Tag Archives: parenting

Dear 2016…

You sick son of a bitch.

Not only did you claim the coolest celebrities like David Bowie and Prince, but you also turned the United States of America into a trashy reality television show.

You challenged me in ways I never thought possible. You changed my life’s narrative. The dreams I had for this year all took sharp left turns, and am left with lessons and stories to look back on to laugh and cry about.

2015 ended with me newly pregnant and a retired father on the verge of 69. I was elated my parents would be able to enjoy their new grandchild in the new year any day of the week. But 2016 laughed in my face and my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Once she healed from her hysterectomy, she was slated to start chemo a little over a month after that – June 13th.  She’d be smack in the middle of chemo around the time my baby was due, August 1st, and wanted more than anything for my mother to be able to hold my newborn. We were really unsure what her status would be at that point.  Her “last hurrah” so-to-speak was my baby shower on June 11th. She was no longer able to plan it, and was unsure if she would be up to even attend. But she did, and I was thrilled.

In a surprising turn of events, in the early morning hours of June 12th, my water broke and I gave birth to Sloane seven weeks early. You sneaky bastard, 2016. At least mom was able to get in some time with her new granddaughter before starting treatment!

Sloane spent 10 days in the NICU, and mom was not only able to see her the day she was born, but was well enough the next day after chemo to make another visit. Unfortunately that turned out to be the last day she got to see her for about two months. She had a bad reaction to her second day of treatment and became severely dehydrated and almost went into kidney failure. I was in the NICU with Sloane when my dad texted to tell me that mommy was in the hospital.

And there I was in the NICU with my newborn while my mom was in another hospital a few miles away. All I wanted was my mommy, but this was the first time I was a mommy, and my baby needed me. I learned only days into motherhood what my priority was, and my mom was understanding that I didn’t come see her in the hospital, she echoed my sentiments that Sloane is my priority. I called her everyday, though, crying, and giving updates on Sloane and getting updates on her.

As much as I’d like to give the middle finger to 2016, I’d also like to say “thank you.” Thank you for throwing me these situations. While I would have preferred they didn’t overlap, I’m grateful to have walked away from this year knowing my strength.

With that said, I leave you with Christina Aguilera’s Fighter:

 

 

 

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November is Prematurity Awareness Month

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, with World Prematurity Day taking place November 17th. These two events raise awareness of premature babies, which in the United States, preemies make up 9.6% of all births.

This past June I gave birth to my little preemie, Sloane Raven, and in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month, feel strongly to share my story, and everything I’ve learned.  Babble recently published my story, which I hope you will take a minute to read: https://www.babble.com/parenting/6-things-you-dont-know-about-preemies-until-you-have-one/.

Thanks!

 

 

My First Birthday As A Mommy

Today’s my 33rd birthday, and my first as a mommy! How exciting, yet, it doesn’t feel any different from previous birthdays. Should it?

Ready for birthday date-night with the hubby!

Ready for birthday date-night with the hubby!

Over the weekend, my husband and I went out to dinner for my birthday and we started talking about being parents. I told him I don’t feel like a mom. For example, people ask me, “Do you feel like a mom?” My answer is “no.”

Do I love being Sloane’s mommy? Absolutely! A lot of it, I think, has become second nature to me, that it doesn’t feel different because it’s just a part of who I am now. Also, not much of my life has changed. It’s not like I had to scale-back on partying or spending a lot of money on frivolous things. My husband and I aren’t drinkers and we don’t really go out to dinner much – I’d say we’re homebodies – so our overall lifestyle hasn’t changed. We’ve seamlessly incorporated her into our lives.

There’s a part of me that feels a little disappointed that I don’t feel different, especially on a day like my birthday. Maybe once I get home from work tonight and spend some time with her I’ll feel different. I love coming home to that little munchkin!

Working and Breastfeeding

Next week I’ll be a mommy for four months, and be back at work for three weeks. The first week back was a little rough: It was tough to leave Sloane, and it was painful on my boobs. For 15 weeks, whenever Sloane needed to be fed, I swooped her right up and breastfed her, which was often times followed by a pumping session to make sure I began my stash for that dreaded day of heading back to work full time.

From day one I was pumping.  Since she was a preemie, the hospital had me “triple feeding,” which is where you breastfeed, bottle feed (with pumped breastmilk), then pump. At the time I wasn’t sure why I was doing it, I was just doing what I was told as it was best for my preemie. Honestly, it was probably explained to me, but I was likely in such a fog to really grasp it. Upon further research, triple feeding is used to help mom’s whose milk hasn’t completely come in to ensure that baby is getting enough food. Basically, I was very well acquainted with the breast pump before heading back to the office.

My first week back I spent much of my time in the mother’s room pumping. I went in every three hours, and pumped. I felt like I was pumping more than I was working. I probably was since I was just getting reacquainted with everything. As the week went on, I wondered how I was going to be able to actually going to get work done once everything was back into full swing.

breast pump

Little did I know that concern was the least of my problems. That weekend, I developed an extremely clogged duct. It was not mastitis, and I did everything in my power to make sure it didn’t turn into it, but it was painful enough where there were times I thought it might just be easier to give up breastfeeding, since the pump doesn’t have a strong suck in comparison to my baby. Even saying that makes me feel guilty, and makes me realize that I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding just yet.

I’m back at work for two weeks now. The duct healed, and another fear of mine has yet to happen – where she forgets how to latch. I think because she was on the breast and bottle since day one, she’s OK with it. I really hope I didn’t just jinx it!