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06 November 2009

The Power Of Attachment Parenting

Yesterday morning I witnessed firsthand the overwhelming power of attachment parenting.

Over the past two months Gretchen has been battling a virus which left her with what we now know to be a minor chest infection and an asthma like chronic cough. For the last 21 nights I have been up every night with a coughing babe who couldn't sleep and my heart was just breaking for her. The warm eucalyptus baths before bed, the elevated mattress, the vapourizer, the rosemary oil, the baby massages -- these all helped a little, but nothing could stop the cough. Our doctor said to give it time, but as time went on with no improvements, I scheduled another appointment.

Yesterday morning I took Gretchen back to see our doctor who then ordered a chest x-ray. I took my daughter down to the lab and after a bit of a wait, we were ushered back to meet the nurse. She warned me that "all babies scream bloody murder" when put into the x-ray restraint (which looks like this, if you've never seen one). I was a little nervous as I took Gretchen's onesie off.

To help the nurse put her in the restraint, I held my babe's arms up so that the contraption could be secured around her. I continued to hold her hands to keep her still.

Gretchen stuck her lip out and made the tiniest little whimpering sound.

The nursed stared at me and said "umm... all babies scream in this thing... we actually want them to cry because it gives us a better x-ray," while Gretchen held my hands & looked confused.

The nurse stopped for a moment and waited for the crying to start. Eventually she gave up, shrugged and took the x-rays while Gretchen sat confined & oh so quiet with her little pouty mouth.

As she opened up the restraint I lifted Gretchen by her arms and the nurse took her so I could take off my lead apron -- only then did my kid let out a cry because the nurse had freezing cold hands. Ha.

To me, this is a huge testament to the way that I parent. The attachment parenting philosophies come very easily to me -- even though I sometimes find myself faced with those who disagree with them. I know myself, my family & my daughter -- and I do what I feel is right for us. That moment in the x-ray lab, when Gretchen was expected to feel fear & anxiety, tested the bond between us & proved just how strong a bond it is. At just over nine months of age my daughter must trust me enough to stay calm in a situation where even medical professionals are sure she'll panic. I feel honored to have that trust.

Later in the evening we got a call with the results of the x-ray & a prescription.

Last night, for the first night in TWENTY ONE NIGHTS, we slept. No coughing, no hours of nursing and rocking and walking and sighing. We slept & I'm grateful.

My fingers are crossed that tonight we shall sleep again.




Blogger jasmine said...

that is so sweet. gretchen is lucky to have a mommy (and daddy) who love her so much.

November 6, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Christopher And Tia said...

Aw this made me so sad. I just went through this with my little Charlie. First H1N1, and then pneumonia. I sat in the doctors office with him for DAYS in a row. I spent hours up with him at night (I blogged about all of it if you care to read, you might find some comfort in knowing that you're not alone?). And the chest xrays were awful :(

So glad to hear that everyone got some sleep last night.

You're a wonderful mother, and you're loving your baby in the best of ways.

<3 <3 <3

Beautiful picture.

November 6, 2009 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Thank you Jasmine -- that makes me feel all warm <3

Christopher&Tia -- thanks so much for sharing -- it's so good to read the stories of others who are going through similar situations. Especially the mamas. We can feel so isolated sometimes, thank you. <3

November 6, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Brianna said...

You are so right. Attachment Parenting is powerful. What a beautiful moment for the two of you during a time that could have been very stressful.


November 6, 2009 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Thank you, Bri. It was an intense moment as I just saw her look at me and relax, with no more than a few pouts.
Oh my heart!

November 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

Hope all is well. Beautiful story.


November 7, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Attachment parenting is a wonderful thing, and it's moments just like that that make you realize that what you're doing (despite the reactions of many!) is right and good!

Way to go, Mama! Glad you all got some sleep last night!

November 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger joyfully gray said...

i too am an attachment parenting believer and love this story because it demonstrates just how powerful your bond is with G. your parenting style and the trust you have established with her helped what could have been an extremely stressful endeavor happen with ease. thank you for sharing and i am soooo glad that wee bit is feeling better. phew!

November 7, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Elly said...

Wow, that's so amazing - I LOVE that you guys practice attachment parenting, and to see it have such wonderful results really is amazing. Yay for you guys <3

November 7, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Aww poor G! I'm so glad she's getting some relief!

How does attachment parenting transition as one's child gets older? It seems great, I know you've said before you 2 are like 2 peas in a pod and are never apart, won't there be issues when she goes off to kindergarten and such? Just asking out of curiosity, everything I know about attachment parenting is through you, lol.

November 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

A big part of attachment parenting is that it gives the child the necessary skills to form relationships with others & not only with their parents. The more trusting they are of you, the better able they are to go off and trust others because they've experienced that safety at home.
Attachment parented kids are more compassionate, and secure and have an easier time being on their own when they are older because they've always been helped to feel safe and secure.
I hope that all makes sense!
I suppose it boils down to the fact that she trusts me and therefore if I'm the one sending her off to kindergarten or what not, she trusts that it's safe because she trusts me!
(Check out this blog for more info on AP: http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/ -- they can explain it all much better than I can!)

November 7, 2009 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Aw! That's amazing! I think it's AWESOME that you've brought her up with the security and trust!

November 7, 2009 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Thanks so much, Judy!

November 7, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

Awww. That is so sad and sweet at the same time. You sound like such a wonderful mommy for your little girl!

November 8, 2009 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Thanks so much, Casey -- that means a lot!

November 8, 2009 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Amanda Roo said...

That's wonderful that Gretchen has that special bond with you. I'm curious, what is attachment parenting?

November 8, 2009 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

This site, API Speaks, is a fantastic blog with many stories about the AP style: http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/

I don't think I could explain it fully here, but it's basically a very natural, nurturing way of parenting :)

November 8, 2009 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Turtleface said...

That is quite the testament to how you raise Gretchen. It does prove the trust and the bond that you two have for and in one another. Its a rare thing to see such strong bonds anymore. She is lucky to have you... you are raising her well.

November 8, 2009 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Johanna said...

I'm sorry to hear that lil G has been so sick, poor babe. But what a lovely story of her reaction with the xray. Seems as though she felt VERY safe and secure. A lovely example of your bond!

November 8, 2009 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger The Red Fantastic said...

That is a wonderful story. I can just see her pouty little lip, silent because mama is right there!

November 10, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

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