Tag Archives: nursing

Sunday Surf

I hope you enjoy this week’s Sunday Surf, the best of what I’ve read this week.

Babywise is Not the Bible. Parenting by the Law or by the Spirit? - “You do not have to answer to Gary Ezzo or anyone else. You do have to answer to God. You don’t need Babywise, you need the Holy Spirit.”

It’s OK, just not in public - “I don’t know why people get so weirded out about praying out loud in public. Maybe it’s the thought that faith is such a personal thing. Maybe it’s the fear of imposing one’s faith on another, one who may or may not want to be exposed to faith-matters.”

Try Again - “When we make mistakes, even if it comes to the point where he feels like spanking is his only option, that doesn’t mean he’s stuck parenting that way from then on.  We will encourage each other to “try again” to break the old patterns ingrained in us from how we were parented.”
 
Avoid Green Guilt and Do ONE Thing - “Let’s ease the anxiety and focus on what you can do.  How about the motto:  ‘Do One Thing.’ Doesn’t that sound simple?  Just ONE thing!”

Get Jealous? - “I want to be able to give a straightforward answer when asked if Sparky and Spunky are my only or if Sparky is my oldest. I don’t mince words about it for the most part, but it makes people very uncomfortable.”

via e-mumshop.com

The Gift of Milk- “I felt like I had a superpower. Nursing our babies is kind of magic. After years of nursing my now-weaned children, I still marvel at the basic premise: growing a baby simply on the nourishment that our own bodies provide!”

That Psychology Today Blog May Say Black Girls Are Ugly, But My Baby Knows Better - “I came across this poem, written by my beautiful, chocolate drop, Mari. She is, simply, amazing, and her words assure me that no matter what idiot tries to make her think she’s a lesser than, the work Nick and I are putting in to remind her she’s the straight fire is paying off.”

So What Exactly Is Instinctual Breastfeeding? And How Old Is Too Old? - “The problem, in my opinion, is simply the way America views breastfeeding.  Giving expectant moms a list of the benefits of breastfeeding is nice, but we need to start making it more socially acceptable.”

Early Parenting Choices: Sleeping and Nursing - “So a message to those parents that are confused about what the right choice is -  follow your gut.  If listening to your child cry makes you cry – pick him up and hold him. Do what you feel is the best and natural. Don’t let anyone else make these important choices for you.  Your child is depending on you and only you.” 
 
International Day of the Midwife - “And then, with relief and wonder I thought, “Thank goodness the births of my children were not like this.” And I felt terribly sorry for the many many women who experience their children’s births the same way I experience the dentist.”
 
Baby food. Excuse me while I get up on this soapbox…. - “Does this imply that other commercially marketed baby food is not real food? Absolutely. Because it’s not.”
 
It’s really quite simple… - “So when I ask myself if, as a parent and a wife, I am acting as Christ would act, I don’t need to look very far. He Loved me so much that He died rather than require me to face the punishment I deserved.” 
 
Top 10 Things Breastfeeding Advocates Should Stop Saying - “Breastfeeding is the biological norm.  Anything less is inferior by default. “Best” conjurs a notion of something that only a select few can achieve and sets formula up as the norm; we want to talk about breastfeeding as something that’s achievable for almost all moms.”
 
Husband vs. Children?- “I think that this whole child-centered vs. husband-centered premise is a false dichotomy that completely lacks balance and perspective. Why must it be an either-or situation to begin with?”
 

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


Lots of Mommy Stuff Sunday Surf

Pottytime!

Image by tarabrown via Flickr

Here’s the good stuff I’ve read this week. Enjoy!

Getting Rid of the Garbage - “I honestly can’t believe how amazingly all this stuff works – I was kind of doing it begrudgingly at first, because I thought I should…but all of it has worked better than anything I was using before.”

EC From Birth - “Fourteen months in, I am convinced that reading books and formulating a plan is really not all that important. All one needs in order to EC from birth is a desire to communicate with their newborn, and a desire to meet all of their needs in a timely and sensitive manner. EC flows naturally from the connection we instinctually form with our babies, and that connection is all we really need.”

This Week’s Small Change – What To Do When Your Child Behaves Inappropriately - “Sometimes you just wish you had a simple techniqueas an option when your child, tween, or teen is doing something you do not approve of.”

My First Birth Story, Part 1 - Mikko, June 2007: Labor at Home and My first birth story, part 2 — Mikko, June 2007: A hospital transfer - “I could hardly believe such a thing existed outside of my body, and here he was, and I was seeing him for the first time, and he was going to be mine for all time now, and I was just now getting a glimpse of what he looked like.”

Zinc Oxide Sunscreens For Safe Sun Protection - “Many brands offer Zinc Oxide based sunscreens. Here are a few of the better options.”

Got Melke? - “Most women can breastfeed.  But if you live in a country with poor breastfeeding rates it is almost like preparing for a war.  You have to be confident that you WILL do this for your baby.  You have to educate yourself, and arm yourself with a lactation consultant and facts and figures to wave in the faces of your family and friends.  Because so many unqualified (or just plain ignorant) people will be ready and waiting with bad advice, misinformation and bottles of free formula.”

On Labels and Boxes and Trusting Your Gut - “Let’s start trusting ourselves and our instincts about what we should do as parents instead of judging ourselves for not fitting perfectly into a box or judging others for choosing a different kind of box. Let’s just parent our kids the best we know how, instead of spending so much time competing with each other.”

Mom Wars – Guilt, Grief, and Healing - “Being sensitive about a subject is a clear indication that there are some unresolved issues surrounding that experience that need to be dealt with. Often the ‘guilty’ feeling is actually other emotions in disguise like anguish, anger, betrayal, disappointment, etc.”

Gently Responding to an Aggressive Toddler - “As a parent we get to guide behavior when necessary towards what is appropriate. We can see each situation as a perfect opportunity to learn and guide. Nothing more, nothing less. This takes away the stigma of dealing with a child who is defiant.”

Talking and Listening - “Please, for the sake of building a strong rapport with your child, slow it down.  Let your child process what you have just said before you say something else.  And use non-verbal communication:  smile while you wait for an answer, tip your head attentively while you listen to that answer, and offer hugs to go with your acceptance of it.”

Real Food School Lunches III - “…my hope is that one more lunch post will help rejuvenate us all so even during these last few weeks we can continue to send our kids to school with healthy, creative, homemade school lunches that contain nothing other than real food!”

How To: African Babywearing - “It might seem a little scary the first time around, but it is really rather safe and millions of babies are worn that way from dusk til down without accidents. Once you get the hang of it, you might come to love it, as I do, as there is no strain on your shoulders or arms like other ways of carrying might involve.”

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Becoming Crunchy, Karen’s Healthy Lifestyle,The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama Eve, Momma Jorje, One Rich Mother, Greener Cleaning Moms, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


10 Parenting Scriptures (via Dulce De Leche)

Natural Parents Network’s Carnival of Natural Parenting’s theme this month is Top 10 Lists. I have been loving all of them! I’ll probably end up linking up on Sunday to my favorites. This one, in particular, stuck out to me because it falls right in line with the series I have been doing on bible verses and children. For that reason, I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope it is a blessing to you as it was to me. (And if you want to check out my other posts in the series: “…Like a Father with his Children…”, “Let the Children Come to Me…” and What’s Your Super Power? (verses for nursing mothers).

via Flickr user abcdz2000

One of my deepest desires is to integrate my faith into every aspect of my life.  To be authentic in my spirituality.  Being a mom has caused me to re-examine many beliefs I had taken for granted and to be much more purposeful about how I live out my faith with my children.  These are 10 Bible passages that always inspire me and help me to breathe in grace…

Read More

via Dulce de Leche


Nursing Poem

Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardill

I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.

But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.

via breastfeeding.com

I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.

Please don’t get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.

I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don’t break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.


Sunday Links for week of January 30

Here are a few links worth checking out:

Spice Up Your Brown Bag: Five Fixes for the Turkey Sandwich Blues – Some far more interesting lunch fare

How Do You Hold a Child Responsible for His Behavior Without Punishment Like Time Outs? – Good info on drawing out your child’s feelings

Children Who Care – How to raise an empathetic child

Finding My Sisters – Finding breastfeeding support online

Extended? Really? – Taking issue with the term and idea of “extended” breastfeeding

Fat Loss Thinking: 5 Key Distinctions – Recognizing the difference between the weight loss mentality and the fat loss mentality

via chocolateandzucchini.com

 

February 2011 Desktop Calendar – I’m loving Chocolate and Zucchini’s monthly desktop calendars!

Listening to the Leading – I love this girl!

The Hot Girl in the Room – Great post about childbirth choices

Check out Authentic ParentingMaman A DroitNavelgazingMomma JorjeThe Parent VortexHobo MamaMotherhood Momentsand Mama and Baby Love for more Sunday Surfing!


What’s Your Super Power?

I have been blessed by my daughter in so many ways. One of the things that has specifically been special to me in a way I did not anticipate is the nursing relationship. It is also so neat that God provided this way to nourish our babies and didn’t make it just about nutrition. It is so much more than that. I read this post and loved it! I completely feel the same way and couldn’t say it better than that.

I also love all the fantastic benefits for both of us. There’s a fantastic post here about some of those wonderful benefits. It truly does feel like a “super power” I have sometimes. Some of my favorites from the post:

“Breastmilk is gourmet dining for the tiny tot set! Different foods, oils and spices you consume flavor your milk, introducing and exposing your baby to a variety of flavors before (s)he ever tastes solid food. Formula has one bland flavor. Period.”

“Breastfeeding is like the ‘magic bullet’ of motherhood. Your milk contains endorphins which soothe and calm babies during times of stress. This comes in very handy during vaccinations, injuries, illnesses, or when your baby just needs that special cuddle.”

“Like recognizes like. Grown children who were breastfed and who receive donated kidneys from their mothers or a sibling are significantly less likely to reject the organ than if they were not breastfed.”

I wanted to end with a collection of bible verses about nursing mothers. I can’t take credit for compiling these. I found them here.

“Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me.” Psalm 22:9-11

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:15,16

“For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.” For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:11-13

“But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131:2,3

“But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7,8

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11


How Motherhood Came to Me

This is a story I wrote for Mothering Magazine’s Writing Into Motherhood writing workshop. Since it is no longer available on their website, I decided to post it here.

An hour after birth, at the birth center

The first time I saw her face I didn’t believe it. Maybe I still don’t in a way. She swam up to us and I turned around, looked at her father, my husband, in disbelief. She’s real, she’s here, she is the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen and I can’t believe she’s mine.

Through the years I had told myself that I really would never have a child. Even all through my second pregnancy, even after we had passed through the time our first child had died in my womb and we were in unchartered territory, I still wouldn’t, couldn’t believe this day would come. And I guess, in that raw moment, my first emotion was shock, disbelief, even in spite of all the facts and evidence to the contrary.

The moment I knew my first baby was dead was almost not real, but at the same time very real. The doctor who performed the ultrasound wouldn’t tell us. He knew, but he wouldn’t tell us. What he did tell us was he hoped everything would be okay.

We were in the car when we found out for sure. My midwife told us over the phone. We were parked right in front of the building, where anyone coming out the double doors could see us. We cried and cried and grabbed onto each other feeling the grief full on. Then the numbness set in, the reality, the phone calls that had to be made that were too painful for me to make. I couldn’t say it outloud to anyone yet, couldn’t admit it. I had my husband do it. He broke down on the phone.

My baby, the baby that was still inside me, no longer had a tiny beating heart. It was still.

I cried every night for weeks, clinging to my husband, his arms always around me. We stayed at my parents for a couple days. It was the place we drove to after the ultrasound, needing to drive somewhere but unable to go home. I couldn’t go home yet. The books, the stretch mark cream, all those reminders lying around, would torture me. There was no way I could face them. My husband kindly removed the evidence before I went back home.*

And then there was the waiting. When would my dead baby leave my body? It was 6 hours of the most horrible pain I had ever experienced. The pain was like a vice grip around my uterus squeezing and there was so little time between each squeeze; 6 hours of unrelenting pain and still nothing. I remember feeling so — I can’t even describe it — like I wanted to come out of my body, telling my husband to make it stop, make it stop, make it stop. We were up all night. I had gotten about an hour’s worth of sleep when the alarm went off. My mind said “need to go to work”, and so I did. It seems insane now, but I needed something that made sense because my world was falling apart. They graciously sent me home with a week’s worth of bereavement pay. I’ll never forget that kindness.

I ended up needing 2 surgeries. The miscarriage went on for 2 months. It was a living hell. But God provided us with a beautiful miracle in between the 2 surgeries. My baby, my teeny tiny, not even-as-big-as-a-penny baby, did come out naturally*and we saw him and we got to bury him. I still don’t know how it happened, but what a rainbow! What a merciful and loving God to give me the desires of my heart in that raging storm. The worst part of the surgery, the part I abhorred, hadn’t even occurred. My baby was whole, not ripped from me as I had thought.

That year, the year 2006, was one of the worst of my life, but it was what I had to get through to get to the birth of my baby girl 3 years later.

If you would have asked me in my teen years if I thought I’d have children, I might have said no. I was just not maternal in any way. I’d never changed a diaper or babysat. I didn’t hold other people’s babies simply because I never had a desire to. I just didn’t get the way other women loved babies.

I was also terrified of childbirth. I once said, “Why can’t they just knock me out and take out the baby?” How I got from there to here took many years, but started with the pill. I always knew I didn’t want to take the pill, but was never really sure of an alternative. I remember thinking that there had to be a natural way to prevent pregnancy, but all I had ever heard of was the rhythm method and I knew that that didn’t work. So I starting taking the pill in the months before my marriage.

I stumbled upon some information about the Fertility Awareness Method and finally found what in my heart I knew had existed all along. I found a group of women online who used this method and formed friendships with these women I still have to this day. It was through them that I discovered a different approach and attitude toward birth.*

They led me to Henci Goer’s A Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, and my life was changed forever. It was the catalyst I needed to finally make the decision that my birth would not be the conventional hospital experience. My birth would be just that: MY birth on my terms.

And it was. I loved her immediately. I was in a swirl, a fog. as she was laid on my chest, as I cradled her tiny, vernix-covered body. This little girl was very real and she had been wanted for so long, even before I knew I wanted her myself.

She came out screaming, which was unexpected, but makes perfect sense now. I always heard water babies were calm, but calm has never described my daughter. She came on her due date, right in the beautiful sunny spring morning hours. I had labored all night without even realizing it. It felt like time stood still.*

Labor was smooth, steady, quiet, peaceful. Warm water, dim lights, soothing voices, calming hands. It was the aftermath that was unpleasant. The bath water was red, too red, and our hour together felt too short and not as private as it was supposed to be. Something was wrong. There were needles. Why where there needles? Why weren’t we alone?

I remember telling my husband I wasn’t done yet. I knew I had to be stitched up, but I didn’t really have any idea how true that was. One moment my midwife and my husband were lifting me up to walk to the exam room. The next, I was back in bed, but had no idea where I was. Is that my husband? Why is his face so close? I asked him where I was. And then I started to remember. I had had a baby. I was at the birth center. Something was wrong, but I didn’t understand what. I heard the midwives say they needed to transfer me to the hospital. I told my husband I was scared. I still didn’t understand. Later I was told that I had passed out and had a seizure when they tried to move me, but to this day, I have no memory of that. My husband didn’t leave my side. We rode in the ambulance to the hospital.

I didn’t get to hold my baby much. I wasn’t with her and this fact still kills me. The ambulance ride was strange and not part of the plan. I had had too much blood loss. In the end, I needed 2 blood transfusions. Barely holding my baby for her first day of life was beyond horrible to me. It took me awhile to bond with her and to nurse correctly since I didn’t hold her most of the day. If only I could do that part over again, I would have insisted that I hold her.

Breastfeeding was rough at the beginning, but I am so glad I persevered. When I heard my baby cry, I dreaded the pain of feeding her. I dreaded the struggle of teaching her to latch correctly. Thank God for my mother, Jack Newman and the La Leche League. They got me to the place where I am today. Now nursing my baby is one of the joys of my life.

Night nursing is especially precious to me. I love having her so close to me at night. Sometimes I gaze at her sleeping and try to soak her in. I know soon that she will be across the hall, sleeping on her own. But for right now she needs me. She wants me. I know too quickly she won’t be my baby anymore. Already she’s toddling around, terrorizing my house. But at night, she is still. She is quiet. She still enjoys turning around after nursing and snuggling next to me. I always thought by now I’d want her in her own room, but instead I find myself dreading that inevitability. I treasure this precious gift God has given me.

Kwanzaan cherry tree

Sometimes I have a hard time remembering before my baby girl, but I do. I remember my baby in heaven, buried beneath the Kwanzaan cherry tree, the baby that my husband makes sure to tell our daughter about every night. I remember that I should have a 3 year old this spring, too but that wasn’t to be. That baby will always be asleep.

Maybe losing a child that you never got to meet makes you more attached to the one you have or maybe this is how I would feel even without the miscarriage. I will never know. I do know that I want my lost baby but there’s no bringing him back, and that another baby can never replace the one you lost.* I know I love my baby girl with all my being and don’t care if that means I’m more “mother” now than anything else. I won’t apologize for “losing” myself to motherhood. On the contrary, it is with motherhood that I have found myself.


Free Diapers!

I love free stuff so when I saw this writing contest for a $100 gift certificate to Cotton Babies, I jumped on it! The theme is “I’m Glad You Were Born.” Below is my contest entry. It is actually an edited down version of my published story How Motherhood Came to Me. Hope I win!!

The first time I saw your face I didn’t believe it. Maybe I still don’t in a way. You swam up to us and I turned around and looked at your father in disbelief. You’re real, you’re here, you are the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen, and I can’t believe you’re mine. Through the years I had told myself that I really would never have a child. And I guess, in that raw moment, my first emotion was shock, disbelief, even in spite of all the facts and evidence to the contrary.

I loved you immediately. I was in a swirl, a fog. as you were laid on my chest, as I cradled your tiny, vernix-covered body. You were very real and had been wanted for so long. You came out screaming, which was unexpected, but makes perfect sense now. I always heard water babies were calm, but calm has never described you. You came on your due date, right in the beautiful sunny spring morning hours. I had labored all night without even realizing it. It felt like time stood still. Labor was smooth, steady, quiet, peaceful. Warm water, dim lights, soothing voices, calming hands.

Nursing you is especially precious to me. I love having you so close to me, especially at night. Sometimes I gaze at you sleeping and try to soak you in. I know soon that you will be across the hall, sleeping on your own. But for right now you need me. You want me. I know too quickly you won’t be my baby anymore. Already you’re toddling around, terrorizing our house. But at night, you are still. You are quiet. You still enjoy turning around after nursing and snuggling next to me. I always thought by now I’d want you in your own room, but instead I find myself dreading that inevitability. I treasure you, my precious gift from God.

I love you with all my being and don’t care if that means I’m more “mother” now than anything else. I won’t apologize for “losing” myself to motherhood. On the contrary, it is with your birth that I have found myself.


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