Posts tagged ‘breastfeeding’

June 15, 2013

everything but the girl

a number of my eldest son’s friends are turning 5 lately and he, overhearing conversations about kindergarten, observing my friends emote at the significance, and intuiting the maturation around him, is well aware that this birthday is not like the others; that it is distinctive, that milestones abound.

not surprisingly, he has begun to look at his own (one day) 5th birthday with idealized regard and now reconciles everything that he covets but that is out of reach- special events, activities, freedoms, repeat opportunities to go on excursions via plane- by saying, albeit unconvincingly, “maybe when i’m five”.

despite the tentative tone, it works and he has somehow been able to manage his lofty expectations with this simple reminder, however inaccurate. unfortunately (for me) his regular wantedness, his daily basis neediness, continues to know no bounds and he starts many common sentences with a demanding: “i want”.

i was washing dishes this morning, early, already feeling desperate after a week of him sick and our life therefore tabled, multiple days restricted to the four walls of our home, when he started in at me: all the things he wanted, how he wanted them done. his father is away, mourning  the life of a relative, and, therefore, it doesn’t matter that it’s saturday. it’s just me here. here with them; their requests.

i didn’t reply, which had no impact on his behaviour but assisted me to feel somewhat grounded, empowered even- such a subtle act of resistance.

not one to back down, he persisted. baby, teething, made his gentle way in to the kitchen from where he played near by. “mum mum mum” he muttered, approaching where i stood, signaling he too had a desire for me to provide any number of things: milk, attention, comfort, entertainment, reprieve.

i found myself looking up at the ceiling and was confronted by it’s unglamourous, entry level appearance- not helpful- and thought briefly of shaking the clawing paws off my ankles, brushing past the talking machine, and making my exit: down the stairs and out the front door, away from all that is expected of me, complete with my yet untouched morning coffee.

instead, i found myself doing what i recall having witnessed my mother do, and with closed eyes, pursed lips, and taught breath, i hush-growled to the white roof: “lord, give me strength”- more of a threat then a prayer.

when i opened my eyes, i hadn’t yet found the courage to turn to my eldest but i bent to retrieve baby, moaning now, and was impressed with just how quickly he settled once stationed on my left hip. so simple, so primary, so generous in his acceptance of what is.

i heard myself think, and then say “we can’t have everything that we want”, mostly in effort to remind myself of the same, it would seem.

“but, look at me momma! i want you to look at me! watch me momma! do you see me?”. it seemed as though my statement was mistaken for participation and he was encouraged…

“do you see me?”, i replied in all seriousness, turning to him, finally. he looked confused. “do you?” i implored.

“of course i do mamma, don’t be silly”, he offered, confused.

the question was lost on him.

he can’t see my master’s degree, begging for completion. he doesn’t see my muscles, screaming for a run. he doesn’t see my brain, dehydrated, thirsty for adult company, conversation, camaraderie. he doesn’t see my skin, itchy for lack of sleep. he doesn’t know the sacrifices that i make and what goes undone on my own list of wants so that he and his brother, both beyond deserving, can have a life complete. he sees his mother, and she’s pretty great, but he just doesn’t see me.

maybe when he’s five?

May 4, 2013

booby and the beast

despite what the title may lead you to believe, this is a one man show.

just me. well, that’s not entirely true. i’m talking about me, the boobs, and the body odour.

it’s no secret that i’m a breast feeder (you can’t hide a chest this big even if you weren’t a milk factory), so that’s not the crazy. afterall, making milk is pretty cool and feeding your baby with your body is really special. not so special though? this time around, no matter what i do, i just can’t smell good.

i recognize what my body is doing: i’m stinkin’ it up animalistic style so my babe knows, via the science of scent, who is his mother. it’s like having my own honing device and that’s kinda nifty, actually. the only problem is that i am socially unacceptable for so many reasons already. and, it’s bad. at yoga class the other night i even offended myself…

the good news is, i treasure my babe so close so i’ll keep him there, getting all that good stuff, as long as i can. despite it being a taxing responsibility at times i would never choose to do it different (no judgement to those who do, of course). my body (and my emotional and psychological self) is capable of creating, carrying, v-birthing, and feeding my babe and, so, i do.

so, for now, as my sister-in-law melissa wisely stated, i will “revel in my son’s primal need for his mother and my body’s ability to nourish him” (and, while doing so, accept the beast factor supreme).

as for you, cut me some slack. i’m trying, i swear.

January 16, 2013

tricks of the trade

to add insult to injury, i’m one of the lucky moms who needs to be hyper conscious of liquid and fiber intake whilst breastfeeding, if you get my drift. as if the constant leak from my bladder and mammary glands was not glamorous enough. alas, no one said being a mom was pretty.

anyhow, should you find yourself in a predicament like mine i highly recommend “grammy’s compote”. healthy, tasty, and the shit works like a hot damn (no pun intended). the only downside is your three your old may begin referring to you as a “tootie rootie girl”, not that i know anything about that.

the deets:

– chop 2 cups prunes and 2 cups dried apricots.
– throw them in a sauce pan with 1 cup sultana raisins, 2 tspns cinnamon, and 3 cups water.
– bring to a boil. reduce to low heat. cover. simmer / stew on low for about 45 mins.
– enjoy 2 tbspns daily w/ oatmeal, on toast, or with yogurt. or, satisfy your sweet tooth and down it straight (hardcore, right?).

it freezes great. oh, and it’s kid friendly too, though i would suggest reducing the serving size, unless you really wanna party.

good luck soldier.

p.s.- for those of you who find this irrelevant and/or unacceptable, i know, it’s true, i’ve hit a new low. lately i am guilty of smelling like milk, i have been known to pee myself, and i like to talk about bowel regularity. i also like tea and i prefer to go to bed at 8pm. pretty geriatric, yah? but, hey, my boobs might be considered perky if i began to hang with seniors and that sounds like a good plan, if you ask me.

October 6, 2010

transition transmission

ironically, on the eve of national breast-feeding week, my son decided he was no longer interested in nursing. as sudden as anything could be it was just over- no signals, no warning, no hesitancy or disinterest previously communicated, no prep, no nothing.  just, done.  and, though the breastfeeding lifestyle was at times suffocating in its exclusive responsibility, it was also one my most favorite mothering opportunities for which i have always been grateful. the sudden termination of my role of provider, in this capacity anyhow, brought with it a surge of sadness.

my husband, as gracious and supportive as ever, offered to put our son to sleep and i kissed my moo’s maturing face and escaped with my broken heart. it wasn’t but seconds after i left his room that i was overcome with sobs… i couldn’t believe that our physical union was officially over. i couldn’t believe he was now, in full, apart from me and of his own self in the world.

it took awhile for my body to realise what had occurred and it wasn’t until hours after he was asleep that, confused, i ached in pain. it  brings my mind ease knowing that my body was surprised too and even that it remains conflicted, as my body, like my mind, continues to process his absence.  though my heart is a bit better off, the body remembers and the physical aches have not yet resolved. at many moments in the day, my body reminds me that it is still operational and, as if anticipating him, swells.  my biology misses him (CT).

i can rationalize all that is normal, good, and healthy about his decision. i can celebrate that my partner can now take part in the ever-special-putting-the-child-to-sleep-routine and share that sleepy bliss love exchange.  i can make space for the awareness that my moo and i are both fortunate that this was led by him as opposed to something i would have had to impose on him, at one time or another. i can be wowed by his mental, emotional, and physical developmental gains. i can be impressed with his confidence and agency.  i can laugh knowing that the only surprise is that i was surprised. i mean, i have had my breath taken away on more than one occasion lately by what a little man he is becoming and how much intention, purpose, and personhood seems to be behind all of his actions. i can trust that he is doing what he needs to do to become who he is going to be. one day soon i know my body will catch up.

so, overall, the ache is improving but, even now, writing this, both my mind and body ache for the intimacy that we shared and it remains hard knowing that now, our physical connection will become more and more distant and less and less important in either of our lives. the silly grief filled parts of me can’t help but feel some hyper sensitive curiosity about what this means now about me as his mother and of our relationship. you know, in what ways we will become new versions of ourselves?  i also can’t help but ask myself if i somehow brought this on by wishing for a bit of space, or if the universe (?) caught up with my efforts to assist my moo in preparation for my return to work, or if some all knowing breastfeeding rule maker (!) noticed that i’d packed away all of my nursing bras, tanks, and clothes and decided that it was clearly time.  it is most likely, thankfully, some reality based combination of moo himself perceiving a shift in me, in us, as i gradually engaged in some stepping back, along with some elements of his own readiness to individuate. it is quite possible that his perfect growing self just grew into his own and there was no longer enough space for my body in his body’s efforts to explore. whatever led us here though, and however we arrived here, soon there will be no going back.

i keep hearing the voice of a dear mama friend and can’t help but see her in my now pained face when she shared that her daughter had decided to stop and commented: “i didn’t know it was going to be the last time”. i can so appreciate her tears now, in a way that i couldn’t fully before, and, though i too didn’t know our last time was upon us, i was fortunately able to capture the way he looked and felt in that last exchange…

like he clearly is, i know that i am maturing too. i can feel the next journey approaching and i trust that as he begins anew, i do too. we begin again…