Thursday, January 29, 2009

Breastfeeding with *just* breasts

I must throw this in: from Mama-Is (Hathor the Cow Goddess)
I dont pump either. I tried it a little when baby#2 was born. you see, the grandparents were so gung ho about "babysitting" our firstborn, that I thought, ok, Ill go for this. I could use a little date with Steve. So when I was super engorged with a sleepy post-surgery newborn, I got a little handheld Isis and I tried. It kind of worked but I hated the whole thing. Bent over trying to look up the barrel of the tubing at the end of my boob to see if milk was coming out while the actual live baby screamed and howled red faced on the floor beside me seemed and was, ridiculous. I put a few little bags in the freezer and the baby sitters never ended up happening ; ) I guess the prospect of watching TWO was too much. I think I used the milk to bottlefeed Mickey over my shoulder in the backseat of the car while driving (safe!). He was a very scream-y baby.

I dont pump. All of my baby's breastmilk comes right from me. Its not a militant stance, its just how we do it. Every feeding she has ever had has come from me. I dont get the assumption that we must pump. I know I am in the vast minority but I just dont really have any interest. Or maybe when I have a little bitty baby, I just dont have anywhere to go that seems that urgent that I would do all that and sit there all engorging and worried.

Im not judging anyone and obviously moms who go to work outside the home who pump too are amazing. Moms who go on cool outing, dates, engagements and even trips are probably doing better mentally. But I was smiling to see Mama-Is post this simple little comic. There are a few mommyland things that I have never ever felt kindred with anyone about and this is one of them. Anyone else not pump for an exclusively breastfed baby?

B+B is dead.

Last night, I had a real moment. Epiphany. Deep thought. Tuned in. God. Goddess. Self awareness. Intuition. All, none, other. Doesnt matter. I have been clogged, ruminating, nesting, hibernating, pacing, thinking, thinking, thinking since about November about things, and last night it came to me, from Eska. I was holding her and she was hugging me, and she told me this. Or it was released. Or whatever it was, this is the message. As clear and true as anything that has come to me in a long long time, so I jumped out of bed to post this post to you all, to share with you the message.

It is okay to love us now. All five of us. it doesnt matter anymore how we were born. It just doesnt. Its time to come back together. All of Joy, walk right through all this fragmentation and injury and broken-ness and just be MamaJoy again. Breast and Belly is dead. It was an angry dark blog and it served its purpose, lived out its life cycle. Homeschool is love is dead. It was a defensive blog to impress relatives and serve as accountability to imaginary officials and it livewd out its life cycle. Hearth and Home is not something to be seperate, it is me and it is life. Everything Joy is not shameful or naughty or less important, it is me. A huge part of me. Its all me.

I am going to use this web address for the new Whole-Mama blog that will be up in a few days, because this is my most popular blog, and there are a few awesome folks out there who have links to this one on thier sidebars. On the other 3 blogs I am going to just direct them to this address.

I am so excited! Excited to be OKAY with the fact that I am all of it. A birth writer, a rock star, a homemaker and a married tandem nursing homeschooling mother obsessed with color and form and Oak trees and xylophones and feminism and sourdoughbread. With Blue hair. And combat boots. And and and and and.....

see you soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

blown away

This made me sad and ill. I know it is just some nice nurse thingy but it made me almost throw up and I thought I was gonna hit the floor when I read it. So I thought something so emotional might as well be shared.

Its fine advice I guess. It just made me shake with fear. Im not kidding you, I feel so terrified just reading that, memories I guess.

I want to write one called how to get out of bed and run the entire household the day Daddy goes back to work and no one gives a shit if any of you live or die.

I dont know why I am posting this. I guess I have alot more mental stuff/ptsd than I was aware of on this random Saturday. I feel like I have to go to sleep now. thats how upsetting it was for me to even READ anything about c sections and afterwards. I totally did my makeup and we have someone coming over and I am sobbing and ruined my fun eyeshadow that I never wear. Wow.
and ps:
F U C K the person who said just stand up tall. Still cant 7 months later.


I loved this. Thanks for explaining wtf is UP with me "lately" (aka the last 3 years)
Read the comments especially!

My class action thingy dream

I would like to start something big. I think it is big. Maybe there are huge columns all over ICAN already on this subject, but well, here it is:

I want physical therapy offered as a matter of course to all women who have had a cesarean. When I think about all the other surgeries that can land you in months of "rehab" and how they just shoved me out the door three times crippled and helpless, and how twisted and mangled and f-ed up my body is after three of these lovely surgeries, I just ---well, I cry and I get angry and I want to help others and I need to help myself and frankly, I think us women deserve more than the small possibility of happening on some little back alley Chinese massage technique guy or internet fumblings---we need follow up care.

I had so much attention and care when I TWISTED--not even broke-- my knee playing soccer when I was 13. Apparently recreational sports injuries are serious biz....mothers are not.

I think of every fool who torqued their elbow water skiing or got whiplash at Whirlyball and the hotubs and special exercises and care and support and medications and little handouts THEY are getting and it makes me wanna---well, I dunno. Maybe I should go take a sword throwing class and cut my belly in half and then I could get some flipping care.

Here's the deal and here is what I am suggesting: I had my c section in June of '08. I saw the doc at a four week check up and told him how bad I was doing and he literally pat patted me. As in, I was crying and hobbling and he told me to get some help around the house and it takes time and buh bye.
I cancelled my health insurance in July '08 thinking we could really use the money. I look back at this move as very symbolic of how I devalued myself and as a flaming red light sign of deep set depression and self hate. But nonetheless, the premiums are over $200 A WEEK and so we dropped it, thinking we could use the money on special things for me but it didnt happen. I dont know if it was self hate it was more like I was too hurt to get myself and 5 children to a doctor (who all "sucked" anyway and didnt listen to me) and we had no car and well, guess I was making the choice for better food and household items. I regretted it as I sunk into depression and had two serious falls but at my husband's job, you can only sign up in January or July so I had to wait.

I have health insurance again now (HALLELUEA!) and want to pursue this. What should I do? I have visions of grandeur (who, me? : )) of like this becoming some landmark case that I pursue for the betterment of all women. I am thinking of first visiting the OB again and telling him what it is that I am asking for. Him denying me and then me pursuing the insurance company or my primary care physician. Them most likely telling me that c section are not considered injuries (??or something along those lines) and me again pursuing the insurance co. And so on.

Does this sound awesome or futile or cool or useless or what? My body is just a wreck and I know that many others are in the same boat, if not worse. Like i told my friend the other day, I can slap on some makeup and show up at the coffee shop and appear to be a vibrant young(ish) mama. But truth be told, I am a brittle, pinched, mangled old thing who can't stand up long enough to even go to the bookstore and read the titles with my head sideways for more than 10 minutes.

Breastfeeding keeps you in your chair, alot. Makes sense. Have the new mom rest. Sit and milk your cubby-bear. But mine is 7 months old and this isnt about doing some crunches. My entire kinesthetics or whatever are all messed up. I do NOT think it should be on me to have to flounder about and "try" a bunch of mysterious exercises and see if i can move the next day. I ASKED the OB at my check up for some exercises and he said go about your normal household activities at 8 weeks. HA. The assertion that a)if you cant do that then oh well I guess you suck and are broken and b) that that counted as ADVICE just disgusted me. Like I had a choice to do anything but. and like I could. you know?

I felt a definite change in healing at 10 1/2 weeks. I could walk for a long time. But that was it. I do not feel any better than when that happened.

I know you could all send me sweet little stretches and moves to do but this is what I am saying, WHY if "they" are so into keeping women's secrets and tricks and truths away from us and forcing the Medical Model onto us do then then not impose some medical healing model onto us? You gave me the damn surgical birth, so wheres my medical healing plan? now its back to garlic and yoga? Does anyone hear the hypocrisy and bullshit of this? Is it on me to find little cyber ladies to send me recipes? Wasnt that SO BAD AND DANGEROUS when i was pregnant? To rely on wisdom and here say and advice of other mamas--isnt that what the doctors and hospitals are so against?

Please tell me what you think.

5 1/2 hours of sleep!

I sleep with baby Eskarina and it works for us splendidly. She is cuddly and nurses frequently but not obnoxiously. She does unattach from her beloved nursie and assumes the adorable on the back with hands way up over her head position for lots of the night. When she starts to root and snuffle around, I help her find her beloved and we both go back to sleep. Neither her nor I barely open our eyes. She needs much less "help" than when she was a newborn, of course, and I hope to bedshare with her for a long time to come. We slept with Greta until she was 14 months old. The boys were younger, about 9 months. The reason we kicked them out so to speak ; ) is because they would wake up and instead of a sweet little search for the breast, they would bolt upright and start the party time! Crawling on my damn head, grinding their foot into my neck, trying to pull my eyelids and smack smack smacking me Ma-Ma-Ma-Ba-Ba-Ba....uh-uh. Any attempts to reattch them to the breast would get me a strong bite and then they would jam their feet into my thighs for use as a launching pad for their olympic backdive routine. I was lucky if they gave me the courtesy of letting go of my nipple before backflipping.

But Eska is cuddly and so far so good. Except for the past couple of weeks. She is getting all kinds of teeth and taking too many dozes in the mid evenings and so she has been bright eyed and perky around midnight. When I try to get her to nurse, she laughs or squeezes or pinches or just won't. Well, last night I had had enough. My upper back has had a badly pinched nerve in it for about 4 days (I know, my physical health is still so crappy but I just don't talk about it that much anymore/lately) and I couldn't do what it would have taken to twist and chase her in the bed so Daddy took her in the front room to hang out for a little while. Steve knows that men are not inherently as tuned in to that light sleep that women are when it comes to babies and so he just does not co-sleep. I think once when Greta was a baby he fell asleep with her watching tv and he woke up SO wigged out that he told me he just cannot and will not ever do that again. So I was wondering what exactly he had in mind but I was too tired and pinched to care. I figured he would watch some tv and bring her back soon.

I woke up at 5:30 am! Ahhh! What?! I went out in the living room and he had her buckled int o her baby carseat with a little blanket in front of the television. He was on the couch. she slept for 5 1/2 hours like that?!?! What a genius. How strange. Who cares?

I feel so refreshed, I didn't even realize how tired I was. I feel like a gallon of confusion-fluid has been drained from my brain and my face.

I don't know if this will work again and I don't want to start a habit. I do NOT want my period to return, and for me, the night nursing is the one thing that keeps that nightmare at bay. My first period after Casey was sleeping long stretches at night had me in the hospital for the day for hemorrhage. Plus, with my emotional physical self being what they are, I am sure it will be no surprise to learn that I suffer horrifically from PMS and deathly cramping and insane horror movie bleeding.

Screw that. I dont want that for as long as humanly possible.
So it was really really neat and weird that she slept that long or that Steve came up with that as his idea. Very Dad-ly, but I think dads operate in less of a guilt and should world that they come up with awesome stuff. (Lots of hollywood images come to mind of Mr. Moms drying babies' bums with blow dryers and other creative/funny stuff...)

If im ever dying for some deep sleep Ill try that again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So this is the sitting up baby-dear. She also has four teeth now and I am having a hard time photographing them. All is well here, just sort of hibernating. I like the idea of the babies and Mamas going indoors for the winter and coming out so grown up and different! Kind of like a little bear cub. Which is exactly what she is--same size, too! A little sturdy roly poly cubby who sits now.
I wish all babies, my own previous-borns included- could be as appreciated and adored as my Eska is. I literally sniff her and kiss her 1000 times a day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Babies, Business, Breastfeeding, another oldie

Here's a breastfeeding/tandem nursing/family bed thing I wrote from a little while back.

29 years old, 2 kids, married, please

Bad Mama! Another little something I wrote on the old blog.


I am experiencing major mush-brain, but I wanted to tell you a little about how this blog got started!

I used to have a homeschooling/family newsletter type blog. But then everyonce in a while, I would really, really want to write about birth. Every once in a while I would really, really want to write about pink hairdye. every once in a while I would really, really want to write about recipes or ways to save money or simplicity ala moving to a tiny house....and it didnt seem to fit. Especially the birth stuff, it was way too radical for my "readers" and my anger levels felt very bottled up and I just wanted a dedicated platform to say my thang, you know?

So I envisioned having a birth blog. But where to discuss fashion? Where to discuss groceries? So I made all four.

Here was one of my first birthy things I ever wrote on the original blog. It might not be my best writing but I remember the feelings of writing that piece like it was yesterday. Believe it or not this was one of the first times I ever DISCUSSED my feelings about my c section(s), anywhere, ever! I had a TON of anger at the "people who didnt come help me" and at my own naivete and foolishness at not putting aside alot of money to just hire-out. Almost exactly like Eska's birth, the anger circles around and grasps for someone to be angry AT and it goes back to myself and then it does slow down, it does.

ps I am STILL writing my birth story but it is so long!!!!! it is in "drafts"--very rare for ole' impulsive Joy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Slow down girly!

Last weekend Eska got her first tooth!

Then 2 days later she got the other one next to it, on the bottom!

Then she started CRAWLING , reall crawling, hands and knees, Monday!

Then she started going from rolling about to complete unassisted sitting up yesterday!

Somebody tell this babyapricot that she is only 6 months old, please?!!?!?