Martha, Martha Show Us How!

The Sequel!

Hello Martha! :wave: I didn’t get a chance to reply to your post in which you shared the names of your children before the forums went down, my apologies. They are all lovely names. What is the significance of the number five?! Just how many boys names that contain five letters are there in the Old Testament? lol! What will you do if you run out?!

You mentioned that your husband was not Catholic…he sure sounds Catholic! (That’s a compliment of course!)

Also, you mentioned that you hated the book “A Mother’s Rule of Life”. What did you hate about it?

Yeah!! More Martha advice, from the REAL Martha :wink:

I’ve been wanting to ask Martha about her childrens’ bedtime habits. How did you teach them to go to sleep on their own? How old were they when they moved from the family bed to their own (I think you co-slept)? And most importantly, when did they actually sleep through the night? Isn’t that the question every new mother gets asked :rolleyes: …my 8 month old is still up 3 and 4 times a night to nurse, but it’s just for comfort, not for nourishment. I know every baby is an individual, but can I expect this to stop at least before another one comes along…please!:yawn:

Did we lose all of the old thread? What a shame… Oh well. Glad to help, if I can.:smiley:

Thank you.


Also, you mentioned that you hated the book “A Mother’s Rule of Life”. What did you hate about it?

It seemed long winded to me. A 100+ pages just to explain how to schedule what needs done on the average day in my life?! Yuck. I prefer a cut to the chase format. I also didn’t like that it seemed to micro-manage. I would go absolutely insane if I had to follow such a detailed schedule. It may be a difference of needs or personalities, but was too complicated to me. But then again, I don’t need it either. Maybe those who need it, need it to be complicated.

Martha, did you ever have a baby who seemingly didn’t need much sleep?

Sophie’s new thing is to sleep about 10-11 hours (waking to nurse frequently, though usually just latching and eating in her sleep) and then be up for 12 hours (with maybe a twenty minute nap)?!!? This is her new sleep pattern. I’ve looked up ‘baby sleep needs’ online, and it says she should be having TWO naps of 1.5 hours on top of the 11 hours of night sleeping. Definitely not happening.

Occasionally, it seems to catch up with her and she’ll conk out for a three hour afternoon nap.

Also, when did you implement a bedtime routine? At this age (5.5 months), should we be encouraging her to fall asleep on her own? She prefers to be nursed down to sleep, which is more or less fine, but if I were to put her down in her bed alone–it seems to scare her (crying, etc) so we don’t do that.

Any suggestions on how to encourage an afternoon nap?

My turn for a dumb question.
How do you deal with nursing one while pregnant? Maybe weaning advice.
DS will not wean and he won’t latch correctly since there isn’t milk. I tried to drop a nursing and he decided it should be added in from 1-3am. He is the biggest comfort nurser I know. It feels so weird to me now.

Thank you for your advice, Martha! :slight_smile:

Not a dumb question at all, imo.


Well, here’s what’s been my situation in the past. I get VERY sick for the first trimester/half of my pregnancy, so bf-ing is just way too much to add in. Either my milk changes enough to make the baby will self-ween. Or my milk is fine, so I quit cold-turkey.


You don’t say his age? Either way, if dh is willing, he can be a great help if he will give the bottle (which you don’t need if approx, 1 yr old) or comfort during those higher neediness times.

ds is about 13 months. He does great with his cup of milk. Thankfully he has started to get very attached to Daddy. He nurses at naptime to calm down. Those are his big times, and daddy is at work then. Next baby will learn to take naps without nursing(I hope).

I got really lucky and haven’t gotten really sick this time around. I kept praying that if I was going to get that sick again please let me not have anymore children. Sounds mean but I was terrified of being that sick again.

At that age, you can “cut bait” without worry. I’d give a hearty lunch followed by the only nap of the day. Put a blanket between you and rock him until he goes to sleep. No conversation or tv or anything. Just say it’s time for naps and if he doesn’t stay in your lap to sleep, put him in bed. Don’t give attention, read a mommy-aged book or close your eyes and hum.

Thank you! I had a sweet little boy curled up in my lap earlier.

He never cuddles, but he was very happy to trade nursing for cuddling after we got past the I won’t calm down tantrum. Hopefully having a little boy learn to sit on a lap and relax will help at Mass. I can use nap time to say the rosary (bonus being that relaxes him a lot)

Wonderful! I’m glad to hear it!

Hi Martha!

I wanted to ask you about something you said in another thread–how your DH is an only child and you might as well be. And how that translates into there not being family around for those times in which family could be helpful–an emergency, etc. That is more or less our situation, and we wondered how you and your hubby handle that when various circumstances arise. Do you rely on friends? Church members? Baby-sitters?

Just wondering. I don’t have a specific scenario in mind, but I could think of plenty. For instance, just having the baby recently and managing my insane recovery when hubby could only take three days (DH had just switched to his present company from contractor to employee and lost all vacation–but did it to gain the much better insurance for the delivery), was tough. We muddled through though, as we often do. In the future it probably won’t be like that–he’ll be able to take more time. I kept thinking, though…what if I had to corral several kids to each incision check? For ten weeks, once a week? etc… Do all your kids come to your pre-natal checks? Does DH just take off?

Is there a secret to doing it easier, though? Not just the above scenario, but any situation that leaves you and DH in a bind.

Martha, I was wondering when do you tell your children that you are pregnant? My husband and I tell close family and friends as soon as we find out, for a number of reasons. But they’re all adults, and we’re not scared of them not knowing how to handle news of a miscarriage if one should occur. Do you wait until the end of the first trimester “danger period” before telling them, or do they know as soon as you do?

A couple things that are paramount in these situations:
- parents MUST keep their cool and insist that the children remain calm as well. Speak clamly and clearly and with authority.
- doing your best to have children that behave well in public and know when to keep together and quiet. Yeah, they have their moments like any other kid, but those lessons really pay off when in crisis mode.
- set them up for helping themselves and each other. Tell them, “Daddy is going in the ambulance and we are going to follow in our car. We need you to be quiet and stay together.” Teach them to always stay together! Not just for practical navigation reasons, but because fear increases when we feel alone in confronting it. Have each child grab 1 quiet toy and 1 book on the way out the door.
**- do not let staff deal with your kids. they muck up your system with their stupidity. they are usually trying to be nice in a condesending way. I tell the kids not to talk to anyone and less than 2 second after hearing me say this a nurse offers “those poor babies” candy and flips the tv to some wacko cartoon. Yeah. that’ll help them settle and calm them. :rolleyes:So I get tough and turn it off and tell them they can have the candy after we get back home. To which the nurse has the nerve to give me a dirty look.:cool: **

**These things sound basic, but many people miss them. Giving the child instructions makes them feel empowered. They have something constructive, however simple or small, to do to help. And they WANT to help their families. I feel this should be encouraged. Not shouldering the world on their little shoulders, but helping their family in whatever way they can. **

Most of the time it’s just us. Even if I could find a sitter, it’s mighty doubtfull I’ll find one for either a crisis moment (why are those always in the middle of the night or rush-hour traffic?!) or on a regular basis for 8 children. It’s not that we don’t have friends. It’s that friends have jobs and family too. If my own dh can’t get off work - why would it be easier for a friend or relative?

For dr. appts., my ob has evening hours as late as 6. So dh will meet me there then or during his lunch hour if he can’t make it home to watch the kids. Same goes for other dr. appts. I also try to help him out by scheduling at least 2 months in advance.

Also, you will find after many children you become a better manager of health needs. There’s not much I haven’t treated at this point, which means I’m very aware of when medical care is truely a neccessity vs peace of mind.

With 1 baby dh did have to take over 3 months unpaid family medical because I was on a PICC line from HMG sickies and couldn’t move w/o being sick and that was even with those Zofran pills. (Which literally cost MORE than their weight in gold, btw!) then when he went back, more than half his checks were gone for the next 2 months to backpay our insurance premuims. That was tough. Very tough. I have no idea how we did it. None. I remember how stressfull it was, but we came through it okay. I have no idea how though.

**We don’t tell anyone until we must. Partly because of that m/c chance and partly b/c… well… people can be jerks. We’re happy, so why let it out and have someone pop our bubble?:wink: **

**The kids usually know pretty quick though. I’m not sick very often. If mom isn’t having her morning coffee and dad is giving them cereal so mom can get a few minutes to feel better - it’s pretty much a dead ringer that the first words out of their mouth is “Are we having another baby?!”:smiley: **

That’s so cute!

Reading your response to Princess Abby made me wonder what you did when you had Baby Bridget? Did all the brothers and sisters come with you and hubby to the hospital?

**We lucked out and had a sitter (a mom in our hs group) just long enough to deliver and get to the maternity room, then dh had to head back home to the other kids.:slight_smile: **

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