Too Much Information

When I was pregnant, I decided to have a little bit of a hippie birth. I wanted a doula: someone to be there to help the manpiece and I figure out what was going on throughout labor. (neither he nor I had ever been in labor…we figured having someone who knew what the hell was going on would probably be a good idea) I started out going to an ob/gyn office where they had midwives on staff, but changed offices to one with only midwives in my fifth month. I felt safter in a hospital, so I decided to go with a group of hospital midwives and my doula. I wrote up a birth plan and everything. And then I went into labor.

Truth be told, my labor was not that bad…it was incredibly intense, more painful than i would like to admit, and oh, yeah…did i mention it was freaking INTENSE, but overall, not that bad. (although if the manpiece is reading this, i’m sure right now he’s saying “what a load of shit! you shoulda heard you pissing and moaning the entire time!”) I’m not saying I’d like to be in labor every day of the week, but it went pretty fast, which was good. My water waited until I was in the hospital to break, which was also nice (no clean up required! 🙂 ) Although there were hiccups (example: manpiece calls hospital to tell them we’re on our way. their response :”uh oh. ummm…we’ll  try to have a room for you as soon as we can. lots of women went into labor tonight”. awesome.), the end result was my gorgeous baby boy. He was 2 1/2 weeks early, but still pretty big, able to nurse quickly and well, and never even got a hint of jaundice. Things have been pretty good since that moment on. (and now anyone who has ever read a facebook status of mine is going “cough cough bullshit! cough”)

Here’s where I keep running into issues. I belong to a bunch of attachment parenting, breastfeeding, birth, and babies in general information sites/pages on facebook/blogs. And they all provide me with information and occasionally entertainment. All that’s well and good, right?

Big. Fat. Wrong. I read all these things and I find myself thinking things like “maybe if I hadn’t had a hospital birth, i would have actually held my son within the first 90 minutes of his life, and had skin to skin contact with him, and kept his cord intact until it stopped pulsing and nursed him sooner, and didn’t put all sorts of bracelets, anklets, baby-lo-jack’s on him, then maybe he wouldn’t have had such a horrible time sleeping”. My birth wasn’t traumatic for me, but maybe it was traumatic for him…he was wrenched away from me as soon as he was born. and my l abor was INTENSE(no down time between contractions, just one right after the other after the other after the other after the other)….he had to feel that too, right?

Or right after my sweet boy was born, and i was a newly nursing mother with a (thankfully) wonderfully patient doula (my awesome doula also does post partum work 🙂 )  i kept freaking out because does a 10 minute nursing session count as a nursing session? because normally he nurses for 40-60 minutes so 10 minutes just can’t actually count. can it? ohmigod he’s gone 3 hours instead of two between feedings is that ok? it’s not ok! he needs to nurse every 2 hours! i read that! wait if he only nursed on one side, does it count as a nursing session? because he normally nurses on both sides! aaaaaaah!!!!! (to which my wonderfully awesome doula said, “sara. are the breastfeeding police there? are they knocking on your door right now? if not, i think he’s gonna be ok”)

Or how about the fact that everything I read is all about co-sleeping co-sleeping co-sleeping because babies NEED to nurse all night long and if you don’t co-sleep your baby is 10000% more likely to be a serial killer because he didn’t have 24 hour a day access to your smell and your heartbeat. I feel awful that I didn’t try harder to co-sleep with Connor. Yes, i used a co-sleeper bassinet for the first 4 or 5 months, but he very rarely ever slept right next to me all snuggled up (at night. during his first few months of life, snuggling next to me was a good way to get him to nap for longer than 20 minutes).  but my baby boy for the most part has never really wanted anything to do with that. he’s always liked to have his own space to roll around in and be crazy while he sleeps. and i know that. so why does reading about co-sleeping being an absolute necessity cause me to think that i’m ruining my child because i didn’t try harder to co-sleep with him?

Or this other, newly popular one with me. I find myself feeling just awful and sad and horrible because I cirucumsised my beautiful little boy. I let myself think and be convinced that it’s normal and necessary. The fact that we had to pay out of pocket for it because it’s not considered necessary under any insurance didn’t tip me off. I’ve recently realized that when the manpiece was freaking out about my cats ruining things (this is waaaaaaaaaaaay back when…..) i did RESEARCH on what “declawing” a cat actually is, and discovered that they break off the cats individual little toe. yeah. BREAK IT OFF. how horrible is that?! I literally cried for days about this possibility, until manpiece told me that it wasn’t worth seeing me so miserable about just the thought of it, and we no longer even brought up the possibility of declawing them. WHY DIDN’T I DO THE SAME THING IN REGARDS TO MY SON.  why didn’t i research it, why didn’t i realize that it is cutting off a part of his anatomy, why didn’t i fight manpiece harder on this decision? if my cats brought me to tears a thousand times a day at the thougth of INTENTIONALLY HURTING THEM (albeit temporarily), why didn’t i recognize i would be INTENTIONALLY HURTING my son? MY SON????

And then the other day I realized something.

I HAVE TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Until i started reading all these things, I was pretty happy about the way my birth went. Yes, there have always been things i would change, but overall, I was ok with it. Since I’m not planning on having any more babies, i NEED to be ok with it. And as far as breastfeeding goes…well my son has always been in the “plus 95th percentile” for weight (well, until he started moving around….) and h eight….so yeah, i guess those 10 minute one sided nursing sessions “counted”. He’s 13 months old now, and neither of us seem to have any intention of stopping for a while yet.  Co-sleeping? I wish i could have co-slept more with him…in theory it sounds so nice, and who wouldn’t want to snuggle with their precious little baby more often? But the reality is, unless he’s sick, he really doesn’t want to co-“sleep” with me….he just wants to roll around and wrestle in bed. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s how we start our day now, and it’s pretty fun.

Circumcision? That one’s a little harder to come to terms with. But here’s the reality: my son is circumcised. There is nothing in the world that can change that. And yes, i’m sure there are men who are angry as adults that their parents made the decision to alter their anatomy….but there are also a lot of men who are not angry. All I can do is love my son from here to the ends of the earth and hope he chooses to not be angry. To understand that his parents made a decision with love in their hearts.

Information can be great. But needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Anyone have some salt I can borrow? 🙂

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Beth
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 14:13:52

    I love you! You’re wonderful! I agree, reading too much makes things worse.
    I seriously heart you.


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