We hope in reading this you will be inspired to head over to the Similac Facebook Page and share the one thing you will do to help end the mommy wars.
Entering parenthood was one of the most exciting times of my life, but it wasn’t without its challenges. I actually haven’t shared Jake’s birth story mainly because nothing turned out the way I had expected. That took some time to get over and not feel ashamed and judged for.
You see, I had everything all ready to go, including my birth plan. I was mentally prepared for a long delivery that would hopefully be as natural as possible. I even bought movies to watch in case I was in the delivery room too long! I also had planed on breastfeeding, I even took classes to prepare and had all the gear ready. Given that I had a typical and healthy pregnancy everyone, including my doctors, seemed to think this was most likely going to be the outcome.
However, at 37 weeks I woke up in the night with an excruciating headache. It was terrible. My husband called the doctor who didn’t think it was pregnancy related and instead suggested I should go to the ER just to be safe. After all, how could this be pregnancy related? A headache to someone that has had no issues until that moment? No way! But the pain was truly awful and unlike any normal headache I’d ever experienced. We grabbed my purse and I rocked my head in my hands the whole drive there. In mere minutes, I went from a completely typical pregnancy to pleading to God for safety for both me and the baby I was carrying. Sacred does not begin to describe the fear running through my veins.
Once in the ER, they discovered I was having a severe blood pressure spike and that it was indeed preeclampsia. After several long hours of trying to do everything possible to reduce my blood pressure they determined that they needed to take the baby via cesarean section. My husband had just enough time to race home and grab the camera before I was wheeled into the OR. I was devastated, scared out of my mind, but also relieved. After the pain I had been in all night, I just wanted this little guy into the world safe and sound.
The c-section went smoothly and through the fog of pain meds I immediately tried to nurse. I nursed, and nursed, and nursed and nothing. Apparently my body just did not get the memo that it had delivered the baby. We started supplementing after several days, born at only 5lbs 11 ounces, Jake was losing weight fast and quickly hit 4 ½ lbs. I remember seeing the number 4 and once again being terrified. Babies naturally drop weight after birth, but seeing him get so small was frightening. Even through supplementing I tried and tried to nurse until it became clear, there was no milk to come. I later found out that while most people are able to nurse after an emergency c-section, in rare cases some of us just never develop a milk supply.
It was a hard thing for me. On one hand I had this beautiful baby boy and I was here and present to be a part of that. What a miracle! Preeclampsia is scary and I am so grateful to the medical team for delivering us both safely through that scenario. On the other hand, I felt ashamed and sheepish. You see everyone had an opinion and for some reason the minute I became a mother they felt comfortable sharing it! Without even knowing my story, just a few weeks after birth women would comment on me being a little slow moving or using a bottle in the store. Clearly I had done something wrong in the process. Maybe if I had just done something differently…
Now, years later and a second baby that was a completely different experience, I can confidently say that I should have gone easier on myself and also held my head high to those who questioned my outcomes. We are here and healthy and that’s all that matters! I love my little man and strive every day to make the best decisions possible on his behalf. Why on earth should I let the judgments of others affect me, whether it be my birth story, feeding story or even silly things like what extracurricular activities I sign him for?!
Now I try to uplift others who may have had a different experience then the one they had hoped for. It’s ok. You are here and you are rocking this whole parenthood thing just by loving your little one as fiercely as possible.
I love this new #SisterhoodUnite video and campaign from Similac for that exact reason. It uplifts moms. They also have Hilary and Haylie Duff on the cause to help end the mommy wars, LOVE THEM! We don’t need to judge but rather support one another. We are in this together and all working towards fostering these little people into the world to be the best future we have.
That’s why I shared the one thing I plan on doing to help overcome judgment on their Facebook page. When my friends come to me and talk about their children, scenarios, and difficult decisions they face I’m going to give no opinion or judgment but rather a hug and tell them they are awesome parents!
No judgment here my friends!
Disclosure: We received compensation for this post and in partnering with Similac.