Since week 6 things have been a little bit stressful. Clair broke out in a rash that covered most of her body and was starting to become extremely fussy. I started asking my friends and family their opinion and I mostly got answers that the rash was just “heat rash” and the fussiness was the dreaded collic. Those answers just didn’t set right with me for some reason. Clair had never showed signs of being a collic-y baby before, and why would she have a rash to go with it? In talking to a friend about the rash she remarked, “usually a rash is the last thing to show when dealing with an internal issue.” I then began to wonder if Clair was having an intolerance or allergy to something I was eating.
After countless hours of research I came to the conclusion that Clair was probably intolerant to cow’s milk, or dairy. I decided to cut dairy out of my diet and see if any changes happened. It took over a week to see improvements but slowly her rash went away and she stopped being as fussy. Now at week 9 Clair has been very happy during her awake time and is sleeping through the night! Her rash is completely gone too.
3 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE
1. Trust your intuition
Mothers have an amazing sense of intuition, and I am only beginning to learn the art of listening to it. I think there is something to be said about the insecurity that women face and feel in daily life. I know for me, growing up, I felt insecure about different things depending on what age and stage I was in. As a grown woman I have found myself feeling pressure to dress as I see in my Instagram feed. However, and I really want this emphasized, mothers should NEVER feel pressure to be like another mom. Trust your own instinct and intuition. You will always be right, and it will always be perfect for you child. What one mother experiences with their child will be completely different from you. If there is one thing in your life that you can be confident and secure about, it’s your role as a mother. Believe in yourself because if you just take a moment to listen to your gut, you will always know what to do.
2. Me and Clair are inseparably connected
I have seen a sort of spiritual connection and parallel to the dairy experience and my relationship with Clair. It was really interesting to realize that whatever I was eating was directly affecting my sweet baby. Breastfeeding literally transfers the vitamins and minerals I have built up, along with defense systems against disease to Clair! Starting before she was even conceived, what I decided to eat before getting pregnant affected the growth and health she experienced. So, choices before I was even pregnant were affecting her. Similarly, who I choose to become as a mother will impact Clair, regardless if I’m aware of that or not. How I choose to spend my time during the day, what I pursue as a career, what music I listen to, my language, how I interact with Levi, etc.. All of that is connected to Clair and will affect her.
Now, I don’t mean to sound overwhelming or anything of the sort. Rather, I want you to see the beauty and responsibility of that fact. Knowing this has helped me to choose differently during the day. I put my phone down and disconnect for a while during the day. I go outside and help Clair to appreciate nature and beauty. I talk to Levi with love and respect. I pursue my passions and hobbies. I am working towards graduating from school. It truly is a gift that I am so inseparably connected to Clair because she reminds me to choose better.
3. Don’t trust the system
Times are different than they were for you mom or your grandma, obviously. But really, try to remember that as a mother! I guess what I am learning is that I can’t eat the way I used to eat and I can’t trust mainstream society to tell what what’s healthy for me or my baby. I personally don’t think that cow’s milk is good for my baby. That’s totally fine if you feel differently, but what I’m trying to say is that other people don’t know whats best for your health and for your baby’s health, YOU DO. Trust yourself, not just the FDA.
In other news, Clair was blessed this weekend. Due to Levi’s parents being in town we decided to bless her at my parents house Friday night. It was a small group of people, we just wanted it to be a small, quieter event for Clair. Something that I’ve observed about Clair is her want and almost need for quiet and peace. When she is around a lot of people and noise she gets really stressed and is fussy. Most blessings take place inside a church on Sunday in front of a congregation of people. I wanted it to be small and I wanted the blessing to be heard by her and her family. I just think baby blessings are special and intended for the baby, not just a bunch of random people.
As Clair was held by her father, uncle, grandparents and two great grandparents, my eyes filled with tears as I realized how many hands it truly takes to raise a child. I cried as I realized that Clair wasn’t even really mine. She’s God’s daughter and He is simply loaning her to me to help ME become a better person. It’s not even because I’m going to be this amazing parent, God is mercifully giving me a chance to become more loving, patient, kind and understanding. Obviously I will be her earthly mother and guide, and there is a huge sense of responsibility in that, during her blessing I just felt peace knowing that I wasn’t going to raise her on my own, God cared just as much, even more so for her and He was going to help me raise her, along with the amazing family members he has placed in our lives. Their hands will help raise her, just as much as mine will.
When Levi began the blessing the most amazing thing happened, and because I was at my parents house I was able to run up to the top of the stairs and look over the banister while she was blessed and see it. I could see her face fully and before the blessing began she was distracted by all the people, lights and new sights above her. Right when Levi began blessing her, she stopped looking around, she stopped moving and looked right into Levi’s eyes. Levi blessed her for a good couple of minutes and the entire time she was looking right at him, smiling. It looked like she understood everything he was saying and that’s because she did understand him. It was such an amazing scene to observe. Clair’s demeanor was full of understanding, happiness and content. It was in that moment that it finally sank in that I am a mom! I know that sounds crazy because I’ve been mother for almost 10 weeks now, it’s just that before that moment I just felt like Clair was another human that I was taking care of. Now I finally feel that she is my daughter, I am her mother. I am a mother. I am a mother. I am a mother.
Weird. But awesome.