Four is the new two

admin/ September 30, 2015/ Dr. Danielle/

What I have come to appreciate about blogging is that it provides a sort of ranting outlet.

While I (struggle to) maintain professional writing within my clinic’s monthly newsletter, I enjoy blogging because I can blur the lines a little. And this instalment is about the recent experiences I have had when out and about with my 4 babes.

It wasn’t until very recently that I have been even brave enough to venture out on my own with all four. But one must do what one must do. It really came down to staying home and going without food for another 24 hours or sucking it up, and going to the grocery store, at the busiest hour with my litter in tow. And to date, I have now successfully completed 3 major shopping trips….well, perhaps we should define “successfully”: I didn’t have to abandon my cart in the middle of the store.

Picture this: me pushing a cart that has a car seat bucket with my baby in the top, an overflowing-with-food lower part, a 6 year old busy playing with figurines that are climbing the groceries (and inadvertently getting lost somewhere in the cart), a 5 year old with sticky fingers (she takes after her dad), and a three year old with her hands down her pants picking out her wedgie, and subsequently putting those fingers up her nose and in her mouth…

Never, in my entire life, have I ever received so many stares, open-mouthed awes, and dirty looks. While some people were kind enough to comment on their beauty (obviously 😉 ), others asked “are they ALL yours??”, “Are those two twins?”, “Daycare?”. YES! They are ALL mine. NO! They are not twins. And NO! I do not run a daycare. I have four children. And while they were all unplanned (bahahahaha), my partner and I decided to have each and every one of them. Are we crazy? Perhaps, from a busy/not enough time in the day point of view. But what is wrong with having a large family? Because we are doing a great job with our babies, we profoundly adore each and every one of them, and due to the high numbers, there is so much love being thrown around. Oh, and brave. We. Are. Brave. Anyone who has children is brave. So why look down upon my family of six versus your family of three or four? Ladies and gentlemen of the dirty stares and cheap comments: kiss my butt.

Now, in the name of breastfeeding month, what do you say we briefly touch on the subject? Just last week, a neighbor of mine approached me and the conversation went like this:

Neighbor: Wow! Your baby is so chubby!!
Me: Ya, she’s a wee porker
Neighbor: She must be formula fed!
Me: Uhhhhh….what?

My neighbor continued on to explain to me that formula is more nutrient dense and so she can always tell the difference between a breastfed and formula fed baby……(ahem)…..
This is not where I am going to say “breast is best” (ignore the fact that I just did). We all know this. I just want to debunk this apparent myth. So, deep breath, consider it debunked. And from my point of view, each mom has their choice. What is really important is that mom and baby develop a trusting, loving, nurturing relationship no matter how they choose to feed. If a mom is overwhelmed and crying and stressed out everytime she goes to latch her baby, then formula-feeding may be the best choice! Also, I really despise how everytime a positive comment is made about how great breastfeeding is, someone gets offended. People talk about the positives of breastfeeding a lot because it really is THAT great. They don’t say it as a form of judgement against you. So take a breather and be confident that the choice you made for your baby was the right one based on your circumstances. Oh, and yes, no matter what anybody says, including that random guy who sat across from me at a wedding in June, technology has not made formula and breastmilk the same thing.

One more thing before I get busy doing other stuff, let’s quickly talk food introduction. It has been recommended for years that you start with rice cereal. But let’s line up all possible foods on a counter and see which ones go bad first. Rice cereal will last for an incredibly long time. The foods that go bad the quickest (meat, veg, fruit) will be easier to break down. So I say start there. For a really good resource, check out the book “Sprout Right” by Lianne Phillipson-Webb. Definitely on my top-ten list!

Eat, pray, love, and don’t hate on the lady with 4 kids in the grocery store,

Dr. D