Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “March, 2010”

The love of my life (part II)

Whenever my son was born, I instantly loved him more than life itself.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think that my tremendous love for him could grow even more.  I just didn’t think the human heart is capable of holding all of the love inside without bursting from the strain.  Yet, for me, it has and it continues to do so. I just don’t know how I ever thought life was complete without having him in it.  Even the worst days with him still manage to make my best pre-baby days look like an ordinary oyster shell because he is my pearl.

When he looks at me, I love him so much that it almost hurts.  There is simply no other way to describe it.  When he is discontent with life, it makes me want to move a mountain just so he can have a better view of the beauty that lies ahead of us. When he smiles and laughs, I feel complete joy from the tip of my toes to the top of my head.  When I am away from him, I feel broken for I am then only half of a whole.

My mom and I used to play a game when I was a child in which we would try to quantify the love we had for each other.  For  example, “I love you more than grains of sand on earth.” Sometimes it could get quite complicated: “I love you more than all the blades of grass on the prairie x the starts in the sky x the grains of salt in the oceans of the world.”  Now that I have my son, I realize that I can sum up my love for him in one simple statement:

I love you more than you will ever know.


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Wow

I have been reading one of those “classic baby training” books about sleep.  I am wondering WHY, exactly, is it so important that a completely dependent young infant sleep by himself all alone in his crib?  I mean, even a hundred or so years ago this would certainly mean death to an infant from cold or whatnot.

Not to bore anyone with a history lesson, but the whole nursery idea started with royalty.  The queen was not allowed to nurse or tend to her baby because then she would be fertile sooner to become pregnant with another heir to the kingdom sooner.  It was important to produce many heirs because infant mortality was so high in those days.  But even then, the royal children had a substitute mother (wet-nurse) who breastfed and tended to the youngster exclusively.

As society became wealthier, people looked up to royalty to set the standard of living and they copied the nursery idea (minus the wet-nurse’s TLC).  In the post-industrial world, marketing caught onto the trend and set out to advertise all the nursery products in order to take a piece of the financial pie. They’ve even convinced us that toys are a better substitute than interacting with our babies when in fact that is completely untrue.  The human face, through interaction, can transmit and reinforce more neuronal signals than any toy ever could.  They’ve taught us to keep our babies in sight but out of touch in infant carrier car seats, strollers, activity centers, cribs, and bouncers. Brands that make formula try to sabotage breastfeeding by making cheaper models of breast pumps which, oh dear! Do not work and thus ends up terminating the breastfeeding attempts of the mother.  (That is one reason I ONLY buy breastfeeding accessories made by companies who have nothing to do with formulas or bottle manufacturing).

To help us deal with all of the “issues” that babies develop from being practically neglected, psychology (hint #1-WHY does a baby even NEED a psychologist in the first place?) jumped on board and invented a variety of baby training methods.  Of coarse, “good parents” jumped on board and ignorantly dived head-first into the methods without even taking a moment to really question the benifit of doing it in the first place. They’ve even gone as far as to interfere with a mother’s natural instinct and states that it is actually acceptable to purposely allow a baby to cry when they are scared and alone in their cribs.  It’s infuriating!

Anyhow, I am reading this “reference” book that I am sure many a parent devoured without blinking an eye.  Here are a few shocking examples:

“Ella won’t go to sleep without her special blanket. I am so glad that she finds comfort in her comfort object.”

Ok…seriously…there is a hint that baby is feeling neglected.  WHY does a child form an emotional attachment to an OBJECT which does absolutely nothing to help it’s overall survival?  (Yes, despite all of our “advancements”, there are very few neurological differences between a pre-linguistic, primitive baby and a pre-linguistic modern one).  They actually warn parents against becoming your baby’s comfort object! WHY are parents supposed to teach their children to prefer inanimate objects over real human beings??? It is your child- QUESTION IT!

(and we wonder why we all of a sudden have a society full of materialistic children and adults? Why we have shopping addictions where people spend senseless in order to fulfill an emotional void???)

“My 7-month old bangs his head against the crib as he goes to sleep. Is this normal?”

Um….I hate to say it, but this is NOT a sign of an emotionally well-adjusted child but instead a product of an “early independence baby training” method.

The actual answer, I’m paraphrasing here, “A small percentage of babies {using this method} develop a habit of banging their heads against their cribs, or indulge in rhythmic activity, such as rocking themselves to sleep. While it may look alarming, this is not usually a sign that anything is wrong…If baby isn’t bruising himself, don’t worry.”

Really parents? Are you just so proud that baby is completely maladjusted enough to bang his head or forms a relationship with and prefers to be comforted by an inanimate object instead of a human being??? But baby can cry himself to sleep all by himself! Congrats parents! What a splendid job you’ve done.

The Perfect Mother

I do not cut up my onions into perfect squares whenever I cook.  I sometimes get bleach on my colors when I do laundry. (Actually, I think my husband has more pink underwear than I do).  I am guilty of feeding Nathan his noon meal at 2pm. I have put on mismatched socks onto his feet on more than one occasion when I cannot find the other one. He still sleeps next to me in his co-sleeper though I’ve been told to leave him in his nursery crib.  I sometimes forget to bring an extra hat when we go out in case I drop the one he has on onto the ground.  Sometimes dinner is served at 8pm or sometimes we just have leftovers.  Sometimes I buy an extra carton of Eggs when we already have a dozen at home.  Sometimes I let Nathan take a nap in his jumper/bouncer if I think moving him will wake him up even though it doesn’t look all that comfortable to me (though he does not seem to mind). I started his first solid foods with bananas instead of vegetables.  Occasionally I put him down after he is dressed from our bath to get myself dressed and he fusses because he wants to nurse right then and there.  I don’t always know how many layers of clothing he needs for the temperature at that moment.  Sometimes I forget to pull the sunscreen down in the car so the sun doesn’t get into his eyes.

Yet…

I can take one look at him and realize that despite all of my shortcomings, I am the perfect mother to him.  When he wakes up from his nap crying because he is not yet fully awake, I rush to his side to comfort him and he gives me the biggest smile.  I know all of his ticklish spots and I know just what to do to make him laugh and giggle.  I am deaf, but I know the meaning of all of his sounds and cries with and without my “ears” on.  I know by the color of his cheeks if he is not feeling well, or if he is too hot or cold.  He falls asleep each night in my arms.  When we wake up each morning, I nurse him and then we snuggle and he smiles and coos as I tell him our plans for the morning, just so he can hear my voice. I am fiercely protective of him and will move heaven and earth to keep him as safe from harm as I can. Anyone can see that he feels safe, secure, and loved unconditionally by me.

So when I feel like I am falling short of being the best I can, all I have to do is look at him. He is healthy and he is thriving.  He is confident and sociable with almost anyone he meets.  He is a happy baby and everyone tells me so.  Despite all of my imperfections, I am a perfect mother to him.

Gaggle of Nurses and Diaper Dilemma

Nathan and I made the 1 hour trip north to see my specialist/physician.  After I arrived and went back to the examination room, nature called and I found myself with a 17 1/2 pound, delightful dilemma.   What to do with Nathan while I go to the ladies’ room? The nurse with me caught on to my thoughts and started to get wide-eyed with hopeful excitement.

I looked at Nathan, then at the nurse. “Would you mind holding him while I go use the-”

“Sure!!!” she said before I even had a chance to finish my question.  I handed her my bundle of joy and left it at that.

On the way back to the examining room, I noticed a gaggle of nurses blocking the hallway.  One of them stepped aside and lo and behold there was Nathan soaking up every minute of the attention.  There must have been about 4-5 of them standing around, including two fleeting physicians in transit, and yet my little handsome boy managed to smile and flirt with each and every one of the ladies.  I didn’t see him smile at the male doctor, but I imagine he pouted his bottom lip out at him.  He is not a big fan of strange men. I guess he doesn’t see the point of being sociable with those of the boobless variety. The nurse on baby-holding duty saw me and hurried to bring him back to me.  A few nurses followed and asked me how old he is.  They had all guessed 6-7 months old. I told them he just made 5 months yesterday.  They told me that he is just a beautiful, happy baby and that I must be so proud.  I told them I certainly am, and thank you.

***warning graphic nursing experiences described below-skip the NEXT TWO paragraphs or read at your own risk (but of course you are going to read it now that I mentioned it, so go ahead ;-)***

My physician was out of the country at the time, so I saw his P.A. instead.  Nathan started protesting his hunger, and without missing a beat out came the boob.  For all of the aghast conservatives out there, not to worry.  I recalled this particular PA telling me that she nursed all of hers as well. Knowing that plus her being a medical professional allowed me to feel comfortable tending to his needs without apology or embarrassment.  She didn’t bat an eye and in fact even smiled in approval.  Now the conversation that followed is exclusively reserved for those of us who belong to the Mommy Club.  More specifically, for those of us in the Breastfeeding Mommy Club:

She glanced down at the nursing Nathan and smiled as she silently recalled the memories of nursing her own children.  She asked me how my trip South went, I told her it went well and that it was nice to see everyone.  I mentioned how well he did on the plane rides.  She started to laugh and she told me that she always nursed hers on the plane rides to keep them content (ie- quiet).  She said that one time she accidently sprayed the passenger sitting in the seat in front of her due to an over-active let-down reflex.  The young male passenger felt it, looked down at his shoulder, and looked behind his seat at her nursing her baby.  She turned beet red and immediately started apologizing profusely for the incident.  To her complete shock he waved off her apologies and explained that his wife is nursing their baby too so he is used to it! Wow.

The PA and I had a good laugh over her story.  You know, one of those deep-belly laughs which of course bothered Nathan.  He looked up at me with a “Do you mind?!?” expression and I tried my best to stifle my giggles so he could finish nursing.

That is something that I love about being a mom.  I love the fact that I can relate to just about any other mom out there because motherhood is a common experience.  It is amazing to me how both distance and differences come tumbling down the minute we recognize this fact about one another.  We find ourselves sharing our private stories of spraying milk and poop incidents with unprecedented ease.  We compare notes on tricks of the trade and share our reviews of everything from which brand of baby diapers cause diaper rashes to what stage of development baby is currently in at the moment.

Speaking of I’m a bit unsure of what to do about my current diaper dilemma.  It’s a long story but basically I have recently gotten stuck with a gigantic pack of size 3 Huggies brand.  Most moms agree that Pamper’s swaddlers are the best, followed by huggies, and for goodness’ stake stay away from Luvs! I’ve always used Swaddlers and Nathan has never had creased, rough diaper skin nor has he had any diaper rashes.  Now, with Huggies, he has both AND leaks. Yuck.  I’ve already had several all-the-way-up-his-back poop incidents and that is just plain gross.  The problem is that he is almost in size 4 and there are no Pampers Swaddlers in that size (they graduate to “cruisers”).  Based on the reviews of Pampers new Cruisers design, most moms say that they are downright awful and to just buy Huggies.  What to do?  I guess I could just try Cruisers and see for myself but if they do not work then I am really in trouble.

4 month shots

Today Nathan had his 4 month shots. He’ll be 5 months old tomorrow!  He weighs 17.31 pounds (70th percentile)  and is 25.75 inches long (53%).

C had to take him for his shots.  I caught C’s cold over the weekend.  I spent all night up and down because I kept setting off the baby cry alarm coughing, which vibrates my side of the bed.  Nathan also wanted to nurse around 3am and again around 6am.  I woke up with a fever and we decided that it would be better for me not to expose other kids at the pediatricians office.

We had some good news and some bad news at the pediatricians.  Actually- two good news.  Nathan’s heart is A-OK from his ALTE episode that landed him in the hospital. BIG relief there.  I can certainly live without ever, ever going through that again.

The other good news is that we can start him on some cereal.  He’s growing too fast!  I have noticed lately that he is REALLY interested in what I am eating.  I let him lick a banana the other day and he LOVED it, which doesn’t surprise me given that I was an official banana-eating fool during my pregnancy.

The bad news is that the pediatrician said that if his flat head does not improve, then he made need a special helmet made to mold his head by keeping pressure off of it.  The flat head is sort-of a feedback loop phenomenon in that he first found it more comfortable to sleep on a certain spot, which made it more flat, and thus in turn made it even more comfortable for him to lay on it as opposed to a different position.

It makes me kind-of mad though because I followed the pediatrician’s advice to a “T.”  They said at first to always put him to sleep on his back, so I did.  Then when he developed reflux, I needed to prop him up while he slept. I did that too.  Then they said to place him on his side to sleep, and so I have been and his head apparently is still asymmetrical.  So what in the world was I supposed to have done???

Personally, I have noticed improvement with his head.  Since today he saw a different pediatrician than his usual one, I am hoping that his regular one will take a look and tell us that he notices improvement as well and no helmet is needed. His next appointment is in 4 weeks, so I guess we will find out soon enough.

Feeling better & my roly-poly boy

For the past few weeks I’ve been dealing with a kidney/UTI infection, which had me a bit under the weather (understatement).  Nausea, heaving, flank pain, dehydration, fever, and bone-crushing fatigue left me feeling frustratingly useless.  I lack any sort of patience with illness, and this is no exception.  C is not patient either, and let me know exactly how he felt about me being “sub-standard” in my contribution to the household (his words). I can’t say that I blame him in the least. Who wants a worthless wife? The worst part is the fact that my milk supply has dropped and so I’ve been having to work hard at building it back up on top of everything else.  In the meantime, I’ve been having to supplement some of Nathan’s feedings, which led to a very fussy baby.  Not good for a mom who is not feeling well.

Anyhow, today is the first day that I have started to see even a resemblance of my old energetic self return and I am tickled pink.

Nathan reached a major milestone today- he can roll over onto his belly from his back and does so with alarming frequency.  I have a feeling that he would have reached this milestone a long time ago had his fussy-button not been placed on his belly.  It’s still there, proof being that he starts crying after more than 2 minutes on the floor, but his new trick keeps him slightly more content.

4 1/2 months old- All dressed up

4 1/2 months

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