Saturday, October 10, 2009

Already She Inspires

I have been invited to speak to a group of religious single women in my neighborhood, they have formed a group for unmarried women who are veering close towards the danger zone of fertility, and they meet to talk about the possibility of doing what I (and others before me) have done.

I did not go into this pregnancy and motherhood gig to become a leader of a new revolution, but apparently my so-called bravery has broken through the taboos associated with single motherhood. Now it is OK to talk about it and think about it, in public as opposed to the lonely recesses of the mind.

How can I be a role model to anyone? For all the life skills and intelligence I possess, I barely know how to dress this child, and cannot get her on any sleep or eating schedule. This experience has humbled me to the core, I feel like a novice and anticipate a steep learning curve.


Amy Charles said...

Mazel tov, mazel tov, mazel tov.

1. There is no schedule. Forget the schedule. She doesn't even know that her hands are her own yet. Just get all the sleep you can and feed that baby.

2. You are a role model because you were willing, and look at the beauty you have to show for it.

3. If you want to talk to them, fine, but make sure they know in advance that you are not there to set yourself up as a target for negativity or rudeness from themselves or anyone else. There will be some in their community with unpleasant things to say, and I'd suggest letting these women know that you're not going anywhere for a debate or to justify your decision. Unless they're willing to stand up for you against any negativity within their own community, I'd say thanks, but no. Because the truth is that if they won't even stand up for you, they're not likely to have a child on their own anyway.

3. Mazel tov again. I'm a single Jewish mother in the Midwest, and I can tell you that it's not easy, but it's the best thing you'll ever do. Just take care of yourself and that girl.

koshergourmetmart said...

it is too early for a schedule. I can understand your being anxious-after all you have waited a long time for this. what i would recommend is relax. don't say I can't wait for this to happen b/c you will then miss out on an experience you may or may not have again. all those parents who say I can't wait until the baby crawls,regret it when the baby starts crawling and as a result, the parent cannot get any work done!

here is something of interest to get the baby into a schedule.

How do I get my baby on a feeding schedule?

Expert Answers
Joan Carter, dietitian
Keep in mind that it's perfectly normal for your newborn to have totally unpredictable eating and sleeping habits. He may even have his days and nights mixed up. So don't fight his rhythms. In fact, it's important for you to learn and respect his cues — those that tell you when he's hungry and when he's full. That said, there are some things you can do to gently coax your baby into a schedule of sorts:

Establish other schedules. Give your baby a bath and take him for a walk every day at about the same time. It'll get him used to the idea of daily routine. In fact, he'll probably take comfort in it. With a little luck, other schedules will fall into place more easily, too.

Help your baby sleep soundly. Sometimes your baby will fall asleep at the end of a feeding, as if to signal that he's finished. Other times he may doze off in the middle of a feeding, only to wake up half an hour later because he's still hungry. So when you nurse your baby or give him a bottle, don't overfeed him (by trying to get that last ounce in him) if he's awake and clearly has had enough — but do try to make sure he gets his fill before he sleeps. Play lively music, talk with him, or change his diaper mid-feeding if you think he's nodding off in the middle of a meal.

If you're breastfeeding, offer both breasts at each feeding. Make sure your baby takes the rich hind milk from at least one breast, even if he doesn't need to empty both breasts to be satisfied. (This high-fat hind milk will help him sleep longer between feedings.) If your baby has a weaker suck, you can help him get the hind milk by massaging your breast during the last few minutes of nursing. If you have a very strong baby with a powerful suck and a good latch-on, then he'll most likely have no difficulty obtaining the hind milk all by himself.

Remember, too, that babies are different. Some can empty a breast in four or five minutes, while others — especially tiny babies — may need 15 to 20 minutes. Efficient nursing is a skill that babies master as they get older and stronger.

Pay attention to your baby's rhythms. When your baby is very young, feed him whenever you notice hunger signals — even when they seem completely random. This might be up to a dozen times a day in the first few weeks. Once he becomes a more efficient eater, though (at around 4 weeks), he'll likely drop to about eight feedings in 24 hours. This is a good time to look for a pattern in his feeding.

If you observe closely, you may be able to detect other consistencies, too. Note when he's alert, how long he sleeps, and when he has a bowel movement. Sometimes BMs occur at regular intervals in relation to sleeping and eating. Your baby might not be able to settle down until he's had one, for example, or he may be ready to eat only after his first BM of the day. Once you begin to pick up on his consistencies, you can both settle into a (flexible) schedule of sorts

koshergourmetmart said...

the one thing I would do is take a weekly photo next to the same stuffed animal. this way you can see how she changes over the couse of 1 year. since there are gradual changes, you may (probably not) notice it. I did it with both kids and it was well worth it