An Explanation, In Part

I can’t wait for the time when I will get night after night after subsequent night of uninterrupted sleep.

“One of the Georges - I forget which - once said that a certain number of hours´ sleep each night - I cannot recall at the moment how many - made a man something which for the time being has slipped my memory.” ― P.G. Wodehouse, Something Fresh

When does that happen?

 

Freedom in a Bottle

I vividly remember the first time I left the house on my own after Connor was born. I went to a mall about 10 minutes from our house and it felt monumental. Significant. Almost like a prison break.

He was only two or three weeks old at the time, but we hadn’t introduced a bottle at that point and all I could think about was that I was carrying his sole source of food around with me. He was totally reliant on me and my body for his nutrition and there I was walking around a mall.

I got over that feeling eventually, of course, but breastfeeding made me feel tethered to him for a long, long time. He didn’t have anything else at all—no formula, nothing—until the day he hit six months and we gave him some rice cereal (and I cried because he was no longer dependent on me for nutrition. Apparently being a hormonal mom with PPD made me a little nuts in more ways than one).

We did introduce a bottle when Connor was five weeks old, and I remember the weird feeling of relief and pride. No, he wasn’t going to starve if I left the house and, yes, it was cool to see my husband feeding our baby. (And, oh, was he ever in love with giving Connor a bottle. I’ll never forget that first time.) Mostly, though, I was glad we had a way to feed Connor that didn’t require me to sit on the couch for an hour.

And then, when he was three months old, he started refusing to take a bottle. One night Rich did all the night feedings so I could sleep and after that, no more bottles for Connor. It was his way of protesting, I assume. He did start taking one again after we started solids, but the freedom ship had sailed at that point. For those months I was well and truly (and literally) attached to my baby.

With Ethan, however, it’s been totally different.

We started him on bottles slightly earlier and he has always taken them happily. I actually once came home right as Rich was feeding him and Ethan may as well have just said, “Hey, Mom! I’m having a bottle.” He was totally unfazed at me being there and finished the bottle happily. He’s still a champion nurser, too.

Naturally, I have taken full advantage of having a baby who will occasionally take a bottle. I’ll admit that I hate pumping as much as the next mom, but it’s been worth it in order to have some freedom.

In the early months, Rich gave Ethan a bottle in the mornings so I could sleep (and that right there is worth every single mooing sound the stupid pump makes). We’ve also used bottles a few times when I’ve gone out at night. I pumped when I got up or when I got home, and it worked beautifully. (The one Rich is using here is Dr. Brown’s, which we really liked – they’re easy to hold and easy to clean, and their bottle brushes actually get in all the little curves. My brother and sister-in-law have used this brand exclusively with their twins, if that tells you anything.)giving baby a bottle

But here’s where giving bottles has been really amazing: For the last several months Rich and I have been trading time off; we’ve each had two afternoons a week to work – time for me to write and time for him to work on illustrations. I wave goodbye to my husband and my baby and my freezer stash and happily sit at Starbucks. For, like, four hours. It’s new-mama heaven, I tell ya.

As I’ve sat there with my hot drink and my laptop and my headphones, I’ve often thought back to my time when Connor was a baby and wondered if I took for granted the freedom pumping and a bottle offered. Could I have bought myself more sanity? Maybe. But maybe not. We did what we could when we had the opportunity, but when a stubborn baby steadfastly refuses to take a bottle there’s not much you can do.

I try not to mourn the loss of freedom and sanity from that time around. I’ve just really, really enjoyed it with this one and I think, just maybe, it’s been one of the things that has made a difference.

Disclaimer: This post was generously sponsored by Dr. Brown’s, but the opinions and images are my own. And in thanks for the support Dr. Brown’s has given me, I have chosen Dr. Brown’s bottle-feeding supplies as part of my donation to community organizations helping with the recent flooding in Alberta, where I live. 

Some of the key features of the Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow bottles, which are available at retailers across Canada:

  • Helps reduce feeding problems – The Dr. Brown’s bottles are known for reducing colic, spit-up, burping, and gas.
  • Proven to help preserve bottle milk nutrients.
  • Vacuum-free feeding helps digestion - Good digestion is essential for babies, particularly newborns.
  • Patented Vent System and silicone nipple work together – Controlled flow so babies feed at their own pace.

For more information, visit www.drbrownsbaby.com/. 

 

Behind This Moment

This is a moment in time, but it’s also a feeling.

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It’s when they can both lie on Daddy, and it’s looking at my family and how they just fit.

It’s seeing them all together on one couch, and it’s knowing that in what will feel like mere moments we won’t all be under the same roof.

It’s when both of them are little enough for me to pick up, and it’s knowing exactly what their small bodies feel like in my arms.

It’s when one looks so big next to his baby brother, and it’s wishing for a pause button because I know I won’t have this view for long.

It’s looking at my smallest while he’s still a baby, and it’s wondering what he will be like as a boy and then a man.

It’s looking at my biggest in the week before he turns five, and it’s knowing this is the last summer he will still seem like a little boy.

It’s seeing what looks like a dog-pile on their dad, and it’s knowing part of him wishes he could keep them that way forever.

It’s looking at my three boys, and it’s not being able to imagine life any other way.

Maternal Paralysis Syndrome

Have you heard of Maternal Paralysis Syndrome? 68% of moms have it and I’m one of them.

Find the explanation in my latest post at Yummy Mummy Club.

CrossIron-clock

 

Moving with Kids

We went back to Victoria recently for a few days. It was a great trip, filled with visits with friends and family and some time by the ocean. I think I needed that.

Connor did too. I know he misses his friends, and he gets SO excited when we’re going back and he knows he gets to see them. We get inundated with questions about when we’re going to see them and are we going there now and if not now when and is it time yet and are we going there NOW?

I understand his excitement and sometimes I wonder if he’ll be forever changed because of having been moved away from his since-birth friends. I mean, I know he will be changed, but will he be scarred? I hope not. As long as we visit often enough I really hope he’ll continue to have a relationship with these kids as he grows up. And this time he wasn’t too sad to leave. He did mention missing his friends and wanting to stay, but as soon as we got home he said he was glad to be back in Calgary, so that eases my mama-guilt somewhat.

No matter what, though, moving with kids is tough. Rich moved a lot as a kid and I moved once when I was almost five and then stayed in the same city until I went to university. Does moving as a kid affect your friendships? Your ability to make friends? I’ve been thinking about that.

Today I’m guest posting for Gigi at Kludgy Mom about our move with Connor and how the transition has been. I’ll also be on a panel of moms talking about moving (or not moving) kids and what our experiences have been. That’s happening at 1 pm Eastern today (May 22) on Google+ (and the video will be available afterwards in case you want to watch it).

So if you have thoughts about moving with kids or questions about moving with kids (or just want to hear my Canadian accent) come and read my guest post and then check out our Bonfire Chat on G+!

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