Saturday, March 29, 2008

Revealed!

Let’s talk about me and investigate this whole parenting thing thus far.

Babies are now going to sleep at 8 p.m. Yahoo! They go down (for the time being) very easily. They are still getting up twice a night each but they usually get up at the same time or one right after another so it isn’t too bad. With the exception of one or two nights when I stay up later than I should and then regret it for several days while I walk around like a zombie things have greatly improved. I am one of those eight hours of sleep or I am a monster kind of people. Just ask Ward. He wishes he could find the time for me to sleep so I wouldn’t be so grumpy. I discovered a few weeks ago that Troubles tank needs to be filled to sleep a good stretch, so we upped the amount he gets before bed and now he can sleep up to eight hours at night (though usually it’s five to six), the dear sweet child.

It isn’t as cold in Virginia as some people may think. Before the twins were born I bought both babies little snow suits. One was a monkey, the other a bunny. They were too cute but quite impractical. First off, it doesn’t snow here very much and our babies were newborns, like they were really going to be taken outside for any reason at all yet alone snow. They make these things in newborn so I was suckered in. Secondly, the lady at the hospital said you are never supposed to put your kids in a car seat wearing one of those things, why was this information not presented to me earlier, like before I bought the apparel? Who would put their child in a carrier without the snow suits on and take them outside and put them in a vehicle and then take them indoors and put them on? I just don’t even understand why they even make these things to be honest. Thirdly, I can’t return them because I bought them in another city on clearance and threw away my receipt. They still have their tags on them. I also have a Happy Easter snow suit that I completely forgot about until today. But it was 65 degrees here on Easter and I only paid $2.10 for it (it is kind of lame looking). If anyone knows anyone in Alaska who will be having a baby next winter I will send these items to them. I hate to see them got to waste.

OK. My brother-in-law once told me that they go through ten to twelve diapers a day when their kids are babies (in the early months anyways). I have a confession to make, I don’t change either one of my children 17 times a day or 12 times, or ten times. It’s more like 7-8. Do other people just have more time to spend changing diapers than I do? Or more money to spend on diapers? Or do some people fear that they need to change diapers every two hours because that’s what the baby books say? There have been times when I feel I need to change them more often because of the estimates I hear from other people. So I go to change Trouble and she’s dry. Why would I waste a dry swaddler?

I am still very, very bitter about the whole breastfeeding dilemma. I spent months reading articles and books (including the La Leche League one). I was truly committed to nursing. I bought nursing bras, tops, and nightgowns. I bought creams and waxy substances to prepare. I was prepared for pain and let me tell you folks if pain were all that were a factor I would have survived. It wasn’t. It was the combination of exhaustion and a bad start (on lots of drugs I was unhappy about taking) thanks to an emergency c-section for Trouble after Trauma was delivered. It was about jaundice and my pediatrician forcing me to feed them formula beside my better judgment. It was about my anatomy, I won’t go any further but to say that it was DIFFICULT for me to breastfeed. I was given stupid shields by a lactation consultant (yes, one of those tried to “help” me, I wouldn’t call it that but she did) shortly after their delivery and then told not to use it by the nurses after the babies and I had gotten use to it. I was pushed away by my children, my children cried from hunger and frustration. They gained weight slowly. I was ashamed and I felt like a failure at something that everyone claimed was so easy. I felt as though other people were judging me and very few (if any) had ever been in the situation I found myself in. Let’s put it this way. I wanted to breastfeed, the normal way, more than other people will ever know. I am still very, very bitter about having to pump everything for my children so that they could have the best start in the world that I believe comes from breastfeeding. I don’t know if I missed the window that I read about so often because I was in recovery from surgery after their delivery (which itself was very distressing) or what. All I know is that when people make comments that I should have tried harder, they obviously have no idea how much I struggled, how long I attempted to breastfeed, before I finally broke down and agreed to pump. I hate pumping. I am only doing it for my children’s benefit. I had to be convinced over and over again by my husband that I could be a good parent and pump, he pointed out other examples of good parents who had not breastfed at all. I am not sure if and when though I will completely get over this little hang up of mine.

Ah, now that that is off my chest.

Every one in the household seems to be putting on weight. That’s good for some, bad for others. The little scale we use to weigh the babies (lent to us by the prairie lady) says that Trauma is now 12.5 pounds and Trouble is 9.5 pounds. Though I know the scale is a little off I am pleased that Trouble is gaining weight and that Trauma is not just gaining weight but has almost doubled his birth weight (6.6 pounds). Ward complains about weight gain but I can never tell, silly little stick figure that he is. I was so pleased with myself for losing the 47 pounds from pregnancy and then ten more, but now I have reached a plateau and I fear that I may have to ~GULP~ cut back on my beloved Cherry Coke. If I am ever going to be witnessed in a bathing suit of any kind again (thank you very much body covering stretch marks) I may have to reassess my beverage of choice.

All in all, things are going pretty good I would say. The babies smile (though I can’t always catch them doing it on camera), they seem to be on target developmentally (whatever that means), they are forming a schedule (yes, they are, not me). The little hang ups are worth it. But I do feel like so many people (including myself at times) judge other people’s parenting from the outside and it is a lot harder for that very reason. We should give each other a break. Most people are doing a pretty good job and I hate to think that I have made anyone feel like less of a parent because of the choices they make. If you have your children’s best interest in mind and you’re of good heart, pat yourself on the back for me today. You’re doing a good job.

Happy Parenting!

-June

2 comments:

James said...

The best parenting advice I ever got was, "If you haven't killed them, you're doing just fine."

And let's be honest, if it was so easy to completely ruin children, none of us would be here now so deeply devoted to making sure we did everything right for our own kids.

So more power to you for trying to nurse twins. It's not like carrying two human parasites in your body for 30 or so weeks was like physically, psychologically or emotionally challenging or anything.

There's no way on earth any parent could ever succeed in making the agreed upon "best" choice for their children every step of the way. Trying to accomplish that would only drive someone insane. Perfection is unattainable. For example, Julie nurses our twins, which I commend her for, but on the other hand, we let our kids watch way more television than we ever thought we would. And we keep them locked in cages at home when we go out for dinner at night. I don't believe cages are recommended in any of Dr. Sears' books, but do you have any idea how hard it is to find a babysitter for three under the age of three???

Anyway, what I think all the research out there fails to capture is that it's not always the specific choices and actions that have this great impact on kids, it's the fact that the parents care enough to be this concerned about their children to begin with.

So love 'em. Always put 'em first. And don't kill 'em.

Boy that was a long comment. (And god I hope people know I was kidding about the cages...)

Ward and June said...

Kidding?

I think that cages are a wonderful idea. Better than the Grandma alternative anyway (at least for us). Oh well, I guess it'll be a while longer 'til we can have a night out on the town.

-Ward