Keeping it Real
–You can read about Dr. Erica Holding in the Contributors section of About Us–
My first son Simon was born at 1314pm on March 20th 2009. I am one of those mothers that was blessed with an easy pregnancy and wonderful delivery. Don’t hate me though because my recovery was not so great. I ended up ripping open my episiotomy and having to have it re-done UNDER LOCAL ANESTHETIC!!!!!! Not so fun. Also I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own for about 8 weeks after delivery without the use of serious laxatives as I was totally constipated from the percocet I had been taking. When the constipation didn’t subside, I went to my doctor and told her I felt like something was blocking me from going. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and sent me for a colonoscopy. Also not fun. It turned out that I had a hernia in my rectum. Have you ever heard of such a thing???? I hadn’t! Who knew that it is a common problem????!!!! And don’t even ask me about what they need to do to fix it!
To say I was able to enjoy the first few weeks of my baby’s life would be a lie. I loved my baby, but I was having such a hard time recovering physically that I was exhausted all of the time and I felt so guilty trying to enjoy his first few days while being emotionally drained from my health that I was in a constant state of tears. So my loving husband said “Why don’t you try and meet some other moms?” I think he was at a loss as to how to support me and so looking into his face, I realized I better do something…. So! when Simon was just about 4 months old, I started taking him to Gymboree.
This is where I met Laura one of the other moms in the class who said, “You should join the mom’s group I joined on Meet-up.com” I said, “Meet-up.com? What is that?” When I found the meet-up group online for New Moms of South OC, I was amazed by how many activities there were and I loved reading all the posts from the moms in the group! While I was heading back to work full time and wasn’t able to participate in the weekday events, I tried as much as I could to attend weekend events and I found all of the moms in the group to be so warm and welcoming. And on the message boards I was completely blown away with how much information everyone was sharing with each other about what they were going through, their doctors, feeding and sleeping issues, products people were using, etc. And I thought to myself, wow without having family close by, I am so lucky to have found this place! It is like a sisterhood! This is one savvy group of women!!!
Now with the website, New Mommy Oasis.com, I really felt like I wanted to give something back. So I asked Holly if there was any way that I could contribute a regular column for the website. I told her that as a developmental psychologist who has worked with families for many years, I could offer a place where mom’s could ask questions or find out things about their child’s development and I could give them straight answers. Holly thought it would be a great idea and so here we are!
One of the things you will not see in my responses to peoples’ questions are answers that say you MUST do this or this is the ONLY way you can be successful with toileting, etc. One thing that I have definitely learned working with families is that there is no right way or wrong way to do almost anything. When someone recently asked me which sleeping method do you recommend? I answered, “which one do you think would make the most sense for your family?” This is not a cop out. It is simply the truth that the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know much! So, while I will share what the latest research says on co-sleeping, vaccinations, etc. that just means that the latest research TODAY shows, x,y,z, but next year we will probably find out the opposite.
Mostly I hope to inspire in moms a sense of calm confidence in their own capability to assess what needs to be done for their own family. The fact of the matter is, 9 times out of 10, the decisions we all make for our children moment by moment every day are the best choices. All I have to do is to think about my mother…without the Internet, without media sources, and without the plethora of parenting books out there, somehow she made it through and here I am, a pretty much well adjusted adult who is embarking on her own journey of motherhood!
In the coming months, I hope I can be a great resource of information to everyone about all things that have to do with their child’s development! An issue close to my heart is Autism. I have worked with families with children with autism for many years. So one of my first articles will be about the early signs of Autism and what you can do as a parent if you suspect there may be an issue. You can email me on the website any questions you may have about any issue regarding your child’s development. Each month I will choose one or two of the most requested issues to respond to in my column.
Welcome everyone to the New Mommy Oasis, a place where moms help new moms! And I am happy to be an additional resource to this great group of mommies!!!
Erica Holding, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Infant Specialist.