Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Child At a Time: A Series- Part 4

Really this has gotten harder with each child. I've been sitting on this one for a week now with little idea on how to start and where to go, but I figure it's better to just jump right in and see where it takes us. Something I do a lot of in parenting my many.

I was born in September 2001. A very uneventful pregnancy and birth. Like my previous I used the same CNM practice and hospital. I went into the hospital at 12:45am, after having been in labor since 6pm (and again it was in my birth plan for an IV- to help keep me hydrated- this was not something my MWs encouraged but something I wanted/needed). At 3:15 am I was given Pitocin as my contracts began to stall out. By 8:30 am I was dilated to 9cm and began to feel the urge to push- I pushed for 28 mins and I was born at 9:08, followed by the placenta at 9:20. She was my easiest delivery. And I had the best midwife in the practice. She encouraged me to follow my natural instincts and go at my own pace- which I believe it what made it what it was. I remember not being flat on my back (as I was with my others) but being more in a half squatting position. I remember it as just 3 really good pushes and she was out. I weighed in at 7 lbs 14oz. and 20 3/4 inches long. Right smack dab in the middle of them all. Like the others I put her to breast immediately and we were successful- and I planned on breastfeeding her as long as possible.

I returned to work at 3 weeks postpartum- out of necessity and boredom. My intention was just to work 3 days at week (about 15 hours) but was thrown to the wolves and with a month of being back was working 30+ hours. I was feeding right before I went to work and after I got home- pumping as much as I could in between (with a manual pump)- but I was unable to pump at work since I was working as a server (waitress) and the only place to pump would've been in the public restroom and I was never given more than a 10 min break. We eventually had to start supplementing with formula around 10 weeks. And if you can see where this is going....I preferred the bottle to the breast by 4 months and refused to nurse after that. This was a heartbreaking moment for me. I felt like she was rejecting me and thought if only I could make more milk she'd want to nurse. I tried teas, herbs, pumping more- everything I could think of. But it ended by 4.5 months.

At work I met a new mama (a fellow server) and we talked a lot...I found we had a lot in common and she did things like me. They breastfed, co-slept (yep, I co-slept with I too- bedshared till she started to sit up and tried to crawl out regularly, then in her crib right next to our bed), and babywore (I really got into this with I, since I was away from her so much and wanted to be a close to her as I could be when we were together)- she had these nifty things called "slings"! She cloth diapered and ate mostly organic- things I wished to do. Then she brought in this magical book and magazine, saying she thought I should read them. And man the info I found! I felt like I was home and finally had a name to what I did NATURALLY- Attachment Parenting! AND there were Other's out There that did it too! And a magazine to boot! Finally!

Really this changed things and made me more confident in my own mothering. To know what I was doing wasn't going to mess up my kids and that I really could do it.

As I got older we made decisions to parent her even more differently than others. I developed a yeast rash around a year and try as we may we were never able to get rid of it completely- we tried cloth diapers (and to a degree they worked) and more natural butt remedies. Feeding her yogurt daily but finally it came down to potty training her as soon as possible.

We decided to try and not say "No" to her while she was learning her boundaries- instead we said "let's not" or "don't please". This worked for her. And I think she was over 4 before we ever really used the word no with her. She doesn't take no for an answer now but with a reasonable explanation of why not she will let a request go. But she also doesn't think she can't do something- she'll try doing anything. So maybe the affect it had was just to not set limits on herself and abilities.

I missed out on a lot of I's early childhood and honestly don't remember things- like her first steps, words and toddler hood. I worked full time until she was almost 3- and full time as a server meant working a 4 hour shift in the morning having a 1-2 hour break between shifts and then working at least 6 hours in the eve- being gone 12+ hours a day 4 days a week. But when I was home I devoted my time to the kids. I watched her grow up right before my eyes. But the bond I felt with her was strong- and I ached when a way from her.

Since I was 3 I've been with her more and have refused to work more than 25-30 hours a week. I've come to know my little clone (as I lovingly call her). I loves nature- she's like a little brownie. A nature spirit connected to the Earth in her soul. She has since 2 said her God lives on the moon and still knows the greatness of all that is. She's an artist- with a natural gift always being able to hold a pen correctly in her hand and drawing the little details with perfection. When she was younger and I would try and find a coloring book for her I would have to search for the ones with the most detail and inevitably buy ones the were geared towards adults and "professional" artists.

I has a special talent of warming peoples' hearts and bringing them into her world. Both adults and children. Animals like her, even those that people warn you not to go near. She'll let them bite her, not cry a bit and then go back for more, showing them she is to be trusted. No she is not a save the ant person- she will play with it and learn how it works, even if that means harm. But it is not malicious. It's all in love and trying to understand the world around her.

She will proudly hug a tree and is more comfortable with dirt on her hands than nail polish. If she's not learning or doing something new, she's bored. This personality trait has served her well in school. Making her an accelerated learner. She easy raises 2 grade levels each year. She finds homework boring and memorization a waste of time. She already has all the information and doesn't feel like she should have to prove it.

She has a trust in people. And when they don't act or react in a way she expects she hurts. Everyone is deserving of this trust, in her eyes. And it is easily returned when broken. I feel like this has most to do with how we were able to raise her, trusting and guiding her natural instincts, instead of trying to control her and make her fit "the" mold. And how her spirit has been free.

In our family dynamic I is the baby girl, and older sister to 2 boys. She is the oldest of the youngest. And because of her role as the baby for so long was not "made" to do much- always the excuse she was too young. This role has come up as an issue now that she is older and we are expecting her to take on some responsibility around the house- at 8 we have assigned her the task of helping to empty the dishwasher and keeping her room clean, both of which are "too hard". Breaking this cycle is proving to be hard and a source of frustration for us all.

What will I be when she grows up? Often she answers an animal doctor or zoo keeper. Once a dancer who dances on a pole! At this one we just had to laugh! For it is an example of I's belief that nothing is "wrong" in the world as long as you are being nice and not hurting someone else. (Note we do not endorse this career choice for her!) But for her the possibilities are open and endless. She does wish that" having babies didn't hurt and that way she could be a mother someday"! Ahh the mind of a child.

I have always wanted a girly-girl and I was not it either. (But as my girls grow older I am gaining those girly-girls and the cost of raising them as they grow up!) She never played with dolls, no matter how pretty they were. She preferred toy animals and babying her stuffies. Dress up for I included animal costumes and when big sister P was playing fairies. Picking flowers was something she did and still does, but she still prefers to take them apart and feed them to bugs she captures. Dresses and skirts? When I make her- tennis shoes and swim suits are her favorites. The only typical girly thing she does is asking for a horse!

Whatever I does, I know she will do because it comes naturally to her and she is following her heart. This one is connected to all things naturally.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! She is so awesome, thank you for sharing her story! I'm going to go catch up on your other cuties now, I'm so excited they each have a story to read!


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