Weekend revelations about motherhood

Well, my post on Friday about how great Turner did with his shots was a bit premature. While he did wonderful at the doctor, the rest of the evening proved to be a little more challenging. Turner’s doctor failed to mention that we should prepare ourselves for the meltdown of a century later Friday night. He didn’t suggest we get any tylenol or motrin or anything. He warned us that Turner may be a little extra fussy later that night and maybe some on Saturday… well a little extra fussy was the understatement of the century. 

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He did great until about 5:30 when we took him to Andrew’s Aunt Alicia’s house. When he woke up from a short car ride induced nap, he woke up with a vengeance. The screams and cries that came out of that child were out of this world. Sounds and pitches that I had never heard from him and hope to never hear again. 

 I thought he was gonna blow a lung. I felt awful because Andrew and I were leaving Turner with Alicia for a couple of hours while we had a night out. It was the first time she had kept him and I wanted it to go well, but it certainly did not start off that way. Once we got to Alicia’s house and Turner started to scream bloody murder, Andrew had to make an emergency run to the store for some medicine. It was not long after he got the medicine that he was alright, but in the 30 min to an hour that it took to get to the store and back, it seemed like an eternity to see my sweet little boy in agony. It was borderline traumatizing, and it was only the first of what I am certain will be many more episodes of pain and discomfort throughout his life.   

So just a warning to parents that have not went through the dreaded two month shots yet…. even if the actual shots work out ok…. prepare yourself for the worst in the hours to follow. 

This morning on Good Morning America they were discussing some book on a mother wrote about myths of pregnancy and she crunched a bunch of numbers and statistics and said then gave her own verdict on if the doctor’s orders regarding things like caffeine, alcohol, working out, is actually the best advice. 

Personally, I think she has the freedom to write what she wants because her book is very similar to some of my blog posts, but there was one thing that just bothers me. In her book she said according to the studies she has read she deems it safe to drink one glass of alcohol a day throughout your entire pregnancy. First off, that claim is outrageous. In our society, I think if anyone drinks one serving of alcohol every single day… that is not considered moderation and you have a problem. Her argument was that studies show drinking in moderation is ok. Well I could not disagree more. 

I am a weigh my options kind of girl. Even if 100 studies show a glass of wine or whatever is ok, even if ONE single study found it to be harmful to that baby… why on earth would you even risk it? I do NOT think this is a “go with the majority” kind of thing. If 100,000 women drank ever single day the entire 9 months and were ok and so were their babies, that is wonderful, but if just one mother had an adverse outcome and her baby was harmed and it was attributed to drinking…. on what planet is any future mother living to hope that they can beat even the smallest odds and their child wouldn’t be the 100,001 child in that study. There is not enough money in the world to make me take that risk. 

Admittingly, I remember drinking a total of three glasses of wine while pregnant. But just the pure guilt and uncertainty of the impact it could have on my unborn child, was just not worth it. In this case, the risks far outweigh the benefits for me. I do not even enjoy one glass of wine, and I do not see any argument in the world to do it. Maybe some people can relax after a glass… Just the stress and worry about what I was doing prevented any sort of relaxing I felt. And to me it taste that three day old water, so tasting good is not an excuse either. And if anyone argues that it is a social thing and that they want to enjoy a glass of wine with friends just for the social aspect…. well you should be slapped in the face in my opinion because doing something to “fit-in” that could potentially be harmful to your child is grounds for negligence on my part. You should be ashamed of yourself. 

If there is no benefit whatsoever to drinking alcohol while pregnant… yet there are associated risks… I can not even begin to contemplate why anyone in their right mind would do it. There are countless studies that show adverse birth defects associated with alcohol consumption. There is a whole thing called fetal alcohol syndrome. I mean, we know it is not good. And everyone is so different and all of our bodies handle alcohol in general differently from one another, the same should be assumed about how a fetus would react. While there is a general “majority” safe level, there is no test or determination that you and your baby are the one exception. I constantly admit that I am neurotic and overbearing about most things concerning Turner, and this may fit into that mold, but when I say that segment on Good Morning America this morning, I wanted to reach through the TV screen and slap that woman for even putting the thought into any young mother’s mind that it would be ok to drink, and daily at that, while creating a sweet precious life. But, we all know what people say about opinions… and this is just mine. 

Now on to a completely different subject where I would like to admit that I was wrong. 

Next is a very touchy subject that is not my place to talk about so I will not go into detail but I do want to share a little about it. Last Thursday, Turner’s absolutely perfect cousin Royce came into this world. He is a beautiful baby boy and I am so thankful that both Turner and I just happened to be at the hospital when he was brought into this world. 

Shortly after Royce was born he was taken from the local community hospital to Asheville, the closest city to be places in the NICU at Mission Hospital. Without going into detail, some complications during birth, Royce was having trouble breathing and needed more care than the local hospital was equipped to give. Now, please understand if you are reading this blog from someone outside of Franklin, North Carolina, the community hospital is great as long as everything goes perfect. If anything seems to be wrong with any person in the hospital, they usually have to be transported to Mission, a much more capable facility. Royce’s condition is still developing and we are all anxiously awaiting test results. But he is getting stronger each day and is already much better. He is a beautiful baby boy. 

Witnessing the birth of Royce, and experiencing the events that came afterwards made me come to the realization that was wrong. When I was pregnant with Turner, I would mock people who called newborn babies little miracles. I thought it was silly. I mean, a miracle to me was something I only read about in fairytales or com in books. I always had the the impression that anyone could (excuse the upcoming vulgarity) could open their legs up, have sex, and get pregnant. Society has led us to think this way. With countless TV shows about teenage moms, a woman who is going on 20 kids and is super freakishly old and still pushing them out, and other things like that just jaded my opinion of childbirth. I mean, even in my own real world I see people I know having two and three kids without trying and people getting knocked up left and right… what is miraculous about any of that? 

 Well I was wrong. I was so wrong and am honestly embarrassed for ever feeling that way. It took Royce to teach me that lesson. Childbirth is no easy feat. I have already said that I think the entire pregnancy is freakish. I think it is easy to forget what true blessings that children really are when everything around us makes it seem like they are a dime a dozen, a meal ticket to stay famous if you name your baby something outrageous like a cardinal direction. But in reality, bringing a life into this world is the most special miraculous thing anyone could ever do. 

I follow several Facebook groups about children who were born sick and are fighting for their life. Each day for them is another miracle. Against all odds, the most frail, innocent, undeserving of such an experience, beings are forced to fight for their lives because of things beyond their control, beyond the control of their mothers. Mothers who followed every single rule during the pregnancy, did everything they could, by some reason I would never be able to understand if it had happened to me, their little baby had to do more than fight to make it into this world, now they have to fight to stay here. Life in itself is a miracle. An honest to God miracle and blessing from God.  

Childbirth is not just a miracle in the sense that so many children are born having to fight for their lives… but it is also a miracle in the fact that although society tells us that anyone can get pregnant, and in all honestly, the masses do, but some people are not fortunate to have even have the ability to have children so easily. My sister Ruby (you know the one who doesn’t read my blog but pretends she does because she just scans it for her name, hey sis!) was born with a fertility disease. The condition she has makes it virtually impossible for her to get pregnant on her own. In order for her and her husband to even have the chance to have children, they have to go through an extensive process with fertility treatments and drugs and even then, there is nothing to say it will work. She may never get to know that miracle. Knowing that there are people, who despite wanting it more than the world, just do not and may never have the ability to do it, should be reason enough to consider childbirth a miracle. 

 I am so fortunate that Turner was born healthy. I was spared from ever having to know what it is like to feel helpless and look at my child through a plastic box while machines are working to keep him here. I am so thankful that God gave him to me and blessed me with the most incredible miracle imaginable. Tomorrow’s post will be about how because of my own recently found health problems, Turner may be my last little miracle. But that post will be depressing and long, so I will save it or tomorrow. 

Royce is a beautiful miracle. A miracle that I (and I hope you will too) will continue to pray that I get to enjoy everyday for the rest of my life. His momma did everything she could when she was pregnant with him. One reason they thought he had some problems that the doctors go her due date wrong. An honest mistake. Something beyond anyone’s control and something I am sure happens all the time. 

Ok I know this is a lengthy post, but In fairness, I did give you the weekend off. I have one more rant that I want to touch on. 

I think society has pushed us to be a reactive type of people. Instead of being proactive and getting involved with things from the front side, we tend to wait until something happens and then react. Not just as parents, but as a people, and I think that it tragic. 

I want to change that. I do not want to be a reactive parent. I want to start from the beginning taking responsibility for my decisions and my child. I think all too often something happens and people are so inclined to blame something instead of owning up to it. When something occurs that is not favorable to us we tend to have the reaction, “Well I wish someone would have told me,” and even those who are told, tend to have the, “Well I wish I woulda listened” attitude. I just don’t want to do that. 

First, I don’t think it is anyones job to tell me anything about being a parent. If anything, it is my job to ask and to learn, but like I have said before, taking advice from others is not my ideal way to raise a child. Regardless of if I am seeking advice, which I do do when I know I need it, or if I am learning things as I go, I think there needs to be a sense of ownership in that action. 

I never want my child to grow up and give the excuse, “I cannot help it, that is the way I was raised” in a negative connotation. If Turner ever has to say that, I want it to be in the context, “Why did you stop traffic to help that woman cross the road?” “Oh, I cannot help it, that is the way I was raised.” 

I am not going to blame society or TV or movies or his friends on anything that he does. Whatever he does or however he turns out, will be a direct reflection of how Andrew and I raise him. That is a hell of a lot of pressure. But I think if we start now taking a proactive approach and embodying the mentality that whatever the outcome, it is our responsibility, and ours alone, than the decisions that we make will be the best possible decisions. 

I do not want to wait until Turner gets to the age where he starts to act out and then take action accordingly. I want to be proactive and raise him to not do that. I am sure every parent feels this way. Or thinks this way. I can assure you that while I love my parents more than the world, I am also confident that they did not take an active role in my upbringing. They waited until I did something, then reacted to that. They were very reactive parents. I just do not want to do that. 

 This may sound silly and not make much sense to anyone… but it made a lot of sense to me on the way to work this morning and I wanted to share that with you all. 

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