Good Bye “BA’s”

So much growth has taken place with my little lady in the last few months and she absolutely amazes me and makes me incredibly proud of her.  She almost has a couple months of being a preschooler under her belt now-which she is really enjoying.  She became fully potty trained both during the day and at night which resulted in her wearing big girl undies full time and she said good-bye to all of her diapers and pull-ups.  Most recently, she said good-bye to her BA’s-which is HUGE!

Now, if you don’t know what a BA is in our household, let me fill you in.  A BA is simply yet another name for a pacifier.  She started calling her pacifier a BA the second she could make sounds when she was an infant and the name just stuck.  It has always amazed me how many nick names there are for a pacifier.  Here are just a few of the ones I have heard before: Passie, Nuk, Binky, Nubby, Suckies, Num-Nums, Plugs, BOBO’s, Corks, Soothies, Bippe, and Bobby.  Added to that list now, a BA!

Pacifiers are life savers to many households with infants and in, toddlers and in E’s case a big girl.  Our daughter has always found her BA’s to soothe and comfort her in all sorts of different situations. The past 3+ years she has become very attached to her BA and would even rub the front of her BA with her fingers to help her fall asleep.  She had all sorts of BA’s which she named and identified herself as:  A moon BA (which even glowed in the dark), a silly BA, a cat BA, a giraffe BA, a Pink BA and a white BA…all of which became a giant headache for us as her parents and all hell would break loose for us when we wouldn’t give her the right one at the certain crisis!

For this reason, we had tried to coax them away from E on several occasions and we quickly realized ridding her of this bad habit was going to be a giant struggle for us and for her.  I will admit, as her parents we were a big part of the problem.  I for one was very weak as a parent when I would try and hide them or take them away and would see the tears flow and the lip come out and the tantrums start-it broke my heart and I would break and give them all back in a heartbreak. Being a SAHM I pick and choose my battles-and sometimes it was just easier and gave me a piece of my sanity to just succumb to giving her the BA.  It was not easy.  I think the hardest part was knowing that she found comfort in these things like nothing else and it hurt my heart knowing it broke hers when I didn’t give it to her.  Like potty training, I knew that getting rid of her BA’s was something we would have to do on her time and she would have to do at her own pace.  She’s never been a child we can force things upon.  She is stubborn and very strong willed just like both of her parents!

I’m sure there was plenty of judgement on us when other people would see E, as a 3 year old, with her BA in her mouth.  I have to admit that before I became a parent myself and wore these shoes, I was that judgmental person when I would see “BIG” kids with BA’s in their mouths.  I would actually shake my head in disgust and then vent to whoever would listen about how I didn’t know what their parent’s were thinking still giving them a pacifier.  Little did I know!!! I apologize for acting that way now.   I must also say that it started getting a little embarrassing to us as well going out in public with a 3  year old so dependent on a BA and I think it started to get embarrassing for E too.

For example, I remember one day in particular, E and I ran errands and we were in the check out line.  There was a family in front of us in line and in their cart they had two little girls.  I believe one was around the age of E and the other was a couple years older.  The older girl pointed at E and very loudly said to her Mother, “Look that lady has a baby in her cart” and very obviously pointed at E.  Well, E happened to hear and see that the little girl was talking about her and she stood up in the cart, took out her BA and shouted, “I am not a baby, I”m 3”! Clearly E’s feelings were hurt because she began to cry and I could tell she was a little embarrassed.

This was a teachable moment for her when I had to explain to her that the little girl probably thought she was a baby because she had a BA in her mouth and big girls typically still do not have BA’s.  I told her that the girl who said that was a big girl and she didn’t have a BA.  I remember that E sadly put her head down and handed me her BA and said she didn’t want her BA anymore but then she started crying even more…and then a few minutes later she quietly asked me for her BA back to make her feel better.  It broke my heart-and so I gave it back to her and all was good in the world!  HAHA!  Child attachments are harder then I ever imagined they would be to break.  Again not only for the child, but for the parents too.

Most parents say they will bribe their child when they want them to do something and they are not willingly doing it.  Our child has never been one we’ve been able to bribe.  It just doesn’t work well with her.  However, we had told her that if she gave up her BA that we would take her to the toy store and she could pick out something she wanted in exchange for her BA.  We had been telling this to her for months and she just would not take the bait! This was really of no surprise.  During these months though, she had been talking about how she so badly wished she had hair like Elsa and that they have hair like Elsa at the toy store.  I kept reminding her over these months that if she wanted Elsa hair, then she needed to give up her BA’s.  This didn’t work either, but the desire for Elsa hair continued to burn in her heart!  Eventually I stopped talking about this option.  It seemed like a lost cause.

I should know my daughter better then this though, because she’s like a dog, she doesn’t forget ANYTHING (Haha, did I just compare my daughter to a dog?)!!!  Earlier this week, E woke up in the morning and willingly gave me her BA and said, “Here Mama, you take my BA.  I don’t want C (the little boy I watch on Tuesdays and Fridays) to think that I am a baby.”  I diligently took her BA and told her that was a very big girl and a good choice to make.  She didn’t mention her BA to me the rest of the day except when it was time for nap.  She had been laying in her bed for about 20 minutes before she called me and said she couldn’t sleep without her BA.  I was feeling rather strong on this particular day, and reminded E that she had gone all morning without her BA and I thought she could try and be a big girl the rest of the day and go without it.  I also reminded her of the reason she gave me the BA in the first place-that she didn’t want C to think she was a baby.  She looked very sad and she started to tear up, but said, “Ok, Mama but will you lay with me.”  So, I layed with her for almost 2 hours until she fell asleep.

When she woke up from her nap, I made a big production over her NOT sleeping with her BA and told her how excited I was and how proud I was of her.  She looked so proud of herself, but also looked deep in thought.  After a couple minutes of this pondering look on her face, she looked up at me and said, “Mama, does this mean I can go to the toy store and get my Elsa hair?” See-she did not forget!  I explained to her that if she wanted Elsa hair, she needed to collect all of her BA’s and then we would put them in a bag and when Daddy got home we would all go to the toy store and she would have to give all of her BA’s to the cashier to pay for her Elsa hair.  She looked a little sad, but said, “Ok Mama, I am ready”. So, we collected her BA’s and put them in a bag.  When her Dad got home, she excitedly told him she was going to get Elsa hair and give her BA’s away because she was a big girl.  We all went to the store later that night and Etta picked out her Elsa hair and  very hesitantly handed over her BA’s. to the cashier.  We walked out of the store (no tears, just excitement for her Elsa hair) and went home.  Just like that another chapter was closed.

Although she’s doing far greater then I every expected without her BA, she still has been talking about them some. It takes her a lot longer to fall asleep at nap or she just doesn’t seem to be napping (you win one battle and always seem to take on another).  She also keeps telling us that we need to find her something else that won’t hurt her teeth for night time (we always told her her BA’s were hurting her teeth in hopes this would rid her of the bad habit).  We give gentle reminders that she has Lamerz (a stuffed animal she’s attached to) to snuggle with and comfort her at night and that we said Good-bye to the BA’s forever.  She also has told us that she really misses her BA’s and has a couple moments of sadness but seems to get over it fairly quickly.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of E and how glad that we finally are rid of the BA’s.  I have to say that a wave of sadness washed over me though realizing that this literally is the last part of BABY we had left of her.  I also realized that maybe this is why it was so hard for me as her parent to get rid of them sooner and it honestly makes sense with everything we are going through.  However, it’s time for us all to just let go and continue on growing.  BA or no BA, I know that E will always be our baby girl.  Growth and change is truly a beautiful thing!
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This is E admiring herself and in total awe over her new Elsa hair and celebrating being such a BIG girl!

Thank you BA’s for providing my baby with comfort the last 3 years and for making things just a little bit easier on us as her parents.  Not only did she depend on you, but so did we!

Good-bye moon BA

Good-bye silly BA

Good-bye Cat BA

Good-bye Giraffe BA

Good-bye White BA

Good-bye Pink BA

Good-bye BA’s-it’s been quite the journey with you!

The Last Diaper…

It’s official, E has crossed yet another milestone!  Our little lady is completely day time diaper/pull-up and overnight diaper free.  She wears her big girl undies 100% of the time.  She’s been wearing undies all day and using the potty shortly after she turned 3 BUT as of two weeks ago she decided that she did not want to wear an overnight diaper to bed either.  It was pretty nerve wracking for this mama BUT in the two weeks she’s worn undies to bed she’s only had 1 accident.  This all just happened SO fast.  She does wake up in the middle of the night again and calls out for “Mama” and “Daddy” to help her when she needs to use the bathroom-which is once or twice EVERY night.  We are not used to having to get up with her in the night much anymore, so we’ve been trying to get used to interrupted sleep again.  However, I am so incredibly proud of her. She’s doing fantastic!

With this elated feeling of joy of it being the “last diaper” for her and for her new “Big Girl” status, comes a bit of sadness.  Who knew it would be this bittersweet.  It seems every baby part of her is gone.  She’s now a little girl. It’s like that little baby I brought home from the hospital is just a distant memory shoved away in picture books.  Everyone teased me that I was a picture taking-aholic too…and boy am I glad I was and still am!  I can be certain that I cherished those memories and did not take a day for granted with her.  I just can’t bring myself to look at most of her baby pictures right now-it’s a little too hard on my heart at the moment.  It’s unreal how you just never know when it’s going to be your last moment with something big or small….as smelly as a lot of those diapers were, I’m going to miss them and that time in her life.  Isn’t it crazy how one can have a moment like this-where in the moment you were complaining about something (like having to change a dirty diaper or pushing your little to use the potty to be a big girl) and now you miss it and don’t want them to grow up so fast?  It’s hard.  What makes this hard is knowing she could be my last baby and that I may never get to experience moments like this again.  I love you E and I am so thankful you are my daughter and have given me this wonderful experience in life.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Time just goes too fast.  Slow down.  Enjoy the moment.  What you take for granted others are praying for.

Today We Remember…

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A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.-Unknown

October 15th is a day to remember all those who have experienced the devastating loss of a pregnancy and/or infant loss. Today I remember.  Today I will take a few seconds out of my day to say a prayer for you. Today I will pray for your angel babies who will never be forgotten.  I am so sorry for your loss, one that should be remembered, not just today but often. You are not alone and are some of the strongest and bravest people I know.

Although I have never experienced such a horrific loss, and I pray to God I never have to, I am thinking today, of those who have.  I know many friends, family members and acquaintances who have had to grieve over the loss of a pregnancy and/or infant loss. It’s a type of grief many feel they have to brush under the rug or many also feel they shouldn’t talk about. It breaks my heart that society is so hush-hush about this topic. It’s not taboo people-and nobody should be made to feel that it is.

I may not know exactly what that kind of loss feels like, but in a sense I can relate as some say that dealing with infertility second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year-you experience a comparable amount of loss and grief.  It’s unimaginable.  It’s a nightmare.  It’s unfair.  It’s gut wrenching sad.  It’s stressful.  It’s heartbreaking. It changes you forever and  It lives with you forever.

It’s the type of pain that is misunderstood and not talked about enough.  The pain is very real.  I challenge you today to open up and share your story.  To educate.  To not feel like you have to hide your pain.  You never know how many people you can reach out to and help by doing so.  Sometimes, something that may be very uncomfortable to share, by sharing, you find your biggest sense of relief, you find you can move forward, you find gratefulness that you helped another and you may find the peace you need to be okay.  You are your own advocate and never forget that your struggle and your story matters!

Today I remember.  It’s my hope you take the time to remember too.

What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us. -Helen Keller

Etiquette

There is a certain etiquette for everything.  Yet, so many people have forgotten how to be genuinely kind, compassionate, empathetic, sensitive, respectful, and good listeners to others.  This forgotten and very poor etiquette is blatantly out there in the infertility world and it needs to stop. This is a topic that is overlooked and I strongly feel needs to be talked about. Those suffering with infertility are dealing with so much and on top of their suffering they take the poor etiquette blow from other people in their lives (sometimes by a friend or family members, acquaintance, or even by a complete stranger) on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times in one day.  It can be a lot to handle, and the infertile person is often left feeling very alone and overwhelmed with sadness. Be sensitive!  You may have no clue how your poor etiquette and lack of compassion affected them. Now, you may not know you are one of these people and may not be intentionally trying to even have poor etiquette-how can you when you are so naive and uneducated about the topic of infertility?  In defense of these people, I have to say that their etiquette is poor because infertility is not understood fully.  Yet, I can’t blame it on that entirely.  I also blame it on my second sentence in this paragraph:  People have forgotten how to be genuinely kind, compassionate, empathetic, respectful and good listeners in general and common sense is lacking.  I may not be an expert on this topic, but I am very passionate about the topic of infertility, educating others on infertility, and spreading awareness to others who have no idea what infertility feels like and what people with infertility deal with on a daily basis.  With that, I want to talk about a very specific part of etiquette and infertility:  Etiquette in telling your infertile friend or relative you are pregnant.  

Those of us dealing with infertility know how it feels when a friend or relative tells us they are pregnant.  As much as you are deeply excited for them and do not wish your circumstances on them-or anyone for that matter, it is a gut wrenching reminder of what isn’t happening for you and it takes a lot of time to process this news.  It hurts and the hurt is pretty deep. Someone who has never experienced infertility will not understand this pain and never will.  As a person dealing with infertility and being in this type of pain on a regular basis, I give my friends and relatives this advice: it is your responsibility to brush up on your good etiquette when it comes to talking with and being there for this person in your life who is suffering so deeply.  What I see happen most, and have experienced it myself, is the person with the exciting news takes offense to the reaction or lack there of, of their friend who is suffering.  What you need to realize is you are getting offended because you don’t understand infertility.  Not taking the time to understand is what makes you tell this person your news in such a non- compassionate manner in the first place. Think about it!

From my own experiences here are my tips for you on telling your friend or relative you are pregnant:

  1.  Tell her right away, don’t keep this a secret from her.  By keeping this a secret you may think that you are protecting your friend/relative.  However, if she finds out from someone else it will be even more hurtful to her then if you had just done it yourself at the very beginning. You have the control to tell her in an environment that she feels safe in.  If she hears it from someone else, it could be in a really uncomfortable place with people she’s uncomfortable with making an already difficult situation worse.
  2. When you tell her, don’t announce it in a way that rubs it in her face even more.  Although you are very excited about your news (as you very well should be) and your infertile friend/relative is deep down excited for you (she really is) this is just another in her face reminder of what isn’t happening for her.  The last thing she needs is some cheesy Pinterest announcement from you that puts her over the edge.  Instead, find a place that is quiet and you know she will be comfortable in and sit down and say that you need to talk.  Start out by saying something like, “I know you and (her partner) have been trying to have a baby for a while now and although you don’t know exactly what she is going through you know that news of another’s pregnancy is hard.  Tell her you by no means want to hurt her but wanted to be upfront and honest with her and that you are expecting.  There is no need to go on about the details (how long it took you to get pregnant, how excited you are, when baby is due, etc unless she asks these questions herself).  Tell her how much you love and care for her and tell her that you are there for her (you could even ask her what kind of support she needs from you at this time.
  3. Give her space after she receives the news of your pregnancy.  Unless she asks you to sit with her or stay with her, please just give her some time and space to process and to grieve.  It’s normal for her first reaction to be heartache and if you have any empathy at all, you would not take offense to her not jumping for joy at your amazing news. As much as she is deeply happy for you, it simply hurts.  You have to remember that she goes through the grieving process on a monthly basis, and theses feelings of loss she encounters are there every second of everyday.   Triggers are everywhere for her.  It’s hard and takes an enormous amount of energy for her to muster up the courage to even smile.  On the inside she’s in so much pain.  Remembering that this isn’t about you and giving her the space she needs is the start of having great compassion and being a great friend/relative.  Realizing it’s not your pregnancy she’s unhappy with, but the reminder of loss and heartache being the root cause is key.  After an adequte about of time and space has been given, please don’t forget to reach out-this could be via email, or sending a card, or even a phone call.
  4. After an adequate amount of space and time was given, touch base with your friend/relative if you haven’t heard from her in a while.  Maintaining some sore of relationship is important and that there was “life” to the relationship before the pregnancy announcement.  Talk about those things.  However, continue to keep an open line of communication about what is currently going on in your lives as well-this includes being honest with how you are feeling and her being able to be honest with how she feels and still knowing that you are there and vise versa.
  5. Be understanding that she may not be involved fully in your pregnancy journey and don’t hold this against her or treat her any differently because of it.  Continue to be sensitive to her and what she is going through.  By her taking a step back from you at this time.   Again, this isn’t about you, it is for her own well being and health.  Not being able to get pregnant involves a lot of self care to be able to continue putting one foot in front of the other each day.  Don’t take offense to this, encourage and support her need to be a bit selfish during this time.  Don’t hold it against her.  You have plenty of other people who can be there for you at this time and it isn’t affecting their health to do so.  Of course extend an invite out to her to your baby shower, but do not get mad if she can not attend.  Baby showers tend to feel a bit suffocating and provoke a lot of intense emotions for those dealing with infertility.  Be understanding of this.
  6. Use common sense.  If you had a friend dealing with a major health crisis, such as cancer.  After going to a yearly physical and getting a good health report, would you make a big production in front of them about how healthy you are?  No, I would hope you would be more sensitive to their feelings then this.  Same goes for your infertile friend/relative.  At all times, use the qualities that so many people are lacking when it comes to good etiquette:  Be kind, be sensitive, show compassion, be empathetic, listen whole heatedly,  don’t judge, be respectful, educate yourself on the topic of infertility so you can better understand, understand that your friend is grieving more than anyone should have to grieve, do not take offense to your friends reaction or lack there of, be there, check in, support her, don’t talk behind her back, give her things to look forward too (movie nights, coffee dates, shopping trips together, etc.), don’t make this about you, knowing what she is going through use other support systems in your life if you are looking for positive attention regarding your pregnancy but don’t shut her out completely, cut her a little slack, don’t offer unsolicited advice, don’t complain about your pregnancy symptoms, etc….

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