Having both grown up in large, extended families, my husband and I hoped to have our own large family of five children. After many years of challenges with fertility, balancing my career and community service, we were elated at the birth of our first son and then a few years later our beautiful daughter arrived. Our third child was an exciting surprise, and it finally felt as if our large family was now coming together.
No book or prenatal parenting class could have prepared me for a child who slept through feedings, could not maintain his body temperature, and had acid reflux and colic—or another child who spent her first months of life in Intensive Care. Despite the challenges my children faced, I embraced the fact that no child is alike, and each family needs to find their own way.
My husband and I quickly realized the reality behind the adage that it does takes a village to raise a family. As my children have grown, so have the challenges. My children have experienced both milestones and growth delays. Significant outside help was needed, and we depended on a team of gifted caregivers, professionals and experts who all provided wisdom and care. The process was sometimes difficult and most providers were not able or willing to come to our home. Many days were spent in offices, and often nights were spent in the emergency room. Some of the countless services we needed included lactation consulting, feeding therapy for baby, sleep consulting, speech therapy, and behavior redirection to promote healthy transitions and habits.
I firmly believe if you establish a strong foundation of proactive healthy habits, any child can thrive in spite of difficult obstacles. My personal goal for Cheer Up Buttercups is to support families with building their foundation, and supporting moms with postnatal care that best fits their lifestyle and family’s needs.