Category Archives: Learning
When I say “breastfeeding is magic” – part of that has to do with the fact that like many women, breastfeeding has been an insane challenge for me. There’s lots of things people do not tell you about being pregnant, or giving birth but in my mind what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding is basically criminal.My largest complaints can be summed up in a few short sentences, but I think the biggest crime that can be committed against a woman and child is this:
“If at first she doesn’t succeed, you give the mother a dirty look and tell her that she’s now got to switch to formula and can never breastfeed again.”
This is just such a lie, and such a crime to both mother and child. First off, many mothers, including myself, have large enough breasts/nipples that a newborn (a small one!) can’t possibly hope to latch properly. This is looked at by many nurses (not Lactation consultants…few hospitals have REAL ones!) as a fault of the mother or baby, and they will break a latch over and over and over trying to get “a good one” which is actually impossible to achieve. The baby starts losing weight rapidly, and soon will stop trying to latch at all. This is what happened to MY son, as I had been told the myth that no latch should ever hurt (btw, a good latch CAN hurt, especially if your let down is strong, the child is extra hungry, or you’re severely engorged) the nurses had me breaking one good latch after another in an effort to try and get him to take more breast into his mouth, which was simply impossible.
Finally, after a brutal night in the hospital, with my little man starving, crying and begging for food, the nurse threw her hands into the air, and gave me her final judgement: No milk. He’s getting formula!
But my breasts were SO full, and I was in SUCH pain, that she offered to get me a pump, if I could pay for the attachment (which I could not!). My explosion of tears and the milk that had been trickling out of my massively swollen breasts all night convinced her that torturing me further was cruel. So she gave me one. I started making so much milk, but was told over and over that a hospital grade pump was hundreds of dollars and that I was still destined to give formula to my little man.
Lucky for me, my doctor is also the chief of staff. She caught wind of what was happening, and put a social worker on the case and he discovered that there isn’t ANY support out there for a woman who has milk but don’t have the ability to make her child latch. Getting a pump rented? Pish. There’s formula for that! Who would pump every day, several times a day? Just mix up some formula. It’s so much faster! There’s a million places to get free formula, but not even ONE to get a pump rented, EVEN THOUGH IT’S CHEAPER! On the other hand, you also end up with unhelpful people saying – if you’re going to keep your milk, and you don’t want to use formula, you should fight with your baby before EVERY feeding by trying to put him on the breast, to make sure he’s still being forced to fear and loathe your breasts since they’re too big for him to drink from.
Yeah. I didn’t do any of that. I rented my pump (through some generous donations), I pump my breasts several times a day and I feed my child with a bottle. Because even if my tits aren’t perfect, my milk is still good food for him!
So that’s the reason why there’s irony in that tag.
Update: Now that my little man is 3 months, he’s big enough that sometimes, when he’s in the mood for it, I’ve put him to the breast to give him some comfort (he REALLY hates soothers) and he’s learned to latch all on his own. But he really still prefers to get his meals from a bottle – he much prefers the “complete” taste of mixed breast milk (there’s sugary watery milk at the start, fatty cream at the end) and doesn’t stay on long enough to ‘feed’. But here’s the rub – if I had listened to all those nurses, and if my doctor wasn’t such a nice woman, I would have had my milk dry up long before he was big enough to figure out latching for himself. He wouldn’t be as healthy, and I wouldn’t know the joy of seeing my little man get the best food he can.
All because Canada’s opinion of a woman pumping her breast milk to feed her child seems to be a joke.
My little man is hilariously advanced with his sounds. Like, he’s got most of his 4-6 months checked off already (babbling, cooing, mimicing). Part of this, I suspect is because he doesn’t spend 3-4 hours screaming every night like many kids (he most he gets is momentarily upset), then he just seems to get bored with making noise.
However this leaves lots of time for his new favorite game:
Ahh-prrrgh (or however you would make that 8-bit explosion sound. )
And if you talk to him he just gets sad that you’re not playing. But if you start “ahh-goo’ing” back at him, he just squeals with delight, and keeps saying “Ahh-goo!” “Ahh-PUUU!” “Ahh-<explosion sound>”. So yes, I’m communicating with my son through nonsense sounds, even though the baby books say “don’t googoo with them, just keep talking normally!” well…fuck you. He likes it, and when he’s not in the mood to play the game, I do talk normally.
Of course, this is going to bite me in the ass if he ever becomes famous and can only say “Ahh-goo.”
My son has taken to scratching his face. He’s just turned 11 weeks, and up until now, no scratches at all. I figured that the older he got the less likely he would do it, so the idiot-mittens have remained in a box. But the first time…out they came. But I couldn’t bring myself to put them on. I have baby nail clippers I use on him, and he’d been recently trimmed, but…well fine we’ll wait until he passes out and trim and he’ll be good.
Nope. Another one the next day. Right on his nose!
Well, maybe he had a baby booger, and I don’t have a baby-booger-sucker-bulb-thingy, and maybe he just managed to do it…
Nope. Another one.
I don’t even know how he’s managing it, his nails are short, and I can’t trim them any closer…he’s just aiming for his face with whatever edge he can manage.
So now the subject of idiot-mittens are back on the table. But I STILL can’t bring myself to put them on. He’s JUST learning to grab things of his own volition. He’s JUST learning how to play with toys. He’s JUST learning to put his hands to his mouth when he’s NOT hungry. (Also, he occasionally gives his toys the finger.) I put mittens on that, now he’s unable to do any of that. Even if I just pop them on when he’s unconsious – it’s not fair to him if he wakes up and hell, he’s probably scratching himself while he’s learning to do this stuff.
So we put them on all the time? All for the sake of what? Tiny, itty bitty scratches that will totally heal? Fuck that.
No idiot-mittens for my boy.