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But WHY are you touching him?

“Oh, how PRECIOUS! Is he a good baby? HELLO!”

And then Nasty McGermyfingers reaches for my kid and I cringe.

Look nice bank lady, I know you’ve probably grasped the idea behind personal hygiene because you work at a bank, but you also WORK AT A BANK. I worked as a cashier for 5 years straight. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t wash BLACK CRAP off my hands from touching money all day. Now it’s true, this lady wasn’t behind the desk and she’s probably not had to count bills in years, but even so…why do you HAVE to touch him?

Why does everyone HAVE to touch him?

I get it, babies invite touching. Babies are soft and cute and have the most awesome silky skin, they smile and giggle and reach out…but they’re also so very vulnerable to the 304958304958396 billion fucking diseases you carry. Now, I breastfeed, I have had him immunized (and no, not worried one bit about Autism…Autism does NOT come from shots, FFS!) and I keep him clean. I know that him encountering SOME germs is plenty important, which is why I don’t worry if one of his toys hits the carpet at home or he grabs my blanket to gnaw on. I let family members hold him, I let family pets investigate.

But I also know the medical history of all those things. I know who’s had their shots, I know what’s irredeemably disgusting, and what’s probably not a big deal.

But you, nasty chubby bank lady…you I don’t know. I don’t know if you wash your hands after taking a dump. I don’t know if you just went to visit your diseased cousin in the hospital yesterday. I don’t know if you are reaching out with a clean hand or a dirty one.

And I’m so shocked and mortified…I let you do it. I want to choke the life out of you…but instead I stand there like a moron, washing him smile at you before finally saying, “He’s getting grumpy.”

“This is grumpy?” Shocked.

“Oh yes. Very. He’s teething.”

“He’s…this is teething?” Pure disbelief now.

“Yep.”

“…”

“He’s pretty easy going, but I should take him home now.” I smile wildly at her, and off I go.

 

Thing is, I’d lie if I were of a mind to – but I don’t even have to. HAR HAR.

 

Now let’s get the little man home so mommy can wash off all the nasty bank-lady germs. YUCK!

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Adventures in breastfeeding…

Yeah, basically that. It’s been a while since I’ve written but to condense the story somewhat I had been mucking about with having my little man nurse when he was in an especially good mood and willing to try it out. Then came the day where I forgot his bottle. We were in the middle of dinner, an HOUR away from said bottle, and he looked me right in the eye and began to suck on his lip. Then chew on his hands. Then curl his back and whine. Take him out of his seat, bounce him on my knee – there’s no way he could be hungry, I fed him like an HOUR ago, and like 6 ounces…there’s NO. FREAKING…

Oh gods, he’s starting to whine. People are starting to look. Ugh, okay…well…no bottle. And…no nursing canopy. Wait, this restaurant had a picture of a pregnant lady on the outside asking people to not smoke near the door…they’ve GOT to have a seat in the bathroom for breastfeeding!

Nope. Another sign saying “don’t drink while pregnant”. Awesome. No changing area either. So off to the car with me. Change him, and he’s still mad as hell, basically saying in every way he can that he needs his bottle NOW, and there’s just no pretending he’s not hungry.

I’ve TRIED to breastfeed him when he’s in this state. It doesn’t work. He just gets mad.

Well…there’s not much to do since my husband was still in the restaurant with our company, and even so it would STILL be an hour before he would get his bottle…so…apologize, pull out a boob and hope for the best. He screamed bloody murder at me for at least half an hour – before he managed to remember how to latch, and I’m trying not to cry…when a motorcycle (tiny Asian crotchrocket) pulls up beside me. I feel a little embarrassed and exposed, but it’s sort of dark and he’s going for sushi, right, not going to look…

And another motorcycle pulls up – into the same spot. The two guys start to chat. My belly lurches, I’m getting more and more upset…and a third bike pulls up. Now there’s three of them, the third one’s bike is still on, lighting me up like a Christmas tree, and Ollie gets it in the face.

Latch breaks.

Screaming ensues.

Now I don’t have to explain that I look like a whale. It should be a given. But when I say that I’ve got huge fucking knockers, I need to explain how big – they’re like…bigger than large cantaloupes. They’re at least size H. I have giant aureolas as well, which stand out against my pale skin like no tomorrow – so let’s just say in my suddenly well lit car, half of the city could see my giant tits, and I had a screaming baby beckoning all eyes towards me.

Finally, fought with him a bit more, got him latched again (well, his screaming mouth around my nipple…let him figure out the whole sucking thing when he calms down again), attempt to cover myself without pissing him off too much, and listen to the guys talking not but a foot away from me. Now they’re not talking about me as far as I can tell, but they’re smoking like crazy and laughing loudly.

Finally my husband comes out and gives them the longest dirtiest look he can manage, which doesn’t faze them at all (takes balls, I have to say – my husband is a HUGE guy!)

And I get the “Are you okay?”

No. No I’m not. I have a baby screaming at my tit, and 3 foul smelling idiots and their crotchrockets beside me probably talking about how fat I am, and I’m hungry as hell.

But by then my little man has tucked in again, and is breastfeeding – all the while grumping loudly at my nipple about how unimpressed he is with the whole situation.

3 months. Already talks with his mouth full. ::facepalm::

And no…they didn’t go away. Ollie just got full enough that he stopped screaming, we went in, I ate a few mouthfuls of food and then the waiter was giving us a dirty look because we’d stayed past the one hour limit.

Yeah. Fun.

I’ll remember the bottle next time.

How do you play with a 3 month old?

I ask this not because I don’t play with my three month old, it’s just that his favorite games are (now) just complex enough socially that I’m forced to really pay attention to him, but they’re so very subtle that I get very distracted by…well…knowing that I should probably be doing the dishes, or maybe making myself something to eat for lunch, or heck, maybe just taking a nap (since I do not sleep well!).

His latest favorite games are as follows:

~ Blow bubbles so Mommy will wipe them off.

~ Make a “Hmm” noise repeatedly so Mommy will look over.

~ Slide down onto my back and whine so Mommy will sit me up.

~ Shove my fingers down my throat and make myself barf so Mommy will clean me up.

The issue is that he’s able to now play these (or combine them) for hours. And because they basically require my undivided attention, I’m getting even less done around the house.

Now while I’m of the opinion that it’s more important to have a happy kid than a messy house, and that you really can’t spoil a baby under the age of 6 months, I’m still very tired out by all this because well…no matter how I scold myself, I still get terribly bored and distracted. I try to make new games with him, to read to him, or to play exercise games or practice sitting or standing, but he would really much rather do more social things and babble at me for hours.

And then there’s the curse of “the little eyeballs” – sometimes he just stares at me, smiling, watching, cooing and blowing bubbles at me. At first it’s sort of cute, but on another level, I have extreme social phobias, where I much prefer to limit my social contact to a set design where I can break eye contact when I like, back off when I like, and be standoffish when I like. When I feel exposed, I really freeze up, panic and want to run away.

And maybe that’s why this is so especially tiring for me. Because he wants me to look at him, and he wants so badly for me to approach him, and he wants so badly to be held and loved…and I’m just not that way. My husband and I love each other very, very much and do cuddle, but we often do so while the other is preoccupied. It’s okay for us, because we’re both that way. We’re both highly distracted and need to do things iwth our hands or eyes and do so while hugging on the couch.

But you can’t be like that with a baby. He doesn’t understand that I love him even if I’m looking at the computer. He needs to see it on my face. He needs to be hugged and held.  But I still stress over it so very, very much, because I know what I’m like and I know what makes me happy, and I’m very content to just…entertain myself and be comfortable.

But with him, I need to entertain him, and make him comfortable.

I know the whole socializing thing is SO important, and during SUCH a fragile time…but man it’s hard for me.

 

Reminds me of a quote: “I see these mothers that can do everything and I think…maybe I should get them to do some stuff for me…”

Baby clothing…

So finally went through, washed and sorted all the baby clothing (again). There’s so many things that he never got to wear, and even more things that were perfect on him just after he was born…that are so small now I can’t even imagine him in them. People always say “they grow so fast” when you’re a kid, but you never see it – you’re just you. My little man has only been around for 3 months, and it seems like years when I look at these tiny, tiny outfits.

One thing that’s cool in my area is a store called “once upon a child” which deals in baby clothing – you give them your old stuff, you get store credit for bigger stuff. Again, this is something I didn’t understand until recently, but when you have a baby, everyone gets you clothing, which then results in piles of outfits that will never be worn simply because they grow JUST that fast!

But anyway – new(ish) clothing for Ollie is exciting! Hopefully we can get that done this weekend.

Now I’m off to sleep!

“He’s not a little man! He’s a little boy!”

First quote from the lich-in-law series.

This was stated to my husband while I was not present, during a conversation about how controlling I was (love the lich-in-law!). Some context: we both refer to our son as “the little man”. It just sort of came out of the blue, and was never a label with intent. It’s partly, sort of in reference to The Anchorman:

http://www.hark.com/clips/thwktrwbyk-baxter-you-are-my-little-gentleman

Because well…Ollie’s not a normal baby, just like Baxter’s not a normal dog.

Most babies scream and cry and spend a lot of time being really, REALLY miserable. Ollie just doesn’t do that. He’s very content – so much so, I will at times glance over to see if he’s okay – since he’s being very quiet in his sleep, and he’ll be looking right at me…and just smile because I happened to look over. It’s heartbreaking, because I get this feeling that he was probably watching me for some time – but instead of demanding my attention, he just hoped that I’d look over. I still wonder how many times he’s done that, and I’ve not looked because I was busy and he went to sleep, still hoping I would notice and look over. He’s abnormally patient – will shove his hands in his mouth and as soon as he hears the water to warm his milk start to flow, he immediately calms down and WAITS for his food.

Which is why, when this was brought to my attention, I realized that calling him a little boy…felt wrong. Little boys are messy. Little boys are rough and tumble. Little boys are noisy. Ollie is just none of those things. On a given level, he might one day be a “little boy” because he’ll be getting into trouble and causing a riot…but for now he’s just so relaxed and so loving and so quiet and so delighted with the smallest amount of attention that he is more a gentleman than some fully-grown men are. My father’s girlfriend once called him an “old soul”. I think that suits him.

“Oh Ollie! You are my little gentleman! I’ll take you to foggy London-town because you are my gentleman!”

Lactation Olympics…

This morning: 9 ounces.

This afternoon: 7 ounces.

Tonight: 9.5 ounces.

Note: My tits hurt.

The Lich-in-law…

I’m going to have a section on here that are things that my mother-in-law has said that are just outrageous, but are things that have made me think more positively on how I’m raising my son. Not because she was ever remotely uplifting, but because her outlook is so bleak and distorted, that she makes me realize that I’m not as miserable as I could be. Now I have to say that when I was young, I was always of a mind that I would always love my mother in law because no one could be as evil as my own mother (she’s not that bad, really!), and later on, I thought would love my mother in law because well…hell, I was going to be the ‘different’ daughter-in-law. You know, the one that is just good friends with her husband’s side of the family, since they could in no way be as screwed up as MY family.

Well, it turns out that this just wasn’t possible for me, not because I didn’t try and not because I am a total bitch (though that IS still possibly on the table about other things!), but because my mother-in-law suffers from depression as well. Her way of coping, however, is to play insane mind games and deal with everything in a snippy, passive-aggressive manner, and to meet the conflicts she creates by this behavior with a smirk, pursed lips, crossed arms and a big old “I told you so” – which by the way, rarely makes sense for the situation at hand, but is still her answer to everything.

A brief history – I’d met her twice previous, the first time while I was in the middle of a massive breakdown, the second time at our wedding.

Highlights from the first visit include: Her cleaning the already clean apartment, her telling my husband in no uncertain terms that no one with depression was “too sad to get out of bed”, her saying that our less-than-50-total, all-given-to-us-as-gifts DVD collection was an example of our “bad choices in life”, and her telling my husband that being sad was no excuse for not getting a full time job, and not keeping the place clean. Note: She had come to “help” me with my depression, since she suffers from it. I think we spoke directly for all of two minutes. The rest of the time she spent huffing and puffing with her back to me while she cleaned and recleaned everything in the place from top to bottom.

Highlights from the second visit include: Her forcing us to change our honeymoon plans at the last second when she revealed she was not getting a hotel and was now going to be sleeping on our bed, and her other son was going to get the couch. No money for a hotel? Well, don’t look at her! She might have money, but this is a lesson in “doing right”, we should be *grateful* that she’s “getting us out of the house”. She also bought me a pair of walmart-quality earrings after I had detailed to her on the phone that my “something borrowed” was going to be a pair of beautiful heirloom earrings from my great-grandmother. She told me that they were the “something new”. I found out later that she found it disgusting that I would wear earrings someone else had worn. Never mind that rubbing alcohol exists. They didn’t match the rest of my jewelery,  looked cheap and gaudy and made my ears break out. Oh, and the house? Too dirty again. She was insulted that things were messy, shouldn’t we have cleaned instead of oh, I don’t know…been working on our wedding.

So when she let slip that she intended to be present for my due date with Ollie, I just lost my head completely. The house was a wreak – I’d been on limited movement, and bedrest for over 3 months (her comment to my husband on the phone was that even if the doctor said that I shouldn’t be walking, that I was just faking it, and needed to get back to work, or at least pack the house so we could move!) – I managed to delay the visit by a month, but she was bound and determined to come. My husband said she promised she was there to help out, to make life easier, to let me get a little sleep. She had 8 siblings, she’d taken care of a zillion children, she’d been doing this for 40 years, and well, she was just so happy to have a grandkid, all her cruel remarks and insensitivity would be smoothed over by the presence of a baby.

Yeah. That didn’t happen.

But rather than put to words here all the things she said or did before things came to a head and she became so abusive that my husband told her to leave – I’m going to take specific quotes and deal with them with a post each. Because to be honest…one needs time to actually react to how horrifying the experience IS when one deals with this woman.

And yes, that might make me a bad daughter-in-law, but I can say, honestly…that I don’t give a fuck. I’m just glad that my husband was largely raised by his father…not his mother.

The irony of my tag…

Aww, I totally look like I'm going to eat him.

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.

To idiot-mitten or not to idiot-mitten…

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.