Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Little W's 1st Birthday... and why it's okay to ignore your Doctor (sometimes.)

My sweet little girl turned one on Monday, and everything people say about the first year of your first child's life is true:
  • The days feel long, but the year was definitely short
  • She is an absolute miracle in every way
  • Each day is better and better as she is more communicative and reactive with each moment
I feel so grateful that I became her mommy last year and look forward to the rest of her life and watching her grow.

Birthday Cake
Now-- for what I wasn't really prepared for:
  • She's one, so there are a whole new set of rules that go into effect--
    • She can now eat shrimp (oops-- I mean... thank goodness!)
    • She is off formula, and on to milk (kind of excited about this one) 
    • And the biggie-- NO MORE BOTTLES, only sippy cups
Now, I really like W's pediatrician, but he (like most medical professionals) tends to take a very hard lined approach to goal setting for children.  She had her first year checkup yesterday and his advice was to quit the bottle "cold turkey."

I get it.  It seems like the most logical and direct route dropping the bottle habit.  And because I like him, I tried it.

So-- last night started out okay... she hit the hay sans bottle and was asleep after a little restlessness.  At 1 am, she woke up, looking for a little nipple comfort and we succeeded in getting her back to sleep after a pretty excruciating half-hour of patting and cooing.  (Maybe he was right?)

At 3:30 am, she woke again, and she was MAD.  I mean MAD.  She was mad at Dad for not giving her the bottle, she was mad at me for trying to offer the sippy cup of water, she was pretty much done with all of us fools.

As I was laying there praying that God would help settle this little angry girl in my bed and waiting for her to wear out, I remembered an article I read on the Parenting website earlier in the day. The article basically talked about what my doctor suggested, but also nodded to the parent following their child's lead.   W and I had been working on night weaning (we really only use the bottle at night anymore) for about a week or so, and pretty effortlessly.  Every other night, I'd been watering the bottle down a little bit more and she was waking less and less to nurse at night.  Even when she did wake, she would only suck for a few seconds before drifting off to sleep.

Then last night happened.

What I did was send her into a panic.  By stopping cold turkey, I took something that was happening anyway and forced it to speed up, at a pace neither she or I was ready for-- And we had tears, and fits, and W was pretty upset, too.

Adding to the drama, were the shots she got earlier in the day.  They were making her little legs sore and she had a very low grade fever.   By 3:00 am the Advil I gave her at bedtime was gone, and she didn't feel well.  Then Mommy refused to offer her the one small comfort she was asking for.

The article also suggested that if you child is sick, you should delay weaning, even if you are midway through the process.  It creates unnecessary stress and can make a bad situation worse.

It was this advice that I chose to listen to in the dark hours last night... My baby wasn't sick (thank God!) but she was not feeling her best, and I was making it worse.  So, with that thought it my head, I ignored the doctor, made a half-strength bottle, and had a happy, sleeping baby in my arms in a few minutes flat, bottle nearly full and on the bedside table.

That, my dear friends, is why sometimes it's okay to follow your gut and ignore the doctor's advice.  Only you know your child intimately, and your gut will tell you the right answer if you stop second guessing yourself and quietly listen.  Of course, there are things that you should definitely listen to your doctor about (regardless of gut!), but for issues that are non-critical to your babies health, it's okay to use your best judgement.

A good lesson for us all--

Question: Have you ever ignored your doctor's advice and followed your mommy instinct?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

taking me out to the woodshed

This is about Discipline...  Good grief, I hate that word.

I was "taken out to the woodshed" today by a colleague, and he was absolutely right to do it.  But that doesn't make it harder to take.
What is it about getting corrected that makes us bristle?  Is it the desire to be right all the time, because heaven knows I have my fair share of ego...

I think it boils down to something else. 

I think it's about having to be honest with myself about where I'm lacking.  It's about having to say, "Hey listen, Me! Sometimes you suck at time management."

I'll tell you the truth.   I'm grateful.  Even though it hurts, because until someone cares enough about you and your progress that they are willing to step up and have those tough conversations, it's easy to delude yourself that everything is fine.  What I guess need to hear more often is that everything is not fine, in the right frame of reference.... to build me into the person I need to be.   I'm blessed to have those types of people in my life that will take that on themselves for my benefit.

Like iron sharpening iron. 

photo credit: Mike Enemark via photopin cc