NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.: Put Down The Book and Pick Up The Baby

NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A.: Put Down The Book and Pick Up The Baby

My oldest daughter taught me how to parent. If I ever thought I had an idea of what being a parent would look like, she took those fantasies and threw them all out the window.

When you read books about babies, or talk to most any set of parents, you’ll discover that babies are purported to be these docile, malleable, sleepy, eating on a 3-4 hour schedule and sleeping 16-20 hours a day type creatures. I can assure you that my oldest was not your average baby.

Grace was what one would call a high need baby. She was very sensitive to sound and texture and bright lights. She would take 45 minutes at a time to eat, and would have to work really hard to find a latch she liked and to stick with it. She would sleep an hour and a half between feedings. She never in her tiny life slept more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period. She was fussy and gassy and needed to be held constantly. She choked on even a preemie-sized pacifier, and was really only happy when she was being fed. I used to joke that for the first nine months of her life, all you really saw of her was the back of her head, because she was latched on almost all the time!

It took her until 15 months to take her first steps, and she had a host of delays that were gross and fine motor-related. I had no idea that she was behind or exceptional in any way until I had my second child to compare her to. (more…)

Frelle (USA)

Jenna grew up in the midwestern US, active in music and her church community from a young age. She developed a love of all things literary thanks to her mom, and a love of all things science fiction thanks to her dad. She left the midwest in her early twenties and has lived in the south ever since.

On her blog, she tries to write words that make a difference to people. Long before she attended college to major in Special Ed and Psychology, she became an advocate for special needs and invisible disabilities. She's always been perceptive of and encouraging to those who struggle to fit in. Having been through several dark seasons in her own life, she's found empowerment in being transparent and vulnerable about her emotions, making deep and lasting friendships, and finding courage to write from her heart. Her biggest wish is to raise her kids to be compassionate people who love well.

She's been online since 1993, with a total of 19 years of social media exposure. Having friends she doesn't know in real life has been normal for her since her junior year in college, and she's grateful every day for the ways technology helps her stay in touch with friends from all over the world.

Jenna lives in a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina, and is a freelance writer and a stay at home single mom to 3 girls and a boy. She blogs at

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