Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I cried over spilled milk...

There's no sense crying over spilled milk. Unless said milk comes from your tits.
As I've said in other posts, I've had problems with a low-ish milk supply. For a brief period of time I was pumping three times at work and once at night before I went to bed (after having already fed H at least twice from the tit). So, on a late evening, I was tired as hell but needed to pump. I sat in the dining room, yawning and browsing the endless entertainment that is Pinterest, while the pump squeezed out every last drop of milk I had. Once I was done pumping, I disconnected all the tubes and put the two full containers on the table. And then it happened. As I was reaching for my glass of water (because DAMN! breastfeeding makes you thirsty!) I knocked over one of the containers. There was breast milk everywhere....and I cried. I just sat at the table and bawled my eyes out, mourning the loss of that prized liquid that my body had worked so hard to make.

The world of milk supply enhancers.
If you are a breastfeeding mom you will soon come to realize that there are many things you can do to try and increase your milk supply. For example--once upon a time I got an awesome lactation cookie recipe from a friend and made about 5 batches. These cookies where phenomenal, and I ate waaaayyyy too many. The key ingredients? Oatmeal, brewers yeast and flax seed meal. Just add chocolate chips and you've got a delicious cookie. Also, I take two pills of More Milk Plus three times a day and that seems to keep my supply steady...unless I have a cold which leads me to:

Crazy shit that depletes your milk supply.
Apparently being sick can decrease your milk supply. I currently have the cold from hell and I am pumping about 4 ounces less than I usually do, which can be pretty frustrating. There are also some OTC meds that can decrease milk supply. Breastfeeding Basics has a pretty comprehensive list here.

Getting Accustomed To Your New Milk-Filled-Mams.
Along with being tiring, joyful, and frustrating breastfeeding can be hilarious.  When H was two weeks old I was sitting in the living room nursing him. He fell asleep and I lifted my boob away from his face to put it back in my shirt and then SSSHHHPPEEEWWWWWWW! A giant stream of milk squirted across the room. It was like a freaking water gun...and not just any water gun but a freaking super soaker circa 1992. I immediately started to crack up. Whhhhyyyy? Whhhyyyy do I have to be all alone when this happens with no one to laugh with me?!   It's all good though... I learned quickly that the milk super soaker is not a one-time event, and it never loses its wonder.

So pay attention: lactating breasts squirt, leak, ache, change shape and size, get hard when full and more. And you know what? It's absolutely amazing.

Once the weather hit 75 degrees, I gave up using a cover when nursing in public.
I have absolutely no problem breastfeeding H in public, and rarely ever use a cover--especially now that it's WAY over 75 degrees outside. Using a cover when its warm outside creates a mini sauna for H and his adorable little head gets sweaty and his cheeks get red and then he stops eating. Forget the cover. Besides, I've only caught a few people staring at me before but it seemed to be more out of curiosity than shame or perversion.

Oh! BTW, this Saturday I am joining other mamas at the Great Nurse-In and I am beyond excited to participate in such an important event that aims to promote breastfeeding friendly laws, among other things.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This Sh*@ is Getting Old

I'm getting sick and tired of this country being overrun by misogynist assholes. This country is anti-women and it's anti-children. Period.  Maybe I would have less of a problem with anti-choice zealots if they were also fighting to for universal healthcare, or access to contraceptives, or finding ways to decrease the cost of child care. But they aren't. In the same breath that they tout their so-called "pro-life" values, they endorse legislation and candidates who want to cut Medicaid, or repeal the constitutional healthcare law. This contradiction drives me crazy.

The deck is stacked against women and kids.

Woman: I just found out I am pregnant but I am not sure if I want to keep the pregnancy. I can't afford to raise a child.

Patriarchy: But what about the baby! And Jesus! You should have this baby and we will help you. Besides, abortion gives you breast cancer.

Woman: Oh, ok. Can you help me find a good place to get prenatal care that is affordable?

Patriarchy: Ummmm. Sure. Check out this crisis pregnancy center.

Woman: I don't have insurance. How can I afford prenatal vitamins and ultrasounds and the other various medical tests necessary to ensure I will have a healthy pregnancy?

Patriarchy: I'm sorry. What did you say? Wait, are you married? Where's the father?

Woman: Well, I happen to be single. But I don't understand what that has to do with my question.

Patriarchy: Not married? Well, at least you are too far along in your second trimester to get an abortion! Yay for life! 

Woman: Ok. Well--

Patriarchy: --Listen, I saved your BABY. Leave me alone, k?

Woman: My baby hasn't even been born yet. Fine. I will leave you alone. For now. But you promised you'd help.

*cue baby crying, tired mom, etc.

Woman: Hey, Patriarchy. So--I have a dilemma. You see, I work two part-time jobs to try and make ends meet. I was only able to take 2 weeks off work after having my baby and I am struggling to find affordable quality day-care.  Got any suggestions?

Patriarchy: Nope. That's not my field of expertise.

Woman: Ok. Well, I heard rumors that Medicaid funding was about to be cut in the state. But without Medicaid my baby and I won't have health insurance. Can you help us?

Patriarchy: Health insurance is only for those who can afford it. Besides, I'm sure you will be ok. Just....ummm....make sure you wash your hands a lot. And watch where you are walking. And get your vitamin C.

Woman: Yes, I am already doing those things. Anyways, my friend told me that if I continue to breastfeed that it will decrease the change of my baby getting sick, but my boss won't let me take breaks to pump. Are there any laws that allow women to breastfeed or pump in a private area in their workplace?

Patriarchy: OMG! I don't want to think about your BOOBS! Boobs, especially lactating boobs, are so gross and inappropriate. Unless, well...unless they are on a hot twenty-something that is childless and knows her breasts are purely for MY pleasure. But yeah...you should probably just go to formula or something. 

Woman: Ok. Well, maybe you can help me with this: there are hardly any public restrooms in my town that have a changing table in them. Maybe you could  help me with a city ordinance or something so that I can change my baby's diaper while I am out in public?

Patriarchy: Just say home.

Woman: I can't just say home! I have to work! I have to feed my family and pay the bills!

Patriarchy: God, you are needy! Listen. Just marry someone. Stay home. Have his babies. Cook some dinner. And shut up. 

Woman: Fuck.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Volume Control

Last summer we had a BBQ house warming party and it was a ton of fun. So, given that we still have some friends that haven't met H yet, we decided we'd do another BBQ this summer. Now, as is the case with EVERY PARTY WE'VE EVER HAD, after we've had a few beers hubby and I battle it out over the noise level.

He's generally a loud person and he likes his music loud. BUT after about 9 or 10p I start to get paranoid and turn down the volume which prompts hubby to turn it back up, ensuing in a battle of the volume control that I'm sure entertains the guests. Obviously, we all know who wins in this situation. He does--the music stays loud because I get tired of the back and forth crap, and we get officially marked as those neighbors.

I win in a different way--because I am right. The majority of our parties have resulted in a noise complaint, making us look like complete douches to our neighbors.

So this time around we are preemptively assigning tasks and agreeing on volume level.  Here's the breakdown:

Hubby is in charge of

  • grilling
  • drinking games
  • music*
  • the keg
  • whipped cream based libations
  • pest control (mosquitos, etc.)
I am in charge of
  • hors d'oeuvres
  • dessert
  • invite list
  • e-vite
  • decor
  • libations (excluding those with whipped cream)
  • lighting
On volume: hubby gets to have the music as loud as he wants until 8:00pm or when the sun goes down--whichever happens first. Once it's 8:00p/dusk, I get to control the volume level.

Now to the music. We tend to slightly disagree on the music selection. So, although hubby is technically in charge of the music,we agreed to the following terms:

  1. We each get to bring 60 songs to the table
  2. We each get 10 vetoes of the other person's song
  3. We cannot purposefully insert songs, otherwise known as distractors, that we know the other person will veto in order to save the songs we want but that would otherwise be vetoed had the distractors not been inserted.
This is what we call a compromise. I look forward to reporting back on our party!