You have selected me to be your mummy and have been sent with a purpose. To teach me some vital lessons and to shape and guide me to be who I am.
Every journey is filled with highs and lows and decisions that can change our lives. Yes there are easy options and yet life can sometimes throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. If life was an easy journey and there were no challenges how would learn and grow? For what purpose is this challenge? Instead of seeing it as a hurdle that has no light at the end of the tunnel I can now ask myself, what will I learn from this?
So the lessons I have learnt so far from my beautiful children.
Lesson 1 - My first child Jack wanted to show me that I did have a sport that I am good at; birthing babies. I felt that he was guiding me to find the most natural way to give birth and I came across Calmbirth. Calmbirth gave me all the resources and tools I needed to have one of the best experiences of my life to trust and have understanding for what unfolds.
Lesson 2 - He wanted to be close, it felt right and he slept, so I wore him everywhere and you slept in our bedroom for the first year. Yet society kept at me “put him down, put him into his bed, you are setting yourself up for failure”. Now hang on, I believe you can never have too much love. Those feel good hormones of excitement, pleasure and happiness, I am putting my hand up for some of that. If my baby wants to be smothered in love then that’s what they will get.
Lesson 3 - He wasn’t putting on weight and was classed as ‘failure to thrive’ and couldn't attach properly to the breast so I discovered he had a tongue tie. I chose to have it released at 3 wks of age and have never looked back.
Lesson 4 - He seemed to be irritated after a feed - it may have been reflux? so I found an osteopath who fixed him within 3 sessions. She found you had a kink in your stomach causing digestive issues.
Lesson 5 - You filled me with a love I had never felt before and taught me to start listening to my intuition and to do what I thought was best with the resources I had. I know you better than anyone, you guided me with your voice. if something didn’t feel right I kept searching until I found a solution.
Lesson 6 - Max your voice was loud and clear from the start - you didn’t sleep for the first 6 months of your life, you screamed in pain, you projectile vomited everywhere. I knew something was not right, so once again you showed me to trust my intuition and it took 4 paediatricians and several specialists to finally discover you had Milk Protein Soy Intolerance (MPSI) and severe reflux. I made the choice to put you onto a Hyperallergenic Formula and reflux medication as Mummy and Daddy both had adrenal exhaustion and it was the best choice at that time.
Lesson 7 - To start looking after myself - how can you look after others when you can’t look after yourself? I was an emotional wreck and I was getting sick all the time. I had private matrix therapy coaching which allowed me to start on a journey of self-discovery and led me to open up and find my passion and purpose in life.
Lesson 8 - Each child is unique and has very different characteristics and each needs a different parental guidance. Max, I am still learning, you have challenged me in many ways and sometimes I just can’t see clearly to understand where you’re coming from. What I do know is you respond very well to love and cuddles. Please understand that sometimes Mummy may have something going on inside that is being projected out and you are responding to that anger, sadness, fear or guilt. Thank you for making me aware that I am projecting out those feelings.
Lesson 9 - Ben has been the most influential and life changing baby. I truly believe that you were sending me messages about my health from conception! When we finally discovered I had 2 intestinal parasites during the pregnancy and I had to eliminate wheat, dairy and fructose this was only the beginning to making huge lifestyle changes.
Lesson 10 - Your birth was amazing, my first home waterbirth. You and i worked as a team and you entered into the water with ease. We discovered you had a twin that had re-absorbed sometime before 8 wks gestation. You are a slice of heaven sent down by angels to come and teach me some life changing lessons, so that I can now share my new found knowledge with other mums.
Lesson 11 - Posterior tongue ties. Ben was born with a short square tongue causing feeding issues, so like your brothers I had it corrected so when you’re older you will be able to lick an icecream. Something still just wasn't quite right so back to the specialist again to discover that you had a hidden severe posterior tongue tie. I had the procedure done again so you could feed and be able to speak later on. It is still not 100% but mummy made a choice I could either have it surgically corrected with far too many risks or use breast shields and pray it would correct itself as you grow.
Lesson 12 - you have been congested and irritated since birth, you didn’t sleep and would scream throughout the day and night. Like Jack you were ‘failure to thrive’ with constant diarrhea and vomiting and so uncomfortable, you also had severe reflux like your brother Max. I wore you upright in an ergo carrier to aid your reflux,I eliminated dairy/soy/wheat/yeast/eggs and sugars from my diet, I gave you a dummy to neutralize the stomach acid, I slept with you to calm and soothe you, I showered and bathed you in the early hours of the morning to comfort you and I just wanted to make everything better. I wanted to take your pain away, I knew something was just not right and after seeing several different specialists, kinesiologist, osteopaths, homeopathics, naturopathics, speech pathologists, allergists and immunology specialists, physiotherapists, paediatrics, paediatric surgeons, breastfeeding consults and finally gastroenterologists we finally discovered you had FPIES an intolerance to multiple food proteins in my breastmilk. I was advised to cease breastfeeding immediately and to put Ben onto the same Hypoallergenic formula that Max had been on.
Working with the immunologist we slowly introduced and trialled new foods every couple of weeks, it was a long and slow process and at 12 months had improved so much you could eat almost anything. Much sooner than your brother who didn’t grow out of his allergies until he was 3.5yrs old. I look back now and see that all the processed foods I had been consuming all my life has had a huge impact on my babies health. With the knowledge of babies inhaling their mother’s gut flora through the birth canal and the impact this has on the babies health I know that all three births that my gut was not in it’s optimal prime.
Lesson 13 - After you started your medication we had to learn how to sleep, I know sleep is essential for healing and growth so I set about using the same techniques I had used successfully with the other two boys. (Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg and Elizabeth Pantley’s No cry sleep solution) It wasn’t working! A friend suggested I try a sleep clinic, I researched it to make sure they didn’t use methods I wasn’t comfortable with (as I had a bad experience with Jack in another sleep clinic using Cry It Out) I found the Ellen Barren Sleep Clinic, and they quickly got me into the program, as I was exhausted, and I went and stayed for a wk. I had a run in with a nurse who told me that I had a high needs baby and the only way to get him to sleep was to use the crying out method. I stood my ground and said that I know my baby better than anyone and that this week was solely focused on him and his needs and there was no way I was going to be using that technique. Ben, it was here that I learnt to listen to you, so you could guide me. You didn’t like restriction, you were easily stimulated, so unless I blocked out stimulation your little body couldn’t rest, I made your room completely dark (great for melatonin and serotonin production), I switched on the white noise (sounds of the ocean) you didn’t like being patted or rocked or shhh’d. You needed my presence until you drifted off and slowly over time I could put you down and within the first 2 nights you managed to sleep for a solid 5 hrs, a first in your first 6 months of life!
Sleep is without a doubt, essential for growth and healing and is an absolute priority in this household.
Learn from everyone, hold on to what you need, let go of the rest.