Friday, October 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Dear Baby,

It's been about four days since you've been home. The first couple nights were rough. You must have been overwhelmed, because your feeding schedule got all messed up. In fact, there really wasn't a "schedule" to speak of. You ate completely random amounts at completely random times. You didn't sleep much the first night; which means neither did Daddy or me. But that's ok. Daddy and I took turns letting the other sleep. I took the night shift, because I'm a night owl anyway; and just as I was beginning to get too exhausted to function, Daddy woke up and took over. Daddy and I are a great team!

Luckily it was Daddy's weekend when you came home, and luckily you settled in really quickly. Now you're back to a somewhat regular feeding schedule and you sleep for long periods of time (which is good, because a human can only grow and develop when asleep). The nurse at the NICU was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with your feeding demands, so she slipped me a case of premixed formula. She didn't need to worry. In just the last couple days, my milk supply has doubled! I'm definitely keeping up.

The only kink in our plans that remains is that you don't like to sleep in your crib for very long right now. I totally understand though. You were in Mommy's womb for almost seven months. Then you were in the little incubator for a few weeks. Now you've been in the little cots at the hospital for a few weeks. You're used to sleeping in small spaces. Your crib is absolutely beautiful, but it's quite large (especially compared to your tiny body). So, despite what all the "experts" say, I bring you into bed with me for most of the night. I try to put you to bed in your crib after each feeding, but most of the time you howl until I bring you back out and cuddle you.

Luckily for us, I don't move in my sleep. Whatever position I fall asleep in, is the exact same position I wake up in. Daddy moves around a lot though; so I hold you against my chest, with you facing outwards so your breathing is nice and clear, with my back to Daddy. I make sure I have my arm around you to hold you in place, and I make sure your neck is straight so you can breathe easily.

All the experts and all the books advise against this, but they don't know you. I read the "Tao of Motherhood" recently, and it's really helped put things in perspective. Each baby is different. Each parent is different. Therefore the "best" thing to do for each new family is different. I don't feel bad for bringing you into bed with me, even if the books disagree, because I know you're safe and I know you'll sleep better this way. I feel the highest authority on what's right for a child is his/her mother's own intuition.

Baby books nowadays are good at stressing that each baby is an individual, but then they go on to give generic advice and claim it's what's best for all babies. Those two statements seem contradictory to me. So, I've decided to just do what our "bond" tells me is right to do, and to hell with all the so-called "experts". The only people that are experts at raising you are you, me and your Daddy!

I hope more mothers start listening to their intuition, instead of raising their babies "by the book". I also hope more mothers read the "Tao of Motherhood". Not only did it make me feel better about my decisions regarding you, but it helped me feel less stressed and more serene about being a mommy.

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