Parenting for me this past year and a half has been an even split of the following thoughts:
“Oh my god will you please stop crying and play with your toys for five minutes?!”
“OMG you’re so cute. Come here. Let me squeeze you and see what comes out.”
Rue was very high needs as a baby. It wasn’t until she started walking and taking an interest in her toys that we got any relief from her constant need to be held. And once she learned baby sign language, her ability to communicate replaced some of the incessant crying. Which was awesome!
Now we’ve just entered this “Terrible Twos” phase and she’s almost done a complete 360. She constantly wants to be held, wants nothing to do with Daddy, and cries instead of communicating. It’s absolutely bizarre. And I want it to stop.
The first 15 months of Rue’s life, I often had to work at enjoying her company because she was just so needy. I resisted the urge to classify her as “high needs” those first 11 months because I know all kids are needy.
Last week, Rue insisted that I take her outside at 5:58 am even though it was dark and cold and there was nothing to do. After much kicking and screaming, I layered her up and we went outside. She looked around a couple times, realizing that it really was too dark to see any of her toys, and that there really wasn’t much to do, and then she shot me this look and asked for milk.
So it was 6 o’clock in the morning, and there we were…outside…nursing. Which we could have been doing inside. While I was having my coffee.
This look she shot me was way too good to not use for some good ol’ AP humor 🙂
Can you relate?
I don’t do a lot of breastfeeding posts. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m all for extended breastfeeding, breastfeeding on demand, and self weaning.
Just recently, my 14 month old has started telling me when she wants to switch breasts and it made me realize how quickly she is growing up. She is no longer a baby. She is communicating so much and even though she can only say about a dozen words, she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. She is turning into such a big girl, and she knows how to ask for milk in big girl ways.
It had me thinking about something someone said to me once…”As long as you’re not still nursing her when she can ask for it.”
At the time, I politely chuckled it off in agreement, but my goodness! That saying gets under my skin for so many reasons.
Anyone who has seen my breast milk stash knows I have more milk in the freezer than I could go through. Rue didn’t drink milk for the first week of her life, and when she did start drinking, it was only 1 oz. every 3 hours. I was pumping 4-5 oz. of milk every two hours. For 13 days. Then when she came home, I still had to pump because her feeding schedule wasn’t always on time with my pumping schedule. Plus, she slept through the night, so I would get up to pump instead of waking her. Needless to say, I have a lot of milk.
I figured since I’m working from home now and can exclusively breastfeed Rue, it’s time to donate my stash. So I found a mom in Nashville who’s in need of milk and have arranged for her to pick it up.
I had no idea how emotional donating would be.
60 two ounce bottles of milk
Before I gave birth, I was obsessed with reading birth stories. I desperately wanted to know what to expect from natural child birth. Initially, I planned to write about Rue’s birth story from start to finish. But once I tried to tell the story orally, I realized that all of those tiny details leading up to the moment when she was born, (like when I transitioned into active labor, where in the house I labored, or what contractions really felt like) didn’t really matter that much to me.
All that mattered was that my precious little baby was safe. And alive. And breathing. On her own. In my arms.
So I’ve decided to write an “abridged version” so to speak, of Rue’s birth story. If you’re expecting for the first time, are curious about what natural child birth, or home birth is really like, this might not be the post for you. I hope to find time in the future to write a separate post about that, so check back.
It’s taken me nearly four months since Rue’s birth to be able to write it all out. Yes, I’m still processing it. And yes, I still cry.
Rue Lydian Rodriguez was born at home after 36 hours of labor on May 21, 2014 at 7:44 am. She wasn’t breathing, and she didn’t have a heart beat.