My Terrible Saturday

**I’ve gotten criticism for this post, and I am not in the mood to change anything. This is how I feel, take it or leave it. Every mom is different, as is every baby, but saying that someone is judging you by saying you don’t know what will happen if you make definitive choices now, that’s just foul play. I’m sorry if I offended anyone, but I spent most of last night crying thinking I am a terrible person for judging a newly pregnant woman. I can’t change who I am. **

On Twitter, I normally like to answer questions people have about pregnancy, birth, and parenthood as best as I can. A lot of the time I use my experiences with my daughter to help answer questions. I always just figured it was another opinion they could take or leave. I never thought it was more than that.

Until yesterday.

I got into discussing crib sets and then eventually co-sleeping, and then it turned to breastfeeding, pumping and formula. All hot button topics.

Now, I pumped when my daughter was in the NICU for 5 days before we started breastfeeding. I then pumped when I started working again when my daughter was 5 months old. I weaned her at 9 months because the pumping was such a hassle and I absolutely hated it. I couldn’t pump more than twice in a shift, and I worked 2 16 hour shifts. My milk slowly decreased until I could only get 6 ounces in one session (which was not much for me). I then weaned and my daughter went straight to cows milk.

I co-slept with my daughter because I got tons more sleep. I would only have to half wake up to latch her on and then I would fall back asleep. I didn’t have to leave my warm bed and sit in a cold room.

Now, all my friends couldn’t do that. Their babies hated nursing lying down and they hated sleeping with a baby. Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. But I loved it.

I never made Blake get up with Glade at night. I never even considered it an option. I was awake anyway, and he couldn’t nurse so why should he have to get up? And I hated my experience with pumping so much that I wasn’t going to waste precious time during the day to pump extra and make sure to feed Glade as much as she needed. It was more hassle than it was worth.

Now, I don’t think I’m one to judge anyone their opinions. I didn’t use formula because it was never an option. All my friends have used it though. Do I think they are worse parents than me because they used formula? No. Do I look down on them for their choices? No.

I understand that my views may seem highly radical to some people. They may even come off as fact when indeed they are purely my opinion. I have done a lot of research and have come to my opinions because of where I have been.

I had one of the most medicalized births a woman could have. I trusted my caregivers explicitly, and ended up having the worst experience of my life. I came out of it with a scar on my uterus and a child in the NICU for prematurity. I have been where all these new mothers are.

Now, part of my butting in and stubborness is because I am so very jealous of all these newly pregnant women. I want to live vicariously through them. Help them make decisions that would be best for them and their baby. Decisions I wish I had made. I understand this is completely wrong of me, and part of the reason I am so upset about how blase they can all be. How so completely dependent on other people to make their decisions for them.

It seems as though they are completely proactive about trying to get pregnant and what to put in the nursery that when they are planning their actual pregnancy and delivery it surprises me about how complacent they seem to be. And that just makes my blood boil.

They worry every day that they are going to miscarry. It’s their first pregnancy, and they say the only thing that can make them comfortable is dopplers for heart beat and ultrasounds at every visit. Nothing makes them feel like this pregnancy is sticking, even though they have no risk factors for miscarriage, and are doing fine. Sure, miscarriage happens, I would know, but worrying all the time about it makes it infinitely longer.

They spend thousands of dollars on stupid things for their babies like monitors that know when their baby rolls over, video monitors so you can see your baby instead of just hear them, cribs the size of queen beds, bedding that costs more than a months rent, and then forget to plan out the day their baby will come into the world. Because “it doesn’t affect their ability to be a mother and how it won’t affect their happiness”.

I was this way. I didn’t buy anything until my daughter was born because we didn’t have the money for it. We also didn’t find out the sex, so it was easier not to buy. My parents bought us a lot of things for before the baby came, like the crib and bedding set. I was actually kind of excited to go to the version because I might have to have a cesarean or go into labor and I would have my daughter home with me.

Months of pain and anger and betrayal finally led me to my calling.

I am proud to admit I am a pro-breastfeeding, pro-cosleeping, pro-natural birth, pro-homebirth, pro-babywearing, and pro-clothdiapering. And if you think my opinions are upsetting and that I am bashing you, that is your prerogative. But after crying for hours last night, I’m not going to let it upset me anymore. I’m better than that, and my opinion is my opinion, whether it is truly fact or not. And I wish that you could see that. But you can’t.

Good luck with your pregnancy, and good luck with your choices. I pray you don’t end up as depressed as I was.

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8 Responses

  1. As someone who witnessed some of yesterday's tweeting, I do not think you were wrong. Let's be honest here: it's baffling, if not downright laughable, to hear a pregnant woman lay out a childrearing plan that seems to be based upon getting as much sleep as she can. For one, I feel that's quite selfish, and two, who goes into parenting expecting SLEEP? I worked fulltime, got up at night to nurse my baby, and pumped until he was a year (by the way, 6oz in one session is GREAT–I've never gotten more than 5oz at once). In a month, I will do the working thing again. Is it easy? Heck no! But as a parent, I could not care that my child has the best cribs or bedding, but I DO care that they get the BEST food there is.

  2. Ok I'll comment because this post is directed towards me.Here's the thing. I've talked NUMEROUS times about wanting to attempt to deliver naturally, taking a class with my husband to learn how we can work at this together, looking at the pros and cons of hiring a doula etc. But the thing is, there's a MILLION different opinions on what works and what works for everyone is different.I LOVE your passion towards natural childbirth, and I'm always so upset when I hear about your horrible birth experience. I've never connected with someone personally who has had such a bad experience with birth and I sometimes worry that if I stress too much about NOT having that experience, and I do, I'll also be depressed about it. Truth of the matter is, emergencies happen, things happen, and I just want to remember that in the end I want a healthy baby more than anything else… So that I'm grateful for that even if (heaven forbid) I have to have an emergency c-section.I never said a dopplar was the only thing that would make me happy but I did present a question for those who had one. I know SEVERAL people who loved it and who it helped calm their nerves. No, I'm not buying one, but what's so wrong with toying with the idea? Just because it may make someone like you paranoid doesn't mean it would make me more paranoid.About breastfeeding. The reason I mention having my husband help is because he IS at home more… He's kind of more of the "mother/wife" figure in the house. I get up and go to work everyday and he's the one at home cleaning, and doing housework. He will HAVE to feed our baby at some point and with my 10 hour shifts at work which hardly ever allow me time for a LUNCH BREAK I worry I won't have time to pump, but if I'm going to breastfeed pumping will HAVE to be an option. When you jumped on how pumping is hard and didn't work for you I automatically got discouraged. What am I suppose to think about that when I know that is my only real option if I'm going to BF more than 6 weeks? Just give up? Quit my job? Basically for US it's pumping or formula, and I'd rather hear about good pumping experiences than bad ones to know BFing IS an option for me.As for him getting up at night… I have friends who switch off with their husbands. I think that's great that you were up anyway but what's wrong with sharing duties? Most of my friends do that, and I have one friend with anxiety problem and her husband ALWAYS got up so she could sleep. Hey, maybe I will be up at night.. If so, GREAT! I'll feed ALL the time and my husband will get a break. But that's something I can't really decide right now isn't it?Basically sometimes it just seems as though every option I present "isn't going to work" or "isn't right." In this post you make me sound selfish for wanting more sleep but it's not just about that. If you are awake great, but what if we don't want to do it that way? Is every mother awake all night like you maybe were?Please don't make it seem like I care more about bedding than the health and of my child either. I'm CONSTANTLY thinking about it but sometimes I'd just rather talk about less-controversial issues so I don't end up in conversations like these.I hope you aren't really mad at me, and I hope we can still be friends. I'm not upset with you, and I love your opinions, but I don't think we are going to be exactly alike when it comes to everything about my pregnancy/birth/ mothering experiences. I love having someone who is like a big sister to talk to about my worries with labor, breastfeeding and whatnot, but I also don't want to feel bad if we differ on opinions. I know you have more experience than me, but I also have other friends who do things completely different and had great birth/breastfeeding/ sleeping expereinces.I know you know this but we're all different! And when it comes down to it, I hope I know what's best for my own baby, as you know for yours!

  3. Ah, I missed all of this on twitter apparently! So sorry it made you cry. I hope you feel better about it today – I know how much what other people say can hurt (I've had issues on my blog), but stick with your beliefs and opinions. You have been an incredible help to me with this pregnancy and even if you suggested something to me I didn't agree with (which I don't actually think has happened, lol, but IF it had..), I would know you mean well!! You're a very kind and caring person.I have no idea if I'll cosleep. I plan on breastfeeding, but also having hubby help with pumped milk about a month in (more for him to get a connection with the baby than to relieve me of my work). I'm not cloth diapering. I desperately want a natural birth and plan on baby wearing. We agree in many, many areas, but differ on some. And I value your advice and opinions and friendship!Don't let others get you down! Keep being wonderful for all of us who need you 🙂

  4. You know you and I differ on many opinions, but I respect what you have to say. So PLEASE don't take this wrong or get your feelings hurt. When people feel passionately about something, as you do with natural birthing, Bfing, co sleeping, it can come across as judgmental when people have different opinions. I know your csection hurt you in a 100 ways, but it's not that way for everyone.I, along with everyone else, know breast feeding is best, but if a woman chooses not to for what ever reason, it doesn't make her less of a mother. I don't think you were being judgmental last night (from what I saw). But mothers, esp new ones are touchy about their choices.My dh always got up with me and the babies. Early on when I nursed (only my last one) he would change the baby, get me a drink ect. And when I switched to formula we took turns getting up. My kids slept in our room until they were around 2 but they never slept in our bed. Co sleeping is great for some, but definitely not for everyone.There is such a thin line between wanting to help and making someone feel bad, when it comes to early motherhood and pregnancy.I know your intentions are good and you only want to help. Don't let different ways of thinking get you down. We are all here to learn from each other 🙂

  5. I guess I missed all of this on twitter! I'm sorry for your frustrations. It has always been hard for me when pregnant friends, sisters, etc. do things thats are the complete opposite than I would! But thats what I use twitter for, I only follow people with similar opinions and beliefs (breastfeeding, co-sleeping, natural birth, #i2). If I didn't I would lose my mind and probably come off all judgmental and rude! But that is only because I feel so strongly about those issues. And I don't ever feel bad for that.I think its so great you tweet all this amazing info and help to these newly pregnant women. They are very lucky to have someone that is so informed to talk to! xo

  6. I'm sorry to hear that all this made you cry. 😦 I believe that each woman is entitled to her own opinion, and everyone's experience will be different. I agree with you in many ways, and I can only hope that things will work for me the way that I am hoping and planning. I've refrained from expressing my thoughts on breastfeeding, natural birth, etc. on my blog simply because I hate stirring up controversy. But I LOVE that you share your ideas, because it is an immense help to me! You are definitely appreciated for what you do!!!!

  7. I missed this talk on twitter, but have to say, we are all human and just sharing ourselves. Sometimes it is heated passion and anger and we will still all take something away from it.

    My choices sure wont be right for some people, and that is fine, because I’ve made them from a highly educated point of view on the topics and much thought.

    Hopefully, the way we speak about close bonded and natural living parenting will reach some, on whatever level they are comfortable with handling at their time.

    It isn’t being truthful sometimes.

  8. Hello Kayce,

    I found this post through CrunchyVTMommy’s comments and just wanted to say I know this a bit late but I think you have a seriously big and generous heart for trying to spare new mummies the pain and suffering you went through.

    I really can not stand people who think that it is OK to not only “look a gift horse in the mouth” but also insult them whilst they are at it. I feel so privileged that I have been able to learn so much before I have even began to TTC from so many women like you, who are brave and willing to sharing their experience.

    Some people are ridiculous, rude and immature, rather than say they don’t understand what you are trying to tell them or better yet go away and actually research and read a damn book on the subject, they will make the age old argument that “but it worked for so and so, blah blah blah”. My response is always if you aspire to what your friends have then just copy them, ask them for advice and everything should work out perfectly right? Argh its maddening!!

    The real kicker is that it is them same people who end up following your advice but often give you no credit for it. It really amuses me that these people defend their poor, misguiding choices to the masses but don’t chose them again the second time around (for example, a huge advocate of induction and medical birth, who surprisingly wants to try natural birthing methods with their second birth).

    As unpopular as it is to say I have found that all the mums that have not had a natural birth etc, have regretted it to some extent when they learn more about birth (no matter how much they deny it). The fact is, (in my opinion) If they truly knew what birthing naturally and peacefully meant to their unborn child as well as how much strength (and confidence) it gives to new mothers, they would be sad at the amazing opportunity they denied themselves and their poor innocent child.

    “You can only birth a baby once” as they say… If people are ignorant it is only themselves, their child and their loved ones that pay the price. At least you tried to help, so you can feel good and hold your head high.

    Well sorry for rambling (again!) but I just wanted to offer my (belated) support. I really appreciate your views (as well as agree with them completely) and I just wanted you to know that I think you are fantastic!

    M 🙂

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