As I was talking with my mother over Skype while nursing Sammy today, she remarked how impressed she was with me, at how well informed I am despite Sammy only being four months old. She said that when she had my brother, her eldest, she was grasping at straws for some time. After hanging up with my mom, as I burped Sammy, I thought how lucky he and I are to be able to share these special moments with his grandmother across the country. I changed his diaper and put him down for a nap and checked my email. It dawned on me that my greatest salvation over these past few months has been the Internet. Without the Internet I would not be able to talk with Sammy's grandparents like I do everyday. I would not be able to check in with my friends on Facebook and Twitter and right here on this blog I would feel completely alone.
I have used the Internet for everything from purchasing pajamas to finding a La Leche League group. When Sammy was days old I was in constant email contact with my doula, whom I met through a friend on Facebook. Through the internet I have found a playgroup, dietary advice, emotional support and connections to see both my husband's and my parents nearly every day.
I will never forget our first day at our playgroup. That was the first time I saw so many different women nursing at the same time. It was amazing. It was great to see all the different positions women had figured out to nurse their babies while sitting comfortably on the ground. I was impressed and at ease all at once. I felt for the first time that I might be able to make it, I just might be able to actually be a mother.
I began to realize that what I was experiencing was in fact normal. Sammy's habits are similar to most babies. He needs to eat and sleep quite often but as he grows he begins to follow more of a pattern. As he grows each milky smile becomes more meaningful. He seems to grow more aware of the world with every time that he sees it. Whether out walking in the park or in the living room playing on his activity mat he becomes ever more engaged in his surroundings, reaching out for new objects. The truth is, he is a great example of a baby of the 21st century. My husband bought an iPad and one of Sammy's favorite activities is playing with a virtual pond. There are fish that swim by and every time Sammy's pudgy little fingers land on the screen the water splashes. It's amazing to see him interact with this new technology. It is funny to think about different my husband's and my childhoods are from Sammy's.
With the vast number of resources at our fingertips I am never really alone. Even in my darkest moments there is something I can google that will give me some help, some reassurance, some guidance. The learning curve for a new mother is so steep. So many of my friends with lots of children tell me that the first is the hardest. But thankfully, today's 21st century world is so small that I am able to have family thousands of miles away at my side while nursing Sammy. Embracing the abundance of the internet can truly make the experience of a first time nursing mother a good bit easier.
What do you most regularly use the internet for? Nursing tips, parenting advice, etc?