Blog Posts by Melissa Harris

  • Losing the "Me" in the "We"

    Sometimes it's hard to be the mom.

    It can be even harder when you are an uber-organized, planning four steps ahead, take charge kind of mom. It becomes so easy to be the one ensuring that everyone gets what they want and gets to do what they want to do. Everyone, that is, except for yourself.

    Yesterday my husband and I had a discussion about the "me" vs. the "we". He is great at voicing the "me" and I am great at voicing the "we". He is not so great at the "we", and, if I, being honest, I suck at the "me". Of course, the goal is to get to a place were we both equally think about the "we" which will allow us both to think about the "me".

    At least, that is the theory. While I would love to lay the blame of my lack of "me" solely on my husband's lack of "we", I can't. Of course it is a factor, but really the blame lays on me.

    Somewhere along the way I lost "me". I was already heading down this path when we were a family of three. Putting Peter and Irene first was so easy - and

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  • My Experiences with Breastfeeding

    This week in Breastfeeding Awareness Week, and without wading into any of the political mine fields, I wanted to share my two very different experiences with breastfeeding. Before I begin, let me start by saying that how you feed your baby is your choice. If you choose formula for your baby, who the hell am I to judge you. And, if you are one of those women whose body doesn't produce milk, I can only imagine how charged this subject must be to you.

    OK, caveats out of the way….

    My breastfeeding journey is not a typical one. My first child was full term and perfectly healthy. In the hospital, with the help of a lactation consultant, we were able to get her to latch immediately. I had a few issues with one breast thanks to an inverted nipple, but that was quickly resolved with the introduction of a nipple shield. When we left the hospital, I was sure that I would be able to breastfeed for a Irene's first year. My supply was good, Irene took to the breast and was growing

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  • Five Everyday Superheroes

    This past week has been a really inspiring one for me. I have seen a number of people shed their Clark Kent exterior and reveal the Superhero that lives inside of them. Each of these people have made me stop and look at my life and think about what I can do to bring out my inner superhero.

    While I try to come up with something, I have decided to honor each of these people by bragging about them:


    Super SamSuper Sam

    I wake up every day and smile. I smile because I know that just across the hall, tucked away in his crib, is my own superhero - Sam. Most mornings I wake up listening to Sam play in his bed. His current favorite game is the "butt up… butt down" game. It is exactly as described - Sam stands up and yells "butt up", then Sam sits down and yells "butt down". He plays this game every day for hours on end. And I enjoy every minute of it. As a former 24-weeker, there are so many reasons this simple game is nothing short of a miracle. The odds were stacked against Sam surviving

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  • My Child's Mouth is Out of Her Control

    Gearing up for a fight (red eye left in on purpose!)

    My six-and-a-half year old has a possible terminal case of diarrhea of the mouth.

    The past few weeks have been rough around our house. It seems no matter what I do, it set's Irene off. The other day, I committed the big sin of turning the radio off because Irene was in the back seat of the car singing a different song. She started screaming at me to turn the radio back on. When I pointed out that she was singing a different song, not the one on the radio, she started to scream louder.

    Our conversation went something like this:
    "Turn it back ooooonnnnnnn"
    "I'm not going to turn it back on until you ask me nicely Irene."
    "Arg pharph snarrfff NOW"
    "Honey, I can't understand you, but I don't think that was asking nicely"
    Scream, sob, scream

    "I'm sorry Irene, I am not going to turn the radio on. Take a deep breath and calm down."
    "Irene. That's not very nice"

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  • The Accidental SAH/WFH Mom

    Before I had my first kid, if you had asked me if I would ever want to be a stay-at-home-mom, I would have laughed at you.The last thing I dreamed of being (or should have been) was a stay-at-home mom!

    Then I had my daughter, Irene.

    I did everything I could to take as much time off as possible. I was lucky that I worked for Yahoo! at the time. They were very family friendly and the HR department worked with me to find a way that I could take a full 6 months off after giving birth. The first two months at home were a blissful blur of sleep deprivation and awe. By the end of the second month, the stir-crazy-cabin-fever started to set in. By my third month, I desperately began looking for a mommy group to join. (Thank GOD I found the one I did, as those women were amazing and are still a part of my life).

    By my fifth month, I felt like I was ready to go back. Don't get me wrong. I loved being a mom. I loved my daughter. I loved spending time with her.

    I just felt

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  • How Old is Your Baby?

    Such a simple question. As a new-ish mom, it is something I am asked almost daily when I am out with my son. Normally, this is a question a mom answers quickly with a huge, proud smile on her face.

    Not me.

    It always takes me a second to answer. First, I have to decide which answer to give you. Then, if I decide to give the easy answer, I have to quickly do the math in my head.

    You see. I have a preemie. My son was born at just 24 weeks. That is four months early for those that don't want to do the math.

    So, when you ask me how old my son is, I have to decide if you want the truth. But the truth isn't that simple. I could tell you he is twenty-one months old. That is true. You may look at me funny, because he doesn't look like a twenty-one month old. You might even say something like "He's so small!". (Trust me- that is the last thing I ever want to hear!)

    I may tell you he is twenty-one months old, but his corrected age is seventeen months. This is the full

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  • Confessions of a Preemie Mom: My Battle with PTSD

    Postpartum depression (PPD) has been great fodder for many a sitcom writer. Even in pregnancy and birth classes, time is dedicated to the perils of what could happen should you suffer from PPD after you give birth. In fact, all pregnant woman are warned about PPD. We are told what the warning signs are, and what to do if we feel that PPD is creeping into our lives.

    For the preemie mom, PPD is just one of the emotional perils we face. Giving birth to a preemie and the roller coaster of the NICU can be very traumatic. For many of us preemie moms, that trauma often turns into post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When PTSD meets PPD things can really get hairy.

    For me, there was no question that I was suffering from both after the birth of my son at just 24 weeks gestational age.

    First glimpse of Sam after he was born

    Holding Sam for the first time and the release of emotion that came with it.

    In many ways, however, I feel like I was lucky. I had already been talking to a therapist for almost two years, dealing with previous miscarriages and fertility issues. Within two weeks

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