Friday, March 29, 2013

the long haul.

so i lost my shit in the kitchen today, in front of my toddler, after a long and trying morning of trying to nurse a baby who was clearly not going to have any, despite more than 24 hours without food.  yelling. swearing, sobbing.  it was not pretty.  this has been an ugly week all around, and its frankly not sustainable.  so after a last ditch visit to an LC - who was very nice, but mostly just said I'm sorry - I have decided that I need to protect myself, not to mention poor Althea, from the fallout.  since it appears, on day 9, as though we are in this for the long haul, i need to make a plan that I can live with, and offering Iliana the breast all day long is not it.  in a lot of ways this feels like giving up, and that hurts my heart, but it's what i need to do at this point to maintain inner landscape is in shambles right now and i'm not prepared to keep it up.
so from here on out, i'm just going to offer the breast first thing in the morning, and at bedtime.  if she decides to come back, that will be great.  i'll keep pumping, but only to the point that it doesn't interfere with the rest of our lives...morning, nap and after bed.  if she needs more than that, she can have some formula or goat milk or something...we'll look into it.  this is my plan.  just having a plan feels a little bit better.  except for the part where i feel like i'm giving up.  that part feels shittier.

one thing that the LC we talked to today said that really made sense to me was that part of the reason that nursing strikes are so devastating is that they are the first time- as a parent- that you are confronted with the fact that all you can do, in your relationship with your child, is one sided.  you can be there.  you can say, i'm here for you, i love you, i'll always be here for you.  and they can say no. i don't care.  fuck off.  and there's NOTHING you can do about it, except repeat:  i'm here for you, i love you, i'll always be here for you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

additional thoughts.

parenting, in my experience, is one long string of second guessing yourself.  no one really knows what is the 'best' way to do any of it, so you more or less go along, doing the best you can, and hoping that you're not irreversibly fucking your kid up.  say your kid won't pick up their toys: do you power struggle about it? just pick the damn things up?  pick them up and throw them out?  or say they are fussing in their bed.  do you go in right away?  do you sleep with them?  do you let them fuss a little bit and THEN go in?  do you let them scream it out? there are like 87,456  options and NO ONE CAN TELL YOU WHAT IS BEST. it's highly alarming, to say the least.

 for me, up to this point, the only exception to this has been breastfeeding.  the ONE thing i could do for my kid where i was like, hey. i got this.  i am definitely doing it right.  boobs solve 100% of a baby's problems.  and, bonus points, it's super super good for them, and i could eat as much cake as i wanted and not get fat.  now, it's broke.  the only thing that i never questioned about my parenting has a goddamn flat tire, or dead battery, or something.  it doesn't work anymore.  and now i have to worry about the baby's diet.  i hate this.

additionally i am starting to get angry.  when i spend 25 minutes pumping, and 10 minutes cleaning all the stupid tiny pump parts, and then the baby STILL NEEDS TO EAT, so then i spend 15 minutes giving her a damn bottle, i'm like this is the SAME thing that comes out of my boobs.  only with approximatelly 17 times more labor.  and its making me mad.

these are my thoughts on day 7.

Monday, March 25, 2013

the hardest thing...

My darling, darling baby.  5 days ago you woke up at 6:30 and I blearily carried you out into the living room, plunked down on the couch, and latched you onto my full breast.  I remember you fussing a bit, and then settling down to business, just as you had approximately every 3 hours since the day you were born, 9 months ago.  If I had known it was going to be the last time, I would have paid more attention.  I would have been smelling your hair, and stroking your cheek, and savoring every second of what is beyond a doubt the most intense, emotional, beautiful relationship I have ever known: the one between a nursing pair.  But I didn't know.  Would never have guessed.  So I can't remember whether your eyes were open, or shut.  I can't remember if you were patting my chest, or pulling my hair.  I don't. remember.

Since then I have tried every thing I can think of...ridiculous, far fetched, long shots in the dark.  I'm not ready for you to be done.  You're supposed to be my baby still, and this?  this feels like you're breaking up with me.  I'm like a love-sick 15 year old...all I do is cry and eat way too much ice-cream.
I cried when your big sister weaned herself.  at twice your age.  gradually, over the course of 2 entire months.  But you?  You came at me out of nowhere with this. blindsided me. as if someone who previously had done nothing but kiss me suddenly and without warning punched me in the gut, knocking all the wind out of my body and leaving me gasping for breath, wondering what the hell just happened.  I told your papa, it feels like someone died.

Maybe I could start feeling better if I gave up.  Said, OK, I guess she's done, and went with that.  I could acclimate to the new normal.  But I don't really believe that's what you want.  So I'm struggling here, baby.  Struggling, day after day (and maybe 5 days doesn't seem so long, to you.  but its been en eternity already) to believe that you are coming back to me.  To keep offering, even when you keep biting.  To keep pumping, even when you are crying for me to hold you instead and Althea is tearing apart the kitchen.  To keep hope alive.  I'm not ready to give it up quite yet.  But its the hardest thing.