Sunday, June 10, 2012

What did we do differently?

In about a month, Iris will celebrate her first birthday. I have a lot of feelings about that but I'll save those for a later entry. This entry is about the things that we have done differently with Iris that we didn't do with Toby (or even Sam).

When I was pregnant with Iris, we decided that this time we would go by the book. We would follow all the rules and precautions and be pretty much prefect parents. If Iris died of SIDS, it would be because some energy force was messing with us-NOT because we did or did not do something that could have prevented it.

So how did we fare?

Well, most of that went flying out the window when she got here.

Babies are different. What Sam liked, Toby didn't like. What Toby didn't like, Iris loved.

Iris does not like to be held like most babies. I wanted to hold her a lot. She didn't want anything to do with it. Sam? You literally could not put him down. Toby loved to cuddle so you didn't want to put him down. I figured I would hold Iris all the time and be afraid to lay her down. Nope. She screamed until I let her go.

Iris can put herself to sleep. She demands to be left alone. My other two did not. They wanted to be rocked and cuddled. So there are those differences.

Iris started sleeping in her baby bed this week. Pete set up a desk in her bedroom because it's next to ours and he can easily stay up next to her all night and be close to me to help me. So someone is still up with her 24/7 but she is actually in her bed now. Until this week, she slept on the couch, one foot away from me. For 10 months she did.

Yes, I know that the safest place is in a crib without pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. etc. But for 10 months Iris slept with her foot propped on me, on the couch, with her favorite blanket brought up to her chin and her head propped on a pillow.

With her reflux, she has to have her head propped up. Without it, she chokes. Without her blanket, she doesn't sleep.

Iris also likes to sleep on her stomach. So, we let her. No back sleeping for her. I figured I would be dead set against her sleeping on anything but flat on her back. But after months of fighting with her, and months of doing my on research and reading the real statistics about back sleeping, we let her go.

We also thought we would be religious about using the Snuza. We did buy one but after 3 months the battery quit working. We never got a new one. The Snuza did help us and give us some peace of mind, but since someone was up with her 24/7 anyway, a monitor didn't seem that necessary. More than once it almost made me wreck as I drove down the road with her and it slipped and went off, sending me into a panic.

Ir could care less about using a pacifier, too. Sam HAD to have his. Luckily, he gave it up at 1 year so we didn't have to fight him for it but he couldn't sleep without it before then. Toby was hit and miss. Iris forgets she has one. She does like to stick it in our mouths, though. That's the most use she gets out of it.

We don't use a fan.

I did not breastfeed. I chose not to.

I thought that I would get tests run on Iris but none of the doctors would do them. Well, until she failed her newborn screening and they had to. She didn't get any special treatment just because her sibling died of SIDS.

We followed all of the "rules" with Toby and he still died. He had his own cradle and crib, used a pacifier, had a fan in his room, didn't have blankets or pillows, slept on his back, and did all of those other things that the guidelines tell us to do. I had good prenatal care, did not smoke, did not do drugs, and provided a healthy environment and womb for him.

I am certified in CPR, so is Pete, and Mom and I took turns giving it to Toby until the paramedics got there.

Knowing that I did those things, but that he died anyway, does not lessen the guilt or make me feel any better.

When I was pregnant with Iris, planning all the things that we were going to do and things that we could do to make her safe helped ease the stress of the pregnancy and took some of the pressure off. So it definitely had its place. Once she got here, though, the reality of having her here coupled with her own unique personality made those decisions more difficult.

There are some things we do that people don't understand. We don't have babysitters, for instance. Never have-not even with Sam. Iris is not used to other people. She screams if someone she doesn't know tries to pick her up. People chastise us and tell us that she needs to get used to others. Why? I'm not leaving her with anyone. Why should I? There are three adults in her life and one of us always has her. She doesn't attend daycare and won't. She doesn't have to-I have a home office.

It's funny because I think in some ways I got a lot more paranoid after Toby died as far as my parenting is concerned but in other ways I got more relaxed. A woman on one of the SIDS boards said that when he subsequent baby was born the only way he would sleep was on his stomach with a blanket thrown over his head. After 7 months she finally threw in the towel and let him do it. I totally understand that. 


Maxie's Mommy said...

Everyone has to do whatever it is that will give them peace of mine. After Max died, I spoke to a woman whose child died at daycare. She sent her subsequent baby to the same day are just because she felt that unless she did everything exactly the same, then whatever took her child would win. I am actually doing most everything the same as well - except the snuza- which either didn't exist with Max or I didn't k ow about it. We did use an angelcare monitor though. I am a rule follower. Always have been. It's the only way I am comfortable, even if the rules didn't save Max. I am almost always on time, I always buckle my seat belt. I pay forthe LA subway even though it is basically an honor system. Everyone has to do what's best for their own peace of mind. It's good you know what works for you instead of forcing something that doesn't.

Rebecca said...

I think that with the daycare thing it's different. Daycares should follow all of the precautions no matter what. There has to be uniformity there across the board to ensure that all the babies are safe. They don't have that margin for error, especially since they are already outnumbered by the children to workers ratio. I would expect a childcare provider to do the things that are outlined. But what I do in my home, with my child, is different than what I expect an outsider to do. Just because I might occasionally have ice cream cake in bed for supper doesn't mean that my childcare provider is allowed to serve it as a meal to my child.

This entry was in repsonse to that woman who keeps posting on DS, telling us how to do everything when she hasn't even lost a child herself.