Monday, September 20, 2010

Working On Healing

At the beginning of this saga Z and I sort of marveled at how T was really acting like a champ.  Looking back on it I think that my mom being here really helped.  T is crazy about her, and I don’t think he noticed I wasn’t playing with him as much.  But he also started crying in the middle of the night, which he hasn’t done for a long time.  Then mom left last Tuesday and I started bleeding again, and my friend had him for a number of hours Wednesday and a babysitter was here on Friday.  I was gone for most of his day on Saturday at the ER, and when I got home I was in bed.

Late on Saturday afternoon a very good friend of ours stopped by with yummy stew her husband made and stayed for a few minutes to visit.  I hopped out of bed to chat.  She was holding T as she was getting ready to say goodbye and she started to pass him off to me.  He burst into tears and turned away from me to hold her tightly.  And my heart broke into a million pieces.  I mean, I get it, I get it.  He was really pissed because I haven’t been able to be there for him.  It was the first time he has flat out rejected me, and I know it won’t be the last.  But boy it sucked. 

Last night he cried again at two in the morning.  We look at him in the monitor and sort of evaluate if we need to go in or not.  Sometimes he will go back to sleep without us, but other times it is more like he is frightened from a nightmare.  In those instances even though seeing us wakes him up and gets him all excited we take turns getting up and rocking him for a bit.  He cries again when we put him down, but only for a minute or so and he is back asleep.  But last night was another first, he fell asleep in my arms and I rocked him for about fifteen minutes because it was just so amazing to hold his little sleeping body.   It did wonders for me.

The other thing that really has helped me get through this whole mess is nursing.  About a month ago T got sick and it looked like he was done with the boob, but it was just that he couldn’t breathe and nurse at the same time.  So he and I are still going four times a day. 

We moms are so damn self conscious about everything we do.  I remember a friend saying she felt defensive when she was pregnant with her third.  That she felt people were judging her because she already had a boy and a girl so why would she have another?  I remember thinking it wasn’t strange to have three kids and I wondered why she worried other people would.  I have friends that have used formula for their babies and have felt very defensive about that.  I have chronicled my own defensiveness about using CIO with T.  Well, now that T is more than a year I feel horribly self conscious about breast feeding.  I find myself saying, “You know, the World Health Organization recommends mothers breast feed for two years.” whenever the topic of me still nursing comes up.  I’m so scared people are going to think I’m a freak, or I’m scarring T for life by still nursing him. 

Deep down I know I’m being unreasonable and no one has said anything directly to me about the breastfeeding.  It is more stuff people I know have said around me.  I have a bunch of examples running in a loop through my head, like when someone I know said “Oh, that is too long” when we were discussing someone who breastfed until twenty months.   I wonder why I let myself be affected by the uninformed opinions of others.  I wonder what was said to my friend to make her worry about having a third child.  I wish we could cut ourselves some slack.  But feeling self conscious or not I am grateful I still have the source of comfort four times a day with my son. 

We did have a parenting victory this weekend.  When T learned to crawl up the stairs my mom advised us to pull him down the steps on his belly when it was time to go downstairs to teach him how to get back down safely.  We have been doing it for months.  It felt like he was never going to learn how to get down on his own.  This weekend, right out of the blue, he went down the whole flight of stairs on his belly.  All of those hundreds of times we pulled him down suddenly felt totally worth it.  And it gave me hope that the “No!  1-2-3” followed by me stopping his activity and holding him on my lap for a twenty second time out I’ve been doing nonstop for the last few days will get through his stubborn little skull.  The little successes…

He's doing this all the time now.  Very odd, but it keeps us laughing.  And he is doing better now, which means even though the meds I'm on make me feel like shit I'm feeling better too.


  1. clearly he is practicing Prasarita Padottanasana D
    geesh ;)

  2. I've only just recently delved into parental judgement and mother's guilt. Everyone has an opinion & they think you need to hear it. Or we imagine judgement and place it on ourselves on our own. I have had The Hardest Time with breast feeding & despite everyone's well-intentioned (maybe) advice, I will keep breastfeeding until I or my baby girl decides we are done. For whatever my opinion matters, I think it's awesome that your body has done so well with breast feeding & that T will be a healthy baby for as long as you both decide to continue!

  3. my comment was towards the photo... i'm too new of a parental unit to comment on the real stuff.

  4. R-About having the hardest time...the first couple of months were horrible for both me and my sister (she had a baby 6 weeks after me). I strongly believe lactation consultants should let expectant moms know it isn't a walk in the park, but it does often get better. That way we could be emotionally prepared rather than failures. Good luck, and I hope it does get easier.

    Jennifer-all comments are welcome! And opinions on the real stuff are also welcome no matter how long you've been a parent. I'm pretty new to the whole business myself and I throw my opinions all over the place...

  5. Tell everyone to go pound sand. Way back in the day there was a woman who had several kids pretty close together. So she was always nursing one but she told me once that if the older kid had a major meltdown, she would let him nurse for a minute (he was maybe 2.5 or 3) and all would be well and they would both continue on their merry way. It was a comfort thing and her kids were just the most well adjusted, nice kids ever. Do what feels right for you.

  6. most kiddos in the world breastfeed 'til the age of 4. in many tribes, when sickness comes raging through, breastfeeding mamas will nurse *all* tribe members to help their bodies fight off the illness. my bear (2.5yo) just started daycare a month ago and, though we quit nursing over a year and a half ago, the second day there, as i was leaving, he tried to pull up my shirt and asked fer the boob.
    regression much?
    just sayin' - boob that baby, mama. and wear those nursin' bras loud and proud. i wish i had boobed longer, to tell you the truth.

  7. aftml: That story really got under my skin. But it isn't just sad, there is something bittersweet about him looking for comfort in that way. Hope he digs daycare now. My niece had a really hard time at first, but now she tells my sister in law she isn't ready to go home at the end of the day.