Sunday, June 26, 2011

A mama in love.

Oliver turned 5 months old yesterday.  The past five months have been some of the greatest and most rewarding months of my life.  Each time another month goes by I find myself thinking about several things.  First, time is flying.  I can't believe how fast he is changing!  Second, it won't be long before ______.  Fill in the blank, before he's eating solids, crawling, talking, walking, running, playing like a boy, going to school, making friends, falling in love, moving away from me...  Kurt thinks I'm absolutely crazy to be thinking about such things but it is just a mother's nature, right?  -If not, don't tell me. - I hope to raise a son who loves the Lord, loves others, is content and curious, etc, etc, etc.  I have so many hopes and dreams for him.  Tonight when I was nursing him to sleep rocking in his nursery I was overwhelmed all over again.  His lullabys still get me crying! He is so pure, so innocent.  Ahh, so many emotions and so many things to say that I just don't even know how to describe so I'll stop there. 

The other love of my life is my dearest Kurt.  Our 3 year anniversary is on Tuesday.  I am so excited to get a date night out with Kurt.  It is hard for me to leave Oliver but I think it is good for our marriage to get out alone.  I can't believe how much has happened in 3 years!  We have moved 2 times, I have completed 2 degrees, Kurt has worked 3 jobs, (2 FT, 1 PT), we bought a car (w/ cash), had my wisdom teeth removed, decided we wanted a family, got pregnant, it's a boy, met Oliver 4 weeks early, and now have a 5 months old beautiful baby boy.  On our wedding day Kurt vowed that he would work to support me and lead our home with love while it was just the two of us and then the home I would one day make for our children.  3 years later it is now the home I make for him and our children.  I strive to make this home one of happiness, love, and comfort for my two boys.  I am so excited to think about where our lives will go from here and how many beautiful blessings the Lord will give us to add to our home.  I have grown a lot in the past 3 years and I still have so,so much growing and learning to do to become a better Christian, wife, and mother.

2 big dates just 3 days apart.  Yea, I'm feeling the love!

When we first saw each other.

The night Oliver was born.  5 months ago yesterday.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Babywise--From the Eyes of an Attached Mother

Earlier this week I posted a controversial article on facebook about Babywise.  It stirred a great conversation.  Actually, most of the responses were from mothers who have used or currently use Babywise. I appreciate the way the conversation on facebook ended with someone suggesting that maybe God knows the way we will mother and gives us our children accordingly.  What a mind blowing, humbling thought!  And really, I bet she is right.  I was encouraged to read the book to find out for myself.  I did read the book and I have to speak up.  I have never read a book and disagreed with more of it.  --I am about the tear the book apart but it's directly at Ezzo, not you, I promise!--

Ezzo really focuses a great deal on Attachment Parenting (AP) throughout the book.  As an attached parent who has now read his book cover to cover, I have to say he really does not understand what it is to be an AP.  He repeatedly refers to the attached baby as a fussy baby, the attached mom as a frazzled mom, and the attached father as one who sleeps on the couch.  I can tell you that is far from the truth in this attached household.  

By page 34 Ezzo and I had set the stage for our disagreement.  He says, "They [AP] claim that this is why you supposedly can never nurse too long or too often.  All wants are to be interpreted as needs, and each nursing experience is a deposit of love."  Shew, that's when I got out my notebook and started jotting down notes.  Guess what Ezzo!?  Newborn babies do NOT manipulate their parents.  Guess what else?!  Their wants are their needs! A newborns cry is their only form of communication.  It is their voice.  By crying a newborn is telling their parent there is something wrong, they have a NEED.  From day one I have viewed my sons cry as his voice and I am better off for it.  If a baby's cry is their voice and they are left to "cry it out" what are they taught in reference to their form of communication?  As far as Ezzo and I go, things all go down hill from there.

Ezzo says that AP stems from the Birth Trauma theory.  Where does he get this?  I've read Dr. Sears' book Attachment Parenting cover to cover and that is not where it comes from.  He explains how they have 8 children.  He is a pediatrician and his wife an RN.  They learned as they parented what worked best came from their God-given instincts as parents.  I do not think AP comes from the birth trauma theory, but lets say it did, my birth was not traumatic!  You can read about it here.  Kurt and I are not AP because we think Oliver was scarred from his birthing experience. Ezzo also bashes an AP moments after birth when baby comes straight to mothers chest saying, "Your baby will not be permanently impaired if there is a lack of physical contact with mom right after birth."  The moments of 'quiet alert' when a newborn is awake and staring intently at his mother and father are incredibly special and set the stage for a lifelong bond and loving relationship.

As I stated previously, Ezzo repeated refers to the attached mother as frazzled, baby as fussy, and dad as pushed to the couch.  As an attached mother, I have times where I'm tried but mostly I'm well rested!  I have time to exercise EVERYDAY.  I cook meals, grocery shop, visit with friends, spend time w/ my husband, and so forth every day.  My son does these things with me.  My husband has not slept on the couch one night since Oliver was born and we started our family bed.  He actually really enjoys it! (As for an increased risk of SIDS b/c of the family bed, check this out.)  Oliver is secure, attached, content, alert, and happy.  He is sleeping through the night (for the most part) on his own.  I did not force a schedule on him nor did I make him cry it out.

This covers several of my main disagreements with Ezzo.  Again, I am not bashing the mothers who are using Babywise.  I am sure you have content, happy babies too.  I just want to point out that I am an attached parent who does not fit the sterotype that Ezzo has for AP.  I am unsure if you all have read anything about AP, but if all you have read is Ezzo's truly skewed take on attachment parenting I encourage you to go to the library and check out AP for yourself.  I read your book, now you need to read mine!

Thanks for reading.  Much, much love!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Would you nurse him in a car?

Lately I've been hearing Dr. Seuss in my head every time I nurse Oliver in a different place.  Before going further though to explain what I mean, I should fill you in on our breastfeeding journey.  The quick version is that Oliver was born a little early.  I knew I was going to breastfeed him, I've been exposed to nursing my whole life and breastfed all my babydolls.  My milk came in and everything seemed great and he was gaining for the first 2 weeks really well.  It turns out he wasn't transferring much milk and my supply really diminished because of it.  We did everything under the sun to get my supply increased and nothing has really worked.  At 7 weeks we started supplementing Oliver with formula using the Medela Supplemental Nursing System.  We had done our research and knew that was what we wanted to use when our pediatrician suggested supplementing with a bottle.  Breastfeeding is so important to me and I had big hopes the SNS would increase my supply.  It really hasn't increased my supply but it has kept my supply steady.  I am able to nurse Oliver by using the SNS.  He gets breast milk from me as well as his formula.  At first I was embarassed by the SNS.  It is not used very commonly and a lot of people do not know what it is.  I stayed in with Oliver nursing him to gain weight for a few months while he got stronger and I gained confidence in my mothering and the way I was feeding him.  Now, I feel like it is something people should know about.  It allows me to nurse my baby anywhere, (with a little planning).  I have been so grateful for the SNS because I am not sure my milk would still be here if I had given him a bottle at 7 weeks.

Now that you are filled in on what we're doing...let me explain the mention of Dr. Seuss.  Because I have worked so hard to keep the small supply that I have I am not comfortable giving Oliver a bottle, even in public, unless I really need to for some reason.  He's a bottle only a handful of times.  We use the SNS everywhere.
Would you nurse him...
in the car?
at the pool?
at your in-laws?
Nursing w/ the SNS at Cafe 4 after Graduation
at church
on the patio?
at a restaurant?
at friends houses?
at JoAnn fabrics?
That's all I can think of right now, but I am proud to say that I've nursed my baby in all those places with the help of the SNS.  It has been good for my heart with all the burden of supply issues.  I love the connection of breastfeeding and the sweet looks of thanks I receive from my sweet boy.  It makes it all totally worth it.