attachment parenting • round 2!

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Hi, hello, hola, bonjour! I am getting back into this blogging business, so bare with me if my writing is a little rusty. I was going through my old blogs, and came across my original attachment parenting blog. I left it on the note that I was pregnant, and all the changes I was going to make with my second baby (Hudson) - and HA! Joke was on me, again. Man, they don't prepare you for kids do they? They don't come with a manual that tells you what each and every child is going to be like. You merely think, the decisions you make evolve the child. Little do they tell you, the child has an entirely personality of their own. 

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Hudson was a completely different baby than Leoh, and it all started with the pregnancy. I was sick the entire pregnancy, I was either throwing up, or too easily receptive to viruses and illnesses going around. I had a chest infection for about six months of my pregnancy, and Hudson was taking up every part of my body. At one point, he fractured a rib of mine and I was having heart palpitations left right and center. I begged the doctors to get him out, but they weren't having it, and neither was Huds. He waited in there, two weeks over due, till I started my labour our by hemorrhaging. I can promise you, that was as bad as it sounds. He was born 9 lbs and 14 ounces, again, that was as bad as it sounds. He had an infection when he was born and 75% of his body was filled with it, he was put on antibiotics and I was also in recovery for a week to pull around after losing 2.5 litres of blood. Again, not fun. Emotionally, I was on one hell of a roller coaster. Near life-death circumstance, brand new baby, sick baby, the smell of a brand new baby, wanting to cuddle him non-stop, him having to get a spinal tap done. On top of this, he was born with tongue tie. Out all things! This little man could not catch a break. He had a hard enough time latching when I was trying to breastfeed him, that when I tried my best to give him a dummy (pacifier) he couldn't keep ahold of it cause his tongue would get sore. In the end, he couldn't do it. He couldn't take a bottle. However, he was able to latch enough to breastfeeding that he was gaining weight appropriately. Not a single bottle worked, so I wasn't able to take any breaks. 

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Hudson then, on top of it all, had the worst colic. My mom said this was because I did this to her too, but I imagined it was because of his tongue tie he took in too much air. When he suckled, he would very loudly because how much airflow he was actually taking in. This made sleeping, impossible. He woke up all the time, he needed comfort all the time from trapped wind issues. He would never let me take him off of me, and because of his traumatic birth, he had severe separation anxiety. I didn't push him in this, I cuddled him harder, I breastfeed him as much as he needed, and I encouraged him the best way possible. Now, all of these stages lasted A LOT longer than they did with Leoh. And no matter how much I told myself I was going to do things differently, I couldn't because Hudson was entirely different than Leoh. He NEEDED my attachment more than Leoh even probably did, so I did just as much as he needed me. I showed him that everything will always be OK, and I'm going to make sure we do all of this life crap out smoothly.  

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Now, fast forward 2 years, have we progressed any further in the breastfeeding? Any further in the sleeping? No, we haven't. We're still working on it. He turned 2 years old on October 12th, and he is still breastfed and he still co-sleeps with me. He wakes up often, and he wants me to cuddle him back to sleep. Occasionally, I get bursts of frustration because I just get so exhausted, but then I see how far he actually has come. This is a child who couldn't look at someone else in the eyes, and now he's a little confident social butterfly. He loves his mommy, but he knows that it's OK to roam and explore. All the fears I saw him have, the insecurities he did have, are gone. And now, he's just this free spirited little adventurer. He rarely clings to me like he used to, he enjoys his independence. He's a happy care-free kinda kid, and I love that about him. He's very calm, and collected (most of the time). And yes, he has his moments when he needs me, so I'm not exactly pushing him away about that. He has changed and grown a lot from where he was, and I see him gradually doing everything more independently on his own. I believe that with the right patience and love, he will be able to continue this journey of independence. I will always encourage him to be fearless, and ready to take on the world. However long it takes, mommy is here. 

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I wanted to write this blog to make it aware, you do what suits YOU and YOUR child. There is no rule book, and don't always listen to your friends. Follow your motherly instincts, and see what feels right to you. I don't exactly know when I will wean Hudson, or when I will start pushing him to sleep without me, but I do know that I trust my instincts on when it's going to be right. I can truthfully say it's helped him in this adjustment period we have been in the last year. Has it been easy? Heck no, but I know that neither of us are ready to let it go yet either. No matter how draining it is. Could I have done anything differently? I could have, but it didn't feel right, so I wouldn't change a thing. You do you, no matter what people will judge you. Just know that what you are doing is what feels right, and you won't regret it. 

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I trust that Leoh did things on his own time, with encouragement but he did. Hudson will do the same, just with a little more encouragement. Do my kids "walk all over me"? Heck no. They don't. They know what mommy says, goes. And some things I'm very harsh on them about, such as manners and being polite to others. They understand boundaries, and they know what I am okay with and what I'm not. But, our number one rule is treating people with kindness. I can truthfully say, that has worked immensely with Leoh. He's so kind, and so sweet. He's always caring, and always complimenting others. So I know I did something right with my first, I just have to make sure I stick to that with Huds. 

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Did I baby wear Hudson? I did! For absolutely ages, and sometimes still do depending on the circumstance. Mostly, he walks around on his own with his adorable Gruffalo backpack on.  Let's just say, I did long enough that my back was giving out on me. Then, he saw a pram (stroller) and was hooked. He wanted to ride it like it was a carousel. So, I picked up one of our old ones, and there we went. The new stage of independence. No more piggy back rides from mom, now he looked like the cool guy in the pram (stroller). Now anytime we go out, he points at it asking for me to bring it with us. Whatever Huds, you do you. 

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If you have any questions about attachment parenting, please feel free to ask me. I knew nothing about it until I looked into it, and also realised, you can find a balance in it that suits you best. This is all about following your motherly (or fatherly) instincts, and however that is, I support you. I'm no parenting expert, but I do feel pride in knowing that I'm a good mother (or at least aim to be). 

Sincerely, 

Shannah