This post popped up in my memories feed today and while it doesn’t touch on what we learned during a miscarriage, and the feeding difficulties from my daughter which were later, it is still a vital part of parenting. Now that I’m working my way towards an academic doctorate and a few more years of parenting under my belt, this is still true. Our little story saved lives, and validated mothers who were years away from their own traumatic duties but still feeling the frustration. You’ll always be afraid to tell your story, but conquer it! You might be just what the doctor ordered.
The most important thing I’ve learned in mothering is to trust my instincts.When I first started noticing that something with Samuel was not right, it was very difficult to convince anyone else. Everyone had good intentions and there are many anxieties for young mothers that relax over time and so the encouragement did bring a measure of peace, but this was different, and it wasn’t getting better. During the first months of feeding problems that led to the discovery of Samuels abnormally small airway, I met two wonderful lactation consultants who both would tell me, “trust your instincts!” It gave me confidence to act and do many things that I am sure, short of hospitalization, saved my son’s life. Now, the point isn’t to constantly be looking for something to go wrong with your precious baby, but you need to know that you are his mother and that there well be times when doctors are wrong and you know it in your gut but don’t know what to do. Trust yourself. At least enough to go look for another opinion, or to find help like what God brought to me. I never thought I would visit a speech therapist regularly for my infant, but she and my lactation consultant saved my sons life. They helped me put the puzzle pieces together as his mother, trusting the information I gave to figure out how to help him breath and eat, showing me how to strengthen his tiny mouth to be able to suck.
We’re going to visit the speech therapist today for help with eating solids. My grandfather says, You all never had eating problems! That may be true, but it made me wonder how many mothers and fathers lived with months, even years of frustration with a new born and young toddler because they assumed the behavior was normal. Samuel thrusts his tongue. Most babies do and it is supposed to go away at about 6 months. His didn’t and so rather than wait and be frustrated with the feeding mess as squash and peas dribbled down his chin, I started some things on my own from what I learned while nursing to help him stop. He is a pro now in my mind and learning fast, but I’m going to take him to an expert anyway. Not to try to find a problem where there is none, but because I know it is what’s best for Samuel! I don’t want him to just be a good eater, I want him to be a great eater, and it’s my job as his parent to help him achieve that. School has started already! From day one. And YOU mommy and daddy are the best, most well equipped teacher your children can have. There are people out there who will listen to you if you need help, doctors who trust their patients, nurses, lactation consultants, speech therapists, and other parents. Don’t be afraid, even if you are wrong, to say, “no, I don’t think that’s right.” Every child you raise is a doctoral thesis, if you truly feel uneducated, learn! and find people to teach you. Don’t underestimate yourself or what you believe to be best for your child!
My son now, practicing his daddy skills.