Thursday, October 25, 2012

Parenting: My last 5 years

I know this cover is old news, but I thought it would be fitting for this post! 
Bare with me as I share my thoughts and kind of "think out loud" with you all! 
I hope you all can relate to something I say, or possibly advice for me in my journey of parent hood!

We first found out I was pregnant with Madison when I was 18. Four months after I turned 18 actually, and while we were both excited, we were also a nervous wreck as to what was to come!

We were living with my mother in law and step father in law, as well as some siblings in the household, so the last thought on our mind was a child. While we were using no protection to prevent pregnancy, we had been together for 3 years (the month she was conceived) and like typical teenagers, we thought it wasn't going to happen since it hadn't in the past. 

I remember that day so crystal clear in my mind!! After noticing I missed a period, we bought tests for the next morning and went about our business. After taking the test, I sat it on the counter and to my shock as the little window darkened the + showed up IMMEDIATELY. There was no waiting 3 minutes like recommended. I told Chris and then called my mother with the shocking news. That night, we bought a digital test just to be sure and (like everyone else) have that PREGNANT word show up to clarify that it was really happening. 

Fast forward to October

My due date was October 24, and Madison was born October 18. 
She was also born one week after my 19th birthday!

I was so determined for a natural birth, but after being induced and that giving me so much pain, I opted for an epidural and kicked myself in the butt for caving. 

I thought breastfeeding would be a breeze and I knew it was something I needed to do to better my child. No one in my family breastfed, but for Chris and I there was no hesitation that it was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, it was so much harder than I thought, and I remember not having the bond with her that everyone said would happen. I was glad when feedings were over, and I dreaded the thought of taking her in public and me possibly needing to feed her with other's around. After one month of breastfeeding, we started formula at times and my supply quickly dried up and that was the end of breastfeeding. I was kind of happy when it was over because it wasn't what I expected it to be and didn't feel it was 100% right for me. 

Madison as a baby

I think every first time parent goes through the motions like I did. You don't want a lot of people holding your child, you always have a bottle of sanitizer with in reach, and you're conscious of germs. 

I remember the first time we went somewhere without her. Going 1/2 mile up the road to a grocery store was terrible for me because all I could think about is if she was going to wake up and miss me while I was gone! My mother in law asked to watch her instead of us waking her up and while I appreciated it, I was very hesitant to leave her alone at a couple months old. 

Madison as a toddler

We got pregnant with McKenzie when Madison was just 10 months old. We knew we wanted another child, but assumed it would take a while like it did with Madison, so we agreed I'd stop my birth control. We never thought my next cycle would result in our middle daughter, hehe. 

Since we knew we were expecting another child, I took all the moments I could to cherish Madison as my first born and only child in the household. At times I felt guilty that she would not have just us for longer in life before a sibling came along. She was our whole world and we revolved around everything her. I lived and breathed every second of her because I knew once McKenzie arrived, she never again would be that only child that I was clinging so desperately to. 

I remember watching her foods also. We knew we would obviously prefer a child that is willing to try anything at least once to see if they like it, and a child who would WANT to eat vegetables. Sounds crazy right?! 

Madison was an amazing toddler! If you can think of the perfect child, she was it. Obviously she got in to things and messed in things she shouldn't have BUT, she wasn't allergic to anything, she'd eat whatever you sat in front of her, she was so bright and funny, and she loved her mommy and daddy!

McKenzie's arrival

McKenzie arrived on May 29, 2009 and was a little bitty 6lbs 8oz. She was our second child, born 19 months after Madison, and a sweet tiny ball of scariness! She had some stuff in her lungs that caused her to stop breathing a one point that scared us enough to call a nurse in. She quickly started breathing again on her own, but man it was frightening! She finally coughed up the junk on the person taking her hospital picture and all was better LOL. 

She also failed her hearing test in one ear. This was concerning because immediately your mind starts racing about having a deaf child, learning sign language, and how it will affect her as she ages. Luckily when she was a month old she passed a hearing test and was deemed cleared, but that was just the start of our issues. 

When McKenzie was 4 months old, I brought up to the Dr that her neck was always bent and she was approved for and began physical therapy around 5 months old. McKenzie had a kinked neck and sensory issues, along with severe acid reflux. 

We were so overwhelmed with her medical issues and all the therapy that needed to be done in order to ensure she grew up ok correctly and wasn't behind as much as possible. She had physical therapy 2x a week, and because of her sensory issues, had therapy 1x a week for that. Eventually she also needed speech therapy and was in the First Steps program until a few months shy of her 3rd birthday. 

One more major issue was her ankles. Once she was finally able to stand up, I pointed out to her therapist that her ankles were nearly touching the ground because they rolled in so much which not only look painful, but was also going to prevent her from standing correctly and eventually walk. We were approved for braces and she had to wear them for several months to help correct the issue, but you can still see it a little today unless you know didn't know she had the issue. 

Trying to Conceive our 3rd child

After McKenzie was born, I asked for the 3 month birth control. It sounded like heaven only having to have a period every three months and I thought we once again would conceive shortly after stopping the pills. I WAS WRONG!

After I stopped the birth control, my cycles were all over the place and I wasn't ovulating. I started to get consumed in the efforts of having another child and looking back, I'd say I was maybe even a little depressed over the whole situation. Knowing that my body wasn't working properly was hard on me, and it took a toll on our marriage. Being intimate became a chore to my husband vs being together and showing love for one another. Eventually my Dr. agreed to Chlomid to help ovulation and after a couple rounds, we happily conceived baby Macyn with my first cycle in our newly built home. 

About a week after I found out I was pregnant, I started having pains around my left ovary one night. I started to become concerned, and after paging my Dr, he was too. He told me it could be simple like a cyst, or I could be showing the first signs of a tubal pregnancy. 

I felt all my happiness coming to a huge crash and I anticipated the hospital telling me horrible news. I remember crying as I called my husband to come home from work to go with me, and all I could think about was the thought of my precious baby's life coming to a very short end. 

It was discovered I had bleeding around the baby and was diagnosed with a "Threatened Miscarriage" and the hospital told me to go home and follow up with my Dr. When I had my ultrasound you could barely see a pin point inside the sac and I was so in love. COULD THIS REALLY BE HAPPENING? 

After seeing my Dr every week and getting ultrasound after ultrasound, the bleeding slowly disappeared and my child was in the clear. I remember specifically at my 7 week scan (I do believe) Macyn turned to the camera, looked right at it, and waved. My heart melted even more and RIGHT THEN, I knew we'd make it and the precious life waving back was giving me the thumbs up that they were here to stay!

Macyn's birth plan

I was induced with Madison and McKenzie. I thought it was normal and it just seemed to make more sense. We knew when our child would arrive, and we could plan accordingly with Chris' job and then baby sitters. After getting to know other mothers on Facebook however, I discovered my issues with not being able to handle natural birth with the first two was because of the induction medicines. They made the pains unbearable and I knew I wanted different this time.  

With Macyn I was determined to have a natural birth and breastfeed. Quitting after one month wasn't an option for me anymore and I'm so happy that everything turned out as amazing as it did! I wrote Macyn's birth story back in February when I had her and natural birth is the most amazing experience ever! So empowering and it gave me such an accomplished feeling!

I did get baby blues with Macyn and it was so hard to cope for the first two weeks. After a friend came over and let me cry for hours and hours, I was better and felt like myself again. It's amazing what a good cry can do! 

Summary of my post

I kind of went off track a bit with this post, but my intent was to do a flash back of my last 5 years as a mother. I am not at all a perfect mother, but I try. My focus is my children and I don't know where I would be with out them. Each child I've heard parents get more laxed on things that were so important before and I can agree. I also know that no one can take care of my children the way I can, and I'm so grateful to have a husband work so very hard to provide a life for us so I can stay home with my children and raise them. 

Having three children ages 5yrs and under is a tough task. At times I'm overwhelmed and all I want to do is cry, but I know I was put here to be their mother. 

My parenting is so much different with Macyn compared to Madison, but I also know that I've grown and matured along the way and while my parenting wasn't bad before, I think its better now. I've happily breastfed Macyn since she was born, we've used cloth diapers since Madison, and I stand up more for my wants as a parent and what I feel my children should have vs letting family tell me what I "should" do. I don't know what the future holds for us and hopefully my husband and I can one day agree on a 4th child, but I'm loving life as their mother and wouldn't have it any other way!