Like many women, I had a traumatic birth. By the time our baby arrived into this world I felt frazzled to say the least! Once I saw our baby though, it all melted into oblivion. Now as the months slip by it has become irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.
One thing I hadn’t bargained for when my son was born, was to be unable to breast feed. My midwife had warned me that, I may be at risk from being unable to, but I have to admit I had brushed this notion aside and was positive that myself and my baby would figure it out. I hadn’t even brought a single bottle, so strong was my belief.
In the hospital I felt thoroughly devastated. My efforts to get my son to latch on were unsuccessful. We tried and tried and then tried some more – but nothing. The pain was excruciating, not only could my son not latch on, but at that point I was producing nothing. I believe it must have been from the stressful birth. I felt thoroughly unhinged and believed that even before our son was out of the hospital I had already failed him as a mother. Unable to provide him with the very basic essentials on which he needed for his survival. I can still remember watching as my husband attempted to feed him sugar-water from a dropper ! With assistance from one of the nurses – how thoroughly dreadful for a new mom.
As the day went on, I did begin to produce a tiny amount of colostrum, which I carefully fed to my baby. The amount wasn’t significant enough to satisfy him, so I had to also begin to feed him formula. When I saw those tiny bottles I felt a whole range of emotions. Firstly OMG I can’t believe I am feeding our new baby formula, but also I felt an immense gratification. There is a means by which to feed our baby ! One that we would not have had hundreds of years a go. So there at that very moment, my relationship with formula began……….
Coming home with a new baby is a whirlwind and if it’s your first baby it’s also a massive learning curve.
In the first few weeks visitors flow in and out, and each day is filled with the excitement of having a new baby – the adrenaline flows. Once you are left alone with your baby, you may initially feel a sense of isolation creeping in. For me, the first few weeks after my mom left and my husband went back to work were the toughest. Not only are you exhausted from being a new mom, but you are still such a newby, trying to navigate your way through the new mom world. I found toward the end of my sons second month I really began to get into the groove. I learned to embrace my new role and gave into the emotions that I felt. I just went with the overwhelming need to hunker down and nest. The need was so primal in fact that I decided to completely go with it and embrace it. For two months we barley went outside . I absolutely loved this time, as it gave my son and I time and space to bond – I treasured every moment.
when I look back at those early days I am so glad that we were able to have this time. After all there is a whole lifetime ahead for my son to orientate himself in the world, why rush anything, as time is so very fleeting in the early years and they don’t stay little for long.
The Milk Diaries is coming soon ! A diary of the trial and tribulations of breast feeding, and how I learned to accept bottle feeding my son. How my son is doing now and what we have learned from our experience. I am hoping that the diary will help other moms, who have had similar issues and those who are experiencing them now.
I hope you enjoy it, and that it goes some way in bringing comfort to you. There are many bottle feeding mommies out there in the same boat, so don’t feel alone on your journey.
Aloysius Snuffleupagus is a character from the popular children’s show Sesame Street. He is a wooly mammoth with a long trunk or ‘snuffle’.
My ten month old has bogies of gargantuous proportions. I am talking full on blocked up nostrils. It’s what I now fondly refer to as the snuffleupaguses! Just like the beloved character from Sesame Street. Try as I may I just can’t seem to keep his snuffleupaguses at bay. Regular dousings with nasal drops, bathing and fresh air cannot seem to budge them. They take on an identity all of their own, lurking their in his little dark crevices we know as nostrils. I often think they have taken up permanent residence in there, until at last they emerge and my son takes a rest from scratching frantically at his nose, only for another to shortly reappear. My husband has considered mounting them, so that they may be displayed for all to see. Like The wall of Gaylord from the movie Meet The Fockers. Only ours would be the wall of Baby bogies. Now I don’t want to wish any time away, cause every moment with my son is precious, but it will be such a relief when my son can remove his bogies on his own accord, and rid himself once and for all of his snuffleupaguses.
There is a plethora of information available to us now at the touch of a button. Remember back in the day when we would scroll through phone books or pick through piles dog eared books to find the information we were looking for. Nowadays we just pop our questions into the search engine and voila! We have what we are looking for right there, and often much more information than needed.
Being a parent, often brings up all sorts of questions. We are so lucky to have all the information we need right at hand, or are we? Sometimes the information available to us can be as much a burden as a help, because there is so much of it. Let me give you an example of this. Two months ago my son started on solids. Pretty straight forward I thought to myself- introduce things gradually over a period of time. Then I started researching on the internet. Boy was I wrong – not so simple apparently. There was so much conflicting information on how this process should be undertaken I found myself feeling swirly headed and much more confused than when I started. I have found myself feeling overwhelmed many a time when cyber researching various questions about my baby. There is however you’ll be pleased to know a way to avoid getting cyber zapped. I have found these techniques to be very useful and hope you do too. Firstly be very specific when doing a search online. Limit the number of websites that you look at – be choosy. Only look at websites that come from a reputable source. Once you have collected all the information you need, write some notes and then check through it to see what you have. Lastly use only information that you feel comfortable with. If there is one thing I have learned, its that parenting is a highly individual process for both you and your child. I always say to myself, wait ! parents didn’t have all this information hundreds of years a go and they managed to raise their children none the less. My gut feelings and instinct are two things I feel much more tuned into since being a parent, and both help me guide my way through the cyber yikes!
It wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I finally realised what incredibly hard work it is being a parent. No one can actually prepare you for it, you just have to experience it yourself first hand. But it got me to thinking about the way in which we as a society value stay at home parents. You never hear anyone say oh and do you know, she was a stay at home mom! What an incredibly important job.
In my life I have had an abundance of jobs, I consider myself a jack of all trades. I have worked in many different fields and with many different people. Some of which were good and some not so good. Being a parent is by far the most rewarding and all-consuming job I have ever had. Being a good parent is so important to the mental and physical health of our children, through good parenting we hope to guide and equip our children with the necessary tools to navigate their way through our wonderful and sometimes complex world. Without guided parenting children often grow into adults with little knowledge to navigate the world, often becoming confused and lost – without sense of self or place. We as parents collectively shape the next generation within our society – what more important work is there than this? Just because there is no monetary value attached to parenting, western societies view of stay at home parents has become greatly under valued.
So I say it’s time to break the stigma, lets all begin collectively to give stay at home parents the recognition that they deserve. Let us make sure they know how truly valued they are and how vitally important they are to helping to mould future generations. After all well raised children are the very foundation from which our society is built.