Browsing Tag

Pregnancy

The Easy Stuff

Remember Tara and Cory? Last month,†in Tara’s 9th month of pregnancy, she braved fences and†potential trespassing charges for her maternity†session, handling it like it was all old hat. And guess what? We didn’t get arrested for trespassing! Yay! Well, that, and… her baby is here! Celeste is†here at last†and now Tara is an official card-carrying (diaper bag-carrying?) member of the Motherhood sisterhood. And what does being around a newborn do to me, you ask? It might have given me the tiniest(!) bit of baby fever, sure, but it also sends me into major self-reflection-slash-blogging-wheels-are-turning mode. I’m a thinker. Always have been, always will be. So after a shoot like this, reflecting on how you jump into motherhood and life will suddenly never be the same, it flowed for this one. A lot. The fact that I’m also a mom defines my identity in ways that still overwhelm and astound me.

My journey to motherhood wasnít easy. For a long time, I dwelled on the journey that knocked me down and broke my spirit- what was wrong with me? But then, finally, my dream come trueÖ a little brown-eyed dream that weighed 8 pounds and awarded me the fastest labor of anyone Iíve ever known. And then, a few years and a few more struggles later, my other dream came trueÖ this time, that dream was a 10 pounder with curly black hair and the most squeezable cheeks in existence. Itís funny. The struggles and heart ache and tears that defined my life for what, back then, felt like it would be forever, actually had a purpose after all. They shaped me. Theyíre always sort of there, lingering in the back of my mind when Iíve had a hard day with my children. Theyíre there to remind me of how far Iíve come and how very lucky I am. And I am lucky. So very, very lucky.

If you think about it, itís actually really easy to take care of a baby. Need a diaper change? Done. Hungry? Got it. In need of a walk around the house, at 4 am and only in a very specific position in your arms? That’s the easy stuff. The harder parts of motherhood come creeping in as your babies get a little older. The easy, most primitive needs of a person give way to the more complicated stuff. How do you take a helpless newborn baby and turn it into a smart, kind, productive adult in only eighteen or twenty years? Thereís so much to teach them and so little time.

 

Itís so daunting, the idea that itís only going to get harder. I worry sometimes (okay, I worry pretty much†all the time) that Iím not going to be able to teach them everything I want them to be armed with. And seriously- how am I supposed to help them with their Calculus homework when the last formula flew out of my head years ago?

I wish I had the answer, but I donít. So here I sit, a few days before my youngest daughter, my Little One, celebrates her first birthday. And Iím a wreck. How can I teach either of them all the stuff in the world when first steps and preschool graduations make me cry? I donít know. I just donít know.

But what I do know is that if I could go back in time, years back, and have a choice: the easy road or that road less traveled, full of bumps and setbacks and doctors appointments and ultrasounds and tears and pain and sadness, knowing that it would be a rough journey, guess what? Iíd still do it. In. A. Heartbeat. Because I look at my girls, so beautiful and smart and funny, and I know that it was worth it. SO WORTH IT.

 

So I push along. Like me, Motherhood is a lot of things. Life-changing, rewarding, challenging, fun, exhausting, exciting, boring, busy, lonely, joyfulÖ and more often than not, all of the above, all in the same day. Itís also a process. You become a mother and letís face it. Most of us have no idea what weíre doing for a good long while. Or ever, really. (And guess what? Those who act like they know EVERYTHING about motherhood, all the while giving you the stink eye because your kid is a genius and wants to eat mud at the playground? Theyíre lying. They have no clue what theyíre doing either.) Itís a learning process, and you figure things out as you go. And the best part of all is that you have the most perfect companion to figure all of this stuff out with over the next few decades: your baby. See what I said? SO WORTH IT.

Wednesday by Leah: Delayed Cord Clamping

It’s standard practice at most hospitals to clamp and cut the umbilical cord very soon after the baby is born. This practice was likely started because you can’t move the baby very far from the mother when the cord is still attached – especially if the placenta has not yet been delivered, which can take up to 30ish minutes after the baby comes out. So no putting the baby under the warmer, cleaning the baby off, weighing/swaddling/etc.†We elected to delay cord clamping and cutting. Instead, we waited for the cord to finish transferring blood from the placenta to BabyRoX.

What happens when the cord is cut within 30 seconds of birth? The iron-rich blood in the placenta, which takes a few minutes to transfer to the baby, now has no way of getting to where it is needed. Delaying cord clamping increases the baby’s blood volume by up to†one-third (1/3), which helps prevent anemia. Higher iron stores have been found even 3 months after birth†in infants whose cord clamping was delayed.

Routine hospital practices are slow to change, but it IS starting to happen as evidence of the benefits of delayed cord clamping mounts.Says one OB/GYN: If the burden of proof is on us to prove that immediate clamping is good, that burden is clearly not met.† And furthermore, there is strong evidence that delaying clamping as little as 30 seconds has measurable benefits for the infant, especially in premature babies and babies born to iron deficient mothers.”

Also, here’s a great video that shows why delayed cord clamping is helpful:

Obviously, each parent must make decisions based on what they feel is best/healthiest for their child. Will a child be seriously harmed by immediate cord clamping? Most likely the answer is no. But why routinely do something that denies a child certain health benefits from the get-go? Furthermore, unless you actively research birth, routine practice, and BEST practice, you wouldn’t even know to ASK for delayed cord clamping at the birth of your child.

What special requests did you/will you make for the birth of your child? What surprised you about your prenatal, labor, and delivery experience?