January 23, 2010
Happy Birthday, Baby S!
It seems that this last year has flown by, and now baby S is one. She's not so much a baby anymore. She can't walk yet, and that, to me anyway, is sort of the last vestige of being a baby. In so many other ways, she's very much a toddler, and the little baby of a year ago is definitely a thing of the past. It's sort of strange to know that I won't ever have this experience of a baby again, as we're pretty much settled on having only two kids. What with C's health issues and all, it just doesn't seem like a good idea, and "quit while you're ahead" seems to be a good motto in life. So, we're passed that baby stage and moving on to other things. In some ways I feel a little sad about it because there ARE so many things to enjoy about an itty bitty baby. On the other hand, though, there are SO many wonderful things about a toddler and a preschooler and a kindergartener....and....and...and. The first time around, I did feel sad when each stage passed because with a baby everything seems to go so fast. But over time, I learned how wonderful the next stage is, and came to enjoy it and mourn its passing too. This time, I feel a little more zen about the whole thing, just enjoying where we are now. Which is good, because I think that's where I need to be. Right now seems to be a good time to stop and catch a breath. C may be doing better, although I'm always hesitant to say that, just in case. J is doing okay, but it's hard to parent a gifted child, and it's hard to send them to school, too. I think we're starting to get a handle on some of those issues, too, and that's helping. I'll write more on J in the near future. The whole dissertation defense went well, and now I'm Dr. C (I guess, it still doesn't feel real!). The dog and the cat, who are snuggling with me as I write this, are doing well.
Happy Birthday, Baby S! May this next year be as good as this very moment.
January 10, 2010
The other day, baby S, who's not a baby anymore, and I were at the pharmacy waiting for a prescription. While we were there, a mother with a new baby came in. The mom was returning a rental breast pump.
The transaction took me back to a rental breast pump I had when J was a baby. Everything felt so emotional when he was born, what with his medical condition and all. That blue Lactina the hospital rented to us was one of those touchstones, and definitely a security blanket. At some point, I got my own personal breast pump, but it took me forever to return that rental, and when I did, I practically cried. It was so hard to make milk for J, and I felt like returning that breastpump was me giving up somehow.
This time, with S, things were a little easier, but not much. She, too, was born with a tongue-tie, and it effected her ability to suck. Early on, she wasn't gaining much weight, and it certainly was a cause of stress that I alone was her only food source. Eventually, we started to add formula to her diet, and over time, we got pretty comfortable with a formula during the day, nursing at night sort of plan. Somehow we've made it work, and now S is one, and we're still doing a little nursing at night, although not so much these days. I suppose one of these days she'll wean, but not yet. And, sometimes in the day, she wants a little mama milk, and somehow it's there, even though I've never had an abundant supply. I didn't make it this long with J. He was also tongue-tied, and we both had other issues--exhaustion, medical complications, being formula fed before I even got to hold him....I should be lucky we nursed at all. If it's one thing he taught me on this topic, it's do what you've gotta do, mama. There's so much more to being a mama than making milk.
So, when S and I left the pharmacy, there was the mom and baby who had returned the breast pump, sitting on a bench. She was feeding her baby a bottle. We exchanged glances, and I realized that she was worried I was somehow judging her decision not to breastfeed. I didn't stop to tell her otherwise, but part of me wishes I had.
Being a mama is hard enough on its own. I don't think that women should have to defend their choices on how they feed their children. So, if I see that mom who returned the breast pump again, I'd give her a pat on the back for taking care of herself. (Hey, she returned it without crying!) And, I'd give her another pat on the back for taking care of her baby.