I recently entered a mini-essay contest for Tribe Magazine. I’ve published with them before and had a good experience. My essay wasn’t chosen — I like to think because it was a bit of a stretch for the topic. Anyhow, I was just reading a blog post about the NICU and its lack of windows, and it reminded me of my essay. I figured I’d share it now. Might as well dig out of the election-centric posts slowly but surely (Though there will be more. Oh will there ever be more).
If you are anything like me, you have likely read about a kazillion birth stories since the moment you found out you were pregnant for the first time. I have read everything from accidental unassisted homebirths to hospital horror stories. From beautiful water births to straightforward c-sections. I don’t know that I have ready many details about preterm c-sections.
Halloween is over, which evidently means it’s past time to start talking about Christmas. It’s also still November, which is Prematurity Awareness Month. I decided to combine the two.
I have a confession to make: I really don’t particularly love nursing Rowan. I love the idea of it, but in reality he is at a stage that is something akin to trying to nurse a manic octopus. He claws at my arms, breasts, and face. His newfound locomotion has him trying to crawl while he nurses, gymnastic feats of sticking his butt in the air and doing the nursing equivalent of the dizzy bat game. He can’t seem to keep his top teeth off of me, and occasionally bites down — apparently just for the fun of it. He’s distractible, and he pops on and off repeatedly.
Let’s get the obligatory disclaimers out of the way: I fully support a family’s right to feed their baby in whatever way works best for them. Formula is not an enemy. And for women who desire to breastfeed we need to do everything in our power to help them succeed. We should be bulldozing the hurdles and sewing up the loopholes.
I’ve assumed that I would have a long and heartfelt post to write for Rowan’s first birthday, full of all the feelings and realities of this past year. But honestly? I’ve said it all so many times already. So rather than rehash all my feelings, let’s talk about Rowan.
Rowan is sick. Again. I remember well the welcome-to-daycare series of plagues, but for Rowan a regular cold seems to turn into something more. This is the third time I’ve taken him in for coughing, with the second time being the dreaded RSV and hospital admission. I think he has had more sick visits in the eight months since his hospital discharge than Lorelei has in her entire six years. He’s on his second ear infection, and we’ve gone through almost an entire box of Xoponex nebulizer treatments. He spent hours last night screaming inconsolably.