It is New Years Eve. At least the morning of. It won't be 2013 for another 22 hours give or take. I don't know if I will even stay up. Probably will since I am usually up past midnight on ordinary nights.
I went to visit a mom and her new baby today. Her 2 1/2 year old little one was there too. I helped with baby #1 with some breastfeeding issues too.
I see and work with so many mothers and babies that sometimes I lose track of how many. I keep written records of all the visits I make, and about once a year I go through them, partly to reminisce, and partly to count how many.
It is really amazing to be involved in such a private and sacred part of the beginning of a love affair between a mother an her baby. And most of the time, the dads are right there. They don't want to miss anything. They want to understand what the issues are and they want to know how to help.
Every now and then a dad will ask if he can take pictures and occasionally he will want to make a video of what we are doing. I always say yes. So often these pictures show exactly what the parents cannot see for their up close and personal point of view. I suspect that some of the time just having these pictures is a sort of insurance policy. They may never get looked at or used again. But they are there. They are proof that this parenting thing, this breastfeeding thing can really be done.
Every so often I will get a thank you note. I treasure those notes. I also occasionally receive pictures of the babies I have worked with. I treasure those as well.
I read as much as I could find in 1977-78 Bangkok while waiting for the birth of Courtney. I found so much that really touched my heart and soul. The best book was the early, blue edition of the La Leche League manual, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. That book was full of practical information and advice on the possible difficulties and how to overcome then. The approach was very baby centric. There was no "us & them" that I encountered in so many other books. I felt at home with the attachment philosophy of parenting. I learned the concept of "people first". I learned that our babies are people too.
After the breaking in period (breaking me in a a new mom) nursing and mothering Courtney was amazing. I was so young and excited and full of awe and energy. I bathed her and changed her and cuddled with her and breathed her in. I was head over heals in love. I felt good at what I was doing.
It got easier with each of the next three babies to fall into the mothering role. There were no big surprises except for the one that LLL had warned about; love does not divide, it grows! It also made me understand and fight for what was best for Chance in his premature/ failure to thrive state.
I hope that I am giving some of the feeling of wonder to new parents. At first I was a young mom with young kids, and so even though I was a peer, and so I was accepted, I had a lot to learn. Now I am as old or older than the mothers of the women I help. I hope that they see me as a mentor. I am often educating the grandparents too as I go along.
I have learned a lot. I know a lot. I continue to attend seminars on breastfeeding as much as possible. I keep learning.
I want to share the joy and peace you can find when parenting -especially the first time with the first baby. No wonder I wanted five. Really I love the baby part. I am such a good mom to small babies.
Surrender is a soft and strong word at the same time. When a mom is totally , well... not fun, and she does"t know what to about it, I offer the word, "surrender" It has worked amazingly. Babies and toddlers thrive when a parents gives their full attention..
I must sleep now before I make any more typos. I will publish now and check for errors tomorrow