Archive | December, 2013

Breastfeeding: A Pros & Cons List

31 Dec

Society would dictate that as this is the last day of the year 2013, I should be writing some sort of reflective blog on what this past year has taught me, etc. etc. Sorry. Not going to happen. Instead, today I’m going to blog about something that has been eating up an enormous chunk of my time over the past couple of months (pun intended): breastfeeding.

To say that I hate it isn’t quite accurate. I don’t hate the actual act of nursing or pumping, now that the whole sore nipple pain part has gone away. I’m rather indifferent about the process. But that doesn’t mean I’m not frustrated. This isn’t the first time I’ve expressed some of my anxieties about breastfeeding (please see Evidence A and Evidence B). I had told myself that I was going to stick with it at least until my birthday in March. Then, as a birthday present to myself, I would quit. Now that the supplementing with formula band-aid has been ripped off, though, quitting sooner rather than later has been on my mind. As per usual when guilt is involved, I’ve wavered back and forth enough times to give me metaphorical motion sickness. In the end, I’ve recommitted myself to sticking with it until March. Still, because I’ve decided to play the martyr, I thought I’d share my pros and cons list with you, World, so you can truly appreciate my sacrifice.

Because they somehow consume more of my thoughts, we’ll start with the cons.

Cons

  • I am still living my life in increments. They are (mercifully) longer than 2 hours now, but they are increments nonetheless. I can’t agree to a spontaneous full day of Christmas shopping at the mall without first strategically planning out which parking lot has the most privacy so I can pump in the car, lest my boobs explode and/or I leak through my shirt. For example.
  • I am a teacher. This means that the only time available to pump in my work day is my prep periods. That would be just dandy, if my prep periods weren’t the time in which I typically make copies, do my planning, collaborate with coworkers, perform my lunch duty, and grade papers. Oh yeah, and pee. So now, instead of doing any of those things, I pump. Consequently, I am now always behind on my grading. And my copies. And my planning. You get the point.
  • Child #2 has started sleeping through the night (cue chorus of angels singing). Guess who hasn’t? That’s right. In order to keep up an adequate milk supply, keep my clothes dry, and not be horribly uncomfortable, I still have to get up far earlier than I normally would in order to pump.
  • I know you know I like wine. But do you truly, truly understand the depths of my love for a glass of wine after a long day? I’m not sure you do. Sometimes, one glass just isn’t enough. Except for me it has to be. I know, I know, “Pump and Dump” is an option. But if I have to put in the time to pump anyway? Well that just seems wasteful.

Pros

  • Nutrients, antibodies, etc. etc. that make breast milk the healthier option for my baby.
  • Saving money. Have you looked at the price of a canister of formula lately? That shit’s expensive. My au naturel option is free.
  • Feeling like a good mom. There’s something to be said about knowing you’re making the best choice for your baby. And, if I’m being honest, there’s a little tinge of me that likes being the parent that he needs most, even though it’s on a purely primal level.
  • Snuggles, when I’m nursing. Yes, I still bond with him when I’m bottle feeding, but there’s something comforting about that skin on skin contact.
  • Built-In Get Out of Jail Free Card. Oh the dishes need to get done? Sorry, I need to pump. Child #1 needs help wiping his ass? Sorry Husband, Child #2 is attached to my boob. No, I’m not just sitting on the couch watching this Four Weddings marathon; I’m feeding my child thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, like I said, I’ve decided to stick with it. It’s a choice that I’m at peace with. March will be here before you know it, and before I can even blink he’ll be old enough to drink real milk. It’s time to savor these baby moments, however inconvenient they may seem now. I know I’ll miss them when they’re gone.

*Disclaimer Just In Case Someone Is Accidentally Offended By This Post: I am not at all trying to say that if you don’t breastfeed your baby you aren’t a good mother, or that you’re making the wrong choice. No two mothers’ circumstances are the same. Everyone needs to do what’s best for them in their own personal situation. 

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Waxing Nostalgic – A Christmas Reflection

29 Dec

It is December 29th, 2013 and most signs of Christmas have been erased from my house. There’s a couple of wrapped gifts on the counter that have yet to reach their recipients. There are some new toys, books, etc. still waiting in piles for a permanent home. And then there are the two giant Christmas bins that Husband has yet to take into storage. Beyond that, it’s almost like Christmas never happened. But it did.

It’s easy to wax nostalgic at this time of year. Something about the twinkling of holiday lights and the echoes of children’s choirs on the radio make us want to relive our youth and happy memories of Christmases past. I’m not sure if it’s us as adults trying to recapture the unadulterated joy of believing in magic, or maybe it’s just us being happy and grateful for the experiences of our childhoods. Whatever it is, this year I saw a substantial number of Facebook profile photos being changed to depict images of us as kids at Christmas.

I am no different. Granted, I didn’t bust out the photo albums at my parents’ house to update my FB picture, but I typically get as inexplicably sentimental at this time of year as anyone else my age does. This year, though, I found that my misty eyes and happy heart were less because of fondness for Christmases past, and more because of the joy of the here and now. There was nothing more magical as a child than waking up on Christmas morning to find that Santa Claus had visited and somehow found everything I had asked him for. Now that I have my own children, and one who’s now aware of what’s happening on Christmas, that magic has returned to me. I find myself just as giddy now to create those magical Christmas memories for my own children as I was to experience them myself when I was young.

I’m trying now to hold these moments in my heart and in my head, for I know all too well that this time is fleeting. Before I know it they’ll be grown and non-believers, and the magic will once again fade. In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and savor the spirit of the season. Here’s hoping that you and yours had a merry Christmas, and that you find much joy in the new year.

Jack Christmas

 

Max Christmas