was going to enjoy every moment that I could. When Bella was born and we spent our first night in the hospital she snuggled up on me nursing regularly. Around ten o’clock that night or night nurse came in and offered to take her from me. No thank you. “Well I’m not comfortable with you falling asleep while she is on you like that”. I really wanted to throw something at her or at least scream in her face but I had to deal with her ALL night so I smiled and said no I’m good thanks. Every 45 minutes she came back in and offered to take her, and every time I made Bella was at least laying on my boob if not actually nursing so that I could say she was feeding. Did I sleep that night? Hell no! I should have thought, that was the point of me being there, recovering from surgery and rest is a big part of that. Guess who my night nurse was on night two? Yup the same one. She even tried to tell me Bella shouldn’t have been nursing as much as she was. Actually we are supposed to have as much skin to skin contact as possible and she can nurse every second if she wants she is brand new you stupid b*tch. I’m still a touch angry at this woman. We survived, Bella now sleeps every night beside me, stretched out and taking up more bed than her little body should allow. And Logan like his own bed in his room these days. He often wakes around 3 AM (which is new for us, in our bed both kids sleep on average a solid ten hours at least) and Scott goes to see him and ends up spending the rest of the night in Logan’s room. We have found a sleeping arrangement that works well for us and we enjoy it. I hope that everyone is able to find something that works for them and they can stick with it without flack from anyone.

The last point I am going to touch on is not really a fight. Most people would actually agree with me on this one and the medical advice supports me as well. Breastfeeding. Logan did it until he was 18 months and would have longer but my milk dried up because of my pregnancy with Bella. It was tough and he and I cried together at night when he would try and try to nurse and get nothing from me. And now Bella nurses, not as enthusiastically as her brother but a very regular part of her day. I`m not going to go on and on like my other two points. You pretty much know why nursing is important and if you are a parent I am sure you have heard the `breast is best“quote that is thrown in your face constantly. And it`s not easy. I will never say it is. It is a battle full of pain and self doubt. Before I left the hospital I was bleeding, Logan spit up blood once and when I freaked the nurse reassured me that it was my blood coming out of his mouth and there was nothing to worry about, it happens. My irritation on this topic involves lots of nameless people who scowl and glare at me when I nurse my baby in public. Those can`t you go into the bathroom or something comments that send me flying off the handle. No, I cannot go into the bathroom or something, are you going into the bathroom to eat? Not even two months ago we were at the wellness center in the family change room after our weekly swim and Bella was nursing. We were sitting on a bench amongst the lockers and we were both fully clothed. There was barely any boob exposure. A little boy came up and asked me what she was doing. Eating was my answer. What is she eating? A fair question but before I could come up with an answer that might make sense to him his mother grabbed his wrist, glared at me and yanked him away. They need privacy she barked at him. Are you mother effing kidding me? Oh right I forgot nursing my child was basically porn and I was evil for doing it in public. Jeez people. Let`s be serious. Was she not just swimming with him? Did she make him close his eyes while she got changed so he wouldn`t see anything inappropriate? The kid might have been four. Re-freaking-diculous. He saw some side boob, oh my god call a therapist he is damaged for life!

Breathe…I have to remind myself. I get so annoyed sometimes….

So the point of all of this rambling is this. I don’t know what is a … a perfect parent. I don’t know what it is to do everything `right`.

When I became pregnant did I know what I was getting my self into? H-E double hockey stick NO! Did I know I was going to be a part of a two parent team who had to pin a 16 month old down and pry his eye lid open just to squeeze some gunk into it that was going to make it hurt even more than it already did? (damn you pink eye) No! There are some things about this whole having kids thing that SUCK! When I know that I have to put them through something unpleasant that is going to be good for them, and I have to hold them down as they cry it makes me sick to my stomach. But there is so much good stuff it doesn`t even matter. Am I perfect? Heck no! Have I made all the right choices? Not likely. Am I really good at being a parent? I think so. Why? Because I love it, and I love my kids. When Logan was new and I was crying in my doctors office because I was exhausted and overwhelmed he told me, “ All he needs is love and those dumb things (pointing at my boobs)“ and that made me feel better. It gets more complex than that as time goes on and they grow but the basics remain in place. Love your children and let your experience and knowledge of them and what works for your family guide you though all the tough decisions you have to make. You are going to make mistakes. That`s OK. Do what you can to come back from them. The fact that you worry about weather or not you are doing the right thing says to me that you are a good parent. If you are walking around thinking you have all the answers and you are infallible I fear what the future holds for you.

%d bloggers like this: