When You Need Help

When You Need Help September 5, 2013

I was 27 when I gave birth to Mr. Fox.

I am the oldest daughter

of

the oldest daughter

of

the oldest daughter

in my family.

I am fiercely independent, bossy, stubborn, creative, sensitive, and I follow my own path.

So, when I was 27 and Khaled and I were blessed with bringing Mr. Fox into the world, I had very securely mapped out exactly how I would take care of him. I had done my research!

He would wear cloth diapers.

I would breastfeed him.

I would take care of him completely.

He would do exceptionally well because I had read everything I could find at the local bookstores. So much so that I found the books to be redundant. I read parenting websites. I ate everything I was told to eat, I slept as much as I could and I baby proofed everything-with Khaled’s support and assistance. (Including the cat.)

When Mr. Fox was born, all of my parents were there.  When we came home, my parents visited. When they saw that I wasn’t bottle feeding, it threw them for a loop.

Everything went well…until it didn’t. I went back to the books and I couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t ask the hospital because it was the same place that Khaled worked and I felt there was no privacy there. I didn’t want them to judge me. I couldn’t ask my mom because she hadn’t nursed any of her children and I did not want to feed him formula.

I was embarrassed.

I was exhausted.

I was terrified.

I was too stubborn to ask for help.

The pediatrician almost called child services because Mr. Fox wasn’t gaining enough weight.

Terrified, we changed doctors.

This new pediatrician didn’t tell me I was a bad mother.

He didn’t think I was trying to hurt Mr. Fox.

He listened,

he saw my struggle,

he understood.

Then he gave me some unconventional, old school advise that I wouldn’t take from anyone else and wasn’t in the books.

Feed Mr. Fox watered down yogurt after you nurse him. Give him protein.

That worked for a while.

And then it wasn’t enough. In the end I ended up giving Mr. Fox formula. I felt defeated.

5 years later when I became pregnant with Pea, I had a new Gynecologist. I was older. I had 5 years of parenting under my belt. I did more research and found The Nursing Mothers Companion. When I gave birth to Pea, I was even more prepared. I had the life lessons of caring for Mr. Fox, plus I was armed with this new research and a new hospital with nurses that knew about confidentiality.

I was prepared.

I asked questions.

I asked for help.

I nursed her for 12 months.

By the time Kate came around, I was a professional mother. But she still threw me for a loop now and again. The problem came when Pea was 2 and Kate was a newborn and I was faced with new challenges on top of being exhausted. Mr. Fox was in school part-time.

Pea was projectile vomiting,

Kate only was quiet when strapped to my body,

Mr. Fox was in school.

Little did I know, that several states away, my friend AskMoxie, was writing about these challenges as we were faced with them. As I was going through it.  As she was going through it. She was building a support network that was bigger and better than anything I’d seen before.

These days, I read through the questions that are posed on AskMoxie by readers and often offer comments from my perspective. More recently, Moxie has written short -quick read handbooks on key parenting topics. Making life easier to those who haven’t been following along for the last 9 years…and need help Now!

I read them over last weekend…God how I wish I had had them when I was going through those sleep-deprived questioning, I feel alone years. So far, my favorite is the Timeline. A Timeline to what struggle you might find yourself faced with and what to do about it. This was never covered in that What to Expect book!

Having a support system so you don’t feel so alone is invaluable. This fact has been proven to me time and time again.

When I was teaching,

when I married,

when I became a parent,

 now living this Islamic Life.

It makes things easier to be able to reach out to someone who has been there before and who will not ever judge the choices you are making.

When I hear of someone who is struggling with breastfeeding, I don’t hesitate to recommend The Nursing Mothers Companion. It was a life saver for me.

When I hear of someone who is new to parenting and is feeling like they don’t have a support system, or they are having a struggle, or just are feeling alone in their parenting journey, OR they just need to vent to someone who doesn’t know them… I don’t hesitate to share AskMoxie with them.

You may have noticed that I reworked the layout of this blog a little over the last few weeks. I added two columns where there used to be one, and in the upcoming months there will be a few more changes. I’ve always had AskMoxie on my blog roll, but if you click on the new graphic link, it will take you to her site.

Why is this graphic link important? Well, because when you click-through and go to MoxieTopics you will find the short-quick read handbooks available for a small fee. You get immediate help without having to get dressed and I get a small percentage of the purchase price for helping you find the info you need.

Happy Thursday.

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