D: My name is Denita West, and I live in Clinton, Mississippi. I am a School Counselor for the Jackson Public School District. I am also working on my doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.
Are you a single mommy? A married mommy?
D: I am a married mommy.
Introduce us to your children!
D: I have two wonderful boys, Alex Sherrod, age 3, and Andrew Solomon, age 6 months. Alex is an extremely bright and inquisitive child. He loves his daddy, but he’s mommy’s big man. He is very protective of his little brother, Andrew. Andrew is a bubbly and cheerful baby.
Tell us about your births.
D: Alex’s Story: I found out at about 32/33 weeks pregnant, that I had pre-eclampsia. I was induced, and I had an epidural. I went in on Sunday, 27 June 2010. On Monday morning, at 3:46 a.m. my darling Alex was born.
Andrew’s Story: On Friday, 1 February 2013, I was on a field trip with my school to the University of Mississippi’s School of Dentistry. After walking up five flights of stairs and a VERY bumpy school bus ride, I was physically and mentally exhausted.
When I left work, I started to feel some discomfort that continued for a while. Because I was induced with Alex, I had never been in labor. I had NO idea what to expect. By the time I made it home, (after stopping at both Church’s Chicken AND Sonic’s), I was having contractions two minutes apart. About 5:30ish, the ambulance was dispatched to my home and my hubby was in route to the hospital. My worst fear was that I had made it too late for my epidural…I SWEAR by them!! Thank God, I was not! The staff was SO wonderful to me! At 7:31 p.m., my sweet Andrew was born.
Did you breastfeed?
D: I exclusively breastfeed Andrew. I attempted to breastfeed Alex, but I did not produce enough milk (he was early), and he had to be supplemented with formula. Breastfeeding is the best thing in the world for mom and baby. It is baby’s first immunization. It also is great for getting rid of baby weight for mommy. You also never have to argue with Daddy about who’s turn it is to fix the bottle! (Diapers are another story…)
It’s challenging to balance breastfeeding and work because I have to fit time into my schedule to pump, but I do not mind reminding people that it is my right to do so.
How do you balance work and motherhood? How do you carve out time for yourself?
D: I don’t! I figure I will have time when my boys are grown and on their on! Just kidding… kind of… My husband and I are very blessed in that we live close enough to our families that if we want to go out for the weekend, they fill in for us.
What is your biggest parenting challenge right now?
D: Right now, my biggest challenge is teething (Andrew). Previously, my biggest challenge was potty training.
Who is your child-rearing support group?
D: At my house, Daddy is “supposed” to be the disciplinarian; however, at times, Daddy has a soft spot for his boys. Mommy (me) is everything else. Even when Daddy is available, they still want Mommy!
How do you determine that your kids are happy and well-adjusted?
D: We pray over our boys EVERYDAY. We also strive to be open and honest with them as much as possible without spoiling their childhood.
What is the most important value, ideal or philosophy that you want to impart to your children?
D: We want our children to know God. That is the most important thing in the world to me. We also want them to treat others the way they would like to be treated.
What advice would you give to a new mom?
D: The best advice I can give any new mommy is the following:
a. You can NEVER have too many diapers. As a matter of fact, if you have more than one shower, make one exclusively a diaper shower. I never bought a diaper the first year of Alex’s life because of it!
b. Breastfeed. Period. Don’t give up. Ask your hospital to assign you a lactation specialist, and see if they offer breastfeeding courses. Don’t worry about being ashamed, and NEVER let anyone make you feel that way! I’ve had to set people straight about it, but I don’t mind! ?
c. Postpartum depression is real, but get help if you need it. It happens to the best of us.
d. Don’t forget your partner. A new baby can be overwhelming, but remember your partner needs you, too!
e. To your baby, you are the BEST mommy in the world. He doesn’t know any different…just don’t prove him wrong!