Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

I Hated Breastfeeding March 18, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 8:44 pm

How’s that for an honest true mom confession?
The subject of breastfeeding is one rife with confusion and powerful feelings for me.  I truly believe that every new mom I know was riddled with insecurities over breastfeeding and that was evidenced by this question we all posed to each other: “Did you nurse and for how long?”

What that question really means is this: Am I a bad mother if I hate it?  or Am I a bad mother if I stop?

So you hope the other person responds with feelings similar to yours on nursing and better yet, ended up stopping breastfeeding BEFORE you did. This way you can quell your fears and stop the guilt because you nursed for longer and their baby seems fine, therefore yours will be fine.

I don’t mean this as a mommy wars issue – I never found it to be a competitive one or snarky one or reason to bad mouth someone for being a bad mom. I found it to be nothing but naked guilt and confusion amongst mothers quizzing each other for their own personal reasons.

There is so much pressure to breastfeed and so much talk in the media about how breast is best for baby and there is so little talk about what it means for the mom. Somewhere along the way, it’s like everyone forgot about her. She became a mom, therefore what is best for her doesn’t matter because only the child matters.

Where along the way did we forget that formula doesn’t kill babies?

Where along the way is the discussion that to exclusively breastfeed means the mother is held prisoner to the VERY frequent feeding needs of the baby 24 hours a day. Where along the way have you ever heard someone waxing poetic about how newborns need to eat every 3 hours (if you’re lucky) and how it takes an hour for a feed, therefore the mom is at the beckon call of the baby every 2 hours for at least the first 6 weeks?

And during those same 6 weeks, the mom is recovering from the very difficult toll a pregnancy and then a delivery takes on a body – this is not something that should be brushed aside.

When does anyone talk about that on the Today Show?

Because again, formula doesn’t kill babies.

So I approached breastfeeding very differently with baby number 2. First of all – even though I was tempted SO MANY TIMES because I felt myself teetering on the edge of guilt, I REFUSED to ask any of my friends how long they nursed for and when they gave it up and why.

I REFUSED.

I’m sure I knew the answers because I asked them first time around or they’ve done it since, but frankly I couldn’t remember and guess what – IT WAS IRRELEVANT.

Forcing myself to follow that rule was very liberating and empowering because it forced me to stay focused on making a decision that I thought was best for my sanity, not just my new baby.

I also went into it just knowing me – knowing me as a mom, knowing the needs of my older child and how to keep my sanity. Part of keeping my sanity and therefore my ability to still be a good mom to my older child, meant sleep – which meant that I wasn’t going to be the only person feeding the new baby 24/7. So right out of the gates, I only nursed her three times a day during times when I knew the older daughter would be at school or sleeping – therefore I could focus on baby. This also gave me freedom to move about my day and not have to worry about whipping out a boob in public – something I am not comfortable with.

Also I am a believer in sharing of duties – and why in the hell should or would I be the only person getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby?  Yes, going to work is hard, but so is staying home with two kids – therefore we both needed sleep, therefore we took turns on splitting the middle of the night feeds. I’m not the gal who lives in a house with a husband slumbering away while I’m up. No sirree. NO way. NO how.

So back to nursing.  On Christmas Eve, I came down with mastitis – and if you’ve ever had it – you know it is a miserable, horrible thing to deal with when you have a three week old.  Combine that with a lack of sleep and an excited toddler up at 5am on Christmas morning and you think throwing yourself off the roof of a house is a good idea. Merry F*ing Christmas, was how I felt.

As soon as I learned I had mastitis and not the flu, I stopped nursing completely and just pumped. And I was very OK with that decision.

By 13 weeks, I’d hurt my back and the Excedrin I needed meant I couldn’t give her the breastmilk and guess what – the Excedrin won out over the pumping – and I stopped.

Truthfully, I was really proud of making it 13 weeks even though she never really had my milk exclusively.

My point in all of this – the whole experience was a lot less stressful because I worked very hard to TUNE OUT all the white noise around me about breastfeeding and I refused to allow myself to quiz others to assuage my own insecurities.  We’ve got some kind of crazy cultural obsession with perfection in motherhood that begins with the breast – and I really think it creates a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion for an already tired and hormonal mom.

So I read the new article about nursing in the Atlantic Monthly with great interest. Of all the things Hanna Rosin says, she really struck a chord with me when she points out that everyone talks about how breastfeeding is free – but that assumes they believe the mom’s time is worth nothing.

AMEN. Just reading that made me feel better, particularly because the high price tag on formula is always a subject in our house, I just never considered it that way. Which is so dumb because one of the first things I did when justifying the expense of a cleaning lady was point out the high value of my time and why it should not and would not be spent on cleaning. So maybe we don’t make the same argument with breastfeeding because it is about feeding our child vs. scrubbing a toilet – but again – why is it a different argument? Is our time free?

Here’s a link to the Rosin piece….it’s definitely a good read:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200904/case-against-breastfeeding

Go forth and do what works for you kittens, and tune out the rest, is how I feel about it all.

 

Rants

Filed under: Celebrities,Motherhood,Politics — Wired_Momma @ 2:31 pm

OK seriously – there is a lot to rant about. Sure, I could wax on about Bernie Madoff, his wife’s $2 million worth of jewels the government wants, or AIG and their bonuses and our populist outrage…but really, aren’t Gloria Allred and Nadya Suleman or Meghan McCain and Laura Ingraham more interesting?

Let’s start with the Octo-Mom. She continues to fascinate me. I loathe her and all the people who have hopped on her gravy-train. I caught a few minutes of the Today Show this morning and of course Gloria “Every Story that captures the nation is a case I must represent” Allred was on with David Gregory. Why does this hideous woman insert herself constantly? She is so media hungry and opportunistic – why do we give her any attention? And speaking of vultures circling her prey, how about Nadya Suleman inviting a blog TV crew into her home to record the homecoming arrival of her two babies released from the hospital?

Yet we’re supposed to believe that everything she does is for her children while she invites a dirty news crew and their cameras into her home for the world to see? Seriously?
Meanwhile we have Gloria A. on national TV asking us to give money to this Angels group that is donating time and care to Nadya because we’re supposed to believe everyone is doing this for the sake of these 8 innocent babies?

Really people?

And why those 8 babies whose mother DELIBERATELY became pregnant when she already couldn’t handle the 6 she has? Why should we give our money to them when there are millions of children in this country who also need help and whose mothers didn’t deliberately pursue another multiples pregnancy to fulfill her own psychotic needs.

Seriously.

And can someone please crack the story of Nadya’s obvious plastic surgery above her lip and how she had the money for that one? She parades herself on TV and invites the cameras in – so she’s inviting the criticism and judgement.

And then there is the cat fight between some GOP women “pundits” – over Meghan McCain and her weight – I was totally in the dark when I caught a few seconds of Meghan McCain yesterday morning telling us how she’s not fat…and guess what…she’s not…..so I read this piece in Slate mag with real interest:

http://www.slate.com/id/2213992?nav=wp

You have to admit, however, it is fun to see the republicans fighting each other because they are usually so well disciplined and only the dumb Ds expose their internal fights all over the TV. Though I’m not sure fighting over weight and age really counts – but it’s still a good read on Slate.

 

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho…. March 15, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Uncategorized,Work — Wired_Momma @ 2:50 pm

It’s off to work I go.

Tommorrow is the big day. After a lovely 15 weeks of maternity leave, I return to work tomorrow. To help ease the transition for DD1, DH is taking his last week of paternity week to spend with the girls. After 4 months of full-time mommy, if we both were to up and ditch her for work, it would be like a nuclear explosion in her world. I mean, how does one explain that one to a 3-year-old?

So how do I feel about returning to work?

The emotional side of me feels a pit in my stomach and tears are welling in my eyes.

The rational side of me calmly tells myself that I know from after returning the first time, the anticipation is way worse than the reality.

The emotional side is screaming out “no no no!”

The rational side of me reminds myself that tomorrow I get to put on a pretty suit, wear awesome shoes, fun jewelry and guess what – pee when I have too and eat when I’m hungry and even cruise the web for celeb gossip, all things I haven’t done at will in 4 months.

The emotional side of me thinks about someone else taking DD1 to school (well, DH taking her) and how he’ll get to experience the joy on her face when he picks her up, not me, and I immediately feel the tears.

The rational side of me reminds myself that I’ve got sweet lunches with fun people at new restaurants already lined up…you know, a gal has to stay hip.

The emotional side of me….well, you know.

SO what’s my point? My point is the reflection on this mat leave is very different than the first time. I’m pretty sure nothing is worse than the first time. That first mat leave was rife with emotions, confusion, exhaustion and lots of loneliness.

This time, there was no time to feel lonely. Who is lonely with another kid tearing through the house? There was no confusion because, well, we knew what we were walking into, so it’s not like we were surprised. The only one capable of surprising us in the house so far is the older one. Honestly, it’s just been really fun. I’ve loved every day with the girls, I couldn’t have cared less about work, I totally checked out.  Last time, I fretted about work, I kept up, I called in on some conference calls, I worried about what I ws missing. Do you think I did one of those things this time? Oh hell no……

And so the bottom line is this, DD1 is almost 3.5 years old and just about every day of the past 3.5 years has been an internal struggle for me – do I want to work, do I want to give it up, what am I missing at home, what am I missing at work? And on and on and on. I am done with that struggle.

So hi-ho, hi-ho, I go, tomorrow, to go back. For a week. Then I will throw in the towel. It will be so liberating and really nerve-wracking at the same time. I am determined to enjoy this last hurrah of looking nice, showering daily, eating great meals and toiling away behind the desk – because who knows when I’ll do it again.

These are the things I keep telling my emotional self as I think about waving goodbye tomorrow morning to the sweet faces and pulling out of the driveway.

Kids sure do make everything confusing, don’t they?

 

Delivery March 2, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:55 pm

I know I am three months late in posting on this subject but really – it’s always a timely subject – delivery. I’ve now experienced both ways – a vaginal delivery with my first and a c-section with my second. The OB learned that I have a very narrow pelvic bone during my first delivery. With my second, I went full-term vs. 36 weeks with my first, and so conventional wisdom would suggest the second child was going to be bigger. Therefore, getting her out the old fashioned way was not only likely to take a lot longer but posed potential serious harm to the baby – her shoulder could get damaged and beyond repair. So, I elected to have a c because I didn’t want to risk harm to a shoulder that was presumably unharmed in the womb.

It turned out to be the right choice, the second OB confirmed I would not have gotten second baby out the old fashioned way due to very narrow pelvic bone and second child was almost 9 pounds and angled funny inside – the doc said she had to “wrestle” her out of me.  Sweet. It felt awesome.

OK – so the subject at hand, from only my personal perspective is – vag vs. c – which one wins?

In my book – HANDS DOWN – it’s the old fashioned way. I went into the C not really thinking about it – I just didn’t think it was a big deal, I thought pushing for three hours was horrible. Well, I’d take pushing for three hours over a C any day because once that kiddo is out – you are done. Sure, you need an ice pack on your sore vag and you cling to it for dear life – but still, you are up and about on your own shortly after.

I was alarmed to find the C to be painful, scary and it seemed to last an eternity. I was even more alarmed to experience the pain thereafter, the horror of having a catheter in for 24 hours, those hideous compression things on your legs for 24 hours, and the difficulty in walking one block four days later. Keep in mind, I went into it in pretty good physical shape, having done a 6am body sculpting class until 8 months and cardio the entire pregnancy.

Now, this is my own personal experience and the doctors did suspect that my epidural wasn’t “fully effective” and it has been three years since I delivered vaginally and we know the memory fades – but I still think the C was horrible and unexpectedly painful and the recovery much much worse than vaginal delivery.  I completely underestimated it, is the bottom line.

So there you have it kittens, KT’s view on C vs. vag…..vag it up girls, if you can.

Signed,

KT, “MD”