Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking Back: Mom of The Year

I make my own baby food for S {and use jar food on the go or when I am being lazy}...
who can I contact to receive my Mom Of The Year Award? :P

In light of the formula moms vs. breast feeding moms... which has seems to exploded thanks to Facebook and the Similac recall that just happened. I figured it was time for me to voice my thoughts. To stand up for us LM mamas and everyone else in between.

I find it disgusting how as a mother-you need to take a side. You can go ahead and say you don't have too...but lets all be honest. You do. As soon as someone finds out someone else is pregnant... before they even say congratulations they want to know "are you going to nurse or bottle feed?" Like for some reason it will affect THEIR life. Face it, we have all done it. We have all asked that question. We have all been ASKED that question. And no matter what the response from the mom to be-it is wrong. If she plans on nursing-she has no idea how hard and time consuming it is. If she plans on bottle feeding-why doesn't she want to nurse? If she plans on deciding when the baby gets here-she needs to be more organized. We are only setting mothers up for failure-why?

And then the blame falls on the formula companies for pressing their products- for sending coupons to your home, from the hospitals and OB offices for making formula samples available to a new mom. Work environments not supporting breastfeeding/pumping.

But the real blame needs to go on the other mothers. The other mothers putting the pressure and judgment on mothers who do not view baby raising the same way they do. All the other stuff are definitely bumps in the road but I feel like-if your really set on doing something {specially as a mother} you will do it... regardless.

Either way... support don't judge.

And then us LM moms come in. For me... nursing S was a wonderful {pretty easy} experience until she started choking and gasping for air while nursing. By the time she was actually done nursing... it was time to start again. Which caused me to get a double breast infection with golf balls under each arm... fun times! Obviously it was not working for either of us. Even with bottle wasn't until after her surgery she was actually able to drink a bottle without choking and turning blue/purple.

After you put your 4 month old through major airway surgery then see her struggle to breathe in ICU while on morphine, oxygen and steroids to keep her lungs open... bottle or breast does not seem to matter anymore. Whatever works...matters. Whatever gets you and your baby through the day...matters.

And you want to talk about bonding?
Bottle feeding moms can not bond with their babies? I am only speaking for myself right now... but can you tell me the bond, the love you feel to your baby when you hand her over to a stranger as she goes into surgery? As you sit in the waiting room... unable to breathe because something is missing in your life... she is missing. The bond between a mother and a child is untouchable-unbreakable...regardless of how her/his belly is filled.

At the end of every day we are all doing the very best we can.

So unless you can find me the direction manual on Raising a Baby in 2012... you can close your mouth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Mother's View: Amy

My LM baby is turning 1 year old today! It seems like it was only a few months ago that I was bringing her home from the hospital and getting used to our new life with her in it. I remember wondering what my daughter would be like while she was still inside my belly. Would she be energetic, lively, or the life of the party? Would she be like my son and not know a stranger? Maybe she would be more quiet and reserved, or shy when she encountered new people? I was always so worried about her while I was pregnant. Would she have 10 fingers and 10 toes? Would she be pretty? Funny? Healthy?

To look back on the past year and all that we have gone through as a family to get her this far, to her first birthday.. I don't know how we did it. The first few months of no sleep, the constant worry at night when the baby monitor was silent. Most parents would find the silence comforting, knowing their child was resting peacefully. But not this mother. The less I heard her noises, the more I worried. Was she still breathing? I would lay awake in bed when I should have been sleeping, watching the monitor to see the rise and fall of her tiny torso. Sometimes it was so slight of a movement that I could swear she wasn't breathing and I would have to sneak into her room and place my hand on her belly just to make sure.

A healthy child is something that most parents take for granted. Now that Hannah is older, and has mostly outgrown her LM, I try to be thankful for every day that she is healthy and symptom free. During this past year, I have learned not to stress about delayed milestones, or compare her achievements to other babies her age.There will always be some kind of milestone that Hannah will have to conquer and I know that she will take her time with all of them just to make mommy worry. I am okay with that. She might have to work harder than other children to do the same things, but I know that she will succeed when SHE wants to. Whether it is drinking from a cup or taking her first steps, I will be there to support her when she decides it's time.

Happy 1st birthday Hannah banana!
Mommy loves you so much!!

Looking Back: The Good Side of LM

I feel like I have talked {wrote} a lot about the bad side of LM. All the scary stuff... while it is all very true...I am a firm believer in there is always good in bad. And with every life lesson we must learn and every mountain we must climb there is a reason. The reason may be small or greater than we will ever know... either way- it is always there.

Right in the mist of being forcefully introduced to Laryngomalacia I had a very hard time finding the good- in anything. But as time has gone {quickly} by I have realized that there is good... and I need to appreciate it. So that leads me to this post-the good side of Laryngomalacia.

The good is that:

I understand~ there are things in life that I have no control over. Instead of fight it-I embrace it{the best I can}.

I understand~ the pain you can feel as you watch your baby struggle or stop breathing completely.

I understand~ I am not alone.

I love~ more and deeper than I did before. Life is a precious miracle.

I love~ how LM helped me to bond with S {quickly}. My biggest fear about having a second child could I possibly love another human being as much as I love my first born? As soon as I saw S... of course... those thoughts and feelings ran away but the bond...the attachment I have to her is unbreakable-untouchable. I love that.

I love~ baby wearing :)

I love~ that L {my first born} takes care of her sister {Bap as L likes to call her :P} She has never been jealous of S or angry that S has required so much more attention. She has been our comic relief through the hard, scary times. I love her a million times over for just being...her.

I love~ my husband. I remember telling my mother in the beginning of LM , this is either going to bring us so close together or tear us completely apart. There were times when I had no idea which direction we were headed but after all of it. He. Is. Still. Here.

I love~ my family {and friends who are like my family}. I learned very quickly who I could depend on and who I should remove off my Emergency Contacts list. I would {neither would S} not be as strong as I am today if it was not for their strength. <3

I can~ properly pronounce and spell Laryngomalacia :P

I can~ help other people coping with LM

I know~ there is not a better sound on this Earth than a baby laughing.

I learned~ a mothers instinct is far more accurate than any test or monitor
{A mother is ALWAYS right!}.

I learned~ that a clean, organized home means nothing.

I learned~ sometimes you need to yell before someone will listen.

I learned~ to be truly grateful for the "good days".

I learned~ how to cope.

Welcome To Holland

Welcome To Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

* * *

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Mothers View: Kristie

Noah will be 2 years old in April. I'm going to venture off a little instead of continuing from my last blog. Sunday was an awesome day for our family. My 10 year old son, (Zane) got baptized. He did such a GREAT job. It was truly a wonderful moment.
After the Baptism I decided to let (Rylee,) my three year old and Noah
go play in Sunday School. They both stay with me at home. If we ever need a babysitter it's either my parents or Jay's parents. So this was new to both of them, and me also. I left them in the room as they both seemed content. As I was walking down the hallway, I heard Noah start to cry and say,"MAMA." I turned around quickly to go get him. On my way down the hall to get my baby, someone TOUCHED my shoulder, as I turned around this older lady looked me in the eyes and said, "Sweetie Let Him Stay, He Will Be Fine."
At that very moment I thought to myself maybe she's right maybe he will be fine. I tried so hard to keep the tears back! Of course I couldn't. I began to tell her my story , "He's been through so much. MUCH MORE than any baby should have too encounter, in such a short time. He's been in the hospital more than I can remember. I continue to tell her, you don't understand it brings back so many bad memories for Me. I HATE HANDING my baby over to medical staff. When they take him out of my arms and I have to leave him, it hurts. Its a PAIN in your heart that no mother should feel. Im the one that bonded with him for 9 months, I'm suppose to protect him. Instead of me protecting him,I'm HELPLESS. I have to put all my FAITH in those doctors to bring him back to me."
I was continuing to Ramble on, then she took my hand and said, "be quite for a moment." It was SILENT except for giggles and kids playing. Noah had quit crying. So we talked for a while and she told me at the end of our conversation,"Go in there with the rest of your family, NOAH WILL BE OKAY AND SO WILL YOU."
I walked back into church and sat down with my family. I was still anxious, and of course 10 minutes later they came to get me because Noah started crying.
I ran to get him and as I held him and hugged him, I sang to him Every Little Things Gunna Be Alright.
I was TOUCHED today by someone SPECIAL. She is correct, Noah will be OKAY, I know that in my HEART. At this moment though I'm not ready to hand him over yet, and I realize thats OKAY too.
Mama loves you Noah to the MOON and BACK!!!!

Kristie Stewart

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Looking Back: A Baby that

It was June. We were about 2-3 weeks away from surgery day. Baby was on her monitor 24/7 due to color change in her legs, hands and around her mouth. During this time in our life... everything was upside down. My house was a constant mess. I could never remember to switch the wet laundry into the dryer so I always had to wash it a second time. I could barely get through a day without baby could barely get through a day without a LM episode. Everyday I would mark off another more day closer to surgery. One more day closer to making my baby feel better.

Through the mist of all this...every Friday was baby music class. Prior to starting this class I had double checked with the class director AND teacher to make sure bringing baby #2 along with her monitor was okay. Each person I talked to said, of course ...bring her.

With that, every Friday I woke up extra early to get the kids ready for class. Honestly, I looked forward to that 45 minute class every week. I knew Friday was a "no doctor day." Fun day...and I was perfectly content with that.

It was in the middle of class... we were standing in a circle signing about a kangaroo counting to 10... I was holding my baby... with her monitor on. I looked across from me and saw two of the other mothers talking to each other... it became very rudely...obvious ... that they were talking about me! One of the mom's son kept playing with my baby's car seat on the other side of the room. She would tell him no and he would run right back to it. Then... I heard this... "I can not believe she brings a baby like... that...out. She should not be allowed in this class." I stood there. {And for those who know me might think my next thought was anger-how dare you talk about my baby like... that!} But honestly, I was hurt. I was hurt that the outside world saw my baby as a "sick baby." To me... this was normal. Yes, of course, I knew it wasn't normal ... but to was. I leaned over to my husband to try and motion to him that the moms were talking about us but he was to busy jumping around like a kangaroo. As I stood there, looking at the two other moms I quickly felt sorry for the little boy who couldn't keep his sticky fingers off my baby's car seat. His mom was the one who made the comment. As a mother, I am not sure how you could possibly say words like that about another child. What if that was her son? What if he was on a monitor needed major airway surgery? I wonder how she would feel then. I wonder how that little boy feels about his mom.

I never said anything to either mom...maybe I should of but at that point it didn't matter to me. The way I saw {and still do see} it is if a person like that says something that rude and heartless, they do not deserve my breath. And... karma is a bigger more nasty bitch than I could ever be :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Mothers View: Becky

It was now September, Hollie was almost 10 months old, very active and into everything. She had even started taking odd steps on her own. One meal decided to try Hollie with egg, Hollie instantly went red and blotchy and started itching. I seemed to know instantly that Hollie was having an allergic reaction and whipped her through to the local dr, who advised to give her piriton and if she got no better within 20mins then take her to a&e. I was relieved and scared at the same time. We were on a routine visit to Dr Garg the week after so i mentioned this to her, she was fantastic, and immediately sent Hollie for blood tests for an allergic reaction. Tests came back positive to both egg white and egg yolk! Here we start the battle of an egg free diet, medication and immunization checks and regular dietician and hospital checks.we were referred back under the childrens hospital for Hollie to start skin prick tests :( but while we were waiting for that it would be hollies birthday! So i started to plan hollies first birthday party :)