Monday, January 17, 2011

Instinct Parenting

It all started early in the morning of September 4th 2009. I woke up after having a dream about my 17 year old sister getting pregnant and have twins. Wow, what a scary thought! She is too young for that. In the dream, I was holding both of these babies and wondered as I woke up abruptly at 5:20am if this was a sign. My husband Alex and I were trying to have a baby, and had been for roughly 6 months to no avail. When I woke up, I promptly lit a cigarette, smoked it, which turned out to be my last, and went to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. Three minutes later, what a shock! It was POSITIVE!

 I ran all the way through the house and told Alex, GET UP, LOOK! Before he had put on his glasses to see the test, I had already shoved it in his face (yes, after it had just been peed on) and said Do you see what it says?!?! Needless to say, we were both up for the day about 5:30am. After I cried a little, because I was scared, the first child I got pregnant with ended in a miscarriage. Immediately, I went into panic mode and stayed that way for quite some time. Rightfully so in fact, we got a doctor's appointment for a week and a half later and an ultrasound. My doctor told me my progesterone levels were low and I needed to be put on a supplement to increase my progesterone levels in order to maintain my pregnancy. I could have lost my baby. The first time I could not do anything because no doctor would see me sooner than 8 weeks. This time, I was going to do whatever it took to have my beautiful baby I had been wanting for so long.

As the weeks went by, we made it through the first trimester and what a relief, kind of. I was not convinced everything was going to be alright until I had this baby sitting in my arms. We did get a fetal heart monitor to listen to our baby's heartbeat. It was just one more way to give me peace of mind, which was definitely needed. Around my 18th week of pregnancy we got another ultrasound. This whole time I thought my baby would be a boy. WRONG! To my surprise, we were having a girl! What an exciting moment! I was not disappointed in the least, this meant I get to dress my baby in PINK! 
While I was pregnant, I assumed my parenting style would be just as everyone else. We would breastfeed until I went back to work, and than on to formula for this little girl. Vaccines, well, what does it matter, they worked for me and I turned out fine. Co-sleeping? Are you nuts?  There was no way in the world I would give up my bed. However, we did get a pack and play so she would be next to us. Cloth diapering? Ha! No way! Baby wearing? Well, that was a great idea in theory, but I have a lot of back problems so carrying around extra weight would probably hurt a lot. At 29 weeks, we elected to get a 3-D ultrasound which we brought my dad and mother in law to. Seeing this little girls beautiful face brought tears to my eyes. Again, the first time was seeing her heartbeat. Second was hearing it, and third was seeing just how beautiful she was and how real all of this was turning out to be!

Around the same time, we found out I had gestational diabetes, which was supposed to mean Kaylin Jayde (yes, we named her!) would be much larger. After pricking my finger four times everyday and listening to the advice of some lady, I had to eat a lot of bland foods to keep my blood sugar levels lower. Well, after a couple weeks of doing this and gaining 6 lbs, I decided to stop listening to these people. I know my body, it is mine, been living in it for YEARS! So, the next appointment I only gained 2 lbs so, HA, I was right! Now we had to go to each weeks appointment and do a non stress test to make sure everything was going alright. One doctor who I did not care for at all told me because Kaylin was sleeping and not moving around a ton, it meant something was wrong. At this point, I did not want the stress of some man who was rude to begin with giving me advice, even though he was the doctor. This was also the last appointment I had. My induction was scheduled for 3 days from that Friday. Yes, I said it, I was induced with my baby. Not one of the things I am proud of, but it happened.

The day had come, May 3rd, what an adventure it had been so far. We were going to see this beautiful little girl from the ultrasounds. The one who kicked me, and moved all over! I was so happy! For some who said, I cannot wait to meet her, they may remember how I would never say that. I was too scared to jinx something. So, around 8pm May 3rd, in went the Cervidil and here comes the contractions! After 12 hours of this stuff and all the contractions, I had hoped to at least be dilated, some! Nope, my cervix had just softened. After getting my shower, I was placed on Pitocin, and taken off it because I was contracting on my own and it was stressing Kaylin out. Around 3:30pm, May 4th, I felt this pin prick feeling in my belly. Than I felt a gush. Once I stood up, I knew what that meant, finally my water had broken! Good deal, or so I thought. Now, I was wondering, what is all this black stuff. Oh, its meconium, which means Kaylin had pooped due to the stress and now there was a bigger risk of something to happen. Again, I got scared. At 8pm we had the doctor come in and give me an epidural. The only reason I would ever get an epidural again with another pregnancy is because I hated being "checked", it was NOT fun. Around 1am, May 5th, I started having this desire to push. It was STRONG. I could feel my legs too which I thought was a little off. Epidural did not work too well. Guess we were going to do this the hard way! Within 20 minutes of pushing, she was here! My little baby girl was finally out! And seeing her, wow, you just cannot get anymore perfect than this!

Instantly, everything we had waited for changed. Here was this perfect little angel! We hated being in the hospital so we decided to take her home exactly 24 hours after she was born. Yes, that happened!

We did supplement formula for the first week until my milk came in, which I did not want to do, I was totally against the idea, but again, I was a new mom and I wanted to make sure she was getting enough. When my milk came in, we finally got a good latch and this began a wonderful adventure into breastfeeding.

As you can see, this is not a 6 week old baby. She was around 4 months in this picture. I decided since taking the best care of her that I possibly could was the most important thing for me, we were going to breastfeed at least until 6 months. Baby steps right? I did not want to make any unrealistic goals, so we are going by every 6 months. This decision was the easiest I could have ever made. It was natural and it was a beautiful bond I could share with my daughter and nobody else could take that feeling away.

Next decision I made regarding parenting is baby wearing. Remember how I said it would not be possible because of my back? Well, that went out the window. Yes, my back is bothered by it, but I do not care. No pain, no gain! If it makes her comfortable and gives her comfort, the pain is the least of my concern. Plus she loves being in her Moby!

The next decision, well, one of the first actually, was co-sleeping. I said no at first, and from the first week she was born, guess where she slept? You guessed it, right with us in our bed. Normally she will sleep in between us, or lay on me to fall asleep. This to me gives her a sense of security. Which if she feels secure, chances are she is going to be more independent later on in life. She already seems to be very independent as it is, so hopefully with the instinctive parenting steps we are taking, she will have a lot of confidence too!
Yes, she uses my comforter as well. No fancy blankets, we sleep side by side, she has our blanket around her, and everything has been working out thus far! We have had several people say things like, she should not be sleeping in your bed, she will fall off, some extreme statements were I am a bad mom. Well, as with everything, I took what I heard and let it go in one ear and out the other. I know what is best for Kaylin.

Baby food out of a jar? Well, that was a thought to begin with too. I did not see what it would hurt. Rice cereal on a schedule too? No way, I was not about to listen when told to feed her solids at 4 months old. She simply was not ready. I did try, she did not like it so we did not continue feeding solids until 6 months. She got what she needed from me! Which made me happy. I still love the time I get with her where nobody can interfere. We make our own food, I do not see the point in feeding her something out of a jar because it has so many preservatives in it. At least the food we make has a shelf life that is not longer than I will be alive!  

When she was 3 months old, I decided to stop spending money on diaper rash cream and just give in after talking to my friend Tanya about cloth diapers. Well, cloth diapers were not even a big deal. Why people make such a fuss about using them is beyond me! I love the three brands we have used. They are just as absorbent, we do not have to use diaper rash cream anymore, and they are much cheaper. At first, I knew I was not going to use diapers from Pampers with Dry Max, we had heard it gives babies chemical burns. After hearing this, I made the practical decision to find other means of diapers because at size 3 the Pampers sensitive come with Dry Max too. Do you see why this seems counter-productive? I sure do. Got comments on this decision too, most were, are you nuts? Well, no of course we aren't, we were just willing to try what most people said was not a good solution. Tell me I can't and I will show you I can.

To this point, everything we have done has been different than what we expected. Trust your instincts when you raise kids. It does not take a village, it takes a strong person to do the best for their kids. Nothing about my daughter is gross, nothing about parenting is hard (maybe if you have a lot of kids it would be!) nobody can make choices for your children except for you and your spouse. So, why not make the best of it? Expand your horizons, be different than the norm! Our future generations depend on the positive decisions we make. My daughter certainly changed my life and my views on parenting. One more thing I forgot to mention, the whole cry it out method, sucks. If my daughter cries, she needs me and I am there. I do not care who says she will start manipulating me, she will only be young once, and I do not have anything that is more important to do than to take care of my baby.

I would like to learn more about vaccines, some of them are not necessary from what I am hearing. This will be my challenge for Kaylin in the future and any other children we have. My baby is my everything and I want to protect her where I can!

For future pregnancies, I will also look into water birth as an alternative to typical hospital birth. Definitely will not be using an epidural again!

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