Monday, November 26, 2012

"The other kids won't be quiet"

First day back to school after Thanksgiving break and I can look you straight in the eye and tell you with confidence that I was none too happy to be there.  I have a weird relationship with my job where I absolutely hate it when I"m not there, and when I'm there I actually quite enjoy it.  Make sense?  Let me try to explain.

Sunday night the dread started to set in.  The "I-have-to-set-my-alarm-clock-for-the-crack-of-dawn-and-go-to-work-and-deal-with-horny-teenagers-all-day-tomorrow" dread.  Once class started I was good to go and loving life and all of a sudden it was 4:26 and I was driving home and I had another successful day of teaching under my belt.  Make sense yet?

Whatever.  It didn't need to make sense.  What you need to know is that I like my job no matter how much I complain about waking up early (curse the superintendent who declared teacher's hours start at 7 am!) and overall I am completely entertained by the little rascals.  Take this for instance.  I received the following note in my mail box.  It was signed anonymously.


I couldn't help but get a good laugh out of this.  "Even though the other kids won't be quiet"?!??!  What the crap, kid, you dissing on my classroom management skills?

Now, I'd love to stay and entertain you more with the antics of 17 year olds, but I have to go to Hubs comedy show and I still have a dinner to burn.  Oh wait, I already did that.  What I'm trying to spit out is time of the essence.  In honor of my post last week about babies, I have a good friend of mine, Rachel, here to share her beautiful birthing story.  (Whaddya think?  Is she trying to convince me?)  I was actually roommates with Rachel's brother's wife in college.  So chew on that!  Chew.  On.  That.

Oh, hello there Life of Bon readers! I'm super excited to be guest posting over here today!
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I'm Rachel, and I blog over at Her Threaded Needle. Sometimes I blog about crafty things I make, and other times I blog pictures of my cute kid, or write posts on motherhood (and baby #2 on the way!). Because I can post whatever the heck I want to over there, it's my blog! Other important information you need to know: I really like cheeseburgers. Pop on over and say hi! Stay awhile. Because maybe we're kindred spirits, after all!

I asked my mother once if she loved all her babies the same.  She has this thing she does, you know, where she says "you're my favorite" to each of us.  But I wanted to know if she loved her first baby the best, just a tiny bit more than the rest.  She said she loved us all, and of course she does.  I don't know, you see, how you love other babies, because I only have one tiny man.  But I think first babies are special, and not just because I am one.

First babies are special because their birth is the birth of a mother.

It's funny; the changes that happen to a mama when she is born.  A baby, a precious, tiny, new baby, and a mama.  One grown inside the other, two hearts beating in separate bodies now, but inseparably linked.

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After I birthed my son, I laid him on my now-empty stomach, and looked at his perfect face.  And in those moments, a mama tiger grew, and filled the empty spaces inside me, and there.  A mama was born.

The tiger grew to protect my son with a fierceness I never before possessed.  I avoided conflict, and I always accepted authority figures- the doctors, the teachers, my parents.  The mama tiger was there to give me the strength to fight for my son, to research and pray, to listen and teach and guide as only I could.

My own mama told me it's a mother's job to be an advocate for her child; to go to bat for them while they're still so small.  To know when to stand between them and the world, and when to let the child venture forth on his own.  It's a difficult balancing act, I think, to know when to tame that mama tiger, and when to release her from her cage.

My Luke was born tongue tied, and the lactation consultant at the hospital told me to make sure to have his pediatrician look at it.  I did; he glanced at it and said it was fine.  My mama tiger was still very new, still growing and weak.  And what did I know about nursing and tongue tied babies?

By the time he was a few weeks old, he wasn't able to nurse any longer- it hurt his poor mouth.  So I pumped, and pumped and slowly he stopped being able to eat from the bottle too.  My poor baby would cry and scream from hunger; his tongue too tired to suck more than an ounce at a time.  I squirted milk from the bottle down his throat to help him.  It didn't help; he choked.

I consulted the doctor again.  It's fine, he said.
It's not fine, I said.  He is starving.
He's gaining weight.
He's starving.

Did you know it costs $300 for a doctor to take a pair of scissors and snip a baby's frenum?  That is more than it cost us to have our baby in the first place.  Our typically excellent insurance wouldn't cover it.  $300 is a lot, my husband said.  And the doctor says he doesn't need it.  We can do it if he needs it, but are you sure it isn't something else?

I was sure.  That mama tiger, she knows.  So back we went, for a second opinion.

His tongue is 90% tied down, this doctor said.  If you ever want him to be able to nurse, we need to snip it.
The first doctor said, well, if you're sure, we can do it.
So we did it.  The best $300 I ever spent.

10 minutes later, we were home.  We settled into my favorite green chair by the window, and we nursed for the first time in weeks.  The mama tiger purred triumphantly in my chest as I beamed over my little one, finally able to eat and fill his stomach. 

I slipped into motherhood easily with confidence born from this mama tiger.  There have been other battles since this, and there will be more to come.  I imagine this mama tiger will grow as my body grows more babies to love and protect.

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because when a baby is born, so is a mother.
and I think, just maybe, they'll all be my favorites too.

10 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh I know exactly what you mean about hating it when I'm not there and loving it once the day is over. EXACTLY how I feel every single day.

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  2. This is a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing, Rachel! :)

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  3. Haha you = me!!! When I'm there with the crazy high schoolers I'm good and handle it, but when I'm not there I'm like "Aghh I don't wanna go back!!!" it's so weird bc, like you said, it is totally a love\hate relationship!! It was SO hard to get up this morning after the break, though!!!!!!

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  4. I am definitely on the same page. i have been going through this same bipolar relationship with my job. i don't get excited until I am in the car driving to work.

    xo

    lourdes

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  5. Love the guest post. So very sweet. I have four children and each night I tell each of them "don't tell anyone else...but your my favorite." My husband says I am crazy. :)

    Also...I can so understand the love/hate relationship. Bless your heart for going everyday because I don't think that I would be able to survive being a teacher!!

    Laura@MiceInTheKitchen

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  6. Such a lovely story!!

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  7. loved the mama-tiger post. I had a tongue-tied baby too and it's been a terrible battle to get him eating & gaining weight, but now he is doing wonderfully!! (5 mos old now) We mamas have to speak up for them, because who else will? This is one reason I am so passionate about adoption too-- no wonder kids in orphanages/foster care don't do so well: they are nobody's favorite. There's no tiger looking out for them.

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  8. I totally understand what you are saying about your job. I absolutely dread going to work every morning. But once I'm here, I actually almost enjoy it!

    And the Mama Tiger story, just beautiful! I love that saying, "When a baby is born, so is a Mom."

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  9. I room with a guy who teaches high school math...he DOES NOT get "You are AWESOME" letters. Count your blessings, disregard the perceived criticism about volume. Someone would rather listen to you teach than listen to peers babble on...that's an amazing concept in high school. Take the win!

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  10. this brought tears to my eyes. you are so right ... no one ever really thinks about the changes that happen in you, the mother - immediately. i was recently pregnant {had surgery for an ectopic}, and I immediately felt like a whole different person {still do} since finding out I was pregnant. Hopefully soon! Beautiful baby you have! :)

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