It was the day I'd been waiting for: I would meet my little girl and become a mom. I expected to experience joy, triumph in my strength as a woman, and overwhelming love as she entered the world. Instead, I experienced my daughter's birth in a state of terror, wondering if I would die.
Basically every person a pregnant women meets has some idea or tip about what you should and shouldn't do with your baby. When I was pregnant, I got advice from cab-drivers, relatives and the tower of books I read, in horror, late into the night the month before I gave birth.
"I breastfed my friend's baby," Alice blurts out. If I were drinking coffee, this would be the perfect spit-take moment. Feelings started rapidly running through my body -- quickly flipping through disgust, confusion, intrigue and acceptance like they were cards in a Rolodex file.
What do we do after we've diapered, fed, swaddled, cuddled, rocked, sung, de-swaddled, re-diapered, bounced, swung and walked the floor? What do we do if we've emptied our entire bag of infant-calming tricks and nothing works?
I desperately wanted to get to know these other moms, to connect with them, to make a friend. But, really, they scared me half to death with their angelic babies, their new mom glows, and their judging eyes.
The proponents of safe havens and Baby Boxes most effectively answer criticism by saying their approach is worthwhile even if it saves just one baby's life. I have an alternative suggestion: Let's aim higher.
t's fun to read antiquated parenting advice and laugh or shake your head disapprovingly at their strange and possibly harmful ideas. It's comical. Bathing the baby in lard? Ridiculous. Not playing with your baby or comforting her when she cries for fear of "spoiling" them? Cruel. Or is it?
By the time she arrived in Kenya, between her freshman and sophomore years at Princeton, Eden Full had already done the kind of hands-on work that can make a smart, ambitious student wonder whether getting a college degree is all that necessary.
Despite being completely unnatural, hypoallergenic infant formulas are a critically needed feeding alternative for sensitive babies. But several years ago, I started to notice a problem -- and I suspected corn as the culprit.
A parent's biggest challenge -- and privilege -- is to watch these moments and try to make the most of them before they slip away. But those moments are just as important at 5, 10 and 15 as they are at five months, and it's not just Moms who bear this responsibility.