Thursday, March 19, 2009

And that's all I have to say on 'The case against breastfeeding'

I didn’t want to spend the time on writing an entry on the Hanna Rosin’s article, ‘The Case against Breastfeeding.’ There are far too many articles and entries regarding this article. However, after seeing all the talk on television and the response from the AAP, I needed to add my two cents, as a new mom.
If you read any of my entries in the beginning of my venture into mommyhood, you will know I had struggles with breastfeeding. Throughout my struggles, I received support from family and friends but for the most part, clinicians and strangers all had the same message to me, “It’s ok if you don’t breastfeed. It’s ok if you give her formula. It’s ok.”
I understood that they were trying to let me know my options but in some cases, the clinicians, even the lactation consultant at the hospital seemed to reiterate these stock lines before I even said hello.
Personally, I didn’t want to hear that it was ok. I knew it was ok. I wanted help. I wanted support and the only way I got it was to actively find help. I searched the internet. I chatted with other moms online. I dragged my bloated, tired self to meet other moms who breastfed. I hired consultants and had a consultation with a lactation physician. Anyone who told me they breastfed was a resource I drained of any information. I willingly whipped out my breasts to anyone that said they had breastfeeding advice for me. I don’t think I’m out of the norm on this. Ok, maybe the whole whipping the breasts out part. Most of the moms I’ve met and spoken to all had to search for help and positive feedback on breastfeeding.
And you know what? Any woman and in several cases, man who said they breastfed, knew how I was feeling and willingly gave me contacts and advice. Sometimes, they just let me vent.
In a society where studies and what I consider common sense, informs us of the benefits of breastfeeding, I find it particularly strange that advocacy is lacking. Yes, Ms. Rosin is disputing the 'mass media studies' but anyone who has ever read a scientific journal will tell you study findings always have 'inconsistent findings'. There are just too many factors. Clinicians reiterate stock lines regarding breastfeeding. Most hospitals and physician practices have ‘formula’ closets stocked to the brim by manufacturers free of charge. Every other day I hear of a woman’s right to breastfeed being infringed upon.
Breastfeeding is not common in today’s modern society. Because of such, you will develop a stronger connection with your fellow breastfeeding neighborhood mom but I have yet to see a roving band of ’Hell’s Grannies’ terrorizing neighborhood play yards with their full heaving breasts puffed out in bravado.
Formula vs breast is a choice and sometimes it isn’t but I haven’t met a mom that scorned me for my decision to go through the ups and downs I had in the very beginning. Nor have I met a mom who scorned another mom for formula feeding or weaning.
If anything, I’ve discovered a new comraderie with women and mothers. Complete strangers become members of the Sherpa society of parenthood wear the uniform consists of jeans designed with spit up, frazzled looking hair and dark sunglasses (to cover the dark circles). There is an unspoken acknowledgement that there isn’t a set path of rights and wrongs in parenthood. There are a million forks in the road and you respect that the majority of parents out there only want the best for their children.
I feel for Ms. Rosin as she seems to have had a negative breastfeeding experience with all three of her kids. Is there sense of ‘what if’ in her mind? What if I didn’t breastfeed? Would my career path be different? Ms. Rosin seems to have felt an obligation to breastfeeding and associates it with sacrificing.
Breastfeeding is hard and one should not feel like they must do so at the risk of her own health, emotionally and physically. So when a mom decides to wean or formula feed, no one I know would belittle her decision.
I’m sorry Ms. Rosin had a bad experience with breastfeeding and didn't receive support in her decisions but I wonder if this is more of a retrospective subjective outlook closeted as a feminist piece.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Magic and Playgrounds

BG is 8 months, 1 week and 3 days old.

Today, BG went to her first magic show. She seemed interested in the bigger visual tricks versus the smaller ones but she seemed very excited when we participated in audience participation. When the magician asked the kids to wave their hands in the air, she waved her hands with a little encouragement.

She also seemed interested in watching all the other babies and toddlers.

Side note: the location had little toilets in the bathroom. They were so adorable looking. Teachers at elementary school are probably used to that but average janes like me found it amusing.

This biggest first today was her first time on a slide. DH sat her up top and let go of her but followed her down the slide. I waited at the bottom to catch her. She sat up the entire time and loved it. She smiled a big smile and kicked her legs with excitement. Looking at her parents, you'd think she found the cure for the cold

By her expressions whenever her dad 'flies' her around, plays 'stunt baby' or plays 'broken elevator', she's going to love amusement parks and rides.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poop Face

BG is 8 months, 1 week and 2 days old.

Yesterday, for the first time, I truly got the red face poop face. BG was sitting in her high chair while DH and I were eating dinner. One minute she was happily playing and watching us eat. The next minute, BG started grunting and then her face turned pink and her eyes turned reddish. She looked like she was holding her breath but then relaxed. She did this twice. Afterwards, she was really fidgety like when she tells us she has a dirty diaper.

Sure enough, she pooped.

I guess going to the bathroom is a full body event especially when you are only 18 lbs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Green Beans Nay, Apples Yeah

BG is 8 months and 1 week old.
Last time she had green beans she didn’t particularly like it but she didn’t really express her dislike. Now that she is 8 months old, she let us know she is not a fan of green beans. She started gagging and whining. Then DH gave her a spoonful of baked apple. She happily partook of it and probably devoured it to wash out the green bean taste.
I think she dislikes green beans because 1. It is the first non-smooth textured food she has had and 2. It doesn’t taste sweet or of anything in particular.
DH was cracking up watching her show her displeasure for green beans. Guess we are putting the green beans away again. They say try new foods at least 8-10 times before ruling it out. I think next time, I may mix it with something she does like that has a smoother consistency. Maybe introducing it that way may make it more palatable.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vacation all I ever wanted...

BG is 8 months and 6 days old.
It’s been awhile. I haven’t been avoiding you. It’s just been busy. We took our first every plane ride to Florida to visit family. We got away from the frigid temperatures of NYC and visited relatives in Florida. From 20 degrees to 80 degrees made it very hard for us to head back home.
BG loved the plane ride to Florida. On the way back I was the woman with frazzled hair and bags under her eyes trying to soothe a crying baby. Sorry for all passengers aboard JetBlue’s night flight from Orlando to NY. I wasn’t the only one with a crying baby as another tater tot and a toddler both had little crying fits. As my husband said, “Each parent for their own. We have enough to manage with our baby.” By the end of our trip DH exclaimed, “How the hell do parents with more than 1 kid do it?” Props to parents who have been there and done that with baby in tow. I need a vacation from this vacation.
In short, it was great to see the family and everyone on my husband’s father’s side and his mother are very hospitable. It made my MIL very happy to see her grandchild and it made my husband equally happy to see his dad’s side, many of whom he has never met or met when he was a wee one.
DH and his mom got along for the most part and no blow out fights occurred which was great. She was so excited she went on an all out buying spree to stock her guest room with essentials for us. She was very sweet and made me feel right at home. Her dog, a chiuahua with heart troubles, named Chico, was not so friendly but by the end of the week, he knew I wasn’t going to stand for my toes being bit for a third time.
Highlights include:
dog biting my toes (twice)
DH punting the dog for biting his toes
a Jacuzzi and pool without gas hook up that we couldn’t swim in
FIL’s excitement for Gatorland
a 750 lb angus cow named Whisper (her rump made for delicious eats)
BG’s first swim (she’s a natural water baby and it was in a heated pool)
vacation and daylight savings time killing BG’s sleep schedule
an awesome plane ride to FL but a foul ride back (lesson learned, no night flights. Baby will not sleep on plane)
BG’s first old time train ride
DH uninstalling and reinstalling the car seat (that flight attendant saw us installing it in the middle seat and waiting until we were done to tell us to move it. I don’t care what you said, Zechariah. We were in the 2nd row. You couldn’t miss us.)
2 adults and 1 baby for 1 week = 2 checked bags, 1 car seat, 1 car seat case, 1 car seat rolling device, 2 carry-ons and 1 diaper bag.
Family taffy pulling (yes, they made homemade taffy)
BG’s first bath in a kitchen sink sans bathtub
1 week away = apx 76 size 2 diapers and 2 large containers of diaper wipes.
BG's first palm tree
BG's first real experience with grass
A million memories and learning experiences for baby and mom and dad