Growing up, I had two grandmothers. My grandfather on my mother's side passed away when she was sixteen, and my grandfather on my father's side passed away when I was two. So my experience with grandparents is almost entirely only with my grandmothers. Nai Nai is my grandmother on my dad's side, and AMA is my grandma on my mom's side. Last weekend my two beautiful, strong beyond words, loving grandmothers made their final voyage and are now playing mahjong together and reunited with their husbands. I've been reflecting on their impact on my life for some time now, but even more so now as I fathom not being able to hug and kiss them again.
It wasn't so much a decision, but something that just happened. There are a lot of things no one ever tells you about newborns, like the fact that they make pterodactyl sounds all night, and sometimes the sounds of all the animals in the zoo. On our second night in the hospital, when I was struggling to nurse my 2 day old baby, the nurse was trying to help and as soon as she positioned him next to me in such a way that he was snuggled up against Mama, we realized quickly that he wasn't hungry, he just wanted to be next to Mama. So starting around weeks 2 and 3 I realized when I couldn't calm him, I just needed to snuggle with him, let him do skin to skin with me, and that usually calmed him. As he became a noisier sleeper, we tried everything--white noise, swaddling, rocking, nothing kept him calm long enough, except when he was laying next to Mama. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest place for baby to sleep in order to prevent SIDS is on baby's back in her/his own bed in the parents' room. However, cosleeping is common around the world and SIDS is low in cosleeping cultures. This article states that SIDS is lowest in Hong Kong where cosleeping is extremely common. While I am not recommending or encouraging cosleeping, I have come to learn that cosleeping isn't the evil that some make it out to be. In fact, there are benefits to cosleeping and it's important to understand these and the risks so you can make the best decision for your family. Many physicians, scientists, and SIDS researchers even disagree with the AAP's recommendation. Let me share with you why and what I've learned.
I’ve always known that people who think having a baby will save their relationship were wrong. However, it wasn’t until I had a newborn that I realized just how wrong. If anything, having a baby is probably more likely to end a relationship.
Last night, my brother came home in quite the mood and was so rude. My initial inclination was to yell at him for his uncalled for behavior, but I held my tongue. I was really annoyed, but after a little time passed, I reminded myself of what I oft remind others of--that is, to check in with him to see if there was a reason for his foul mood. While it doesn't make it right, we just don't know what causes someone to snap. Maybe something happened in their day to put them in a foul mood.
I checked in with my brother, and of course he didn't say much to me. Still, I think sometimes the simple act of checking in with someone, whether or not you get a response, makes a difference. When you ask "How are you doing?" or "Hey, are you okay?" it makes the other person feel seen, and that can turn their mood back to the brighter side. So, this is just a little reminder to ask "How are you doing?" and mean it.
And with that, I ask YOU, how are you doing? Whatever is going on, feel it, breathe, and chose joy.
When I first started looking into cloth diapers (nappies for our Brits), it was confusing and overwhelming. Now that I've figured it out, I figured I'd break it down for you!
Thankfully I've had a number of friends who had kids before me and who were honest about some of the challenges of breastfeeding. It's interesting how something so natural isn't always natural in practice. Even more interesting to me is that I have never heard anyone say that they love breastfeeding. In fact, if anything, most of my friends have not enjoyed breastfeeding. So, I was prepared to potentially face some challenges and sure enough I did. Furthermore, my mother had always told me that when she was pregnant with my brother and I, her doctor told her that formula was now the same as breast milk (this was back in the late 80's and early 90's). When I got pregnant, my only motivation for breastfeeding was free milk. But then I learned how incredible breast milk really is and once I started nursing, I learned so much more. Here are a few of the unexpected things I learned about breastfeeding.
It's really difficult to comprehend just what labor & delivery is like until you actually go through it. Not even birthing class prepared me for what I experienced--at least not entirely. It's definitely important and worth it to take a birthing class when you're pregnant, but birthing class can only provide you a very basic foundation for what to look out for and not what to expect. Even early labor signs aren't necessarily an indicator of imminent delivery. So, I thought I'd share unexpected things I learned about labor & delivery through my traumatic experience, because yes, it was traumatic. It wasn't until 4 weeks post-partum did I start to un- clench my legs when in the shower.
First, I hope that you and your family are staying safe and healthy (physically and mentally) during this insane time. And thank you to all those on the frontlines taking care of us and making sure essential parts of our lives are still serviced and accessible. An important part of living the jawesome life is to live on the bright side. There are always positive takeaways from any situation life throws at us, and I wanted to throw some light your way during this difficult and uncertain time. So, here are just a few positives that Covid-19 has brought us thus far:
There's a lot of things about pregnancy no one ever talks about, or you're just not aware of until you're pregnant and you start receiving daily emails updating you on what you might be experiencing. So, throughout my pregnancy I recorded things that I learned and found interesting along the way. Here are 20 of them.
This year on Women's Day, I want to highlight something that women have experienced since the beginning of time, but no one ever talks about: postpartum healing. Thankfully we live in an age of information and now I can google anything I want to know about it. It's also encouraging that more and more women are sharing this information, but it's still not something commonly talked about until you're a pregnant woman learning about everything prenatal, labor, and postpartum. And let me tell you, nothing about pregnancy or childcare scared me (at least nothing out of the ordinary), but when I first read about what really happens during postpartum healing, I was suddenly terrified. And I'm telling you, sex ed would be way more effective if we taught students about post-partum healing, and showed them an actual birthing video.