beanies always look so cute on everyone else but whenever i try to rock one i look like i’m wearing a large, misshapen, woolen condom on my head.
My mother, a registered nurse, breastfed me, and I had been raised to believe that this was the reason that I had perfect attendance throughout most of grade school, why I performed so well on standardized testing, and why I’d never broken a bone. She was like a broken record, going on and on about it, taking credit for my good immune system, good reading comprehension, and good luck, for pretty much my entire life. But now, after I exclusively breastfed my own child, I understand that my mother wasn’t so much telling me about the benefits of breastfeeding, but rather, telling herself, as a form of self-affirmation, to rationalize the complete loss of feeling in her nipples that she never ever regained.
That happens! Actually, when you’re breastfeeding, you pray for it to happen as soon as possible. Any respite—even permanent nerve damage—from the piercing pain of a latch-on and the unrelenting soreness that follows is so welcomed. You know, having live explosives shoot out of your boobs doesn’t feel as cool as it looks in the “Firework” video. Because that’s what it’s like: burning, stabbing, sharp, deep, wide, thick, soul-sucking pain that will cause your asshole to constrict so far up into your body that you fear you might choke on it.
Breastfeeding can fuck off, right now. I used to punch the arm of the couch, kick my feet, and scream, “Cocksucker motherfucker!” just to get through a feeding. And then, roughly two hours later, I would be presented with my child, by my husband or another family member, telling me it was time to do it all again. “Already!?” I would cry, before sobbing so hard from revisiting the pain that I couldn’t even make noise, but just silently quake.
When one of my breasts developed a painful case of mastitis, I was told that the only way to cure it was to “keep her on the breast as much as possible.” That was the last thing I wanted to hear.
Both of my tits were gross. They were so bloody and scabby that they looked like someone had stubbed cigarettes out on them, like it was some kind of gang initiation ritual, symbolizing my induction into Da Mutha Hood.
Of course, the worst came when I discovered, to my horror, that my left nipple became semi-detached from my areola. It was hanging on by a slim cord of flesh. My hands trembled as I moved my whole nipple up and down, like the head of a Pez dispenser. Panic-stricken, I asked my midwives what I should do. I was convinced I might need to be hospitalized. Again, I was told to “keep her on the breast as much as possible.” Eventually, it healed, but I’m scarred—in more ways than one.
“But you’re going to scare women off from breastfeeding!”
So? You mean to tell me that you have a problem with presenting women with honesty because you think that might inform her to make a choice with her own body that doesn’t sit well with you? What are you? A republican congressman?
And speaking of men, God forbid if I don’t modify any statements about my husband with, “He’s a really big help…” Yeah, he was a big help. But even if he changed every single diaper and gave every single bath and went to every single pediatrician’s appointment, fathering a newborn doesn’t hold a candle to mothering one. I mean, even those terms speak for themselves. Colloquially, “mothering” implies nurturing. “Fathering” implies insemination. Because—while my tits were falling off and my back was fucked up from pregnancy-induced scoliosis and my healing C-section incision made me afraid to sneeze—that was that was my husband’s sole physical contribution in this whole thing: a sloppy pullout.
Women have it so much harder in that first year of parenting than men do. And nobody could tell me any different. I don’t give a shit what exception to the rule you present. You know, we would never shame men into using a part of their bodies for its “natural purpose.” But we do this to women on the regular and under the guise of feminism, no less!
Of course, people make allowances, whenever speaking about the “evils” of formula, for adoptive parents, or maybe even for women whose bodies just simply could not produce milk that easily. (Although lactivists are secretly judging the latter for not being dedicated enough in their efforts to do the “best” thing for their child.) They get a pass. So formula is for those who “need it.” Fuck that.
Formula is for anyone who fucking wants it. It doesn’t matter what their reasons are. Maybe they’re in pain, maybe they’re tired, maybe they think nursing bras are ugly, maybe they want to do drugs—it doesn’t fucking matter. It’s none of your business. Her body, her choice. Mind your own tits.
i am all for normalizing breastfeeding and down with making sure moms have the social support they need, but not at the expense of shaming and censoring women who can’t make it work, or who make an informed decision not to. this is a pretty extremist take on it, and i don’t agree with everything the author writes, or believe that such a terrible experience is as commonplace as she seems to think, but i do give her props for keeping it real. and it does present an interesting perspective on the intersection of feminism and so-called attachment parenting.
yo gabba gabba is not on netflix anymore?
COOL STORY BRO.
K.P. & Envyi // “Swing My Way” (Eastwest Records)
always looking for opportunities to use the word tenderoni
so i’ve been working on night weaning for two nights now, after getting the bad news from our dentist, and also feeling a little used by/resentful of the whole night nursing process for some time now (see previous night’s post). i’m not in school and the manpiece’s workload is not crazy right now, so the timing just seems right. also, i’m around to give extra hugs and attention during the day.
i’m not one for methods (see: previous failed attempts at baby led weaning) but i could use some motivation/guidance, so i’m basing my attempts loosely around this method i found while fishing around for solutions on kellymom. it seemed as gentle as possible and amenable to cosleeping. the basic idea is to start by nursing to sleep, but then replace subsequent wakings for nursing with cuddles, and then gradually stop night nursing at all. supposedly, they will cry for a few nights, but they’ll be pissed and confused rather than feeling abandoned or frightened, like with CIO, because even though they aren’t getting comfort from the milk like they are accustomed, you are still there cuddling with them. idk how legit that is, but it makes sense to me so we are going for it.
even so, it has been pretty rough! they’re right, it’s not fear major distress crying—no tears, just screams and anger, which does not feel a whole lot better, but it’s pretty important to me (and ultimately less painful for everyone) to stop pussyfooting around and give this my best shot. i’ve been doing like ten minutes of cuddle-crying before giving in, which feels like ten hours, but it’s not. i timed it. that’s all i can handle, and probably more than all my neighbors (we share our two-story building with three other families) can take.
but, i am happy to report that, while night %1was an epic failure, two out of four nighttime wakings were handled without resorting to boob-age last night. i was *amazed* when he stopped protesting, stretched out, and went back to sleep. go me. go percy. we’re gonna make it after all. *insert mary tyler moore theme song*
it could be that this is some degree of sexism . m.i.a. had to deal with this with the respected website pitchfork.com where they assumed that diplo had produced all of her kala album without reading any credit list or nothing , it just had to be , it couldn´t have been m.i.a. herself ! it feel like still today after all these years people cannot imagine that woman can write , arrange or produce electronic music . i have had this experience many many times that the work i do on the computer gets credited to whatever male was in 10 meter radius during the job . people seem to accept that women can sing and play whatever instrument they are seen playing .but they cannot program , arrange , produce , edit or write electronic music .
it’s that time of night where i get to lay in my kid’s bed with my boobs out while he ignores me completely and performs a variety of wwf maneuvers on my prostrate body for two hours, stopping only to scream bloody murder if i dare try to deviate from this process.
aka bedtime. no matter how i try to tire him out, this is how it goes. dear lord, there has got to be a better way.
MY DAD IS GIVING US HIS OLD CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
coming soon: road trips, beach days, and 99% less schlepping and feelings of isolation.
i haven’t had a whip since i moved to new york six years ago. so fucking happy right now!
five cavities! five! that’s what the yellow stuff that wouldn’t come off was. decay. aka cavities.
percy does not give a fuck, but i’m devastated. from night nursing and spread from my own gingivitis, as suspected. mom of the year award.
she suggested wiping the teeth right after each nursing, snack, or meal. and because he’s too young for nitrous, i have to find a hospital with a pediatric clinic to get them filled, because those are the only places our insurance will cover for sedation.
bummertown! at least they weren’t dicks about it. and at least it’s fixable.
baby’s first dentist appointment today. we’re gonna see about all that yellow staining on his teeth, ostensibly due to night nursing, and find out whether or not my icky gingivitis germs have set up shop in there.
have i mentioned that he really *loves* it when people stick things in his mouth that aren’t boobs or carbohydrates? this is gonna be swell!
(if ever there were a morning i needed a mimosa, this would be that morning. brass monkey is an acceptable substitution, right?)