Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now I Eat Humble Pie

As a mama, do you ever find yourself wistfully remembering your life P-K (that's Pre-Kids, yo)?

And when you do, do you ever shake your head and think what an asshat you were?  (No?  Me, neither)

So, without further adieu, some sh*t I thought before children...

My child will never sleep with me, ever (you know they won't leave your bed if you let them in...)
I fought this one for a long time with TT (like 6mos).  He was.not.going.to.get.in.my.bed.  No way.  No how.  And then one night when it was between bringing him to bed or attaching him to the dog (my go-to-non-human-child-wrangler).  I choose bed.  And we slept.  Like most of the night.  Honest!  With C-McC I said "eff that" and he joined me in bed right.away.  And you know what - TT sleeps in his own bed now... when he was ready to transition to a 'big boy bed' it.was.a.breeze!
It has been my experience that the term "co-sleeping" can be very polarizing... you either do it (and swear by it) or don't do it (and couldn't fathom why you would want to do it).  It has also been my experience that most people believe "co-sleeping" means baby in bed with you, this isn't true (in fact some parents who say they don't get it actually "co-sleep").  Co-sleeping is having your babe room-in with you.  Be it in a side-sleeper, a bassinet, a pack & play or in their crib.  If they are in.your.room, they are co-sleeping.  If they are in.your.bed, they are bed-sharing.  This is what we practice (and is what works for us), although now that C-McC is getting bigger we're tossing around the idea of sidecarring his crib.

As soon as he's old enough to let me know he wants to nurse, he's off the boob.  *sighs*  I was an idjit...like seriously.  If I were to stop nursing the.exact.moment. my boys let me know that they wanted to nurse... I would have never nursed (you know when they start rooting... and looking for a nipple *gasp* they're instinctively indicating that they want nourishment).
I'll be honest, I didn't really want to nurse TT.  I thought it was weird.  I thought it would be too difficult.  Basically, I created a lot of obstacles.  When we left the hospital with TT he had lost more then 10% of his birth weight... I told the hubs that if had not gained at.least.some of that weight back by our 48hr appointment that we were getting bottles and this baby was getting formula.  I didn't need to be worried.  He thrived on breast milk!  Now, that isn't to say that there weren't issues & difficulties.  TT & I both being nursing virgins, didn't have a clue how to get the show on the road (whodda thunk figuring out a nipple would be such a difficult task), we had issues with thrush from about 2.5mos onwards... but honestly, I wouldn't change it for the world.  He nursed until 14mos, the hubs contracted H1N1 and TT was healthy as a horse (not even a sniffled), I'm totally taking credit for that (even it's only circumstantial evidence... he was nursing... and didn't get sick... that's enough for me).
C-McC nursed like a champ... I had a little experience up my sleeve and he was a natural.  I decided this time around to join La Leche League - now I know what you're thinking I thought "they're militant lactivists who will force you to nurse or treat you with contempt and derision if you don't", well they're not.  That was a wacked-out-preconceived notion that I had adopted (I don't know why... it was stupid of me to think that).  They're freakin' awesome!  I love my group they are so supportive.  It is nice to sit down with mom's who are experiencing the same things as you (i.e. a "chewer"... and how to deal with it).  Don't get me wrong, I love my non-nursing friends & I totally go to them for advice all.the.time... but when you have an issue with a baby thinking your nipple is a straw which they can pull every which way, you tend to get more relevant answers when you're asking mom's who have been there.

Wear your child?  Nuh-uh that baby needs to learn some independence!  I told you, I was an idiot and you would think that I had never been around a child before (I had... a lot... in fact I babysat some and now that I really think about it... I spent a lot of time holding them... hmmmmm ).  I am an avid babywearer.  I have a wee collection of carriers (which I may or may not have added to since I posted my "stash" photo).  Babywearing makes my life easier.  Just the other day C-McC had a doctor's appointment (our doctor is notoriously tardy... good doctor you just have to wait until the second coming for him to get to your appointment), so the first thing we do is measurements... which means he has to be stripped down.  And of course they don't really want you dressing him all up again, because the doctor is going to be in soon (yes... soon).  So, I'd brought along Snicker and after he was weighed, measured and found not wanting... I popped him up for a great big nursing session (because being weighed & measured makes for one hungry baby) and wouldn't you know it... he passed right out.  That meant I got to spend the remainder of my 2hrs of waiting (yes... waiting) reading. 
Carriers have made my life easier... it means I can get crap done around the house (if I so choose), it means I can play with TT, it means I can run in to the grocery store and not lug that damn heavy infant seat (which while it is a necessary evil... because they NEED to be in a car seat... it is HEAVY).

It is funny how many opinions we have regarding parenting prior to having children of our own.  I know I may have (snarkily) thought I'd be doing things differently then so-and-so... but I'm an idiot for being so judgey.  So, those of you who are P-K and reading this... just remember, you may think you know everything about parenting... but wait until you have a child of your own (just saying!)

Feel free to share your P-K faux pas

8 comments:

  1. Hmmmm PK thoughts. Some of them I've actually committed to (cloth diapers, baby wearing, BF) but some I just made up my mind based on assumptions. Like you, I was sternly against bed sharing/co-sleeping. I decided about a week before R was born not to decide until we had tried it. He slept in his bassinette beside the bed for the first two months, we transitioned to bed sharing for another four and now he's in his crib and sleeps ALL NIGHT LONG! Each stage was perfect for us, no one says has to be all or nothing.

    I always new I wanted to BF (actually remember trying to 'feed' my preemie Cabbage Patch doll) but I had a feeling that I would want to stop around 6-9 months. Sadly, that's a lot longer than most women, but now I've decided not to mark the calendar with an end date. We'll just continue until one of us doesn't want to do it anymore.

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  2. LLL has been with me since I was pregnant with Nigel- I believe my mother-in-law started me with them when I was around 4 months pregnant- she was also a leader-so I had huge support right from the get go....I also had the notion that I would stop BF around 6 months or so...but each boy has gone on to do a healthy year....I too (PK'd) with co-sleeping...but in the end I threw it all out the window and was like 'what-ever works-works!' all 4 boys have been co-sleepers and bed sharers...they all transitioned to cribs/beds and are just as independant....I think the other area I have always struggled with : is the soother....Nigel didn't have one (Angel Baby), Logan didn't have one( desperately needed one)- He nursed every 2 hours 24 hours a day for 11 months & I'm not kidding!!, London did as did Ethan....not for long, but enough to drop a feed in the night...it still bugs me that i used a soother, but at the same time it worked for us....

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  3. Nice post!

    Still toying with the bed-sharing idea (thank you for clarifying that "co-sleeping" doesn't actually mean bed-sharing....) Right now Elijah is sleeping in a cradle next to our bed, but some nights he is sleeping in between us on a change pad... Our bed is a bit squishy right now for a wee baby and my hubby is a ridiculously sound sleeper - but the more I get used to mommy-hood (5 weeks almost!) I am warming up to the whole bed-sharing thing - something I swore I would never do.

    As for Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapering and Baby Wearing - I knew I would do - mostly because my mom did all three. And my grandma did the first two.

    ps. Do you still carry/wear TT ?

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  4. @Anne - I'm not at all surprised at the mama you are... you are pretty crunchtastic (it's a good thing... !) As for the bedsharing, I remember when TT moved out of our bed. He.was.ready... so ready to sleep on his own and he too slept.all.night.long. Both my boys are high-touch... they need to be held (and I'm sure others would say "coddled"). If they get that contact, they're much happier boys.
    @Kennedy - I agree... you do what is best for babe. And each child is an individual so not the same rules apply for all. I wouldn't sweat the soother (easier said then done... I know). TT staunchly refused to use a soother (I was his soother... ) and C-McC believes that it is for chewing... (better chewing his soother then me... I don't mind non-nutritive sucking but I hate being chewed)
    @funkylindsay - We've worn TT once as a toddler... in a mei tai during our Winterlude trip. He's pretty much refused being slung since he was mobile enough to feel the need to walk every.freaking.where! I wish he would let me wear him more... it'd be a lot less hassle then chasing after him in the grocery store *grumble grumble* I blame the hubs for that.

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  5. What a great post. Thisnis my first visit to your blog! I never thought I would parent as I do, but since having my son I say I have become weak! Thats not true though, I just know what love is now!

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  6. @Bond Girl - I'm glad you popped by & I hope you enjoy. I find many people try to brush off our parenting instincts (i.e. holding baby a.lot) as allowing baby to manipulate us (how that works, I'm not sure... ) I read once (and it was brought up at our LLL meeting) that it takes babe up to 9mos (after being born) to cognitively realize that they are a separate being from mama. So them *wanting* to be geld all.the.time is actually a *need*

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  7. I stand corrected it is 6-7mos that they realize they are separate (hence "separation anxiety" at this stage) Developmental milestone: Separation and independence

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