Thursday, December 29, 2011

public nursing

Places I have breastfed my baby:
- My desk at work
- A bar while watching college football
- A burger joint. A sushi restaurant. A barbecue dive.
- A college basketball game.
- The front seat of my car at a truck stop.
- On a bench at the mall.
- My husband's cubicle.

I am not obnoxious about it. Unless by accident, no one sees anything they would normally except an odd blanket covering my front or a huge baby head underneath my shirt. I am not out to prove anything but I am certainly not hiding anything.

The hubs actually directed me to a story about Kasey Kahne, a NASCAR driver, who started a public debate after he tweeted his disgust about public breastfeeding. Here are some comments from the ESPN article (grammar unedited):
"Breasfeeding in public and NASCAR are very similar in that they're both technically legal, but most people find it very distasteful and unnecessary"
Why people find breastfeeding disgusting and distasteful I can't understand except chalking it up to immaturity and ignorance. Unnecessary though? Babies that are exclusively breastfed (no formula, water, food) for at least six months are protected from a long list of viruses and infections.Breastfed children have less risk of developing diabetes, obesity, childhood cancers and inflammatory bowel diseases (source). Breastfeeding boosts intelligence, prevents allergies, lowers the risks of SIDS and reduce the mother's risk of depression and certain cancers. How lucky we are such a preventative is available naturally. No prescription needed. I'd say it's very, very necessary.

"If a man gets in trouble for taking a leak in public, why cant a woman for breastfeeding?"Clearly urinating and breastfeeding a child are unrelated. But this seemed to be the most common argument in support of Kahne. The two aren't even comparable. 

"We have restrooms for a reason."
I will breastfeed my child in a restroom stall the day you take your Big Mac and fries an proceed to eat it for 20 minutes in the same place people defecate.

"This is the 21st century. They invented pumps for a reason."
Except every bit of expressed milk I can muster I have to send to daycare the next day. It's like living paycheck to paycheck, and there is no extra. Pumping isn't as efficient as nursing so like hell I am going to waste a hard earned four ounces when my baby is with me.

"Privacy only takes 1 min to find."
 Actually it's not. And I am fairly certain the same people that think finding a private place to breastfeed is easy are the same folks who would shoot judging looks when my baby is screaming for food. My car might be an option but then I am expected to leave the table and sit in my car for 30 minutes, which in that case should have just stayed home. 

Only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed, maximizing the benefits, through six months, according to the CDC.Only 17 percent are breastfed for a full year which is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. The World Health Organization still recommends at least two years of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a self-sacrificing commitment a mother makes to her baby and his or her health. It's not a convenient choice. Most days it's a whole lot of work, especially when you add in public outings, pumping at work and a baby with teeth.

It's a tough job for mothers already doing the toughest job. A natural, beautiful process that should be applauded, not viewed with disgust and ridicule.

breaking heart

A couple we know lost their baby after being pregnant for eight months.

I don't know how they feel. I'm not even going to imagine.

But as a mother, I can tell you their story made me go home and hug my baby. And realize even more how much of a miracle he really is. Dropping him off at daycare this morning was possibly even worse than the my first day back at work. As if somehow having him in my arms will protect him from all this world offers.

I knew that being a mother has changed me. When it comes to movies, TV shows or news stories involving anything happening to kids, I process it differently. More deeply. 

At eight months pregnant with Henry, we had a nursery, clothes... everything. We were ready to meet this little boy. Having that chance ripped away from me when I thought everything was just fine paralyzes my soul.

For this couple, I hope they find peace. And hope in an altered future. And faith in a God that will carry them through.

Monday, December 26, 2011

a first christmas

Henry was rather neutral about his first Christmas. Though it was full of experiences including ringing the Salvation Army bell, candlelight Christmas Eve service, opening presents (puppets and books were the favorite), a turkey dinner he slept through and an overflowing stocking.



Monday, December 19, 2011


Henry and his godmother, Ashley.
This weekend was in-law visit, early Christmas and Henry's baptism. I'll tell you all about it soon. But OMG isn't he adorable?

For those of you boy moms with no place to find good boy dress clothes, try Dapper Lads.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the crib transition

We tried. Really.

At 7 p.m. the boy was falling asleep, and we got him successfully lying in his crib with his favorite giraffe. We crept out of his room. Then I made Shea creep back in to make sure that the baby monitors work. Because God forbid the boy make a squeak and I not hear it.

We high-fived. We wrote celebratory Facebook status updates. I settled in to study for my grad school final, and Shea started doing the dishes.

By 8 p.m. the wail started to come through the baby monitor. And after a few minutes of self-restraint, he was once again in the living room. We played. Laughed in the mirror. Danced to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. Ate his evening meal and was rocked to sleep.

At 11 p.m., we tried the crib again. Success! More high-fives. I tempted fate and pumped assuming the boy was asleep for the night.

At midnight, we went to bed. Figured we could fall asleep cuddling for the first time in four months (probably longer. Pregnant cuddling is annoying).

12:40 p.m. Baby is back in our bed, curled on his side to get close to my body. Out cold and happy. Accept defeat.

Baby 1, Parents 0.

Monday, December 12, 2011

remind me to breathe

End of grad school + Return to work + Baby + Husband + Christmas + Baptism + Family in town =

work to-do list

Monday, December 5, 2011

meeting santa

As a child, all I remember about my annual Santa picture was getting a candy cane after sitting on the bearded man's lap followed by later my mother insisting that I take a picture with the man every year despite the fact I was 14, and it was SO embarrassing. What if someone saw me and thought I really believed he was real? Social suicide. 

My mom had to get creative. Picture with the purple Santa at the Alamo Bowl. Picture with my Uncle Randy dressed as Santa. Picture with Santa in another state. Picture with high school boyfriend dressed up as Santa.

But then I realized that 18 years of Santa pictures are actually kind of cool. Lucky for me, I have now someone else to keep the tradition going. Let the torture begin.