Monday, January 23, 2012

Wife: A Few Thoughts

So I will begin this post with a few updates. First, last weekend, we attended Infant CPR and saw Susan in 3D. Infant CPR was very informative and helped us feel a lot more confident. We spent the first hour reviewing how to baby-proof your home. For my friends who don't know, the crib is a giant death trap. We have already learned that over the last few months. The only thing that should be in the crib with the baby is a crib sheet. Also, babies sleep on their backs now. This has led to a significant reduction in SIDS. There should be no blankets, stuffed animals or bumpers in the crib because all are capable of harming the baby, and we knew all this before our class. Well, it turns out that the house is also basically one big giant death trap. This is not so much a concern when she isn't crawling, but as soon as she becomes mobile, we will be baby-proofing the house. Of course this means electrical outlets but it also includes lamp cords, blind cords, sharp edges on the counter and tables, the stairs, and a whole list of items that seem safe now but all have the potential to harm our baby.

So after they scared us for an hour, we went over what to do if you find your child unconscious. We learned how to perform CPR and what to do if Susan starts choking, which is a bigger fear of mine. I definitely felt a lot more confident, and I would highly recommend the class to others. It just helped me feel a little more prepared.

Then we went to Prenatal Peek to see our little girl in 3D. It was amazing (as the pictures below reveal). She already has adorable little chubby cheeks. She did try to cover her face with her arm for most of the time, but we were still able to get a few good shots.

This one is sweet, but doesn't really look like her.  It is a little stretched out.

Button nose plus umbilical cord.

So sweet!

She just wouldn't let us get a full view of her face.  She is such a diva!

Our sweet girl.

My favorite!  You can really see her here.  And that is both her arm and foot.  She is definitely an acrobat!

Now, this past weekend we spent almost two full days at Prepared Childbirth Class. I am actually going to wait until next week to share my feelings on the class and what I thought. I will say the class was as much about teaching Chris how to be the best coach possible as it was about preparing me for labor and delivery. I am so glad we took it, and I'll tell you why next time.

But what I really want to write about is a topic that is actually very private and really is no one's business but the pregnant woman and her husband. What could this be? I am talking about the decision to breastfeed. I had never given it much thought before pregnancy, and neither had Chris. And I am only going to share our choice with the world wide web because I am hoping that by telling you our decision, you will be supportive of others who make a similar choice.

When Chris and I found out I was pregnant, we began to talk with each other about breastfeeding, pumping and bottles. For a lot of our generation,we were formula fed babies. This has drastically changed. Now, it is highly recommended by pediatricians and everyone that the mother exclusively breastfeed for a year. There are many benefits to breast milk that formula cannot duplicate. So we began our discussion, and I said right away that if we did, I wanted to mostly pump, if possible, because I wanted Chris to share in the joy and magic of feeding her. And from the very beginning, Chris always said that if I didn't want to breastfeed or for some reason couldn't, he would support me. And right away, some of you maybe thinking, "If she doesn't want to? What kind of mother doesn't want to breastfeed?" Or, "Doesn't she love her baby or doesn't she know the special bond it creates?" Well I will tell you why I chose not to and why we aren't going to.

When I was four, I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with ADD, and I truly have never outgrown it. I was originally treated with Ritalin, and then later Concerta. When I discussed trying to get pregnant with my doctor, she informed me that I would need to get off the medication because of the huge risks it posed to the fetus. So of course, I got off it the moment the pee stick said positive, and I wish I could say that I discovered that I had outgrown my ADD, but I have not. Without the medicine, I lose focus and attention all the time. I get distracted and move from task to task without finishing anything. I struggle with impulse control. And this is more than just the absentmindedness that is caused by pregnancy hormones. Realizing this, we began to wonder if I could breastfeed and be on the medicine. I had a feeling that the answer was no, and I was right. If I wanted to breastfeed, I would have to stay off the medicine.

Chris and I then discussed everything. We weighed the benefits of breastfeeding with the cons of me being a stressed out brand new mom, and the decision was easy. Formula will not harm Susan, but me being off my medicine and trying to mother a newborn would be harmful to me and probably Susan too. So we decided to formula feed our baby.

The initial decision was easy, but I have wavered so much. Am I being selfish? If I did it for nine months, couldn't I do it for a another year? Or at least try? I had these doubts because of course I want to be the best mom I can. And also, because a lot of people have looked at me like I have five heads when I said we were formula feeding. First, it is no one's business. But second of all, why can't people be supportive? Being a new mom is hard enough. Now, no one in my family or Chris' family has acted like that, not that it was any of their business either, but everyone has been very supportive. And thankfully, my doctor was also very supportive. She, a new mom herself said, "You need to do whatever you can to feel like you because having a newborn will be stressful enough." Rather, the lack of support has come from other new first-time moms and other expectant moms, which is mind-boggling to me. We are all going through something really new and scary. A mom who chooses not to breastfeed is NOT a bad mother. There are a ton of reasons why a mom doesn't breastfeed. So I wrote this soapbox to tell my friends who haven't done this yet, I will support you. If you breastfeed or formula feed, I will support you. But I will not ask you what you are doing because it's none of my business. But if you want support or someone to talk to besides your husband, I'll support you.

In the end, its about making the right choice for your family. I know that our decision is the right one for me, for Chris and for Susan. And that is all that matters.


  1. One of the hardest, yet most important, things I have learned in the 3 short months I have been a mom is that you have to take care of yourself in order to be the best mom to your child. I appreciate this post, because I had not thought of the medical reasons that keep moms from breastfeeding. Even though what works best for my family is breastfeeding, I am fully supportive of your decision and your reasons for it! Please know that there are new moms cheering for you as you prepare for the scariest, most awesome experience of your life!! Susan is blessed to have such caring and thoughtful parents.

  2. Thanks Lollie! That means a lot. Wyatt is adorable and I love looking at his pictures. I hope the three of y'all are doing well!