Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ranting and Raving

Ahem. Le bullets.
  • My period is now regular (~30-day cycle). Yay? This means it should come again while we are on vacation at our friend's wedding. Not yay. *shakes fist at mother nature*
  • Jackson is still anti-nursing. He may have effectively weaned himself. All the super-pro-breastfeeding information sources (LLL, kellymom, Dr. Sears, etc.) swear on a stack of What To Expect baby manuals that babies under the age of 1 JUST NEVER EVER self-wean, but I've tried to encourage him to nurse for over a week now and he is simply not interested. He no longer fusses about it, but makes no attempt to latch and just waits for the bottle to come. So, that's that. I'll keep offering, I suppose, because I like the feeling of my head against a brick wall. And I'll keep pumping so he can continue to be breastfed until we switch to moo-milk in a few weeks. But I doubt I'll be able to pump enough to cover his usual consumption, and when the freezer stash runs out I'll have to supplement with formula. It's not what I planned, and not what I want, but it's probably just necessary. And so I am pushing myself toward the acceptance phase of this grief. I wish I could keep nursing him, but the stars aligned in some fucked up way and it appears to be over. Like, ovah. At least he's still cuddly while he slurps his bottle. I've got that going.
  • He just cut two teeth at once. I don't believe it's twice as bad as one tooth at a time, I think it's actually on a logarithmic scale. The poor kid gets a fever (in the morning and fever all through the night...) and a whole-body rash to add insult to his sore gum injury. But both of these teeth (upper front two) have cut the gum, so hopefully the worst is over. His sleep is still pretty decent outside of a couple of nights last week with frequent wakings and a lot of rocking back to sleep (my secret weapon -- nursing -- has been disarmed). His smile is gummy no more. Now it's ta-ta-toothy.
  • I am planning the shit out of his first birthday party. It won't be a huge thing, just family and a few friends, but it's super important to me that it's special. That every birthday is special. I don't recall ever having a birthday party, or even a big deal being made of my birthday, for a variety of reasons traced back to shitty parenting. So, at the risk of sounding like one of those parents who live vicariously through their children, I want to plan really special celebrations for him. Starting either next year or the following, I'll let him pick the theme and invite his "friends" but for this year, I get to go nuts with it. The theme: sock monkeys. There will be pictures. Also, I've made crafty shit for it. Involving a sewing machine. Truth.
  • I am getting worse, not better, at keeping my shit together when family members get in my parenting bidniss. I sometimes envision punching them in the face to make myself feel better. Seriously. Situational examples: 
    • Deliberately distracting him while I am trying to feed him in his highchair
    • Offering him cookies and passive-aggressively insulting me when I say "we don't give him cookies," including trying to convince me that cookies don't have sugar in them and then switching the rationale to "well, I raised my kids on it..." like I'm supposed to give a shit about that
    • Crowding around and hovering when I change his diaper like he's a circus chimp performing for their entertainment -- it's shit, people, very smelly and foul shit accompanied by piss, so let's take a step back and let me tend to it
  • Speaking of, we are having huge success with cloth diapering at home, and it's just downright helpful when he gets rashy from the teething, or heat, or wearing sunscreen a lot, or whatever. He has delicate skin I guess. We're using mostly gDiapers at home and it's so stinking easy. I let KB use the biodegradable inserts so he doesn't have to handle the cloth insert, but we just use those sparingly (spendy!). It helps with diaper rash and heat rash so, so much. I haven't sent them to school yet, but I may request a meeting with the head teacher in the infant classroom to discuss it this fall (like, next month). It's really just not that hard. I wish I had known more about and been more confident of it sooner. If we have another baby I wouldn't hesitate to use cloth right away.
  • I am grappling with mixed emotions as my teensy weensy baby becomes a toddler. He's on the verge of walking! He babbles with purpose and seems to "know" a few "words"! He eats honest-to-god grown up people food by the tiny fistful! It's amazing and fascinating to watch him grow and develop his personality and skills, but it also breaks my heart to cross things off the list as we move past all the milestones. No more nursing. No more baby sleeping on my chest. No more helpless newborn. Instead, I have this massively funny little moppet with curly blond hair that seems to grow an inch a week and who is ready to lead me on chases around the house and who loves to swing at the park and who gives me hugs before bed and when he wakes up in the morning. Bittersweet. To say the least.
  • Will we try to have another baby? I don't know. A few months ago I felt so confident about it, and now maybe a little more ambivalent. I think that's mainly a product of wanting to focus on Jackson and not put energy into thinking about a hypothetical baby. But I still think I want to try, maybe early next year. Now that my periods seem to be regulating, I am surely going to have a surprise pregnancy any day. For sure. You'll all be the first to know.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strrrrrrrrike

Aaaaaaand....you're out. Almost.

Still no go with the nursing. Day 3 of the strike. He's not afraid of my boobs anymore, but won't even attempt to latch. He just fusses until I give him a bottle. I might try toughing it out tonight and refuse to give him a bottle so that nursing is the only way to get milk. I just don't know. Will that work? Will it make it worse? Now I'm going H.A.M. on this breast pump from 4am until 10pm. Fuuuck.

Natch, the pediatrician says I should just switch to formula for the last month until it's time for cow's milk. Of course he would say that. Most moms are already on formula at this point, and I am the breastfeeding zebra among horses. To all of which I say, again, fuuuuuck. I don't want to switch to formula. I want to nurse my baby. Neither of us is ready for this to be over yet.

I hate this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strike

Jackson has been on a nursing strike since Saturday afternoon. Not only does he seem to be on the verge of cutting another tooth or two, which made nursing difficult for maybe 10 minutes with each of the first two teeth, but he bit me Saturday (not hard, thank goodness, but enough to elicit a surprised and firm negative response) and may now be afraid to nurse. Which means I have to pump more. Which is shit. I can't produce as much with a pump as I can nursing him, and a meager freezer supply is all I have to help and once that's gone, it's gone. And I feel like total shit. Like I caused this by scaring him after the not-really-that-bad bite. More than anything, I feel like shit because when I try to nurse him he pushes me away and cries. I can barely stand it.

I've read every reasonably credible interweb resource there is and am trying to take solace in the fact that A) everyone assures it's not my fault (though I feel like it is) and B) strikes usually resolve within a week. But in the meantime. Shit.

9am Update: I got him to latch a couple of times this morning by distracting him with my phone case (his most beloved plaything). He tentatively latched, took one suck, let go, then did it again. It's pretty obvious he's carefully making sure I'm not gonna scream and backhand him. I tried again a little while later and no dice, but I am at least encouraged that we might be headed in the right direction. So back to being hopeful instead of crying, y'all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011