I remember the concerns of family that Munchkin 1 was late to speak. I remember how I would say words to him, hoping and praying that he would repeat only for him to give me the cutest toothless smile. On the good days, I would wake up and say each child has his/ her own timing for their milestones. On the tougher days, I would remember all the questions of “Bado hajaongea?”, “Does he have a heavy tongue?”, “Have you seen a speech therapist?” And to be honest, I actually thought of seeing a speech therapist. And I doubted myself and even wondered if it had anything to do with me being his mom.
Today the little man is 4 years old and is a major chatterbox. I sometimes find myself saying we should watch the cartoons in silence, or asking him to go play outside, I am human. The responsibility of being a mother, a parent at that, is one of the toughest ones. It has no unique manual for their personalities, their milestones, their way of communicating. Prayer and mom’s groups and sharing with friends and family is what gives a guideline.
My Munchkin 2 was born in April 2016. She was a unique beautiful girl who put her hand on her face, at an angle. This meant that she couldn’t pass through the birth canal without breaking it, her hand that is, or crushing her skull. When they checked if I had dilated while in labor, she actually had her hand to say hi to the nurse and Doctor Kigen. So yes, the caesarian section happened. For me, it was horrendous, especially because I compared it to the natural delivery of Munchkin 1. The first few nights, I cried daily. And Munchkin 2 cried a little louder. She had colic. So here I was barely able to pull myself up to breastfeed, and her cry would already wake up all my neighbors. I almost got to postpartum depression. I always remember heartily how Dad would come home to help me bathe her, and thankfully he didn’t mind. It actually became our ritual. And he helped me get out of the darkness.
Each clinic we went to, the pediatrician would ask if she cries that much as she looked for a better option to calm the colic. Finally Bonnisan offered a sort of relief, at least it was better than the two other options we had tried. Dad would be present for all the clinics, to the point the pediatrician thought he was the better option to calming Munchkin 2 down. With time the colic faded off and we now enjoyed more coos than cries. I enjoyed breast feeding as I always had until one warm October morning when things started changing. Dad got sick. At first I thought it was a short illness but it ended up being really serious. He was admitted in hospital for over a month. (That’s a story for another day, I am still not ready.) Life changed. In between the running to the hospital and home, thinking about him, munchkin 1 & 2, not eating or taking fluids well, the breast milk started reducing. I decided to go the formula way while still trying to substitute. Dad’s condition was getting worse. He had brain surgery. I would rarely see my children as I spent the day in hospital. In the evening, I would try to balance the energy between chatting with Munchkin 1 while trying to breastfeed Munchkin 2. The milk was so little. She would cry until I substitute. It took me a while but finally I accepted that it was torture to her as she wanted to suckle but there was nothing. I finally gave up breastfeeding. And for the first time, I will accept and share that I thought of myself as a failure. I wondered if she had gotten enough immunity, if I had been unfair to her and yet her brother had a longer time to enjoy it. It took a while to accept it. Its tough being a mummy.
I introduced packet milk to her as the cost of formula was too high in between all the other things we were experiencing. She loved it. She became less edgy and soon enough she slept longer hours. In fact in a week or two she mastered the art of sleeping through the night. As dad got better, I got more time to spend with my babies. Now she is one and a half years, I am grateful that she is doing well healthy, chatty and the sweetest ever.
Her brother, whom I thought had an issue with speech is teaching her how to talk. I am so grateful for my nanny who hang in there with me and took up a greater responsibility to allow me to balance between hospital and babies. Today dad is well, he is almost back to his optimum. Thanks to the 2016 April mums who stood with me and encouraged me, we have a lovely bond because of our babies. Thank you to my family and great friends.
Mums be encouraged that it always gets better. And babies grow, a day at a time. And God protects them and gives us grace for each new day. I just might get a third born to enjoy the breastfeeding experience once more.