Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate my 30th birthday this past May 24, 2012. We had lots of yummy cookies and most of you brought your own milk (a big thank you to my mamas who don’t make milk anymore but still paid me a visit)! Julia (or I suspect her husband) made booby shaped cookies and Aurora brought cupcakes decorated like boobies!
When I was a little girl I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. At 10 years old, I played hooky from church to volunteer in the nursery, I stalked any woman with a baby, and I had a very
special, very realistic looking Korean baby doll I had saved up my own money to “adopt” (his name was Jesse James….although Lucy has now renamed him Yoshi). When I grew up, I wanted to hold babies. Seriously, I wanted that to be my job. But, as I grew up, reality crushed my dreams as it tends to do. I realized that is not a real job. Professional babysitter was not a lucrative career my parents were ok with me
pursuing. So, I tried early childhood education and special education. I thought about being a NICU nurse, but you don’t get to really hold those tiny babies much. I ended up settling on nursing in the postpartum field, because then I could at least snuggle some newborns when their mothers weren’t looking.
After working here at The Birth Center, I sat for the IBCLC exam and started seeing clients privately here. Over the past 3 years, I have gotten to help mamas and babies breastfeed from the day of birth to 2 years and older. I have had the honor and pleasure of watching all of your babies grow. I am certainly not all business either. I waste a good amount of time at each visit oogling and snuggling your babies.
I remember each of your stories clearly. I have seen you grow from a sleep deprived, anxious, scared insecure mess into a confident, balanced, successful mother. This gives me such pride in each of you.
I have sat and listened to the mothers of their 2nd, 3rd, 4th babies saying “I know I should know this, but…” You were never too proud to ask for help. You may know what you are doing, the trouble is, each baby comes out pretty different and pretty clueless.
I remember your tight fisted, frantic, flailing newborn and I watched as he or she plumped up, relaxed and figured out this whole “life” thing. As you know, I have a particular love for fat babies (CJ, Valentino, Vivien, Emma, Brinley, Caitlyn, Logan S) but I will always have a very special place in my heart for the petite active little suckers that gain weight slowly and give their mothers anxiety everyday (Logan D., Wil R, Emma–she goes in both columns, Kyle, Braydon, Logan C, Alessia, Sam). The only thing that made me happier than watching them grow at their own pace was watching each of you slowly wean yourselves off obsessive weight checks at each and every weekly group (Erin, Stephanie B, Stephanie F, Angela).
Our weekly support group has grown from 2-3 moms showing up to over 15-16! I recently had to kick out some big babies and start a whole other group for them to make room for all the moms with younger babies in need of love in those horrible early first weeks.
At my 30th birthday party, Abby Yingling and Kerry Ann Smith presented me with a gift on behalf of all of you. It is truly one of the most beautiful, meaningful gifts I have ever received…and I am thoroughly impressed they pulled it off with babies at home!
This is my quilt:
It is a collection of 41 images of my moms and babies I have helped over the past 3 years. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Thank you to all of you who contributed your pictures, to Abby for sewing it, to Kerry Ann for making sure Abby got it together and to Brian, Kerry’s husband for building the awesome shadow box to keep it in!
So, thank you. Thank you for letting me snuggle your babies and giving me my dream job. I always knew I loved holding babies and watching them grow, what I have discovered is how much I love holding mamas and watching them grow.
Katie Madden RN, IBCLC