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My inspiration for starting my newborn home visiting service...

The main source of my inspiration for doing newborn home visits are my 4 children, who are now 12, 10, 9, and 6 years old. Although they are now all school-aged, not so long ago there was a stretch of time over several years when I was either pregnant or postpartum, and had a baby or a toddler (or both!)

Those years are a blur due to a combination of sleep deprivation, both from night time feeds and working a lot of night shifts in the NICU, stress, and feeling like I was always being pulled into a million directions.

There are a few things that I do remember, though:

Pregnancy cravings: #1: Flllet O'Fish sandwiches from McDonald's #2: Golden Grahams cereal #3: Rice Chex cereal #4 Sweet Potatoes

Bedrest: 8 or 10 weeks when I was pregnant with #2

Gestational ages: All were born between 36 and 38 weeks

Birth weights: 5 lb. 13 oz to 7 lb 0 oz.

Length of time I breastfed: 2 months to 10 months. One never latched and I had to exclusively pump for. One latched almost immediately after birth and nursing always went smoothly. For the other two my experience was somewhere in the middle. I worked closely with lactation counselors after my 2 oldest were born.

Number that received formula at some point before their 1st birthday: all 4

Milk protein allergy: Just one, but it was severe enough that she needed to be placed on a special formula called Neocate.

When they slept through the night (which I am defining as an at least 6h stretch of sleep sometime between 10pm-6am): 4 months-8.5 months

Colic: 1 and 1/2 (one had a really severe case and one had a mild case).

They all had the dinnertime/evening "witching hour" at some point.

Postpartum depression: after my oldest was born but never recurred

Length of maternity leaves: 10 weeks to 16 weeks

Length that I wish my maternity leaves (and all of yours) could have been: 6+ months