Weaned

So you know your child is really really really over your boobs and all their nurturing goodness, when after a week or so of unofficial self-weaning, out of nowhere, you nonchalantly whip out your breast as you whistle staring off in another direction – and he doesn’t bat an eyelash.  In fact, he stares at them intently as though he’s thinking ‘hmm.  those look vaguely familiar…but i can’t quite place them.’ – and then snaps out of his deja-vu acid trip and looks at you very seriously and says ‘crack-kah?’.   You desperately hand pump the ol’ trusty sign for breastfeeding as you say enthusiastically, mama milk?, surely this will ring a bell.  Orr, not so much.  You then realize that you border on pervert, when you “accidentally” leave said breast exposed and carry on with building of blocks and cutting of plastic produce.  So what – you’re hanging out on the playroom floor willing your child to take interest in your deflated, and now lame bosoms because you just want to be 100% sure that he’s sure.  Totally harmless, and really – it’s the least I could do.  And then you hear your husband return from school early.  And there you are all flaunting your breasts up in your childs face.  And you quickly pull yourself together and walk around the house nervously with an unhooked bra and you suddenly feel like a drug addict.

A drug addict who is now urging her husband to hurry up and LEAVE ALREADY for that run he’s suiting up for – because you need to get back to your crack.  Surely the child is now traumatized – confused – eager to run back to his boobs.  And you need to give him his boobs!

But the husband leaves and the child has long since forgotten about that curious nipple.  In fact, not only is he not clawing his way at your now concealed boob – he’s rolling around in the dog bed in a fit of hysterical laughter because he KNOWS, that second to the inaccessible toilets, it is THE most vile and disgusting place in the house.  And it doesn’t matter that you actually pay someone else to do deep cleaning sorts of things to your floors (vacuuming/mopping/et al), that you should really be doing because you’re the STAY AT HOME mom (ie: its kinda your job to be productive and shit.  in the house.), but whatever, you pay someone to do this cleaning of floors to purge all the dog nastiness – just for your toddler.  Who spends half of his days lounging in the dog beds.  With and without the dogs.  The best is when he’s sprawled on the dog in the dog bed, and the dog decides it’s as good a time as any to chew at his balls which happen to be 5 inches from your childs face.  Oh wait, he has no balls.  Even better!  It’s lovely.

Back to the boobs.  So long story short, the husband leaves for his run and you whisk the kid off to the bedroom (aka: sanctuary of nursing love) hopeful that the old set-up will help to remind him of the important decision he has made, and that he can have his old job back if he wants it.  I’d be down.  So I lay him down on top of me in the bed and bust them out.  BUFFET IS OPEN!  And he is totally confused.  Excited!  but confused.  It’s a game!  Right?  He takes a little slurp – then a bite – then runs across the bed – comes back – goes back on – and off – then sucks – then bites…and well, now I’m laughing.  This is ridiculous.  I am a total mom pervert.  Trying to ho the girls for one last gig.  And I get nothing but a raving lunatic with total amnesia, who has absolutely no interest in breastfeeding.  I look at him and say, while signing, ‘All done?’.  He signs back – All Done.

So is there like a My Baby Has Weaned Recovery Program for this shit or what?  While I am temporarily heartbroken, we had a good run – 16 months.  I’m thrilled that this part of our relationship can end on his terms entirely – but damn, that breastfeeding is something else and I sure will miss it (with him).

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Quilted Baby Blanket

So here is my first sewing project.  I wanted an “all season” blanket for Oban and thought I’d play around with some quilting after a botched attempt at a pinwheel knit I whipped up with some scrap yarn.  It’s not often that I get really excited about something I’ve made because I”m usually distracted by the flaws (and there are always flaws – *insert Debbie Downer whaaa whaaa whaaaaaaa*).  If I could just figure out how to soften it up…I’ve run it through the washing machine and dryer 3 times now and even run a cycle with a cup of vinegar per the wisdom of The Internet.  It’s still scratchy and I used all cotton for the quilted side and a cotton/poly knit on the other with a very thin layer of Warm and Natural cotton batting.  Maybe I should have doubled on the cotton knit and done without the fill.  Oh well.  Next baby.

Running and Babies

The trouble I am having lately with posting is too many intense topics swirling in my head for days and then I sit down to type and I’m overwhelmed with choosing one.  So then I write and rewrite sentences attempting to merge them all together somehow and the result is something really half-ass that I wind up deleting.  And then I don’t post at all.  Sort of like when you go to TJ Maxx and fill up your cart and then realize as you make the slow stroll to the cash register that you are full of shit.  You have no money for these things.  You don’t need another dog bed, candle, calphalon pan, or pair of flip flops.  And while maybe you really DID need the socks, you just can’t be bothered anymore.

So I’m just going to go for it.  It’s a half-ass hybrid post.  Who cares.  Running and babies – these are a few of the things on my mind these days.

I’m back in therapy after several years and its been great.  I talk about running and babies a lot.  Actually, I cry, but whats new.  Some pretty soul shifting events have occurred in my life in the last 2 years.  My pregnancy with Oban, having an unmedicated waterbith, newborn induced sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, and now running.  What they have in common is that they all required some level of commitment, endurance, and faith on my part.  They were all extremely challenging and extremely taxing and yet they’ve all given me such incredible strength and satisfaction.  The kind that wells up in your throat and makes words hard to find.

Almost all of these opportunities have presented themselves because of my son – his life has given me a kind of focus and grit that I never thought was in the cards for me.  I feel totally empowered and enriched by my love for him, and yet totally incapacitated by the thought of ever losing him.  The result of that, is a hot mess in the therapist chair every other week.  I find myself in tears often when I talk about him.  I silently cry when I watch him play.  I cry singing to him.  I cry hearing his laughter.  I cry because there is something so beautiful it makes your heart want to explode – about your own flesh and blood.  There is something mystical about the wonder and innocence and pure benevolence of a sixteen month old.  And because I am neurotic, in these blissful moments a freight train comes a long, and as I am talking about or looking at or thinking about the joy of my child – I think cancer.  I think suffering.  I think tragic awful things.  And then I think about other peoples children.  I think about their mothers.  And of course Elizabeth Mitchell is usually playing in the background.  I don’t know how that woman sings those songs.  My point is OH MAH GAWD!  Having a baby rocks my world.

So running.  Running has felt like a religious experience for me.  And wow, I could have never seen that one coming!  Honestly, I was almost entirely motivated to attempt a half-marathon just to impress my husband.  I’m signed up for my first in March – the Atlanta Publix (formerly ING) Marathon.  I started out with a Couch-to-5k program then worked my way into a 1/2 marathon training schedule.  I have never run a race in my life.  But 5 days a week now I go out there and run.  I run in sleet, and snow, and crazy ass wind – and most of the time I spend half the distance trying to give myself a good enough excuse to stop, turn around, and go home – because its that unpleasant.  But I do it.  I plod along.  And not a single run in 4 months have I completed and not felt like the baddest mother effer on the block.  Every run is like its own mini labor and birth.  The endorphins I felt walking from that birthing pool over to my hospital bed dragging half my reproductive self practically on the floor (eww i know, but crazy shit!) – are the same endorphins I feel when I have completed a really great run.  It’s amazing.  It’s living.  It’s pushing your body to places it was meant to withstand and feeling so alive.  I love it.  It’s exactly what I never knew I needed.  Birth and running shoes.

Reupholstery

We just had our furniture reupholstered and I am so so thrilled with the results I thought I would share.  The chair fabric was not my first choice, but with some encouraging I went with it and am so glad I did.  The couch is amazing.  The fabric we picked has a soft chenille feel to it but the appearance of linen – I wanted to pull a blue’ish color into the room because we have it in our marble tile in the kitchen and in some of our rugs.  They didn’t have enough of my first pick on the couch fabric which was warmer – a brown.  The sofa was originally a brown color and I had come to the conclusion that it would be a nice change to have a lighter cleaner color.  Well its definitely that.  Only Zack and I are both holding our breaths a little as to how this will fair in the long run with children.  Ack.  Oh well.  Not much to do about it at this point but enjoy it sans grub.  It looked much darker on the roll.  Oops.  I guess its a good thing Oban doesn’t drink juice.  It may have to be the ‘no red wine’ sofa.  I am notorious for knocking over wine glasses.

I am also not convinced its the right color either.  The walls are warm.  The curtains are warmer.  The chairs are REALLY warm.  It feels a little out of place.  I hate doubting my decisions.  Especially non-refundable ones.  Like the Tempurpedic bed I was certain was too firm when I was 8 months pregnant, that I insisted we exchange for a piece of shit Restonic foam mattress that was softer – but now has us skydiving every night after one year of use.  A mattress we are stuck with forever because Zack wants me to live with the constant reminder of how much I suck at picking mattresses.  (I’ve been through like 10 mattresses in the last 5 years).

In any event – the bottom line is that individually they are beautiful.  Any of these pieces alone would have cost more at retail than what I paid for all of them to be reupholstered.  The quality of work is amazing.  The customer service was above and beyond my expectations.  I am so happy I decided not to buy new furniture and reuse the well-made stuff we already had.

The AP Extreme

I really wish someone would come along and knock the “AP Movement” off its high horse.

There are some really great ideas behind Attachment Parenting.  The principles as defined by the infamous Dr. Sears are:

  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  2. Feed with Love and Respect
  3. Respond with Sensitivity
  4. Use Nurturing Touch
  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Awesome.  Brilliant.  Who could argue?  Sign me up.  Koom-by-yah.  These principles of Attachment Parenting are founded on a core tenet of attachment theory which says that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for normal social and emotional development.

How we get from these basic fundamental concepts to the holier-than-thou attitudes of some self-proclaimed ‘AP’ers’ – absolutely confounds me.  With particular emphasis on the topics of vaccinations, circumcision, and yes you guessed it – the all ambiguous, ‘Cry It Out’.

Because I really hate feeling as though there is no acknowledgment of a parenting style that evolves uniquely of its own thoughtful and deliberate consideration of the myriad of decisions parents will make on behalf of their children.  I believe, I really truly believe, that most mothers and fathers and caregivers, are doing their very best to love, and nurture, and provide for their babies.

I just wish that the conversations surrounding the AP ‘way’ would have more to do with those core beliefs and less with suggesting neglect and a lack of compassion by the parents that would chose any other way.  A less outraged at the evildooerz tone would be helpful.  It feels a bit cultish.  A bit damning.  But mostly annoying with its constant ANTI/PRO-xyz, dialogue.  Tell me more about what AP IS, not what it ISN’T.   Why are we all so preoccupied with eachothers parenting business?  Might there be a more productive way for AP supporters to promote and communicate the aspects of attachement that work for them WITHOUT the preaching?  I feel like the language alienates so many women, because god forbid you may have done otherwise.

I don’t care for the statistics.  I don’t care about the studies.  I am your peer.  A mother.  Who needs not the judgement or criticism of other mothers, because I am doing the best for my family.   I am just blown away by the confidence – the righteousness of anyone proclaiming to know of a single glowing path to healthy children and healthy parenting.  It just doesn’t exist.  And the sooner we can begin to appreciate and respect the desire in the MAJORITY for the same end result, the sooner we can accept diversity in parenting.

It took 13 excruciating weeks of breastfeeding before the hole in my nipple finally started to close up, my oversupply began to regulate, and I could finally nurse my child without a tremendous amount of stress and pain.  I had a baby that was hard to console and an incredibly light sleeper.  At almost 5 months of rock bottom sleep deprivation something had to give for our family.  For my health.  And because I was not able to be a loving mother for my son in those dark hours of sheer exhaustion.  We let him cry.  In fact, he cried (no more than he had prior actually) for months.  But he also very rarely ever cried for longer than 10 or 15 minutes.  And you know what?  I nursed my baby twice a night until he was 10 months old.  He was never wet, hungry, or sick when he cried.  We believed nighttime is for sleep.  And sleep is what we all needed foremost in order to have the capacity for love and attention all the day long.  It wasn’t easy, but it was what we believed was right for us.

I cloth diapered for a year.  We chose not to circumsize.  We vaccinate on a delayed schedule.  I never EVER had even the potential for a ‘co-sleeper’ in my son.  It wasn’t in the cards even if it was something we desired to do.  And it wasn’t.  We moved him into a crib in his own room when he was 4 months old.  He had blobs of rice cereal from my finger when he was 5 months old.  He went straight into fruits and veggies and eats just about anything we put in front of him (and dont) at 16 months.

I love my boy.  I tell him I love him 5,000 times a day!  We read together, and cook, and explore the wonders of nature (and diggers) – we sing, and dance, and give eachother eskimo kisses.  We think we are both pretty funny as a matter of fact.  He laughs at me, I laugh at him.  We are friggin hysterical!  He wakes up happy, and naps, and goes to sleep happy.  Sleep is never a battle for us.  When he wakes in the night, now that he is weaned and far from ‘sleep training’,  I go to him.  We share hugs, and he goes back to sleep right away.  He is independent and content enough to play on his own at times, his vocabulary is pretty impressive, and he is a pretty happy guy!

I’ll take credit for that, thankyouverymuch.  Whatever our style, it seems to be working out for us.  Could do with a little less judgement from that collective AP group about the kind of insecure, unattached child I might be producing though.  I know its not personal, but it sure feels like it.

I’ve got an idea!  How about we all talk a little more about ways we can be more present, patient, and loving to our children AND our partners and spouses – while taking care of our own mental and emotional health.  It’s a pretty tough (and yet THE MOST rewarding) job.  Some of my closest friends are devout followers of AP Parenting methods.  I have always appreciated that our differences of opinion have never kept us from learning from one another.  We have a deep and genuine respect for eachothers choices and our friendships are rooted by the fact that we are all imperfect yet well-intentioned women who want nothing more than for our children to feel loved.  Period.

Gas Labor – Ina Mays ‘Missing Chapter’

December 2008

Well, I’ve decided to put down Toni Weschler’s: Taking Charge of Your Fertility (because after a year…shit gets old) and instead focus my energy on Taking Control of my Birth Plan.  Sounds much more exciting to consider the possibilities of my labor and delivery than to get so wrapped up in the consistencies of my cervical mucous – screw you mucous!

So I’ve picked up a new read.  A ‘scream-out in the awesomeness that is my vagina’ sorta read.  A ‘negativity is not helpful in childbirth, and we don’t say ‘pain’ – its called A RUSH!’ Type book.  Now isn’t that special?

Ina Mays: Guide to Childbirth. The whole first section of the book is filled with pages of birth stories intended to illustrate how beautiful and organic, and natural child birth can be.  Its loverly.  The stories are told from women who have birthed at a place called The Farm.  Where the hippies go.

I myself, am merely a hippy poser who only likes to imagine the potential her vagina has to be awesome – but would rather not find out.  I was beginning to contemplate birth control, which would be counter-productive at this point.  So I skipped past A LOT of the stories.

I’m getting to the part where I almost died of gas pain last night – and why this labor shit is NOT FOR ME.

My father-in-law treated Zack and I to dinner the other night.  I debated all day over whether I would chose the Chicken Marsala or Lasagna…and then which dessert? (because I always have dessert).   I was pretty amped.  So as we are walking into the restaurant my stomach was feeling a bit dodgey but I figure I’m just hungry, and maybe a little too excited.  We sat down and began to chit-chat with Mr. B and suddenly a wave of really intense horrendous gas pain struck me all at once.  I excuse myself to the bathroom hoping that the walk there and back and a squat will loosen things up.  No such luck.  I am practically doubled over in the bathroom stall trying with all my might to fart – for the love – could I just FART – there is a Wedge Salad with really good Blue Cheese and bacon and a fucking Creme Brulee I have to ENJOY.  Please, Oh God.

But nothing happened.  I left my jeans unbuttoned under my sweater and returned to the table.  They knew something was wrong – but how do you explain gas pain over dinner at a nice restaurant?  Oh wait, I’m not one for tact!  It went a little something like this: “I have terrible gas!”. And so all were let in on my misery.  Nevermind me.

Buck and Zack carried on a conversation about politics or the cosmos, while I silently labored my gas thinking I’d be a great candidate for an epidural.  I writhed and wiggled felt hot flashes and just wanted to lay down.  Instead I leaned forward in my chair just a tad, just enough to send me straight to the floor.  It’s amazing the table didn’t TKO my face on my way down.  The look on Mr. B’s face across from me was priceless.  The waitress came rushing over to help me off the floor – I was in total shock and laughing hysterically.  I was so worried that my ass was hanging out of my unbottoned jeans as I stood up.

I compose myself – hang pathetically in the background of important conversation for another 5 minutes and then have to excuse myself once again.  I have GOT TO FART DAMMIT.

As I sat there in that bathroom stall all I could think of (beside the blinding pain) was the chapter I had just read on Sphincter Control. So I practiced.  I relaxed my face….I willed the gas OUT.  It did not come out.

I returned back to my dinner party unzipped and in despair and yet somehow managed to pull myself together enough to spoon Creme Brulee into my face.  Finally we were in the car and on our way home – which might as well have been “the ride” to the hospital to deliver my Gas Baby.  People, I have never hurt so much in my life.  I was gutted.  Couldn’t recline my seat because all Zacks tools and crap were in the back and I was just DYING.  All night last night – horrible pain.  This morning?  Finally feeling a little better.

All of this to say that once again my pain scale has been redefined and the outlook for my willingness to accept, and invite, and survive an unmedicated childbirth?  Seriously questionable.

 

*another re-post here. what a wussy.


“Running” “After Baby” “Incontinence”

This post is dedicated to the mama who just came in from her light jog with her panties all in a wad frantically Googling a slew of related search terms looking for some comiseration.  Well darlin’, I’m here for you.  Let’s comiz, shall we?

No one ever tells you that after you have a baby your sphincter control(s) (ALL OF THEM) will never be the same.  The postbaby love sponge doth not like a hard jostling about her bits.  My bits handed it to me tonight.

I was about 3 miles into my run and homeward bound.  I was feeling strong, hauling ass, running like the wind.  As I turned a corner and headed downhill alongside a lake a sudden burst of energy kicked in and I was all like Johnny Quick.  And then it hit me in one stride.  Squirt.  And the next.  Squirt, squirt.  It was as though a pocket warmer had snapped off in my underwear and all I could think to myself is (fuck. fuck. fuck.  NOW?  SERIOUSLY?  i am NOT stopping.  this is ridiculous.  am i going to full on piss myself?  fuck.) And since I had no intention of running off into the bushes somewhere to get myself sorted out I did what any logical obsessedwiththewatch runner would do, and stuffed my knitted gloves down into my pants.  But can you just imagine this?  It’s 5pm.  People are everywhere in my neighborhood.  And I don’t care in this moment.  I’m a RUNNER dammit!  A horribly mortified one.

So I do this one-handed and so quickly that half the glove is up my thigh against my skin tights and so it now appears as though I am packing one hefty sausage.   The other part is sticking out my butt.  I look like a damn fool.  And the synthetic fibers I’ve just rammed up my thang are itching the hell out me.  And the more I think about each squirt.  The more I squirt.  Until it gets to the point where I am convinced piss will soon be trickling out my pant leg and into my socks.  How is this happening to me?

Every time I try to adjust myself it becomes worse (because people I am hauling ass…im that quick).  The gloves are now creeping down my leg.  And everyone it seems has decided, to do yardwork!  It’s like 40 degrees!!  Who does YARDWORK in 40 degrees?!  I need to fish a Depends out of my running pants and I can’t get some privacy to save my life.   I get home and pull the unfortunate gloves out only to discover one little piddly spot of whoopsiedaisy.  I was so sure I had soaked myself – it felt like a river.

So anyway, my point is this – it happens.  It happened to me.  I’ve no doubt it will continue to happen.   And it freaking SUCKS.  That is all.