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Parenting - It can be fun

Like so many of us, in my early stages of parenthood I took a very traditional, mainstream approach to caring for my first-born. I’m thrilled to say that today I’ve grown. For the betterment and health of my children, I examined new ways of doing things. By listening, not only to my heart, but to my babies, and opening my mind to those around me willing to share their wisdom and experiences, I believe I’ve created a bond with my children that will last a lifetime. Because of this, I hope to share some of my misconceptions and solutions with others, in hope of enlightening them to truly examine their parenting options and methods, and ask themselves if they believe they are as close to their little one’s as they believe they should be. I am here to tell you that raising a baby can truly be a beautiful experience.

My son right now is sleeping. He is sick, poor little man. It’s just a cold, nothing too serious, but my heart aches to make it better, to bend over backward to provide him some relief. My old instincts with my daughter were; run to the store; buy medicine, and give her dose after dose to make the symptoms better. It’s not good for little ones to have the sniffles, right? I was 22 when my daughter was born; I thought I knew it all.

I had read the books, performed research online, taken Lamaze classes for childbirth, and completed both a “new parents” class and a breastfeeding class. I was totally prepared to have my daughter; or so I thought. Things were tough with her. I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but she had a hard time latching on. The “class” I took did me little to no good. All the “strategies” I was taught, I had forgotten. The methods that worked with the baby doll in class were in no way effective with a moving, screaming newborn. The Lactation consultant at the hospital said, “you’re fine, doing it fine, just keep it up, you’ll get it.” So, I trusted this person knew what she was talking about. And I listened.

I didn’t seek more help; I didn’t even realize more help was actually available. She could not latch. It got to the point where I was hysterical. I was crying, basically praying to God that He not let my baby wake up, because feeding her had become such a traumatic experience. It was truly a sad situation; one that I will never forget. Well, I know now, the reason behind the difficulties was simple. Not only was I uncomfortable, I was scared. Breastfeeding was foreign to me. I had not seen it done, I personally was not breastfed, nor was my husband at the time. Having the baby there freaked me out, and having her sucking on me was almost worse.

I did know that breast milk was best, so I bought an electric Breast Pump. I then started pumping every two hours, in order to feed her the “best food” through a bottle. Though I had no idea how MUCH to pump, so I got more milk than my baby could ever drink. To give you an idea of approximately how much I pumped, after Aubrey was fed breast milk the entire first year of her life, I was still able to ship over 50 pounds of breast milk to Mothers Milk Bank in Austin Texas. (http://www.mmbaustin.org/) The Mother’s Milk Bank is a great facility. Their mission: “The Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription primarily to premature and ill infants.” (Provided by http://www.mmbaustin.

org) Other things I just “knew” before I had her, included babies should be laid down as much as possible, they need to become independent. Babies need to sleep on their own from the beginning and at 6 months they need to “learn” to fall asleep themselves. Aubrey was as a baby, I am ashamed to say, Furberized (Dr. Furber’s method of parenting and getting kids to sleep is letting them Cry It Out). She was laid on the floor or placed in a swing or car seat a lot. She wasn’t connected to me at all. There were times I felt more like her nanny than her mother. Part of the reason for all of this was my now ex-husband’s belief that Aubrey needed a schedule and structure, and she needed to be in her own bed; the fact that I had read all of those books contributed to the confusion as well. I wanted to be the best parent ever, so I thought reading the books was the way to make that happen.


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