Introduce yourself and your son
T: My name is Tiffany Childress Price. I live in Chicago, IL. I’m a high school chemistry teacher and I have a 6-week-old son named Solomon.
How would you describe your son?
T: I know that all parents by nature are biased, but he really is super baby. He grabbed the scissors from his dad when he went to cut the umbilical chord. We have pictures as proof! Solomon is extremely alert and interested in the world around him. His pediatrician described his gross motor skills at his 1 month check up as “exceptional and scary”. He’s intense about eating.
Can you give us a mini-version of your birth story?
T: Though I tried not to have expectations, I didn’t expect it to be as full of challenges as it was. I labored for 4 days (2.5 of those days at home)! I wrote a blog post early in my pregnancy called “No Pitocin Please”. I was prepared for a fully drug free pregnancy, but because of threatening conditions, and to avoid an emergency C-section, I had to get pitocin to push Solomon out into the world.
Do you breastfeed?
T: Yes! My husband and I together decided that we want to breastfeed our children because of the evidence of TREMENDOUS health benefits to both mother and child. We also like the evidence for saving money! Have you seen the prices for formula? Outrageous! Breastfed babies show greater brain activity, have larger ovaries and testicles, fight off more infections.
How do you balance breastfeeding and working/managing your household?
T: Don’t know if I’ve figured this one out yet. I’m quite the “A Personality” so I haven’t followed the advice of “letting dust bunnies and mail collect”. A clean and orderly home has helped me to better accept the unexpected and uncontrolled variables that come with having a baby. I do work when Solomon takes naps (which is a recent thing–the nap taking, that is). I didn’t realize how TIME CONSUMING breast feeding would be. I’ve also had friends come and hold him for just an hour once in awhile so I can work. I pump for 5-10 minutes after a feeding so my husband can bottle feed him when he comes home from work.
How do you balance work and being a mom?
T: Ask me in August once the school year starts! I have had professional exams and meetings occasionally during the summer. My mother in law and husband have helped for a few hours here and there when I needed to be at a work commitment.
What is your biggest parenting challenge right now?
T: 24 hour, non stop care. Breastfeeding is nonstop, holding, rocking, singing, talking, diapering all unbelievably time consuming. Solomon can only communicate through crying so the guessing game is a bit stressful. We are finally distinguishing between an “I’m hungry” cry and an “I’m overstimulated and overtired” cry.
How do you determine that your child is thriving?
T: My mom is a pediatric nurse and I grew up hearing about “FTT” (Failure to thrive) babies and how to know when a baby or anyone else is healthy. Things like looking for hunger/an appetite, clear eyes, alertness, a strong cry that doesn’t last too long, and chunkiness starting to appear on the thighs is my favorite. Weight checks with the pediatrician as well.
How do you carve out time for yourself?
T: A carrier! I put Solomon in a carrier and I go for walks, meet friends for a decaf coffee, visit friends, shop, prepare meals, shop on line for jeans that fit my postpartum body. I just do it. Self care is important. My husband connect every night by talking through our day and eating dinner together, reading/praying, laughing at dumb stuff we hear or see. This is a centering practice for us.
How does your husband/partner contribute to child-rearing?
T: My husband is a baby whisperer. He loves Solomon and enjoys being with him. He doesn’t show annoyance at having to change a diaper or give a bottle at 2am. He has opinions and ideas and is an active partner. He also supports me in my new motherhood by checking in on how I’m feeling emotionally and physically. He started taking me on dates just 2-3 weeks post partum.
Who is your child-rearing support group?
T: I have the most awesome girlfriends a woman can have. This is really important for me because I have no blood family here in Chicago. My mother has only been here for a day since giving birth, so I’ve really needed the support. My mother-in-law helps out with sitting occasionally and for advice. Though my family is far, my grandmother, aunts and uncles, mom, and sister provide tremendous emotional support and advice.
What advice would you give to a new mom?
T: One word…LYCRA. In all seriousness, take care of yourself. Find clothes that fit, invest in some SPANX and put on a fitted dress. Keep your hair, skin, and nails looking good. Get out and enjoy fresh air in order to keep a clear mind. I was getting serious cabin fever and decided that I’d enjoy the fresh air with my son a few times a week. Also, be kind to your husband if you have one. He can be your greatest support during this time. It’s easy to be short tempered or annoyed as hormones and frustrations continue to balance themselves out, but don’t take it out on him!