Today is my little bug’s last day in his current preschool classroom. This is likely the last time we will have both kids together full time with the same friends, same art projects and same points of reference. I have had the luxury of raising the two of them very much like twins and it has been not only terribly convenient but also really nice. I liked knowing they were together. I liked how they shared the same inside jokes. I LOVED that they were invited to all the same birthday parties and nobody ended up feeling left out. After today they will be split up. Julie will spend her summer in “camps” that the preschool is holding and Drew will move to a new class down the hall. And it makes me… sad. I know they will continue to be close but there was something so special to me about them being able to do just about everything together.
Are you Mom enough? That is the question posed by Time magazine in their recent issue. The absurdity of the entire article drives me insane. Why are the Mommy wars so attractive to provoke? I practice attachment parenting. I’ve seen references on news sites as well as Twitter that refer to it as an “extreme parenting” technique. I’ve also seen several instances where it was implied that attachment parenting somehow takes more time or more dedication. I find this totally false. If anything, to me, attachment parenting is the lazy way to go. The fundamental basis of attachment parenting is to follow your child’s lead and let the relationship grow naturally. Fighting that would take far more effort both now and in the long run than parenting the way that I do. That isn’t to say that I think parents that go against natural instincts are bad, or are “less” than I am. They are simply following what they feel is best for their family and I respect that.
Clearly the magazine cover is the most sensational aspect of the article. It portrays a mom in her trendy clothes with her equally trendy looking little boy standing on a chair breastfeeding. I cannot speak for all mothers, but I have never breastfed anybody standing up. I’ve nursed children in just about every situation you can imagine, but standing just isn’t one of them. That isn’t attachment parenting. There isn’t any closeness there. Families that practice child led weaning don’t use nursing as casually as one would getting their child a glass of milk. Older children that nurse do so when they feel the need to feel close to their mother, for security and love. It isn’t because they are thirsty. So the cover makes no sense. If they wanted to have an accurate portrayal of extended breastfeeding they should have shown the mother cuddled up with her child reading them a story while breastfeeding or helping to soothe a nightmare or injury.
Then there is the issue of the title. Asking “Are you Mom enough” implies that anybody that doesn’t go around acting as a beverage dispenser for their toddler isn’t. Clearly Time magazine has a problem with extended breastfeeding or they wouldn’t have portrayed it that way on their cover. So really what they are trying to do with that title is to imply that those of us that DO practice attachment parenting think that everyone that doesn’t isn’t being a very good parent. That is patently false.
My last gripe comes from the way attachment parenting is often described in the media. It isn’t a cult, it isn’t a “one size fits all” philosophy and while I love Dr Sears I certainly do not consider him a “guru.” I saw earlier where The Baby Book was considered our “Bible.” As though those of us that attachment parent don’t ever stop to consider other ways of doing things and even GASP choose to do things differently sometimes. What I’m doing isn’t extreme. It isn’t even unusual. I wake up each morning (next to my children) and do my best to hear their needs and meet them. So am I Mom enough? Damn right I am, and I’m not letting Time or any other magazine cast doubt on that and neither should any other mom.
Four weeks in. I don’t have the capacity for a coherent post but the time is flying by and if I don’t write some of these things down they will be lost forever in the shuffle.
You know how people talk to babies? I mean.. you’re supposed to. To help them learn and all, so it isn’t as nutty as it really sounds. Anyway, every time Drew overhears somebody asks Ollie a question like “Hey Little Man, are you ready to eat?” he gets a serious look on his face and informs everyone “he can’t talk yet!”
This baby was born for attachment parenting. He makes me look like whatever the opposite of an attachment parent is, he is so into it. I have always co-slept with my children and am happy to do so with Ollie as well. However, he isn’t content to just be in the bed next to me. Oh no. If you set him down six inches away from me he will fuss and wiggle until he scoots himself right up against me where he happily conks out. This won’t be such a problem a few months from now when he is a little larger but it is difficult to ever actually shut down and go to sleep with a three day old wedged up against you. I’ve finally discovered to get him to go to sleep during the day I just have to lie down with him for a bit.
Julie and Drew are still both over the moon for their baby brother. So much so that they get on my nerves at times. I can’t do anything with the baby without at least one of them glued to his side. I must get asked thirty five times a day to put the baby in one of their laps. I wonder how long they will be this excited.
People keep asking me how much harder I am finding it to have three vs two. I don’t think the number of kids has changed anything but going back to having a newborn has been quite an adjustment. It drives me bonkers when the baby obviously really needs something and I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is.
I wore pre-pregnancy jeans today. So that was pretty big. I am looking forward to replacing my entire wardrobe over the next few months. I’ve been stockpiling Old Navy gift cards for just that purpose.
Sleepy time now.]]>
Nine days before my due date I went to my weekly midwife appointment. I saw Kathy and she wanted to check me just to see what was going on. I knew the information wasn’t really terribly useful but I figured what the hell. I was 1 cm.
The next day I noticed that my contractions, which I’d been having off an on for weeks (if not months) were picking up speed. I timed them throughout the day and by evening they had been every four minutes apart for several hours. Not painful but given Bug’s rapid entrance into our world I knew I would be up all night worried over it. So we had my parents come over and we headed into L&D as a precaution. Meg was the midwife on duty and she said I was at 3 cm at that point and that they were definitely regular but hadn’t picked up strength yet. She gave me the option of walking and coming back up in an hour and possibly being admitted or going home and sleeping. I opted to go home. I took a Tylenol PM and blissfully slept. I was so happy to be home. I was just not ready mentally for labor, I was exhausted. I woke up throughout the night with very strong contractions and figured by morning it would be time to go have the baby. I was feeling good about things at that point.
Morning came, one week before my due date exactly and the strong contractions were still happening but very erratically. Sometimes 20 minutes apart, sometimes 2. I was pretty sure the baby was posterior and was afraid that was causing things to stall. I had been given instructions to come straight back to the hospital when they intensified, which they had but since they had spaced out I didn’t think it made sense to go in just yet. I called and talked to Susan, my regular midwife to see what she thought. She agreed we should wait until they were more regular. I went outside for a walk and when I came back in I had a particularly “WTF” contraction and I swear that is when the baby flipped. Regular or not I wanted to go back in and see what was going on. I have this fear about having to rush to the hospital in the middle of the night. I think that is what pushed me both evenings to go ahead and go in early so that it wouldn’t be three AM and we have two sleeping preschoolers to arrange care for. Andrew’s parents were already on their way from Asheville to spend the weekend “just in case” so it was actually really good timing. We got over to UNC a little after six and luckily Susan was still on call. It was nice to have her there to deliver one of our babies since I have known her so long. At that point I was 6 cm so they admitted me. As I was waiting to be moved to a delivery room my water broke. HOLY wow that was weird. Never had that happen before. What a hot mess. After that happened I hit transition within minutes. Baby time! They set me up in a room with a really nice looking Jacuzzi and I was looking forward to getting in it but the baby had other plans. As I was about to hop in Susan mentioned that I should tell her when I felt like I needed to push. I was like… uhhh oh…. Ten minutes ago? So she said to go for it, so I did. And there at 8:15 Baby Ollie arrived.
I didn’t feel the same HELL YEAH euphoria I felt with the other two. I just wasn’t as ready, didn’t have as much energy this time around. I don’t really feel like I deserve credit for kicking labor’s ass a third time. Cue trombones. But I DID feel much more of a bond with my baby right off the bat than before so that was really nice. It usually takes me awhile to shake the pregnancy funk I live in. He latched on right away and nursed like a champ. I ate the worst chicken sandwich I’ve ever encountered and we headed upstairs to get settled into our room. And that is about it for Ollie’s birth story. More chapters to come….]]>
There is a very good reason I haven’t been publishing my blog posts lately. That reason is my youngest child due in approximately 9 weeks. Initially I was all set to blog this pregnancy. Think of the memories! Then about halfway through I remembered fucking hell I hate being pregnant I don’t want to remember this. If I’d blogged my first pregnancy the Weebles would be an only child.
People that haven’t had children yet shouldn’t even be around people like me when I’m pregnant. And the kicker is that I have totally blessed to have normal, complication free pregnancies. There isn’t a damn thing wrong with me except that I’m knocked up. No gestational diabetes, no preterm labor, no shots every day, no bed rest. Yet… somehow still *so* miserable. I have to constantly practice deep breathing to not lose my mind thinking about how many days are left. I am apparently horribly horrible at being uncomfortable. For starters, I’m huge. So huge that it hurts to wear clothes huge. When I stand up from sitting or lying down my entire frame has to readjust so I hobble for the first ten steps or so. If I don’t drink enough water then I have super uncomfortable BH contractions. But if I drink TOO much water that causes them too. And of course when you factor in the “size of a BOWLING BALL” (thanks for *that* description online pregnancy site) child parked on my bladder plus the 100+ ounces of water I drink a day you end up with having to get up *see above* to use the bathroom every ten minutes. Bonus points if the child kicks me just right as I’m rushing there.
The position of this child is different than my first two and it is making those “cute little kicks and flutters” feel more like he is carving his way out of prison with a rusty spoon. I will say though that several maladies that I have had issues with in the past have not been bothering me much lately and that is a blessing. The scar tissue on my side from my last pregnancy hasn’t been acting up like my midwife predicted it might. I had a really tough time with SPD during my second trimester but that has inexplicably seemed to taper off here at the end. And heartburn, which was the bane of my existence the first two times, hasn’t been an issue lately either. Then again, I still have a long way to go. There is nobody on the planet that welcomes labor more than I do. Pain meds? HA! I’m so damn thrilled to be winding up the 40 long weeks of feeling like crap that I am downright giddy to hurt like hell for a few hours. Then they hand me the little baby and I think… eh that wasn’t so bad. We could do that again?]]>