Almost 18 years ago I sat in my living room and stared into the faces of my newborn twin girls. I was terrified. What was I thinking sending my parents home. How were we going to do this alone? I could see all my well intentioned plans and dreams of being the perfect mommy were an illusion. Just 5 days old and we had already experienced more bumps in the road than I had anticipated.
My blood pressure was on a roller coaster ride, high one minute and tanking the next, as my body adjusted to the loss of two extra humans. Sarah was tiny and perfect, but jaundiced. She needed iron supplements and a bili blanket. She was also covered in eczema and had such severe acid reflux that she vomited every other meal in a geyser like production I would have sworn impossible if not for seeing it with my own eyes. She ate every hour and a half, the tiniest of meals and I would strip her naked just to keep her awake long enough to finish (and let’s be honest, it usually meant one less onesie to wash). Even at 38 weeks, she only weighed 5 pounds at birth and was 4 pounds 11 ounces the day she came home. I would sleep with her wrapped in her bili blanket on my chest for fear something would happen. I was barely keeping my head above water.
And then there was Bailey. My beautiful 1st born was a robust 7 pounds compared to her tiny sister. She was strong and healthy, a solid eater (if a bit slow). She was independent from the start and still is a force to be reckoned with. The guilt I felt every time I put her down was a heavy one. I worried constantly that I wouldn’t bond with her. I worried that she would have attachment issues. I worried that one day I would be sitting in a therapist’s office hearing the root cause of all her problems was not being held as much as her sister.
The girls were just shy of 6 weeks old the night I nursed for 5 straight hours. Bailey ate, slowly. Sarah ate. She vomited. She ate again. Bailey ate, very slowly. I knew this fresh hell would never end; this was my new normal. By 1:00 am I couldn’t do it anymore. I was a failure.
A few days later I was in for my 6 week postpartum checkup. I cried to my OB/GYN and told him how hard I had tried and how badly I had screwed up because I had started on bottles full time. He looked at me, smiled, and said that I had done the hard work and gotten them across the finish line. My girls where here. They were healthy and happy. Everything else is just bonus. He stood with me and my decisions. In that moment he became my ally.
He gave me permission to find what worked for us. Parenting is hard. No two families have the same set of challenges. That’s why I started Allied Parenting. Let me be your ally and find solutions that work for your family and release you from the parent shame trap. Because we are all, STRONGER TOGETHER.
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