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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I promise, this is the last post that I will mention breastfeeding. I should just get over it already. I KNOW!

Last night, the Buddha bit me while I was breastfeeding her. See previous post wherein I informed you she had a tooth.

See where this is going?

This morning on the way into work I told my husband I think the breastfeeding days are numbered now that she is getting teeth.

Husband: I think we should really aim for six months.

Me: Okay. How about this...every time she bites me on the nipple, I will bite you on the nipple. Then we can decide together when to stop breastfeeding.

Men are such wusses, that he probably would call off the breastfeeding after the first bite. Pansy. I, at least, will probably give her three strikes until she's out.

PS: and by "three strikes," I mean I will no doubt keep killing myself until 6 months because I am easily guilted by the breastfeeding nazi's. Remind me when she is graduating from college, to congratulate myself for the extra two months of breastfeeding which no doubt will have been the key to her success in life. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The Buddha got sick this weekend. I was thinking it had to do with teething because on Friday, she sprouted her first tooth and another is right behind it. Is there anything worse than a sick baby? her little nose was runny, she had a sad little cough, and her eyes were watery. She spent most of the weekend, listless and in my arms snuggled up.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the immunities babies get from breastmilk? Yeah, they apparently don't work in the reverse. The little phlegmball gave it to me, and I am now dying of her "teething" cold.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

True Love

After a particularly rough start in the morning that involved Buddha crying and pooping and spitting up everywhere right as we were trying to get into the car, my husband and I finally got on the road...frustrated with eachother for no reason other than the stress of getting out the door amist the crying and chaos.

Me: Do you feel like punching me in the face right now?

Husband: Yes.

Me: Me too. I feel like punching you right in the face.

Husband: mmmm. Yeah.

Me: Do you think it is normal to want to punch each other in the face sometimes?

Husband: Yes.

Me: So other couples feel the same way?

Husband: Definitely.

Me: If you don't want to punch each other in the face sometimes, you aren't normal. Don't you think?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This Can't Possibly Make That Big of a Difference...

I breastfeed the Buddha. I win. I have been waiting by the mailbox for my medal. I get first place! Because everyone knows that if you give your child formula instead of breastfeeding you are no better than Britney Spears as a mother and your child will never amount to anything. In fact, I heard that if you give a baby formula they have a 90% chance of going deaf from all the ear infections they will no doubt get.

And this is how I felt after going to my first (and last) breastfeeding meeting.

I don't think anyone can deny that breastmilk is better than formula. And I truly love the bond that the Buddha and I share because I nurse her. She is comforted by it, and so am I. But formula fed babies are just as healthy, just as bonded to their moms. Someone once described breastmilk v. formula as the difference between getting an A+ and getting an A. Breastmilk is better than formula...but not by much.

The thing is, at a certain point, it becomes impractical to exclusively breastfeed the baby. People go back to work; they have to take medications; or get sick; or frankly, it just gets too demanding. And these mothers who either couldn't breastfeed or can no longer breastfeed are made to feel guilty, like they are purposefully depriving their child of something that could make or break their children's futures.

I call the people who do this: The Breastfeeding Nazi's. And they are all members of my local breastfeeding club.

I went because while I am a great nurser, I am what you would call an "unproductive pumper." meaning, despite lugging the electric pump with all the accessories back and forth to work every day and pumping for 30 minutes 4 times a day at work while trying to maintain my billable hours and getting up at 3 am every night to pump, I have only just enough milk to get her through a work day. Which means all of that work only gets me three feedings for her. I nurse her before I go to work, and all night once I get home. I nurse her when she wakes around 4 in the morning too.

I love nursing her. But the pumping is starting to kill me. I should just let go and cave into giving her a single God Damn bottle of formula a day. But I can't. I can't because I am too guilty. I drank the cool aid, and even though I know it won't make a hill of bean difference, I just can't let it go.

If she has to have formula, I feel like I failed her.

And that meeting I went try and see if I was maybe pumping wrong, or get some tips on production of milk... Those women made me feel like I should go to the ends of the earth to breastfeed my Buddha. That I should do it at all costs, because "you love her don't you?"

I would go to the ends of the earth for that child, if she needed me to. But does she need me to for this? Does some formula really make a difference?

There was a woman who was adopting a child. She wanted to breastfeed her. SHE WANTED TO BREASTFEED THE ADOPTED CHILD. I didn't even know you could do that. Apparently, you can take hormones and herbs and pump like crazy, and you can trick your body into producing milk. Everyone at the meeting praised her. She should get a medal. She was a real mother, they said. "That's what motherhood is about!"

Is it? Because I have to say: I don't think that is what motherhood is about. No one is keeping score, there are no prizes (except the end result of raising a well adjusted and loved child). I looked at that woman and thought "You are a freaking idiot." Get over yourself. You and the woman next to you that breastfed until her kid was 8 and who still comes to the meetings even though that was 15 years ago! GET THE HELL OVER YOURSELVES.

And yet, I continue to get up each and every night at 3 am. I continue to lug the pump to and from work. I continue to sit for a half hour at a time, four times a day while on conference calls with judges with my boobs hooked up to a milking device. Just to avoid giving her a single serving of formula a day.

I'll let you know when the mailman delivers my first place trophy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Month, Another Birthday

We need to keep things exciting: this month, we went with the cupcakes.

Still Going Strong on the Celebrations! (and no, we did not feed her the cupcake...who am I? Britney Spears?)

Monday, January 14, 2008

4 Months


Before I had you, people would ask me how much time I was taking off from work to be with you. They would always smile when I said 4 months and explain that the fourth month is the month you would really start to be someone, start doing things, getting a personality.

Month four has been magical, and wonderful, and beautiful. Month four was the holiday season, and you and I were out and about enjoying ourselves. You got more substantial in month four, more of a baby and less of a newborn. It was easily the most transformative month so far. You were a different baby from the beginning than you were at the end.

You started to laugh. And it is hysterical. Your laugh is a little stilted cackle, and when we laugh at you laughing, it makes you laugh all the harder. We must look like a family of idiots laughing at nothing...You also started grabbing and mastering your hands more. And you play with us. You react when we talk to you instead of just stare blankly at us.

I drink alot of water, and recently let you try some straight from the water bottle. You LOVED it! Now, everytime you see a bottle of water, you reach for it. I know I shouldn't let you drink out of the bottle, but I do. It is so funny, and you can amuse yourself for 15 or 20 minutes just sipping water.

The other day I was eating a snack pack of mandarin oranges. I put one to your lips so you could taste it. You were licking it like crazy, and I was holding it to your lips when all of a sudden, you sucked it in. I panicked and opened your mouth to get it out, but you had sucked it right down! Aside from scaring the hell out of me (and I will not give you another small orange to try) you seemed to enjoy it, and cried for more.

We had so much fun during the holidays with you. Of course, you didn't have the slightest idea what was going on a Christmas, but for the rest of us you made it wonderful. The entire tree was packed with things for you from Meme. She went crazy buying you stuff. So did Uncle Peter and Grammy and Papa Ooch. I only bought you one dress...but Daddy saved the day and got you your first Winnie the Poo. He also got you a "little piggy" outfit and a frog teether. Daddy was so proud of his presents for you.

The real present from Daddy is that he was home for two weeks. It happened to be the last two weeks of my maternity leave. We spent two weeks basking in eachother. And you started to become 'in love' with Daddy. It's like it occurred to you who he was, that he was just like mommy only without the milk. You had such a good time with him. And he really loved being with you. He was infatuated with you before, but now that you return the feeling, it is a gift to watch you both together. To see how uninhibited Daddy is around you. No matter who is around, you are the center of all his attention, of all his love.

You are the object of his affection.

As for me, this month was amazing, and certainly my favorite for so many reasons. But at the end of the month, I had to return to work. It colored the month for me. I enjoyed every second I could with you, but always in the back of my mind was the fact that I had to return to work. It was easily the hardest thing I have had to do yet.

I was devastated over it. I ached for you even before I left you. For the month of December, I kept you close to me, in my arms. Wanting to hold you enough to make up for leaving you. I wish you knew how much I wanted to stay with you, how much I want to be there every single second of all your days...but we simply can't afford it. So back I went. And it felt like my heart was being squeezed all day. I have so many pictures of you in my office...I look at you all day. It still hurts to leave you every morning, and I run home to you (literally, I run) each night.

But if it was hard for me, you seemed not to even notice. You are all smiles in the mornings, and happily play all day with your grandmothers. They both reported that you eat and sleep on a basic schedule, and hardly fuss. And when I come in the door at night, you are content and relaxed. You look at me as if to say "Oh, Hi Mom. Where have you been?" and then return to whatever it is you are doing until I come over and pick you up for a thousand kisses. You are a happy baby. You are doing wonderful.

You are doing wonderful without me. That is the rub. Because it stings a little. I am relieved that you are doing well, and happy that you are so content and at peace with life, but the fact that you are so wonderful in my absence hurts me. It is the curse of mothers I suppose. That the very thing you hope for your children is to be happy and content in and of themselves. But to do so, means you don't really need me, and that crushes me a little every night when I walk in and each morning when I walk out.

But most of this month was spent together, with you in my arms and Daddy giving us an endless hug. I have fallen more in love with you this month. We all found our groove with each other. Our places with each other. Yours is at the center of the love your father and I share. You are that love now. And you seem to know it. To know us. This month you, Daddy and I just soaked eachother up before "real life" got going. This is the month I will remember us becoming a real family.

I love you Buddha

Love, Mommy