I hate to admit it, but most the time the holidays are more stressful than they are fun. Traveling with a baby to multiple houses, in multiple states, to visit family during the holidays is challenging. And for me, it becomes a bigger challenge when my in-laws start insinuating we are not spending enough time at their house during the Christmas vacation…
I have not put pen to paper in a long time now. I haven't been physically well, and writing goes from relaxing to taxing when the simple act of holding the laptop drains me to the point of needing sleep. But, in my typical fashion, I won't speak too much about the less than happy moments of life.
As I am beyond sure you know, we are a family that believes breast is best! (No debate invited or accepted.)
The world is making great strides in many ways. One thing that hasn't made much progress is breastfeeding in public. This frustrates me.
Every generation has their share of motherly myths – from how to induce labor to determining gender in the womb. There are even myths about breastfeeding -- will going out without your little one affect your milk supply? We have the answers.
Tell us about your adoption journey!
My adoption journey started when I left New Zealand and went to live in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 2010; I was teaching at an International school. Adoption is very common. I had always wanted to adopt, and felt it was the perfect way to complete my family. I registered at the local orphanage, at the local hospitals, and let it be known via word of mouth that I was hoping to adopt. And of course, I prayed! Several months later, the sister of one of my students gave birth to a baby girl. I was contacted by the guardians (her birth mother was 14) and asked if I wanted to adopt the baby. Of course, I said yes!
Tell us about your adoption story…
We were matched for the first time in November 2012 and had two months until baby was due. At that point, I had no idea breastfeeding as an adoptive mom was possible. The expectant mom, who was in college five hours away, was very health conscious and wanted baby to have breast milk. She wanted to breastfeed in the hospital and then wanted me to take over as soon as we left. I saw a lactation consultant and began the process.
Adoption is a beautiful way to welcome children into your family, whether they’re babies or older children; children from abroad or closer to home; from foster care or through an agency. Adoption can vary so much, just like the shades of skin, ages, stages and personalities of the children you welcome home. Bryan and I adopted our two boys at birth, five weeks apart (have you read our story?). Malachi is Native American, African-American and Caucasian, and Isaiah is African-American. Most passerby see our double stroller and assume twins -- until they take a closer look! They often have the curiously awkward “How could this be?” question, and we smile and share the story of bringing our family together. Adoption means we didn’t fit the mold: we created a new one!
I admit it: Second time mothers think they know everything. If something worked well or well enough with the first child, we plan to give the second the same treatment and not change a thing. But let’s face it—this would only work if nothing were different. Something is always different.
I was a NICU mother with my first child. Having spent critical ‘latching’ weeks in the NICU, my first newborn just wasn’t interested in breastfeeding when she was released. When she finally came home, I was happy just to have her in my arms and I wasn’t going to insist on breastfeeding. We had all been through enough.
My second baby latched immediately and breastfeeding was quickly established. Already, we were in uncharted parenting waters. This baby would feed almost exclusively from me. While I obliged, we had two factors to consider. First of all, I would be going back to work soon. Second, my husband, who had bonded so nicely with our first baby, felt detached with our second little bundle of joy because he wasn’t involved in the feeding routine. A bottle would definitely need to be part of the mix.