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My Mommy Bliss

I peeked around the corner into where I heard the sounds of baby babble.  She had been on the look out for me, immediately rolling over onto her tummy and smiling tentatively.  Stepping into the room I greeted her softly and she laid her head down and smiled, a shy lopsided smile.  She was happy to see me and I her.  We had been apart for several hours.  Now, after a long nap, we were finally reconnecting.  I told her I missed her, she lifted her head and kicked excitedly, a grin filling her face showing off the 2 tiny white teeth that protruded from her bottom gums.  Both legs kicked the bed, arms flapping rapidly, broken only by the super baby pose and intense grins at me.  Overwhelmed with excitement she buried her face in the mattress, her body tense with an excited delight.  I leaned in, nuzzling her cheek and kissing her neck and she squealed glee, a squawking sound that dissolved into a giggle and ended with a sigh.  My whole being sighed too.  This was right.  This was mommy bliss.  She rolled toward me and I kissed the top of her head, breathing in her intoxicating smell, treasuring the velvety softness of her peach fuzz.  Her diaper still dry, I climbed onto our bed to snuggle and feed her.  Expectation and excitement mingled as she realized she was hungry and her kicking intensified, she began to fuss lightly.  Her hungry sound.  Little hands opened and closed, grabbing at the bed.  Her eyes watched my every move, anticipation building, I was not moving fast enough now.  As I got comfortable, I encouraged her to make her way to me but desperation set in quickly, we had been parted too long and she needed to eat now, not a second later.  Drawing her to me and lifting my shirt, I watched her calm with knowing.  More skilled at this than anything else, she was like a artist at work, anxious and itching to get started, smooth and calm in the moment of delivery.  Her mouth enveloped my nipple, her hand rested on my breast.  Laying side by side our breathing synched and I watched as she got in the zone, filling her tummy with my milk.  My milk let down quickly to her masterful technique and soon she hummed contentedly between swallows.  Finally she lifted her eyes to my face and I smiled my own lopsided smile at being noticed again.  Still in the zone, she held my gaze, never interrupting her pace as she satiated her hunger.  Her soft hums felt like a lullaby and a content relaxed sleepiness came over us both and I closed my eyes.  A contented gurgle beckoned me to open my eyes and I looked down to see her gazing up at me, no longer latched to my breast.  When our eyes met her face relaxed into the lopsided smile and she raised a hand to my face.  Staring and smiling, we stroked each other’s face, savoring the contact.  She told me about her day and I murmured about how I missed her.  Contentment in this moment of perfection clouded the reality of dirty dishes, unanswered emails, and a thousand other tasks requiring my attention. There was just her and me.

 

This is right.  This is my mommy bliss.

 

This Moment- Mommy’s Lap

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama, one of my favorite bloggers. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


A Letter to Mommies and Daddies About Sleep

Dear Mommies and Daddies,

Some time ago I saw a promotion for a breastmilk substitute that will help your baby sleep through the night.  Sounds like magic, right?  According to the formula maker’s website  (I kind of hate to link to it) this product is “Designed to gently thicken in baby’s tummy and digests slowly for a natural way to help keep baby feeling satisfied.”  Doesn’t that sound so perfect?  If their dinner gently thickens in their tummy as they are sleeping, they won’t feel hungry and won’t wake up to eat and you, mom and dad, might actually get to sleep through the night!  Hallelujah!  Parents everywhere rejoice, you don’t have to be sleep deprived!

Wait a second; gently thickens in their tummy?  What does that even mean?

It means that there is a thickening agent in this product that actually bulks up the longer it is in your little one’s tummy causing an artificial feeling of fullness, blocking the trigger between the tummy and the brain that says “WAKE UP!  We need more nutrients, more energy, more food so start crying and get those big people to fill us up again!”  While normal infant nutrition (AKA breastmilk) breaks down quickly making it easy for the body to absorb all it’s nutrients and make quick use of the fuel needed to, well, grow, this product will keep junior feeling full hopefully for the entire night.  So with this stuff sitting in their tummies getting thicker they won’t get the signal that they need more nutrients and fuel for growing, instead, maybe they will actually let mommy and daddy get some decent shut-eye.  Instead of waking their parents to feed them they’ll sleep right through the times when they need to eat!  YAY!

How the heck can that be good?

If your baby is waking often at night to feed it is because he/she needs to, needs the comfort, needs the nutrition, needs you and needs to wake up. I know it is hard but you can do this without filling your baby’s tummy with nutritionally empty fillers so you can get more sleep.  Babies that sleep through the night have an increased risk for SIDS. A baby that wakes often avoids staying long in the deepest part of their sleep cycle where they are mostly likely to stop breathing.  The baby that wakes often is the one most likely to wake up at all.  Read more about that from Dr. William Sears in New Beginnings, Vol. 16 No. 3, May-June 1999, pp. 68-70.  Please note that I’m not saying it is a guarantee, just an increase in risk for babies that sleep through the night.

I get wanting a good night’s sleep, I really do.  When you’re just so tired that you feel sick, on the brink of going crazy and you would do just about anything for a nap.  When you worry that you can’t be a good parent, spouse, worker, friend or anything else and you question if you should even be driving or left alone with your baby due to the overwhelming fatigue.  In those times you need to get help, explore co-sleeping or bedsharing, get a sitter, take shifts but ask for help when you feel that tired.  And hear this, it will get better. Some day, not as far away as you might think, you will look back and vaguely remember the sleep deprivation like a bad dream during one of the most beautiful times of your life.  You know this already but I have to say it anyway: there are more important things than sleeping through the night. By all means, if it seems as if something is wrong such as your baby behaving as though they are in pain, then have your baby checked out and get her/him real help but don’t mask a potential problem with an artificially full tummy. Eventually they will stop waking so often and you will get the sleep you so desperately need.

Sincerely,

Another Sleep deprived mommy,
The Leaky B@@b