Yesterday I published the very personal and tragic story of my own miscarriage, and the outpouring of support was overwhelming. So many other mommas had a story that was almost exactly like mine. It’s a pretty crappy club of which to be a part, as a friend and I discussed last night. One thing I heard several times was women who had had a miscarriage were worried they would have another one or have already had another one. I wanted to share my experience with that. After I lost Eli, a sweet friend of mine shared with me that she had a miscarriage and with the next pregnancy she had her progesterone checked. It was too low, and with progesterone supplementation she was able to sustain her pregnancy, and now has 3 healthy boys.
This is by far the hardest post I’ve written. I’m saying that from the outset because my thoughts are already scattered and my emotions are raw. I’m fighting back tears right now, but I thought maybe the best thing to do would be to go ahead and get my feelings written down while I was experiencing them. I can’t promise all my thoughts will be completely coherent, but I will do my best to explain my feelings.
Let me first say this before I even start: this is a touchy subject. Every momma who has experienced a loss deals with it and grieves in her own way. I would never presume to judge their choices, actions, or feelings. This is not about what I think people should do or think, this is only about me and my experience. Please read this understanding that these are my raw emotions regarding my own miscarriage, and not a commentary on anyone else’s experience. I almost hesitate to write it because I don’t want anyone who has had a miscarriage and disagrees with my feelings on it to assume that I’m making a judgment about how they handled theirs. I don’t write this to persuade anybody of anything. I write this because I made choices that I didn’t fully understand. I would do things differently if I had it to do all over again. This is for your contemplation, nothing more.
There was a time when I thought Attachment Parenting (AP) was stupid. Yep, I did. I bought into the mainstream ideas spewed by parenting magazines, mommy forums, and pediatricians. I agreed with the idea that AP makes babies clingy, less independent, spoiled, and fussy, even though I was a first time mom with zero experience in any form of parenting style. Boy was I wrong! I raised my first two babies very mainstream. I used disposable diapers, bottles, formula supplementation, a nursery with a crib, cry it out (CIO), strict feeding schedule, and strollers. Hear me now. . .this is is important: I am not saying there is anything wrong with any of these things. What I want to do is tell you how my life has changed since become an AP mom.
Let’s face it, there are more baby items on the market than we know what to do with. I can’t tell you how many lists I’ve read of “must have” baby products. But how much do we really need for a baby? Some people say, “I just can’t afford to have a baby.” Why not? Because you think you have to buy a bunch of stuff? Want to know a dirty little secret? You don’t. You absolutely do NOT have to buy all of it for your baby. Full disclosure: With my first baby I was that mom who had to have all the baby gear. But by time I got to my 3rd, not so much. I have learned the difference between needs and wants. With my first, I had the nursery, the crib, the baby bath, the changing pad, the bath thermometer, the strollers (yes, plural), the toys, the bouncer, the jumperoo, the swing….need I go on? (By the way, are we truly incapable of telling if the bath water is too hot without the assistance of a rubber ducky that has a dot on it that turns red? But I digress…) So, let’s examine what baby really needs.
Babywearing? What in the world is babywearing? Yeah…I’ve heard it so many times! More often though, people see me out and about and will ask me about how my baby doesn’t fall off of me when he’s “tied on like that”, or “doesn’t that hurt your back?” No, no it doesn’t. It’s pretty funny! They’ve never seen anything like it before and they are curious. I’ll admit I had never heard of babywearing until I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. I had been a babywearer with my first two, but had never heard the term. With My first, I used a soft structured carrier, the kind you buckle onto yourself and the baby faces you belly to belly. I didn’t like it very much. It was alright, but it wasn’t working very well for me. That may have been in part because I had no resource from which to get help like I do now. With my second baby, I used a peanut shell sling. I didn’t know how to use it well and it was hard to adjust. He leaned back too far in it and I always felt like I had to have a hand on him to keep him from falling out. There is nothing wrong with these two kinds of carriers AT ALL! There are many different types of carriers, and mommas have preferences based on their own comfort, the size and age of their baby or toddler, and where they are going to be using the carrier.