This is the most recent picture of the kids and I, taken on August 8th 2010.
My name is Kelaiah. (real name withheld for safety) Hubbs and I married in 1993, and moved to Arizona in 1994 when I was pregnant with our first child V. He was born in Jan 1995, and it was the happiest day of my life. At the time, my Mamma was dying of cancer, I was in a new state, did not know anyone, and my family was 600 miles away. It was a very lonely and dark time for me. When I was pregnant with V, I knew I wanted to breastfeed and cloth diaper. I had become interested in these parenting styles when my Aunt Wendy had her Daughter Brianna in 1987, and my Mamma had done her best to inform me of what she could. She told me I had been breastfed until 5 months old, but we never discussed why I hadn't been for longer, so I will never know. Anyway, she also told me about cloth diapers and how she used to fold the flat ones and use rubber pants. (ewww, RUBBER pants?)
So, I thought all births happened in the hospital. I didn't even know what homebirth was at that time. Needless to say, being only 19 and young, I was very nieve and unknowing of my rights as a patient. My hospital experience was awful. I arrived the morning of Jan 9th 1995, in "early" labor. They recommended an epidural, (done) and a pitocin drip. (done) I wasn't in any pain the whole time, feeling numb from my waist down. I even had a chance to call my Parent's in CA to tell them I was in labor. Anywho, I guess my blood pressure was creeping up too high, and the baby wasn't getting enough oxygen. (yrs later I learned why-because of the epidural and pit drip) After about 8 hrs, the doc broke my bag of waters without any warning. He just did it. An hour later, he said to me (while doing so) "I am giving you an episiotomy." and he did it just like that. (come to find out later that he was so careless, that he cut almost to my anus, and I couldn't poop for nearly 3 weeks! Sorry if TMI) and V was born within a few minutes.
My baby was born blue. He wasn't breathing well. (effects of their interference again) Phil got to hold him for about 2 seconds and we took a picture, then I got to hold my son for not even 5 minutes and nurse him. (He latched on beautifully, too bad the hospital destroyed that for me and robbed me and our son of this special bonding and cure all meal and moment.) Next time I saw my baby, (after asking for him a dozen times) was when he was about 6 hrs old. They kept telling me they had to "stabalize him" and would bring him to me when he was alright. When they finally did, he had already been introduced to bottles of sugar water and also formula. This upset me, and still does when I think about it. Anyway, they didn't care. I tried to nurse him. He was fighting it. He was hungry and didn't want to work the breast. I asked for help getting him to latch. They nurse came in a clumsily tried to show him how to. My baby got frustrated. He was scrunching up his face, and his legs were fiercely kicking me. I tried every position I had read about. She left, and he latched and fell asleep out of pure frustration and exhaustion, and so did I. I wasn't even sure if he was getting anything. The nurse came in to check on me when he awoke ravagingly hungry. She said to me, "You might as well give up trying to breastfeed sweetie, he doesn't like it and he is hungry. You need to give him a bottle." I gave in. I fed him the formula, in which he gulped down in no time. He was still hungry, so I put him to my breast. He suckled until he fell alseep. This feeding formula and putting him to the breast after he was burped remained routine until we left the hospital. It was heartbreaking to hear my baby scream and cry and kick his little feet and suck his thumb. I thought there was something wrong with me. I felt like a failure!
Arriving home with our baby was even more stressful. (We lived with Phil's overbearing doting minipulative controlling mother and his Dad and Grandma) While I understand that she had a hard time thinking of me as an adult, it was very annoying to be told what I should and should not do with my baby on a daily basis. It seemed like everything I did was wrong to her. I held him to much, he wasn't warm enough, I was going to spoil him, I shouldn't let him sleep or bathe with me, etc. etc. etc. it never ended. She kept filling my head with negativity over and over. I had continued to nurse him and bottle feed him, but he obviously wanted the bottle more. She would tell me how I was "confusing him" and should just give up nursing him. I caved. I gave in. From the age of 2 weeks, my baby boy was weaned forcibly. I cannot tell you how ashamed I am to this day.
When he was just about to be 2 months old and I was visiting my family in CA, my mom's parents, brothers, and sisters came over to spend some time with her. My Aunt Wendy and I were talking, and I shared with her my struggle to breastfeed him those dreadful first 2 weeks and how I gave up. She talked to me about relactating, and worked with me and baby V that day. It didn't work. He was dead set on his bottles and his formula, and although I continued to try for a few weeks to get my milk to return so I could nurse him, it never did. The stress didn't help any. Between caring for V, I was also caring for my dying Mother. I drove her to radiation and chemo, doctor visits, helped her to dress, bathe, prepared meals for her at times, etc. It was Brian and I responsible for most of her care. You cannot imagine how bittersweet those last months were for us. It was hell, but also joy, for the moments we knew we had left with her, the memories we were making that would soon end, and the fact that we were so close to her. Like I said, very very stressful time.
When Mamma passed, V was 2 days short of being 4 months old. The last week of her life was awful. Watching her die was horrible. I felt helpless. I had wanted to have my baby boy with me the whole last week, but when I had packed to go back out there to CA both my MIL and my husband convinced me somehow that I didn't need the added stress. That pissed me off, but I gave in and left V in the care of my MIL. I regret that now. Phil came out on the next weekend and brought V with him. I could not have been happier to see my baby!!! Anyway, mamma died that Sunday morning. Her heart stopped beating at 3:09 am. We had several people there with us that Mamma was close to.
Enough of about that. In fact, I am done with part 1 of introductions today. More to come.