As I sit here realizing there are 2 more days left of 2015 I'm thinking back to this past year. Where was I one year ago?
Autumn was a little over a month. Her months as she grew is basically how I decipher time. A year ago I was having a
panic attack nervous breakdown going back to work. She wasn't even 8 weeks yet. Autumn was always crying when she fed (which I was nursing). I felt something was wrong with me, and then I realized something wasn't right with her. I was doing everything by the book with nursing, I was watching what I ate. Her latch was great. Asking everyone and anyone I knew who was nursing if they were going through the same thing. I even took videos of her nursing and how she reacted to send to other moms. I can't tell you how heartbreaking it is when others say "My baby doesn't do that..".. Then there were Moms I found struggling with the same thing. When we finally found out she had Reflux, even though I didn't want her in pain, there was a weight lifted. Just knowing what the "what" was and then the "how" we're going to treat this was already leading us in a better place than we were.
Those days that turned into months of the struggle with her Reflux left me extremely weak as a Mother. That incredible strength and empowerment I had delivering her was gone. It left me with insecurities, no confidence and I kept myself shut away in our home. I timed any outings so no one could see her nurse. I didn't want anyone seeing her cry. Why? Because of the reactions I received.
"Why is she crying"..
"She's always crying.." ...
"She must have colic"..
"Your baby has colic"...
"She's hungry" ...
"Is she getting enough"
"Babies don't cry like that"
"Maybe you should stop nursing.."...
"If it's this hard then maybe nursing isn't the best option.."
... I could go on.. but I think you get the idea..
For anyone reading this that may realize they have said any of those to someone at some point. Or perhaps, it's thoughts that go through your mind but you never say. There's something I would love to share which will honestly help any mother, whatever their struggle is at anytime. Instead of negative feedback even though it's coming from a good place, or anything that may knock a mother down deeper than they are... just hug them and say ...
.."You are doing a great job. You are strong. I am here for you".
I can't begin to start writing about all of the times I did hear that, how much better it made that obstacle I was facing. I had an incredible support system. Reflux is not the end of the world, I know. I also know there are many other ailments that babies deal with that require extensive treatments. But when you're a new Mom and this is all you know, it's very difficult. You know what... we got through it. I'm fortunate enough now to be able to help others going through this as well.
I wanted to share this because that's where I was 1 year ago and now as 2015 ends I feel like I could handle just about anything that comes our way. I want to help other new Moms because there are not enough books that could begin to tell you how this all play out. I still have doubts don't get me wrong, and question my parenting or second guess too often, but I know I'm right up there with all you Super Moms. You are ALL Super Moms and inspire me every day! Kudos to you all and I hope you know that!
You are doing a great job. You are strong and will forever be. I am here for you.