Those Early Months of Parenting


Parenting is a hard job. I don’t want anyone to think otherwise. You’re worried about this little being, and you can’t treat them like you sometimes treat yourself. You must make sure they eat, and sleep – or at least try to sleep, and have clean bottoms. 

The birth of the ladybug

I know that there was nothing that I loved more than seeing my children collapse in a fit of giggles at something that Mr. Houseful or I did, and nothing hurt my heart more than not being able to figure out what was bothering them. When I had Nathaniel, I was young. Well, both Mr. Houseful and I were 20 and we thought that each and every child that we had would be as easy as Nate. He nursed until he was almost two, slept like he had been here before, and had an interest in EVERYTHING. We seemingly always had to make sure he wasn’t into anything too horrid whenever the house became too quiet. I kind of hate that I was set up in that manner, because I feel like if I had not been, I wouldn’t have fought so hard against the issues that we had in our subsequent pregnancies. 

Early Months of Parenting

The ladybug’s pregnancy and birth were pretty straightforward, as were the Twizzlers. With the ladybug I had a natural birth, and nursed for about 15 months before being told that I wasn’t nourishing her enough. I fought long and hard against it. Drank supplemental teas, ate pounds and pounds of fatty foods (healthy ones – calm down) in order to get my milk supply up. I cried long into nights about my failure as a mother, and looked at Mr. Houseful like he was crazy when he suggested using formula. FORMULA! Then I thought that my children’s pediatrician had lost HER mind when she suggested the same thing. She assured me that while she totally respected my desire to breastfeed exclusively; she was worried about the ladybug not gaining enough weight. I look back at the time and I’m able to fully admit that she was right. My stubbornness could have caused some serious issues with my daughter when what was really needed was for nutrients to get into her system, and my inability to produce those nutrients should have been the end all and be all of switching it up. 

Birth Daze

When the same thing happened with the Twizzlers – this time, ten months in – I wasn’t as stubborn, but I still gave some pushback. I mean, I was the mother that had a freezer FULL of milk with her first child, and now I was struggling to produce small amounts for my twins. This time, with the suggestion of my pediatrician, we started on a formula supplementation, and even went with our local store brand as well. We were able to swing into our local Target and buy Up & Up, or go to Walmart and buy Parent’s Choice. When you have you heart set on breastfeeding, it’s hard to know where to turn when you have need to rely on formula. I didn’t research, but with the help of our pediatrician, I became okay with picking out store brands over brand name formulas. Store brand infant formulas provide the same complete nutrition as name brand infant formulas while also supporting growth and development of my babies. I say all of this to say that we all survived. While I still believe that breast is best, and will always support nursing mothers, I know that sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you see it in your head. With all of that research, I found that all US infant formulas have to meet or exceed brand name formulas standards with the FDA. Let’s not forget the savings that we were able to create: up to $6000 over a full year of needing to purchase. That’s quite a bit of money that could be put into an educational savings account, or maybe splurging on a sitter for the first date night that we would have. 

The Houseful Of Nicholes Trifecta

Having to bottle-feed produced some unexpected moments in those early months, with the ladybug and the twizzlers that I didn’t have with Nathaniel. Mr. Houseful was able to interact a bit more with them, and could even wake up for those late night or early morning feedings (depending on who you asked). While I still longed for the ability to snuggle as I nursed, I could have the same feeling, just not the same conduit. It took a long time for my headspace to get right, and I can even admit that it came long after bottle-feeding stopped. It’s amazing how hindsight provides a clarity that seems evasive while you are going through a situation. 

I’m sure everyone is aware of how the trifecta ended up. As active and inquisitive as ever, and they are completely aware that they were nursed and still ask plenty of questions about mama’s milk and how it comes out. Enough to even catch me off guard. Sometimes they’ll even ask about babies being bottle-fed, and I’ll let them know that they did both! 

Essentially, I want to encourage moms not to cut off their noses to spite their face. If you don’t get that, it means don’t be so stubborn in a personal stance that you end up hurting someone else. Like I said, if my stubbornness were allowed to grow, and I didn’t have Mr. Houseful’s gentle reminders about the health of the children being more important than my personal beliefs, we may have had a different outcome. I’m sure that I would have seen the light of day after a while, but it may have taken a little bit more time. 

Don’t be as stubborn as me. Learn the value of formula in certain situations, and don’t be taken aback at using the store brand in place of those pricier name brands. Until then, happy feeding! 

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87 Comments

  • Reply
    Mami2jcn
    September 30, 2015 at 11:50 am

    My baby girl is 2 weeks old and she’s unique because she was born 20 years after my husband and I got together.

  • Reply
    Mami2jcn
    September 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

    tweet–https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/649265268770885633

  • Reply
    Julie Wood
    September 30, 2015 at 11:56 am

    My son is unique because he loves to dance! He bounces, and then shakes his head back and forth and kicks one leg! ahh I love babies! 🙂

  • Reply
    Julie Wood
    September 30, 2015 at 11:57 am

    tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/649266861498961920

  • Reply
    Elena
    September 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    My son is unique because he is very creative

  • Reply
    Jessica To
    September 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    My son is unique because he’s a good blend of both my husband and I.

  • Reply
    Steven weber
    September 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    what makes my baby unique is the fact that he doesn’t cry – he groans like a baby dinosaur

    groogruxking40 @ gmail dot com

  • Reply
    Steven weber
    September 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    tweet- https://twitter.com/groogruxking40/status/649376831972356097

  • Reply
    Will G
    September 30, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    My wife likes popping things. one time she tried popping a zit on my face and it squirted into her mouth.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    September 30, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    First, these baby pictures are hitting me right in my ovaries. Cuteness overload! I love that you’re bringing awareness to supplementing with formula when necessary. It happens. It’s okay. Thank goodness for modern technology and the option to do so. My oldest son was 10 weeks early and we had to use both. My milk supply took forever to come in and by the time it came in he wouldn’t / couldn’t latch on. I’m just thankful that my little preemie was able to receive the nutrients necessary to get him out of the NICU and home with me.

    My ha-ha moment – being young and totally clueless about what our bodies do after childbirth. I didn’t realize that often you still looked 3-4 months after giving birth. I innocently asked a new mom when her next baby was due while she was holding her newborn. In my defense, her 9 pound baby looked like a 6 month old compared to my 4 pounder. Needless to say, I didn’t make that mistake again and baby #2 showed me all those pounds I missed out on with my first.

  • Reply
    Kelly D
    September 30, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    My baby was unique because he did not like to sleep for very long stretches and didn’t seem to sleep much at all. He just turned 10 and he still doesn’t like to sleep!

  • Reply
    Kelly D
    September 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/649397744902242304

  • Reply
    Adrienne Gordon
    October 1, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Mine came out smiling at the world and never stopped.

  • Reply
    Sandy Klocinski
    October 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Beth was a very loving and affectionate child, loved hugs and attention.

  • Reply
    Cynthia C
    October 1, 2015 at 10:26 am

    My first was always curious and loved to learn new things.

  • Reply
    Cynthia C
    October 1, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/649606477385199616

  • Reply
    Ashley C
    October 1, 2015 at 10:55 am

    My baby is unique because she loves dogs! She always wants to see or touch them, and our dogs adore here!

  • Reply
    Denise S
    October 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

    My third baby was unique because she never stopped crying for the first year!

  • Reply
    beth shepherd
    October 1, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    My baby is unique because she is mine. She was born 6 weeks early and spent some time in the NICU. She is a healthy happy 13 year old girl that I adore thank you

  • Reply
    Jessie C.
    October 1, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    The cheerful smile made my baby unique.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  • Reply
    Jessie C.
    October 1, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/649783898390401028

  • Reply
    Lisa Brown
    October 2, 2015 at 5:56 am

    When my son was a toddler, he walked early, at 10 months. I thought that was amazing and unique. He wanted to keep up with me around the house and crawling wasn’t fast enough 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Brown
    October 2, 2015 at 5:56 am

    tweet-https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/649900760646316032

  • Reply
    Natalie
    October 2, 2015 at 6:36 am

    My daughter is unique because she loves and cares for all types of animals. She has no fear and will approach any type of animal and hug it!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    October 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

    My son is unique because he’s double jointed.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    October 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelGriesmer/status/649946822404874240

  • Reply
    Barbara M
    October 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    What made our first daughter unique was her beautiful red hair!
    thank you

  • Reply
    Barbara M
    October 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Tweeted https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/650051872812699648

  • Reply
    Brittney House
    October 4, 2015 at 12:28 am

    My daughters contagious laugh makes her unique.

  • Reply
    Margaret Smith
    October 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    My baby is unique because he laughs often and at almost anything. Thanks so much.

  • Reply
    Margaret Smith
    October 4, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/650829217509318656
    Thanks again.

  • Reply
    Barbara M
    October 5, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Our daughter’s bright red hair make her so unique.
    thank you

  • Reply
    Barbara M
    October 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Tweet
    https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/651068567857709056

  • Reply
    Kim
    October 6, 2015 at 9:22 am

    My funny stories…
    We waited to find out the gender of our firstborn. After 51 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing (he’s still stubborn) he finally came. As they held him up over me to announce “It’s a boy!” He made his own announcement by “shooting a stream” over me (and pooping)

    Later, With the twins the dr came in and said “bear down, I want to see how ready you are”. I did. She yelled “Stop stop stop stop…lets GO!” Wheeled quickly into the OR, Bella came quickly & as the dr reached for the ultrasound wand to determine Issa’s position (previously breach the whole pregnancy)- she says “That’s a HEAD!” 2 babies – 15 minutes in and out. They STILL move that quickly.

  • Reply
    Tina m
    October 6, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    My son’s contagious laugh makes him unique. he smiles at everyone, such a happy baby.

  • Reply
    Elisabeth S.
    October 8, 2015 at 12:15 am

    What makes my two children unique is one that my older son is so doting to his little sister, to the point of smothering her that i have to constantly remind him to keep his hands to himself. It took him one month to warm up to her but since then he has been the best big brother. He is creative but has a specufic plan or idea about how something is suppose to go and will not deviate from it.

    My girl is unique because she is fiesty and even at 14 months is decisive and knows exactly what will make her happy or displeased. She loves music and snuggling and playing peekaboo and will eat anything you put in front of her.

    It is so incredibly awesome to see them growing and becoming individuals…even when they are smothering each other or me.

  • Reply
    Susan Smith
    October 10, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    My baby was unique because he developed a sleeping schedule and was sleeping through the night pretty quickly.

  • Reply
    Susan Smith
    October 10, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/653009403717677056

  • Reply
    Lynda thorn @mommypowers
    October 18, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Our youngest was an extremely noisy eater! To the point that giving him his bottle out in public was sometimes embarrassing! Lol! He would Moan & groan & slurp so loudly!

  • Reply
    Mary Beth Elderton
    October 20, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Mine were bald. Nothing but nearly invisible blond peach fuzz until nearly 2. I had to put bows on little headbands to “do my daughter’s hair.”

  • Reply
    Mary Beth Elderton
    October 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    https://twitter.com/mbm218/status/656642038654353408

  • Reply
    Rosanne
    October 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Not mine but my grandchildren. They are twins a boy and a girl. My only siblings were twins a boy and a girl.

  • Reply
    Rosanne
    October 23, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Tweeted: https://twitter.com/rosannepm/status/657685654818697216

  • Reply
    amanda sakovitz
    October 26, 2015 at 8:37 am

    my baby was always smiling

  • Reply
    amanda sakovitz
    October 26, 2015 at 8:37 am

    tweet
    https://twitter.com/aes529/status/658638408504487936

  • Reply
    Thomas Murphy
    October 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    My baby had a really unique laugh.

  • Reply
    Dawn Monroe
    October 29, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    My oldest granddaughter is unique because she didn’t get any teeth until she was 16 months old.

  • Reply
    Debbie B
    October 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    my daughter is unique because she was extremely smart

  • Reply
    Debbie B
    October 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    i posted a tweet here;

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/660307371357437952

  • Reply
    WHITNEY
    October 31, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I don’t have children, but I have a lot of funny moments and times with my two Corgi puppy “children”

  • Reply
    WHITNEY
    October 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I sent out a tweet: https://twitter.com/electricstar/status/660505984255725568

  • Reply
    nickie
    November 3, 2015 at 10:08 am

    My son is unique because he is very creative. He tells the funniest stories

  • Reply
    nickie
    November 3, 2015 at 10:11 am

    tweet: https://twitter.com/NICKIEISIS3/status/661576341872107521

  • Reply
    susan smoaks
    November 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    our baby is a unique combination of me and my husband to make the cutest baby in the world.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Larison
    November 4, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    My first daughter was born exactly a week after my husbands birthday. My youngest daughter was born exactly a week after my first daughter, so their 3 birthdays are back to back 3 weeks straight. 8/5, 8/12, 8/19. August is a crazy busy birthday month!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Larison
    November 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    https://twitter.com/Stephanie64030/status/661994313958592512

  • Reply
    Claudia Davis
    November 4, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    https://twitter.com/davisesq212/status/662085002566492160

  • Reply
    Claudia Davis
    November 4, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    How about being 3 week overdue?! Yup! OMG!

  • Reply
    tina reynolds
    November 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    My son is unique because he is so fun and creative love his silly faces he makes

  • Reply
    tina reynolds
    November 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    https://twitter.com/eaglesforjack/status/662088084255735808

  • Reply
    Laurie Emerson
    November 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    What made my baby unique is that he was born 2 months premature. He fought so hard for weeks to gain weight and strength yet never gave up. It was almost 2 months till he could come home but to me he is unique as for someone so tiny he has so much strength and the will to survive.

  • Reply
    Erica B.
    November 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    She has a crazy, fun personality!

  • Reply
    Lisa V.
    November 5, 2015 at 11:36 am

    My grandbaby is unique….1. Her name is Juno and 2. She is always happy and smiling.

  • Reply
    Sherry Conrad
    November 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    With all 4 of my daughters, their unique personalities were evident very early on. Same with my grandsons. Mostly, what made them unique was what their interests were.

  • Reply
    Francine Anchondo
    November 5, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    My baby is unique because she started sleeping through the night at 1 month old

  • Reply
    Roxann
    November 5, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    My baby was unique because he got 4 teeth at 2 months old.

  • Reply
    Richard Hicks
    November 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Our son is unique because he was always a good sleeper

  • Reply
    Richard Hicks
    November 5, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    https://twitter.com/ardy22/status/662481580779307008

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