Thursday, May 28, 2009

great expectations

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.


K Harker said...

AMEN! I felt so awful for not breast feeding E. I wanted so badly to give it a real try with my second. But he was of course premature and too weak to latch. He had a feeding tube and breathing issues, that I knew it would not work out. I kind of have expected with my next one, if it doesn't work out, oh well. My kids are fine and the next one will be too no matter what I choose to do.

S and RA Beazer said...

You go girl, tell like it is. Breast feeding isn't for everyone. My mom has cousins who died as babies because soy formula wasn't an option. They literally starved to death because they could handle regular milk. It isn't for everyone. So everyone do what's right for you.

janine said...

this is so true. sometimes i feel like we are so busy catering to other people's expectations that we ignore our greatest gift...our intuition...or i like to think of it as the spirit! especially at this time in the world when i really don't believe that there is a generic brand of child...all these kids are coming with their own set of gifts and challenges and we are blessed to have the spirit to help us piece together their little puzzles!

Wheat Family said...

You put the thoughts I have had into such great words! Thanks for your insight, and I know these kids will grow up "normal" no matter how they get fed. I am glad that soy worked for you and Leah. You're a great mom and you have such sweet kids who love you enormously!

The Pyne's said...

Yessery!! I too do not enjoy the nursing but you know I do it for the same reasons, not that I enjoy it, but it's BEST for the BABY. I do not condemn those who do not breast feed, but sometimes I look at people who do bottle feed just because it soots them better (not the baby), or they just DON'T WANT to. That to me is not right, but anywho, you know I've had my many bouts of infections during nursing, the good ole mastitis, and yet I suffer through it just because I know it's good for the little one. But I have not had any problems with kids not gaining weight (although I do believe conner and caleb are about on the same growht pattern and conner was born at an average weight, he's just a little guy!), anywho, what I'm getting at is atleast you gave it a TRY! that's all that's needed and then if it's just NOT working or the baby is suffering, it's totally OK to do what ever you need to! So don't let anyon else tell you differently! We love you guys and are just glad that you have a thriving happy baby!

The Pyne's said...

ps- I think I'm in love with LEAH! SHe is such a doll!

The Pyne's said...

and um....where's your music?!?!? Your's has always been one of my favorite to get on and listen to! Sometimes I even just turn on your blog and let it run to listen to your grand aray of music!

Tami said...

I'm so happy she is feeling better now. She is such a cute baby! I never liked breastfeeding, so I bottlefed. My Kobe turned out just fine. Anything that makes a happy home, I am all for!