Thursday, May 28, 2009
when leah first started going bezerk...about a week and a half after being born...i vented to some friends about my frustration. this baby was a hot mess and so, in turn, was i.
"all babies cry and have their fussy times" some would say. which would leave me thinking, were my expectations too high? did i have an altered perspective of what a newborn should be like?
i tried to resolve my thinking to this. that she was just normal, that nothing was wrong, that having crying spells for 10 hours (with just short naps in between) was life with a "typical newborn. " that i would just have to wait it out. until the magic age of 3 months where she would transform before my eyes.
yet deep down, i couldn't believe it. i knew that it was something else. because, guess what? i had been around other newborns before. babies that would cry when they needed something like food or sleep, but otherwise were content to just be. they would ride in the car without a screamfest, hang out in their swings without carrying on, ride in strollers without turning purple with screams. and not only that, but when their needs were met, they were comforted.
and for some reason, my baby was not.
i also knew that i did not want to live this way for 3 months if i didn't have to. i know that's not a long time in the grand scheme of life, but with a screaming newborn, it feels like an eternity.
so i started the journey of experimenting. altering my diet while nursing...then pumping and just going to formula...then switching bottles. and finally. magic. soy formula.
within one feeding of soy formula, my baby was transformed. into a sleeping, content, comforted baby.
i was grateful, but also a bit peeved. this was the second time in my life with two children that i was going to stop nursing before i actually wanted to. (the first time i was told to stop by the ped. because caleb was losing weight by solely nursing)
in all honesty, i do not enjoy nursing. i am not a mother who just loooooves it and is fulfilled by it. i find it awkward, uncomfortable, time consuming, and because i'm a very private person when it comes to whipping out the goodies, not at all convenient. but i do see the purpose behind nursing (which is my opinion is that in most cases, it really is best for your baby) and so i am more than willing to give it a go. not for me, but for my baby.
so i was truthfully disheartened when what i had to give was not helping her and something else was. but i had to let that go. because once i found that soy formula was working for her, she turned into "that baby." the one that i had seen in stores, watched as i went on walks with friends, stared at in amazement at church.
she became happy, content, comforted. and i realized that i was right. my expectations weren't too high after all. there is such thing as a happy newborn. and i didn't have to wait for 3 months to get it.
she still cries when she needs something. that hasn't stopped, but that is normal. i was never expecting a baby to not cry, just FYI. i'm not delusional. but once her need is met, she is now content.
she also sleeps for anywhere from 6-8 hours at night. she wakes up smiling, coos, kicks her little legs with joy, plays with her small toys, sits quiet in her swing, falls asleep quietly on my shoulder, goes on walks in the stroller and rides in her carseat without a peep. (not all the time, but that's okay.)
so my point is this: find what works for you. even if it's not mainstream. even if it's not what "those people" have deemed is "best." and once you find it, let go of all of your preconceived notions about what was supposed to happen and just be grateful that you've found something that works.
i'm grateful that i did. it was hard to let go of nursing...again...and wonder if i had made the right choice. but i look at these chubby cheeks, and my thriving, happy baby and i just know. i did.