Friday, January 22, 2010

My cup(s) runneth over

During the very early morning hours, I found myself in the mindset that I was having a really rotten start to my day. I was very tired thanks to a baby that just would not sleep AGAIN. I spent quite a while in his room last night before he would lay down in his crib and go to sleep. (And one really cute thing... He kept pitching his paci out of the crib, and then saying in this really sweet, serious voice, "Uh-ohhhhhhh...." It was adorable even though I was irritated.)

Then, he was up all night. It started about two hours after I went to bed. That's typical. The first cries come at about 11:30. I had my cranky pants on, and Hubby tried to soothe the baby and I ended up storming in there because he "wasn't doing it right." (Thanks, PMS, for the attitude problem. I appreciate it. Really. I'm sure my Hubby's off calling a lawyer as we speak!)

So began the evening ritual of trying to get baby to sleep in his crib. I have started a new approach. I used to take him to the living room to nurse and be held until he went back to sleep. The past few nights, though, I have been staying in his room trying to teach him that it's a pleasant place for sleep. Therefore, I have a "bed" on the hardwood floor next to his crib. (A quilt to lay on, a fleece blanket to cover up with and a pillow.)

Well, I ended up falling asleep there on the floor with him for a while last night. I woke up to find him on the floor next to me and I was completely stiff and all dried out from the heater blowing directly in my face. Ugh.

So I tried to put him back in his crib. He screamed. I took him to the couch and laid down with him. He fell back asleep. I tried putting him in his crib. He screamed. I took him into our bed (By now it was 4:30 a.m. and I was SO SHOT!) but he wouldn't settle down there. We went to the couch. He nursed. I managed to get him back in his crib, still asleep. I'd had to pee like crazy for hours, so I went to the bathroom. OH JOY. Monthly visitor has arrived. Great timing, Ma Nature. Finished going potty and realized... NO TOILET PAPER. No Kleenex, no baby wipes, nothing. Friggin' lovely.

This meant I had to toddle down the hall with my pants around my ankles to the other bathroom, trying not to get pee on the floor and also trying DESPERATELY not to hit all the horribly creaky spots in the hallway outside Jordan's room, lest I wake him AGAIN.

Took care of business and managed to get back to my own bed (Finally! For the first time since 11:30 p.m.!!!) Fell into deep sleep. Hubby's alarm clock went off.


So, yeah, it was a very frustrating night that left me irritable and in a horrible state of tired, crazy mind.

But there was something else.

An image, nagging at the back of my mind.

This picture was something I saw on FaceBook yesterday and it really struck a chord with me. It's a photo taken by Jae C. Hong of a mother, Renante Taris, and her son Erikson at a hospital in post-quake Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

I will admit, I have done all I can to avoid the news about what's going on in Haiti. I haven't wanted to think about the hell those people are experiencing.

But then I saw this photo yesterday, and I welled up. Something about it, I don't know, just stirs up some emotions in me. Maybe it's because I'm also a nursing mother. Maybe it's just seeing that in the middle of all the horrible things going on there, nature has allowed this mom to nourish and comfort her child so easily.

So there they are, at a "hospital," with dirty bandages on their wounds. They've seen and experienced completely awful, tragic things. And still, life is going on.

I love that the mom gets to just lie there and rest, as does her sweet little boy. I love his little body curled up next to hers. I love so much about this photo and what it says about motherhood and breastfeeding.

[Thank you to peaceful parenting mom, Tara Wise Drumm, and to Growing Green Bums for passing this photo along on FaceBook.]

So, I thought about this photo and then I realized I really don't have it so bad. I mean, sure I was really tired and cranky and just wanted to sleep in my own bed instead of the floor, but out there in the world are lots of other moms, nursing their babies just like me, but under far worse conditions.

And I felt something like a sisterhood with all of them.

Before I had Logan, the thought of nursing kind of grossed me out. I decided, however, that I would do it anyway because it's so good for the baby. I came to love doing it for him. I never questioned whether I would do it for Jordan, too. It was just a given.

Somewhere along the line, my mind has made a mental shift, too, to a place where I wonder why all moms don't do it. It's convenient, it's free and it saves a lot of money, aside from being the proven best for baby's health. All of a sudden, I'm hardcore pro-breastfeeding. I don't get down on formula feeders, and I get that it's way easier for moms who have to go back to work. But when moms stay home with their kids and don't nurse, particularly if they have financial issues, I just don't understand why they don't use what was given to them naturally.

Anyway, not wanting to get all preachy here, just wanted to share this photo. And if you, like some people I know, find the photo "gross" or "inappropriate" then I say "Oh well! I don't and it's my blog!"


If you're feeling down about anything in your life today, take a moment to look at the photo and feel some peace, like this mom and her baby found, in the middle of a whole lot of turmoil.


Mona-Fatnassi said...

Thank you so much.

This image and your text touched my heart.

I'm a mother of two children from two daddys, i find my life complicated sometimes and i complain.

Since 3 days, i almost didnt sleep at all because my 9 months old son has light fever, toothaches, a cold, and agitation and i have to take car of my almost 4 years old little girl..

they are so adorable but you know, it is exigeant (i dont know the word in english?) ...

i do breastfeed to and this image touched my heart. I realised at the perfect time tonight, what i had even if i have had almost no sleep, time, space for "myself".....

thank you so much...

Nature is so impressive. Courage too.

Mona, from quebec xx

Anonymous said...

That post made me tear up. It is so amazing how what God gave us as mothers will go on despite terrible circumstances. And seeing them still so at peace (relatively speaking of course), is just a true testament to the special bond of mother and child. Beautiful.

And for the record...I have done the pee waddle many many times. LOL

Jamie said...

I had the same kind of feeling a couple nights ago. Gage refused to sleep and I was getting so cranky and mad at him. He was up until 2am, which isn't that bad really considering some nights it's all night long. After he went to sleep on the couch, I was watching TV and pictures of those poor people suffering and in so much pain. I got so angry because here I was feeling sorry for myself because my child wouldn't sleep. And here are the people in Haiti who have been through so much. People have watched their children die, children are left orphans, they have no food or water, they're sleeping on the ground and I'm complaining because I didn't get to go to sleep until 2am.

Thanks for the post. Things like that picture make us realize that we are so blessed and we shouldn't complain about the little things.

Anonymous said...

This certainly puts things in perspective. I get annoyed sometimes when I have to nurse Peanut to soothe her since I am trying to slooooowly wean her. But you know what? At least we have a home to live in and real beds to sleep in and real food to eat. Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post! I really enjoyed your post and can't imagine anyone being affended by the most natural act in the world.....feeding our babies! You will get to sleep someday, enjoy!

Amber said...

Wow what a great post. I am also moved by it. I'm a nursing mom and sometimes I wonder why a lot of parents choose to not breastfeed. That picture speaks volume to me because it says what I've been telling people here lately. It says that its natural and we CAN survive under the worst conditions. Thanks for sharing that. Now I want to share it as well.