So, if you know me at all you know that since I can remember I have had a love for children and wanted to have them, as in plural! After marrying my best friend, Steven, I knew waiting a while and building up our relationship was a good idea but I also knew I didn’t want to wait too long. It was always a joke between Steven and I that we would end up pregnant in like 2 or 3 years because I wanted to wait one year and he wanted to wait 5! Well boy did God totally have another plan in store for us! By the time we were celebrating our very first anniversary I was about 3 or 4 months pregnant! I still remember we were in such disbelief when we first found out. I must have taken like 5 tests to make sure! Then to add to it when we finally went in for our first sonogram we found out we weren’t 4 weeks along but 8 which moved up our due date by a month. Thank the Lord I was blessed with a pregnancy void of nausea and morning sickness. I did have gestational diabetes and an aged placenta (which to this day I probably couldn’t accurately explain) but other than that a completely healthy pregnancy! The labor and delivery experience was, well, interesting. I was induced two weeks early and was not ready so we had to come in the night before to get things going. What a BRUTAL night. Any night that start a off with a sleeping pill and a lady parts exam 2 or 3 hours later should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Anyways, after that fun little night they started me on pitocin that morning. Within 2 hours I was requesting my epidural, man was I a wimp! 12 hours later and 30 minutes of pushing in vain, I was taken in for an emergency c-section and at 6:52 PM my beautiful son Silas Alden Dent was born at 7 pounds 15 ounces and 21 inches long! Our beautiful surprise had finally arrived! Our time at the hospital went rather smoothly and I appreciated all the help we could get, as I assume most parents do. I had all these ideas and thoughts on how things would go. From no bottles and pacifiers, to breastfeeding at least the first year and in his own room from night one! All of it came crumbling down within the first three months of his life, some the first day! We were adamant about no pacifiers or bottles because of the belief it could cause nipple confusion. Well that very first night a nurse came into our room saying, “I know you guys said that you didn’t want him to use a paci but I wanted you to know he is sucking his thumb.” Without even a second thought we were like “Get him a paci!” and he still uses one now and will be 2 in October (please save me the lecture we know it’s time to wean soon)! We had every intention to have him in his room but when we walked into our home and got settled in I couldn’t bare the thought of him being all alone in his room and actually spent the first night in our room, on the floor in his car seat! Within the first month he was using a bottle because breast feeding had not gone as planned! Possibly the biggest and most important lesson I have learned is to let go of most of your expectations and just strap in and go along for the ride. It was so stressful to battle breastfeeding. I remember the tears and the frustration and even the anger of not being able go do what was supposed to be so effortless, what was supposed to be the most natural thing a mother does was a struggle for me and I didn’t understand. I still vividly remember coming home from the hospital and Silas was screaming and hungry and I was tired and already frustrated and Steven was overwhelmed and he was frustrated because he couldn’t help and I just broke down into tears. It was so hard because Silas would literally push off of me and scream and it made me feel so horrible but I just kept trying. After several calls and even one or two visits to a lactation consultant and still not really having success, and lots of pumping with little result I finally conceded and decided to put him on formula. It was such a hard decision for me and although I plan to try just as hard as I can with our next son or daughter I know now that it is not worth beating yourself up over it. When push comes to shove the overall health of your baby and your mental health are MUCH MORE important than if they gets breast milk or formula. As far as the sleeping arrangement we went from bassinet, to the swing (he actually slept in his swing a couple months), to his crib, to our bed! We never thought we would be those parents with our child in bed with us but when he started waking up in the middle of the night screaming and therefore causing both of us to lose sleep, and at least for me my peace of mind, we read up and decided we would let him in our bed which is where he still sleeps to this day. For me personally I love it. Sure there are nights he kicks us in our sleep or tosses and turns.However, there is nothing like the peace of mind you get when your child is right by you and there is no worry or fear of if he or she is ok or if they will wake up in the middle of the night screaming and it is such a comfort in being able to literally turn over and console your child immediately. I know some may not agree and think differently but for the Dent family we have found it is what works for us and I could probably bet that we will do it again with our next child unless he or she has a more independent spirit and desires their own space! So what do I wish I knew then that I know now? TO GO WITH THE FLOW! I wish I would have known that it is much easier and enjoyable to be a mother when we ease up on our expectations and intensify our experiences.