Formula Shamers, I Have One Thing To Say… 

Posted September 25, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 0 Comments

I read an article last night about how a particular celebrity was verbally attacked for formula feeding her infant. It inspired me to write about this particular issue.

In today’s world, a new mother can count on hearing several voices in her head with regards to the health and nutrition of her child.

People like her obstetrician/midwife, her partner, her parents, friends, co-workers, the list could go on and on. With all these opinions flying around, it’s a wonder she can hear her own voice at all, especially when it comes to deciding whether to breastfeed or not.

In today’s world, this new mom will become well-informed through the media, signage, prenatal groups, mom and baby groups how breast is best. She’ll even read formula labels that outline that breast milk is always the ideal choice.

And with all this knowledge that breast milk is definitely best for baby, it makes sense that should said mom not be able to nurse, that she might feel guilty about it.

Maybe even more than guilt, maybe flat-out grief.

Ok, so let’s say said new mom decides she will breastfeed, but when the time comes, it’s not what she expected. Maybe, she’s had a c-section and needs to supplement. Maybe she was formula fed and changes her mind to follow that path instead? What if she doesn’t enjoy it? What if her milk dries up? What if she makes the best decision for both her and her child to switch to formula?

Will the mommy club ostracize her?

I’d like to think not.

The fact is, there are so many issues that can arise both prenatal and postpartum that can prevent a mom from nursing. Why is it an open forum on how a mom decides to sustain the life she’s grown inside her own body? I find it decidedly appalling to hear of fellow moms shaming each other for making different choices for different babies. The point is to be the best mother you can be, whatever that means for you, isn’t it?

Aren’t we all in this together?

So, to the formula shamers out there:

It’s absolutely wonderful that you’ve decided to give your baby the best you can for as long as you can. It’s fantastic that you enjoy it as a calm bonding experience with your baby. I feel proud to be a woman when I see you feeding in public, covered or uncovered. I think it’s an incredible gift we’re given, one of the most special things we can share with our babies, but in the end:

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Rockstar Mom Moment #3: Rockstar Dads We Salute You!

Posted September 10, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 0 Comments

 This can be one of the hardest things about parenthood, a close second to the temper tantrum of century for us. Getting your child to take their medicine can be damn near impossible.  In our case, like ripping finger nails out one by one and pouring lemon juice on them.  Hell, absolute hell.

B picked up scarlet fever when she was two. Where and how she got it is beyond me, but after a rushed trip to the clinic, it was confirmed. She had a rash ALL over her body, a huge fever, no appetite, she was throwing up on me, on the couch, in a bucket, in the toilet, it was rough. She was prescribed antibiotics. D and I knew that this would be a battle right from the start. While we would normally mix it with juice, B had already figured that one out. It was time for a new strategy.

D and I decided that we would have to force it down. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fun, but it was necessary. The first time was one of the most awful experiences of my life. She and were both crying, while I gave her little squirts of banana flavored nastiness from the plastic syringe of doom. But I did it. I was a good mom. Pfffhhh…I was a fucking mess.

With every dose, we’d give her plenty of warning, five minutes, two minutes and then we’d do it, tantrum and all. After the third dose, we were both physically and emotionally exhausted, not to mention covered in spit up banana medicine.

Then, D came up with the ultimate hack.  He put juice in one plastic syringe and medicine in another. And I was like, “Wait, didn’t we agree? Can’t we just stick to the plan? Please?” I just couldn’t take another tactic that would fail.

And then it happened. He gave her a little juice at first with one syringe, then slowly added the meds with the other. He filled up with juice again, and did another round. It worked! I couldn’t fucking believe it!!  He finished it off, and she was all done. Every single drop. Pretty soon, she started to do the juice herself. It was actually fun for her, and she had a bit of control in the process too. I think that was a big part of it. A full cup of juice that tasted like ass just didn’t cut it anymore, and while she knew she had to take it, she had no control over anything.

Now,normally this would be a Rockstar Mommy post, but I believe giving credit where credit is due. Rockstar Daddy, we love you!!!!!

How about you guys, do you have a rockstar daddy in your life? One that just puts your mommy instincts to shame?! I’d love to hear about them!


Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome: Some Research

Posted August 21, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Baby G and XXXXY Syndrome / 0 Comments

I mentioned here that I would write more on Baby G and 49, XXXXY syndrome, and now that I have a minute to myself, I can finally delve in a little deeper.

So, as I explained, Baby G has three extra X chromosomes.  Essentially, according to the information I have here, it can lead to a variety of issues, but here are some of the characteristics that I’ve observed so far in Baby G:

  • Low birth weight, he was 5lb 2oz
  • low muscle tone, causing floppiness, not a lot, but some low tone
  • unusual features of the hands and feet, club foot, overriding toes and small hands and feet.  Baby G has an overriding toe on his right foot…I am told that his great grandmother had that as well…?
  • alpha fetal protein screen was high, while the ultrasound looked normal
  • pinky finger curves inwards…so does mine, actually.
  • moving to solid foods delayed…Baby G took his sweet time getting the hang of solids, only finally picking it up at 7 1/2 months.  However, it was also at this time he was prescribed glasses for farsightedness, and could then actually see what I was shoving in his mouth, so…?
  • verbal skills delayed…Baby G doesn’t babble as much as as B did, and he did not cry at birth. He will let us know when there’s something wrong, hungry, tired, etc. but in between not a whole lot.  He’s always been extremely alert, alluding to the strong visual skills characteristic.  He’s extremely observant, especially when it comes to his big sister. Again, knowing now that he’s far sighted and has wee baby glasses to help him see things close up, I’ve noticed a marked difference in babbling, movement and eating.  He also started sitting up on his own at that time, so any delays I thought might have been delays, may not have been.
  • Speech is most likely to be affected, signing used to communicate. This one I am anticipating, as I said he doesn’t babble as much as I would hope, and his giggles aren’t really full-on baby giggles either; they sound more like “cough-laughs”. But we used basic “please” and “thank you” signs with B, as well as “all done”, so sign language will be in full swing in the coming months I think.
  • Delays in sitting, crawling, rolling, walking…sitting up took him awhile. Even now when he sits, most of the time his legs are straight out in front of him.  He doesn’t do a lot of leaning forward yet either.  Tummy time was difficult at first, but is now not really an issue.  His once stiff straight legs are now loosening and learning to bend freely without help. He’s rolling over to reach toys now and can grab different objects with different textures.  I anticipate crawling within the next two weeks.

It’s interesting to read the research I have on 49,XXXXY, and to see how each family has been affected.  Some boys have severe respiratory infections, most beginning in the second half of the first year and persisting through mid-childhood.  Some boys have minor heart issues, some only speech and behavioral difficulties.

I’m nervous, and a little excited to see exactly where Baby G will fall in among his peers. The research I’m referencing here actually comes from a nurse who had been told that a baby had been born with the same condition as her son.  And there she was with real websites, information and her home phone number if we had any questions.  I’ll forever be grateful to her, and to the universe for connecting us so fatefully.

Here are is a link to the Unique website that she provided me, for anyone out there who might be interested:

Rare Chromosome Disorder Support Group

www.rarechromo.org

I’ll post more links and updates on his progress in the coming weeks😊


Feeding Feats of Awesome: A Rockstar Mommy Moment

Posted August 19, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 0 Comments

Moving from one to two children was a big adjustment for me.  It brought on a whole other world of challenges, the worst of which was the 3am feed. Here’s how I hacked it.

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At the time, I was sleeping in our spare bed, which was in Baby G’s room, along with his crib. I would get up, go downstairs, take the bottle out of the fridge, heat up the bottle, go back upstairs and feed. B would hear all this and get up as well.  Now I’m trying to feed a newborn at 3am, with a three year old tugging at my leg wanting another story. Who the hell has the will power to argue about going back to bed at 3am?!?!

Not me.

So I’d finish feeding him, put him down, and she and I would toss and turn in the spare bed, trying to get some form of sleep, or I’d argue with her, or I’d lay with her in her bed until she fell asleep and I would creep downstairs to crash on the couch.

There had to be an easier way.

We had two bottle warmers, in my mind, one of the most indespensible baby products out there. I decided to put one in his room.  Then I thought, well, she’s still going to wake up when I go and get the bottle out of the fridge.

Solution: a cooler.

Before bed, put the 3am feed in the cooler with plenty of ice.  Put the cooler in the room with the bottle warmer. Sleep on the spare bed in his room.  I never had to leave his room!

It totally worked!  I could feed him peacefully, burp him, put him down, turn on that mobile and crawl back to bed. No interruptions, no arguments, no tugging or whining. It was glorious!

Once again, I am a genius. A rockstar mom and proud of it!  Do you have any to share? I’d love to hear about them.😊


Little People, Big Feelings

Posted August 18, 2015 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 0 Comments

As moms, especially new moms, our emotions can take over, reducing us to blubbering heaps of squishy, stretched out goo. Today I was reminded how big these same emotions are to my daughter.

Case in point, anger. When she’s overtired, hungry, or suffering from a “baby hangover” (baby jet lag essentially, lasting a day or two after a long trip), her anger can get the best of her when she doesn’t get what she wants.  And while a tantrum is no doubt my absolute least favourite thing to deal with, I have to remind myself that anger for a four year old is a monumental emotion.

Kicking, flailing and screaming to the point of hoarseness is the only way she knows at this point to get out all that frustration.  I think it’s time I introduce to punching pillow to her or something. But it’s important for me to stay calmer than her in these situations, recognize her anger, and try to guide her through the tantrum calmly, and most importantly safely.

Sure, she says “YOU’RE SO MEAN TO ME!”, “YOU’RE A BAD MOMMY!”, and the like.  I’ve heard a lot of that, and I’m pretty good at removing myself from my responses now. “I’m sorry you feel that way, sweetheart,” I’ll say.  And I’ll keep repeating that to her, acknowledging how she feels, but not apologizing for punishing her bad behavior.  I’m her mother, not her friend. And I’m the adult, I have more patience than her…well, most of the time.

It’s important to pick your battles too.  If she wants a third book at night, I’ll probably cave, but if it’s ten o’clock, pffffhhh, not on your life kid. Nice try.

I thought to myself today, driving her home while she’s kicking the back of my seat in a full on melt down, if I have trouble handling my emotions, how much can I really expect of my four year old daughter?

There are times when I’m tired right along with her and I just don’t have it in me, and I’ll yell for her to stop.  Getting my frustration out feels good for me, feels even worse for her, and so round and round we go. Frankly, I amazed my husband has lasted this long.

I guess this post is really about both her and I dealing with big emotions when we’re not at our best. Maybe we can learn from each other and find better ways to keep our cool. How do you handle your kids’ melt downs? How about your own? Come up with any mommy hacks in your tantrum travels? I’d love to hear about them.