Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category
Yesterday I washed two bottles and a sippy cup that had had breastmilk in it and thought, “This is it.”
Remember how in March I said I was going to stop pumping at work around Little Prince’s second birthday (which is at the end of this month)? Well, it happened last Thursday.
At daycare, Little Prince had started asking for milk less and less. In March I started sending only 5-6 oz. As he wasn’t drinking all of that, I started sending only 3-4 oz. I dropped my pumping time at work to only 10 minutes.
In April I nervously asked his daycare teachers to always offer water first but to give him milk if he asked for it. Some days he did, and some days he didn’t. Toward the end of April his sippy cup that I sent with milk was always coming home as full as I sent it. About two weeks ago we started hiding the cup of milk in the big fridge at daycare so he wouldn’t even see it. Since then, he’s never asked for it.
Last Friday I was really busy at work and totally forgot to pump. I didn’t even notice, which any breastfeeding mom can tell you is a big deal, because if you need to empty a breast, you notice. So this week I decided to stop pumping and stop sending milk. I was really scared that on Monday Little Prince would randomly ask for milk again, but he hasn’t. And it’s so liberating not to have to pump, esepcially since I got to stop two weeks “ahead of schedule.” After about 9 months of pumping twice a day and almost a whole year of pumping once a day, it’s amazing to get the time back. And I’m really proud of myself for being as committed as I was and doing it for as long as I did.
We still have a small freezer stash (just in case) and if I’m away from Little Prince for a significant amount of time, I may need to pump a bit, but in general, I am DONE PUMPING! Hurray!
And now, in honor of the new Star Trek movie coming out this week, here’s Little Prince yelling “Khaaan”:
Well, it looks like we’re actually on the path to a nice natural slow baby-led weaning.
6 months or so ago Little Prince was still breastfeeding/taking milk at daycare a good 8-10 times a day. I’d say 3 months ago it was still 6-8 times a day. Now we seem to be down to about 5 times a day. He’s also eating more, which is probably partially just growing up and partially getting in his molars with canines not that far behind (oh our night times are fun these days!).
About six months ago Darius and I encouraged a bit of night weaning using the Jay Gordon Method (modified). Instead of picking a middle of the night 7 hour stretch, we picked from when he fell asleep (usually around 8:30-9) until 2am to be the time that “milk was asleep.” It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes, like when he’s sick or teething, we add a few more sessions back in. But most of the time this gives Darius and I a bit of evening time to ourselves and at least a few hours for me of uninterrupted sleep (before we started this, Little Prince was waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse… the joys of reverse-cycling). Sometime around the holidays I noticed that sometimes 2am was more like 3am, occasionally even 4am. But there would be a long long feed or three before it was time to get up for the day. Just recently I realized that the number of feeds overnight has seemed to drop to a 2 or 3am feed and then a 5 or 6 am feed. We’ve generally dropped a night session. I was going to start encouraging this in April (after the March craziness died down), but it looks like LP is starting to do this on his own.
Back in late January or early February, Little Prince’s awesome daycare teacher informed me that he was not drinking all the milk I was sending with him each day; he was starting to ask for water instead. So I started sending about 6oz instead of 8oz. Yesterday I found out that he’s not even drinking all of that. So now I’m going to start sending about 4-5oz. It was funny because she seemed so remorseful when she told me, but I was super excited that he was making this choice on his own. I think next month I’m going to ask them to always offer him water first instead of milk, because I plan on stopping pumping at work around LP’s second birthday. While we still have some freezer stash left, it’s not what it once was and I’m definitely pumping less milk than I was three months ago.
A few weeks ago I noticed that over the weekend (when Little Prince use to nurse about five times from when he woke up until when I put him to sleep), he had dropped the mid-morning and mid-afternoon nurse.
Ever since I started work, when Little Prince was 11 weeks old, we (almost) always had a reconnecting nursing session when we saw each other again. When he was a little, little one, this was a 45-60min nurse-nap session. As he’s gotten older, it’s been more like 10-15 minutes. In the past few months it’s been “Couch, mommy, more milk…more milk, other side.” He says it “meelk” which is super cute. But in the past week or so he mostly hasn’t asked for milk when I’ve gotten home. It’s kind of bittersweet for me, because I liked that reconnecting moment. That time where I could put aside my work day, relax, and become mommy again. But I’ve been getting a huge hug from him instead, so it isn’t all sad.
Of course I still breastfeed him when he gets hurt or surprise-hurt. Sometimes he even says “hurt, ouch, milk” through his tears. I guess I’m doing (mostly) don’t offer, (mostly) don’t refuse. I still offer at bedtime and weekend nap time. And sometimes I’ll try distraction/other food/water push off to see if he’s more interested in that.
As for going to bed at night, I still offer every night and he still nurses in bed, but sometimes he doesn’t fall asleep from it. Lately he’ll alternate asking for milk and for water. Sometimes I think water is a distraction/I don’t want to go to bed technique. And the whole daylight savings time thing really threw us off. Still, I guess it’s time to start figuring out how to get him to fall asleep on his bed and without milk, other than walking him, which always works but I really don’t want that to be the only way he’ll ever fall asleep.
Our Little Prince was throwing up all Sunday evening to night from 6pm to about 3:30am. He was finally able to hold breastmilk down at 5:30am. Took the day off from work and stayed home with him. He threw up again once Tuesday night, but was fine after that. I’m still convinced it was because I took a Zyrtec on Saturday night and on Tuesday morning.
I woke up at 3:30 last night to breastfeed LP and was all shivery and my left breast was tender to the touch. Darius went to work (he leaves early) and after he left I started spiking a fever of 104-107°. For someone who runs 98°, this is a big deal. I couldn’t drive myself anywhere, I felt too bad. My awesome almost-neighbor and LLL leader saw my posts on Facebook, came over, got LP dressed, got me to the ER and took LP to daycare. Darius met me at the ER. They gave me an IV of fluids and some strong antibiotics. I also got a prescription for strong antibiotics and I made sure they are breastfeeding friendly. For those who care, they’re class B.
Came home. Rested, ate, pumped, watched Mythbusters and the rest of Your Highness, napped for a bit and relaxed for a bit. Fever is down to 99° last I checked and I’m all sweaty. My left breast still hurts a ton and is hard and tender to the touch.
Darius and LP will be home from daycare soon.
Mastitis sucks, but my friends are awesome.
Hope you’re having a blessed Solstice.
Our Little Prince turned eighteen months old last week. That’s a year and a half of this awesome little person being in our life. We had our 18 month check-up and while the pediatrician said he looks like he is “filling out,” he’s still a tiny guy: height 30¼”, weight 19lbs 12oz. So in six months he’s grown about 2 inches and put on almost 1.5lbs. Somehow it seems more reassuring that he is growing when I look at it like that.
Here’s a bullet list of 18 things about LP at 18 month, interspersed with a whole bunch of pictures and videos.
- Lately he’s been putting words together with alarming regularity. We have “cold outside”, “school bus”, “Ernie eat”, “That’s a kitty”, and my favorite, “Mommy made apple pie.” He’s also hitting the “my/mine” stage full on.
- At daycare they’ve started sitting him on the toilet twice a day. So we got a little potty and LP really loves to “sit on the potty.” Hasn’t “used” it yet, but we’re getting the idea.
- He loves to help around the house. He’ll stir stuff in a pot, wash dishes, and sweep the floor.
- There were a ton of leaves in our front yard so I raked them into a pile and we played in the leaf pile for a while. Yes, he’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I’ll take my 100° summers to have 80° in December.
- He loves books, Star Wars/R2D2, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Ernie. He also went nuts when we showed him some of the Aristocats because he could identify the animals and had to tell us about them.
- We are working on being the very best nerd-parents/totally messing LP up forever. He can say “die” and “dice” which is cute in general, but when he turns to me and says “mommy, die” it’s a little weird out of context. Although when he said “tante, die” while we were Facetiming with my sister it totally made my night!
- We’ve also taught him to clench his fists and yell “Khaaaaaaan” which is just super adorably cute. (Still working on getting video of that one).
- He’s still nursing a ton, although the “milk is asleep” from when he falls asleep until 2am is working out pretty well. Sometimes when he wakes up before 2am and I tell him that “milk is asleep” and he gives me this “No” wail that reminds me of Luke being told that Vader is his father.
- He’s also eating more. I try not to be worried when he’s not interested in food at dinner time, but it can’t always be helped. Then I remember that he eats well at daycare and he has a snack on the way home from daycare and also breastfeeds for a bit when we first get home.
- He still loves apples more than just about anything. He also likes sweet potato fries, sweet potato puffs, crackers, turkey (but not chicken as much), pasta, blueberries, and strawberries.
- LP can go up and down stairs. When he says “up the stairs” it kind of sounds like “apple juice.”
- On that note, he had a big tumble down the stairs the other day. I thought he was at the bottom of the stairs, I turned around, turned back and he was half way up them. Then he turned around to see me, and lost his footing. He rolled down about four stairs sideways before I got to him. Picked him up and assured him he was fine. Breastfeed him for a bit, and then we went down and up the stairs again to make sure he wasn’t afraid of them.
- He currently has four top teeth, two bottom teeth, and a third bottom tooth is part way in.
- He loves slides. At the playgrounds he’s figured out how to go up the stairs, over to the slide, and go down it.
- Like his father, he’s a “reaction junkie.” If I react to something he does and he finds my reaction funny, he’ll do it over and over again to try to get the same reaction. He loves to blow raspberries on my tummy. The other day he tickled my knee and when I squealed (I’m super ticklish) he did it again and again all night.
- His favorite game to play with us is “boo/hi.” He’ll hide behind something, such as the couch or a wall, and then jump out and say “hi” or “boo.” It’s so cute!
- We’re trying out All-in-Ones/Pocket diapers again because a. I’m tired of using disposables when we go out and b. he doesn’t need to be changed as often as when he was 3 months old and will tolerate a wet diaper more. So far so good. We’ve purchased a couple of the very nerdy diapers over on Seams Geeky, because who can resist Final Fantasy and glow-in-the-dark Tron diapers?
- I currently have four baby carriers in the house, but one I don’t use any more (the Moby) and one I’m borrowing from Austin Babywearers. There’s another one I’m lusting over. I may have a small problem. But he likes to be worn and I still like to wear him.
In closing, in case you are thinking about getting him anything for this holiday season, here’s his Amazon wishlist. Clothing is also always appreciated. He’s at that stage where he’s in between the 12 and 18 month sizes.
I have this problem when blogging where I feel like I “ought” to blog something or I’ll want to write about a specific topic or I’ll feel like I need to complete X before I can get to the post. And then the moment passes, but I still feel like I “owe” people/readers/the blog the post I haven’t done yet, so I don’t post because until I can post what I “owe” I shouldn’t post anything else. Well, I’ve decided that that’s dumb and I should just blog what I want when I want. So there.
To that end, here’s a catch-up on a whole bunch of stuff that’s happened since my last post in July.
- Darius and I bought a house in the suburbs. It’s huge and we love it. LP loves it too as do the cats. We’re very happy here (even if we’re still not unpacked)
- I had to take a business trip away from LP and Darius for several days. Everyone survived. I came home with over 70oz of pumped milk.
- To that end, we’ve been working on a slight bit of gentle night weaning, based on Jay Gordon’s method. This really deserves it’s own post, but in case I never get to it, it’s going okay… most nights.
- LP is still on the super tiny side of things (at his 15 month checkup he was 9% for height and 2% for weight)
- He has 6 teeth (4 top and 2 bottom)
- He’s becoming a bit of a picky eater, especially at home
- He has more words than I can count, still signs, and is picking up more every day
- He’s really into any word that has a hard K sound at the end: snack, sock, clock, milk, book, and duck are favorites.
Overall I’m really really enjoying this age. He’s moving much better (almost running), climbing all over everything, loves to giggle and laugh and play. He talks a ton and babbles even more. Sometimes he says the word babble. He also just picks up new things so quickly. The other day I taught him to do the Tarzan beat chest and go “ahhhhh.” It’s hilarious.
And life in the suburbs has fallen into a routine of come home, nurse, make/eat dinner and then go outside and play with the neighbourhood kids, then bath and bed. We even got him his own scooter-bike to play on.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t problems. He still doesn’t eat a ton, especially at home. I think it’s partly because he doesn’t always get the healthiest food at daycare and partly because he always wants to nurse when we get home and dinner isn’t too far after that and then he’d rather nurse than eat most of the time on the weekend. I’m trying to not freak out about it. I know he’s growing and healthy and hitting all of his milestones (surpassing many) and since he doesn’t have molars yet it’s not like it’s super easy for him to eat everything, but I still worry. And of course, like all toddlers he is very fond of the word “no” and will occasionally “have big emotions.”
But overall he’s a total joy and makes his mommy and daddy very happy.
(I was writing this as part of my previous post on Attachment Parenting, but it was getting long so I decided to make it it’s own post.)
I’ve been hearing people say that there must be no way that Attachment Parenting can work for a family where both parents work. Being in a family where we both work and yet practice AP, I want to let you in on what my life looks like these days:
It starts in the morning when Darius gets up to go to work. Around then LP usually wants to nurse, so I figure out where he is in our monster queen-twin-on-floor bed and see if I need to switch sides. Then we both fall back asleep. When my alarm goes off a little while later, I bring him to me to breastfeed again as this will be his last nursing session before daycare. If my alarm goes off during this time I gently unlatch him, turn off the alarm (it’s across the room), and then see if he wants to nurse more (he usually nurses through at least 2 rings of the alarm). I like this nursing session because he’s usually super cuddly and sweet. Then when I am sure he is back asleep, I get out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, get ready for the day, and turn on the cheep baby monitor. Then I pick out his clothes for the day and head downstairs.
Downstairs I turn on the other half of the baby monitor, get out three 4-5oz bottles of expressed milk, a clean nipple, and any food I’m sending with him, make sure it’s all labeled and put it all in a bag, which then goes in his to-daycare-diaperbag. I also get four clean empty bottles for me to pump into in the pump cooler pack with their special cooler thing and put that in my pump bag. Then I make my lunch and put that in my backpack. I then run all of this quickly out to the car (now along with the car seat if it’s not already in the car). Sometimes I also have to feed the girl-cat. Then I usually get a chance to sit down and eat breakfast. If LP hasn’t woken up by 7:30am, I go wake him up. I don’t like the fact that I have to wake him up, I’d rather let him get up naturally, but I have to get to work. I get him out of bed and bring him into “his” room. There I take off his PJs and change him into a new disposable diaper (daycare doesn’t take cloth and we also use disposables overnight) while singing him “Good Morning” from Singing in the Rain with lyrics that I’ve made up. Then I get him dressed, often while trying to keep him away from the boy-cat (who often comes into LP’s room to see what’s going on). Then it’s grab any last minute items, get him into his car seat (sometimes play peak-a-boo or tickle his toes), and drive him to daycare. At daycare I spend a bit of time with him and give him good-bye hugs and kisses. Lately I’ve been wearing him in in my mei tai. I have a new theory that he’s more willing to let me go if I wear him in and wear him while I’m putting away his bottles and filling out his daily form, etc.
Then I head off to work. At work I pause twice to go down to the Mother’s Room and pump for 20 minutes each time. Since this takes up a good chunk of my time, I generally work through lunch (so I can leave a little earlier). Most days Darius picks up LP from daycare. When I get home I have to put the milk I just pumped into the fridge. If I’m home before the guys, I’ll check to see if I can put any milk in the freezer. I often try to get some bottles washed then. When I get reconnected with my guys, I look over LP’s sheet to see how much he ate, when he napped, when he last had a change, and if there are any other important notes. By then LP usually wants to nurse. These days he’s very “vocal” about it: pulling at my clothing, signing “milk” and saying “nana.” Sometimes I change his diaper first (into cloth while at home) if I think he really needs it. Then I sit on the couch with him and breastfeed him. More often than not, this is a long reconnecting nurse that turns into a nurse-nap. Once LP is asleep, I’ll play on my iPhone or watch TV. It’s a great way not only to reconnect with him, but it also helps me unwind from the day.
Evenings are varied depending on if we’re going out or not or what’s for dinner. Generally these days Darius makes dinner because I’m breastfeeding LP for a good 45 minutes, if not longer, while he nurse-naps. Sometimes if LP wakes up or if he doesn’t nap, I’ll wear him on my back and make dinner or help out by cleaning dishes (it seems like there are ALWAYS dishes to clean) or sit and play with LP. Then dinner. After dinner we may all play downstairs or maybe Skype with my mother or other family members or whatever. Sometimes LP wants short breastfeeding nips during this time, sometimes he doesn’t. Then it’s bedtime (usually) and every other night LP gets a bath given by both of us. Then back into a ‘sposie and daddy puts him in pajamas and we both pray that LP will fall asleep quickly while nursing so we can get some time together to wash more dishes, or fold laundry, or watch some adult TV, or read and blog or something. Some nights it works (like tonight, which I why I’m getting a chance to write this) and some nights (like last night) it doesn’t. On those nights LP doesn’t want to go to sleep, so one of us will wear him while doing the night time chores (washing bottles, making lunches, feeding cats, etc). Generally this makes him sleepy enough that we can all go to bed together.
Overnight LP still (half-)wakes up 3-5 times to nurse (counting the one that I mentioned at the beginning of this post). I’m so thankful that we’re co-sleeping because it’s just so easy to roll over, feed him, and go back to sleep.
So, would I prefer to be able to stay at home? Yes. But I’m so thankful for AP because I feel like I am still able to connect with my son when we are together and without it I know I’d probably not be getting even half as much sleep as I do now.
There has been a lot of talk recently about Attachment Parenting (AP). Most recently this picture graced the cover of Time, causing shock (as it was intended to) on both sides of the issue.
It may come as no shock to those who know me, but in my household, we practice AP. Here are the eight principles of AP. I just sort of fell into AP naturally. My parents practiced many of these things back in the 80s before there was a term for it because it “felt right” to my mother (she says that we should call AP “natural parenting” since everything else is outside of what is normal in most of the world and for most of human history). These principles also feel right to me. I am also thankful for a friend who passed on her copy of The Baby Book (which I’ve mostly read through) because it gave me the term to use for doing what felt right to me and helped me find others who parent the way I want to.
I had a natural birth at a birthing center. We breastfeed, which I plan on doing until it is something LP and I both decide is no longer for us.
We co-sleep, which makes it so much easier as a working mom of a baby who reverse-cycled at about 4 months to get any sleep.
We practice babywearing. LP loves being worn (most of the time) by either parent. And it sure can make doing things like shopping, housework, or even playing WoW (once he’s asleep) easier. We also have a stroller, which we do use for things like long walks to the park.
Recently I borrowed from the library and read Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialik. It was interesting to read her book. I really liked her voice and the way she told her story. When I was reading bits about parts that I agreed with already, I found myself nodding my head or saying “yes! exactly!” out loud (good thing I read it while pumping in the Mother’s Room at work so there was no one around to hear me). There were some things that were a little “out there” for me, such as Elimination Communication (which sounds cool…but we’re renting a place with lots of carpets and I know it’s something daycare would never go for) and lots of holistic medicine. I did love her chapter on gentle discipline (also known as positive parenting), which I made Darius read. I actually got out from the library the book on Gentle Discipline that she recommends in her resources section. My two biggest take-aways from her book was the idea of not saying no, but saying “Not for LP, but this over here is for LP” instead and when the kid starts to cry when hurt asking in a caring tone “hurt, surprised, or both?”
Does AP work for everyone? No. Does it work for us? Yes. One of the biggest tenants that I’ve noticed amongst AP people and La Leche League people is that they are aware that every family and every mother is different and so they say do what you can and what works best for you and for your child. No need to be “mom enough.”
Part Two: Attachment Parenting and the working mom.
Or how Triple Nipple Cream saved my nursing relationship.
Or how I should have listened to my instincts and to others.
About a month and a half ago I noticed that my left nipple was starting to hurt a bit. It felt sort of like thrush, but wasn’t quite the same, and the right side was getting sore too. So I made an appointment with the Birthing Center to get it all checked out. They confirmed that it wasn’t yeast or bacterial. The lactation consultant (who was also our post-partum midwife) was there. She agreed with me that it could be because I’d switched horns on my pump to the Pumpin Pals about a month before and the smallest ones they have are too big for me. I should have guessed this myself when they wouldn’t hold suction so I had to turn my pump up and hold them on (I can usually pump hands-free). But I was stubborn and really liked how they were ergonomic, even when they were damaging me. (Anyone want a set of Pumpin Pals horns? I know a lot of people who say they’re great.) So I switched back to the regular horns and started coating them in lanolin to help with the friction.
While the left started to feel somewhat better, the right started getting worse and worse. I started getting vasospasms on both sides. I mentioned it at my La Leche League meeting and my friend recommended I get this Triple Nipple Cream. Someone else mentioned “Soothies” breast pads. But I sort of ignored them thinking things were under control.
At the same time as all of this, I noticed that my Little Prince looked like he did, in fact, have a tongue-tie. So when we were at his nine month check-up, I asked his pediatrician to confirm it. Yup, he had minor tongue-tie alright. This got me a big “I told you so” from Darius and a recommendation for an ENT doctor from our pediatrician, who I made an appointment with for the next week. I also found this article on tongue-ties and realized that LP had over 20 of the listed symptoms at one point or another.
The last week things went from bad to worse. The left was sore and wrinkly. The areola on the right has this shiny blotchy part and when I pumped or nursed, skin was actually pealing off and I could see deep cracks all over my nipple. I starts wearing nursing pads again, but I was sticking to them and when I took them off, there was some skin and a bit of blood on them. On Tuesday of last week I got some Soothies and while they helped a bit with the vasospasms and the rubbing, it was still bad. On Friday morning when LP latched on the right, it hurt so much I actually started crying.
That Friday was also the day of my Little Prince’s ENT appointment. The doctor took one look and confirmed the tie. He said it was minor so we really didn’t need to do anything about it. But he gave me the option of snipping it right then. I took it.
The procedure was very quick. They numbed under LP’s tongue, then got him crying (poor thing) and took a thin pair of scissors and snipped it super fast. He cried until I got him on my breast (all of 5 seconds, because I was already holding him). Then he nursed for about five minutes and was perfectly happy after that. No blood or anything. It was so simple. I wish I’d had it done right after he was born. I bet it would have helped with our early latching problems.
After I dropped LP back of at daycare, I called my doctor and asked them to call in a prescription of the Triple Nipple Cream. I picked it up after work and started using it right away. I also tried using the nipple shields again, but LP refused to nurse with them, so I just grinned and bore it. I also started to once again refuse a latch that felt super painful or uncomfortable.
What a difference a week can make. My nipples are healing. Pumping doesn’t hurt anymore. The red shiny spots on my right areola are gone. Today I’m wearing regular breast pads instead of Soothies and I’m not sticking to them at all. And best of all, nursing on the left almost doesn’t hurt at all and nursing on the left is hurting less and less every day. And even though the cracks in my nipple are still there, they are on their way to healing.
Finally, LP loves sticking out his tongue now. He’s exploring a whole range of motion with it that he never had before. And I’m pretty sure his suction has gotten better and his nursing more efficient.
Sorry about not updating when my Little Prince turned 8 months. I got just a bit involved with the Facebook Nurse-In stuff .
So, LP is now 9 months old! At his checkup last week he was 27″ long & weighed 17.5lbs. He’s been a person in the world longer than he was a collection of growing cells/a fetus inside of my body. It still blows me away.
LP continues to grow, change, and amaze me. He is now crawling like a maniac (much to the cats’ dismay), cruising around the furniture, walking for a good while while holding our hands, and even standing for several seconds all by himself. He’s also a little thrill seeker and loves getting tossed around, thrown up in the air, and being placed on shoulders.
(Drat, I had just added a bunch of stuff and WordPress just ate it! Boo! Hopefully I can remember most of what I wrote.)
When he’s excited, LP makes the cutest “gah” noise. He also says lots of “da/dat” “ba” and “agg” sounds. Still not much on the “ma” front . He also signed milk once or twice, but not consistently… then again, we’re not very consistent with it.
When he wants to show affection (or when he’s super tired), he’ll lay his head down on you. It’s so cute. Here he is giving the boy-cat some love:
Grandma (my mother) came into town the other week. She spent a few days watching him, which was nice. She found a great little park for smaller kiddos nearby, which we have since taken him to a couple of times. She also taught him to raise his arms up when someone says “touchdown” (even though it’s not football season anymore). Here he is doing “touchdown” for Grandma when we were out at dinner:
On the eating/sleeping front, LP is still mostly reverse cycled, although he does take more milk at daycare than he use to (probably because he’s more active these days). So we dream-feed several times a night. He still isn’t super interested in food. He does about 2-3 oz of baby puree at daycare every day. Apples or sweet potato seem to be his favorites. He’s okay with banana, pears, and carrots. So far not a fan of green beans. At home we do more baby lead solids. We went out to Olive Garden over the weekend and got him a side of steamed broccoli and he had fun squishing it and dropping it on the floor, but I’m pretty sure he got some in his mouth. Here he is with two slices of an Empire apple. He really likes apples and other fruit.
He also likes to try and drink water from our glasses. It’s pretty cute and usually ends up with water everywhere. He’s starting to figure out sippy cups too. I think we need to get a few different types to see what he takes to.
As perfectly developmentally appropriate, LP has occasionally exhibited some mild signs of separation anxiety when we put him down. So we babywear him more. Currently there are three baby carriers in this house: a Moby wrap, an Ergo, and a Mei Tei that I’m borrowing for a friend. I’ve started to become a big fan of the back carry. I’ve also started to get addicted to baby carriers. They are so awesome. And different ones are needed for different situations! The other week we were at CostCo and Darius had LP in the Ergo on his back. LP totally fell asleep and Darius kept getting double-takes from people as they realized that he wasn’t wearing a backpack, but a sleeping baby.
I’m sure I have more to say, but he’s waking up and it’s way past time to get him to daycare and me to work.
I’ve been reading a lot of articles and responses to the articles about the February 6th “Nurse-Ins” at the various Facebook offices around the world. I’ve noticed one question that people keep asking in the comments is “Why is it so important for you to post these pictures of such an intimate moment?” I’m going to do my best to try and answer that question here.
I want to start by changing one word in the question. I want to change “intimate” to “normal.” Intimate implies an done privately between two people in a closed setting in a cherishing way. For any mom who is trying to feed a screaming one week old at 2am and trying to find her nipple shield because he’s having latching trouble, and it’s dark and you’re over-tired, this act is anything but intimate. Frustrating is what comes to mind. For any mom who’s out and about and who has a hungry kid, and decides to feed him right there in public, while sweet, this is not intimate. Natural comes to mind. For any mom who is sitting for over an hour while her child nurses himself to sleep, but she knows he’ll wake up screaming if she tries to stop the nurse-nap, this is not intimate (at least not after half an hour). Lonely comes to mind (if no one else is there for her to talk to) or distracted (if she is watching tv or surfing the net). But all of these moments are normal. Because all of them happen in the normal course of a breastfeeding mother’s life. Are there private moments where she looks at her child and is overcome by love and affection and amazement at how she can feed a tiny thing with only her breasts? Of course. But in my experience they are a lot rarer than some literature would have us believe.
Now, why would someone want to take pictures of such a normal activity and why would we want to post it on the internet? Because it is a part of our normal activity and we want to share it with our family and friends. The quotes in this article explain it even more eloquently than I can, so I’ll pause for a moment so you can go read it. Done? Ok, let’s move on.
Looking back on it, out of the over 400 photos of LP I’ve put up on Facebook (this is what happens when you don’t live near your family and you have the first grandbaby) only about 16 pictures are of me actually breastfeeding LP. That’s less than 4% of the pictures. I’ve posted a large number of pictures of him sleeping blissfully post-nurse in a “milk-drunk” state, but very few (comparatively) of him engaged in the act of nursing. After the event on Monday I’ve posted two more.
I want to explain the story behind five of the photos, why they were taken, and why I chose to post them.
I believe this to be the very first breastfeeding photo I posted:
This is the very second time I ever breastfed my Little Prince. He was no more than 10 or 11 hours old. It was right before we were about to take him home from the Birthing Center. That look on my face is a look of relief that he is nursing at all. We had trouble with his latch and my nipples in the beginning, so this good nurse was a very important part of the day for me. As you can see, there are at least two other people around us (my sister’s legs are in the photo, so she must be watching, and someone had to take the picture). Plus right before this there was at least one midwife around helping us. And another midwife came in the middle of this feeding to say hi. So, not sure how intimate it is. Also is part of the “First Day” set of photographs, as it was something that happened on day my Little Prince was born. As you’ll notice from that set, there are a lot of times my nipple is showing in a photo and I either blurred it out or covered it up with a big purple dot. Why was my nipple showing in so many pictures? Because I gave birth naked in a tub (you can even see the edge of the tub in this picture). However, there is a lot less skin showing in this picture than in many of the others.
So why did I post it? Because it was a natural part of the day my son was born. Because it was a moment that happened in that day, along with holding him, making silly faces at him, bathing him, and falling asleep with him in my arms. I didn’t even think “should I or shouldn’t I post this.” It just made sense to, along with everything else.
As almost any breastfeeding mom can tell you, sometimes you end up nursing in really funny positions.
In this case, my little prince had just started to figure out how to sit up (he was just shy of 5 months). So what happens? He latches on while sitting up, without me having to hold him. I tell my hubby to grab the camera and do a “look-ma-no-hands” kind of thing. I think the look on my face is priceless. It’s a pretty far cry from many of those intimate breastfeeding images we see.
I posted it because, well, it was funny. At least I thought it was funny. Looking back now, I’m actually more impressed that I was willing to post a picture showing my post-pregnancy belly much more than I was at showing my child breastfeeding. In fact, most of the skin you see in this picture is a baby in a diaper and my belly.
This next photo was posted for educational/desiring for kudos purposes. It is of me successfully nursing in my Moby wrap:
While I love love love my Moby wrap, one of the things I’ve never been good at is figuring out how to breastfeed LP in one. Oh I watched videos and tried a bunch, but I never could get the hang of it. Until one day it all clicked. So once he was settled, I took a picture to prove that I could do it. I’m still not great at Moby nursing and now that LP is older, if I have to nurse hands-free, I tend to use the Ergo instead. But at least I can say that I did it.
I posted this picture because I was proud of the fact that I finally got something that had plagued me for so long. Also so that other moms could see how it was done. BTW, if I hadn’t told you he was nursing in this photo, would you have even known?
Ok, I’ll admit it, I do have one “political” picture that I posted before the Nurse-In:
This was taken back in August, during World Breastfeeding Week. I took it and posted it to show my support of breastfeeding and how important I think it is. Although all the caption said was “Happy Breastfeeding Week.” I like how LP’s nose is all smushed against my breast in this picture.
Lastly, this is my favorite picture I’ve taken (so far) of breastfeeding LP:
Ok, I’ll admit it, this looks a lot like an intimate moment. It actually started out as a funny moment. LP was nursing to sleep one evening and placed his hand on my other breast, as if to say “I’m using this one now, but I’m saving that one for later.” I wanted to get a picture of that. Then I decided that I should be looking at him and not the camera. Somehow I caught this. I think it’s absolutely beautiful. The composition is nice, the lighting is just right, and the look on my face is a cross between loving and amused. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if I could have someone turn this into a painting for me to hang in my house, I would. It reminds me of many of the beautiful pieces of art of breastfeeding mothers that I’ve seen over the years.
I’ll also admit that I wasn’t sure about posting this one to Facebook at first. Because it is such an intimate moment. Because only for the grace of LP’s hand is it within their terms of service. Because I’m naked and my boobs look huge. But I did it anyway, not to make a statement, but because I thought it was so beautiful and would make a good painting. I was actually nervous that I’d get some negative comments, of the type I am seeing in the comments in news article after news article about the Nurse-In, after I posted it. I guess I’m lucky that my friends and family are so supportive because I got nothing but “lovely pic” and “it would make a good painting” comments from them.
And just to prove a point, here is a picture of my Little Prince falling asleep at the dinner table after sort of eating avocado:
Other than I’m not in the picture, I’m not really sure how this is any different than one of him nurse-napping or dream-feeding from my breast.