ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Milk Fairy is a big fat slutbag

I am high on newborn love. Seriously. My heart feels like it's going to burst. I cannot get enough of my baby boy.

There's just one thing bothering me: Chuck's family is obsessed with my breasts.

My own family could care less whether or not I breastfeed, but Chuck popped out of a woman who breastfed each of her five children for three years. His cousins' and aunts' mantels are decorated with bulging bronze tits proclaiming "My breasts could cure world hunger." Water doesn't flow from their faux Italian fountains -- extra breastmilk does.

And they're all flat as boards. Fucking boards. Where did the milk come from? A third boob hiding in their ribcage? Did little elves spin milk wheels behind their teeny tiny, stupid nipples?

Their questions started in the hospital. I had just fed Diddly. Chuck's aunt was holding him. She remarked he was trying to eat her shoulder.

"He's still hungry," she said.

Like I couldn't tell. My baby was licking her nasty yarny sweater. She started throwing around the dreaded terms: latching, rooting, milk supply.

I gave Chuck the get-her-out-of-here-right-now look. Thankfully he got it. She, however, wanted to stay and watch me feed Diddly.

I told her NO THANK YOU.

His family's obsession wouldn't bother me quite so much if I wasn't already obsessed with my own breasts. Given my unsuccessful attempts breastfeeding Junior (Chuck's brother wanted to give me tips!) I had my mind and heart set on breastfeeding Diddly.

Set and then set again. One more time for good measure. But it looks like the damn Milk Fairy is going to skip my house again. I hate her. I think about shooting her down as she flies over rooftops.

I've been giving it my best for the last week, but it's just not enough. Last night at 3 a.m. I had to choose between feeding my screaming newborn formula or having him flail at my empty breast for the next hour. I was tired. He was tired.

I chose to feed him.

As I sat there looking at the empty nipple wrapper, I couldn't help but think, That looks like a used condom wrapper. Was I sleep deprived and a little off? God, yes. Should I have put down my cell phone camera and gone to sleep? Yes. But the more I stared at the wrapper, the more I felt like I had just woken up after a cheap one-night stand.



Seriously, the formula stigma is so fucking prevalent and I have ingested so much of it, I was more fixated on the wrapper's insidious condom likeness than on the beautiful calm that had settled across Diddly's face thanks to his full belly.

Like I said, those feelings of inadequacy have only been magnified by Chuck's milk-spurting she-beast relatives.

When this happened with Junior, I promised myself I wouldn't waste precious time on guilt if my supply wasn't enough. I promised.

So I am going to make a declaration on this blog. From this moment on, I am focusing on the things that matter: that my son is healthy and happy and that I have the means to feed him, whether it's from a bottle or a garden hose boob with a serious crick in it. I'm going to do the best I can. I am not going to be a freak about my boobs.

I'm going to get over it.

And when I see Chuck's aunt tomorrow I'm probably going to punch her in the face.

Night y'all!

37 comments:

The Mother said...

Good for you.

I am a huge breast feeding advocate, but nowhere in that concept is the intention of making a woman whose breasts don't cooperate feel bad about herself or her kid.

There are breast feeding consultants, who might be able to help, if you wish to pursue the idea. If not?

Go forth and be merry, and tell your in-laws to stick it.

Mrs. Tuna said...

I did both with Sheldon. As a big strapping girl my tiny boobies didn't do the whole trick.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

You are a fantastic mother for feeding your hungry baby! Breastfeeding is an intensely personal choice and it is no one's business whether you feed your baby breastmilk or formula. As long as you are keeping your baby fed and clean and safe, you are a complete success.

screw anyone who thinks otherwise.

Nanc Twop said...

Definitely keep Auntie away from you if you decide to give bfeeding a try again. Stress and bfeeding don't mix.

btw, Did your obgyn offer you an oxytocin nasal spray? It can help. :)

All the best to you and Diddly, your new tax deduction!

Jen said...

I sucked at the breastfeeding thing (no pun intended). It just didn't work for me or my daughter for that matter. I did it for nine months because of the looks I got from my mother in law every time I suggested I might not want to continue. This was the woman who grabbed my boob 30 seconds after they wheeled me out of the operating room, in the hallway no less, and tried to put my daughter on it. I was so high on morphine I didn't really notice or care until my then husband looked at me after she left and said "Did my mother just grab your boob?"

Do whatever makes that baby happy and full and so you can get some sleep.

Jenni said...

I'm sorry the breastfeeding is not working out like you hoped. A real punch in the gut, I'm sure.

Just feed your baby, lady. And get your mind out of the gutter.

Jenni said...

Haha, I'M KIDDING! I love your gutter mind.

kyooty said...

I think that maybe finding a Consultant might work better then inlaws. I'm a whipper outer, Because my oldest was a preemie and I was on display many times without knowing it, (Nicu's have huge windows for grandparents gazing t the babies they can't hold yet).
Just remember to tell youself you can do this? and I'll be it will work out and you know a bottle or two here or there can't hurt for your sanity? If that's what you need. Breast compressions might help with building supplies?

Lori said...

You know who else is a "big fat slutbag"? The prick who designed the breastpump. I used three different ones every hour for three months with my first trying to get my milk supply up, then every three hours in addition to nursing for five months with my second. Ultimately. it wasn't worth it.

The kids are fine. Diddlydoo will be fine no matter what you choose (unless you go homicidal on those who tell you otherwise--I can't imagine it's easy to raise a baby from lockup).

Julia said...

Milk is milk. Just make sure the kids get it . . . End of story. Luckily we "humans" were smart enough to figure out formula (good formulas these days) and women with trouble need not hire a wet nurse. Count your blessings cause you know it'd be one of those aunts pushing their teats in your babies direction and someone would have gotten hurt. lol.

Julia said...

PS how in the he** are you finding time to do a blog post????!!!!!

Original_Wacky said...

I suffered horrendous guilt at not being able to breast feed my babies for more than a few days or weeks. Now I finally (15 years later) realize that it wasn't my fault, my body just didn't do so hot with the milky thing. Tell your inlaws to Suck.... er Stuff It, and do what you need to to take care of that lovely little baby. There are lots of us out there who were raised on formula only that are just fine. (Okay, I'm totally not fine, but my kids are!)

marybt said...

We mothers can't see it, but anytime we hold a newborn in our arms, there's a huge flashing neon sign above our heads that says,

"I am a complete and utter moron. Please, give me your unsolicited advice. I need it. Especially if you are a stranger or an in-law. I am completely incapable of caring for a child. That is because I am a moron. Also, I think I'm a pretty good mom. Please shoot that concept down by giving me all your unsolicited advice and telling me everything I'm doing wrong. Also, now that the baby is 3 minutes old, please start asking me when I'm going to have another one."

Or something like that ... obviously I'm paraphrasing. lol.

(I had upbeat things to say about feeding your baby, but it looks like everyone else has that covered. Congratulations again on the new Little One.)

Frogs in my formula said...

So many funny comments! Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. Julia, in addition to taking pictures at 3 am that's when I do my blogging. No wonder I am such a basketcase.

Mama Badger said...

Ooooh, baby goodness. I'm not going to offer advice, I have none. I can empathize, though. No matter what I did (and I tried some crazy ass things) I had to supplement for both of my monkeys. And you know what? I don't feel bad anymore. Do what you need to do, and don't discuss it with the in-laws.

Keely said...

It's lovely that Chuck's family was so...progressive, but everyone needs to do what is right for their OWN family. X and I never really got a handle on the bf'ing relationship. He got breast milk for 7 months or so, but he was supplemented with formula from day 1.

He's fed, he's clean, he's dry, he's happy. So screw anybody else.

anSeL said...

screw them who judged you!
it doesn't matter where the milk came from.what's more important is you're child is healthy, and will grow as a good person and not easy to judge others.
just enjoy your little one.

anSeL said...

screw them who judged you!
it doesn't matter where the milk came from.what's more important is you're child is healthy, and will grow as a good person and not easy to judge others.
just enjoy your little one.

Raised by Wolves said...

Don't worry about it lady- I feel your pain- with Minnow I tried for 3 months of misery- I got a breastpump...even prescription meds. No dice, after 3 months he went to formula and while I'm still a little sad, I don't regret it. Chin up lady! You'll be great!

Dagmar said...

Congratulations on your little addition! What a blessing.

As always, I love your writing :)

You know who to call if you want help with breastfeeding. Seriously. Don't hesitate to call/e-mail me. Plus there are many resources on my blog.

There are many things you can do to increase your milk supply. Pumping several times a day while you are also nursing, for example. I know, it's not fun. I always liked the Mother's Milk tea from the health food store.

If you want professional lactation help, I'd suggest calling your local La Leche League leader, they will help at 3 a.m. for free, gladly.

If you decide to stop, then don't feel guilty.

All my best,
Dagmar
Dagmar's momsense

Sylvia said...

You know, my achievement is that (with help from the lactation consultant) I nursed a little longer/more with my second than my first. I supplemented pretty early with both and they're growing healthy, happy boys. Good luck!

Dagmar said...

You know what also REALLY helps? Not having any or many visitors in the first few weeks. You and your baby need time to get to know each other, and you are both learning how to breastfeed. Every child is different.

Tell your family they can drop off food but that your house is off-limits for a while -- especially if they feel so strongly about the breastfeeding to work out.

I didn't leave the bed with my newborn for days. We really needed that time. Someone else can clean and cook!

Dagmar
Dagmar's momsense

sarahthings said...

I attempted to breastfeed for two weeks, which included pumping and it was TORTURE. Finally deciding to stop putting myself through that when Kevin is just as happy with formula as with the tiny bit of breastmilk he was receiving was the best decision I think I made. We had a much happier baby and a saner mommy on our hands. Thankfully I didn't have to fend off any bf-nazi-inlaw's, but the internets did a good enough job of rubbing in the guilt dust. I hope your inlaws figure out that S'ingTFU is in their best interest.

FoN said...

The Milk Fairy hates me too. And every time I would have to admit to some wretched breastfeeding superhero that I did not produce enough breast milk to feed my baby exclusively I would brace myself for the tsunami of advice and/or judgment that would inevitably follow.

“....Most women produce enough breast milk to feed twins and triplets”

“…..It does take a commitment”

“……Have you tried a/b/c/d and e?”

I even had an entire speech prepared as an explanation when I would have to pull out a *gasp* bottle to feed the baby. I had three babies and I couldn’t exclusively breastfeed a single one of them

The shame of it all sucks, and it totally isn’t fair. I hope you can release the guilt and defensiveness and just enjoy your baby.

And if you catch any shit about it feel free to tell Chuck’s relatives that FoN said to go fuck themselves.

Brandy@YDK said...

i agree - good for you. a fed baby is a happy baby.

WicketsMom said...

My MIL was the opposite, she didn't breastfeed and never even attempted it. I wanted so very badly to exclusively breast-feed my son, but there just wasn't enough. the first night home from the hospital his little tongue was dry like a cat's and we had to start supplementing. I continued to 'triple-feed' which meant breast feed, then give him some formula while I pumped. My milk supply gradually increased to where we were about 50/50 formula vs. breast milk. I did this for 11 1/2 months and he turned out just fine.

See if there are lactation consultants available. We did that, and it helped alot. Even if it doesn't work out to breastfeed, this is your child to raise, not your in-laws so it is your decision as to what is best for your child.

Pricilla said...

Screw 'em.
It's your baby.
You do the best you can for him. YOUR best. Not what anyone else considers best.

If you are happy. Diddley is happy.
period.

I hate interfering relatives. They cause more problems.

Sparkling said...

Yeah, I'm all about it, but when the Fairy is a bitch, it's not your fault. It's such a mystery to me, where the milk goes!! Maybe you should suggest that one of those old crones can whip out their own tatas and fill him up.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Someone once told me that it is not humanly possible for a woman not to be able to nurse. But, there was a verse in the Bible about a mother who could not nurse -- there must have been a medical reason -- so she asked another woman to nurse her child.

There was some other crap about jealousy and stuff -- I don't remember now, but all I'm saying is you can't help it the Fairy hates you.

Maybe she's just jealous of -- who knows what, but she needs to get over herself. No, your husband's big-boobed family does.

Frogs in my formula said...

Fricken Fairy. I swear.

tootertotz said...

What do you mean you are giving him formula?! For the love of pete, everyone knows you should be giving the kid red wine.

Take it easy on yourself!

And if another of Chuck's relatives want to give you breastfeeding tips, say this...
"You know, I am having a terrible time with my supply. I'm not sure Diddly has a good suck yet and my supply is waning b/c of it. Maybe you could latch on and give a good chug...that could help build my girls up to a gusher of a supply."

If she happens to lean in towards your nip with her mouth agape, grab the baby and run. This is just the beginning of big trouble. Take Chuck, Junior, Diddly and get the hell outta there!

If you haven't resorted to giving him hard alcohol...you are doing alright by him. I'm fairly certain the makers of formula aren't a band of baby-hating bastards hell bent on destroying the world one infant at a time.

And congratulations on Diddly's arrival!

Jeanne said...

If Chuck's relatives think breastmilk is so imperative, maybe they should get hormone shots and contribute to the cause.

Or, alternatively, mind their own business.

Stacie said...

Jeezus, as if breasfeeding isn't stressful enough, you have in-laws that are giving you assvice. I'm sorry. You do what you need to do to keep Diddly happy and fed. There is nothing wrong with formula. My supply sucked too. I gave my daughter every drop that I managed to make, but I still had to supplement each feeding with formula.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

It cracks me up that in a freaking society where discussing money and salary and work is tooootally verboten, we feel free to comment on how someone should mother. I actually made the choice not to breastfeed early on in my pregnancy. I could explain my reasons, but I shouldn't have to. I got a lot of crap. My mother called me selfish. What right anyone has to make anyone feel less than when they've given birth to a happy healthy baby...I just can't deal.


Also? I totally thought the same thing about the condom/bottle thing. They don't prepare you for that.

Katherine said...

I had to supplement Ethan. We all can't be perfect breastfeeding mothers. Some of us live in reality where the ease by which breastfeeding is suppose to come just doesn't. It's great that some women never have trouble (my MIL was one of them...she said once, "I could have fed the neighborhood") but that's just not the story for all of us. Happy, healthy, and full! That's what matters.

jadenotjaded said...

Sounds like you have 'milk duds', haha! Ha. Ha.. (chirp, chirp) OK, thought it was funny!
I'm a big fan of breast feeding which never came natural to me..spent weeks at the free breast feeding clinic and finally got it right...just for my milk to dry up at 8 mo. I enjoyed it, but don't let it take your joy away from baby. Do it or don't..but I know it's not that easy! hugs!

Nanc Twop said...

Thought you'd be interested to read this link - she spent 8 hours on her couch waiting for her milk to come in - and it worked.

Milk Fairy must play favorites.